After having to deal with aliens in last week’s big crossover event, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow return to their normal everyday life – as normal as life as a time traveler can be. The mid-season finale finds the Legends traveling to the roaring twenties as they come face-to-face with Al Capone. Episode #2.08 “The Chicago Way” also marks the return of two fan-favorites!
The episode starts by highlighting this season’s bad guys. We witness a meeting between Damien Darhk, Eobard Thawne and the famous Al Capone, who quickly learns that the former are not to be messed with. Just seconds after, Darhk’s latest ally joins the gang: Malcolm Merlyn is back and he is in it to win it. The three man warn Capone that there’s a new group in town, ready to take down Capone’s illegal business.
After the brief interlude with the Dominators, the Legends are back to investigate the amulet they stole from Damien Darhk and his connection to the unknown speedster. However, Martin is still coming to terms with the appearance of his daughter and how to deal with this time aberration he created.
When they get a notification of yet another time aberration they head to the Roaring Twenties in Chicago. Everyone seems smitten with the city and its glamour, but Al Capone and his gangster ways cast a dark shadow over their experience.
They witness the abduction of Elliot Ness, a prohibition agent who would later play a part in Capone’s demise, which they weren’t able to intercept due to Martin’s preoccupation. The Legends then learn that taking out Ness results in Capone being elected as mayor, which will have significant effects on the future. The Legends then head to the docks to stop Ness’ attempted murder; it’s a close call but ultimately the heroes can save him.
With Ness temporarily out of action Nate, with his colourful knowledge of history, takes over his identity in hope of re-stabilizing the time line and proceeding with the investigation into Capone’s tax credits as well as his arrest. Ray tags along for support, and together they take a look at one of Capone’s clubs in which he bootlegged alcohol.
At the speak-easy the Legends walk right into one of Darhk’s traps. Sara and Martin run into the man himself and are taken in by Thawne. Back at Darhk’s base Malcolm tries to strike a deal with Sara. He claims he can give her a normal life by not attacking the Queen’s Gambit, which would erase her time on Lian Yu as well as with the League of Assassins. Sara would live a life away from vigilantes or time travel, all she needs to do is hand over the amulet they stole from Darhk. She refuses, so Darhk threatens to torture Martin.
Meanwhile Mick and Amaya stay behind on the Wave Rider to look after Ness. The two bond (as much as Mick Rory can bond) just when Mick starts to see his former brother in arms. The ghost of Leonard Snart has returned to taunt his friend about how he turned his back on criminal activities to play hero with the rest of the group.
When the Legends struggle with finding Sara and Martin’s location, Mick and Amaya take over and try to do things differently. They pretend to be gangster, calling themselves Bonnie and Clyde, as they intercept one of Capone’s trucks. They follow the tracks to Capone’s base where they find Sara and Martin, as well as important documents related to the bootlegger’s seedy business.
When they return to the Wave Rider they realize changes in Martin’s behaviour. Jax eventually sees “Martin” speeding through the library in search of the amulet and puts two and two together: Thawne has taken over the Professor’s identity. Jax alerts Ray and Nate and together they head there just in time to save Sara’s life. Thawne manages to let Darhk and Merlyn on the Wave Rider and a big battle ensues.
Just as Capone is about to drop Martin at the bottom of the ocean, Sara is able to save him. In return for his location he had to hand over the amulet to Malcolm. In order to right history Ray and Nate give up the documents they found on Capone’s book-keeping and hand them to the recovering Elliot Ness.
By the end of the episode Mick is still suffering from hallucinations of his fallen friend, which he is trying hard to ignore. Amaya finds him on the Wave Rider and presents him with a bottle of whisky she stole from Capone’s warehouse. Mick is noticeably proud of Amaya embracing her bad side, but Leonard continues to warn him not to get close to her or he will end up dead.
Sara approaches Martin to talk about his daughter. He believes Lily is a time aberration he needs to correct, but he also can’t help but love her and consider her a part of his life. At first Sara was cautious of the development, but eventually promises Stein she will protect his daughter and accept her as a part of their family of misfits.
In the final two minutes of the mid-season finale we learn why Eobard Thawne was hell-bent on getting his hands on the amulet. It functions as a part of a bigger scheme, a compass to find the Spear of Destiny, an artefact that makes it possible to “rewrite history itself”.
We then finally learn what happened to Rip Hunter. He is alive, but it ain’t pretty. We see him on set in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, where he is directing a movie (low budget, by the looks of it) about his adventures with the Legends. We have no doubt that our heroes will find a way for him to get out of that hell hole.
With “The Chicago Way” DC’s Legends of Tomorrow finished up a fantastic first half of season two. Where season one offered half-assed villains and questionable group dynamics, season two is such a major step up. Putting the two sassiest villains in Arrow history (Merlyn and Dahrk) together to wreak havoc is simply a delightful idea. It fills us with pure excitement and we absolutely hate to wait for the new year to find out what they are after.
The group dynamics this season have been wonderful. Amaya and Nate have been a great addition to the group and perfectly filled the hole that the Hawks left. They integrated into the group at what felt like an organic pace, and especially the relationships between Nate and Ray and Amaya and Mick are nothing short of entertaining. Having Sara take over as a leader has also been a wonderful development. Caity Lotz shines at the top.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has done everything right. Where season one was a good enough introduction of the characters and the storylines, as well the general concept of the show, season two has solidified the adventure. Well done, Legends, and onto season 2B!
Malcolm: ”You have in your possession an amulet. Give it to me, and I will give you nine years of your life back. Maybe Oliver didn’t tell you, but I was the one who arranged to blow up the Queen’s Gambit. That was the day everything changed for you, Sara, hundreds of dominos toppling. Dr. Ivo, Slade Wilson, the League of Assassins, losing your sister.”
Sara: “And you losing your son.”
Martin: “I remembered the countless nights I spent pacing the neighborhood with her stroller, trying to get her to sleep. The way my heart melted the first time she smiled at me. The distress she caused her kindergarten teacher when she insisted on singing the periodic table instead of the alphabet. I remembered all of it. The memories are real. They are a part of me now. She is a part of me now. And I love her.”
Leonard: “Sounds like a sweet little angel whispering in your ear. Problem is, angels always want you to do the right thing, and doing the right thing gets you killed. I should know. You wanna stay alive, best listen to the devil.”
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow returns with new episodes Tuesday (!) January 24 at 8/7 ct on The CW.