Episode Title: Night Of The Hawk
Starring: Victor Garber, Brandon Routh, Arthur Darrell, Caity Lotz, Franz Drameh, Ciara Renée, Amy Pemberton, Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller
Writers: Sarah Nicole Jones, Cortney Norris
Director: Joe Dante
Duration: 42 minutes
The team goes on yet another mission to get Savage,this time in the 50’s, with a plot lifted from the classic B monster movies of the era.
(*possible spoilers follow*)
Night of the Hawk was the most unusual episode of the series yet. It had two subplots along with the main story, but because of how the stories were balanced, and the time and focus it spent on them, it was questionable at times which was which. There was no solid information forthcoming about the fate of Rory at the hands of Snart, but Jax kept bringing the subject up, because he was upset no one seemed interested in talking about their missing former teammate.
The team is once again hot on the trail of Vandal Savage, who hasn’t appeared on the show for the last two episodes. Taking place in the 50’s, the story, instead of waxing nostalgic about the era, actually embraces discussing the shortcomings, and unpleasantness of the era that some marginalized individuals might have experienced.
When Stein starts to romanticize about what a great time it was in the presence of Sara, and Jax, they remind him it was only idyllic if you happened to be white, male and straight. The show then proceeds to portray some of the racism, prejudices, and sexual chauvinism that were common at the time. This was not as brave a move as it might seem. It handled both subjects with kid gloves and only touched on how unpleasant it was for some in broad strokes. In the case of racism it did not even come close to the brutal reality of the period, the name calling, violence and even killing that took place.
One of the subplots focuses on Sara, who gets involved with a nurse who is obviously close to coming out as a lesbian, but its Sara herself that suddenly pulls back from going as far as she could because she suddenly feels weird about it emotionally. The point of this being, I suppose, that she is starting to feel things again. On another emotional front, Palmer and Kendra have their first squabble since the beginning of their new romantic relationship, and then make up. An event hardly worth portraying in terms of being an interesting development in the show.
The small town of Harmony Falls, where the story takes place, is the scene of some mysterious activity in the form of some murders and some missing teens. These teens are depicted racing their hot rods on a local back road when one suddenly gets a flat, the location where the crashes also happens to be the location of a meteorite with oddly glowing blue veins. They are not alone, Savage happens to be there to investigate at the same time.
This is where the story goes off into 50’s science fiction movie land when it turns out the space rock has transmutagenic properties that Savage is extracting from it, and experimenting with on the three teen age boys he subsequently kidnaps from the scene, turning them into homicidal bird boys who begin terrorizing the area with bloody attacks, like some science fiction harpies, and killing people. This storyline may have been an intentional attempt at a nostalgic tribute to movies of the 50’s it seemed to be inspired by.
The team splits up with Sara and Stein posing as a doctor and nurse at the local hospital. Kendra and Palmer pose as a married interracial couple who buy a home, while Hunter and Snart pose as FBI agents to see what they can learn from the local authorities. Jax is assigned the mission of getting to know a local teen girl, who was the girlfriend of one of the missing teens.
The bird boys are almost laughable in their appearance, and strongly reminiscent of low budget movie monsters of the era. The girl Jax is assigned to seems upset abut her missing boyfriend at first, but as soon as they are alone she displays interest in getting busy with Jax who she just met. Jax actually has to ask her to slow things down.
They are attacked by the bird boys and the girl is injured. When they head for the Waverider to get her fixed up, they are pulled over by the police chief, who it turns out is involved, and works for Savage. He knocks out Jax and hands him over to Savage. Savage uses his meteor juice on him and turns him into another bird boy.
Palmer and Kendra have just moved into their home when they are paid a visit by some neighbors who welcome them to the neighborhood.It is none other than Savage and a woman who identifies herself as his wife. He is posing as a doctor at the local hospital where he is engaged in his fantastic experimentation in a section of the place that is off limits for most of the staff called Hall H. Savage acts as if he doesn’t recognize the pair of time traveling heroes.
Palmer and Kendra decide to take a better look at the home of savage which Palmer does as the Atom, where he finds the ceremonial knife that is the only way to kill the immortal villain. Later when she arranges to be alone with Savage, and plans to kill him, things go badly, and she barely escapes with her life when Savage reveals he knew all along what she was planning. Duh. Why these guys would ever fall for such an obvious ruse is beyond me.
Meanwhile Snart and Stein are confronted by the bird boys in the almost comically dark hospital wing where they are kept, including Jax who is now completely transformed. When they are attacked Snart stops the them cold. They rescue Jax who they take back to the ship where Stein has some miraculous genetic stuff that fixes him right up and returns him to normal.
Just when you think the episode has a happy ending, The gang is attacked again by Chronos who enters the ship. He takes control of the Waverider. The ship is shown taking off just as Sara, Kendra, and Palmer are returning, stranding them in the 50’s.
This episode seemed a bit scattered in its focus, it was only slightly engaging, and was not as good as the episode that aired last week. There was some character development but mostly it seemed to wander between the three stories it told without much in the way of a payoff as a result. I really expected more from this show. Still waiting on that episode that makes me go wow. Legends of Tomorrow is taking a brief break and does not return with new episodes until the end of the month. See you then, fingers crossed it will improve.