Monday 9:00 PM on The CW (Returning October 22, 2018)
Well, with "Return of the Mack" finally things started moving. We get information on Mallus, we see the return of a familiar face. We get the semi-permanent removal of a player on the board. So overall it was a pretty good episode if a bit muddled. Although there were some odd vagaries. Mick has another personality quirk (killing vampires) that seems to exist mostly to further the part like his fear of clowns, and I never did particularly get the bit where he was reading Dracula. Or at least the running gag of him almost being at the end. Maybe it's some kind of weird in-joke to Blade: Trinity.

And are we ever going to get a John Doe Easter egg? We've had two Prison Break references, but no John Doe.

The dual role of Victor Garber as Sir Henry Stein, other than to give Mr. Garber more to do, also seemed kind of pointless. Other than a very mild bit where it confused Nate for no purpose (it's not like Henry knew his appearance would confuse Nate), having Henry look like Martin didn't do anything for the plot. Unless the character name was a weird play on Frankenstein: Henry was the name of the Frankenstein monster's creator in the 1931 movie, and Stein = Frankenstein. And Damien's resurrection did seem to involve a bolt of energy out of the sky.

Anyhoo, let's recap. Nate figures out that all of the anachronisms have a pattern except for the one involving Kuasa in 2042 Seattle, and a new one in 19th century London. There have been five vampire killings in London, and the team soon finds a 2017 watch with an unidentified set of fingerprints in it. Nate gets kidnapped by who he assumes is Martin, but turns out to be his ancestor Henry.

It turns out Henry and his unnamed lab assistant (no hunchback, though) are collecting blood and feeding it to a body in a tank. Henry and his mystic order plan to resurrect the person in the tank. They also have a psychic, Eleanor (Eleanor Dahrk, if you believe IMDB: there's no mention of any relationship here), who is there for I don't know what purpose. She eventually serve a purpose, but it's not clear if that's why she's there or she has to be there to serve it.

Also, Rip is there playing Sherlock Holmes. Sorta. Kinda. In another of the episode's riffs on characters of the period that don't seem to go anywhere. It turns out that he's on his own personal quest to track down Mallus, and believes that Mallus is trying to gather allies from across time. Including the body. Rip is operating outside of Time Bureau rules, so he asks the Legends to help him.

Rip and the team go in to the Order building... somehow. There's a party going on there, but I'm not sure how the Legends get in. Eleanor is a medium and contacts Zari's brother, and convinces Zari to hand over the Air/Isis Totem. The Order resurrects the body without Nate's blood, and it turns out the body is... Damien Dahrk. Ruh-roh!

Mallus speaks through Eleanor, with the voice of John Noble. And hey, John Noble! He makes the usual bad guy generic threats, and it's not clear why he or Eleanor had to be there for the ceremony. I guess it was Eleanor who brought Kuasa back at the end of "Freakshow". Although Mallus didn't have to be there, so why did he want to be there for Damien's resurrection?

Meanwhile, Rip has used a hidden command to seal Waverider with Sarah, Ray, Mick, Martin, and Jax inside. They fire on the Order building with shock missiles, and somehow that frees them from the locked down ship.

The Time Bureau shows up, and there's a big ole fight between a brandy-sipping Damien, Eleanor, the Legends (White Canary and Vixen are wearing their costumes!), and Rip. Zari gets the Totem back, and Eleanor teleports away with Damien after he shrugs off a time-freezing grenade that Rip uses. The fight is set to modern-day music for some reason.

At the end, the Time Bureau hauls Rip away for breaking their rules. Sara apparently gave the TB their location, and in return for Rip the Legends are now free agents again and get to keep Waverider.

In the B plot, Jax and Ray try to come up with a way to sever the Jax/Martin psychic bond as the first part in creating a Martin-less Firestorm. This leads to some comedy hijinks, as a side effect of the process is Jax getting short-term amnesia. Martin finds out about their scheme eventually and isn't very happy about it.

And so this week we find out a little bit about Mallus, and that he's assembling an army of super villains. Well, as big an "army" as the CW can afford. So probably a couple of more people. Why Mallus needs Damien, it's not clear. Yeah, Damien is shown to be a major mystical kickass this episode, but didn't Mallus watch the Legion of Doom episodes in season 2 and learn that Damien doesn't make much of a follower? Also, why does he have to pick "dead" allies? He did that with Kuasa, and now he did the same thing with Damien. Is it just more dramatic from a TV scripting point of view? Or is it some timey-wimey kinda thing?

