Tonight on DC's Legends of Tomorrow, something happens that almost never does: somebody took the fight to the Waverider.
We mean that both figuratively, and literally, as Eobard Thawne and Malcolm Merlyn literally escorted Al Capone's men onto the timeship and tried to kill the Legends inside.
At the end, almost nobody got what they wanted: only Thawne was truly happy, recovering the amulet which puts him on track to discovering the Spear of Destiny, supposedly the weapon the pierced Christ's skin immediately after his death, which is imbued with magical powers that can rewrite history.
That seems like a dangerous thing for Thawne to have, so it's likely the team will have to focus more exclusively on tracking the Legion of Doom in the second half of the season while they wrestle with issues like what to do about Stein's daughter and how to safeguard a timestream that keeps changing under them.
This was a crowded, action-packed episode, and those rarely have time for a whole lot of Easter eggs and DC Comics references. This one was no different, but "not a lot" doesn't mean zero, either.
So...what did we see? What did we miss?
Read on, and comment below.
Up Next: Victor Garber Doesn't Want to Go Back to the Titanic/ Legends of Tomorrow: The Legion of Doom Make Themselves Known / Legends Of Tomorrow: "Camelot/3000" Photo Shows A Bloody Battle Scene /Why Legends of Tomorrow is DC's Best Show
DC's Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. New episodes will return the last week in January.
THE CHICAGO WAY
In Brian De Palma's film version of The Untouchables, there's a line that when someone pulls a knife on you, you pull a gun. "That's the Chicago way."
Not only is this episode named for that line but, as you probably caught on while watching it, references to the movie littered the show.
The ones we remember:
- "He doesn't look anything like Kevin Costner." - Ray, about Elliot Ness
- Nate, while impersonating Ness, introduced Ray as "Bob DeNiro," a reference to Robert DeNiro, the Academy Award-winning actor who played Al Capone in the film.
- When Ray blasts Capone's men with his ATOM suit, he quips that they brought "guns to an ion blaster fight," a riff on the movie's famous "he brings a knife to a gunfight" line.
If you've been watching Arrow for any significant amount of time, you'll likely recognize the third member of the Legion of Doom to join the episode this week: Malcolm Merlyn.
Merlyn -- as implied by the fact that he identified himself as the mastermind behind the sinking of the Queen's Gambit -- was the central antagonist in the first season of Arrow, and Oliver Queen's arch-nemesis. He has figured prominently in every season of Arrow so far, and actually was responsible for Sara's death at the start of season 3.
(She got better.)
FEELS SO FAMILIAR...
If there was something familiar about one of the settings in today's episode, it's probably because Chicago's Union Station, where the team first meets Elliot Ness, is where Superman had his final, deadly confrontation with General Zod in Man of Steel.
LOOKS LIKE A G-MAN
"If there's anybody here who looks like a G-man, it's me," Palmer says when he's trying to lobby to be Elliot Ness.
Of course, that could be a generic joke about his square-jawed, upright-citizen appearance. It might also be a nod to Unthinkable, a 2010 movie in which Routh actually played an FBI Special Agent.
SPEAR OF DESTINY
While, as noted in the episode, the Spear of Destiny is an actual (or mythological, but in any event not DC-created) object said to possess powers due to its proximity to the dying Jesus, it actually has a significant role to play in DC's history.
Due to Hitler's obsession with occult artifacts, the Spear of Destiny was said to be in the hands of the Nazis, and was used to keep the Justice Society and other powered heroes out of the European theater during the war by casting a spell that kept metahumans from entering the area. That meant the war would be fought in DC Comics as it was in the real world: with soldiers who fought and sacrificed, not with Superman flying over in an afternoon and capturing Hitler, which (not incorrectly) seemed like the kind of thing that some people might take as an offense.