Well, ladies and gentlenerds, it looks like DC’s Legends of Tomorrow may finally have found its footing. There have been two episodes in a row that were not only consistently bearable to watch, but actually enjoyable. This week offered a peek into the future of Star City in the year 2046. We got to see a Oliver as an old and slightly more grizzled man, as well as some of the children of the characters on the hit CW show Arrow. The regular cast of Legends also developed some much needed layers, as they had to race against time to fix their ship and try not to do anything to cement the current future in which they found themselves. Read on for more, but BEWARE OF SPOILERS!
It appears that every episode will pick up exactly where the prior one left off. This is certainly no exception to that norm. The story opens on Star City circa 2046 where the gang roams the streets taking in the wreckage and anarchic feel of the city some of them used to call home. After a quick panorama of the scene, they run into what appears to be Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow. They quickly realize, as he tries to kill them, that it is not their favorite former billionaire after all. They return to the timeship in a hurry and Rip explains that they need to get out of there stat. The future is not set, but any changes they make could help make it a little more certain. It’s time to fix the ship and ship out.
As what also appears to be the standard operating procedure, the team splits into two factions. The A team goes out to find some special prototype part the ship needs, which should be conveniently housed at what is not Smoak Technologies (get it, future Felicity). The B team stays behind to work on the broken ship. In theory, the B team was supposed to be those who were attached to Star City in any way, or who were good with technology, but Sarah talks her way into being part of the A Team. Who’s shocked? Nobody.
The A team comes head to head with the current Arrow again, and learn that he has donned the hood because Oliver Queen is dead. He agrees to help them find the prototype, though, and leads them to Oliver’s old lair. Only to find out that Oliver is still alive! He’s only got one arm, but he’s gosh to goodness still alive and kicking. He’s a little older and a lot grouchier, though, because his city has become overrun by Slade Wilson’s equally evil son, Grant Wilson, who goes by the codename Deathstroke. That’s a name even Sisco Ramon would appreciate. Oliver reveals that his replacement is John Diggle Jr., but the young man is too distraught over being unable to save his father to accept his name. He prefers Connor Hawk.
Somehow, everyone’s favorite badboys manage to get separated from Rip and Sarah. Mick takes over a biker gang and becomes their leader. He is thrilled with this future and has no intention of leaving it, not even when Deathstroke shows up and orders Mick’s cronies to find and kill Rip and Sarah. Leonard, meanwhile, has just been watching with his friend, without really participating. He can’t stand by and let members of their team be killed, though. Mick accuses him of going soft and wanting to be a hero, but Leonard tables the discussion for after they save their friends. At the showdown between Deathstroke’s biker cronies and the A Team, after securing the prototype, defeating the bad guys, and realizing Connor Hawk has been kidnapped, Leonard knocks Mick out. He’s the boss, and they’re staying with the team, dang it.
Speaking of the team, while the A Team is having all the fun, the B Team is attempting to fix the ship. In theory. Mostly Ray and Jax flirt with Kendra. Professor Stein and Jax explore their psychic link more, as the emotions the one is feeling leak into the other. Stein realizes in this way that Jax has a crush on Kendra, and is annoyed by his competition with Ray. And he adorably tries, and fails, to help the kid out. He does teach him a thing or too about confidence, in that fatherly way of his.
The romance is broken up in two ways. First, Kendra puts a stop to the competition when she thoroughly shuts Ray down. The man she is destined to spend her life with has just been killed. It’s too soon. Then, the A Team comes back with an unconscious Mick and the part needed to fix the ship. Yay, they can leave! Or at least, they can leave as soon as Sarah gets back, because she can’t help herself and has to do something to save her beloved city. So she brings Oliver an updated futuristic bow and arrows that even someone with only one arm can shoot. Just in time for the epic showdown. Sarah acts as a diversion at Connor’s hanging, while Oliver comes in with his fancy new toy and takes on Deathstroke. Meanwhile, her team can’t in good conscious leave her behind, so the troops come in with guns blazing (and freezing) to help her out. The good guys, as always, win, and the team heads off again to find Vandal Savage.
There’s a lot going on this episode, but somehow it doesn’t feel rushed and everyone gets a moment or two to shine. The romance on the ship is silly and ridiculously lighthearted, especially in contrast to the dark and grittiness of 2046 Star City, but that works. It’s a nice break, the light and dark kind of equal out a bit in this episode, and that’s a smart move. The show has found its tone, halfway between Arrow and The Flash, exactly where it needs to be.
The characters are also fleshed out much more here. Mick and Leonard’s true colors are revealed, and they don’t necessarily match. Mick wants power and a loyal following. He seems to be very much the villain that was first introduced. Leonard, on the other hand, seems to like how it feels to be a hero. He may not be the gold star hero that Ray is, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be. Sarah is still trying to redeem herself. Professor Stein and Jax are building on their relationship, and it is a great storyline to watch. Stein’s father figure and Jax’s eager pupil seem stale, until you add in the arrogance that both men are flush with. Rip is still an enigma, and Kendra is still a Mary Sue. Actually, in this episode she is more of one than ever since her only role is to be a love interest for Ray and Jax.
It is a little alarming that part of the reason this episode worked so well is that neither Vandal Savage nor Kronos were in it. Aren’t they supposed to be main fixtures on the show? Is there a way that Savage can be killed off and the series can continue? Because that would be great. It works much better without him.
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, “Marooned”. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs every Thursday at 8pm ET on the CW.