DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has difficulty balancing all the characters and their story arcs most of the time, but when they give them each something to do, they at least start feeling like a cohesive team. This week saw the team, after the return of Rip Hunter to the his right mind, stash the final piece of the spear of destiny and then go on a rescue mission to retrieve it. Not everything worked, but at least “Moonshot” continued its consistency regarding its discussion on knowing one’s future and what that might mean.
Rip finds Commander Steel, aka Henry Heywood, in 1955 and leaves him behind with the spear in 1965, believing that the Legion of Doom wouldn’t be able to find him there. When the Legends return to find him in 1970, he’s working with NASA and has sent the spear of destiny to the moon. The team race to outer space to find it while and at the same time attempt to stop Eobard Thawne from getting his hands on it first.
“Moonshot” grappled with some interesting dilemmas. Forced to live ten years in the future, Henry blames Rip for taking him away from his family and refusing to send him back to the time he left. Nate, having grown up with a father who wasn’t a very good one, really feels for his grandfather and wants nothing more than to help restore him to his proper time. However, Rip is against it, and later, so is Amaya. She still believes the mission comes first and tells Henry that if he were to go back, he could risk creating an aberration and altering the lives of both his son and grandson. The idea of knowing one’s future being a risk is brought up and, at least in this episode, kind of dealt with. Henry ends up sacrificing his life right before he is to meet his son again and keeps Nate’s future intact. It was a sad end, but by killing off his character, the writers didn’t really have to deal with the consequences of the fallout.
However, Amaya, after an angry Nate told her they “don’t have a future,” discovers that she has a daughter and granddaughter. Curious, and understanding that she shouldn’t risk knowing too much about the future lest it change the course of history, asks Gideon to show it to her anyway. Once again, I’ll reiterate that while I’m here for Amaya having a good storyline, I don’t want this to mean that her run on the show will be over soon. That would be very upsetting.
On the other hand, her seeking out what the future holds also poses some great questions. If Amaya were to go back to 1945, would she be creating an aberration, having been out of her original timeline for so long? Does wanting a relationship with Nate change things? Does going back make her a reluctant chess piece in a future that isn’t necessarily set in stone? I know Legends of Tomorrow would never delve into all of these questions in an entirely satisfying way, but I hope they explore some of it.
Elsewhere in the episode, Ray got to spend a decent amount of time with Eobard Thawne while attempting to return to Earth. Ray finally understands that Thawne is after the spear of destiny for one sole purpose: to be alive once more instead of living as a time remnant. The entire spear of destiny storyline, while fascinating and has made a better show out of Legends of Tomorrow, still feels like a plot that belongs on The Flash. After all, Thawne is The Flash’s biggest nemesis. Given the fact that he died in the The Flash’s first season, it would have made more sense to continue this thread on its show of origin and have the scarlet speedster battle him, but I digress.
“Moonshot” strayed a bit from the tight team dynamic, but it did give some food for thought. In the scenes between Ray and Thawne, I wasn’t sure whether or not I was supposed to feel sympathy for Thawne. Regardless, it was fleeting. Rip and Sara kind of talked about the role of captain and where Rip fits in now, but the conversation, out of everything in the episode, didn’t wholeheartedly feel genuine. The action of trying to get the Waverider back to Earth safely was well done and, while “Moonshot” kind of lacked the spark of last week’s episode, there were still a lot of good character moments to keep it entertaining.
Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW and stars Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh, Victor Garber, Franz Drameh, Dominic Purcell, Arthur Darvill, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, and Nick Zano.