The Justice Society of America knows what they’re doing.
Just look at the way they take down the Legends in the first five minutes of the episode. When the JSA confronts the team of misfits about being in 1942 and stepping on their turf, they roundly knock out the heroic wannabes, even though Heywood gets excited about Commander Steel (a.k.a. Heywood’s grandfather) and — oh, right! — the Legends try to explain they’ve met Rex (a.k.a. Hourman) before, when he warned them in the season finale to stay away.
Taken to the JSA headquarters, the Legends argue (while the JSA watches from another room) to no avail over what they should have done to avoid the situation. Vixen suggests getting rid of them, but Rex believes they might as well try to get a word in, as difficult as that sounds. But it’s actually not that bad: Because the historian Heywood volunteers himself as the Man Who Will Explain Everything, he offers an explanation to the stern JSA, saying he’s actually a time traveler and that his dog tags, handed down from Steel to his father to Nate himself, serve as proof.
Rex finally decides to give them a shot, but it comes at a cost. He immediately assumes Stein is the leader, completely passing over Sara, who tries to take command. He explains they have a job to do: Stop the Baron Krieger from advancing his mission in Paris and aiding the Nazis. Earlier, Eobard Thawne (Reverse-Flash, doing his Reverse-History thing) gave the Reich a single dose of a super-serum he says will help them overtake the Allies.
Of course, the mission’s not as easy as they all think it’ll be. Instead, while the Legends argue again about what to do with the JSA — Ray and Jax thinks Hourman is wonderful and the JSA is precise, professional, and in constant agreement, but Sara says they’re not any better than the Legends — and finally decide to move ahead with having Stein in charge as the captain, just because Rex pointed to him as the leader. They finally agree to leave the past behind, once and for all.
Well, not so fast. At least one member — oh sorry, not-yet-member — of the Legends has an actual reason to like or dislike the JSA. Heywood, who had tried to bond with his grandfather earlier by telling him his father had shared all the battle stories with him as a child, again attempts to understand the grandfather his family revered. Sara says maybe Commander Steel isn’t all Heywood thought he was, but he doesn’t think so just yet. He feels around his neck for the dog tags but — gasp! — they’re gone…which means history has changed, certainly for the worse. Without the dog tag heirlooms, it means Commander Steel must have died at some point in history. According to his note, despite the JSA saying not to return, the 1942 mission the JSA went on to track Baron Krieger left them all dead — so it looks like the Legends do have to go back.
The team arrives in Paris and concocts a plan to take down Krieger at his favorite nightclub. Because Stein bears a passing resemblance to Max Lorenz, Hitler’s favorite German tenor, he chooses to go undercover in the spotlight while Sara, Jax, and Ray find out what Krieger is after and get rid of it before he gets to use it. In fact, he’s so eager to get in on the mission that he forgets his own strengths: Jax reminds him he’s an analytical man who might not be the best guy to handle the pressure of leading a band of superheroes.
That’s not the only issue over which the Legends are butting heads. Sara notices Heywood has an ugly bruise on his side, but while he deflects the question, she continues to wonder how much he’ll be capable of. But she’ll have to worry about that later: At the club, Stein successfully entertains the crowd with his voice, but even after Ray, Sara, and Jax make it inside, they’re greeted again by a Nazi officer who takes a closer look at who they are. After Stein finishes singing “Edelweiss,” the tension’s through the roof — and it only rises when the officer notices Ray didn’t salute Hitler. Ray sputters out an excuse, but the Nazi officer looks straight through him, allowing him to be beaten by the boys around town. Just when it seems all hope might be lost, a bright light flashes through the room. It’s Stargirl and the rest of the JSA! “We came to rescue you,” Stein says sheepishly in response.
Aboard the Waverider, Rex isn’t happy with what happened, but Sara points out the Legends will fight to protect the JSA whether they like or not. She helps bring Hourman to the ship’s computer and Gideon the AI to show how they’ll take advantage of the map they have to win back the Askaran Amulet, something Hitler only wants to collect because it bears some sort of occult power.
NEXT: The clock’s ticking…