In Morgan Glennon’s review of Legends of Tomorrow, she called it a fun but imperfect show. It’s a description that is very accurate. Legends of Tomorrow is messy, weird and so “comic book-y” that it hurts my nerd heart. Legends of Tomorrow is also very, very fun. It’s uncertain if Legends of Tomorrow will ever be able to surpass its bigger brothers Arrow and The Flash but already one episode in, it’s clear this is not a show you want to miss.
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Meet the Legends
Rip Hunter is a Time Master from the 22nd Century. He wants to go back in time to change the past and save the future from domination by an immortal man named Vandal Savage. The team he wants to recruit from 2016 consists of Sara Lance, Jefferson “Jax” Jackson, Martin Stein, Carter Hall, Kendra Saunders, Mick Rory, Leonard Snart and Ray Palmer. You probably already know them if you have been watching either Arrow or The Flash. The short version is that Sara is (objectively) the best, Ray’s a dork and Mick is the absolute worst and (objectively) the loudest.
There’s no practical reason for this specific team to exist, but since this is a TV show, all eight characters accept Rip’s offer to join a time traveling team and save the world. Well, except for Jax. He outright refuses the chance to become a time traveling superhero. So his “other half,” Martin Stein, drugs Jax. Stein then takes Jax onto Hunter’s time traveling spaceship called The Waverider. I’m oddly okay with Stein drugging his much younger crime fighting partner against his will.
Things Get Weird in the 70s
Once the team is assembled, Rip Hunter takes the team back to 1975. Hunter wants to recruit a professor who is an expert on Vandal Savage’s shared history with Carter and Kendra. He is named Aldus Boardman and according to Hunter, he will die in 24 hours. For the sake of brevity, this story was first told in the big Arrow/The Flash crossover, I’ll make the recapping of Carter, Kendra and Savage’s backstory very quick. In ancient Egypt, Vandal Savage was a jealous magician who was in love with Kendra’s first incarnation, Chay-Ara. Chay-Ara was in love with the Egyptian prince Khufu, Carter’s first life. Savage cursed himself and the two lovers to be reincarnated throughout time.
Boardman tells the audience all this and a new piece of information. He is the son of one of Carter and Kendra’s previous incarnations from the 1940’s. There is very little time to process this bombshell though. Boardman has devoted his life to finding his parent’s enemy. He tells Rip that he might know where Savage is in 1975.
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While all this plot stuff is going on, Sara, Snart and Mick go out for drinks in a bar. It quickly devolves into a brawl when a disgustingly big man tries to force himself on Sara. Sara starts punching people and Cold and Heatwave are only too happy to join in. It’s really just a diversion and completely pointless, but the scene is a ton of fun so who cares?
A Team Who Fights Together Stays Together
While Sara, Mick and Snart are out partying and punching, the ship gets attacked by a time traveling bounty hunter. Alerted to the danger by the ship’s AI, the team regroups and tries to defeat the man as he attacks them and their ship. They are unable to kill the bounty hunter but manage to escape on The Waverider. During the struggle, Boardman is fatally shot and dies.
Once the team is relatively safe, they want answers from Rip. Rip confesses that the bounty hunter is named Cronos and he works for the Time Masters. Rip has gone rogue from the Time Masters and they want to bring him back. Rip also didn’t choose these 8 people because they were great heroes and legends like he claimed. They were the exact opposite. In Rip’s original timeline, they were effectively losers who made no big impact on history. Therefore removing them from time would have very little impact.
When pressed, Rip also tells the team why he wants Vandal Savage defeated. Against Time Masters’ orders, Rip Hunter fell in love and had a family. Savage killed Rip’s family. Rip, with tears in his eyes, tells the team that Savage is an evil man but if they want to go back to their original time he will let them go back. Again, because this is a TV show, all the characters stay with Rip Hunter on the ship and commit to the mission. Jax doesn’t even need to be drugged this time!
Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8pm on The CW
(Image courtesy of The CW)