‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Recap and Reaction: “The Justice Society of America”

Graham Host

In this week’s Legends of Tomorrow, with Rip Hunter MIA, the opening spiel falls to Sara Lance. The Time Masters are now gone, so the Legends take up the task of protecting history. But there are already problems for the team.

Saving New York from an early demise cost them the presence of Captain Hunter. The crew manage to put the Einsteins under the protective custody of the OSS (the 1940s CIA), but their impersonation of law enforcement triggers a few flags with the Justice Society of America.

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Misunderstanding

Things quickly spin out of control. Despite Heywood and Ray attempting to reason with the pair, even revealing their time travel abilities, Commander Steel launches the first blow and a fight ensues. With only one unpowered member on the JSA, they quickly secure a victory. Because nobody thinks of actually going along quietly and talking it over. Let’s face it, though, we all wanted the superhero punch-up.

Blame is being handed around the cage as the Legends sit captive at the hands of the JSA. Rex Tyler observes the group over CCTV, which seems remarkably advanced for the age, but he has a problem as he has never met them. This means that the Rex Tyler the Legends met was from his future. So they have met future him, but he hasn’t met present them. Time travel is a headache.

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Nate Heywood convinces the JSA that the Legends are not Nazis after revealing that he is actually the grandson of Soldier Steel. As if that wasn’t enough, Eobard Thawne is back in the game and willing to offer the Nazi’s a super-solider serum in exchange for an item. Just remember, we can’t call it that directly. Damn legality.

Broken Time

A flashback — how Arrow of them — reveals how Rex Tyler simply disappeared puff-of-smoke style after delivering their warning. It could be a consequence of rewriting the timeline. The JSA are sent to Paris in pursuit of Baron Krieger, allowing the Legends to depart for the future.

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The issue of leader comes up, and Stein is elected, who then immediately calls for a vote on Heywood. But before he can be kicked ashore, problems arise as his dog-tags are suddenly missing and his own JSA notes show their deaths on the mission they just departed on. With Grandpa Steel dead, Heywood is just an anomaly waiting to be erased.

It’s a Party

Gideon finds information on where the JSA’s targets could be and Captain Stein, who is going slightly power-mad, concocts a plan. Stein, Jax, Ray and Sara pose as guests while Rory sneaks in as waiter staff. Ray quickly spots ‘Animal Lady’ and cuts in a dance to tell her of her imminent death. Obviously, Vixen has more brains than the genius as she instantly points out that their interference could be the cause of the JSA’s death.

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Hats off to pretty boy Ray Palmer! When approached over not saluting Hitler, he attempts to throw out excuses before throwing the punches instead. A brawl ensues, and the JSA arrives to end it. Much to their chagrin, the Legends are forced to admit that they came to help.

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Breaking probably several laws of time — which they never pay attention to anyway — the Legends bring the JSA aboard the Waverider. If only to keep them from interfering in the relative future, the Legends are conscripted as backup. But another problem has sprung with their historian. Heywood is a haemophiliac, meaning that his blood doesn’t clot. A cut on his knee at five made his mother keep him inside for the next 11 years. Being underpowered must be hard enough amongst the Legends, but now he’s unable to take any injury.

To the Rescue!

A mixed team of the Legends and JSA ambush the target convoy. Be thankful that the Nazis are stupid because nobody thinks to use the guns they all carry. Due to Stein’s indecision, Krieger uses Thawne’s concoction to become a super-Nazi. Sara takes command and orders them all to retreat. Vixen and Ray are left behind in the struggle.

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While Tyler and Sara squabble over whether to save their friend or abandon them, Stein arrives and puts Sara in charge. A captive Ray has bargained to replicate the serum but notices that the Nazi’s couldn’t have made it themselves. Having worked around future technology so much, why did he not make a connection? An Allied attack led by the JSA/Legends team forces Krieger to act. Steel leads him away from a downed Mid-Nite, and Heywood picks his grandfather up in a bike. Stupid seems to run in the family. Antagonise the big, angry, super-powered Nazi and try to save your grandfather when a single cut could kill you. Lucky for them, a bomb kills Krieger but injuries the pair.

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New Beginnings

Because of his haemophilia, the massive injuries Heywood took from the bomb aren’t healing, even with Gideon’s help. Ray uses his advanced super-soldier serum to heal Nate, but he doesn’t transform into a giant hulking person. With Nate confirmed to be getting powers, possibility abounds. Maybe he will simply be strong and healthy instead of the usual swelling. Some Steel in the Legends couldn’t hurt.

Time fixes itself and the dog-tags reappear around Nate’s neck. The amulet is placed inside the JSA museum, but Eobard Thawne arrives and grabs Rex by the throat. It turns out that this is far from the first time they have met with Thawne travelling back in time to perfect his plans. Hourman actually discovered Thawne’s plan before and tried to stop the Legends from returning to 1942. A trademark hand-through-heart killing precedes his stealing the amulet. Vixen finds her dying friend who gasps “time traveller” with his last breath.

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Observations

  • The drawbacks of the time were delicately handled but not avoided. Jax received a remark in the Nazi club and Sara was discounted by Rex Tyler. There is some similarity to their hunt for Savage in “Night of the Hawk“.
  • JSA makes for a better version of the Legends. Their wider breadth of powers and teamwork would make for a better show. I hope that they don’t follow Agent Carter and became stuck permanently in the past.
  • Thawne hints that Tyler’s future-self disappearing because of his imminent death makes it clear that time travel can make events extremely difficult to follow.
Graham Host
Graham Host is a member of the Fan Contributor program. In his spare time, he enjoys the works of Terry Pratchett, DC Comics and a wide assortment of video games. Under no circumstances should he be fed after midnight. Contactable only via Twitter or trained carrier pigeon.
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