LOT – Season II – Ep. 14 “Moonshot”: A Review

Posted: 03/16/2017 in Uncategorized

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“Moonshot” was spot on. LOT Season II thus far, by my reckoning, has only had one dreadful episode. This, like last week’s run was a continuing step in the right direction. Ray Palmer/The Atom (Brandon Routh) actually came off pretty well in this ep, a refreshing change. His unlikely alliance was remarkably good including the declaration made by Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher) as to his true purpose for the Spear of Destiny. Dramatic moments delivered duly. Action sequences involving Apollo 13  and the Wave Rider again demonstrate that CW can deliver big screen worthy moments on a smaller budget. Much good occurred with this run, including a musical number of which I am generally not over-fond. My muddled intro put forth, on to my review.

We open with a meeting between Henry Heywood/Commander Steel (Matthew McCaull ) and Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) revealing the locale the two parted company when the former Waverider captain charged him with disappearing with his portion of the spear. Now in present day, we witness the shifted dynamic of the team with Sara (Caity Lotz) as captain. Her seamlessly taking charge and not remotely considering giving up her post was well done. Rip’s diminished status on the ship right down to his physical performance of drawing himself in more tightly, nearly claustrophobically near the helm played very well.  The team inevitably find Heywood Sr. at Nasa as one of the team responsible for watching over the launch. Steel’s reaction upon seeing Rip was not unexpected, considering what the former JSA er had to give up to  complete his mission. The follow up segment played for laughs regarding not having proper access passes. Laughs in this run were somewhat sparser and this also worked as it can’t be all levity all the time.

Best performances of the night were from Nate (Nick Zano), Henry and Amaya/Vixen (Maise Richardson-Sellers). The arc of all three intersected, namely the concept of ‘would you want to know your future if it wasn’t good?’. Henry wants to return to his son and wife. Nate wishes to enable this as it will give him the father he should have had rather than the distant man who made him who he is. Amaya’s point of Nate’s accepting the man he is as good and letting things lie has resonance. She cites the potential consequences of Henry’s return including the possible result of Nate never having been born. His lashing out citing her potential dark future is harsh but understandable. All moments between these two are earnest and well acted.

The star turn of the night however goes to Ray who demonstrates he is actually both intelligent and resourceful. His interceding on the Apollo shuttle after Thawne has taken it over led to some cool moments including the notion that the legion of Doom founding member cannot use his speed in zero gravity. Science in fact plays an integral part in this run. An apt shout out to Matt Damon’s “The Martian” delivered. Honestly, watching his moon ‘run’ in the Atom suit was smile inducing and not the least bit cheesy. You rarely get such pure moments on such genre programming. Ray’s joy is therefore our own.

Arguably the best segment of this episode however was the partnering up of Thawne and Ray in order to get back to earth when their vessel is compromised. The notion that the two men have some degree of commonality was unexpected. When the murderous Thawne cites enjoying working with a fellow scientist, it is sincere. His referencing his time with Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) at STAR labs with nostalgia is no less so. What has the greatest punch however is his declaration of what he wants with the Spear. This moment earns him the closest thing to empathy and this elevates LOT to another level as the notion of villainy is not clear cut. The truce ends as expected but with the revelation that Ray is smarter than Thawne anticipated.

While a sacrifice of a character was not unexpected, the scenes between the two former JSAers and Heywood’s grandson Nate had due gravitas. This was equally evident with Amaya’s end sequence action. The redefining of the ship dynamic between Sara and Rip ably illustrated the progression of the series. Overall, this was a superior run that set the stage for the inevitable showdown with the Legion of Doom. LOT remains on course to being simply outstanding and well worth your time.

Moment of hilarity of the night goes to Martin Stein (Victor Garber) channeling his inner Harry Belafonte with a rousing rendition of the “Banana Boat Song” hilariously accompanied by Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell). The scene was just so zany and yet worked without question.

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