History Notes: Legends of Tomorrow Episode 209, "Raiders of the Lost Art"

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Legends of Tomorrow Raiders of the Lost Art

So LEGENDS OF TOMORROW has moved to a new timeslot for the week. Now what am I going to do with my Thursday nights?


Six months ago (if such measurements can mean anything at all in a show where the characters are hopping about in time), Rip Hunter (ARTHUR DARVILL) and the Waverider were going down for the count. The team was scattered. So Rip grabbed a non-descript piece of wood from under the flooring of the timeship that even Gideon didn't know about, shut the ship's AI down, and stuck his hand directly into the power of the time drive.

Fast forward to 'today' of outside the time stream, and we find Martin Stein (VICTOR GARBER) walking in on Mick Rory (DOMINIC PURCELL) having a conversation with himself. Mick confesses that he's been having conversations with an image of the dearly departed Leonard Snart. Stein tells him that it's likely a result of his feelings of loss, but Mick doesn't do "feelings." So he wants Stein to "fix" him. After all, Stein's a doctor, even if it is just of nuclear physics.

In his study, Nate Heywood (NICK ZANO) is studying to loud music, which wakes Ray Palmer (BRANDON ROUTH) and Amaya Jiwe (MAISIE RICHARDSON-SELLERS), who had been sleeping (but not with each other, Ray points out, twice). Nate has sketched the two artifacts that the "Legion of Doom" (as Nick has taken to calling the trio of Damien Darhk, Malcolm Merlyn, and Eobard Thawne, after a Hanna-Barbera cartoon he loved as a kid), but he is unable to find anything about either of them in his history books. Amaya has the brainstorm that perhaps the two pieces are actually parts of one item, and when the drawings are overlaid, Nick recognizes them as the Longinus Medallion, from the Roman Centurion who speared Christ in the side. Blood got on his medallion and on the spear, and the two are connected. The medallion calls for the spear and takes you to it.

So why do the Legion of Doom want the Spear of Destiny? It can rewrite reality. And as Nick explains to Sara Lance (CAITY LOTZ), the ship's de facto captain, these changes are unlike the time changes the crew makes. Time changes can be fixed. Reality alterations are permanent.

This takes us to 1967, where we last saw Rip Hunter before the winter hiatus. He's a graduate student filmmaker there, working on a movie that is not unlike LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, albeit acted a bit less professionally. (No wisecracks from the peanut gallery!) Malcolm (JOHN BARROWMAN) and Damien (NEAL MCDONOUGH) are in the same time/place, walking the streets looking for Hunter. The two motorcycle muggers they kill create enough of a time ripple for the Waverider to be alerted, which brings in the Legends team. But how will they find Rip? It's not like, as it's pointed out, there would be a sign saying, "Legends. This way." Except, of course, there is a sign that says exactly that, and it takes them to the film lot where Rip is shooting his epic. A battle between the Legion of Doom and the Legends breaks out, and Rip runs out -- with his prop master, a bearded fellow named George.

Pay attention to George. He's very important to this story.

Both the LOD and the LOT disengage when the police arrive, and the only one arrested is Rip, who believes his name is Phil Gasmer. The Legends think that Rip's amnesia may be time drift, a side effect of time travel. However, Jax says that Rip sent his final message to the team after this moment, which means it must be something else, and Ray realizes that Rip must possess a portion of the Spear of Destiny.

While Stein and Mick continue to play psychiatrist and patient, the team breaks Rip out of jail, barely ahead of the Legion of Doom. They learn that Rip actually reprogrammed his brain to believe he was someone else, and he thinks the wooden part of the spear is just a prop for his film.

But something is happening to some of the Legends team. Ray can no longer remember physics, and Nate can't make sense of history. And the reason for this is that, after the horrible fight between the Legion of Doom and the Legends, Rip/Phil's propmaster, George, dropped out of film school. And because he dropped out, he did not go on to direct RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK or STAR WARS, removing the two seminal influences that inspired Nate and Ray to embark on their respective careers.

Nate, Ray and Amaya go to see George and convince him to stay in school. He thinks Ray and Nate are completely insane. It takes Amaya to convince George to think about the millions of people his stories will inspire. "The future of the entire world is at stake. It's your only hope."

But George doesn't have the props any longer. He pitched them all. This is bad, because Merlin and Darhk have arrived, taking Amaya's totem and capturing all four of them. And if George doesn't have the prop, they'll just have to go to the city dump.

On the Waverider, Mick has used the same scanner that analyzed Rip's brain to analyze his own, and Stein has discovered an antenna device in his head, planted there by the Time Masters when Mick was briefly Chronos. So Stein is cutting it out when Jax (FRANZ DRAMEH) and Sara walk past. They ask what he's doing, and he flatly replies "Brain surgery." They nod and continue walking. It's moments like this that define the series as one that definitely doesn't try to take itself seriously.

At the dump, Malcolm and Damien have pushed Ray, Nate, Amaya and George into the trash compactor to find the piece of the spear. To motivate them, the turn it on. I'm pretty sure you've seen this before somewhere else. When George finds the piece, they urge him not to tell the Legion or there all dead. They have to convince George here and now to continue the path he was meant to follow. And what he really wants to do...is direct! That's enough for Nate to be able to change to Steel, and Ray finds the tiny A.T.O.M. suit in his pocket again. (It's sort of BILL AND TED, and it still works!)

Fight ensues, the medallion gets dropped, and Sara arrives with the Waverider. That's when the speedster, Eobard Thawne (MATT LETSCHER), arrives. And who challenges him but...Rip Hunter. Or Phil trying to be Rip Hunter.

He fails spectacularly.

The Legion of Doom escape -- and take Rip Hunter with them. Somewhere in his brain is the location of the other two pieces of the Spear of Destiny. And they're going to do whatever it takes to get him to remember that information.

4.0 / 5.0