Title: Legends of Tomorrow: “Freakshow” Review
Release Date: October 17th, 2017
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
Legends of Tomorrow is easily my favorite CW Arrowverse show currently, and just about everything in “Freakshow” embodies why. Saber Tooth Tigers, The Circus, and a surprising fear of clowns, the show features as much comic ridiculousness as possible that can fit into one hour.
So far, Legends of Tomorrow has continued to waveride the momentum they built last season, doing what they do best, dysfunctional heroic comedy. “Freakshow” sees The Legends head back in time to handle a small crisis at the legendary PT Barnum’s Circus. It’s not long before Rory starts spouting off hilarious one lines and phrases (I had Chinese last night, what about steak?), Ray messes something up despite his brilliance (big ol’ Tiger), and Sara does her best to punch things back into place.
On top of all that, the villain for this episode? PT Barnum himself, played by the infamous Billy Zane. And what a performance it was. Zane embodied an eccentric, somewhat evil, ringmaster perfectly, displaying a tangibly menacing attitude, despite simply being a circus leader going up against literal superheroes.
To save his circus, Barnum captures a couple of the Legends to put them on display. This only occurs after the Ray accidentally lets the anachronism they came to the time period for, a saber tooth tiger, enlarge and escape due to a mix of his “Shrink Ray” and allergies. The Sabertooth’s CGI was pretty abysmal, but it did lead to an adorable miniature saber cat.
While the prospect of any other show about superpowered heroes being captured by a damn carnival is laughable, it fits with the dynamic Legends of Tomorrow has come to embrace perfectly. Even better, it seems the Legends are entirely aware of their dysfunctional nature (let’s face it, most are META humans), poking fun at past events with a lighter nature than there CW counterparts like Supergirl and Arrow.
For the (somewhat) little screen time he is given this episode, Dominic Purcell puts in another hilarious performance as Rory. Learning of the pyromaniac anti-heroes’ fear of clowns is the funniest and most interesting side plot possibly in the entire series. Seeing him eventually overcome his fear to pound clowns into pulp is satisfying in its own right, especially considering my dislike of clowns as well (thanks IT).
The Amaya and Nate subplot drama did a much better job of this episode of actually fleshing out the reasoning behind things, including a pretty heartbreaking beginning scene with Nate “Just thinking about Donuts.” While their passive aggressiveness toward each other is a bit grating throughout, it also leads to a marvelous bar scene. A scene which not only moves the dysfunctional plot forward, but sees a very funny drunk Nate metal up to protect the bearded women.
While everything manages to wrap up in the usually unruly way in “Freak Show,” the ending explanation and resolution did fumble its execution a bit. Episode one of the season saw the Time Bureau using a MiB like mind eraser as a means of making those who experience historical anachronism forget everything occurred.
Yet the Legends simply left things how they were, with the people having seen Firestorm flying about and other oddities for the time, but Gideon says at the end of the show the anachronism was resolved. This isn’t the first time they have done this, with interesting things the Legends have done in places like the old west causing for small changes to the future, but its weird considering they were literally given an easy out to avoid this again last episode by the Time Bureau.
The intervention of the Time Bureau will certainly continue to be a constant factor as the season progresses, but doesn’t really seem to be much more than an expositional plot device. Through Agent Sharp’s slip of the tongue, Sara and The Legends subsequently learn of, and laugh off, a man or group worrying the Time Bureau known as Mallus.
Alongside this, we are also introduced to a mysterious born of from lake, after some magic chanting, known as Kuasa. Everything from her presence and demeanor to the music played during her arrival spells this mysterious woman will be causing trouble for the Legends of Tomorrow as a primary antagonist. One that possibly has ties to Amaya.
Verdict: “Freakshow” puts together a wacky adventure in a way only Legends of Tomorrow could, all the while still being interesting, adventurous, and enduring. Despite CGI and plot hiccups, the second episode of the season continues the pace set by season two, as the dysfunctional group of Legends continues to be one of the best shows on The CW.
What did you think of the most recent episode of Legends of Tomorrow? What scene or scenes did you like the most? What are your predictions for the rest season three as things begin to unravel? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. Also be sure to check back next week for the third episode of the season,”Zari,” immediately after it airs on The CW next Tuesday 9 PM ET.
- Legends are self-aware of their dysfunctional nature
- Billy Zane
- Rory vs Clowns
- Drunk Nate
- Poor Saber Tooth CGI
- How was that anachronism solved?