By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
* Spoiler Alert
Plenty of fun and character development can be found with “Compromised.” This week’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow shows the series works better when further developing the season’s story arc than making one-offs. When considering that The CW has ordered an additional four episodes, the board of writers have extra room to make the finale go out with a bang. Let’s hope an increase in budget will help. Teases about the mega crossover event suggests a lot of cash is being invested in cutting edge computer animation technology to bring to life space age wonders, but which show will see the most improvement?
This series sees more space-faring action than the other three (Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl) and as for guest stars, who else might make an appearance? The appearance of Lance Henriksen as the older Obsidian is welcoming and Dean Cain is slated to be in Supergirl. This week’s episode lays the tribute thick with more Back to the Future time-travel science and 80’s style wardrobe (Miami Vice) to boot. But in a politically charged Reagan era, I’m surprised there was no deeper look into the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), aka Star Wars, program. The narrative is certainly making allusions to it.
Damien Darhk is back and the conspiracies he’s involved in is Illuminati level. He’s plotting with the Russians to secure warheads and bomb an important state dinner. The team do all they can to prevent the world going to hell in a hand basket, but there is more going on which will eventually get revealed in later episodes. No pun intended, but this episode is venturing into dark territory (ala Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy) when Sara thinks only she alone can defeat Damien. Her showdown with him is the highlight of the season.
Before, the series has been light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek. It never takes itself seriously and to see this episode switch it up shows that messing with people’s minds can be dangerous. Will Damien change now that he knows his future? The paradoxes will create more aberrations that, this time, the Legends team may not necessarily go out of their way to fix.
Just when I thought the CW’s The Flash “Flashpoint Paradox” went by too quick in its condensed version of the comic book storyline, the Legends version is more detailed in showing how messing with an individual’s future — not just Darhk’s — can be a messy affair. Martin Stein originally wanted to avoid interacting with his younger self in this episode. Unfortunately, circumstances beyond his control see him needing to set his younger and obnoxious self into place. As for how that will affect his own growth suggests we, as an audience, see him hardly change at all. As Rip explained, some changes do not happen immediately. While attacks to the physical being are immediate (when young Stein was stabbed), I’m wondering if the psychological has altered who Stein is in the present.
Has the in-between years affected his personality so the version we see (in the present tense) is a kinder man? Darhk is also affected. However, he’s now out to alter his destiny. Just what lies in store for both hero and villain, only future episodes can tell.