Last week was the premiere of the newest CW show, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and a lot was packed into the one hour time slot. We met the titular “legends”, their leader, and their foe. All were familiar faces to those who have been watching The Flash and Arrow, except for Captain Rip Hunter, the leader of the motley crew. The premise of the show was introduced as well, that of a band of time jumping maybe-heroes out to save the world from certain destruction at the hands of the nefarious Vandal Savage.
This week, there’s more of a focus on developing the relationships of the team. Most of them haven’t interacted before this, or if they have it has been sparingly. Read on for more details of the episode, but be warned THERE ARE SPOILERS. Read at your own risk!
The episode begins as the team lands in the fjords of Norway in October 1975. Kendra and Carter are still mourning the loss of their son, Dr. Boardman, even though they only knew him for a few hours and he was technically the offspring of one of their previous incarnations. But hey, blood is blood, right? They have to put their feelings aside for the time being, however, because the team is hunting for Savage. But first, they have to look the part, so they hop in the time ship Waverider’s fabrication room, where “temporally indigenous fashion” is created. Awesome.
The team is still pretty peeved with Rip for lying to them about their importance to the timeline (as in, they have none), so they decided to go after Savage half-cocked. They find him in a super secret underground arms auction, where he is selling a nuke to the highest bidder. There, they run into none other than Damien Dark. Seriously, how old is this guy?! Their cover is blown and a fight scene breaks out, where each is doing their own thing. The graphics here, by the way, are surprisingly good. Kendra and Carter face off with Savage, but he turns on the nuke and ducks out leaving them presumably for dead. Except, Firestorm eats the nuke. That’s right, Firestorm flies off with it and eats the nuclear energy after it detonates.
When they get back to the ship, Rip is understandably furious with his team. They get that they screwed up, but are pretty proud of themselves from saving Norway from being annihilated by a nuclear bomb. Rip, however, clues them into the fact that they left something behind in their little scuffle with bad guys: a piece of Ray Palmer’s future tech. Uh-oh. Now they have to get it back, or else Savage will use it to destroy the world ahead of schedule. Rip shows them the future Gideon, the ships super computer, has detected. However, there is still time to repair the damage because “time is like cement, it takes time to become permanent”.
Meanwhile, during all of this, Kendra and Carter find a picture of a dagger with hieroglyphics on the hilt amongst Dr. Boardman’s things, and remember that it is super important. After researching it, they discover who owns it and the team splits up. Ray, Leonard Snart, and Mick Rory head off to steal the dagger, while Professor Stein, Jefferson Jackson, and Sarah Lance go to find the professor’s younger self in order to track down the tech. Young Stein, you see, is an expert on alpha particles, which is what powers Ray’s tech. Kendra and Carter stay behind to decipher the hieroglyphics.
Let loose all of the hell. Ray and the thieves get themselves caught, by none other than Vandal Savage himself, while the Professor leads his younger self back to the ship, causing him to never meet his wife. Before he can really deal with those repercussions, though, Savage calls on all the Legends to come fight him, and they do. Firestorm blasts him and saves the captured teammates, while Kendra and Carter have a showdown with Vandal. It doesn’t end well. Carter gets cut down, and Kendra would have died as well, were it not for Ray shooting Savage with one of his fancy lasers. Poor Kendra, just when she gets her memories back and decides she loves the poor guy. However, his death does provide the right bonding agent for the team. They now want to avenge his death and take down Savage. They’re in it for real now. And as a show of good faith, Rip restores the timeline for Stein, and makes sure young Stein meets his future wife. It’s (almost) a happy ending.
Ok, so this show, like the Legends it’s about, is still finding its footing. The premise is sound and shows a lot of promise. The dialogue and acting, on the other hand, have some room for improvement. But the bones are there! The characters, although mostly male and white (welcome to the world of comics), are relatable and fun to get to know. It’s a shame that Carter has been deleted from the mix, but then again the whole point of his character is that he reincarnates every time he is killed. That said, it’s clear we’ll see him again. Especially since Kendra finally stopped fighting fate and her feelings for him. But really, those two are the least interesting characters, even though with their countless past lives they should be the most enticing.
Instead, it is Leonard Snark with his multifaceted personality and Firestorm, the combination of Jax and Stein, that are the most compelling stories. They are so layered and nuanced. Snark is brilliant, and we know from his stint on The Flash that although he is a criminal, he possesses morals and a strong sense of loyalty. The relationship between the Professor and his young other half is incredibly fun to watch, too. It’s not quite a father-son relationship, but there are elements of that there. Maybe Kendra and Carter don’t seem as interesting because they are relatively new to this franchise. If that’s the case, hopefully they will be better built up over time.
The relationships within the team, it seems, are what will stand out most in this series. They are what will keep the viewers coming back for more. Everyone on the team is so different, it should make for compelling stories that grow and develop over time (get it?). As the Professor said at the end of the episode, “so, Captain, where are we going next?”
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs every Thursday night at 8pm EST on The CW.
Check out a preview for next week’s episode, “Blood Ties”!