“Who are you guys?” asks a new character as they step onto the Waverider for the first time. “We’re idiots,” Mick Rory replies. Whether he knows it or not, this seems to be the anthem for the Legends, the dumbest and best show in the Arrowverse. This week, they’re taking on a Bugsy Seigel-sized ego as the legendary California gangster is back from the dead and utterly fearless. Prepare for spoilers for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow season 5, episode 2, “Miss Me, Kiss Me, Love Me.”
“Miss Me, Kiss Me, Love Me”
When we last left the Legends, they’d just exploded Rasputin using a variant of the Ant-Man v Thanos Theory of Molecular Combat. Nate got a glimpse of Zari, who has been replaced in the current timeline by her brother, Behrad. John disappeared in a burst of hellfire to go give Astra a good talking to about all the nice men she’s decided to send back to earth.
In Hell, which is really just a city that makes Gotham look nice, John finds Astra. Astra makes it clear to John that she’s happy with the work she’s doing. The work the villains are doing benefits her directly, and it would be against her best interests to stop. The timer ends on John’s spell and he ends up back on the Waverider. He doesn’t think there’s any good left in Astra, which is initially refreshing. This is a superhero show, though, even if it’s one about idiots that make mistakes. You know that won’t last.
That new title sequence
But let’s pause for a moment. I don’t think I’ve ever brought up the opening sequences of any of these shows before, but this episode marks the addition of a new opening sequence for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and it’s pretty awesome.
The new opening has a very punk-rock feel to it that fits the Legends perfectly. As the director of their documentary said during the season premiere, the Legends are the Bad News Bears of superhero teams. The new opening sequence feels of a piece with the rest of the tone of the show, and gives it that much more separation from the rest of the Arrowverse. I think Legends fits well into the Arrowverse, and that the parts that help it fit–Sara, Ray, and John especially–balance out all the dumb stuff that the group gets up to. But when the Legends are on their own bullshit, they’re a completely different show from the rest of the Arrowverse.
Time Quake 1947
This week, the team splits up into three groups. After a Timequake hits Los Angeles in 1947, Sara takes John and Ray with her to investigate and puts Mick and Ava on support. Behrad excuses himself to his parents’ birthday party in 2044, and elects Nate to join him.
This sets up storylines that give us something fun for each group.
For Sara, Ray, and John, they discover that gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel has been resurrected and is as unkillable as Rasputin. Sara tries to seduce him which… works quite well, actually. But when they slip out back, Mickey Cohen’s men pump a few Thompson machine gun drums’ worth of bullets into Bugsy. He retaliates by firing a revolver at them that, with just one glowing green bullet, kills all six men. Hell, it seems, is giving out special items.
Ray, meanwhile, ends up playing Good Cop, because he’s the very epitome of a Lawful Good-aligned character. He witnesses firsthand how corrupt the LAPD is as they literally serve him lobster while they “interrogate” him. The real Bugsy Siegel was an incredibly charismatic character; despite being a renowned mobster who formed a real-life organization called Murder, Inc.
Vacation, kind of
Meanwhile, back at the ship, Ava and Mick are of two minds on being put on reserve. For Mick, a lifelong thief and alcohol enthusiast, being left at home is just another way to describe vacation. Ava, however, has been in positions of power since we met her, running the Time Bureau and the like. Now she’s left with nothing to do, and it causes a bit of an existential crisis. She and Mick end up drinking at Bugsy’s bar while Mick tries to talk Ava into embracing her new level of responsibility.
Behrad and Nate end up at Behrad’s parents’ massive house and it’s not long before we find out what’s become of Zari. Because of all the changes to the timeline, of Nate’s Heyworld park introducing the world to magical creatures, because of Zari’s family never being subjected to persecution by A.R.G.U.S., Zari never had to go through the trauma that led her to become a talented hacker and engineer. Instead, in this timeline, she’s a social media influencer who talks to her millions of fans, which she calls her “Z Nation.”
This storyline has the least immediate meat to it, but it’ll grow into something later. Behrad’s actor, Shayan Sobhian, is fun, but he’s no Zari. While characters like Hawkgirl and Mona Wu have come and gone, Zari is one that has felt like a good long-term member of the team. Both the character and her actress, Tala Ashe, have the range to work on the long-term.
Zari senses a weird vibe from Nate, and starts pushing him to spill the beans about what’s going on, suggesting that despite her “influencer” persona, she’s still the same super-smart Zari.
Ray is a cop
The other storylines, meanwhile, are a lot sillier while still keeping in tone with the show. Ray gets himself tricked into being the fall guy by a corrupt cop–classic Ray Palmer. The rest of the team hatches a plan to, with the help of Bugsy’s terrified girlfriend, steal his hellpistol and hole him up in containment while they figure out how to permanently return Bugsy, Rasputin, and the others to hell.
Ava Sharpe, Comedian
Ava, wildly drunk, causes a distraction. This is the highlight of the episode. Ava grabs a mic and pulls off a musical-grade solo act that captures the attention of the entire club. At least, that’s what’s happening in her head. Instead, Mick watches Ava stumbling around on the stage, drunkenly mumbling the tune she thinks she’s belting out. Jes Macallan has had to play a very buttoned-up character; most of her emotion has been relationship stress.
This season, though, gives her a lot more to do. Last week, in an apparently improvised moment, Caity Lotz (Sara) pulled Macallan into an intense kiss. Macallan thought Ava’s response would be to faint and she just drops off camera. It was one of those great moments of visual comedy where the actor gets to play with the frame. This week, she gets to sing like crazy and act like an absolute mess of a person. It took Ava a long time to truly fit in with the Legends, but with all these antics, I feel like she’s finally a true part of the team.
While Bugsy’s girlfriend does get blown up by his mob, the rest of the plan goes pretty well. The team gets Bugsy’s revolver and Bugsy himself. When John drags Bugsy back to hell, he realizes that he does, in fact, think there might still be good in Astra, and he can’t bring himself to shoot Astra, so he uses the last bullet on Bugsy, apparently un-making him.
The last moments of the episode have Zari on the verge of tattling on her brother, and in response he portals her to the Waverider, where she finds out that Mick thinks the team is a bunch of idiots.
I’m going to start making up awards to give to Legends
I love how Legends fearlessly embraces what a complicated show it is and just assumes the audience is along for the ride. It’s like if Quantum Leap was a soap opera acted out entirely by clowns. Legends felt at first like a dumping ground for other characters, but instead is a place where they can grow. The one-note Mick Rory has developed beyond anyone’s expectations into both a hilarious character and one with a vivid inner life as a romance author. Sara is no longer the tortured assassin, but a strong leader with a steady, loving relationship.
John Constantine, once the victim of a cancellation, is a full part of the crew. He plays a great straight-man to the group’s antics. The show tries to stay true to the characters, and Constantine is no exception. He’s an edgy, tortured man who is constantly beating himself up. He’s constantly trying to light up a smoke, but Broadcast Standards & Practices doesn’t jive with on-screen smoking, so the show is constantly conspiring against him. His cigarettes are wet or broken, he’s getting interrupted or having his smokes taken away. He plays is completely straight, and it’s fun to watch.
This crew is made up of characters from four different shows and five seasons of television, and somehow it all works.