NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Legends of Tomorrow” are present in this review
Adopting a claustrophobic, mystery-driven format seemed to work very well for Legends of Tomorrow last week, resulting in one of this season’s strongest episodes to date! It stands to reason then that the show would keep up its new wave of inspiration this week, with, “Ship Broken” once again creating a small-scale, unpredictable hunt for something sinister, only now with an added layer of whodunit storytelling. These events also coincide with Mick finally deciding to bring Lita onto the Waverider, to explain why he’s been absent in her life for the past several years, while attempting to bond with her over his life as a Legend.
Overall, “Ship Broken” is another especially great episode of Legends of Tomorrow, particularly after its storytelling really gets going. It’s the early stretch of this episode that can sometimes be a little bit awkward, since it has to rush through a few red herrings in order to stay within the episode’s allotted runtime. This includes when events this week properly kick off with Sara finally re-awakening from her coma, only to discover that she’s now blind. Whenever Sara touches anyone however, she sees a grisly stabbing death occur, which she attempts to hide from the team… For all of a few minutes. The suspense of Sara keeping her new power to herself is undone very quickly, and that definitely begs the question of why she didn’t just spill what she saw to Ava right off the bat.
Fortunately, past that wasted opportunity, Legends of Tomorrow once again fires on all cylinders, creating a legitimately compelling mystery with a wonderfully off-the-wall resolution. This resolution is made all the better by the unknown quantity of Astra and Lita now being on the Waverider, just in time for active acts of sabotage to eventually occur, timed with an unfortunate, Loom of Fate-induced power outage, which prevents any time travel or diagnostics from Gideon. Yes, it’s another Legends of Tomorrow episode where the titular anti-heroes don’t actually travel anywhere in time this week, instead spending almost the entire episode on the disabled Waverider, trying to figure out why increasingly weird and shady events keep happening.
Originally, the main suspect is Sara, and this makes a lot of sense. Not only is Sara seeing visions of her fellow team members being killed, but she also eventually sees herself in one of them, suggesting that her new powers may be about to spiral out of control. Naturally, Astra is another big suspect, particularly after she’s spurned by an initial effort to use the Loom of Fate, which kicks off all of the Waverider’s power to begin with. Since Charlie decided to try and resurrect Behrad first, only to fail, thus causing the power outage, Astra tries to manipulate Zari into talking the team into attempting to resurrect Astra’s mother next, since her fate thread is not affected by time travel, unlike Behrad’s. This is another smart idea that this episode doesn’t totally utilize to its full potential, but it does nonetheless present the foundation for an interesting budding friendship between Astra and Zari, after Zari attempts to be a little more hospitable to Astra than the rest of the Legends.
As you can imagine however, Astra is a little too obvious of a culprit behind the increasingly sinister events on the Waverider, which include more sabotage to the mechanisms, as well as an attempt at disposing of the Loom Pieces. Astra ultimately being innocent of these crimes creates a good opportunity to show that she’s redeemable and has the opportunity to change, even without the Loom of Fate’s intervention. Not only that, but the true culprit being Gary’s new, “Therapy dog”, which he apparently adopted from Hell, unbeknownst to the Legends, is a legitimately hilarious and surprisingly clever payoff to events. It turns out that the dog, the same dog once owned by infamous serial killer, Son of Sam, apparently, used his powers of manipulation to make all of the Legends separately sabotage the Waverider, and dump the Loom Pieces, without remembering that they did so. Fortunately, since Astra knows the demon dog’s name, Constantine can ultimately deport him back to Hell, before he does any more damage.
Clearly, this makes for quite the eventful first visit to the Waverider for Lita, who continues to keep Mick at arm’s length, despite taking an immediate liking to the rest of the Legends. Eventually however, after Mick tries to utilize Nate, along with the Legends’ stolen artifacts, to try and help Lita study for a history test, Lita suggests going back in time and fixing events, so that the two can get rich. Mick obviously sharply dismisses this idea, but manages to redeem himself to Lita anyway, after helping to keep the demon dog at bay. The end result of all these events is that Mick’s and Lita’s father/daughter relationship sees some improvement, which is a relatable, sweet result. Lita’s still disinclined to do most of Mick’s suggested activities with him, but you can still easily tell that she’s slowly warming up to her criminal father, pun not intended.
Legends of Tomorrow certainly offers a fun misadventure with Son of Sam’s demon dog this week, though where the show goes next at this point is a little bit unclear. Charlie seems to be unable to properly use the Loom of Fate by herself, meaning that Behrad is still dead for now, as is Astra’s mother. At least Astra herself is now shown to have potential to grow beyond her troubled life in Hell however, just as Lita’s relationship with Mick finally begins to see some honest forward movement. Despite serving as a self-contained mystery for the Legends, “Ship Broken” is overall a very entertaining and memorable episode of Legends of Tomorrow, one that once again sidelines time travel for the week, but nonetheless manages to provide compelling new angles to the Legends’ ongoing battles against the denizens of Hell. The team has hit a bit of a wall for now, but the fact that Sara’s blindness can’t be cured by Gideon presents at least one potential addition to the Legends’ agenda. Sara may be a master assassin that doesn’t necessarily need to rely on her eyesight, but the greater question is how her powers may work, and what toll they may ultimately take on Sara and the rest of the Legends.
- Creative early applications for Sara's new powers
- Hilarious and clever payoff with Gary's therapy dog
- Mick finally managing to bond with Lita
- Sara initially hiding her premonitions is pointless