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TV Review: Legends of Tomorrow - Season 1 Episode 8 "Night of the Hawk"

03.11.2016
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EPISODE 8: "Night of the Hawk"

SYNOPSIS: "The team tracks Savage to a small town in Oregon during the 1950s. Upon arrival, they discover there have been a recent string of murders and they suspect Savage is involved. Professor Stein and Sara go undercover at a psychiatric hospital, where Savage is working as a doctor, to find out his plan. While there, Sara meets a nurse named Lindsay (guest star Ali Liebert) and sparks fly. Meanwhile, Ray and Kendra pretend to be a married couple to gain the neighborhood’s trust, but an interracial couple in the ‘50s isn’t something that goes unnoticed. Soon, Savage is at their door. Joe Dante directed the episode written by Sarah Nicole Jones & Cortney Norris."

REVIEW:

I'm not going to lie, I've been looking forward to tonight's episode of the LEGENDS OF TOMORROW ever since I got wind that acclaimed filmmaker Joe Dante was attached to direct. That's right, we're talking about the man who shot films such as GREMLINS, SMALL SOLDIERS, INNERSPACE, and my personal favorite … THE BURBS! Yeah, that guy! Anyway, I'm stoked to report that Mr. Dante did not disappoint me this evening! For my money, “Night of the Hawk” had a cool “creature feature” vibe about it, in addition to some decent special effects and character highlights.

First off, though expected, I was glad to see this program dabble in a bit of the supernatural for a change. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, what with the 1950s backdrop and all. Truth be told, and judging from the episode's promotional stills, I'd assumed this would be a straight-up Snart and Rip gumshoe romp. Indeed, it turns out that I was completely wrong in my assumption, seeing as the pair received what I can equate to the least amount of screen time divided among our super team members. It's all good though, given that there was more than enough to focus on without having to worry too much about what Snart and Captain Hunter were up to.

Although! Yeah, let's address the elephant in the room before we move on, shall we? As entertaining as this episode was, it would have been nice to get some clarification in regard to last week's potentially deadly cliffhanger. Seriously, what happened to Mick Rory after Snart opened fire on him? I'm to assume that Mick is just fine, after all, I don't think for a single moment that Snart would actually take him out. That said. as someone who is invested in his Mick's character, I'm going to need some form of resolution or closure real soon if all is to be well. I think that a lot of fans were expecting some follow-up to that situation, and besides a few inquisitive remarks from Jax, little was said about the fate of our hot-headed friend. I sure do hope that his status is directly addressed in the next episode.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled review. How about that Vandal Savage, eh? Is it me, or does every plan this guy cooks up involve an elaborate scheme? It's never cut and dry with this dude. Wouldn't he need a doctorate to be the head of a hospital's psychiatric ward? Granted, the guy's got a lot of time on his hands, but I'm hard-pressed to figure out why he didn't just find another dingy-ass storage building in which to conduct his experiments. For real, you'd think that a hospital administrator who's not on Savage's payroll would wonder what the hell he's doing keeping mutated teens chained up in the rubber rooms. Eh, these are just a few of the thoughts that were going through my head as I bore witness to Vandal's latest scheme. Anyway, the point I was intending to make is that as outlandish as his idea to build an army of mutants might have been, it was nice to have our villain back.

Moving on! Let's give it up for Caity Lotz and her take-charge portrayal of White Canary. I don't know about you, but I'm really appreciating her character. I loved the moment when she bumped into the loathsome doctor, causing him to spill his coffee. And then there was the scene in which she told Stein to get his own cup of Joe. Oh, and while you're at it, “doctor”, you can get mine, too. BAM! Suck it, Stein! In addition to her sweet moments of taking a stand for women inside the workplace, I enjoyed watching her connect with Nurse Lindsey Carlisle (Ali Libert). And no, it's not for the sake of seeing her make out with another beautiful woman. That was nice and all, though it was great to see her relate to yet another character while she's along on this crazy adventure through time and space. Honestly, I never would have expected her to be the heart of this program – given that her emotions were stripped bare after having been reborn in the Lazarus Pits of Nanda Parbat.

