This week, the Legends go to the circus! P.T. Barnum’s Circus!
Previously, on LEGENDS OF TOMORROW…
The quest to fix anachronisms across all of time starts off properly with what’s supposed to be an easy one. But since this is Legends of Tomorrow, you can count on it all going sideways. The team travels back to 1870 Wisconsin, where they discover that P.T. Barnum (played delightfully by Billy Zane) has captured a saber-toothed tiger. That may get noticed! Sara picks that adventure out of all the time problems as it’s rated an easy 1 out of 10 by the Time Bureau and Gideon. Over the course of the episode, it jumps to 4 to 6 to 8. That’s the Legends for you!
So how does this all go wrong? Well, Ray’s newly-invented shrink ray backfires and makes the tiger larger. It escapes and to get it back quickly and quietly, Sara picks up Amaya from 1942. She’s back on the Waverider, seeing Nate for the first time since she ghosted on him on his birthday. Nate’s not thrilled about her return, and heads to a bar in town to get sloshed. This leads to him using his powers in front of everyone, including P.T. Barnum and drunkenly blabbing about Jax and Ray’s abilities too. Barnum sees them as the new showstoppers in his circus, and kidnaps them, as well as Nate and Amaya.
While several team members deserve some of the blame for the mess, it’s really down to Nate and his issues with Amaya that make things worse. When he and Amaya have a heart-to-heart though, Maisie Richardson-Sellers does most of the heavy lifting. Amaya had to return to her time period to make sure that her granddaughter, Vixen, exists and becomes a hero. The conflict between her love for Nate and her sense of duty to her family is a strong one. But Nick Zano doesn’t have much to contribute to the scene besides moving from jilted to understanding.
Richardson-Sellers also gets to show her acting chops when she loses control of herself during efforts to rescue the team. After Barnum shoots at Nate’s steel form and taunts him, she unleashes her animal powers and nearly kills Barnum. Nate walks her back from the edge, but she tearfully reveals that she hunted and slaughtered those young soldiers from last week’s episode. That’s why she came back to the Waverider. While the anachronisms are great fun, and we got our first glimpse at the Big Bad, Amaya’s issue raises the personal stakes for the team. If everything goes right on their missions, she can likely avoid losing control. But with the Legends, when has that ever happened?!
- As the anachronism gets worse, Agent Sharpe from the Time Bureau boards the Waverider to deal with the threat. There’s a pretty sweet fight scene between her and Sara.
- The little references and winks to the audience are a big part of what makes Legends Examples: Victor Garber stating “I refuse to set foot on the Titanic. Whoever built that ship ought to be shot.” And Barnum commanding Nate to “Become the Man of Steel…..that’s very catchy, make a note of that.”
- Mick Rory really, really hates clowns. It’s not often you see him run away in fear. Of course, he comes back screaming “Die clown!” as he tackles one.
- Even more concerning than revealing their powers, how can Nate, Ray and Jax use a smart phone in the middle of a 1870 bar with no one noticing?!
The Super Cinco
- – Amaya Jiwe / Vixen – She’s the protector of her village, but returns to help the team with their tiger problem. With her help, Sara gets the jump on the animal and successfully shrinks it down for transport. After her explanation, she justifies her reasons for leaving Nate, and reveals a struggle with her powers that adds weight to the character.
- – Sara Lance / White Canary – She makes a smart move in starting the team off with an easy anachronism. Sure, they mess up and make things worse, but none of that falls on Sara. She brings Amaya back to the team, fights off Agent Sharpe and captures a saber-toothed tiger. Not bad for a week’s work!
- – Martin Stein / Firestorm – He doesn’t have a ton to do this week. But when he’s onscreen, he either helps with the problem or drops great one-liners. His distraction as a clown doing magic tricks helps save Jax and Ray from their headline performance in the circus.
- – Nate Heywood / Steel – His drunken antics get four members of the team kidnapped and wreck the timeline even more. Plus, he’s too hungover to be much help the next day. However, he recovers in time to pull Amaya back from the edge when she loses control.
- – Ray Palmer / The Atom – His shrink ray works, even if he hates when people call it that. But the wrong settings cause him to increase the size of the saber-toothed tiger. He also gets stuck into a fake conjoined twins double-act with Jax.