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Recap / Legends of Tomorrow S3 E5 "Return of the Mack"

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"Time travel is real, and so are its consequences. When a terrible time paradox put all of history in peril, an elite team was formed. Their job: to protect history and repair these so-called anachronisms. Unfortunately, this is not that elite team. And yet, this team of misfits and outcasts is determined to fix the history which they have broken. Not because they are heroes, but because they are Legends."
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Rip Hunter, Modified Opening Narration

The Legends are in Victorian London hunting what seems to be a vampire, when Rip comes asking for their help.


Tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: Mick spends the entire episode wanting to kill a vampire, and was reading Dracula both at the beginning and end. Dominic Purcell played Dracula in Blade: Trinity.
  • Answer Cut: Curtis is about to tell Jax and Ray whose prints are on the watch. Cue to Sara opening the casket and seeing Damien Darhk's corpse.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • Stein thinks that believing in vampires is stupid, despite being on a time ship, and having met immortals, zombies, aliens, metahumans, and people from alternate realities. Turns out they aren't dealing with a vampire, but rejecting the idea outright still qualifies.
    • Zari initially scoffs at the idea of a medium channeling the dead...despite getting powers from a magical totem.
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  • Back from the Dead: Damien Darhk, courtesy of Mallus via his grown-daughter Nora.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Just like in Arrow season 4, Darhk has the perfect opportunity to kill the heroes, but instead toys with them and lets them live.
  • Both Sides Have a Point:
    • Rip. Yes, he did betray the Legends' trust, but after they shut down idea his idea of using Darhk's corpse as bait, they refused to offer any idea of their own, or seemed to really appreciate the threat of Mallus — all he was doing was trying to stop an Ancient Evil. Then there's the fact that his own Time Bureau turns on him. On the other hand, he still shunted them aside only to come crawling back for their help and then betrayed them again; one can't really blame them for turning on him after that. Or the Time Bureau, as while Rip did prove the existence of Mallus, he did so at the cost of the lives of over a dozen agents, and doesn't seem to realize the severity of his actions.
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    • The Legends. While it's understandable they wouldn't be happy to see Rip crawling back after he tossed them aside, acting petulant about it wasn't doing any good. However, considering Rip brushes off the death of multiple Time Bureau agents which were the result of his own half-ass plan and his constant betrayals of both them and his own organization, their decision to turn on him is completely understandable. Sara was no doubt recognizing the possibility that Rip's recklessness would get even more people than necessary killed — including one of their own.
  • Came Back Strong: Darhk is even more powerful than he was in Arrow.
  • Chronic Back Stabbing Disorder: Sara points out how Rip betrayed virtually any organization he's ever been affiliated with.
  • Continuity Cameo: Curtis Holt shows up via video link to give the Legends a hand.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Stein even lampshades how much of an unlikely coincidence it is for them to stumble upon one of his ancestors.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Mick just happens to carry a stake around with him in case he ever runs into a vampire.
  • Curbstomp Battle: In true Arrow season 4 fashion, Damien Darhk absolutely slaughters the Time Bureau agents with his telekinetic powers.
  • Defiant to the End: Even as Rip is being dragged away by his own agents, he can't help but yell that Sara needs to be ready for what's coming.
  • Demonic Possession: Mallus briefly hijacks Eleanor's body to taunt Rip.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Madame Eleanor's behavior is really off and creepy.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Having been shunted aside in favor of the Time Bureau, then lied by Rip while her sister's killer is resurrected, Sara gets back at Rip by selling him out to the Time Bureau in exchange for them calling off the hunt for the Legends; she's clearly not happy about it but she feels she has no choice.
  • The Dreaded: Mallus is this to the Time Masters, to the point that many of them don't even dare to say his name.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Rip is not happy that his own agency has turned on him, especially that they don't even care he was right about Mallus.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Averted; the Legends are still bitter about Rip tossing them aside in favor of the Time Bureau. They only agree to help Rip after he offers to get Agent Sharpe to back off, but after he locks them in the Waverider to keep them from interfering in his ill-fated plan to catch Mallus, Sara is fed up and turns her back on him.
    • Played straight with Gideon, who doesn't seem bothered about being shut down for six months.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Sara "agrees" with Nate that history is fascinating while she eyes an attractive prostitute. She had also previously cited "low-cut corsets" as one of Victorian London's charms.
  • Egomaniac Hunter: Amaya is disgusted that the Cult members would hunt animals like tigers for sport and trophies.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: At the end, Sara turns Rip over to the Bureau. The look on his face is heartbreaking.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Mallus' voice is almost demonic.
