A Closer Look: Legends Of Tomorrow – “The Justice Society Of America”

It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for… well, maybe… ok I’ve been waiting for it! It’s the moment two super teams face off in combat. Sure we’ve seen super powered battles and epic tag teams; but we’ve yet to see two actual full Superhero teams go head to head and it happened this week when the Legends went face to face with The Justice Society of America. So who won? What happened? And where are we going next?

Let’s find out in this Closer Look at this week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow aptly titled “The Justice Society Of America”.

Legends Of Tomorrow Justice Society Of America Closer Look Analysis.png

Heroes & Legends – The Justice Society Of America:

It was – potentially – Round 1 of the Legends vs Justice Society and… it was pretty one sided. Whereas the Legends usually operate pretty well making it up as they go along, the Justice Society put them all to shame. Though it wasn’t just their powers, but their flawless teamwork that proved the real ace. So where does this leave the Legends?

Well what this episode showed more than anything else is that what they lack in strength and teamwork, the Legends have heart. Ray Palmer – the usual over the top do-gooder – actually found his stride tonight and came across as the all American hero that can find himself in a dire situation, but still make it out with a plan. He made the tough calls and put principals and the wellbeing of others above all else, and it worked out!

Elsewhere on the team we saw a struggle for leadership in the power vacuum left by Rip Hunter’s departure. The Legends might see Martin Stein as the elder leader of wisdom, but does he see himself as one? Initially he did, but under the pressure of the situation he quickly learned that someone who deals in theories isn’t suited to making the hard calls. Sara on the other hand is a born – or rather trained – leader at making calls such as these. She made them on Lian Yu and in Starling City and she’ll continue to make them. Even the episode format itself foreshadowed this change in leadership as it was Sara who set up the episode rather than Rip Hunter.

An Entirely Different Concept Of Time – Reverse Flash’s Expanding Role:

Last week we discovered that Eobard Thawne was the man – in the yellow suit – pulling the strings behind the Nazis’ and Darhk’s plan to build a nuke. This week it appears things are much more complicated as we once again found Thawne interacting with the Nazi’s as well as returning to his Yellow Friction-resistant duds. As of the moment, we have no clue why Thawne is arming people through time with future tech and serums or why he came back to steal the amulet. In fact, right now we don’t even know if this is the same instance of Thawne.

As Thawne told Baron Krieger towards the start of the episode, he has “an entirely different concept of time” and this episode’s final scene shows it. As Thawne confronts Rex Tyler, we learn that whereas Rex has yet to meet Thawne they’ve fought – or would have fought – quiet a bit in the future. It was Tyler who discovered Thawne’s big plan and traveled forward in time to warn the Legends before he disappeared. Why did he disappear? Because that time line will no longer take place, Tyler will no longer discover Thawne’s plan and the two will never have heated battles because the Reverse Flash traveled back in time to this moment to erase him from existence and stop the rest of his message to the Legends.

So if this is true, then the Thawne currently coming up with all these plans is one instance and the Thawne that just came back and killed Tyler is another instance from the future who’s already seen the end of his plans. Where does one instance start? Where does one end? Could both of our theories from last week hold true and these two instances are respectively Pre-Season 1 Thawne and Post-Flashpoint Thawne? The answer is… wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff. Time travel is hard enough to figure out with The Flash, but with a time travel show such as Legends it’s near to impossible. So until we get bigger temporal explanations – if ever – let’s just chalk instances such as these up to the famous Doctor Who explanation: “wibbly wobbly… timey wimey… stuff”.

The Justice Society of America

Legends Of The Episode – Easter Eggs, Quotes & Other Notables:

  • Favorite Quotes:
    • “Aww, haircut’s in love” – Rory
    • “You mean hot” – Rory’s response to Palmer’s ‘she looks different’ comment about Vixen
    • “Why did you get to punch him” – Jax to Palmer punching the Nazi
    • “A 5th degree black belt with training in weapons combat” – Vixen dropping the mic and earning her spot as a universe filled with badass women.
  • Let’s take a moment to acknowledge Victor Garber’s amazing rendition of “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music.
  • In case you were wondering, the team roster for the Justice Society of America is…was: Hourman (Rex Tyler), Obsidian, Stargirl, Commander Steel, Vixen, and Dr. Mid-Nite.
  • I know different universes, but having the WWII Super Soldier serum be blue was very reminiscent of Captain America’s Super Soldier serum – if not an actually intended direct reference.
  • Potential Continuity Problem: Thawne gave Krieger a single dose of super soldier serum. So after he turned back to normal, how does he still have enough for a second dose? Did he not give himself a full dose the first time?
  • This episode had a hilarious recurring theme of “people celebrating too early”. Ray and Vixen escape and chat… before getting caught AGAIN by Nazis. Commander Steel and Nate stop the motorcycle and look at their victory… before being hit by a bomb.
  • Commander Steel told Nate that he doesn’t have to be a soldier to be a hero, and we saw that this episode when Nate came to Steel’s rescue on motorcycle; but it won’t end there. Now that Nate’s been restored thanks to Ray’s enhanced serum, he will become a new hero – and he’ll take a page from his grandfather’s book. This new heroes name will be Citizen Steel – not a soldier, but still a hero. But we’ll talk more about him when he and his powers finally make their debut.

So what’s next for the Legends and the Justice Society? Will they see each other again? Will Vixen and the other Justice Society members take Tyler’s final words of “Time Traveler” to mean one of the Legends is to blame? Will Dr Nate Heywood powers manifest and make him Citizen Steel?

We’ll get the answer to at least one of these questions next week. So stay tuned to The CW and here for more Legendary action and analyses!

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