A super-villain rises from the dead, while an old ally falls out of favor
Sorry, Mick: No vampires this week, unless you call resurrected, bloodthirsty super-villains vampiric.
Which…I guess you can? Damien Darhk’s look would certainly work for Bram Stoker, but his attitude might need some work. The guy’s an egomaniac with no air of mystery; after all, it takes an elaborate, grandstanding ruse of a ritual just to bring him back to life.
At least it was a fun one, and one that lays the groundwork for some intriguing arcs to come, as every character becomes embroiled in new conflicts with higher stakes. Jax and Stein must figure out a way to separate Firestorm, an incredibly risky move; Zari and Amaya have to work on understanding their totems, one of which has already shown itself capable of overpowering its owner; and everyone else on the team still has a ton of anachronisms to handle, a list that now includes Damien
Darhk’s procedure, in fact, even brings Rip back into the Legends’ orbit this week. When Nate figures out that there’s a pattern to the anachronisms, he directs the team’s attention to an outlier in London 1895 involving a vampire that, he assumes, might be just as important as the previous outlier they visited, during which they met and recruited Zari. The team agrees to go — Mick in particular can’t wait to kill a vampire — and tracks down the pathologist performing an autopsy on the latest victim of vampiric attacks. There, they realize that the man’s somehow gotten his hands on a future watch produced by Ray’s company, and they learn that he snatched it off of a corpse that “fell from the sky,” before burying him in an unmarked grave.
And so the Legends head to the fog-blanketed graveyard, where they discover, much to their chagrin, that the grave’s already been emptied. Well, not quite: Just as they’re about to leave, Rip climbs out of the hole — and he’s desperate for the Legends’ help.
It turns out Rip’s yet again turned his back on his own organization. This time, he’s abandoned the Time Bureau and ventured out on his own to chase an evil named “Mallus,” who he says must be the one behind the outliers. The Time Bureau refused to help him track down a theoretical evil being, and so Rip’s been working on the case alone. Now, he promises the Legends he’ll get the Time Bureau off their tail as long as they help him catch the vampire, which in turn will lead them to Mallus.
The Legends decide to use Nate as bait — he’s “pretty,” as Mick puts it — and they succeed spectacularly when Nate gets kidnapped within five minutes of strolling around in the Victorian dark. He’s taken to a creepy operating room, where’s he’s greeted by
Stein Stein’s great-great-grandfather, an eccentric actor eager to emcee some occult ritual involving the blood moon phenomenon and raising a man from the dead.
When he wakes up, Nate calls Sara and fills in her and the team, helping Rip connect the dots between what Nate sees and what Rip’s learned about Mallus. They realize that Nate must have been taken to the headquarters of a group obsessed with the mystical, and for once, they’re absolutely right.
Everything goes smoothly as Sara and Rip easily dispatch the guards standing at Nate’s door, take out the quack about to inject Nate with poison, and free their teammate. In the main hall, however, Zari, Amaya, and Mick fail to keep their cover. Zari, despite her doubts about the supernatural, gets sucked into a presentation by a mysterious woman who claims she can communicate with the dead. When the woman starts speaking to Zari as if she’s her brother and reveals the fact that Zari ran away when ARGUS arrived, leaving her brother to die, Zari can no longer keep it together. They cause a ruckus before Sara and the rest are finally ready to leave.
It takes a while because, well, they’ve just encountered quite a shock: The corpse in which Nate’s blood was supposed to have been pumped was none other than Damien Dahrk’s. Even Jax and Ray have finally figured it out; after examining the fingerprints left on the watch, they found that one of them belongs to Oliver Queen. Cue a short cameo from Curtis Holt, and voila, case closed, but casket’s open for Damien Darhk. Uh oh.
(Next: Every Rip for himself…)
Back on board the Waverider, Sara and Rip argue. She tries to convince him that they need to kill Darhk now no matter what; he would rather keep Darhk alive so they can get to Mallus, who wants to recruit Darhk to his cause.
And though Rip tells Sara she’s right, he winds up leaving the ship and enacting a protocol that forces Gideon to lock the entire team inside, with no hope of escape.
Still, Rip’s not the only who made it off the ship in time. Zari had snuck away in search of the woman again — she wants to apologize to her brother and explain herself, especially now that she’s been told by the team that they can’t ever change the past, no matter how much they want to. But when she talks to the woman again, the woman insists that she needs a memento in order to access Zari’s brother. So at this, Zari just casually hands over her totem — even though Amaya had just revealed to her that her totem matters, and that the connection she has to it is a special one.
With the totem in hand, the woman begins the ritual by praising Mallus, but before she can continue, Rip jumps out with his gun and demands to speak to Mallus. Naturally, this backfires: The blood moon activates midway through their argument, lighting up Dahrk’s body, and ultimately resurrecting him, just in time for him to notice he’s lost his watch.
Darhk is, of course, delighted to be resurrected. He spends his first hour taking out any and all Time Bureau agents he can get his hands on. (Rip had called in the calvary once he knew Mallus would show up.) He nearly chokes the life out of Rip, but at the last moment, the Legends arrive to save their former captain. Sara managed to fly the ship despite the lockdown, and inflicted damage on the Waverider itself in order to open a door for them to fight with Rip against Mallus and his minions.
It’s all for naught in the end: Darhk easily dispatches his new challengers, gathers the woman up in his arms, and by using some magic she was carrying, leaves 1895 London without a trace.
Yet, it wasn’t all losses in this week’s episode. Jax and Stein come to an understanding about Jax’s need to separate them. Though Stein had been angry at first about Jax working with Ray behind his back to break up their psyche — and suffering some short-term memory loss in the process — Stein concedes that his grandchild’s birth has greatly affected him emotionally. And so he decides to pursue the idea of separation with Jax, and they’ll start right after Jax finishes patching up their poor cargo bay.
Amaya and Zari also manage to find a connection. Though Zari didn’t take much of what Amaya said seriously in the beginning, she later trusts her enough to explain what happened to her brother, and agrees to bonding with Amaya as they continue on their journey. After all, Zari is the reason Amaya’s still with the team.
So even though Damien Darhk’s now running around through time once more, the Legends, at least, are secure in who they are. Sara says as much in her goodbye to Rip; she calls up the Time Bureau to pick him up and keep him down, because she’s realized that Rip is simply incapable of ever being loyal to anyone. He got himself disgraced as a Time Master, then abandoned the Time Bureau — the very organization he created — and came crawling back to the Legends only to betray them so he could pursue his selfish goal. Sara’s had enough, and in exchange for Rip, the Time Bureau allows the Waverider to fly free.
Too bad they won’t be able to keep that up for long. Rip, in his last moments aboard the Waverider, warns Sara that there’s a war coming, and that history needs her and the Legends to be ready. After two seasons of fighting evil through time and space, how could he even think they wouldn’t be?