One of the hallmarks of the CW's "Legends of Tomorrow" show is an embracing of lighter fare, similar to how its sister show "the Flash" goes about its business. By that I mean it fully lets loose with an obvious appreciation for fun, goofy, Silver Age-type fun without any residual shame.
The latest episode, "the Magnificent Eight," feels like a wonderful older comic that was made not to seek out critical applause, but instead to tell a good story with fun characters doing amazing things.
The team seeks refuge from the Time Masters' thugs in a temporal blind spot (thanks to warnings from a returned Mick Rory), and settled on Salvation in 1871. This leads to a confrontation with one Jonah Hex (Jonathon Schaech), who has a past with Rip Hunter.
Seeing Jonah Hex in this setting worked a lot better than it should have: Schaech's grousing performance put to rest any worries it would channel the abysmal Josh Brolin film, and produced a character that seemed very in line with how he was portrayed in the comics: a guy so used to the supernatural and time-traveling that nothing really shakes him.
There's also a great subplot featuring our close personal friend Ciara Renee, where Hawkgirl is confronted by a version of her past life that has become somewhat of a hermit. The interactions between the younger, current Kendra and the older, Wild West Kendra were well done - the younger version is shown to take what the older version says to heart, to contemplate on her warnings on love and destiny. What could have been cheesy became introspective; their conversation wasn't forced, and there was a lot good dialogue between the two.
And my lord, it's so nice to have Snart and Mick back together again. Having Dominic Purcell back on board is a boon to this show, which was already finding its stride. Mick, after his spin as Kronos, is wizened and more under control here (the early saloon scene with White Canary was especially enjoyable), but he brings that humorous delivery that has been sorely lacking in recent episodes - he's the best comedy the show has to offer, and combined with Snart's reserved charm and roguish behavior? God, it's so good to have them back together.
Also? I would watch a televised Dominic Purcell/Caity Lotz drinking show.
This episode does a great job of tackling a lot of character backstories without seeming clunky or forced, with Mick, Rip, Kendra, and Stein getting their characters more on-screen growth. Now we see a bit more of why they're behaving they way they are, and it's nice to see that development without sacrificing action or humor.
All in all, this was an extremely enjoyable episode, with the promise of a deranged Time Masters' assassin named the Pilgrim set to pour down havoc on the gang.... or rather, the gang's pasts. A solid 9 out of 10 pelvic thrusts - action, fun, development, and a kickass new addition to the DC television universe.