We gave it a C+
Things do pick up when the team arrives in Aruba to take care of business. They manage to grab Caesar pretty quickly — thanks mostly to Sara, who takes him out after Ray’s fake dating app distracts all the bros — but things go awry, as usual, when Rip’s hologram appears on the ship and advises them to take Caesar back to the bureau ASAP. Sara grapples with the decision of whether to play by Rip’s rules or to go on an adventure again — and ultimately, after a chat with Caesar, she decides to fly the Waverider straight to ancient Rome, effectively stabbing Rip in the back because Rip stabbed her first.
There, they drop off the would-be world conqueror…sort of. It turns out Caesar has some tricks up his sleeve: He swipes a book on Roman history off of Nate — how did Nate miss that someone lifted an entire book from his hands?! — and learns enough about his future to change history, forcing the Legends to stick around and fix their latest big mistake. But before they can come up with a plan, Rip arrives with his team of suits, and he’s more than happy to take over.
…Until he’s not. Rip hasn’t worked retail a day in his life, so he doesn’t notice that Caesar’s led his team into the same trap stores create for shoplifters, according to Sara. Call it the bait-and-wait: Caesar’s left the book behind on his desk, but while Rip’s crew is busy snooping around the tent to get it, Caesar’s squad surrounds them and captures Rip’s right-hand woman, Agent Sharpe.
And so, enter the Legends! (Finally!) Jax and Stein burst into the air as Firestorm, Sara rescues Sharpe, Ray and Nate retrieve the book, and Mick gets to punch Caesar for breaking his nose back in Aruba.
Still, the success in 49 B.C. doesn’t smooth everything over between the Legends and Rip. Rip is nervous about granting the Legends permission to operate the Waverider, but even he admits that he can’t control everything they do. (Besides, he hints to Agent Sharpe that there may come a day when the Legends’ unpredictable skills will come in handy.) He can’t even keep track of his possessions, as Mick manages to steal his portal-creating wristband, a memory wiper, and a “communications thing” off of him.
For now, though, the Legends are back together. After seeing how much being a Legend means to Jax, Stein decides to stay on board, and Mick assures Sara that he’ll also rejoin the team. But for Nate, being back only reminds him of Amaya, who had apparently decided to return to Zambesi in 1942 to fulfill a destiny Rip told her about. (Et tu, Rip?) Ray tries to comfort him to no avail, but at least he’s right when he says she’s happy; in the final scene, we see her protect her village from enemies, and unleash her power in a way she never had before as she channels an entire pack of panthers against the soldiers trying to take her down.
It’s an impressive final scene, but it doesn’t make up for an otherwise lackluster opening to the third season. Legends has always had a plot contrivance or two in every episode, but this one was as full of gaping holes as Los Angeles 2017 is of portals made by the Time Bureau. There are so many questions that need to be answered to help us fully grasp what this new reality looks like: How large is Rip’s organization exactly? What are the Legends’ goals now that Rip can take care of anachronisms so much faster than they can? What will be the larger conflict — between Rip and the Legends, or a villain yet to come?
The story feels a tad too scattered at the moment, but then again, Sara did say the team’s new motto was to screw things up for the better. Maybe this was just one of the messier adventures that’ll lead to something more worthwhile. Next week sees the Legends at a zoo with Billy Zane, after all. That has to be fun…right?