Tuesday, November 7, 2017

"Return Of The Mack" Restores Damien Darhk To Legends Of Tomorrow!

The Good: Good performances, Decent special effects, Moments of character.
The Bad: Simplistic plot, Repetitive character elements for the villain and Tomaz.
The Basics: "Return Of The Mack" causes tension within the Legends Of Tomorrow as Rip Hunter returns on a one-man quest to stop the new Big Bad.

One of the cool things about Legends Of Tomorrow is that the show can be pretty much anything it wants within the DC Television Universe. The freedom to go anywhere in time and introduce any adversary the producers want makes for an enjoyable concept for the show. With "Return Of The Mack," the writers and producers decided to introduce a vampire into the Legends Of Tomorrow narrative. Given that immortals, speedsters and aliens have already appeared on Legends Of Tomorrow, it might seem unsurprising that a vampire is the new enemy for an episode. Fortunately, the episode treads toward rational with a less-supernatural villain than traditional vampires.

"Phone Home" (reviewed here!) led into "Return Of The Mack" with Dr. Stein stealing the Waverider in order to attend the birth of his first grandchild and Zari beginning to bond with Ray Palmer. Jefferson Jackson wants to split up Firestorm in order to give Dr. Stein his freedom to spend time with his family. "Return Of The Mack" quickly diverges from the prior episode by reuniting Rip Hunter with the Waverider crew.

In London, 1895, Rip Hunter follows a woman who is afraid of him, but leads him to a corpse who appears to have been killed by a vampire. Ray Palmer severs the psychic link between Jax and Stein right before Dr. Heywood reveals he has discovered the pattern to the time anachronisms created by the Legends breaking time. There are, however, two outliers in his map: the Seattle incident where Zari was hunted by a bounty hunter and 1895 London. The Waverider crew goes to London where they discover the local coroner has a PalmerTech watch from the future, which he stole off the corpse of a "vampire."

Rip Hunter offers the Legends a deal; he will call off the Time Bureau in exchange for the Legends helping him stop the vampires and draw out their master, Malus. Using Dr. Heywood as bait, the Legends learn that one of Stein's ancestors is part of the secret society that is obsessed with the occult. When Damien Darhk pops up in London, Rip Hunter becomes convinced that he is integral to Malus's sinister plan. When Hunter turns on the Waverider crew, Tomaz is the only member of the crew off the ship and it falls to her to stop Malus's attempt to resurrect Damien Darhk.

"Return Of The Mack" has the comparatively joyless return of Rip Hunter and he annoyingly plays Sherlock Holmes throughout much of his time in old London. Peppered more conservatively throughout "Return Of The Mack" is Zari Tomaz's story. Tomaz wants to return to a year before she was rescued by the Waverider crew to save the life of her brother. Tomaz presents a rational argument, but it is familiar to fans of Legends Of Tomorrow is Captain Lance went through the same thing with her sister.

Rip Hunter finally makes the purpose of the third season explicit in "Return Of The Mack." Hunter describes Malus, an ancient evil, who appears to be altering time through outlier incidents that will allow him to build an army. Malus, apparently, is much like Eobard Thawne, traveling through time to recruit his team. The fact that Damien Darhk comes back into play in Legends Of Tomorrow makes the insinuated villain feel very derivative.

Victor Garber is given the fun chance to perform dual roles in "Return Of The Mack" and it is almost a shame that the character of Henry Stein is not fleshed out more. Despite that, it is fun to see him play a tangential role to his more familiar Dr. Stein.

The totems that Jiwe and Tomaz are given more powers in "Return Of The Mack," but their nature continues to defy a scientific explanation. Similarly, Captain Lance's wonderful new low-cut costume seems to defy the conventions of protecting one's body (it's not exactly sensible armor, no matter how wonderful it is to see Caity Lotz!). Despite that, "Return Of The Mack" does a good job of finally introducing the main villain of the third season of Legends Of Tomorrow, albeit in a fairly simple way.

For other works with Courtney Ford, please visit my reviews of:
True Blood
Parenthood - Season 3


For other television and movie reviews, please visit my Movie Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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