Legends Of Tomorrow S01E08 “Night Of The Hawk” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on: Sky1, Thursdays, 8PM
Writers: Sarah Nicole Jones, Cortney Norris
Director: Joe Dante
Essential Plot Points:
- Rip and the Legends land in Oregon in 1958 where a small town has been subject to multiple murders that are possibly being perpetrated by a serial killer. The murders are apparently connected to Savage.
- Ray and Kendra go undercover as a married couple moving into a racist suburban neighbourhood. Stein poses as a doctor and Sara a nurse in a mental institution while Rip and Leonard pose as detectives, all for the sake of getting more information on the murders. All of the investigations are made more difficult due to the archaic social beliefs of many townsfolk regarding race, gender and sexuality.
- Sara strikes up a flirtation relationship with a nurse at the hospital and finds out that Savage works there using the name Curtis Knox.
- Ray and Kendra also learn that Savage is married and living in the same suburb as them. Savage pretends not to know them when he and his wife visit to invite them to an upcoming soiree.
- Jax forms a friendship with a local cheerleader named Betty Sivas who was the lone survivor of an attack in which other local youths went missing. Some of her peers are hostile towards them chatting because of Jax’s race.
- When hanging out together, they are attacked by humanoid-bird creatures that Savage had created using an Nth metal meteorite that is similar to the one that created Kendra’s and Carter’s Hawk powers.
- Jax is knocked out and kidnapped by the local sheriff when he is pulled over trying to take the wounded Betty to the hospital.
- Kendra and Ray steal Savage’s dagger but Savage determines what has happened when Kendra tries to sneak an attack on him.
- Ray is also in the mental hospital posing as a patient. Unfortunately, Savage releases all his test subjects including Jax who has been infected with the Nth mental and transformed into one of the winged creatures.
- Kendra and Savage fight and she almost dies but Ray arrives in time to save her. Sara fights off a creature before it can kill the nurse she was involved with.
- The other team members are able to get Jax back on the ship where Gideon creates a serum to cure Jax and all of Savage’s other victims.
- Sara says goodbye to her nurse friend and Jax says goodbye to Betty who is reunited with her cured boyfriend.
- Ray and Kendra make their preparations to leave the ’50s and reaffirm their romantic relationship.
- The Legends on board the Waverider are attacked by Chronos. Chronos boards the ship and forces the team to leave without Ray, Sara, and Kendra who remain trapped in 1958.
This episode executes a refreshingly honest depiction of time travel. It doesn’t shy away from the fact that anyone who isn’t a heterosexual white male would encounter a great deal of conflict the further back they travel. From racism to homophobia and even a bit of sexism, the writers pack in a considerable amount of commentary on top of multiple plot developments.
Savage’s villainous ways were made all the more apparent in his disregard for human life by performing experiments on them. With all the darkness surrounding Sara’s plot, particularly after her resurrection triggered an insatiable bloodlust, it was refreshing to see her have a brighter story where she had a romantic attraction to another nurse at the mental hospital.
Though there aren’t as many large-scale action sequences as in some episodes, the episode demonstrated that the show’s stunt coordinators can create exciting fight scenes even in more small scale situations.
- With the town lacking in socially enlightened residents, extra conflicts arose for tha main characters who are from social minorities. Kendra, Jax and Sara all got to show tremendous resilience, coming from the strong performances a high quality of writing.
- The scene in which Jax and Betty are attacked by the winged creatures was an enjoyable homage to the old-fashioned horror films in which high school students are attacked by monsters.
- The romance between Ray and Kendra is starting to find its footing despite its somewhat abrupt beginning. Now that they are trapped in 1958, this struggle may bring them even closer together.
- It’s also a testament to the writers that they were informed enough to include a scen in which Jax and Sara chide Stein for his romanticising the ’50s. He is very much the embodiment of privilege while Jax and Sara are less able to cohesively fit in that era.
- An inevitable byproduct of plots involving socially ignorant characters is a bit of discomfort for viewers, particularly when it’s the heroes on the receiving end of racism, sexism, etc. But thankfully the writers aren’t so heavy-handed with the inclusion of bigotry, or else it could have been distracting from the more significant plot points at hand.
- At this point, it is clear that not every episode will showcase every lead character to the same degree. In this episode, Leonard Snart had very little screen time. But now that more episodes have aired, it appears the writers are juggling who gets to be in the spotlight quite well and most of the characters are developing. This bodes well for the show’s continued run, particularly since it has been renewed for a second season.
- This is the first episode of the season that is entirely written by female writers and perhaps not so coincidentally, it is the issue that has the most social commentary. Though it’s not fair to generalise that only social minorities are capable of including social commentary in their work, it does support the argument in favour of greater inclusion and representation.
- Director Joe Dante is a bit of a coup. He’s know for such big screen fantasy as Innerspace, Small Soldiers, Matinee and, of course, Gremlins.
Reviewed by Jenevia Kagawa Darcy