Since nearly the moment of his death during Legends of Tomorrow season 1, the show assured fans that they had not seen the last of Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold. After his alter ego died in the penultimate episode of season 1, Miller signed a series regular contract with all of The CW’s superhero shows ensuring he would have multiple appearances on The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow during the following season. Shortly thereafter it was announced that Miller would be a member of the supervillain group of Legends of Tomorrow season 2, the Legion of Doom.
Why the Big Cliffhanger of Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Is a Dud>>> All of this did come to pass. Cold was on The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow and he did join the Legion of Doom but the reality was far different from the expectation. There was ton of anticipation for Captain Cold’s return after his heroic sacrifice and it didn’t amount to much of anything. It can’t help but feel like Leonard Snart was wasted this season, especially on Legends of Tomorrow.
The Smallest Betrayal Ever
The triviality of Snart’s appearances on The Flash are excusable. It’s disappointing that Barry never really interacted with the real Cold, given how great their interactions were in the first two seasons, but it fit the narrative. Cold appearing in flashbacks, holograms and manifestations of the Speed Force made sense for The Flash season 3, which is currently juggling a lot of plotlines. On Legends of Tomorrow, however, it can’t help but feel like fans looking forward to the return of Cold were cheated, being baited and switched with a big character return. Even worse, Legends never justified Cold’s return beyond fan service.
The real Snart, albeit one gained from time travel, was only in three episodes of Legends of Tomorrow season 2. Any other appearance by Cold was even more a fake-out than those on The Flash. For most of Legends of Tomorrow season 2 Snart was just a product of Mick’s conscience and the repeated appearances by ghost Cold did nothing to change the story or trajectory of the season for anyone but Mick. Snart coming back and only affecting Mick is actually the root cause of why everything feels disappointing.
Mick and Snart had the longest-lasting and deepest relationship but by the end of season 1 Leonard Snart had formed deep connections with several members of the team. Snart had pretty obvious romantic feelings for Sara when he died, so much so that Sara passionately kissed Snart as he gave up his life to save her and the rest of the team. Yet when seeing Snart again Sara had no real reaction and certainly wasn’t emotional about it. This is not even to mention the bonds of a more platonic nature Cold formed with characters like Ray or Stein.
Even if the Cold who joined the Legion of Doom wasn’t the same Cold who died a hero, there should have been some reaction to the team (or at least Sara) seeing Snart again beyond standard shock. Legends of Tomorrow used all the beats they could have with Cold being a member of Legion of Doom when Rip was turned earlier in the season. Instead of Cold’s return having far-reaching consequences for the team or any kind of moral quandary for them, everything revolved around Mick Rory. This was the easiest and most unimaginative way the Legends could have handled Snart joining the Legion of Doom.
Much Evil Ado About Nothing
There is also the fact that Snart being a part of the Legion doesn’t change his character at all. It’s true that the same can be said of Darhk joining the Legion but ultimately Darhk’s role on the supervillain group, besides being a ton of fun to watch, was to morally challenge Sara. Darhk was a living reminder to Sara about what she can lose by keeping time in order and not trying to bring her sister back to life. Darhk didn’t need to be anything more than that as he got his life as a villain on Arrow.
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Snart, though, is as much a Legends of Tomorrow character as he is a Flash character, if not more so. There are almost no lasting consequences from Snart joining the Legion of Doom. He went back to his own time with his memory erased and is on a trajectory to die once again. The character deserved to be used for something other than just being another fun villain in the Legion of Doom. They should have really spent some time with how this Leonard Snart felt about joining the Legion besides a couple throwaway lines. Despite having the most previous history on the show, Snart was the least developed character on the Legion of Doom.
It could be argued that setting Snart back on his redemptive path made Mick into a better and more heroic character but that is a stretch. The Mick who found redemption on Legends of Tomorrow is the one from the future Doomworld who was then killed by Leonard Snart. The Mick who survived “Aruba” is not the same one who betrayed the Legends, eventually reunited them and then had to watch Amaya die. There’s nothing to stop this Mick from betraying the Legends again so even the impact Snart returning had on Mick doesn’t matter.
It wasn’t a complete waste of time for Snart to return to Legends of Tomorrow. Any excuse to see Wentworth Miller have a ton of fun playing that character should be good enough for the regular audience member. The scene where Mick wiped Snart’s memory and set him on his path to becoming a better, not softer, man was even rather emotional. Snart’s return wasn’t awful, it was just rather meaningless.
But what do you think? Did Legends of Tomorrow not do enough with Captain Cold’s return in season 2? Do you think the show will bring him back again next season? Should they have brought him back at all?
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(Image courtesy of The CW)