DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow S02E02 “The Justice Society Of America” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- The Legends and the Justice Society of America face off in a fight that ends with the Legends being taken into custody as the JSA believe them to be Nazi spies.
- The Legends insist they’ve spoken with Rex Tyler but at this point, Rex does not yet know them. Nate is able to convince them that they are indeed time-travellers by revealing that he is the grandson of JSA member Commander Steel, and is wearing his dog tags as they were passed down as a family heirloom.
- The Legends inform Rex that he visited them in the future using their ship to warn them not to come to 1942. The JSA are willing to let the Legends go as the JSA head off to pursue Baron Krieger, a Nazi captain. The Legends offer their help but the JSA decline.
- As the Legends leave, Nate realises that his dog tags have disappeared from around his neck. It appears history has been changed.
- He discovers that in this new timeline the JSA will die in 1942 in Paris while in pursuit of Krieger.
- The Legends must return to save the JSA.
- The team reluctantly agrees that Stein will be their leader of the team now that Rip is gone.
- Krieger has been given a serum from Eobard Thawne in exchange for his assistance in striking a deal with Hitler.
- The Legends go undercover at a Nazi get-together and determine that Krieger is transporting an amulet to Hitler.
- They encounter members of the JSA and warn them of their impending death.
- Stein is forced to sing “Edelweiss” to maintain their cover, but a brawl breaks out when Ray’s refusal to salute Hitler exposes them.
- The JSA vote to let the Legends come along and help them on the mission to stop Krieger.
- During the mission, Martin, Jax, and Nate stay on the ship to observe the battle from overhead. Martin struggles with the responsibilities of team leader/coordinator.
- The JSA are fighting off Nazis and retrieving the amulet but Krieger has taken the serum and mutated into a large and ferocious foe.
- Ray and Vixen end up captured while the rest of the team get away with the amulet.
- When Krieger threatens to kill Vixen/Amaya, Ray offers up his assistance as a scientist to buy them some more time to either break out or be rescued.
- Stein becomes overcome with self-doubt about his skills to be the best team leader and turns over the position to Sara.
- Rex wants to call in a strike that will destroy the Nazi base making Ray and Amaya collateral damage, but Sara insists that they put together a rescue mission instead. The teams attack the base and Ray plans to use some of the serum on himself.
- But despite the teams rescuing Ray and Amaya as well as stopping Krieger, Nate is seriously injured in the process. Nate is a hemophiliac and thus is not healing. Ray administer the serum to Nate, having modified it to heal him.
- The Legends say their goodbyes. Later that night, Eobard infiltrates the JSA headquarters and kills Rex, saying that Rex had discovered his plan and thus will now be erased from the timeline, which explains why Rex had disappeared in the middle of warning the Legends.
- Eobard runs off after stealing the amulet. Amaya finds Rex as he utters his dying words: “Time Traveller.”
Despite the challenges of introducing yet another team of superheroes to an already large cast, the writers handle the inclusion of the Justice Society of American relatively well. Though it was inevitable that certain characters would receive less focus in the plot, the possibility remains open for future appearances and the most important thing was maintaining focus on the main characters and plot points.
Outwitting Nazis is a staple of time-travel fiction, but besides the action, this episode also has some insightful moments addressing the implications of a diverse team having to operate in such a regressive setting.
It may be a bit of a filler episode as regards the arc plot – we don’t get to learn much more about what the villain-duo of Dahrk-Thawne are up to – but with the strong character moments for a number of the Legends, overall it’s still a strong episode.
- Sara’s concern for Nate was a truly excellent display of character insight, as it displayed how deeply her guilt runs over the many deaths that have occurred to those closest to her for which she blames herself. This on top of her commitment to getting justice for Laurel is hopefully an indication that this show’s writers will show its characters more respect than other shows in this universe.
- Time travel is often used to explore the prejudices of former eras by placing women or minority characters from the modern day in less enlightened situations. However, scriptwriters often make the resulting material either too harsh and preachy or too soft as regard to the the challenges such characters would face. This episode was a more balanced and honest depiction for both Sara and Jefferson. Rex’s sexist treatment of Sara from Rex triggers an immediate response from the other (male) Legends in terms of their uncomfortable body language, communicating a non-verbal declaration that they value and respect her. This also made her transition of team-leader all the more organic and authentic. As for the wisdom of putting Jefferson out in the field when the mission involves entering a room full of fascists – well, it says something about the Legend’s confidence that Jefferson can handle himself and has the necessary self-discipline not to kick off if someone does pick on him. But would they really want to draw attention to themselves in that way? On the one hand, the inclusion of the word “N*gro” was a bold choice by the writers and undoubtedly the whole scene was thought-provoking and designed to get a reaction from viewers.
- In most episodes of the show, some characters are less well served than others. With the show already having a larger ensemble cast, it’s inevitable that there would be even less time for the members of the Justice Society of America to be properly introduced. But it would have been nice if Stargirl and Doctor Mid-Nite could have done more than give a display of their powers and mumble a couple of feed lines.
And The Random:
- Whoever made the decision to have Victor Garber sing “Edelweiss” is a genius. With such a multi-faceted talent on the show, it would’ve been a waste to not have him sing at some point. Also, the instructions he gives to the guitarist – “watch for the changes and try to keep up” – is the same advice Marty McFly gives the band in Back To The Future just before he launches into “Johnny B Goode”.
- Are those Wonder Woman’s bracelets next to the amulet that Reverse-Flash steals?
- The licence plate on the motorbike that Nate and Commander Steel are riding has the same number as the licence plate on Steve McQueen’s bike in The Great Escape.
Reviewed by Jenevia Kagawa Darcy