It’s too bad this episode’s titled after the wrong Best Picture nominee. (Sure, in the case of No Country for Old Men, it’s a “winner,” but you get what I mean.) Because, you know, “The Darhkest Hour” would have been perfect.
After all, this hour was devoted to the Darhks. It hadn’t occurred to me until this episode how much fun Legends of Tomorrow could have with a villainous father-daughter pairing, and I’m glad it finally gave Courtney Ford’s Nora Darhk a chance to shine, and to delve into what it’s like to have a supervillain be a doting dad on the side.
As it turns out, it sucks to be a villain with a kid. They’ve kidnapped Ray after he saved Nora’s life — after he nearly killed her with his nanite gun, of course — and after forcing him to send the Legends a message about how they really shouldn‘t come after him, they’re torn over what to do with their totems, including the Fire Totem that Damien stole from Detroit, and the Spirit Totem they snagged off of Amaya’s neck. Kuasa tells them they’ll never have total control of their totems until they fix them and truly become one with them (or something like that), so the pair decide to use Ray to figure something out.
Ray requests a lab, so they end up in Upswipz HQ, where Ray had been working before the Legends banded together again. Though the CEO was certainly overdue for his comeuppance, what Damien does is…overkill, as always. He toys with the man, tossing him left and right — and as Upswipz prefers, up and down — before cracking dad jokes with his daughter and frustrating her with all of his tomfoolery while she’s trying to focus on the mission at hand. He’s too casual, too smarmy, and Nora just wants them to find a way for her to use the totem properly.
So when Ray reports that they’ll need cold fusion to make it work, Damien reveals he had, in his past, assassinated the scientist who invented cold fusion, back in 1962 in East Berlin. And [insert “whoosh” sound from Lost] we revisit Younger Damien’s kill — and that killer (read: awful) hairdo — as he murders the scientist in the scientist’s bathroom.
Damien prepares to go — he finishes off the Upswipz CEO just because — but Nora stops him. She says that it would break the rules of time if the two Damiens were to see each other and demands to take Ray with her to save the scientist and get the formula for cold fusion. After a brief fight, Damien agrees — and tells her to use protection as he hands her a gun. Oookay, Dad.
Nora and Ray’s mission begins to fail pretty much immediately. Nora can’t help being aggressive and breaking character, and the scientist won’t leave without taking a doll that once belonged to his daughter with them. And so, after a series of diversions and shenanigans, Younger Damien arrives in time to chase Nora, Ray, and the scientist back into the bathroom, destroying Nora’s time stone in the process. Which is why, from there, the trio are forced to run and regroup far away from the safe house.
There, Ray convinces Nora that torturing the scientist isn’t the answer; after all, the scientist explains that he’s already lived through the worst thing anyone could experience, which is losing his family. And though Nora’s annoyed, she finally reveals what’s really bothering her: She feels like she’s failed and her father will only think even less of her than he does now. She wishes he respected her and treated her like an equal — and I can’t say I disagree, considering how she channels a demon and everything.
Ray, though, pitches an idea: Why not bring the scientist across the border as he wants and then get the formula in exchange? Nora reluctantly agrees, and the next thing they know, they’re forging papers and heading to the checkpoint and lying to make their way through — well, Nora is, because Ray sucks at lying — when present-day Damien shows up. See, Damien got antsy waiting by himself back in the present, and, worried over Nora, has used his own time stone to find her.
It’s a good thing he does, because just then, Younger Damien was about to shoot his own daughter. They manage to drive away just in time — and when they come to a stop back where they forged their papers, Damien and Nora start arguing. Nora can’t stand that Damien decided to step in on her mission and brings up the fact that he’s never cared, because a true father wouldn’t force his scared little girl to become one with a demon. Damien’s defense? Ray’s corrupted her with his kindness! That has to be it!
And so, just as Damien turns on Ray, Nora walks out — and right into Younger Damien, who’s followed them to their hiding place. (Next: Darhk matters…)