DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW will be full of Easter Eggs for fans of SMALLVILLE, 50-60’s horror movies or PLEASANTVILLE.
Director Joe Dante, who excels at showing the world that “the good old days”, may not have been quite so good, tackles tonight’s episode “Night of the Hawk.”
Dante, who directed MATINEE about a William-Castle-horror-movie filmmaker set against the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, THE ‘BURBS, a black comedy that exposed the fantasy of idealized suburban living, and the Oscar-winning INNERSPACE which mocked assumptions about the future, helms tonight’s mid-season finale.
When the team locates Vandal Savage (guest star Casper Crump) in 1950’s small-town Oregon, they find that there has been a string of murders. Could the Immortal One be responsible for heinous crimes in the LEAVE IT TO BEAVER era?
Easter Egg alert…Savage’s nom de guerre is “Curtis Knox,” a part played by SMALLVILLE guest star Dean Cain. (Cain also starred as Superman in LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN.)
It is rumored that Cain’s SMALLVILLE character was written as “Vandal Savage,” but the Savage name was deemed off-limits for use by the series, and “Curtis Knox” was born.
SMALLVILLE’s Dr. Curtis Knox worked with so-called Kryptonite “meteor freak” patients who suffered from various psychoses, and Knox, like Savage, was immortal.
Tonight’s take on Knox/Savage is that he works as a doctor treating the mentally disturbed at a psychiatric hospital. Professor Stein (Victor Garber) and Sara (Caity Lotz) go undercover as part of the hospital’s medical staff to gather intel on what Savage’s next move might be.
At the hospital, Sara meets Nurse Lindsay Carlisle (guest star Ali Liebert). Liebert easily pulls off the bygone-era look having starred in BOMB GIRLS, a Canadian TV series about women who work in a munitions factory in WWII.
Sara and Lindsay develop a mutual attraction and sparks fly (which everyone’s grandma said never happened in the 50s).
Another verboten relationship in that “Donna Reed” era is the interracial attraction that is blossoming between Ray (Brandon Routh) and Kendra (Ciara Renée).
When the two pose as a married couple in the ‘burbs to gain the trust of the neighbors, the differences in their skintones may seem more dangerous to the area’s residents than the guy running the Welcome Wagon…none other than Vandal Savage.
Also stepping over the black/white line is Jax (Franz Drameh), who asks out high school girl Betty Seaver (Melissa Roxburgh). Betty’s boyfriend is one of the missing townspeople, and Jax wants to find out what else she may know.
What looks like a possible confrontation with some letter-jacket jocks that could end up with Jax’s beating, is interrupted by a Japanese-monster-movie-style Mothra/Hawk-type creature flying onto the scene.
Not everything about the 1950s reeked of FATHER KNOWS BEST, however. The cars in tonight’s episode and the threads sported by Snart (Wentworth Miller), Rip (Arthur Darvill) and Stein are totally righteous.
DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW also stars Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory and Amy Pemberton as Gideon. Guest starring are Cameron Hilts, Laura Mennell, Bronwen Smith, Ben Wilkinson and voiceover master, Lex Lang, who voices the monster. “Night of the Hawk” was written by Sarah Nicole Jones & Cortney Norris.