LEGENDS OF TOMORROW S3x13 – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD DADS

The Darhks continue their own totem quest, with Ray as their prisoner.

Ever since we got past the lameness that was Vandal Savage in Season 1, Legends of Tomorrow has done a great job of bringing villains that are just as fun to watch as our heroes. Similar to last season’s faceoff between the Legion of Doom and Black Flash, “No Country For Old Dads” focuses on the relationship between Damien and Nora Darhk.

The Darhks and Kuasa argue about the totems they stole last episode. Nora can’t access the power of Amaya’s spirit totem, whereas Damien wants to repair the fire totem. Turns out that totems can’t be destroyed. And who better to fix it than their kidnapped genius? Ray doesn’t want to help, but with Damien threatening to go back in time and kill his mom, he’s got no choice.

However, the amount of power needed to restore the totem is the equivalent of cold fusion, if it existed. Damien reveals that cold fusion was invented in 1962 East Berlin, but he assassinated the scientist before he could share the formula. Now, Nora and Ray have to go back in time and save the scientist from the young Damien. Sounds fun! Of course, Nora’s powers are on the fritz from the aftereffects of the virus Ray used against her last episode. Even worse, a stray gunshot from young Damien shatters Nora’s time-jumper, trapping her and Ray in 1962.

They try to leave East Berlin the old-fashioned way, with fake papers and a good story. But at the border, young Damien starts firing on the car. The trio is saved though by current Damien, who travels back to help them with the mission, much to Nora’s annoyance. They have a big argument over their relationship, as Nora thinks that Damien forced Mallus on her just to bring her back to life and Damien thinking that he just helped her out in a mission that she was in over her head. As she storms out though, she runs into the younger version of her father.

A rather fun piece of this episode is Damien’s self-therapy about his role as a father, talking out-loud to a recent victim and later to a force-choked Ray. The second session is interrupted by a phone call from young Damien, who offers a trade: Nora for the cold fusion scientist. Current Damien’s reaction: “I am gonna kick my ass.” This show is the best.

Meanwhile, once the Legends find out Ray has been kidnapped by the Darhks, they go about trying to save him. Rip and Wally drop in to help out as well. Amaya and Zari go on a spirit walk to try and find her lost totem. They discover Amaya’s ancestor, who warns that time acts as a cage for Mallus. The more it’s messed with, by the Darhks anachronisms, the closer the demon is to manifesting in the real world.

In an actually fantastic and moving scene, young Damien throws Nora off the roof, forcing current Damien to use his magic and hold her up. But this leaves him near-defenseless against his younger self. Despite his best efforts, it’s either his life or Nora’s. She tells him to let her go and he tearfully expresses his love for his daughter before dropping her. But it’s this action of love that unlocks the power of Amaya’s totem, saving Nora’s life. Ray uses these distractions to blow a hole in the Berlin Wall, triggering an anachronism that brings the rest of the Legends. Not only does Wally grab Ray, he also pickpockets the fire totem from Damien!

In the end, the Legends are almost an afterthought in this episode, putting most of the focus on Damien and Nora. Neal McDonough and Courtney Ford are clearly having the time of their lives playing these characters, with Nora acting as the straight man to Damien’s comedy. The two actors really make their relationship come to life and it’s clear they would do anything for each other. It’s always a thrill when they turn up. You can’t ask for more from the villains than that.

Show Notes:

  • When the Legends go to warn the Time Bureau about the Darhks’ plan, the director asks them to make it quick as he needs to stop Alexander Hamilton from seeing Hamilton the Musical. But then, Gorilla Grodd shows up and quickly kills the director, leaving Ava as the highest-ranking agent and the new head of the bureau.
  • Before he leaves the Waverider, Rip quietly tells Gideon to delete a file on Ava, as Sara can never find out the truth about her.
  • Turns out that Damien Darhk is a DeadHead! Or at least that’s what he tells Ray to tell the Legends, so they wind up visiting every Grateful Dead show in a futile attempt to find him. But it’s not a total loss. Nate gets a contact high and Mick steals Jerry Garcia’s glasses.
  • While Damien and Nora make up at the end, something happens to Nora involving her totem and possession by Mallus. She gets dark veins running along her forehead, a sign that Mallus’ hold on her may be growing stronger.
  • Finally, I’d like to formally welcome Kid Flash to the Legends! Here’s hoping he’s an awesome addition to the team.