Legends of Tomorrow just did a zombie episode! Happy belated Halloween, everyone!
This week’s hour began like the “Night of the Hawk” episode Legends pulled in season 1, with the team having to battle mutant creatures in a monster-of-the-week format. But this one had far bigger, darker implications: In 1863 Mississippi, Jax and Amaya have to face more than just the undead. They have to face the intolerant racism and slavery of the Confederate South.
And it’s good on Legends for finally giving Jax some proper screen time. We’re only a few episodes into season 2, sure, but Jax has been sidelined on every mission so far, either bickering with Stein or having to fix yet another part of the ship while occasionally doling out a quip or two as the rest of the team takes center stage. But Jax pulling off plenty of heroics tonight wasn’t just well-deserved; it was thrilling to watch.
But first, we obviously have to talk about the zombies running rampant during the height of the Civil War. It turns out a time pirate, the lone survivor of his infected ship crash, lands
into the plot of The Expanse in Mississippi in 1863, where he transmits a distress call and activates a beacon — just before turning into one of the walking dead and spreading the infection to the Confederate soldiers who have come upon him and his escape pod.
Aboard the Waverider, the team receives the message and Sara quickly takes charge, instructing everyone to prepare themselves for their mission — and for the Atom suit-less Ray to stay aboard. Stein makes the same argument to Jax, because he’s worried the color of Jax’s skin will put him in harm’s way. Jax, of course, knows American history, but assures the professor he’s ready for whatever racism he faces; after all, it’s not like racism didn’t exist in the time they came from.
And with that, newly minted Team Mom Ray packs everyone’s lunches before they go off to contain the time pirate. Unfortunately, they have no idea the time pirate’s infection hasn’t been contained — and when they incinerate the escape pod, they come across Henry Scott, a real-life slave who spied on the South for the Union Army, as well as the undead chasing him. After a brutal fight showing Mick using a boulder to smash a zombie’s head, Sara stabbing one (or two…or three) right in the throat, and Amaya going Vixen-mode to toss a zombie, the team gathers to figure out what they need to do now. Stein, for one, wants to get away from the zombies as soon as possible — he’s, simply put, terrified of them. But before they can move, Jax sees Henry Scott has been stabbed and is bleeding out. Before he dies, Henry gives him the intel he needs to complete the mission to steal Confederate plans for the Union.
Back on the ship, Mick succumbs to an infection from a nasty bite wound he received during the fight, leading Stein and Ray to take him to the med bay. Meanwhile, the rest of the team study up on American history: It turns out Henry Scott was on the very mission that would grant, well, Ulysses S. Grant a key victory in battle, and without that mission complete, history is in real trouble. Oh, and there’s zombies everywhere in the South, helping the Confederates make enough of a mess to possibly win over the Union. So, uh, there’s still that to fix.
The team, therefore, splits off into three groups: The first, consisting of Ray, Stein, and Mick, work to save Mick from living life as an extra on The Walking Dead. The second, with Sara and Nate, must venture to Grant’s Union camp to warn them of the zombie threat and find a way to eliminate the infected. The third, Vixen and Jax, must finish the pivotal mission by heading to Henry’s destination: The Collins plantation.
Let’s start with Mick’s predicament: In the med bay, Mick pleads for Ray to help him — and Ray tries his best, creating a vaccine that might cure him. But when it’s injected, Mick’s infection spreads and winds up taking him over. Ray and Stein get out of the med bay just in time to stun and lock Mick in, leaving them to ponder whether Mick really is unconscious or not. (It’s a unique case of Schrödinger’s Mick, if you will.) Eventually, they enter, only to find Mick has indeed wandered away, leaving the ship dark and damaged — like a Legends version of Alien. A shaky Stein and stoic Ray find Mick, but Mick is too vicious to allow either of them close enough to administer another dose of the vaccine, and even traps the pair of brains to a corner of the ship.
After panicking about what to do, Ray realizes they may be able to disperse the vaccine a different way — through the air, via fire extinguisher. So in their third attempt to save Mick, they wander back out, but Ray quickly falls unconscious after Mick attacks him. Stein follows a little later, butcher knife in hand, and prowls through the halls until he finds Mick and blasts the vaccine in his face. It’s impeccable timing: With Mick about to bite into Stein’s face, the vaccine works and brings back normal Mick — who delivers his funniest line yet, thanks to the situation: “Professor, what’s going on?” he asks. “Was I just trying to kiss you?”
Though everything aboard the ship works out, what happens outside, well, doesn’t.
NEXT: Saving and making history