Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Legends Of Tomorrow: Season 3, Episode 5 - Return Of The Mack

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


When Nate thinks he's found a pattern to the anachronisms, the team heads to London in 1897 to track down a time-traveling vampire. They're surprised to find Rip Hunter waiting for them and even more surprised that he wants to rejoin the team - a revelation that Sara is conflicted on for multiple reasons. Meanwhile, Professor Stein discovers that Jax and Ray have been working on a way to free him from The Firestorm Matrix and he is surprisingly unhappy about it. And Amaya tries to bond with Zari and work out how their two respective necklaces are meant to interact.


General penny dreadful and Gothic horror tropes, the films of Vincent Price (Rip makes a reference to Vincent Price movies, Victor Garber's appearance and performance as Sir Stein seem to be modeled on Vincent Price), Sherlock Holmes (Rip Hunter's analysis of the vampire victim's body, Rip quotes Holmes, saying "The game's afoot"), Bram Stoker's Dracula (classic vampire themes, Mick is seen reading the book) and the various legends regarding the murderer dubbed Jack The Ripper.


How does Damien Darhk have his magic powers back? They were dependent on an idol that is no longer in his possession.


There's a wonderful bit of non-verbal acting on Caity Lotz's part as Zari talks about using The Waverider to stop her family from being killed. You can tell immediately that Sara is thinking about Laurel and her death at the hands of Damien Darhk that she's powerless to avert.

Victor Garber has a nice dual role as Sir Henry Stein, channeling Vincent Price to play an unsettling yet oddly charming nobleman.


It should not work, and yet somehow, the entire fight scene set to Return of the Mack does work.

Trivia Of Tomorrow

This episode opens with a new narration delivered by Rip Hunter.

The episode title comes from a 1996 single by British R&B singer Mark Morrison, which is replayed throughout the episode.

The word Mack has multiple meanings. In America, it's a slang term for a smooth-talking man, particularly one who seduces women. The same term is used in England, where it's also used to refer to a Mackintosh coat - a certain style of long raincoat, similar to the one favored by Rip Hunter.

There was a total lunar eclipse over London, on May 19, 1895.


The serum that Ray develops to break the psychic connection between Jax and Sten has several side-effects including short-term memory loss, facial swelling and some slight gastrointestinal distress.

By folding a linear timeline onto itself, following the mathematics of the golden ratio, Nate was able to find a pattern to the anachronisms.. apart from two outliers.

All matter in the universe possesses a mathematical harmony, according to Stein.

Ray identifies the source of the sudden music in the London morgue as a 2016 PalmerTech 7G Smartwatch.

Digital Digest Magazine gave the 2016 Palmer Tech 7G Smartwatch encryption software a five-padlock rating.

The scientist in Sir Stein's employ invented a two-pronged needle that leaves marks that resemble the traditional puncture-marks left by a vampire.

Ray has the formulae for building a thermocore written on the blackboard in the lab when Stein finds out what he and Jax are working on.

Gentleman's Dreadnought is a code Rip Hunter programmed into Gideon that seals The Waverider up from the outside, trapping anyone who is on-board inside the ship. He uses this to keep Sara from coming after him when he plans to allow Damien Darhk to be resurrected.

Rip Hunter has access to some sort of device like a flash-bang grenade which temporarily slows time around him or allows him to move at super-speed temporarily. We see him use this during the fight with Damien Darhk, which enables him to knock bullets out of the air in mid-flight.

Dialogue Triumphs

Rip Hunter: (voice over) Time Travel is real/ And so are its consequences. When a terrible time paradox put all of history in peril, an elite team was formed. Their job - to protect history and repair these so-called anachronisms. Unfortunately, this is not that elite team. And yet, this team of misfits and outcasts is determined to fix the history which they have broken - not because they are heroes, but because they are Legends!

(Ray and Jax are discussing Jax's bond with Stein through The Firestorm Matrix)
Ray: You guys have been psychically bonded for over three years.
Jax: Yeah, and it's been no picnic, let me tell you. Last time I got laid, afterward Grey said to me (in impression of Stein) "Well done, Jefferson." I mean...!
Ray: ... could have done without knowing that.

Jax: (excitedly) Ray! It's 9 AM and I'm not craving grapefruit!

Rory: (suddenly holding a wooden stake) Vampires. Waited my whole life to kill one.
Jax: (shocked) Do you just carry that around all the time?!
Rory: My whole life.

(As the team walks down a London street, dressed as Bobbies)
Jax: There's a strong smell of garlic
Rory: It's tied around my neck.
Sara: Yep. You're a regular Van Helsing.
Nate: (To Rory) That's from Dracula.
Rory: I'm reading it. Don't tell me the end.

(Rip is explaining why he sought The Legends out to a skeptical Rory, Nate and Sara)
Rip: For the last five years, I've been chasing a phantom. A name whispered across time and in every language - Mallus!
Nate: The Phantom Mollusk? An evil shellfish?
Rip: Mall-us! An evil so ancient and powerful that The Time Masters dared not speak his name. I believe that he is recruiting allies from through time to his cause. Now, anachronisms are the result of your breaking time -
Rory: (pointing to Sara) It was her idea.
Rip: But these outliers. They are most certainly the work of Mallus. And The Time Bureau is a bureaucracy and lacks the imagination to understand this particular threat. And Director Bennett objects to my crusade.
Sara: (smirking) Hmm.
Rip: ... I'm alone out here.
Nate: So, what I'm hearing is, your hot new girlfriend dumped you and now you're crawling back to your ex?
Rory: (chuckling lowly) And I'm no one's side piece.
Sara: (smiling cutely) You know, I think they're onto something here. (in a sweet voice) Look... sweetie. We would love to take you back, but we don't know how we could trust you again.
Rip: Would circumstances be any different if I were to call off my hot new girlfriend's pursuit of you?
(Nate and Sara look at each other and hum as if considering it.)
Sara: (offering her hand) Deal.
(Rip takes Sara's hand and shakes it.)