Yet another character highlight was earned by none other than Kendra, this episode. You know the moment I'm talking about? The one when Ray disapproves of her going after Savage alone, to which she then tells him where to stick his over-protective concerns. For me, this was yet another benchmark in her character becoming more assertive, and yes, badass. At this point in the season, Kendra appears to be managing her warrior rage rather well, has honed her hand-to-hand combat skills, and has managed to make peace with Carter's passing (to a degree). That's some real progress when you think about where she was, mentally as well as emotionally, just a few episodes ago.

Of course, it being the 1950s and all, tonight's episode dipped into the racism pool, and managed to not drown itself in the process. For every horrid remark toward either Ray and Kendra's bi-racial faux-marriage, or Jax being a black man among a town full of white folk, both characters addressed the bigotry aimed at them with grace … and even a bit of clever snark. You can't see me right now, but I'm nodding my head in approval.

Just a few more things before we wrap this sucker up. What the hell is up with this Cronos guy? For real, can someone please just take this asshole out? I'm growing a bit bored by him popping up at the most inappropriate of moments, simply to serve as the foil to our heroes victory party planning. I'm of the opinion that Snart needs to turn this dude into an ice cube, fly the Wave Rider up real nice into the sky, and kick his ass out the back hatch. With Snart laughing from on high, Cronos would then shatter into pieces - the bits of him then used in a shaker to make proper victory martinis for the crew. Yup!

In closing, I think tonight's episode was a solid effort in getting out team back on task. Sure, I could write several more paragraphs about the logic of this program's contents, but aren't we watching this show simply to have a grand old time? The moment you start over-analyzing a program like LEGENDS OF TOMORROW is the exact point in which you deprive yourself of having a good bit of fun. For me, "Night of the Hawk" was a real treat, what with Joe Dante guest-directing and all. That said,  if I don't get some Mick Rory information soon … well, I'll leave what comes next to your imagination.

RECAP:

Welcome to Harmony Falls, 1958 – a place and time of sock hops, sexism, and segregation! We begin tonight's episode with a pack of rowdy teens engaging in a drag race down a dimly lit suburban back-street. Suddenly, the right front tire belonging to one of the suped-up hot rods explodes, sending the car careening off the road and into the woods nearby. Disoriented, the group discover a glowing meteorite set beside their now mangled ride. As if the inevitable hike to the driver's insurance won't be bad enough, a creepy-as-ever Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) arrives on the scene. As he runs his greasy mits over the meteorite, we can see it in his eyes that he has plans for the giant rock - and the adventure-seeking youth as well.

Aboard the Wave Rider, Rip shares with the remaining members of his team (Snart (Wentworth Miller), Jax (Frans Drameh), Stein (Victor Garber), Palmer (Bradon Routh), Kendra (Ciara Renee), and Sara (Caity Lotz) that the information they'd received from Lieutenant Baxter has proven useful in locating Vandal's next pit-stop throughout all of time and space. The intel leads them to Harmony Falls, a Pleasantville-like town that's experiencing a bizarre rash of murders that Rip believes Savage is responsible for in some way or another. You know what that means, right? It's time to break the team up into pairs and get all Scooby-Doo in the land of poodle skirts, Miles Davis, and misogyny!

Okay, so how are we going to divide and conquer this week, kids? Well, Kendra and Ray get to play house by posing as a bi-racial couple looking to take up residence in the land that basic human rights forgot, Snart and Rory get all snazzy while posing as gumshoes looking to catch a killer, Stein and Sara play doctor (and nurse) while infiltrating the local hospital, leaving Jax to channel his inner-Idris Elba to see what he can learn from the local kids.

