Check out Our Review [WITH SPOILERS] of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Episode 8: “Night of the Hawk.”
Well, that was a fun one. This week, the fine folks guiding the Legends of Tomorrow ship create a loving tribute to 50s B-movie horror while continuing the Legends versus Vandal Savage conflict. Along the way, ideas such as equality, sexuality, and heroism are explored all in a loaded DC romp.
Now, I know you are buzzing over the debut of the new cinematic Spider-Man, but let’s give props to the folks over at DC TV. Greg Berlanti’s crew continues to pull off unexpected television while expanding the superhero TV drama. Take this week for instance; “Night of the Hawk” was part Stephen King small town gothic and part cheapo 50s schlock horror. The fun stuff like teenage hawk creatures and Vandal Savage wearing an ascot was a blast, while the poignant stuff like race relations and lesbianism in the 50s was powerful and important.
Each story for each Legend carries a certain weight and it was impressive to watch so many plates spinning at once. Jax tries to help a young cheerleader whose boyfriend disappeared while having to deal with being a black kid in small-minded American town. That bit reminded me of a good Quantum Leap episode. Sara begins a relationship with a nurse who has been denying her sexuality all her life because after all, those things just weren’t done in the 50s.
Meanwhile, Ray Palmer and Kendra faced off against an ascot wearing, tuna casserole-making Vandal Savage while Rip Hunter and Captain Cold went undercover to find out the truth about some missing teens. Turns out, the teens were transformed into hawk monsters by a meteor similar to the meteor that gave Savage his immortality, and that’s where the 50s monster mash-riff came into play.
It is all a bit hammy during some moments but it never stops being fun, and that’s what is important. I will complain about a few things though. Listen, you have Firestorm in the show, but this is the second week in a row where Jax and Stein didn’t transform. Did we run out of money already, CW? And on the same note, you know the Atom is in this series; can we get a bit more shrinkage? Yeah, Palmer gets small this episode in order to steal the Savage-killing dagger, but can you recall any Atom comic where Palmer only got small for like one panel? Didn’t think so.
But, all in all, an episode that could have been empty schlock became a powerful exploration into the marginalization of small town America in the 50s while continuing the series’ main story. There was also quite the cliffhanger so let’s call this one a win.