“Legends of Yesterday” is the second part of the Arrow/Flash crossover, or a way of transmitting the effects of LSD through a television screen, or both. This is the nuttiest bit of entertainment I’ve seen in a while, but my god does it entertain.
Everyone who has complained about the flashbacks this season can feast their eyes on this. It’s like going back to the sword-and-sandals movies of the 1950s, except the cast members don’t accidentally leave on their wrist-watches and no one finds Jesus at the end. Actors in voluminous robes but bosom-and-midriff-baring robes walk through an under-accessorized ancient Egypt, where Prince Khufu and Priestess Chay-ra debate about what kind of offering would stop Horus sending the “sky-rocks,” and then trade banter like, “You spoke with quite the tongue.” “Did I over-act?” “No. I love your tongue.”
And don’t worry, there is a wig. Or maybe it’s just extensions because when you have an actor with as glorious a widow’s peak as Casper Crump, you don’t cover it up with a wig. You merely carry your hair like you carry the Staff of Horus, and glower at the lovers from behind a pillar.
In the present, the cast is reeling from the attack and confused as to what Savage wants, other than to kill Kendra and Carter and grab the Staff of Horus. After reading Rob Bricken’s recap of the first part of this thing, I gotta say his instincts were completely right about Carter. He hits the creep-factor the moment we emerge from the flashback to find him two inches from Kendra’s face demanding to know if she remembers yet. Later he dismisses Cisco, the guy Kendra’s actually seeing, like a busboy, whips out their new-old outfits and demand that she remember harder or they’ll both die.
Ugh. What an ingrown hair of a human being. You had 206 more lives than most people do. (Two-hundred-and-two lives more than the average number of lives people on this show get. Two-hundred lives more than Sara Lance.) Maybe it’s just time to lose the grim and feel a lucky. He’s gonna kill us? Neat! I’ll get to see what 2445 looks like!
Ever notice that whenever immortals start talking they’re always at the most notable events in history. Anyone else think they’re lying their ass off? “Robin of Loxley said this to me! We saw the Huang He floods of 1887!” No you didn’t! You lived in a crappy town eating noodles like 99.999 percent of the rest of humanity! We get a lot of this as Savage demands that Team Arrash (a name that combines Arrow and Flash) turn Carter and Kendra over and Malcolm very much agrees.
This central debate is fleshed out by multiple side conversations, some great, some not so much. Great, as usual, is the banter between Cisco and Barry. Barry saw himself while running, which means another time-travel jaunt is in his future. He and Cisco desperately try to untangle the situation and what they should do about it and come up with, “My head hurts.” Ha!
Great as well is the video tape they find of a Dr. Marcus Boardman, whose tweed I want to pet and whose bow tie I want to undo, a conspiracy theorist from 1975 who thinks that only artifacts of the calamity that created Savage’s immortality can take it from him.
Not so great is Kendra asking if suicide would get them out of this time-circle with Savage and Carter replying, “You know, in our past lives I’m typically the one that makes the plans and I’m starting to think that this is why.” Oh, you suppurating anus of a man! Apparently this is all a strategy to get her to access her rage. Mission accomplished.
Oliver has Barry run a DNA test on his perhaps-son. Who is definitely his son. When he confronts Samantha she is doing very well, despite not having cashed his mother’s check which, I’m betting, means she will be absolutely squished flat in about three episodes. Maybe two. Anyone willing to bet?
Samantha actually is pretty reasonable. She tells Ollie that he can drop by and get to know his son . . . just as long as this stays a complete secret because Oliver’s world is too crazy and she doesn’t want anyone to know he has a son.
Which is a shame, because Felicity knows already about the DNA test. And she’s a-waitin’ when Ollie gets home. And she demands Ollie tell her what’s going on, and he doesn’t, and she breaks up with him because he doesn’t trust her.
Well he shouldn’t, should he? Jesus! That was the meanest thing I’ve seen done to Oliver, and I saw a guy murder his mother in front of him. That was the most outrageous thing that happened in his life since he randomly ran into his dead lover’s secret twin. The only person who betrayed Ollie more fully than Felicity just did was his barber during his playboy-college years. (That hair, am I right?) I seriously can’t believe my ears on this one. The man you love just had his world changed and your response is a secret test of loyalty? There are three semi-immortal bad guys in this episode, Felicity, and right now you are the worst. Go sit in a corner and think about what you’ve done.
In the middle of this emotional turmoil. The two hawks and the two heroes face off against Savage in what is a lackluster fight. The gauntlets meant to hold the staff don’t work. Ollie and Barry get taken out. Kendra and Carter are stabbed.
And then Savage gets the staff and kills literally everyone. I mean everyone. Every character on the show gets vaporized, along with all of Central City and we see it. Wow.
Until Barry runs back in time twenty-four hours. And takes all of ten seconds to convince him to tell Ollie exactly what went wrong. Now, Barry said that at least part of it was that Ollie’s head wasn’t in the game—but I think we can all agree it was Carter, because this time Cisco rocks up during Carter and Kendra’s private conversation and tells Carter to get lost and tells Kendra that maybe getting worked up into a rage isn’t the best way to fight.
And Cisco does the impossible. He gets me to like Carter. He tells Kendra to think of being a priestess and a good person and let herself remember . . . and she remembers Chay-ra getting out of bed with Khufu. They’re both fully clothed, because like I said this is a 1950s epic, and being discovered by the evil Priest, who stabs them both. The meteors come down. Savage invokes immortality by saying his “hate will be everlasting.” And Chay-ra invokes Horus, asking him to “shroud us in your wings.”
Why does this make me like Carter? Partly because he dies, and partly because he wears eye-liner as well as David Bowie in the seventies. Observe:
Kendra remembers that the meteors had a strange glow about them. The Arrash team snatches a meteorite from a local museum and makes gauntlets to grab the staff of Horus and turn its power on Savage. And they decide to use the whole team, instead of letting half their fighters sit in a farmhouse miles away. The combination allows them to get the staff and burn Savage to a pile of ash.
And Kendra dumps Cisco like a pile of something else. After asking permission to have a moment with him alone. Oh god, this is awful. I’d have felt better about her taking up with Savage.
Ollie, meanwhile, decides to lie his ass off to Felicity while having secret visits with his kid and I don’t blame him one bit.
And then Barrowman, elfin prince among actors, goes to the site of the final battle, scrapes up the ashes and puts them in what looks like a soup can, while chanting, “your hate will be everlasting.” Our last shot of the episode is looking up from inside the can at Merlyn’s smiling face as he says, to the ashes,“You owe me one, buddy.”
I’m going to go check my drink for hallucinogens.