Recap: LEGENDS OF TOMORROW Visits Pleasantville

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Episodes 108 “Night of the Hawk”

[photos: Katie Yu & Dean Buscher/The CW]

I really don’t know why this episode was called “Night of the Hawk”. I really don’t. Because there wasn’t a hawk one in this episode. There wasn’t Hawkman. There wasn’t Hawkgirl (yes, Kendra was there, but… ). The terrible monsters weren’t hawks. Nobody had a pet hawk. The school mascot wasn’t a hawk.

As Rohrschach would say, “Hurm.”

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Oregon, 1958.

The episode starts with American Graffiti: two hot rods racing on a deserted street at night, the occupants of said vehicles loud and obnoxious teens, drinking fire water and listening to that rock ‘n roll like hoodlums…

And then one of them wrecks across an Nth metal meteor.

We find out it’s Nth metal later in the episode, but this meteor rock (shades of Smallville) is apparently the means by which Vandal Savage (Caspar Crump) is creating an army of parademons … uhm, hawks? that attack innocent bystanders at night.

The doctor will see you now. (Dean Buscher/The CW)
The doctor will see you now. (Dean Buscher/The CW)

Savage is working under the name Knox at the local sanitarium, a fact discovered by Professor Stein (Victor Garber) when he and Sara (Caity Lotz) infiltrate the place to see if they can find out anything about the “serial killer” on the loose. Stein’s thinking is that if it’s a serial killer, likely he’s mentally unstable and might have escaped from the sanitarium. Logical. Wrong, but logical.

At the very least, it puts them in place to discover Savage has an entire wing of the facility all to himself, where he can play Dr. Frankenstein and apparently no one asks him about his patients ever. Because why? Because it would ruin the episode.

It also puts Sara in a place where she can be the mouthpiece for social commentary on how regressive the 50s were in terms of sexism and homophobia. And it’s actually handled a little better than I expected, not as over the top as some shows have been doing over the years. Because it’s Hollywood.

Meanwhile, Ray (Brandon Routh) and Kendra (Ciara Renee) pose as a married couple (inter-racial, in 1958) to… why? I never really understood why they had to pose as a couple and actually move into a neighborhood and pretend to be … wait. Why are they doing this other than to point out how badly inter-racial couples were treated back then?

The fact that the house they pick just happens to be across the street from the Knox residence — and at this point in the story no one knows Knox is Savage — just is too much Hand of the Writer for me this week.

Rip (Arthur Darvill) and Leonard (Wentworth Miller) pretend to be FBI agents and visit the local sheriff, who turns out to be in Savage’s back pocket when he captures Jax (Franz Drameh).

Jax, during all of the infiltrating and discovering, has made nice with the cheerleader whose boyfriend went missing after the car wreck in the opening scene. He scores a date with her, only to be attacked by boyfriend, who’s now a parademon hawk? or something. She gets her neck slashed, Jax gets bagged by the sheriff, and the team finally figures out it’s Nth metal in the blood of the girl when they help her in Sickbay.

Ray manages to shrink down and infiltrate Savage’s home office, where he finds the mystic dagger that can kill him. Kendra then takes this to Savage’s office on the pretext of setting up an affair, but Savage has recognized her and gets the drop on her before she can kill him.

At least Kendra gets something to do this week, but it still feels like we’re spinning our wheels on this show. The writers need to do some world-building for other stories, because the main one — Kendra has to kill Savage with the dagger — is really really thin, and as the season progresses, we’re just seeing the same formula play out over and over. The team arrives in a time period, stumbles upon Savage accidentally (the arms sale, the sanitarium, the blood ritual), try to figure out his mustache-twisting scheme, someone screws up to make things worse, and then action set! to finish out the episode with the team just barely successful and Savage escaping.

We need more episodes like “Marooned” for stories that don’t revolve around Savage.

 

Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8/7c on the CW.

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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