This post contains spoilers for Legends of Tomorrow.
Check out the previous review here.
There’s no denying that Legends of Tomorrow is an extraordinary show, and its best moments are when it relies on its ridiculous cast. Tonight, that meant letting Neal McDonough’s Damien Darhk run wild again. We’ve seen his deep yet hilarious evil at play in Arrow and in past seasons of Legends of Tomorrow, but there was something special about his performance in “No Country for Old Dads”.
Damien Darhk has always been a dangerous monster. Like everyone else who has been resurrected, he came back with a little something extra, but that extra couldn’t have been the bloodlust that he already had in spades. Instead, it was his humor that was amplified. That humor and wit has helped amplify every scene he’s been involved in since debuting on Legends, but it was the introduction of Norah that took the character to next level.
There is no one that Damien won’t beat down who threatens his daughter, and - as it turns out - his past self is included in that. Because it’s an episode of Legends of Tomorrow, things go awry when the team goes on a mission. In this case, that team is Ray Palmer and Norah Darhk making their way to the past to find the man who invented cold fusion. At least he would have, had Damien Darhk assassinated him to save the oil industry. The Darhk’s need the scientist in the current time to use the power of cold fusion to help Ray fix the fire totem. Ray just needs to … help people, I guess?
How far does Ray go to help other people, you ask? Not only does he act as a therapist between the Darhks (who are having a domestic throughout the episode), but he goes so far as to help Damien figure out how he’s tying his binds wrong. The teased romance between Ray and Zari can’t come soon enough, because the boy needs a solid dose of cynicism in his life. That said, we wouldn’t take this fluffy Eagle Scout any other way. He just needs to, you know, not walk right into villains’ traps and then help them hold him captive.
While Ray and Norah are in the past trying to save the scientist, Damien’s having a heart-to-heart with a corpse, and Zari and Amaya are trying their luck at finding Ray on the spirit plane. Since Norah has possession of Amaya’s totem, said plane is teetering on the edge of darkness while Mallus threatens to break free. They were safe while Norah didn’t have control of the totem, but that changes when her life depends on it.
The episode inevitably comes down to Damien vs. Damien while his daughter’s life hangs in the balance. Present Damien is unable to fully fight his past self while he’s working to keep Norah from falling to her death. During the battle, he has a line that sums up why he’s more dangerous now than he’s ever been before. When past Damien asks him why he won’t die, he responds that he has something to fight for. The character has always been protective of his family, and sure, he handed his daughter over to a demon, but there’s no denying that his love has only grown for his daughter now that he can see her as a person and not merely a child.
Mallus might be the looming, ominous entity in the background, but even with his inevitable arrival to this plane, it’s Damien that remains the real threat. Hopefully, Legends of Tomorrow will stay smart and avoid throwing that away with something as predictable as a quick murder of Darhk once he fully takes over Norah.
When it’s all said and done, Ray craftily manages to get the Legends to his location, while also managing to break time. Somehow, this is second fiddle to everything happening. “No Country for Old Dads” takes the time to acknowledge the fracture, but once they have Ray back there’s no mention of what’s happening. Some good news: while saving Ray, Wally also steals the fire totem, and the Legends have the secrets to cold fusion. Some bad news: Mallus is getting closer to taking over Norah, and there’s something shady in Ava’s past that Rip doesn’t want Sara to know. Because Rip Hunter doesn’t know how to learn from mistakes.
Oh, and we close out the episode with Grodd basically wiping out the Time Bureau, because this is Legends of Tomorrow, and things are never not absolutely bonkers.
If you had thoughts on the episode, you know what to do!