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SERIES PREMEIRE REVIEW: Legends of Tomorrow 1×01 “Pilot Part 1”

Written by Scott Swartz

Ok, week started off pretty poorly but this was quite the way to cap it as Legends of Tomorrow has finally arrived. Well, at least the first half of the pilot has and it was pretty damn entertaining to watch as a fan of television in general. So lets get this out of the way in case you don’t watch Arrow or The Flash or even read comics and you are super confused for some reason. Just think of the show like a time travel movie where they are trying to prevent a horrible catastrophe, except with a ton of super heroes and a bunch of action. Great now onto the main program which took some time to get into, completely understandable pilot problems that have to happen as our captain, Rip Hunter has abducted eight people from the past in order to fight a brutal immortal dictator. This could easily devolve into madness or insanity as most time travel shows tend to do, however we are able to remain on course our to a solid amount of world building and belief in some cool characters.

So let’s get the big reveal out of the way, our title is completely false and our “heroes” are not in fact legends in any way shape or form. Rip, played by Doctor Who’s Arthur Darvill, has taken a bunch of misfits and rogues as they won’t necessarily be missed or have any major ramifications on the timeline. Make no mistake this is a super great reveal as all of our heroes have basically been told they are on a suicide mission and that they are not important to the overall plan. It is also perfect because all of our heroes have lost something or are in search of something. Ray and Sara are both searching for their identity in the wake of their resurrections, Snart and Mick just want to screw around, Jax and Stein a bond they clearly don’t have, and the Hawks just want every form of payback imaginable. There are so many different paths that this story can take since we don’t know who will make it out of this entire ordeal alive and that is a super exciting affair to watch unfold.

Despite how enjoyable it is to watch everyone interact and play around there are a few standout characters both good and bad. Watching Sara, Snart, and Mick “get weird in the 70’s” is perhaps some of the best material we have been given on any sort of DCTVU show. It just is weird how well the three characters manage to interact as they are sidelined by Rip since their “skills” are not required for this particular mission. I especially love the fact that Caity Lotz owns the hell out of that seen and basically relegates Snart and Mick to her backup. It manages to show that all of our characters are important regardless of if they were side characters on other shows. Lotz manages to steal every scene she is in, as does Dominic Purcell’s surprising comic relief from Heat Wave.

Despite all of the great banter the show does have a major problem with the characterization of Victor Garber’s Martin Stein. Stein has always been a stalwart reliable good guy on The Flash and yet from the word go he is quite possibly one of the worst people on screen, and that is including the fact Vandal shot a kid in the face. I mean he does some light nagging of Jax for nearly blowing up a chemical plant, but then escalates his behavior to roofies, kidnapping, and being angry with Jax for not being cool with everything. It just felt like a complete 180 for the character we have known for so long that even his explanation of eating to be on more adventures before his time was up made absolutely no sense. I mean he is one half of Firestorm, there are plenty of adventures to be had you don’t need to drug your partner and risk fracturing the key to your superpowers.

Jax’s portrayal was also a little bit off considering he wanted to redeem himself so badly and had seemed to accept the ramification of being Firestorm, luckily his turn was easier to accept and hopefully we will get to see a wider range of their abilities moving forward. Similarly, we really didn’t get to see much of Casper Crump’s Vandal Savage. I had expected him to be way more of a presence in this episode rather than Chronos being the adversary the team was forced to confront. I mean only the Hawks have any type of interaction with him so far, so it would have been better for the team to see how dangerous the foe they are going up against truly is. Hopefully, the back half of the pilot will feature Vandal way more as the menace is really not apparent at this point.

Overall it was a really strong opener, hopefully leading into a very strong season.

Final Grade B

+Full of Sci-Fi goodness

+Strong mix of character types

+Excellent setting

-Weird characterization for Stein

-Lack of Vandal

Extra Thoughts

-“I say we go get weird in the ’70s.” I just need a show of Sara, Snart, and Mick screwing around through time and having random sexy time antics.

-So Rip watched his son get shot in the face. His son is Booster Gold. Booster is dead.

-I love how down Mick is for shenanigans, this is the Heat Wave I have been waiting for.

About the author

Scott Swartz