Welcome back yet again, Legends fans. Hopefully you all made it out of this one without getting infected. Or, you know, if you did get bitten, here’s hoping you managed to get yourself blasted by that aerosol cure. This is hereby a quarantined, zombie-free zone.
So, that certainly was a lot, right? And despite the undead running around, it was definitely one of the more somber Legends episodes to date. Something I’ve noticed about the thematic undercurrents in this season (at least so far) has been the idea of facing and confronting fears—everything from Sara stepping up as captain, to Ray coming to terms with his own vulnerabilities without his armor, or even goofier things like Stein having to cope with his fear of zombies. For Jax, confronting fear turned out to be learning first hand that sometimes the needs of the few really do need to come before the needs of the many, and that the right thing and the safe thing are, more often than not, polar opposites. Or, to put it in the simplest possible terms: there aren’t always right answers.
It’s a difficult pill to swallow, especially when time travel is involved and the consequences of mistakes have the potential to be so catastrophic. But I’ll be totally honest: one of the beautiful things about this season is the fact that each and every Legend is making it up as they go along. None of them have the training or the discipline that Rip had from his training with the Time Masters. All they can do is wing it and hope for the best.
I don’t know about you guys, but winging it and hoping for the best is basically how I’ve progressed through my entire adult life, so these tough decisions are pretty relatable to me, even without the ability to hopscotch through time in a space ship.
But I digress—let’s talk about what we learned this week.
Well, actually, wait. Before we get into that, let’s take a second to really appreciate just how far Jax has come. He’s miles away from the kid who had to be literally kidnapped to even come aboard the Waverider, and this episode really cemented that fact. In the past it was pretty easy to write off both halves of the Firestorm Matrix as characters who aren’t necessarily heroes in and of themselves—kind of the same way Ray looks at himself as only being a hero while in the Atom suit. But now we’re getting to watch Jax fearlessly take on (genuinely terrifying) missions without Firestorm, using just his guts and his wits to do what needs to be done. If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is.
So keep up the good work, Jax. You’re killing it this season.
Now, we have the looming threat of Future Barry’s message to Rip—something we actually did learn a little bit more about this week. From the clip we were able to hear, it’s clear Barry was trying to warn Rip about a “war” on the horizon. Now, if I had to make an educated guess as to what kind of war he was talking about, I’d say it probably has something to do with the Dominators.
Now, who are the Dominators you might ask? Don’t worry. We know already that this season’s massive #DCTV crossover event is going to center around them, so you’re going to learn all you need to know about them in due time. But for now (and this is me hedging my bets just in case I’m totally wrong about this guess) just know that they’re Scary (with a capital S) and we’re going to be talking about them soon enough.
But, regardless as to whether or not my Dominators guess is on the money, we’ve still got to deal with the fact that both Jax and Stein are sitting on this information for the time being, which feels a little bit like a ticking time bomb to me—maybe in more ways than one. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really hoping that the rest of the crew gets clued in on this sooner rather than later.
Anyway, Barry’s mysterious message wasn’t the only question we got at least part of an answer to in this episode. Last week, I talked about Ray’s future without the Atom suit and, honestly? I had a bunch of guesses and theories rolling around my head about what might become of him. None of them, however, were even close to this.
...I mean, the new Captain Cold? Really? Truly? Am I dreaming this?
Okay, okay, so obviously Mick giving Lenny’s gun to Ray doesn’t actually make Ray the “new” Captain Cold. That’s not really how mantles work and Captain Cold isn’t actually a legacy hero in that way, but STILL. This is a big deal. A really big deal.
I spoke a moment ago about how a major theme in this season seems to be confronting fears and I have to believe that offering up Lenny’s gun like this was just that for Mick. He’s been taking some big steps in becoming slightly less surly with his teammates so far, but this may have been the biggest one yet. Also, did you notice? He’s finally started calling Ray by his real name. Progress! Friendship!
But I don’t think that’s the most important thing about this whole moment. I can’t imagine that this little exchange isn’t going to swing back around to bite Mick (and probably Ray...and also probably everyone else, if we’re being honest) when the team finally encounters the Captain Cold, who is part of the Legion of Doom. If Jax and Stein keeping Barry’s message a secret feels like a ticking time bomb, the looming threat of Mick and Lenny reuniting on these terms feels like an incoming nuclear warhead.
And I don’t just say that because Mick and Lenny are two of my favorite characters in all of #DCTV. The potential fallout of that meeting has escalated up from “probably pretty bad” to “earth shattering” and I honestly have no idea what to expect now. Time to brace for impact and hope everything turns out okay.
…Okay, fine, it is also true that Mick and Lenny are two of my favorite characters in all of #DCTV, so maybe I’m a little bit more anxious than I ought to be. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I can’t help it!
In the meantime, we’re still no closer to really knowing what the Legion is planning, and Amaya is no closer to hunting to avenging Rex’s death. Time to strap in, because the road ahead is sure to be a wild one.