Legends of Tomorrow "S2E13 Land of the Lost" - Review: Dinosaurs and a Spaceship!
The Land of the Lost – A captured Rip Hunter’s sabotage send the Wave Rider crashing into pre-historic times, reuniting Ray with a rather familiar face from being stranded there. Using a mind-melding device Sara and Jax go inside Rip’s consciousness hoping to finally restore him back to normal.
Talk about having everything in an episode: evil superhero doppelgangers, a T-Rex, obscure impossible romamnce romance, Matrix mental construct entering and everything in between! This Legends episode was an utter fun fest with some powerfully emotional moments all while hurdling crucial story milestone in bringing Rip back from his brainwashing. Starting with Mr, Hunter’s mind games, this was a terrific setup. It often becomes a cop out when shows conveniently work existing set locations into their stories (to save building so many new ones) but the entire premise felt logical of Rip depicting his mental enslavement as a version of the familiar Wave Rider. Then making his captors evil versions of the Legends reflects his decision to turn against them and side with the Legion. The dark green and black corridor lighting looks creepy and surreal while the evil Legends produce several awesome fight sequences. Sara Vs Sara particularly impressed by the way it was filmed to incorporate the stunt double work without just being a swirl of face concealing shots. Not to mention that Caity Lotz and her double go at it like they’re being paid per punch & kick with some terrific symmetric move sequences to depict them as evenly matched. The show took full advantage of this alternative reality scenario for plenty of brilliant out of character work while still telling a story of Rip’s recovery. It comes with huge pay offs too. Seeing Rip stride back onto the bridge in the climax was the Legends equivalent of a Han Solo, “Chewie, we’re home”. It felt like a huge rallying moment for Team Legends and more than any point this season it feels like Legends Vs Legion is on like Donkey Kong.
Then around that we have Ray, Nate and Vixen taking a trip to Jurassic Park with some fun plays on Ray’s previous time marooned there following the season opener Time Scatter (his little Legend figures... awww). Now for some, this may too close a John Hammond comparison as just like the 1993 game changer, the CG dinosaur effects are used very sparingly. So some may get frustrated that we spent most of the episode merely hearing Gertrude, the T-Rex roar off screen but in fairness, the episode makes its feature creature sequence count. Not only are the visuals decent but it plays out in a less expected but understandable fashion. This Cretaceous subplot also gives us Ray in full lovable geek mode as he goes all cave man Boy Scout. At first I wasn’t crazy about spending more time with the Nate/Vixen romance but I really like the destiny twist thrown into the mix. That Nate should not date Vixen not because of inter team fraternising but because Amaya already a family and lineage in her future leading up to her granddaughter Mari taking up the Vixen mantle in present day Detroit, breaking that family line has huge consequences. While it immediately feels like this will end in a Sarah Conner/Kyle Reese timey whimey parenting outcome that will still be an interesting arc for the show to follow. Exploring a super heroine getting pregnant would be an Arrowverse first (unless you’d count Lyla Diggle on Arrow).
This episode also has one very big, surprising and immensely enjoyable twist up its sleeve for almost a riff on a particularly memorable Matt Smith Doctor Who episode (I’m deliberately vague to preserve the spoiler). I hope it’s something the show peruses furthers because it certainly carried some chemistry and potentially allowing that to continue in future episodes could be a great way of exploring a key character’s emotions.
With the Matrix/Inception and Jurassic Park plays on show this week, Legends is sticking firming by its unofficial season 2 motto of, “be as geeky as possible” and that is really really working well for it right now. While in many ways it functions as a pooling and re-directing show for Flash & Arrow characters, it’s slowly become less and less concerned with joining those dots and linking to DC comic publications, and it’s all the better for it. These last couple months, we’ve seen this show find its identity with glasses wrapped in tape and pocket protector and it’s walking all the taller for it. It’s become the Rick & Morty of the Arrowverse and long may these wacky adventures continue. Next week’s Moonshot seems to revolve around the Apollo 13 mission.... what could go wrong.