This Legends of Tomorrow review contains spoilers.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 4
“Abominations” isn’t exactly an earth shattering installment of Legends of Tomorrow. It’s perhaps the first episode of the year that felt like one of the more awkwardly paced installments from season one. But it’s still an example of how the new format, which puts far less weight on the major season long arc (other than, of course, the absence of Rip Hunter) in favor of its mini-movies in different time periods.
In keeping with the “Hey, what period costumes can we dig out of assorted wardrobes around town” theme of this year, it was time for the team to make their way to the Civil War. We knew this was inevitable. The good news is they decided to add zombies to the equation to make things more interesting. Running, 28 Days Later style zombies. Why think too hard about this? It’s cool, and it worked. Hell, the zombies even looked pretty good!
Now, I do have one massive, possibly nitpicky problem with the deployment of said zombies. The whole “Mick becomes a zombie” thing. I have a rule about zombies and vampires. They’re the undead. That means if you turn, you have turned. It’s the law. I can accept a werewolf cure other than death if it’s sold to me right, but zombies? Vampires? Nah. There is no cure. You have to actually be dead to be one of these things. It falls in the same category of “curing” mutants in X-Men comics, it’s not something that you just can remove.
Anyway, that little rant aside, it just robbed the Mick thing of much of its drama. On the other hand, it provided opportunity for some of the best pure comedy we’ve gotten to see out of Victor Garber. “There’s nothing irrational about my fear of zombies. He’s a zombie!” I could have watched a solid thirty minutes of that. By the way, if you want to know what I’m like when I have to get on an airplane, it’s not too far off from this.
Sara is displaying some quiet leadership qualities, too. I love that she can take charge in unconventional ways (the whole casually returning with a zombie head, for example), even in an era where women aren’t looked at as leaders (and as we know, the team travels to lots of those…hell, depending on who you ask, 2016 could still qualify). It didn’t really hit me in “Shogun” but she got more screen time this week anyway. I’m all in on Sara as the leader, up to and including when they find Rip.
Nick Zano continues to be a delight as Nate Heywood, and in a series that’s full of characters having fun, he seems to be having the absolute most fun of anybody. It’s still perhaps a little tough to buy him as a nerdy historian, and perhaps the Citizen Steel FX could use some work. In fact, let’s talk about that. They need to fix this. He looks like someone forgot to draw in Colossus’ lines. They can do better, and I hope they do.
“Abominations” may have also given us Franz Drameh’s best work on the series so far. I feel like Jax hasn’t had a whole bunch to do yet this season, but this was a fine episode to let his character mature a little more, and Drameh delivered.
So yes, this was something of an uneven episode, but as standalones go, this was solid. It seems like all of the CW DC shows have found a new rhythm this year, and this felt like one of the riskier efforts. Even though it didn’t all quite pay off, this was still thoroughly enjoyable.
And seriously, nobody saw that ending with Mick and Ray coming, right?
DC Universe Time Bubbles
“How is this not a fun fact for you?”
For real, just like this week’s episode of The Flash, was this episode totally bereft of DC Comics easter eggs? I’m cool with that, believe it or not. If anything, it proves that these shows are getting more confident in their ability to tell solid sci-fi stories that aren’t completely beholden to superhero convention. I love spotting all those little details, but what I’d rather see is more solid episodes. This one certainly qualifies!
– Henry Scott was real. Interesting that Jax ended up as his historical stand-in.
– The song the slaves were singing is an old African spiritual called “Follow the Drinking Gourd.”
I wish I knew more cool Civil War stuff for this, but my field of expertise is only in fictional battles, not historic ones. Sorry, everyone!
But if I missed any cool DCU stuff drop it in the comments, or feel free to holler at me on Twitter!