Oh, Legends, you’re too clever. An episode about Hollywood with an identity switch, a Wonder Woman Easter egg, and a title named after an actress? You’re making me, ahem, mad about you. (Too bad Helen Hunt couldn’t actually make an appearance. Maybe next time, Helen?)
In a season around anachronisms, this was inevitable, and I was wondering how long it would take for the show to take things straight to Tinseltown. All it needed was an anachronism to anchor it all, and it found the perfect one in Helen of Troy, who winds up misplaced in the setting where she’s most likely to thrive.
Her face may have launched a thousand ships, but in Hollywoodland, it launches a bloody war between studios that attracts the Legends to 1937, where they find Helen easily enough. Unfortunately, they’re already making a mess; Ray has attempted to separate Stein and Jax, but after his equipment overheats, the two switch bodies instead. At least it’s good news for Stein, who finally gets to enjoy being young again while being trapped in Jax’s body, even joining in the mission on the ground as one of the men at the studio party Helen attends. There, he even gets a chance to chat with his celebrity crush, Hedy Lamarr, an actress who moonlighted as an inventor and helped develop the patent that would lead to the creation of Wi-Fi, among other achievements.
Hedy makes for great conversation with Jax-as-Stein, but the rest of the Legends are having no such luck with Helen. She’s reluctant to return to her home of Troy, where men treat women with barely a fraction of the respect and adulation she gets in Hollywood. And so, the beauty runs away from Sara, instead asking for help from her agent, who turns out to be…Damien Darhk, who’s brought his daughter and water witch Kuasa along.
Darhk senses an opportunity and tries to talk Sara into retreating. He points out how her team makes a mess of things too easily, and while she’s dismayed to see that her male teammates have created chaos out of nothing just because of Helen, she tells them she won’t back down. Aboard the Waverider, she assures them that they’ll fight Darhk; as Mick points out, even if they do retreat quietly, Darhk will probably just send assassins after them and kill them anyway.
So what’s a wayward team to do? Sara chooses to lead the team to save Helen of Troy with only her female teammates, and they do so smoothly enough, helping to disarm the men from the rival studios while smuggling Helen of Troy out of her new home.
Unfortunately, they quickly run into a new snag when they return to the Waverider: The comms are down, and so are many of the other operations on board the ship. Stein realizes that with Hedy Lamarr no longer a movie star, her inventions fail to come to fruition, therefore shutting down half of the ship’s technology. Uh oh. (Next: Defense Against the Darhk Arts)