Rory: Vampires don't sparkle.

(Upon seeing Sir Stein and his resemblance to Professor Stein)
Rip: Truly uncanny.
Sara: (in a mock British accent) It's that 'stache that's astonishing!

Zari: (taking off her necklace, passing it to Amaya) You know, I don't even want this anymore. Whatever is going on with it or with us? I don't care.
Amaya: That totem is your only remaining connection to him.
Zari: It's not a connection. It's a reminder.  That I should have been the one who died.

(Damien Darhk levitates above The Order of The Shrouded Compass and The Time Agents, having just disarmed them all with a wave of his wrist. He then glances at his wrist.) 
Damien Darhk: Who stole my watch?

(Stein and Jax have agreed to explore finding a way to make Jax Firestorm without Stein together.)
Stein: T.S. Elliot once said "Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." So - when do we start?
Jax: As soon as I, uh, fix that giant hole in the cargo bay.
Stein: Well, good luck with that.
Jax: Yeah.

(Rip is reading through his notebook on Mallus. Sara enters the room.)
Sara: We need to talk.
Rip: By now you know me better than to expect an apology.
Sara: Agents are dead because of you!
Rip: (cooly) They knew the risks of their profession. (excited) But we learned so much from the events of last night! Next time-
Sara: There won't be a next time, Rip! You show up out of nowhere, practically begging for our help. And then you betray us? You've gone rogue from every organization that you've ever been a part of! Because you don't trust anyone. I don't know how I could ever have trusted you.
Rip: Sara, I need you with me, now more than ever.
Sara: You remember how you told me you had nothing left to teach me? I guess you had one final lesson.
(A time portal opens behind Rip. Three Time Agents, including Ava Sharpe, exit. Rip looks at Sara, stunned.)
How to be a cold son of a bitch.


The psychic and empathic connection between Jax and Stein is strong enough that Stein was able to sense when Jax had sex. It has also resulted in Jax picking up Stein's snack cravings, such as a desire for grapefruit every morning at 9 am.

Ray successfully severs the psychic connection between Jax and Stein.

Amaya's usual breakfast is a bran muffin.

Stein's usual breakfast is a grapefruit half.

Sara's usual breakfast is oatmeal.

Mick Rory wears glasses to read.

Rory's usual breakfast is multiple beers.

Nate detects a pattern to the anachronisms, apart from two outliers - Seattle in 2042 (where they picked up Zari) and London, England in 1895. It is here he discovered reports of six men being murdered, their bodies drained of blood.

Rory has always dreamed of killing a vampire and carried a sharpened wooden stake in case he ever got the chance.

Rory is just now reading Dracula for the first time, despite being surprisingly well-versed in the lore of fighting vampires.

Stein's lullabies are the only thing that get his grandson, Ronnie, to sleep.

Sir Henry Stein was Professor Stein's great, great grandfather. He was an actor, knighted by Queen Victoria and considered something of an eccentric outside of his abducting people to feed a vampire.

The Order Of The Shrouded Compass was an infamous secret society among the aristocracy of London who were obsessed with the occult. They also believed in the magical properties of a total lunar eclipse.

"Beware the blood red moon when the door that separates death from life will be opened." is the first line of an oath made by The Order Of The Shrouded Compass. For some reason, this line is among Rip's notes regarding Mallus.

Madame Eleanor - the American mystic hired by Sir Stein - seems to be a true psychic. She speaks to Zari as if she were her brother and reveals that Zari abandoned him as they were fleeing ARGUS agents. She is later revealed to be an agent of Mallus and he speaks through her to Rip Hunter.

Rip refers to episode 103 and how he and Sara infiltrated The Grayhill building together.

Since they can't hack the Smarthwatch, Ray and Jax analyze the finger prints on it. They find four sets - one belongs to the coroner, the second belongs to Ray, the third is unidentifiable and the fourth belongs to Oliver Queen. Later, Mister Terrific identifies the third print as belonging to Damien Darhk.

Zari's brother's name was Behrad.

Mallus claims to be a god and says that no one can look on his true form and live.

Damien Darhk's resurrection has somehow restored his memories of the events of Season Two of Legends of Tomorrow.

Zari is able to summon the Wind Totem back to her hand. She later claims to have felt her brother's presence.

Clarissa Stein prefers to eat her grapefruit with salt.

Jax gets Ray to restore the psychic connection between Jax and himself.

Zari is seen playing Mortal Kombat in her personal quarters. This is a nod to 304 where she said she never got to play video games like the ones Ray played as a child.

Director Bennett is another of the Directors who run The Time Bureau.

The Time Bureau is overseen by a tribunal whom even its directors must answer to.

Rip Hunter is detained an suspended from active duty. Before he is taken away, he warns Sara that Darhk's resurrection was only the beginning and that The Legends must be ready to stand against Mallus for the sake of all history.


London, England - 1895

The Bottom Line

The best episode of the season so far and a definite contender for one of the ten best ever.

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