Legends Of Tomorrow has a convoluted timeline and lots of wacky plots, so there’s no shame in being a bit confused by the whole darned thing. It’s a fun ride, though, isn’t it?
If you’re trying to recall what happened (and in what order) during Legends Of Tomorrow season 2, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll recap The Waverider crew’s sophomore season of time-ruining adventures, to bring you up to speed in time for season 3.
To set the stage for our recap: season 1 ended with Hawkman and Hawkgirl leaving the team, following the defeat of Vandal Savage. Everyone else planned to fly off and continue their team-based heroics. Then, Patrick J. Adams made a cliff-hanger cameo as Hourman, the leader of the Justice Society of America. He told the Legends that they would die if they entered the Waverider, and then the credits rolled.
Some months later, season 2 began, with another guesting hero…
Nick Zano’s Nate Heywood (later to become the metallic superhero Steel) approaches Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen (aka the Green Arrow, protagonist of Arrow) in the Legends Of Tomorrow season 2 premiere. Nate needs help locating the Waverider crew, who seem to have gone missing.
Nate and Ollie locate the Waverider at the bottom of the Hudson River – Dominic Purcell’s Mick Rory (aka Heat Wave) is the only crewmember on board, and he is in a state of stasis.
Once awakened, Mick explains that a mission went bad between seasons: Neal McDonough’s Damien Darhk had worked with the Nazis, in 1942, to create a nuclear bomb and fire it towards New York. Arthur Darvill’s Rip decided to scatter the team throughout history, while staying on board the Waverider himself to block the path of Darhk’s nuke and save New York from obliteration. Mick, having been injured during the 1942 antics, was plonked in stasis instead of being displaced in time like the rest of the crew.
Curiously, there was no sign of Rip on the ship when Mick came to, and no evidence of where he had gone after scattering his crew across time. Now leaderless, the Legends reunite. Caity Lotz’s Sara Lance (aka the White Canary) end up taking on the captain role, but not before Victor Garber’s Martin Stein (aka one half of Firestorm) has had a go.
The season premiere ends with two revelations: the Justice Society confront the Legends in the now-fixed 1942, and Darhk is seen to be working with Matt Letscher’s Eboard Thawne (aka The Reverse-Flash, the big bad of The Flash season 1).
Episode 2 picks up with both of these strands, with the old-timey JSA eventually teaming up with the Legends to stop Eobard from cementing another Nazi alliance. This time, Eobard is trying to trade a super serum for an ancient amulet. The Legends end up fighting a monstrous serum-powered Nazi.
At the end of episode 2, Eobard uses his scary vibrating hand to kill Rex Tyler. Rex – who tried to warn the Legends about the perils of 1942, at the end of season 1 – says “time traveller” as his final words. Maisie Richardson-Sellers’ Amaya Jiwe (aka Vixen) takes this dying message to be a warning about the Legends. However, he’s actually referring to Eobard’s speed-based time travel, which enabled his murder.
Nate is injured in this episode, and Ray injects him with an upgraded form of the super serum that Eobard gave to the Nazis. This gives Nate his Steel powers, and he joins the Legends, following in the heroic footsteps of his Justice Society granddad.
Episode 3, Shogun, sees the Waverider crew in feudal Japan. The ATOM suit falls into evil hands, and Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer has to destroy it in order to save the day. Nate and Amaya officially join the team.
A message is discovered on the Waverider, from a future version of Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen (aka The Flash). The message alludes to Barry’s Flashpoint antics from his own TV show: by going back in time to save his parents, Barry has altered the timeline. He warns Rip Hunter – the intended recipient of the message, who still hasn’t been found by the Waverider crew – not to trust him.
Episode 4, Abominations, is a standout hour of the season, which sends the gang into the American Civil War. They travel to this era to locate a time pirate, but it turns out that he’s now a zombie. Franz Drameh’s Jefferson Jackson (aka the other half of Firestorm) goes undercover, and ends up learning a lot about slavery and the human condition. The zombies are defeated.
To try and help Ray find a new place in the team now that his ATOM suit has been destroyed, Mick gives him the cold gun that Wentworth Miller’s Leonard Snart used during season 1. Predictably enough, Ray makes for a terrible Captain Cold, and he gives the gun back shortly afterwards.
Damien Darhk shows up again in episode 5, Compromised. This one sees the gang at the INF treaty signing at the White House in 1987. Martin Stein runs into his younger self (played by Graeme McComb). This is significant, because Martin didn’t originally attend this treaty signing: the timeline has been altered, and Martin’s past is changing as a result. In the end, the gang stop Darhk from completing a dodgy deal with the KGB, before Eobard runs in and whisks Darhk away.
The fast-paced fun continues in episode 6, Outlaw Country, which sees Johnathon Schaech return as Jonah Hex. He works with the gang to stop the villainous Quentin Turnbull from destroying a mountain pass. In this episode, Ray finds some more dwarf star, thanks to one of Turnbull’s mines. He uses this to make a new ATOM suit.
