Thawne's alternate reality turns the Legends into losers

By Shirley Li
March 28, 2017 at 11:05 PM EDT
Dean Buscher/The CW
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Well, that wasn’t a happy episode, was it. The brave new world created by Thawne — whose first order of business, it turns out, is to do the intro voiceover — is dark, devastating, and dreary. It’s everything he wanted: Black Flash is trapped in Star Labs, the Legends are scattered as playthings in Central City and Star City, and he’s the most respected scientist in the world — respected enough to even earn a call from the president, who happens to be, well, Donald Trump. (A man who runs hotels and has a wife Thawne calls “Mel”? Who else could it be?)

In fact, the Legends are the only heroes left, and trouble is they don’t know it. Amaya and Sara happily work as Mayor Damien Darhk’s minions, capturing Felicity, the last vigilante in Star City, and killing her at his command. (Ouch. Sorry, Miss Smoak.) Things aren’t looking well in Central City either, where Jax is under Thawne’s command to be Stein’s tormentor for a secret project. But while Stein hasn’t fully delivered on his promise yet, Malcolm Merlyn proves to be a bigger thorn in Thawne’s side: Despite having his wife and son back (Tommy’s alive!), Thea’s adoration, and Ra’s al Ghul living far away in Ohio, Merlyn still wants access to the Spear of Destiny. He wants to change more things and, after seeing Thawne talk to Jax, thinks Thawne really needs to create a version of reality that wipes out the Legends completely. Thawne just scoffs, calling it “poetic justice” to see the team operating not as heroes or legends, but as losers.

Still, at least one former Legend is enjoying things — sort of. Mick is back with Snart, and the two are happily hitting a bank until the cops arrive and back down immediately when they see Snart. Mick isn’t satisfied with sitting at the top; as kings, they no longer have to deal with authority at all, and it’s boring to him. Plus, they’re still serving Thawne, who calls them in to Star Labs and tells them to keep an eye on Merlyn. Rory insists that they’re not watchdogs, but just as the conversation gets heated, a man races inside.

It’s Nate, who’s sporting an awful haircut and a conspiracy theory to boot. Of course, he’s right about his conspiracy: He insists to Thawne that the reality they’re in is screwed up somehow, and that Thawne, as the smartest human being on the planet, needs to help him fix whatever’s wrong. Thawne, of course, wants no part of that and instead orders Snart and Mick to take care of their unwanted visitor.

Outside, Snart readies his cold gun, but Mick tells him to wait. He’s been displeased with how this reality doesn’t match the “old times” Snart had promised him, and so he argues with Snart until he knocks his partner out, therefore saving Nate’s life. The two drive away as Nate balks at the fact that the “scars” he’s noticed in reality are indeed real — and that he’s the one who came up with the name Legion of Doom.

Mick takes Nate to Ray, who Mick remembers as the genius Atom and who, in this reality, works as a janitor by day and plays video games that use the Atom’s dwarf star powers by night. Still, Nate’s right about the scars — and Ray’s scar is the fact that he had an impulse to invent a tool, a purple gun that can alter irregularities in the hippocampus. In other words, it can restore memories. Grabbing it, Mick uses it on Nate, who immediately remembers who he is… and punches Mick in the face.

Next up: Ray, who also punches Mick. But before the newly reinstated Legends can get cracking with a plan, Sara and Amaya arrive on Snart, Darhk, and Merlyn’s behalf. The trio have learned of Mick’s latest betrayal and Snart has pinpointed the ladies — or, as Felicity called them, the “bimbo brigade” — to Mick’s location, thanks to a GPS he planted on the partner he doesn’t fully trust. Sara and Amaya laugh when Ray tries to stop the fight and insists that they are all actually a team. Nate even mentions that he had sex with Amaya, because that will obviously convince a woman you’re not crazy. A fight breaks out eventually — and though Amaya runs away after nearly breaking Nate’s neck, Sara gets hit by the memory gun… and punches Mick in the face, too.

With most of the team back together, Nate brings them all to his place — or rather, his mom’s place, as he’s living in the basement — to have some of his mom’s delicious sandwiches and to talk strategy. Sara comes up with a way to get Amaya back: She’ll pretend she’s still rooted in this reality and fool Darhk while the rest of the team deal with Jax and Stein’s secret project. See, Stein has been toiling away at Star Labs without ever seeing his wife or daughter in this reality, just to make sure he can stay alive. And Jax is his warden there, forcing him to work through the weekend, or else Thawne comes after both their lives.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Legion of Doom have agreed to take out Thawne, but how can they possibly kill a speedster? Not so fast (no pun intended): They first have to deal with Sara, who has rushed back after Amaya hoping to take her away. Darhk notices that Sara’s acting a little differently, though, and proceeds to keep her around. He tortures her by talking about how he killed Laurel, and Sara can’t keep from punching him in the face. But Darhk, in this reality, has his magic and is able to hold Sara while delivering his bad guy monologue. He tells Amaya to shoot Sara, but Sara gets to her gun first, restoring Amaya’s memories in time for her to shoot their way away from the bad guys.

