DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow Take On P.T. Barnum And His “Freakshow” In 1870

Credit: The CW

DC’s Legends are back together, and despite the reluctance of the Time Bureau, they are ready to go back to time-travelling. Episode 3.02 “Freakshow” takes the team to a circus, where they quickly become the main attraction.

The episode opens with a flashback to better times, six months ago. We witness Amaya planning a birthday surprise for Nate by making donuts from scratch. Nate counters that his mother just went to the store to buy some, and after he heads out, Amaya catches a news report about Vixen. When Nate returns from the grocery run, he does so to an empty apartment.

Back on the Wave Rider, the legends were able to use the stolen Time Bureau technology to track all possible anachronisms. Even better, Ray has created a device that can shrink any object or creature, so that it can easily be detained.

 

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Wisconsin, 1870
The team decides to start their search for anachronisms off with an easy feat, so they head to the circus – P.T. Barnum’s Roving Museum of Freaks and Hypnotic Hippodrome. The legends don’t take long to figure out that the anachronism is a sabre tooth tiger, but Ray’s machine malfunctions and instead of shrinking the feline, it enlarges it.

After the tiger escapes Sara believes there is only one solution to their problem: bring back Amaya for help. The other woman is reluctant, but eventually agrees to join them for one more mission. The team welcomes her back with open arms, except for Nate who still mends his broken heart. Amaya and Sara make quick work of the tiger and shrink him and return him to the Wave Rider. Meanwhile Nate decides to get drunk, and starts to brag about his, Jefferson, and Ray’s powers to P.T. Barnum.

Barnum invites them to a private show at the circus, but only to capture Ray and Jefferson. When he realizes they are useless without their partner/their technology, Barnum dresses and sells them as conjoined twins. When Amaya and Nate try to safe them, they are imprisoned themselves.

In capture Amaya opens up about her time away and says she went to Detroit first to see her granddaughter Mari, which only strengthened her decision to return to 1942. If she stayed in 2017, Mari would have never been born and disappeared.

As the situation continues to escalate, the Time Bureau interferes and first sends Gary, an agent with poor masquerading skills, before bringing in the big guns in the form of Agent Sharp. Sara is once again forced to fight the other woman, but eventually saves her life when the sabre tooth tiger returns to its normal size.

 

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At the circus Nate is tortured by Barnum, so Amaya’s last resort is to use the power of her totem and she frees herself. She loses control of her powers and is about to kill Barnum, but Nate is able to talk her down.

Once the legends have returned to the Wave Rider, they once again shrink the sabre tooth tiger and Gideon confirms that the anachronism is under full control. Sara confronts Agent Sharp about the bigger evil they are facing, but without success. All Sharp says is that the legends won’t be able to handle it.

On the other side of the Wave Rider Nate confronts Amaya about what happened at the circus. She asks the whole team to be present and she explains that her village was attacked by Belgian soldiers, and she killed them all, in the most violent ways. Amaya says she feels that something about her totem is wrong, and that she definitely can’t stay or she will put them all in danger. The team disagrees, saying that Amaya is truly one of their own, and that they need her help now more than ever, especially with the new threat looming.

In the final seconds of the episode we get a closer look at just what this new threat could be. Gracefully she rises from the water – Kuasa.

 

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DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has quickly caught up to the glory of season two, and the legends do what they do best. The time and space seems practically irrelevant when the team is united. Every character has its own unique voice and unique dialogue, which makes it so enjoyable to watch them interact. Sara continues to be the biggest badass and the true leader of the team, while Mick functions as the brooding but vulnerable clown, Ray is the naïve and sweet enthusiast, Amaya is the heart and soul of the team, Nate is the adventurous lovable doofus, and Jefferson and Martin deliver the best one-liners. Every member of the team is oh so important, and the dynamics between them is still the show’s strongest feature.

The circus is an interesting setting, however, a sabre tooth tiger seems like the wrong anachronism for it. It seems like wasted potential not to use something more outrageous, something even more freak-ish than an animal for such a setting. Fortunately the anachronism itself wasn’t the ultimate focus of the episode.

This week’s episode was about the departure and the return of Amaya, who continues to be faced with an impossible decision. Can she stay in 2017 and travel with the legends without putting her granddaughter’s life at stake? The threat is more severe than ever now due to the return of Kuasa, who DC Comics fans will know as the evil sister of none other than Mari/Vixen herself. Where will this storyline go? We will have to wait and see.

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Favorite Lines

Ray: Where should we start?
Jefferson: How about the Great Wall in China, Level 6?
Mick: I had Chinese last night, where can I get a steak?
Ray: How about the North Atlantic Ocean, April 1912? I heard the Titanic had amazing food.
Martin: Absolutely not. I refuse to set foot on the Titanic. Whoever built that ship ought to be shot.

Amaya: I’m sorry, I wanted to tell you, all of you, but I was too ashamed.
Mick: Well, we all have done things we’re not proud of, except haircut.
Ray: Actually, I’m really bad at returning library books.

Catch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Tuesdays at 9/8ct on The CW.

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Verena Cote

4YE's lead events editor. london-based tv enthusiast with a passion (but not necessarily the budget) for traveling and exploring the world. prefers dogs to humans. current obsession: getting into the good place.
Verena Cote
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