While taking a moment to regroup and compare notes, Sara, Stein, and Jax have gathered inside a local diner to enjoy a plate of reverence with a side of bigotry. During their meal, Jax recognizes a young woman sitting all by herself and looking pretty banged up. Jackson then explains to his friends that he recognizes her from the newspaper clipping that detailed the car crash. Hoping she'll have some valuable information to share, Jax cranks up his charm-o-meter and gets to work.

Returning to the hospital, we come into a scene of Sara making strides for women in the workplace while simultaneously making friends with a fellow nurse by the name of Lindsey. A beautiful and diligent sort, Lindsey assists Dr. Curtis Knox, the man in charge of the hospital's Psychology Ward. Psssst …. Dr. Knox is really Vandal Savage in disguise! Oh yeah, and get this … Savage lives in the same neighborhood as Ray and Kendra! In fact, during the very next scene, he shows up at their door with a casserole in hand! What's more is that he invites the new couple to a dinner party that he'll be hosting with his wife. Yup, Savage is married, and he makes a mean hash! Weird and wild stuff, people!

Next, we cut a man who's in the middle of changing a flat tire. When suddenly, he's attacked by a screeching bird-like creature with sharp talons. With no choice but to let Big Bird's buck-toothed cousin use him as a scratching post, the man is deposited back onto the street, dead. I suppose it was feeding time for our fiendish feathered friend.

With their respective recon missions a success, it's decided by the group that Ray and Kendra stand the best chance at discovering exactly what Savage is up to. Thus, they will attend the evil dinner party of evil at Savage's place - where they will continue their search for clues. Meanwhile, Sara must be chewing some Big Red gum this episode, because she and Lindsey have started to “get close a little longer” in their talks about the hospital, and yes … Lindsey's repressed sexuality. Before taking her leave, Sara assures Lindsey that it's all good and urges her to embrace her lesbian nature.

Back at casa de Savage, a positively radiant Kendra and a sharply-dressed Ray Palmer can be found hobnobbing with the whitest folk Harmony Falls has to offer. With Savage distracted by his party guests - as well as Kendra's jaw-dropping beauty - Ray is free to skulk about the house in search of anything nefarious. Before long, Ray discovers an iron-clad door. Aww yeah, jackpot! Just then, Savage receives a phone call prompting him to leave the party and return to the hospital for some sort of emergency. Hmmmmm! Now that Ray and Kendra have shared the news of their discovery with the group, it's time for Palmer to suit up and see what he can see behind Savage's mystery door.

 The following morning, Ray miniaturizes himself and makes his way into Savage's secret room of secrets. While there, he uncovers an ornate box which contains the sacred dagger capable of putting Savage down for a permanent dirt nap. Later that evening, we find Jax and Betty metaphorically chewing their own sticks of Big Red, as they enjoy each others company while parked atop Harmony Falls own Lover's Lane. Then, just as things are beginning to heat up, the couple are attacked by Savage's bird-like creatures. During the encounter, Betty's throat is slashed, leaving Jax no choice but to drive at top speed to the nearest emergency room. Before long, the pair are stopped by a local cop, who then proceeds to knock Jax out cold and snatch him up as another test subject for Savage's experiments.

Fearful of what's become of their friend, Rip and Snart have tracked Jax's bio-signature to Betty's vehicle – where she lay in the passenger seat, bleeding to death. After transporting Betty back to the medical bay of their ship, she begins mumbling about the creatures, her missing boyfriend, Tommy, and the strange meteorite they found after the crash. Putting the pieces together, the group surmises that the meteorite is indeed the same type of rock that gave Kendra and Carter their powers some 4,000 years ago. Just then, Stein claims that he might be able to whip up an antidote to the bird mutation that has befallen the town. Additionally, it's decided that Kendra will attempt to take Savage out while using the sacred dagger as her weapon of choice.