Sara also wakes Jax up outside Star Labs and, with the rest of the team, come up with another step in order to get Stein back so they can complete the set. Jax reveals that he actually knows very little about Thawne’s project with Stein, guessing that it’s a power generator of some sort. The team realizes that Thawne must be hoping to use it to destroy the Spear of Destiny and cement this reality, which means they have to get to the Spear first and use it. But to use it, they’ll need the incantation — which Mick luckily (and partially) remembers. (Of course Mick has seen The Passion of the Christ.) Sara tells Amaya she’ll be the one to say the incantation if they get to the Spear — it’s only fair after she stopped her from using it before all of this happened.

As for the rest of the plan, Sara says Jax will use the memory gun on Stein first, before Ray guides the rest of them inside the building and take care of business. She tells Mick to stay behind; they still don’t fully trust him not to make the same mistake. Mick looks dejected, even though Amaya gives him a small smile.

Despite all their planning, the Legends arrive a little too late: Thawne has already gotten Stein to fire up the generator, and while Stein has to wait for it to be fully functional, Jax fails to shoot the memory gun at Stein and convince him that he’s not there to hurt him. Stein is scared witless and presses the silent alarm, which lures Thawne to the scene. At the same time, Mick goes back to Snart, Merlyn, and Darhk to deliver the news about Thawne’s generator — and before they know it, the Legends and the Legion are both there hoping to stop Thawne and take the Spear.

They succeed at first. Thawne tries to argue that he’s destroying the Spear to protect them from ruining things further, but Snart knocks him out cold, and the fighting breaks out over the Spear. Nate grabs it, then Darhk, then Nate again when he knocks Thawne out one more time, then Darhk again when he nearly gives Nate a high five, and then Ray and then Sara and then, finally, Mick, who holds up the Spear and stares.

Snart and Amaya approach, and both try to appeal to Mick. Snart uses the forceful strategy, telling Mick he has to — which of course makes Mick feel like a dog. Amaya, on the other hand, simply tells Mick she still believes in him, and at the end of the stalemate, Mick walks toward Snart, and then tosses the Spear to Amaya.

With the Spear in hand, she begins reciting the incantation — until Snart fires his cold gun straight in Amaya’s chest and freezes her. The Legends, shocked, are frozen in fear as well, and Snart casually walks over to deliver the final blow. “I am sorry about your friend, Mick,” he says. “I know you loved her to pieces.” And with that, he hits ice cold Amaya, breaking her into fragments and killing her in an instant.

Nate is shell-shocked as well, but before Sara can rally her team to fight back, Thawne wakes back up, takes the Spear, and tosses it down the generator. Everyone’s thrown, and Thawne is happier than ever to see his friends and foes fail to defeat him. Sara says the Legends will happily work with the Legion to take down Thawne, but the speedster just laughs. He says that it’s satisfying to him to see them fail in this new reality, and he’d rather keep them around because of that. And so, he lets them all go with a warning that he can kill anyone in the blink of an eye.

Back in Nate’s mom’s basement, none of the Legends knows what to do. Mick breaks a piece of furniture, Jax says he refuses to believe this is the end of the road, and Nate just remarks that his mom isn’t going to be happy with the broken furniture. Sara, though, thinks there’s still a way out of this: She says that if they can find the Waverider, they can time travel and try to fix the past, even though there’s a risk of time folding in on itself. When Nate points out that they have no idea where Rip and the ship are, Sara says there’s one person who does…

…but for now, we’re left with one juicy twist and cliffhanger: During this entire adventure, Rip has been wasting away on the Waverider because it’s out of power and can’t communicate anything to the outside world. While he bakes and decorates cakes and gets drunk on rum, Gideon works hard to find a way to bring them back online and send a distress signal. She ultimately does by the end of the hour — only for the camera to zoom out and reveal that they have, in this reality, been transformed into a desk ornament inside Star Labs. Uh oh. Is there a way in this reality to un-shrink Rip and his ship?

Whatever happens, this episode turned out to be the season’s most streamlined, because much of the team had one story to follow: Find each other and change reality back. It led to a tighter episode than usual, and gave plenty of time for the villains to chew some scenery. Though Doomworld 2017 looked bleak, it let the cast play with some fun, nefarious dynamics for a while — and seeing Mick wrestle with his conscience is always fun, and even more fun when he admits he should get punched. And now, there’s just one more hour left to the season. How will the Legends save Stein? Is this truly the end of Amaya? Will these time travelers actually be able to fix reality? Whatever happens, here’s hoping they’ll have some cake. Not all of Rip’s efforts should go to waste.

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  • 01/21/16
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