LEGENDS OF TOMORROW S3x05 – RETURN OF THE MACK

The Legends find themselves in Victorian London, chasing down an anachronism that gives us our first look at the Big Bad of the season.

“Return of the Mack” almost feels like a throwback to last season. It heavily features Rip, has a mystery at its center and even brings back an old enemy. But some twists at the end show how much has changed as well. The episode brings the team to London 1895, where Rip, doing his best Sherlock Holmes, is investigating a body drained of blood with two bites marks on his neck. It seems that a vampire is afoot.

As is the case with many Sherlock stories that include the supernatural, the truth behind this ghoul is simpler than originally thought. Since this is Legends though, there is still an otherworldly element. Hiding his actions from the Time Bureau, Rip is hunting Mallus, a threat so big the Time Masters dared not speak his name. His influence creates outliers among the pattern of anachronisms that the Legends are trying to correct. With the team and Rip hunting the same thing, they work together, just like old times. It’s really great to see Rip working with the Legends again, especially Sara as the two leaders have excellent camaraderie. But the discovery that Martin Stein’s ancestor is leading a secret order to resurrect the time-displaced corpse of Damien Darhk throws everything off.

Rip wants to use the resurrection ceremony as a trap for Mallus, whereas Sara doesn’t want even a chance that Darhk returns to life. Rip betrays her and the team, putting the ship into lockdown and trapping everyone sans Zari aboard. At the ceremony, Mallus possesses the psychic that supposedly channeled Zari’s dead brother earlier. He laughs off Rip’s threats, declares himself a god and brings Darhk back to life, with his full powers and memories intact. Darhk kills most of the Time Bureau agents Rip brought along for the mission and escapes with Mallus.

Similar to his behavior when they faced Vandal Savage, Rip’s single-mindedness to stop Mallus at all costs backfires spectacularly. In a reversal, Sara winds up making a deal with the Agent Sharpe and gives Rip up to the Time Bureau. In return, they’ll back off the Legends. It’s a nice change of pace that will stop the show from falling into a rut. Now, they can focus on solving anachronisms, and stopping Mallus, whoever and wherever he is.

Story Notes:

  • Ray and Jax work in secret to separate Firestorm. The first step weakens the psychic connection, with the side effect of short-term memory loss for Jax. That’s mainly played for laughs. When Martin finds out what they’re doing, he’s upset, but eventually understands and agrees to help their efforts.
  • This episode also finds Zari struggling with why she can’t go back in time and save her brother’s life. The psychic uses these raw wounds and guilt to steal Zari’s totem, but in the big fight finale, she Force-pulls it back into her hands. Looks like that power is Zari’s after all.
  • Nate thinks Rory and vampires have a lot in common: they like to sleep in and kill people. Well, he’s not wrong! Another fun note: Rory spends most of the episode reading Dracula. For those of you who saw Blade: Trinity, Dominic Purcell played Dracula/Drake. Another fun reference.
  • Last time Jax got laid, Stein said to him, “Well done, Jefferson.” The downsides of a psychic bond!

The Super Cinco:

  1. Sara Lance / White Canary – For once, her mission seems to go somewhat smoothly, as she leads her team with a mix of undercover work and action scenes. She thinks on her feet and uses the Waveriders own weapons to break open the lockdown too. If she wasn’t betrayed by Rip, the Legends might have stopped Darhk’s resurrection.
  2. Zari Tomaz – While she’s still haunted and guilty over her brother’s death, Zari comes through in the big fight at the end, regaining her totem. She agrees to work with Amaya to strengthen their bond and their powers to face the oncoming threats.
  3. Jax Jackson – He works closely with Ray to help weaken the bond between himself and Martin. Even short-term memory loss doesn’t prevent him from helping out the team with the vampire investigation. Unfortunately, his reward is repair the hole the Waverider’s missiles made in its cargo bay.
  4. Nate Haywood / Steel – He plays the role of bait a bit too well, getting kidnapped by Martin’s ancestor and their secret society. He doesn’t have much to do otherwise in that episode, though he does find out where the revival ceremony will take place.
  5. Rip Hunter – Rather than trusting the Legends and working with Sara, he betrays the team, locking them up to face Mallus with his time agents. These efforts fail immensely, leading to Darhk’s resurrection and Rip’s arrest by the Time Bureau.