Next comes the huge Invasion! crossover event. Therein, the Legends team up with heroes from Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl to defeat an invading alien race known as The Dominators. Barry’s message is revealed in full, and everyone takes it in turns to call him an idiot for messing with the timeline. Martin Stein discovers that, in this new version of reality, he has a daughter named Lily (played by Christina Brucato). Martin and Jax agree not to reveal to the rest of the gang that Lily is an aberration. (Later in the season, Lily finds out about her origins, and understandably gets quite upset.)
Malcolm Merlyn has now joined The Legion of Doom, and he shows up in 1927 Chicago alongside Eobard Thawne and Damien Darhk – for episode 8 of the season, The Chicago Way. In this one, the Legion team up with Al Capone, but, to be honest, that’s of secondary importance.
More vitally, Eobard gets his mitts on Martin Stein, and uses some future technology to disguise himself as the bespectacled scientist. Eobard-as-Martin sneaks onto the Waverider and retrieves an amulet that the gang had previously taken from him. Sara allows Eobard to escape with the relic, in exchange for Martin’s life.
The Waverider crew correct the 1927 aberration, but Eobard now has an important McGuffin in his possession. The amulet projects a snazzy sci-fi map thingy. Using this map, Eobard plans to locate The Spear Of Destiny, a pointy piece of wood that apparently pierced Jesus Christ’s side prior to his crucifixion. This spear, inexplicably, has the power to alter reality.
Because the spear is too powerful for any one person to wield, Rip – at some point before Legends Of Tomorrow season 1 – broke the spear into four pieces and entrusted them to members of the Justice Society. The Justice Society scattered around the globe (after the Legends met them in 1942) to hide the pieces.
In season 2 episode 9, Raiders Of The Lost Art, we catch up with Arthur Darvill’s Rip. It turns out that, after all the nuke-stopping action of the season premiere, Rip wound up in 1960s Hollywood with no memory of his former life as a time-travelling superhero-wrangler. Rip, unaware of his past, has been working as a filmmaker alongside a chap named George Lucas (here played by Matt Angel).
The Legion arrives and tries to kidnap Rip. The Legends arrive and try to stop them. George Lucas gives up on filmmaking, which means that Ray and Nate lose their powers. (Star Wars inspired Ray to become a scientist, and Indiana Jones sent Nate into his historical line of work. Neither of them would have become superheroes if they hadn’t developed those passions.)
In the end, the Legends locate a fragment of the spear, the Legion makes off with Rip, and George Lucas rediscovers his love of moviemaking. Everyone has a lot of fun with film references.
Episode 10, The Legion Of Doom, is another fun one. It sees Malcolm and Damien bickering over how best to extract information from Rip. Eventually, they find a record of Rip’s memories in a bank vault in Switzerland, 2025. They lock Eobard in the vault, annoyed by his self-righteousness. This reveals that the Black Flash – essentially the Grim Reaper of speedsters – has been hunting Eobard down. (Eobard’s ancestor killed himself in The Flash season 1, so Eobard should technically be erased from existence. That’s why the Black Flash is after him.)
Eobard admits he needs Malcolm and Damien as much as they need him. He can’t stay in one place for long without the Black Flash finding him, hence his decision to recruit other villains to support his cause. If the Legion can locate and repair The Spear Of Destiny, all of them stand to gain something: Eobard can undo his erasure from existence, Damien Darhk can prevent his own death (see: Arrow season 4), and Malcolm Merlyn can bring members of his family back to life.
Using the memories from the vault and some sci-fi mind-meddling, Eobard turns Rip from an aspiring filmmaker with no knowledge about magic spears into an evil ally with a lot of knowledge about magical spears. In a shocking cliff-hanger, Rip shoots George Washington on Christmas day, 1776, as his first evil act for the Legion.
Evil Rip is front and centre (and a lot of fun) in episode 11, Turncoat. The Legends arrive and save George Washington. Rip gives the British army modern machineguns, and deactivates all the Legends’ tech. He takes the Legends’ spear fragment from the Waverider, and generally acts like an arsehole. Jax has a chance to kill Rip, and nearly goes through with it, but Sara stops him.
Also in Turncoat: Mick becomes a hero of the American Revolution; romance begins to blossom between Amaya and Nate; and the team has a lovely Christmas on board the Waverider.
The next few episodes show the Legion and the Legends clashing over the remaining spear fragments. In Camelot/3000, Dr. Mid-Nite and Stargirl – from the Justice Society – reappear. Normal Rip had entrusted them with a spear fragment each, and now Evil Rip has come to take them back. He succeeds in getting Dr. Mid-Nite’s fragment, but the Legends get one from Stargirl. The Legends manage to imprison Rip on board the Waverider, but he uses voice control to crash the time ship in the Cretaceous period.
Land Of The Lost, episode 13, is another barmy one. Ray, Nate and Amaya go looking for an important Waverider piece and encounter some dinosaurs, while Sara and Jax travel into Rip’s mind to work out the location of the final spear fragment. In his head, Rip snogs Gideon, the AI at the heart of the Waverider. Rip emerges from the mind-meddling as his old, non-Evil self.
