The Legends attempted to best Genghis Khan in 1990s Hong Kong, but did the latest episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow prove to be a victory or fatality for the show?
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has been enjoying a solid string of success over the past couple of episodes that would certainly put you in mind of its glory days. Yes, the Arrowverse series has delivered a number of genuinely brilliant offerings as the Legends battled Encores – evil souls that had been returned from Hell by Astra – and attempted to repair damage that had been done to the timeline in the process.
While the Encores usually resurfaced in their own time period, this week’s installment saw Genghis Khan rise in 1990s Hong Kong and attempt to conquer in modern times, and with Sara Lance still of on business in Star City, it was up to Ava Sharpe and the rest of the Legends to take him down in the Caity Lotz-directed “Mortal Khanbat”.
The idea of Genghis Khan coming back to life and attempting to continue his conquest in 1997 Hong Kong actually sounds like the plot of a solid action movie, so it was only fitting that Legends adopted a tone perfectly in-line with what you’d expect from ’90s action flicks.
Turns out that poor old Genghis was resurrected over 700 years ago, but his impenetrable tomb meant that he had to spend all seven centuries digging his way out of it, so naturally, it was time to remind the world who he was by kick-starting a new empire that would span the globe.
Being Legends, however, things got pretty wacky pretty quick, and he ended up equipping his fleet of warriors with armed scooters (or “Scoots McGoots” as Nate referred to his as), and it made for some absolutely hilarious shots.
A solid action-centric core with some great visuals, Genghis Khan’s resurrection made for another enjoyably freaky showdown with an ancient figure that also served as a strong backdrop to some of the episode’s more meaningful moments.
Tension in time Looms large
One of the unexpected storylines of the episode came when it was revealed that Charlie and Behrad clearly had a history; with the former friends having slept together before the shape-shifter left the Waverider without saying goodbye.
This lent itself nicely to the episode, as it helped drive the Genghis Khan story forward while also allowing for some great moments between the pair. However, it also directly related to the other overarching storyline – you know, the one revolving around the Loom of Fate.
Turns out that Charlie is actually one of the three ancient sisters who spun the Loom in order to decide fate itself, but she destroyed it and scattered the pieces across the multiverse in order to prevent anyone from ever writing people’s fates again. However, as the events of Crisis On Infinite Earths brought the original multiverse together, the pieces of the Loom are now on the one plane of existence and thus, Charlie has become a target for her sisters – who are out to kill her.
While it was a little convenient that we only got to see Charlie suffering from the side-effects in this episode, there’s no denying that it added a great deal of depth to the character’s backstory. And it’s an innovative way of highlighting how the Crisis continues to affect those on Earth-Prime.
Moreover, the Behrad and Charlie romance is already one of the most authentic on the show, as both the subtle writing and the chemistry between actors Shayan Sobhian and Maisie Richardson-Sellers is palpable, and it gives Charlie another emotional layer in what is shaping up to be a great season for her.
He’s Still Standing
John Constantine’s deathly experience also played heavily into this episode, as the Master Of The Dark Arts struggled with the fact that his supernaturally-advanced lung cancer was set to take him in a matter of hours. Ever the defiant warrior, he found unique ways to travel to Purgatory in order to appeal to Astra, telling her that he could save her mother. And in the end, that was enough to force her to reverse the effects and save him from imminent death… for now.
This whole storyline was so Constantine, as the infuriating warlock refused to go quietly and turned on his friends all in a bid to cheat death and push everyone away when he couldn’t. And it gave way to some genuinely heartwarming (and tear-jerking) scenes when he decided to spend some quality time with the two people who desperately tried to save him: Ray and Gary.
What’s most interesting here though is how the writers have carefully managed to intertwine the show’s overarching narratives as two of them now directly conflict with each other. Yes, Constantine’s promise to Astra involves finding the Loom of Fate – something that Charlie can’t afford to have found if she wants to remain alive. And, just like that, the plot thickens…
- It seems appropriate that the White Canary herself, Caity Lotz, directed such an action-centric episode, and what a fantastic job she did!
- It’s safe to say that Legends of Tomorrow‘s fifth season has produced another cracker of an episode.
- It’s okay Ava, we love The Prognosticator!
- Ray’s revelation of his intentions propose to Nora was so pure and heartfelt. It’s what they deserve.
- Speaking of which, the lack of Nora is becoming increasingly obvious… and frustrating.
- That said, it was great to see Marie Antoinette resurface on the Waverider as she listened to Behrad and Charlie’s intimate conversations. Historical figures’ involvement in modern conversations are one of the most reliable sources of comic relief, and after Courtney Ford’s hilarious performance last week, this came as a pleasant surprise.
- I wonder if the writers pitched this one as “Genghis Khan returns from the dead and rides a scooter down Hong Kong”.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will return to The CW on Tuesday, Mar. 10, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Did you enjoy this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below!