The Legends encounter Rasputin The Mad Monk, while avoiding THAT song and answering the question The Avengers refused to ask…
Legends of Tomorrow finally answers the question The Avengers was too scared to ask…
The show comes back proper after its opening episode was dedicated to the Crisis on Infinite Earths finale and it gets straight in with a goofy, silly and extreme episode. With plenty of dressing up.
Last season left us with two major set up; Astrid is now Queen of hell (or at least a pretty big deal down there) and has purchased the soul of some of histories most evil characters, who she intends to send back to the moment of their deaths to wreak havoc. Also, Zari is gone! When time was saved and re-written she disappeared and was replaced by her brother. This was shocking and exciting and very Legends of Tomorrow.
So we pick up post-Crisis, with plenty of fun gags about missing out on the crossover and what Superman was like. It seems that the Legends have become celebrities, so much so that they are being followed by a documentary crew. Its kind of tired format, presenting an episode of a show as a documentary but Legends of Tomorrow gets away with it because, well, its so Legends of Tomorrow about it. The docu-format allows for plenty of great meta gags and breaking the fourth wall as well as a cheeky way to get the audience up to speed quickly with there everything is at. It also allows for a subtle introduction of Behrad, Zari’s brother/replacement. The show and the characters basically treat him as if he’s been there all along, which is great as it sells the idea of re-writing time really well and Shayan Sobhian is instantly likable in the role. You do actually feel like he’s been there the whole time and his introduction doesn’t feel forced. Its similar to when Buffy the Vampire Slayer introduced Dawn, only not annoying.
The plot this episode is that Rasputin has come back from the dead and the Legends, of course, need to go and stop him. Cue, costumes. Through a series of botched events, the documentary crew end up being captured by Rasputin who want to use them in his quest to take over the world. Rasputin is just silly enough to be Legends style fun, without being too anachronistic. The documentary style here, while aptly sending up reality TV it feels more What We Do In The Shadows than Spinal Tap but it borrows from all the best spoof docs.
The episode does a lot of great work in a short amount of time here; this is perhaps one of the best episodes they’ve produced in their five season run. The opening scenes of “Legends Mania” and the montage of mission moments alone contain come of the best, sharpest and close to the edge comedy the show has presented us with. But as always, they anchor everything with strong performances and likable characters.
It seems that Mona, who has been acting as Mick’s literary agent, is leaving the team to go and take over Mick’s writing, I’m okay with this but I had just started to warm to Mona in her last couple of episodes and this first one back I don’t, to be honest, feel a huge loss. I like the fact tat we are now completely free of the Time Agency, or Bureau or whatever government connections and the team, with Ava on board, are totally freewheeling now.
We get some nice set up for Zari’s return – which I’m very glad about as Zari for me went from being superfluous to one of my favourite characters, in no small part thanks to Tala Ashe’s incredibly charming performance. The highlight of the episode, though, comes when a shrunken and disorientated Ray gets swallowed by Rasputin and, at the insistences of his crew-mates, un-shrinks, exploding Rasputin everywhere. See Ant-Man, you could have stopped Thanos anytime.
This finale was hilarious and the perfect crescendo of this week’s insane comedy. Constantine charging in to the Waverider to down a jar of still living liquid-Rasputin to help him travel to hell was just the cherry on top.
An insane and satisfying return to the show proper and a classic Legends of Tomorrow episode, lets hope the rest of the season keeps up the momentum. And they avoid using that song.
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