The Legends lost a friend just a couple weeks ago and literal Greek gods are hot on their tails trying to keep them from reassembling the Loom of Fate. Tensions run high, so it makes sense that the Legends would be at each others’ throats, right? Hell no. The Time Idiots have each others’ backs. Spoilers follow for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Season 5, Episode 11, “Ship Broken.”
Some of the pun-tastic titles that the Legends writers come up with are so, so good. I love “Ship Broken.” This week the Legends are in a classic Cowboy Bebop situation with not only a kid on board, but a dog, too. Mick Rory, in an attempt to keep her attention and prove that he’s a worthwhile part of her life, has brought his daughter Lita on board. She Gary, still freaked out from going to literal Hell, has adopted an emotional-support dog who, as the title suggests, doesn’t know when to do its business and when not to. And then the ship breaks.
This isn’t the deepest episode of Legends of Tomorrow ever or even this season, but it has so much of what I like about the show. Despite taking place almost entirely within the walls of the Waverider, the show has action, character development, and genuinely great comedic performances.
All relevant parties are present
This is supposed to be the team’s big week. They’ve assembled all three pieces of the Loom of Fate. Zari wants her brother back, and Astra wants John to make good on his promise to bring her mother back to her. The team argues about who should be saved first; Zari and Astra both have compelling arguments. When they finally decide who to help, Charlie lights up the loom, and there’s a genuinely cool especial effect as the loom unfurls a floating golden scarf. But Charlie is out of practice, and fate is complicated. This first attempt goes wrong, and the ship loses all power. Ship: broken.
Meanwhile, Sara is still in a coma, at least until Ava politely asks her to wake up and sets her hand on her wrist. Sara fell comatose after her visions last week, and that’s what wakes her up–another vision. To make things worse, Sara is blind as a bat. In so far as her eyes aren’t working but she can still hear and has a good feel for her surroundings. But each person she touches sends another frightening vision to her mind of death and destruction. Each is more over-the-top violent than the last.
Caity Lotz has grown into her role
Of course, Sara isn’t telling anyone about this, and that lays the groundwork for some of my favorite moments throughout the episode. When Gary tries to give Sara his dog–Gary Jr.–she sees just a few seconds into the future, of the dog telling her to kill Gary and her doing it. Only Legends would make this Wishbone-lookin’ little pup the villain of the week. Sara tries to tell everyone, saying that “I had a vision that I killed Gary and then in real-time I saved him and the fact that he is alive right now proves that I am not lying!”
Caity Lotz joined Arrow as the Canary years ago, and she was good at stunts and the serious tone of Arrow seemed to fit her well. Years later, though, she’s become the grounding feature of Legends, and developed great chops as both a comedic and dramatic actor. There are a lot of times in the Arrowverse when attempts to be funny fall flat. They’re almost never on Legends. Some of that has to be the writers, but it helps that they have a cast with actors like Lotz and, until recently, Brandon Routh, to deliver their absurd, perfect lines.
Another great moment comes when Sara, still blinded, is with John when the Hellhound attacks. She’s a trained assassin; just like Batman and the Green Arrow, she can blind-fight, and so when the dog attacks, she does a flip-kick that sends the hellhound reeling. Despite this episode seeming like a bit of a bottle episode, it’s not strapped for action.
Throughout this, everyone suspects Astra. She was a malevolent power-broker in Hell doing her level best to kill John Constantine, so it’s hard to blame them. But Astra has a lot in common with Zari, and Zari sees it. Both are women who are powerful in their own ways and they see in each other the way that that they’re both often underestimated and distrusted. Their uneasy alliance feels like an organic move for both characters.
Another organic move comes from Mick’s time with his daughter, Lita. Mick has no idea how to be a dad, but it’s clear that he wants to now that it’s happened. I never thought that seeing Mick interact with his daughter would feel so natural and resonate so well, but it does. Mick struggles with trying to show his daughter that his work has some value (and that he’s cool), but he also doesn’t want to look so cool that a life of crime sounds appealing. He seems resigned to his life, but wants better for his kid. The Mick Rory that joined the crew with Leonard Snart in season 1 wouldn’t have thought that, but the one that lost his best friend, who reluctantly made friends with the rest of the Waverider crew, and who became a successful author–he’s capable of it.
As this episode ends, I’m excited to see where the show is going with Sara. The writers have done a great job of giving her ways to grow and change. She got microwaved by a god a couple weeks ago, though, and I’m glad that that’s having some kind of effect on her.
The other thing I’m curious about is Zari’s future. When Atropos killed Behrad, she said that he doesn’t belong. She knows he’s not supposed to be there. So what’s to become of social media giant Zari? I like to hope there’s some future where the Zari we end up with is sort of a merging of the two Zaris. I miss the original Zari, but this Zari is equally interesting.