History Notes: Legends of Tomorrow Episode 215, "Fellowship of the Spear"

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Legends of Tomorrow Fellowship of the Spear

One spear to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them.

The Legends team have managed to outpace the Legion of Doom when it comes to collecting pieces of the Spear of Destiny -- the spear that pierced Christ's side and embued it with the power to rewrite reality. But the Legion has the final piece and have hidden it in the one place where it can't be found in time -- outside of time, at Vanishing Point.

You'd think a whole episode could be devoted just to obtaining that piece, but it's actually thieved away in a matter of minutes, with Firestorm (FRANZ DRAMEH) showing off to Rip Hunter (ARTHUR DARVILL) his new transmutation powers by turning the safe into jellybeans and revealing the last fragment. Eobard Thawne (MATT LETSCHER), the Reverse-Flash, finds out too late that the fragment has been stolen, and goes ballistic.

Once the pieces are all together, they join themselves and reunite the Spear, which heals from any injury done to it. This is why the pieces were kept far apart, and why Mick Rory (DOMINIC PURCELL) hitting it with his flame gun doesn't do anything to it -- except reveal writing on the shaft that had never been seen before! Apparently the Spear, born in blood, can be destroyed by blood -- if it's the same blood, i.e. that of Jesus Christ's. Sara Lance (CAITY LOTZ) immediately orders the Waverider's AI, Gideon, to plot a course to the Crucifixion, but that order is quickly belayed by Rip Hunter. There are periods in time that are absolutely forbidden to change, and any event during the life of Christ is on that list. This is obviously the writers way of avoiding what would surely be a controversial story (right, Rick Veitch?) while at the same time serving as a tantamount admission to the power of the historical figure. After all, His blood did give this Spear power over all reality. Nate (NICK ZANO) says there is another option, however, citing a treatise on Sir Gawain that shows he didn't find the Holy Grail but rather the Blood of Christ in an amulet, with which he was buried. The author of the treatise? The writer of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, J.R.R. Tolkein (JACK TURNER). So it's off to World War I and the trenches where Tolkein suffered a bout of trench fever.

Amaya (MAISIE RICHARDSON-SELLERS) believes they should use the power of the Spear to simply fix things -- her future, Mick's past, and all the problems of the Legion of Doom. She has experience handling mystical artifacts, but Rip cautions against it, stating the Spear is too powerful. Amaya is outvoted, and goes along with the group to try "the hard way" of finding the blood and destroying the Spear.

Meanwhile, the Legion of Doom makes some changes. With Thawne completely frustrated at the loss -- and the potential that Zoombie will appear to kill him -- Damien Darhk (NEAL MCDONOUGH) says it's time to change the game. When Mick later encounters Captain Cold, Leonard Snart (WENTWORTH MILLER), he thinks it's another hallucination of his former partner, who sacrificed himself at the Vanishing Point to save the team. However, we later learn that it is indeed the real, physical Snart, pulled from an earlier point in the time stream to join the Legion of Doom. Throughout the adventure, Snart plays on Mick's conscience, making him question his allegiances, particularly as how he is seldom trusted by the other members of the Legends team.

Ultimately, the Legends achieve their objective -- and the Legion achieves theirs, with Mick swapping allegiances, helping the Legion steal the Spear. Amaya is quick to blame Sara for having made the wrong choice earlier, but Nick says that things may not be all that bad, because there were no instructions on how to actually use the Spear.

Oh, but of course, here comes Malcolm Merlyn (JOHN BARROWMAN) with the object of his own quest, which just happens to be the "owner's manual" for the Spear of Destiny. The Legion all put a hand on the Spear, and Merlyn begins to incant...

...and there was light.

This is one of those unique episodes of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW that raises questions about the mission logic, while at the same time telling a very compelling story full of action and drama. For one thing, we see the Legends in the thick of a World War I battle, dodging bombs and bullets just to find a buried treasure box left by Sir Gawain. Well, if it was buried by him hundreds of years back, couldn't they just go to a more peaceful time in the same location to obtain it? And if they lose the one they obtained in WWI, can't they go back to the mid 1850s and get the one that's still there -- or the day before that, or the day before that? (It's what they did with Damien Darhk, and with Leonard Snart, after all.)

Also, if there's a book that activates the Spear of Destiny to allow one to rewrite history, and if we know that this is the capability of the Spear -- then when was the Spear actually employed to come by this knowledge? What reality has already been changed, and how would it ever be restored?

Or maybe I'm just putting too much thought into what is just supposed to be a fun, mindless superhero adventure. But the writers have sure given us a lot of grist for the mill here, with plot and characterization. I'm looking forward to seeing how things shake out next week with "Flashpoint"... er... "Doomworld."

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0