Legends of Tomorrow – Pilot, Part 2
The characters seem to finally find their rhythm.
It's still a little cheesy.
Another week, another episode featuring our favourite misfits! This time around I was actually much happier and less prone to draw parallels with Doctor Who, focusing instead on the story at hand. As you might remember from Part 1 of the show, our band of future legends, have ended up involved in the efforts of securing a future for the world, after Vandal Savage has decided to single handedly take over it all. Immortality, right? If you can’t die, what’s there left for you other than world domination?
Picking up from where they left off the week before, still in search of Savage, our time-travelling companions find themselves in Norway, still trying to save the world, with various degrees of success. This time around they need to stop Savage from selling a nuclear warhead to the highest bidder and what better way to do that than by posing as buyers? I had a distinct feeling that this was very much like an A-Team episode, except the plan did not come together as intended. But…at least they tried?
The ”team” members, and I use the word loosely, are still trying to find their groove (What? They are in the ’70s!) and the friction between them is obvious. Everyone wants to lead, everyone has a plan, but no one wants to listen to what the other has to say. I for one appreciated the realism of the situation. Teams that come together and work like well oiled machines after less than a week scare me. Every character’s individuality is respected and hints are offered to their backgrounds and motivations, without being particularly heavy-handed.
Except for when it comes to our two Hawks, who, while seemingly central to the plot, are managing in some miraculous way, to remain at the periphery of my interest. They are the two that have met Savage thousands of years ago, were murdered by him repeatedly and have their fates entwined with his, yet the wooden acting, the lack of chemistry and the dumbing down of the two characters make for two of the least compelling characters I’ve seen on TV in recent years. I mean, I found myself cheering as Carter died. And I’m not okay with that, yet there it was. This is why people end up rooting for the villains or the designated bad guys!
Our little undercover group fails to maintain their cover while buying nuclear weapons and the seemingly simple operation devolves into chaos, with everyone joining in on the fray, while Savage escapes with the threat of blowing up Norway. Firestorm, who wasn’t given all that much to do last week is given the chance to shine and he manages to save the day twice. Norway is safe for now, but the timeline has been altered, and not for the best, when Atom managed to lose a piece of technology from his suit – now the world is getting destroyed at an even faster pace. He’s properly chastised by Rip, who unlike last week has very little to do this time around. Given the size of the cast, it’s not easy to make sure the spotlight shines on everyone, but they need to find a better way to balance things or they’ll end up with a sizeable amount of talent wasted on one liners and nothing more.
However, that particular conflict was solved in under 10 minutes of runtime, which reminds me of all the other convenient things that happen to make sure the plot moves along at a steady pace, whether it works or not. Sara manages to recover the piece of technology, kicking ass and taking names, much like she did before and I for one was deeply satisfied with it. She is strong, she is smart and she knows it. What’s more important, everyone else knows it too. With one crisis averted, but also with enough runtime to go, a new important detail comes to the light. There might be a way to end Savage. Which…brings us back to our resident, uninteresting Hawks. Given how only a particular weapon can kill the immortal, what else to do than find the weapon? Alas, as it happens, it was Vandal Savage that owned it in the first place and he makes quick work of catching our thieves – Captain Cold and Heatwave, surprisingly joined by the boy scout Atom. Nothing wrong with being a boy scout, but when criminal activities are involved it might be a better idea to allow the pros to deal with it. Just saying. (I am still rooting for Captain Cold and Heatwave though – they are my favourites. Yes, Prison Break might have something to do with that.)
With Captain Cold, Heatwave and Atom out of commission, everyone else comes to the rescue. Hawkgirl and Hawkman are especially eager, considering they finally figured out a way to put Savage down for good: the very knife they were there to steal in the first place. But it’s only the second episode and killing Savage would put our Legends out of business, so steps must be taken to ensure his survival. Unfortunately it means another dumbing down of the Hawks who are beaten quickly and swiftly by Vandal. Carter ends up murdered, the reveal that only Kendra can kill Savage with the knife comes, and.. she… abandons her Hawkgirl persona mid-fight to hold Carter in her arms as he dies. It would be understandable if it weren’t stupid. I’m sorry, but this is why the two of them ended up dead over and over and over again through the ages! Do not turn your back on the enemy! Have I mentioned she gets stabbed by Savage when she’s not paying attention?! Unfortunately…erm…I mean, luckily, she survives and she will live to fight another day.
I’ve been a fan of comics for long enough to know that what is dead never stays dead for long, but fingers crossed Carter does not make some surprise revival. I mean, his death did seem to motivate the team to stay together and! in a surprising twist! it was not the woman that met her untimely demise this time around.
There was a little side-plot involving Dr. Stein who looks for his younger self in order to get a piece of technology that would help them in their mission and his desperation to ensure that his meeting with his wife happens was actually touching. Victor Garber is a great actor and he actually shines in this episode. You know, it could be the fact that he hadn’ abducted anyone after using a roofie on them that actually made him more likeable… Still Rip’s willingness to help him as he almost fails to have his chance encounter with his future wife revealed that Rip, under his ”harsh exterior” still remembers why having someone that loved you and that you loved in return in your life matters so much. He only has his memories, after all.
All in all, the episode was great, hopefully this week’s episode will be even better. I’ll leave you with the promo for it. It definitely looks interesting.