If you watched last week’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the newest spinoff series in the CW’s Arrowverse, you may have noticed the show take a step toward awesomeness. If so, you are not alone. The current ratings analysis puts it as the network’s most watched show for those 18-49, after The Flash and Arrow. That means it should have time to grow and develop since it will almost certainly be picked up for a second season. Where it will go from there is anybody’s guess, but it is nice to see it start to find its footing and not suck.
This week’s episode picks up about a week after the last one, in the show as well as, you know, reality. They are still unable to jump through time to hunt down Savage and Mick is getting a little antsy. But never fear! Rip has intercepted a suspiciously well-timed SOS from a fellow time master who is stranded in the same time as they are. Smell like a trap to anyone? Read on for SPOILERS. Can’t say we didn’t warn you…
Finally, yes finally, we get a bit more of a peek into Rip’s past. So far he has been a bit of a cranky enigma with hipster hair. Sure, it’s been divulged that Vandal Savage killed his wife and son, which he wasn’t supposed to have to begin with because he is a (now exiled) time master. And it was unveiled that he once traveled to ancient Egypt in order to kill Savage. But that’s kind of it. He has been fairly one dimensional in his need for revenge and control in general. But this episode starts out with him obsessively watching an old hologram message from his wife and son. There are tears in the steely man’s eyes. He does still have a heart! Various other flashbacks throughout the episode show the budding romance between him and what will be his wife, as they defy the rules of the time masters and fall in love. Eventually she drops out of the program because she can’t work for an organization that doesn’t value love, and if only one of them can be a time master, it should be Rip because it’s always been his dream. That’s very big of her.
Anyway, back on the marooned time ship Waverider, the crew is getting a little stir crazy, especially Mick, who is still sore at being dragged aboard against his will. When Rip receives a distress signal from Eve Baxter, another time master, he insists part of the team accompany him on a rescue mission. When it is pointed out that this is likely a trap, he refuses to hear it. Her time ship has the computer data needed to fix their ship, and she’s actual in the same time as they are…only in deep space.
Enter the space pirates! That’s right, real live space pirates. And they’re just as dastardly as you’d expect. It’s great. They capture Mick, Rip and Jax, who actually got to go on a big boy mission for once, and demand that they hand over the Waverider. Rip, of course, refuses, even when the pirates fire upon the life support systems and put the lives of Sarah, Leonard, Ray, and Kendra in danger. Stein is still aboard the shuttle ship, having a fanboy moment because he’s always wanted to go to space. He’s such a wonderful little nerd. Mick and Rip get into it, because Mick feels Rip should negotiate, and Rip tells him he has the IQ of meat. So basically he’s back to being an ass after his show of emotion earlier in the episode. Mick, understandably, is pretty irked by that and demands parley with the pirates. Whereby he agrees to turn over the Waverider in exchange for being dropped off back in 2016.
While this exchange is taking place, Sarah and Leonard have been locked in with the failing life support while the rest of the ship has been sealed off. They are slowly freezing to death and huddle together for warmth. Shippers everywhere rejoice! But nothing more intimate occurs than a little near-death (or in Sarah’s case, actual death) story swapping. Leonard gives the origin story behind his and Mick’s bromance. Turns out Mick stepped in when the big kids in juvy tried to beat the crap out of Leonard. How precious. Sarah explains to him that death isn’t scary but is just lonely.
Meanwhile, Ray nearly dies trying to seal the breach and save them. His super suit wasn’t designed for space use and he runs out of oxygen and goes into cardiac arrest. Kendra saves him, and while doing so confesses her feelings for him. Ray finally gets the girl. It’s a girl most fans wish would be killed off, but a girl nonetheless. Way to go, Ray. You’ve got to start somewhere. Although you may not want to go for the girl who is able to get over the man she has loved for centuries in about three episodes.
They don’t have long to celebrate, however, because soon Mick is onboard with the space pirates (!) and forcing Leonard to choose sides. Surprisingly, he throws his longtime buddy under the bus and sides with his new hero friends. Cue fight scene. While the Legends fight on the Waverider, Stein saves the day on the other time ship and frees the trapped Jax and Rip, and the forgettable time master they came there to rescue in the first place. Rip charges after the pirate captain and nearly gets himself killed at about the same time Leonard shoots his freeze gun at his best friend and Ray and Kendra fend off the pirates.
As usual, it seems this chapter will have a happy ending. Except, what is to be done with Mick? Leonard says he’ll take care of him. He drags an unconscious Mick off the time ship and into the middle of nowhere, wakes him up, and gives him an ultimatum. When Mick doesn’t back down and tells him only one of them is leaving there alive, Leonard blasts him (gasp!). Did he actually kill him? Stay tuned for next week’s episode. Ohhhh the suspense…
Ok, the gripes are pretty non-existent here. This show is getting better and better. It will undoubtably plateau at some point, but for now the ride is smooth and exciting. The cliff-hanger ending was a nice touch. It will be interesting to see if Mick is really killed off. First Carter, now Mick? Sure, he’s not the most important or absorbing character, but he’s a far cry more compelling than Kendra. Why the writers insist on making her be such a dud is unclear, but boy is she a wet noodle. Her only existence is to be the object of attraction to someone or another. Ugh. It looks like next week’s episode is centered on her, so maybe she’ll gain some dimensions.
On to what this show is doing right. The pacing is good, although it would be nice to have a bit of an arc where the story remains in once place and time for more than two episodes. It’s not needed now, but eventually a small sense of stability would be helpful. That said, Harmony Falls, Oregon circa 1959 should be a fun time (get it? time?). Also, Leonard is still very much the scene stealer. His story is the most colorful, and his character the most varied. It looks like they’re setting up a relationship between him and Sarah, and that could be lovely. Now, if only Sarah could be as nuanced. There really should be at least one strong female character in this bunch, and she’s got the best odds of filling that vacancy. She was great on Arrow, and can be again.
Otherwise, what more could you want? There is the tease of romance, a ton of action, and some time-hopping that allows for pop culture references galore. Add the endless cameo potential from other characters of the Arrowverse and you’ve got a pretty sound recipe for a good show. Beef up Sarah, make Kendra a character people care about, and continue developing the men folk and voila. Near perfection.
Stay tuned next week for the eighth episode, “Night of the Hawk”, on the CW Thursday at 8pm ET.