‘Legends of Tomorrow’ season 2, episode 4 review: Jax takes center stage; Rory’s new partner

Abominations -On first glance, Thursday night’s new episode of “Legends of Tomorrow” looked as though it would be a fun-but-silly romp that would allow for some opportunities to see the crew of Legends battle some zombified Confederate soldiers created as a result of a time aberration. Ultimately, they did have that opportunity. Yet, at the same time this episode evolved to become so much more than that. It was a story more so about seeing the horrors of humanity first-hand, and how the biggest monstrosities are those crafted by humanity.

Jefferson Jackson received his most prominent story of the season as his journey to a plantation led to him experiencing the horrors of slavery first-hand. This was a time period in which freedom was on the horizon for these people, but there were still vast undercurrents of fear. While he wanted to help them by removing them from the chaos, they were nonetheless fearful about what their former masters would come and do to them. Even in a world that closely resembled an AMC zombie drama, these humans were the source of their fear.

The strongest visual moment in the episode came courtesy of Jax getting to watch the plantation burn within the closing minutes. Seeing the survivors from the plantation make to General Grant, were they were also offered protection and support, also made this crazy journey worthwhile. Through Grant, Sara Lance also received some of her most substantial leadership advice to date. He may not be a superhero, but given what he went through, he may have a few valuable tips to offer in terms of tackling tough situations.

One of the more entertaining sideplots within here was seeing that Mick Rory was one of the team members who found himself succumbing to the virus, but he found himself eventually cured — but unfortunately (for him) stuck in the position of offering Ray, who was feeling insecure over the loss of his suit, some support. He did more than that; for now, Ray Palmer seems to be the new … Captain Cold? It seems odd, but we’re down for anything that gives Dominic Purcell a more consistent scene partner.

The weakness in “Abominations” stems mostly from the sheer abundance of action sequences, given that we probably would’ve gotten the point with about 60% as much action. That remaining 40% could’ve been used on more character-based storytelling, which is where the show shines the most. Several supporting characters were lost in the shuffle, and we would’ve appreciated in particular getting more of the Vixen point of view of what was taking place around her.

Through all of the craziness, time-jumping, and superhero shenanigans of the hour, the writers did the right thing in casting the focus back on Jax at the hour’s end, where he reflected to Stein about what he saw from the men and women at the plantation. He already had the power and the passion to move forward; now, he has that more than ever.

Overall – We will say that “Legends of Tomorrow” continues to struggle somewhat balancing the action and story-of-the-week components with the larger mythology, but kudos to the writers for giving us some poignancy and tackling a serious subject head-on. Grade: B.

Next week – We’re jumping forward in time over a hundred years to the age of Ronald Reagan, and we are also going to see the return of Damien Darhk. For more, take a look at the preview article here. (Photo: The CW.)

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