  • Fun with Subtitles: Be it a genuine gag or a line removed from the script, when the Waverider first appears in London, the subtitle declares, "Hey, Big Ben's back where it's supposed to be."
  • Hidden Depths: Mick, as it happens, is a bit of a bookworm; he spends a decent chunk of the episode, even during the climax, eagerly reading a copy of Dracula. He even has a pair of reading glasses. On top of that, he's been wanting to kill a vampire ever since he was a kid.
  • Identical Grandson: Barring the ancestor's moustache, Stein looks exactly like his great-great-grandfather.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: How Rip tries to justify him running off and sacrificing the lives of several Time Bureau agents to get information on Mallus. Both Sara and the Time Bureau officials don't accept it.
  • Idiot Ball: Zari grabs it hard by casually giving away her totem to an obviously not trustworthy person (Madame Eleanor).
  • I'm Standing Right Here: When Mick says that it was a mistake to trust an Englishman, Rip reminds him that they're all on comms. Mick knew, he just didn't care.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Rip tells the Legends about the ancient evil they are facing — Mallus; something Agent Sharpe was unwilling to do.
    • Zari finds out that she can't use the Waverider to stop A.R.G.U.S. from killing her family because time will just make it happen anyway. She doesn't take it well.
    • Upon being resurrected, Darhk remembers his time in the Legion of Doom.
    • Stein finds out that Jax is trying to break up Firestorm so he can spend more time with Clarissa, Lily, and Baby Ronnie.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Rip is willing to take too many risks to stop evil.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Inverted — Damien's resurrection restores the memories of his actions in Season 2, which the Legends wiped after beating him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Rip lying to Sara means she no longer trusts him.
  • Laughably Evil: Damien Darhk, true to form, casually massacres Time Agents while enjoying a drink, all while "Return of the Mack" plays over the sequence.
  • Loophole Abuse: Sara is able to bypass Rip's overrides by convincing Gideon that since she's captain now, Rip's commands no longer apply.
  • Motor Mouth: Nate, after a night with no sleep and lots of coffee.
  • My Greatest Failure: Zari reveals that she left her brother to die when A.R.G.U.S. agents came for them, running away in fear.
  • The Needs of the Many: Rip is willing to use Darhk's corpse as bait to trap Mallus; the Legends aren't.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Rip trying to use Darhk's corpse as bait fails and he's brought back to life.
  • No Sympathy: The Legends aren't particularly sympathetic when Rip tells them that the Time Bureau refuse to believe his claims about Mallus — in Nate's words, "your hot new girlfriend dumped you and now you're crawling back to your ex".
  • Pet the Dog: For the first time ever, Agent Sharpe actually thanks Sara for the Legend's help (even though she still insists they are idiots).
  • Phony Psychic: Played with. It's not quite clear if Nora Darhk can truly communicate with the dead, or if during the Séance where Zari's brother supposedly talked through her, it was actually Mallus talking.
  • Pivotal Wake-up: Damien Dahrk rises from his coffin like this when the ritual to revive him is completed.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sara tells Rip how he never trusts anyone and wonders why she even trusted him, then reveals she sold him out to his own organization.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Nora Darhk's eyes turn blood red during the seance where Zari's deceased brother is supposedly talking through her, and later when Mallus is talking through her.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Rip tries to invoke this when his the Time Bureau agents are taking him in — as their founder and leader. It doesn't work.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • Darhk's first comment after being resurrected? Demanding to know who took his watch.
    • Mick is more concerned with finishing reading Dracula than the missiles about to impact the ship.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The music is quite upbeat and motivational while Damien Darhk slaughters the Time Bureau.
  • Snub by Omission: As Rip is being dragged away he warns Sara that she and the Legends need to be ready to face Mallus; he conspicuously neglects to address to the Time Bureau.
  • Summon to Hand: How Zari takes her totem back.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Zari thinks that she should have died in her brother's place.
  • Too Much Information: Ray says this to Jax when he tells him about the last time he had sex and Stein told him he did good due to their psychic connection.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The Legends are no longer friends with Rip after he betrays them one time too many.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Damien Darhk comes back to life.
    • The Time Bureau turns on Rip and arrests him, despite him being their founder and leader.
  • Wham Line: A biggie from Darhk upon his resurrection.
    Damien Darhk: Any last words, Rip? Yes, I remember you; I remember everything!
  • Wham Shot: Damien Darhk's corpse.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Stein is unhappy with Jax that he kept his efforts to separate them hidden from him.
    • Sara is understandably furious that Rip is willing to let Darhk be resurrected in order to get a crack at Mallus.

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