By the time Rip and Snart have infiltrated the psych ward, Jax has already transformed into a menacing mutation of the avian variety. Elsewhere, Kendra has caught up with Savage, and while seducing him, aims to plunge the dagger directly into his black heart. The worst part about this plan is that Vandal is on to Kendra, and before she can make her move, Savage attacks! Shortly thereafter, while Vandal is ranting about building his own army of mutated bird-warriors, Kendra gets the upper-hand and socks Vandal in the face - Craig vs. Deebo-style! Then, better late than never, Ray arrives and blasts the time tyrant out of a window!

During all this commotion, Rip and Snart have caught up with Jax, who has totally gone full-bird by the time they reach him. As Jax snarls and moves in for the kill, Sara arrives, and lays him out with her crazy bo staff skills. With their teammate recovered, and Savage having escaped to fight another day, Stein, Snart, and Rip return to their ship where they will administer the antidote to their fallen comrade. With Jax fully recovered, it's time to leave 1958, but ohhhhhhh what? Cronos, that seemingly un-killable bounty hunter is back and he's right pissed! This president of the Boba Fett fan club has become a real pain in the ass, has he not? Anyway, he boards the Wave Rider, and starts blasting up a storm! Rip then activates the ship's hyper drive, leaving Kendra, Ray, and Sara stranded in 1958!

STINGER: "Left Behind" airs March 31st - "Ray (Brandon Routh), Sara (Caity Lotz) and Kendra (Ciara Renée) are shocked after they watch the Waverider fly off without them, leaving them stranded in the ‘50s. After waiting months for their teammates to come back, the three realize they must move on with their lives. Ray and Kendra bond as a couple but Sara decides to return to the League of Assassins and Ra’s al Ghul (guest star Matt Nable). John Showalter directed the episode written by Beth Schwartz & Grainne Godfree."

Extra Tidbit: What's your favorite film directed by Joe Dante? Let us know in the comments section below!

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11:51PM on 03/11/2016
Seriously, the synopsis for next week's episode is actually the synopsis of Arrow S03E10.

EDIT: Thank you,
Seriously, the synopsis for next week's episode is actually the synopsis of Arrow S03E10.

EDIT: Thank you,
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+1
1:13PM on 03/11/2016

I still loathe Kendra

Her character offers nothing to the show, she doesn't appear to be progressing physically, and WHERE'S HER FREAKING MACE??? I'm also just about done with Miller's over-acting. Sometimes it's funny in a comic-y sort of way, but last night it was just bad. In just normal sentences he'd pause, then over-emphasize words, then add a growl for no particular reason. It was almost like a bad William Shatner impression (with a little Bogart thrown in). Everything else was fine, and for the first
Her character offers nothing to the show, she doesn't appear to be progressing physically, and WHERE'S HER FREAKING MACE??? I'm also just about done with Miller's over-acting. Sometimes it's funny in a comic-y sort of way, but last night it was just bad. In just normal sentences he'd pause, then over-emphasize words, then add a growl for no particular reason. It was almost like a bad William Shatner impression (with a little Bogart thrown in). Everything else was fine, and for the first time I actually liked Jax. They did a nice job of him tolerating the situation in 1950's America, without becoming a doormat in the process. I think Ray is coming along a little too, although I wish they'd play him more as a distracted, distant scientist. Playing Palmer as a goofy do-gooder worked on Arrow, but it feels odd in this setting.
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11:51AM on 03/11/2016
If the next episode doesnt have Kendra, Ray, and Sara receiving a very old letter delivered by a very confused Western Union employee, I'll be very disappointed. ;)
If the next episode doesnt have Kendra, Ray, and Sara receiving a very old letter delivered by a very confused Western Union employee, I'll be very disappointed. ;)
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+2
7:55AM on 03/11/2016

Cronos

Does anyone else think Cronos could turn out to be Rory?
Does anyone else think Cronos could turn out to be Rory?
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11:51AM on 03/11/2016
I like that
I like that
1:50PM on 03/11/2016
I agree with Cypher_au. Good call!
I agree with Cypher_au. Good call!
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