Legends of Tomorrow: “The Magnificent Eight” Season 1 Episode 11 Review

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The biggest appeal of Legends of Tomorrow when it premiered was having these wildly different characters introduced on Arrow and Flash come together in varying time periods to fight crime. The bar fight in the ’70s in the pilot remains the best scene of the series thus far. But since then, characters have gotten muddled in backstory and the show has lost a lot of the fun that made it so immediately watchable. “The Magnificent Eight” toys with getting that tone back. In fact, it tries so very hard to do so, but comes up a bit short simply because the mythology built around this show has turned it into a melodrama.

That said, the opening tussle in the saloon had some great moments. With so much having happened since the pilot, it’s hard to swallow Sara and Mick having any sort of fun together, but the music and everything came together for a fun sequence. It also led to the introduction of Jonah Hex, a classic DC hero of the Old West variety. He shares some nasty history with Rip, which is why the esteemed captain refuses to leave the ship. In the meantime, however, Ray becomes sheriff, Stein struggles with whether or not to cure a young boy’s tuberculosis, and Kendra meets someone who recognizes her.

Of these, the Ray sections were the best. Having the boy scout of the group as the sheriff was fun, especially with Snart as his sharpshooter backup. Of course, when the gang of the patron Snart killed in the saloon brawl returns to town, it has to be Rip to stop them. Well, it does because this episode focuses on his arc and not someone else’s. Then some time masters show up out of nowhere and the whole team does battle. It’s weird now to have Mick seeing their conflict as more personal. He’s almost in the same position as Rip now. It doesn’t feel all that necessary, and the road there was truly awful, but it’s still at least interesting and entertaining.

Meanwhile, Kendra and Sara track down the woman only to learn that she’s an older version of Kendra from a past life. While initially interesting, the conversation eventually just ends up being about Kendra’s love life. Speaking as a fan of Hawkgirl from the comics and cartoons, this show has my full permission to just kill or write off this character. Kendra is dreadful to watch in almost all circumstances.

Still, “The Magnificent Eight” had enough Western fun to get by better than some other recent entires. It’s unclear at this point how Legends of Tomorrow could completely right its ship with the complicated character backstories that developed over the season, but maybe they’ll find a way. This episode was at least a step in the right direction. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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