Legends of Tomorrow season 3, episode 13 recap: Darhk family values

Photo credit: DC's Legends of Tomorrow/The CW by Dean Buscher/The CW, Acquired via CWPR
Photo credit: DC's Legends of Tomorrow/The CW by Dean Buscher/The CW, Acquired via CWPR /

A new episode of Legends of Tomorrow saw Ray provide Damien and Nora Darhk with some high stakes family therapy.

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Of all the Arrowverse various baddies, Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) is definitely my favorite. More than any of the franchise’s other antagonists, he really relishes being a supervillain. And, he has fairly logical and clear-cut motivation. He wants to dominate the world and will do anything to achieve that goal. I also really appreciate the way McDonough makes the character equally campy and menacing. He’s the kind of monster who will kill your significant other on your wedding day. As such, I was really looking forward to “No Country for Old Dads” because it put the focus squarely on the former H.I.V.E. leader and his daughter and it did not disappoint.

The episode opened with the Legends receiving a message from Ray (Brandon Routh). He explained that he had been kidnapped by Darhks and that he would be killed if the team when after him. Before Sara (Caity Lotz) could respond, Rip (Arthur Darvill) and Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) popped by to ask to join the crew. Meanwhile, Damien Darhk forced Ray to find a way to repair the broken Fire Totem. Ray eventually discovered that it could be repaired by exposure to cold fusion. As it happened, Darhk had assassinated its inventor in East Berlin in 1962.

Photo credit: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow/The CW by Dean Buscher/The CW, Acquired via CWPR
Photo credit: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow/The CW by Dean Buscher/The CW, Acquired via CWPR /

“Hors d’oeuvre were like meh. And then the Nazis invasion”

Darhk dispatched Ray and Nora (Courtney Ford) to rescue Dr. Vogel (Adrian Hough), but the mission was complicated by Nora’s non-functioning magic powers. Back on the Waverider, Zari (Tala Ashe) and Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) took mystical herbs to search for the Anansi Totem on the psychic plain. In East Berlin, Dr. Vogel refused to reveal the secret to cold fusion unless Ray and Nora reunited him with his family. Anxious that Nora was late in returning, Darhk journey back to 1962. His helicopter parenting proved to be useful as he saved Ray, Nora, and Dr. Vogel from being assassinated by his past self.

There was a lot to enjoy about this episode, not the least of which was it cool Cold War spy movies. While the Darhks predictably proved to be great at subterfuge and assassination, Ray was hopefully out of his depth. It was really entertaining to see the normally goofy but stalwart hero on the back foot for an entire adventure. It was interesting to see the Darhk family dynamic. Damien clearly wants Nora to inherit his dark legacy, but he can’t help but see her as his little girl. And one more loves her father, it’s clear she resents him for feeding her to a time demon. I’ll be interesting to see if their familial bond can endure the face of their lingering issues and mutual lust for power.

“I should’ve known Ray Palmer would have been a good influence on you”

In East Berlin, Darhk and Nora had a fight about his not trusting her. After she stalked off, Nora was captured by 1962 Darhk. The assassin demanded Dr. Vogel in exchange for Nora’s return. On the psychic plain, Zari and Amaya learned that the first Totem wielders had imprisoned Mallus and his corruption of the totems and the timeline would lead to his escape. 1962 Darhk outmaneuvered his present-day counterpart and fatally wounded Dr. Vogel. Fortunately, Nora was able to defeat him using the Amaya’s Totem. Ray was able to free himself and used his armor’s blasters to create an anachronism.

Another interesting wrinkle in the Darhk’s relationship is Ray’s influence on Nora. Although Damien right identified Nora’s hesitance in torturing Dr. Vogel as Ray related, I don’t think he understands how big of an impact the heroes had on his daughter. In addition to saving her life last week, Ray also helped Nora cope with her possession in “Daddy Darhkest.” I don’t think she is anywhere near ready to abandon villainy, she has to be questioning her life choices. Specifically, her allegiance to an extradimensional monster and her immortal and immoral father. At some point she’s got to realize that she’s just a means to an end for the both of them.

Photo credit: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow/The CW by Dean Buscher/The CW, Acquired via CWPR
Photo credit: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow/The CW by Dean Buscher/The CW, Acquired via CWPR /

“Dad, you have to let me go.”

The Legends noticed the disruption and Wally saved Ray. Ray revealed that he nabbed the formula for cold fusion and Wally revealed that he stole the Fire Totem from Darhk. The Legends contacted the head of the Time Agency, but he was killed by Gorilla Grodd. The newly promoted Ava (Jes Macallan) pardoned Rip.

The former Time Master immediately betrayed his allies trust by deleting a file pertaining to secret from Ava’s past from the Waverider’s memory banks. Ray confessed to Nate (Nick Vento) that he had feelings for Nora. Darhk and Nora made up but Nora concealed the fact that Mallus was forcibly trying to possess her.

“I should never have kept you both in the dark.”

Although I could see it coming from a mile away, I was still hoping that Ray had actually fallen for Nora. For one thing, it’s kind of weird that their relationship began when Norah was a teenager and Ray an adult. I also think that Ray’s mistaking Nora’s desire to have a more active role in Mallus’ organization for not wanting to be part of it. It’s not that she doesn’t want to be a villain, it’s that she doesn’t want to be henchmen. I hope Ray figures that out before Nora makes him pay for his misguided affection.

Next: Legends of Tomorrow season 3, episode 12 recap: The Dread Pirate Jiwe

Also, it’s mind-boggling to me that Rip is still keeping secrets from everybody. Every season, it seems like he goes to the same cycle of lying to everyone, seeing the error of his ways and promising to do better, then going back to lying to everyone. I can’t imagine how withholding information from Ava and Sara could help them, but I could see a lot of ways it could harm. Especially when they’re dealing with a demon who can manipulate time to his own nefarious ends. Keeping a blind spot like that open puts the Time Bureau and the Legends at risk. The only way his actions make sense is if he’s a narcissist with major control issues. Or he’s secretly in league with Mallus.

Next week, the Legends try to save Elvis from the forces of darkness.

Legends of Tomorrow airs on The CW Tuesdays at 9 p.m.