NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Legends of Tomorrow” are present in this review
Legends of Tomorrow seemed to enjoy a large victory at the end of the previous episode for its titular team, though as usual, their good luck doesn’t last. “Land of the Lost” gave the turncoat Rip another chance to wreak havoc among his former team, as he takes control of Gideon, and strands everyone in the Cretaceous Period after a failed attempt to destroy the Waverider.
The fundamental idea behind this episode is very interesting, though after most of the stellar episodes that this season has enjoyed, this one felt like a small step down. It wasn’t a huge step down, as the clever concept in the core plot made for a pretty inspired challenge when it came to trying turn Rip back to the heroes’ side, though the other core idea of the Waverider being stranded has been done before, and done better, which sometimes hurts the episode.
After Rip’s override commands with Gideon are foiled, and Rip himself is subdued, the team wonders how to undo the Legion of Doom’s brain-scrambling on Rip, with Mick eventually bringing up that he was coerced into being Chronos due to ‘Cognitive Invasion’ technology pioneered by the Time Masters. Since the Waverider has the means to employ the same methods, Sara and Jefferson decide to dive into Rip’s mind and figure out the location of the last Spear of Destiny piece hidden with Commander Steel, hopefully saving Rip along the way.
The sequences inside Rip’s mind are the point where this episode became most distinct and exciting. The dark, twisted version of the Waverider inside Rip’s sub-conscious is filled with hostile forces, primarily evil versions of the Legends, who aggressively hunt Sara and Jefferson in an effort to stop them from freeing Rip. Sara is neutralized and winds up in the same psychological imprisonment as Rip in the process, though this allows her to try and convince Rip that he’s trapped in his own mind, and that only he can free himself and everyone else.
Meanwhile, Jefferson meets an incarnated vision of Gideon, now fully portrayed in the flesh by actress, Amy Pemberton. Gideon always stayed with Rip’s mind, apparently waiting for a way to bring Rip back to the good guys, and Jefferson and Sara both present the best chance to do this. After Gideon helps the two break Rip out and move to escape, Rip manages to save them from the evil doppelgangers, and Rip and Gideon share a kiss, before Rip fully returns to the real world. I have to say that the kiss with Gideon is really random and out-of-nowhere, especially considering how desperate Rip was to save his family all least season. Was Rip in love with Gideon all along? That’s really bizarre. Is this something that’s going to be explored later? It just raises a lot of questions.
As for the other storyline, which involves Ray, Nate and Amaya venturing into the outside world to look for a lost Time Delineator in order to fix the ship, it sadly amounts to a lot of missed opportunities to create more danger. Perhaps the show’s CG budget would have been strained by having more dinosaur battles, but all we get is the same angry mother T-Rex that chased Ray back when he was marooned in the same time period at the start of the season. The T-Rex doesn’t even end up being much of a danger either, since Amaya predictably uses her Vixen powers to talk to the animal and get it to stand down. That’s it? Why even worry about it in the first place then?
In actuality, this whole storyline simply existed to get Ray to warn Nate not to pursue a relationship with Amaya that’s too serious. The reference to Ray knowing Amaya’s granddaughter, the usual Mari McCabe version of Vixen, is appreciated, and the obvious dilemma of Nate falling for a woman from a different time period did feel pretty inspired. It was a sobering reminder that, sooner or later, Amaya will have to return to her own time. If she doesn’t, then that affects the existence of her granddaughter, which in turn endangers everyone that Mari ever helped in Detroit as the present-day Vixen. It’s possible that the show might wimp out and just have Nate stay in 1942, and be revealed as Mari’s grandfather, but at least this romantic struggle for Nate has merit, even if he decides to put it off, when Amaya propositions him for sex on the Waverider. I can’t say I blame him for that decision.
Overall though, while this was another fun and fairly satisfying Legends of Tomorrow episode, one that finally brought Rip back to the team at last, it did have a few missed opportunities. There wasn’t any real danger in the Cretaceous Period, and while the trip into Rip’s mind is cool, the implication that he’s been attracted to Gideon for a while is pretty sudden and questionable. Still, “Land of the Lost” provided a solid excuse to bring Rip back to his senses, while also nicely foreshadowing the fate of Commander Steel, who is prepared to go into space in the 1970’s in next week’s episode, not knowing that the supervising doctor is Eobard Thawne! The race for the last piece of the Spear of Destiny is bound to be very exciting next week, and as we approach the Season Two climax, hopefully Legends of Tomorrow can wrap up the season as well as it’s been carrying on for most of it!
- The dive into Rip's mind
- Nate having to confront the implications of his relationship with Amaya
- Rip finally returning to the team in earnest
- What's with Rip and Gideon being in love?
- Not much danger in the Cretaceous Period in the end