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See, that's an episode. "No Country for Old Dads" is what last week's "Curse" wasn't quite. An episode that integrated characterization--focusing mostly on a smaller group--with the ongoing season storyline. It didn't help that it gave Neal McDonoughfcourtney a lot of screen time. In some ways, "No Country" is the equivalent of last season's "The Legion of Doom". The creative team focuses on the villains, with a "heroic" character (mind-wiped Rip last year, Ray this year) along for the ride.

The only thing "No Country" really lacks is John Barrowman. Courtney Ford just doesn't have the same... screen presence to match McDonough. You sometimes get the impression that McDonough is trying to make up for Barrowman's absence by being twice as hammy. His one-sided dialogue with Alan's corpse is a good example.

Also, Damien is really the frontman for the New Legion or whatever they're calling themselves. Grodd is the voiceless (at least, this episode) CGI enforcer, Kuasa is a still mostly a Totembearer and grumpy granddaughter rather than a personality and both she and Nora are having non-villains urges, and Mallus is off-screen.

The New Legion is stronger for being mostly on the same page. But watching the back and forth of Damien, Malcolm, and Eobard last year was a lot of the fun.

But let's recap. The main plot is that Damien forces/convinces Ray to repair the Fire Totem. Ray needs cool fusion to get enough power, and Damien knows just the man to provide it: Bernhard Vogal, who Damien assassinated back in 1962. Nora wants to go on her to prove herself to her father, and takes Ray along because he "speaks nerd".

Young Damien (YD) in 1962 is a non-magical assassin who is wearing an Anton Chigurh wig in the first of several homages to the Coen Brothers and No County For Old Men.

Ray and Nora get to Bernhard first, and he refuses to leave without his daughter's doll. That delays them long enough for YD to catch up to them. They flee and YD starts hunting them down. Meanwhile, Damien has gotten both bored and concerned about Nora, and travels back to 1962 to help his daughter. Nora and Ray are trying to sneak past the Berlin Wall using fake IDs, and YD catches up to them.

The trio takes refuge at the (absent) forger's house. YD gets hold of Nora and offers to trade her for Bernhard. Damien agrees and they meet on a rooftop. Ray gets free and goes after them, and YD tosses Nora off a rooftop. Damien uses his magical TK to hold her up while YD is trying to kill her, and she tells him to let her go. He does and she accesses the power of the Spirit Totem. Together father and daughter defeat YD, while Ray shows up in the Atom suit and blows a hole in the Berlin Wall to create an anachronism and alert his teammates.

In the end, Damien and Nora have resolved their father-daughter issues, but Mallus still seems to be possessing her. She gets all dark-veiny but then shrugs it off and tells an unwitting Damien that she's fine.

Meanwhile, Sara and Ava are having morning-after-sex French Toast in the mess room. Wally and Rip show up, and Amaya and Zari go on a vision quest to try and locate Amaya's stolen Spirit Totem and talk to the Ancestor Woman who we've met before. She explains that Mallus is trapped and Damien is creating anachronisms to destroy time and free Mallus, who was confined via the Totems. When Nora taps the power of her stolen Totem, the Ancestor Woman disappears. When Ray creates an anachronism, it causes rips in the timestream around Waverider.

When Waverider arrives in 1962, a superspeed Wally rescues Ray and grabs the Fire Totem from Damien. Director Bennett gets beat to death by Grodd, so Ava becomes the director and Rip goes with her.

Rip has Gideon erase a file on Ava so that Sara doesn't find out the truth about her new lover. Ruh-roh! More interestingly, Gideon calls Rip "Director Hunter" during this exchange.

Oh, and Mick and Nate go to a Grateful Dead concert after Damien sends them off on a wild goose chase, making them think he and Ray are attending one of the concerts. And we get a cameo from Cupid aka Carrie Cutter--or least her photo--since Damien, Ray, and Nora briefly go to Ray's lab at Upswipz. Carrie is the only person who checks out Damien when he puts himself up on the dating app.

Overall, "No Country" was probably the best episode of Season 3 so far. McDonough has a ball hamming everything up as Damien. While he gets to be menacing as well in his 1962 assassin mode. We get a fair amount of characterization on him as he goes on about his fatherhood issues with anyone who has to listen. Ray actually gives him some fatherhood advice, when he can get a few words out past Damien TK-choking him.

I'm still not finding Nora a particularly interesting character. But she does the conflicted daughter routine well enough. Adrian Hough as Bernhard does everything pretty straight for the character, even if it sometimes rubs the wrong way against the Legend and Legion campier members. Ditto for McDonough's YD, who gets a few cute remarks--his interest in Damien's magic, and his irritation that Damien won't die—but basically plays the whole thing straight.

The rest of the Legends don't get much to do. Arthur Darvill brings Wally in and then leaves. Keiynan Lonsdale fits in well enough, even if he seems a bit overpowered. Then again, so did Reverse-Flash last year and they managed to pull that out by the end of season 2. The creative team has balanced Firestorm and Atom to some degree with the lesser-powered members: they can probably do the same for Kid Flash.

Mick, Nate, Amaya, Zari, and Sara don't get much to do. So "No Country" is in a sense a filler episode. It just ties in the characterization to the story in a way that "Curse" didn't last week.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
1 Comment
Comments (1)
Mar 06, 2018
Oh come on! You skipped the funniest part, where Wally tells Amay about the B that dumped Nate on his birthday and she tells him that's her...

I actually wasn't all that thrilled about the episode. The Dhark family drama just seems so conflicted all the time and rather inconsistent.

And I don't get the Mallus angle at all. If Anachronisms free him, why bother with the totems? Just have Damien create as many of them as possible and be done with it. Why bother with the only weapon that might kill him?

And it will always bother me how many things can these people do before they remember they are time travelers.

Again, Fire Totem broken? go back in time and grab another one. Spirit totem is missing? Go back and grab another one.

And if you're looking for undiscovered technology? Go FORWARD in time till someone invents it. Going backwards make no sense...

The Ava part is the only thing of any real interest to be honest. Though what could that possibly be is beyond.
The obvious thing is her being Sarah's offspring, which makes them an in incestuous relationship of sorts, but not like they can have children together.

Other option is Ava not being human maybe? Also Agent Ava is second in command of the time masters? Talk about serious promotion
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