Legends of Tomorrow Brings Captain Cold to the Cold War

first_img We’re going back to the 1980s again, because who doesn’t love pastel shirts, shoulder pads, and the Cold War? We start off with a little bit of Miami Vice in 1987, where a coke deal is going down. Not for money, though. The seller is Damien Darhk, who is selling the drugs for an ancient Roman axe. The police arrive and arrest everyone, but Darhk shoots all of them with the help of Eobard Thawne, who offers to help him gain true power, not just a symbol of itOn the Waverider, Martin and Jax are arguing over whether they can change history for the better rather than simply cleaning things up after bad guys ruin it. Mick is training Ray on how to use the ice gun and how to work effectively as his partner. And Nate is working on a way to detect anomalies before they happen. Sarah gets a signal that something has gone wrong in 1981, the day before Reagan signs the INF treaty with the Soviet Union to reduce nuclear arsenals.Nate and Amaya visit the JSA’s secret training facility only to find it completely empty. Amaya wonders what’s happened in the years since she left when they are met by Obsidian, who asks Amaya why she abandoned them. Obsidian reveals that after World War II, the relationship between the United States and Russia went bad. The JSA was sent out on a final mission in 1956, from which they never returned. Obsidian is still alive because the rest of the team didn’t trust him enough to go.Ray (Brandon Routh) and Mick (Dominic Purcell) team up. (Photo: Screenshot via CW)The rest of the team goes to the White House to figure out exactly what’s going on. Ray is still learning how not to follow the rules as part of transitioning into the Captain Cold role. He gleefully steels jelly beans from Reagan’s jar. Martin sees his past self also working in the White House. The team comes across Darhk, who is an advisor to Reagan promising to convince the Russians to completely disarm. Sarah attacks Darhk to get revenge for her sister’s death, and the team is fired upon by the secret service. Mick and Ray fire back, but Ray crosses his cold stream with Mick’s fire. They’re knocked back by the blast, but Firestorm saves them from the secret service’s bullets.The team escapes and figures out that Dahrk is using the nuclear deal as cover for his own side deal with the KGB. Before they can figure out the exact details though, Martin’s past self confronts Darhk about meeting with a KGB agent. Darhk stabs the younger Martin, causing the older Martin to keel over and start bleeding. Not quite sure that’s how it should work, but hey. Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey stuff.Ray and Mick rush the young Martin to the Waverider for medical treatment, which is enough to save present Martin from dying. The team attends the state dinner to intercept Darhk, leaving young Martin behind to recover. Present Martin takes the opportunity to dance with his wife again and tells her that no matter how much her husband pours himself into work, she’s still the most important part of his life. The sweet moment is cut short when Darhk arrives.Martin (Victor Garber) shares a dance with his wife, Clarissa (Emily Tennant) (Photo: Screenshot via CW)The team follows him to the basement and interrupt his meeting with the KGB. They learn that Darhk has planted a bomb somewhere at the dinner. White Canary, Vixen, Obsidian and Citizen Steel remain downstairs and fight Darhk and the KGB goons. Firestorm, Heat Wave, and Captain Cold-ish evacuate the dinner and find the bomb. Ray says the device is too rudimentary for him to know how to disarm it, and Mick tells him to stop acting like his former partner. “You’re Ray Palmer and you can science your way out of anything.” That seems to be all Ray needed to figure it out, as he dismantles the cold gun and uses its power source to overload the detonator and stop it from going off. You know, science.Downstairs, after a passable action scene in which Obsidian gets shot, White Canary grabs Darhk and says she’s not going to kill him. She basically lays out the plot of Arrow Season Four and tells him he’s going to have to live through all that. Hey, if we all had to, the villain certainly isn’t going to get out of it. Darhk is whisked away by Eobard Thawne, revealing to Canary that the evil time-traveller they’ve been chasing is a speedster.Damien Darhk is now a time-traveler. (Photo: Screenshot via CW)Back on the Waverider, Martin makes sure to tell his younger self to make time for his wife. Obsidian gets patched up and turns down an offer to join the team. He’s settled down with someone and really should get home to him. Mick and Ray settle their differences and agree that Ray should be himself and not try to imitate Leonard Snart. As the episode ends, we see Darhk formally join Thawne. Darhk climbs into a pod and Thawne runs around it, allowing them both to travel through time.After last week’s Civil War zombie fun, this episode feels like a step down. The action was just OK, and the cold war drama has been done on this show before. What made it work were some great character moments. We got to see a little of Mick’s vulnerability as he tried to help Ray find his new superhero identity. And the relationship between Martin, his younger self and his wife was the most engaging subplot of the whole episode. Was it sappy? yes. Did it work? Absolutely. Next week looks to be a bit of a retread too, taking the team back to the old west. Let’s hope they find something new there. 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