The Legends may suck at fixing anachronisms, but they sure know how to put on a show. This week’s romp had perhaps one too many characters and subplots, but it was far more entertaining than the exposition-fueled premiere thanks to its Mission of the Week: a stop in 1870 Wisconsin to visit P.T. Barnum’s still imperfectly titled circus show, where five members of the Legends end up on stage themselves.
They obviously didn’t mean to be a part of the act. The team chose the anachronism for its Level 1 designation — Rip’s team has been labeling the myriad anachronisms by levels of difficulty and gravity — as a way to prove they can take care of a small fry. (They decide not to handle the Titanic after an outburst from Stein. Oh, show, please never stop referencing Victor Garber’s filmography, especially in episodes that also feature Billy Zane. Even if you’ll have to soon enough.) Too bad the small fry gets even bigger when Ray tries to use his new
shrink ray hyper-molecular compress on the anachronism, a sabertooth tiger that wound up caged inside Barnum’s tent. The tiger, enlarged instead of shrunken, leaps out of his cage and into the wild. Oops.
Sara decides the best way to track down a giant tiger would be to call for help from their friend with animal abilities, so she makes a pit stop in 1942 Zambesi to pick up Amaya. Vixen wants to see the old team, but she’s wary of coming to face to face with Nate again. After all, she ghosted him on his birthday six months earlier in Central City, leaving him heartbroken. Sara assures her Nate knows she’ll be boarding the Waverider, but of course, it turns out to be a little white lie.
Even so, Sara and Amaya manage to get the job done on their own, tracking the tiger in the woods and shrinking it into a cute little kitten they bring on board. Unfortunately, things don’t go as smoothly for the guys: Distraught at seeing his ex, Nate downs one too many shots of whiskey and ends up steeling up in the middle of the bar where Barnum (Zane) has also been drinking away his sorrows (namely, losing the sabertooth tiger). Barnum marvels at seeing, well, a marvel that could potentially turn his show’s fortunes around, and when he approaches the inebriated Nate, Nate spills the Legends’ secrets. He boasts of how Jax can turn into Firestorm and how Ray can turn “teenie-weenie.” Having seen Nate’s abilities at work, Barnum is even more interested in his friends, and later manages to kidnap an unusually gullible Jax and Ray by luring them with the promise of flexible acrobats in his tent.
Nate, meanwhile, collapses inside the Waverider and wakes up hungover with Sara and Amaya chiding him for being the worst Legend. It’s his fault Barnum has Jax and Ray locked up in a cage now, and that their Level 1 anachronism has turned into a Level 4. As Barnum puts it: Ah, poppycock.
(Next: They’re gonna need a bigger timeship)