History Notes: Legends of Tomorrow, Episode 208, "The Chicago Way"

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As Martin Stein belabors keeping his time-aberration daughter a secret, Jefferson warns him it's only a matter of time before Sara or the Waverider's onboard computer Gideon notes the time aberration and warns them about it. Just then the klaxons go off indicating an aberration has been detected -- but to Stein's great relief the warning directs them to 1927 Chicago, where Al Capone's men are about to dispatch of a new-to-town G-man named Elliot Ness.

Capone, however, has help of his own from some wayward time-travelers: Damien Darhk and Eobard Thawne, who have now teamed up with a third member, Malcolm Merlyn. So these three will be the DC/CW "Legion of Doom" for our team of Legends. They're helping Capone, ostensibly, but it's all just a big trap designed to lure the Legends to that timeframe so they can battle them for the mysterious talisman that Sara took from Darhk earlier this season (but a few decades later than this episode, which means there are two copies of the talisman if he only went looking for the other one...but we can count DeLoreans in 1955 later).

The episode furthers the bromance between Ray Palmer and Nate Heywood as they begin to engage in sibling rivalry over which of them makes the better choice to impersonate a wounded Elliot Ness. It also deepens the bonding between Mick and Amaya, and continues an interesting trend in the CW Super Friends episodes this week: In THE FLASH, Cisco Ramon sees his dead brother; in ARROW Oliver sees his dead former lover; and in LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, Mick is getting visitations from the deceased Captain Cold warning him to listen to his more criminal instincts and get out of this group.

When the team tries to set up Capone at a speakeasy, the Legion of Doom are waiting for them, and end up capturing Sara and Stein. Merlyn offers Sara a change to the timeline -- he'll not blow up Oliver Queen's boat, restoring her past six years of life -- in exchange for the amulet. She refuses with a noble speech about the timeline being sacred, which Stein overhears with chagrin. Left alone, he confesses to her how he accidentally created a daughter in the timeline, and Sara is aghast. But before they can deal with this in detail, the two are separated, Thawne uses his future technology -- it actually looks something like a Mother Box -- to make himself look like Stein, so that when the two are eventually rescued, he is brought aboard the Waverider to search for the amulet. But he's spotted by Jefferson, who, being the other half of Firestorm with Stein, intuitively knows something is wrong with the doppelganger. When the confrontation occurs, Jefferson has a weapon designed to work against speedsters -- but only for a brief time, and Thawne recovers, with only the intervention of Ray (in his new Atom gear) saving Jefferson from being killed.

Thawne gains access to the bridge of the Waverider and lets the rest of the Legion of Doom aboard, setting the stage for a battle between Sara and Malcolm Merlyn. When she gets the better of him, she demands to know where the real Stein is being kept -- but that information costs her the amulet. Stein wonders why she gave it up, given how important the timestream is to protect, and she demurs that family is more important -- which means Lily Stein isn't going anywhere for the foreseeable future.

Going out, we see the purpose for the amulet (which, despite its connections to Isis in the comics, doesn't have anything to do with her here). It's a compass and it will guide the Legion of Doom to their real prize: the Spear of Destiny, with which they can rewrite reality. The Spear is DC's equivalent to the Infinity Gems, so this is big stuff. And if you're wondering where our buddy Rip Hunter has been off to this whole season, it seems the Legion knows his whereabouts as well -- and so do we once the cliffhanger ending runs.

4.0 / 5.0