That was fun.
I won’t lie by saying that this was the episode I’ve been looking forward to ever since I heard Jonah Hex would be coming. I’m a fan of the character, and when done right (aka anything other than the live-action movie that came out years back) he’s one of the coolest characters in the DCU. Thankfully, “The Magnificent Eight” lived up to the legacy Hex has, all the while delivering some surprisingly deep stories involving parts of the cast.
On a simpler note, it was fun to see how most everyone wanted to at least go see the Old West, as they had grown up on the stores and movies of what had happened during the time period. From Ray, to Sara, to even Professor Stein, this was one time period they seemed to be enjoying quite well. But of course you knew that wouldn’t last.
What I truly loved about this episode wasn’t just the reasoning behind coming here (apparently there are blindspots in space and time), but Rip’s connection to the period. As it turned out, not only had Rip been here before, not only had he met Jonah Hex (and would later name his son after him…), he almost became a permanent resident in the period. As he felt the need to be a hero for the ones who needed him. But, as he was a Time Master at the time, he knew he couldn’t. So he left, and bad things happened because of it.
Seeing the pain and fear in Rip as he described why he couldn’t exit the ship, and why the others shouldn’t do certain things was very powerful. And again lending to the belief I have that Rip is a more tormented soul than Oliver or Barry could ever be. Of course, he was able to make peace with himself and save the day several times over, but the journey to get there was a good one.
An unexpected trip came via Kendra, who quite literally met herself. Or more specifically, an older version of a past life. One who, like Kendra is now, has lost Carter. The difference though is that she chooses to live alone and just wait to die rather than go and find Savage and avenge Carter. Her talk with Kendra led to what might be a big change in the Kendra/Ray relationship if its to be believed. I’m glad the breakup didn’t happen here, as that would’ve been both cliche and stupid. It is still possible though.
Ok, now onto Jonah Hex! While he may not have had a “starring” role in “The Magnificent Eight”, his presence was felt throughout the episode. From his callout of the others, to his chats with Rip (who is apparently wearing one of Hex’s coats!) and his down to earth approaches to situations, it was pure Jonah Hex. I truly hope we see him again, quite possibly on the team for Legends of Tomorrow Season 2!
As for the rest of the episode, it was good fun. It played out like a pure Western, with some sci-fi near the end. And the talk of the Pilgrim (convenient name) and that she will erase them via their younger selves? Scary!
“The Magnificent Eight” was a joyous romp through a classic period of time that allowed for comedy, tragedy, and reflection. All the while introducing an epic character long overdue for a proper live-action telling. Let’s hope we meet again soon partner.