I just finished LOT season 1 and rewatched season 1 of the flash and something really bothered me - Mick Rory. In the flash we see him as someone who is able to lear how his gun works and able to work out the plans etc. Len is the mastermind ofc but Mic wasn't just the muscles. And we had Mick Rory at the begining of LOT aka IQ of meat. The difference really bothered me and only after the chronos deal we see him back to "inntelect levels" like in the Flash. Do you have thoughts on that?
I actually don’t think Mick’s IQ appears to dip at the start of Legends, to be honest. Second episode, with Len and Ray breaking into Savage’s house, he’s there berating Ray alongside Len and also completing Len’s sentences, going to fix the situation before Savage gets a hold of him. He’s shown right off the bat to be competent and underestimated.
Which is what it is, in my opinion. He’s constantly underestimated by the team, and with them constantly calling him and idiot or acting like he’s the slow one, the audience starts to believe it, when it couldn’t be farther from the truth. He might not be a scientific genius like some of the team, but he’s probably the most competent in terms of base skills and also easily the most practical. He has multiple types of intelligence that are underrepresented on the team because of how different he is than most of them, but it’s seldom appreciated or pointed out in canon.
Another pre-Kronos example? How he knows what Druce is up to and warns Rip that Druce is going to kill him. Interpersonal intelligence, down to earth, great at reading a situation. Actually, he has some of the highest interpersonal understanding on the team. He always reads a situation and sums it up perfectly, often the first to recognize what’s going on, if he’s being insulted, if someone else is being threatened or insulted, how to get under people’s skin, etc. He doesn’t always do what you’d expected him to with the knowledge, but he sees it and understands him. I’d say he and Sara are pretty equal in this regard.
More examples of him being smart though? He always knows what Len is talking about and easily goes along with plans intuitively without much explanation. Reads between the lines immediately when Len wants to make an extra pit stop with the jump ship in episode 3. Follows orders to the t and keeps things moving on all of their early missions up to and including in Russia. Knows what to do with the pirates when they’re locked up in that cell and how to make a deal and sort out of the situation. He’s the only one who even thinks of making a deal with the pirates and knows how to do it.
And when he’s called out for not being “thick” by Rip early on? He immediately pretends to be dumb again. Yes, pretends. Because I’ve argued before that him being the ‘muscle’ to Len’s ‘brain’ is mostly just an act they fall in to, especially around others, and it works. They managed to stay one step ahead of most people around them at all times.
It’s also worth saying… the way Mick sees the world? Is a bit different than most people, I think. He sees it in very practical terms of what can be used and how, regardless of that was it’s intended function, or regardless of whether that was someone’s intended skill set. Think of the recent scenes with Martin where he asks Martin to fix his brain. Martin complains that he’s not that kind of doctor but Mick doesn’t care. I mean, he says “same thing” basically, but he understands that Martin isn’t a neuroscientists logically, he gets that Martin is a physicist. He just doesn’t care because it’s not relevant.
What is relevant is that Martin is smart enough and knows enough about what’s happening to him to help him with it, neurologically. So at that point in time, the distinction between PhD and MD doesn’t matter and he expresses that. Some people interpret that as him being less than intelligent, but I’d say it’s more accurate to read that as him just keeping different categories in his head than most of us are used to.
Finally, I don’t think we need to value a person based on their IQ or intellect, and I don’t think that a high IQ would ever be the best thing another person could have to offer a team already comprised of so many geniuses. But I also don’t think it’s necessarily accurate to say that Mick’s changed? He’s always been super competent, that’s always been underestimated by the team (and most people really), and he’s always been much sneakier than he’s given credit for :)