Legends of Tomorrow 2.14 Review – ‘Moonshot’
Welcome to Houston 1970 and the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center! This week the Legends are going to the Moon (well, one of them is), arguments about how much one should know about their own future abound, and the position of Captain is a point of contention between Rip and Sara.
The plot: The Legends track Commander Henry Heywood to Houston in 1970, now part of NASA mission control for the Apollo 13 mission. It turns out he planted his piece of the Spear of Destiny in the flag that Neil Armstrong planted on the Moon. In the process of going there to retrieve it, they realize that Eobard Thawne has infiltrated this mission (which has already NOT gone awry as it did in actual history) to get the piece for himself. Ray and Thawne clash before ending up in an unlikely alliance to survive and escape the Moon after crashing there. Meanwhile, Sara and Rip butt heads frequently over who is the true voice of authority on the ship, and after the ship is damaged protecting the Apollo 13 Command Module, it’s uncertain they’ll make it back to Earth at all. Nate tries to support his grandfather wanting to go back to his family, history be damned, but Amaya is worried about what might mean for Nate’s own future. He ends up letting a few details slip about the future of her family and home village. In the end, it’s something of a non-argument when Henry willingly sacrifices his life to save the Waverider and everyone aboard. Thawne escapes but the team has the Spear, Rip admits Sara is a better captain than he ever was, and Amaya asks Gideon to show her her future, which is dire indeed. Also, Stein, Jax, and Rory killed time at mission control, and at one point sang a ridiculous song.
There was a lot of equal screentime between the three major storylines tonight: Ray and Thawne; Nate, Henry, and Amaya; and Rip and Sara. But the one most interesting to me is Ray and Thawne, because it’s the most unexpected pairing and it offered the most revelations. Eobard Thawne has been unflinchingly portrayed as a villain since Season 1 of The Flash, especially when he’s wearing his own face. As Harrison Wells, he showed empathy, but as himself, he’s never really shown compromise or a consideration for anyone but himself. People are useful to him only so long as they can help him achieve his goals. While he’s still unapologetic about that here, we do see more of who he is–a brilliant and lonely man who’s trying everything he can to stay alive. And when he puts it that way…well, it doesn’t excuse everything he’s done and the people he’s killed, but it does offer a brief opportunity to see into his motivations, and see who he was and who he could’ve been if he’d gone down another path. But what’s even more interesting are the insights he has into Ray. Ray, the ultimate boy scout who’s gotten to live out several boyhood dreams this season, who claims he became the Atom to help people. But Thawne’s right–the energy tech that went into powering the suit could be doing a lot of good for the world. Powering cities and who knows what else, but Ray chose to use it to become a superhero. Which, interestingly, is a choice that Thawne does not judge him for and tells him he shouldn’t be ashamed of. I’m not sure Ray believes that part, but he does gain an appreciation for the man’s brilliance at the very least, and some insight into what motivates him–which he uses to his advantage when they get to Earth, making sure that Thawne leaves before his pursuer from the Speed Force catches up rather than taking the time to steal the Spear from them.
Nate and Amaya are put into an interesting juxtaposition with the question of whether to change history and if it’s acceptable to do so to protect one’s family. Nate knows all too well how not having a father hurt his own dad, with whom he has an awkward-at-best relationship. When Amaya decides to tell Henry the risks of time travel despite Nate’s wishes and Henry’s own intent to return to his family, Nate’s angry enough to throw it back in her face with a few details about her own future, and the fact that she doesn’t have one with him. Since this has been hanging over Amaya’s storyline since the beginning of the season, it’s good to finally have the truth out there about her family’s future. There’s been a lot of getting away with changes to the timeline, as with Stein’s daughter, or hands being forced so that they are unable to change it, as happens with Henry Heywood’s sacrifice here. So I like that Amaya finally knows exactly what her future is and will have to deal head-on with what she’s going to do about it. That’s a hell of a choice to have to face, not just your own mortality but the fate of your village and knowing your child will grow up an orphan. It is nice to see that she and Nate are on good terms by the end of the episode, although it’s unclear if there’s anything left to their romance after these revelations and what’s happened.
Finally, Rip and Sara butting heads provides some lightheartedness (as well as the antics at Mission Control) along with some realistic conflict and big questions for Rip. For starters, glad to see him admit fairly readily that Sara is a better captain than he was. She very much is! Let’s be honest, Vandal Savage might’ve been stopped a lot sooner if she’d been in charge. Rip is also faced with not just the evidence of this right in front of him, but also the repurcussions of his past decisions, such as the effect of Nate being separated from his family for Rip’s mission. But the bigger question is what is Rip’s role on the ship now? That remains unanswered, but I very much like Sara telling him he sounds just like the rest of them.
The other three didn’t do a whole lot, but…seriously, Stein? Distract them by singing Day-O? WTF?
— “Houston, we have a problem.” We all expected this one!
— “The entire world is about to listen to Raymond crash on the moon.” “Wait. Haircut’s on the moon?” Keeping up as usual, Mick!
— “Waverider crew, we are now the proud owners of the last piece of the Spear of Destiny.” “Copy.” “That’s all I get? A copy? guys, I’m standing on the friggin’ moon!” Seriously, how many boyhood fantasies does Ray have left to fulfill at this point?
— “As much as I want to protect history, I want to protect my family more.” “You both should know by now the mission comes first.”
— “That’s the great irony of time travel. That despite it, we still find ourselves living with regret.”
— “So you’re saying you don’t fit in. You’re an outcast. A misfit.” “Let’s assume.” “Sounds to me like you’re a Legend.”
– No, seriously, WTF Stein? That was amusing (especially when we saw it in again over the credits), but the worst plan ever. And kind of a dumb choice from the writers.
– Wait, so, no one ever just checked the connection Jax loosened when the comms went out?
– And an announcement: this is the last Legends of Tomorrow review for the site. Thank you so much to everyone who’s been with me on the journey of enjoying and snarking at this show! I’ll still be reviewing The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead when it comes back in June, and who knows, maybe something else when the fall season comes around again.
– So one last time, for old’s times sake: I’m just a barista!