Legends Of Tomorrow takes it back to the 80s and the Reagan White House for Compromised...
This review contains spoilers.
Let me get this out of the way. Compromised was another tremendously fun episode of Legends Of Tomorrow. I need to state this up front, because I do have to get something off my chest.
Holy moley, for the love of Grodd, can we please start a GoFundMe or something so that this show can do something about its location work? That Miami Vice opening was brilliant. The music was on point. Damien Darhk dressed like Don Johnson in 1987 with the perfect synth music was a legit laugh, and... there we are on the Vancouver waterfront on what looked like a chilly afternoon.
Legends Of Tomorrow has been so very good this season, and Compromised is no exception, but if you're gonna do this time-travel jaunt to different eras and places, well, you've got to do a little better with things like this. Would it have killed them to scrounge up enough cash for a potted palm tree on the set? For real?
Alright, now that's out of the way, let me get back to Compromised and how much fun it was. Unlike many season one episodes, (and the relatively weak Abominations) this was one of the most perfectly balanced episodes of the show in terms of giving everybody enough to do. I seriously don't know how they're doing it, because this is a quality juggling act.
I'm not sure who the "winner" is in terms of screen time or what have you this week, but I really can't get enough of Mick and Ray right now. I don't know what's more adorable, Mick's earnest attempts to help Ray find himself as a hero again, or Ray's even more earnest desire to channel Snart if he's going to work the cold gun. Yes, the whole "be yourself" thing is as transparent as mountain air, but the jokes it earns us in the process are just too delicious. And speaking of delicious, the jelly beans gag was priceless. The idea that Ray has a list of favourite Presidents at all is just a delightfully nerdy detail. I'll leave his thoughts on where Reagan falls on that list up to you to interpret, but I had a good chuckle.
Of course, Mick's continued lionisation of Snart doesn't bode well for that character's eventual return, does it? We know he's coming back, and something tells me that when he does, he's not going to be terribly interested in flirting with the side of the angels anymore. How Mick will take all that could define the rest of the season, given how large a role they've given him so far.
Bringing the JSA angle back in a big way this week works in the show's favour, too. It's a good reminder of some of its larger mysteries but one that still leaves the episodic nature of this season intact. And Lance Henriksen as Obsidian doesn't hurt, either. There's still a lot to learn about him, and the fact that most of the team vanished mysteriously in 1956 opens the door for a modern day return (and dare I wish... a JSA spinoff?!?).
I'm starting to wonder if my enjoyment of the cast and the tone and the lurking JSA themes is preventing me from being as critical as I should about the individual stories themselves. Compromised was a fairly thin story, which is to be expected when it's busy doing all of this other stuff so well. But at some point, I do wonder if this is going to come back and bite the show later on. Nah, the hell with that, we had the return of Graeme McComb as young Martin Stein, so that's just another point in this episode's favour.
My other question is this: is Damian Darhk really any more compelling a villain than he was on Arrow Season 4, which is to say, not at all? It's fun to see him popping up in different time periods, and the nature of his partnership with Thawne should be interesting to watch unfold, but as someone who was never particularly invested in (or scared of) Darhk on Arrow, I think they might have to do something other than put him in novelty period gear and get a quick chuckle out of us when he pops up. On the other hand, Darhk's fascism crack does prove he was well ahead of his time.
But what Compromised lacks in story it makes up for in buckets with characterisation and style. Sara continues to evolve as the team's leader, Mick and Ray are a blast (as discussed), Maisie Richardson-Sellers' Vixen continues to be the perfect contrast to Nick Zano's Steel and the other quirks involved in a team like this, and Martin and Jax get better and better the more time they spend on screen with each other. I'd love to see if they can keep this up all season long.
Read Mike's review of the previous episode, Abominations, here.
This article was written by Mike Cecchini from Den of Geek and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.