There's the usual other comedy hijinks along the way. The aforementioned wrist computer plays "Return of the Mack", hence the episode title. We get to see Nate high on coffee explaining temporal anomalies, and promising Mick beer if he comes to the briefing. Also, Amaya convinces Zari to be nice to her by pointing out again that they share Totems. Also, there's a bit where we find out that Zari abandoned her brother to ARGUS to save her own skin, and she feels guilty. And Mallus, or Eleanor, or whoever, still seems awfully interested in her. She already told Kuasa no back in "Zari". No means No, folks. I'm not sure why Zari (or the Air Totem) are so important to their plans that they made a second attempt to get it. And if it is so important... time travel, folks. Why not grab the Animal Totem from Mari or Amaya? Or the Air Totem from Zari's brother Behrad? Or from ARGUS storage before Zari got it?

But hey, we get Neal McDonough back. You can never have enough McDonough in the Arrowverse. He always seems to be having so much fun being a bad guy that it's kind of infectious. It also gives the Legends a face of evil to go up against. Apparently Mallus is going to be a "Man Behind the Curtain" for a while (and will probably be CGI when he does show up: John Noble isn't that buff), so we need somebody to be the face of villainy.

The episode started out fairly light-hearted, and then slowed down a bit and tended to drag in the middle. The whole bit with the Order house, the party, and the séance, didn't seem to go anywhere. But then once Damien came back from the dead, it perked up a bit. We also got more of Rip as both the Legends' original teammate, and his being a dickweed when he betrays the Legends and pretty much turns his back on the Time Bureau, too. Although he tosses a pleading glance to Agent Lemon-Face when the TB is taking him away. That'd probably mean more if we knew the history between them.

So overall, "Return" was a decent episode that seemed to kick the season into gear. We got Mallus, we got Damien, we got Mallus' short-term goals. We got more of Zari, who still isn't that thrilling. We've got two more episodes of relative filler, "Helen Hunt" and "Welcome to the Jungle". And then the post-Thanksgiving crossover, and probably a mid-season finale that will toss in some kind of major reveal about Mallus & Co.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
Comments (3)
Nov 10, 2017
Well, as big an "army" as the CW can afford. So probably a couple of more people

And based on the fact that a certain actor talked about it on twitter... I think it's safe to assume we know another one of the people he is bringing back.

My guess is that Mallus is probably dead \ imprisoned \ whatever (hence Elanor's speech) and that he needs the totems to set himself free - which is pretty much the Savitar plot from Flash, but then again they recycled Reverse Flash.

Also, I don't get why does Dhark have his powers? I thought he lost his mystical powers when Vixen smashed his totem? That's why he never had any while he was with the Legion.

And I get the whole Grunt vs Named character concept of tv fighting, but geesh... The Time Bureau should have super advanced weaponry to be able to completely kick ass. Why do they seem to have nothing but basic guns? Or why are they such terrible fighters?

And to be honest, I know that we have to accept some dumb premises on some shows - especially time travel shows - otherwise nothing will work. But I am personally so over the whole dumb "we can't change history because it could make it worse."
I mean it could also make it better, right?

One of my favorite episodes of the 90s Xmen series was that Bishop (2060 I think) goes back in time because some virus went out of control and caused his future to be bleak. So he goes back in time and right when he is about to destroy it, he gets blasted by Cable (3000) who tells him "Sure, if you destroy that, you save your future - but you ruin mine!"

There is virtually no way of knowing if the future will be better or worse by certain actions because we could still have good or bad results thousands of years later.

And of course it's even worse when the main characters do decide they change history whenever it suits them. Or have I missed the part about Stein's daughter not supposed be alive in the first place?

Nov 11, 2017
As to why Damian still has his powers... Modern Age Vixen destroyed ONE of his idols, but a jewel inside it was recovered and given to Darhk. It was then placed inside a copy of the idol, giving him his powers back. That idol was never destroyed, and since this version of Darhk that was resurrected was the one that died fighting Oliver, I'd assume that copy is wherever Mallus is hiding.

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about Darhk coming back. Yeah, he's funny, (one of the most charming villains in the Arrowverse.) but with his powers he's... not really that interesting. His fights are mostly boring because he just tosses people around. And his final fight against Oliver after his power was neutralized was one of the worst on the show (they just kept punching each other in the face until Oliver grabbed an arrow and stabbed Damian) I'm hoping that Sarah finally gets justice for Laurel and kills Darhk once and for all, in a spectacular fight. And bonus: GOLDEN AGE Vixen is the one that destroys the idol copy, like her granddaughter did with the original.
Nov 10, 2017
Yhis show makes zero sense, the writers have no idea how time travel works, the concept of the show is ridiculous and the characters make stupid decisions all the time to justify forced plot points or half-assed comedy.
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