Proving there’s no trope Legends isn’t willing to explore, The Magnificent Eight took the team to the Wild West in an episode that despite a silly setup was pretty fun.
Seeking to avoid the Time Masters’ latest hit men, The Time Hunters, Rip takes the team to 1871 hoping to lose them for a while in the timestream. The team immediately acts like overactive toddlers and can’t wait to
get into trouble explore the new setting. Rip stays behind seemingly just to ensure the team meets mayhem.
It’s funny that so often the culprit behind the team’s perilous situations is Professor Stein. Whether unintentionally leaving behind Firestorm matrix clues or prompting saloon brawls, Stein’s a bigger menace to the team’s missions than either Snart or Rory. Snart shooting an outlaw upset with Stein’s card prowess triggered an attack by the Stillwater Gang.
Luckily for them, Jonah Hex (Johnathon Schaech) happens to be at the saloon. Hex is always one of those fun characters thanks to his distinct look. The problem with a large ensemble is the guest cameo doesn’t get enough room to play around in and establish themselves.
Hex was already familiar with time travel as Rip previously ventured into the time frame and found it enticing due to its need for a hero. It’d be kinda neat to see future Hex align with the team to battle Vandal Savage.
There was a slew of random instances of the team killing folks this week. I’m waiting for the episode that further explores the repercussions of their actions like for instance the nurse Sara was crushing embraces her sexuality instead of marrying a gun manufacturer whose heir produces the gun that kills Batman’s parents.
I like Brandon Routh and the earnestness he brings to Ray Palmer, but I wish the writers would tone down his exuberance. Ray’s the closest the show has to a classic hero and they cast him too often as the team idiot. Ray couldn’t wait to play John Wayne — literally and unwittingly finds himself made the new sheriff.
While it was mildly amusing the first few times, these random instances of the team meeting historical figures and giving them their nicknames is a gimmick that can’t end soon enough. It was pretty on the nose to have Stein meeting and ‘naming’ H.G. Wells.
One of the episode’s most disappointing developments was Rory is back to normal. He was back to calling Ray ‘Haircut’ and engaging in drinking contests with Sara like his whole Chronos phase never happened. That’s a weak payoff considering there was potentially so much more mileage out of Rory slowly regaining the team’s trust and his struggles at redemption. If you missed a handful of episodes right around Rory’s turfing out of the team you wouldn’t think anything happened.
The more interesting subplot this week was surprisingly Kendra even if she’s written so inconsistent from segment to segment during the course of the episode. She met one of her older selves, who warned her about falling in love for anyone that isn’t Carter. Earlier, Kendra thought the woman could help lead her to Carter although why she was interested in finding him and what she hoped to gain from that meeting was unclear.
In the end, Kendra decides she controls her destiny on who she loves and won’t follow some guidelines because that’s the way it’s always been. Sara remains great at this quick pep talk moments to help refocus her teammates, but I’m curious if Green Arrow can get a text through since he’s got some big news for her.
Although Kendra meeting older, bitter Kendra was kind of neat, I was hoping with the setting we could have seen Kendra’s 1800 identity as the acclaimed gunslinger Cinnamon.
For all of Rip’s fretting and Rory’s concern, The Time Hunters got taken out easier than the Stillwater Gang completely negating the need for this time excursion save a fun time period for the team to visit.
Next week’s episode featuring an obligatory Terminator style villain looks like it has the potential to be one of this season’s standouts as The Pilgrim is trying to gun down the team before they become adults. This wasn’t nearly as classic, but it reinforced the notion the show is comfortably in its groove when the team gets preoccupied on side quests.
Rating: 7 out of 10