Normal Again Rip remembers that the final spear fragment is on the Moon, so the gang travel to NASA 1970 and meet up with Henry Heywood (aka Nate’s Justice Society granddad). In turns out that Henry hid his fragment in a flagpole, which was placed on the Moon during 1969’s Apollo 11 mission.
The Apollo 13 mission is currently going on, and Ray and Eobard end up fighting in space over the fragment. Ray wins. In a highly surreal piece of TV, Martin Stein sings the Banana Boat Song in the middle of a NASA base, in order to distract the assembled scientists from Ray’s space-based antics.
Also in the Moonshot episode: Ray and Sara clash over leadership, with the former eventually admitting the latter’s superiority; Henry sacrifices himself, much to Nate’s dismay; and Amaya finds out about her predestined fate (her village will be destroyed and her granddaughter will take up the Vixen mantle).
Next up is Fellowship Of The Spear, the 15th episode of the season. Right at the start, the gang steals the Legion’s spear fragment, meaning that they now have all four pieces. After the spear is reassembled, a message appears on it: the powerful relic can be destroyed using the blood of Christ. The gang wants to destroy the spear, but Rip says that travelling to the crucifixion itself would be too dangerous, so instead they head for the next best thing: J.R.R. Tolkien.
Tolkien had been researching Sir Gawain, who is said to possess some of Jesus’ blood. The Legends meet up with the Lord Of The Rings author during The Battle Of The Somme. While the Waverider crew work with Tolkien and follow clues towards Jesus’ blood, Darhk shows up with Leonard Snart (aka Captain Cold), much to the surprise of everyone. (Snart died in season 1, heroically sacrificing himself to save the day. But now the Legion has recruited a younger – and more evil – Snart, from earlier in the timeline.)
A battle ensues. Rip finds the vial of Jesus’ blood. Amaya expresses an interest in using the spear to erase the Legion from reality. The vial of blood is destroyed. Snart convinces Mick – who has been missing his partner in crime all season – to hand over the spear and team up with the bad guys. The Legion – now consisted of Eobard, Malcolm, Damien, Leonard and Mick – activate the spear and create a new reality.
The penultimate episode of the season is Doomworld. The Legion’s new reality is a suitably grim place: many superheroes are dead, Thawne runs STAR Labs, Black Flash is under lock and key, Darhk is mayor of Star City, and Merlyn has brought his family back from the dead. Plus, Sara and Amaya work for the bad guys, and Rip is trapped in a tiny Waverider.
Mick, feeling guilt over betraying the team, leads the charge to bring the Legends back together. There are scrapes along the way – because no one’s original memories are fully in tact, and also because some team members have taken to this new reality better than others – but eventually the gang is reunited.
After some fights and some fake-out deaths, Eobard uses an incinerator to destroy The Spear Of Destiny. He believes that this will cement the new reality, but the Legends come up with a daring plan to avert that: by travelling back to The Battle Of The Somme, interacting with their younger selves (which breaks a cardinal rule of time travel), and stopping Eobard from ever gaining the spear in the first place.
The finale episode, Aruba, is pretty confusing. There are two versions of the Legends, and two versions of the Legion, all at The Battle Of The Somme. A Time Storm begins, due to the manifold paradoxes, meaning that the Waverider cannot be used. A massive fight breaks out, with even more fake-out deaths. (None of the core characters actually die properly, but their future selves – from Doomworld – all bite the bullet.)
It all comes down to something of a Mexican standoff: Sara has the spear, and Eobard has hundreds of ‘Time Remnant’ copies of himself. At this point, Sara has a vision of her sister, Laurel (Katie Cassidy), who was killed by Damien Darhk in Arrow season 4. Sara has wanted revenge against Darhk all season long, and this is her chance: with the reality-altering spear in hand, she could destroy Darhk and bring Laurel back to life.
However, Sara makes a different call. Using the spear, she only makes one change to reality: to depower the spear itself. With its magical powers removed, the spear is now just a pointy piece of wood. It’s incapable of creating Doomworld, so the weird dystopia that Eobard and his chums created can now never come to be.
It’s best not to spend too long worrying about some of the logic here. Questions like ‘If the spear could depower itself, why did they need the blood of Christ?’ might have some validity, but Legends doesn’t exactly pride itself on watertight logic. This show is all about the fun, and season 2 was packed full of just that.
The Black Flash appears, and Eobard is finally erased from existence. The other Legion members have their minds wiped, and the Legends drop them back in their original places in history. The stage seems to be set for a happy ending, with Mick suggesting a long-awaited holiday to Aruba. Everyone is up for it, and the Waverider springs into action.
However, instead of the sunny sands of Aruba, the time ship crash-lands in modern day Los Angeles. There are dinosaurs roaming the streets. As everyone does their most worried expressions, Sara says the closing words of the season: “Guys, I think we broke time…”
Legends Of Tomorrow season 3 starts on The CW on Tuesday the 10th of October and (TBC) on Sky One on Wednesday the 18th of October here in the UK.