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REVIEW: Legends of Tomorrow 1×05 “Fail-Safe”

Please make it next week already, because all of that future stuff looks super cool. Of course before we get to 2046 we must first finish up the Legends adventures in 1986, as “Fail-Safe’ wrapped up our antics in soviet Russia with quiet a bang and some more solid team building moments. I have to say, in some respects I am actually enjoying Legends of Tomorrow way more than the other series on the CW as its near constant focus on building up all of its characters rather than only some makes for some quality television. Add in that the tone truly had a change from the lighter elements of the previous episodes and “Fail-Safe” manages to be the change of pace this show was looking for. We finally got to see a strong range of interactions and characters developments that made for a compelling plot, as well as playing to the best elements of the team.

First thing that I absolutely adored about this episode was that Rip was approaching the mission from a “we might actually lose” perspective. To give Sara the order to kill Stein if the need arises, or to have Sara tell Snart to stay on mission were extremely valuable moments of the team to have. Although I can appreciate the idea that our team will succeed in any given situation, for them to have the realization that they may have to make a sacrifice for the good of the team was a giant leap forward in character development. Eventually there will probably be a time where someone will have to take a bullet or sacrifice themselves for the good of the team, and that will hopefully lead to a huge moment of character development. Unlike Arrow or The Flash I at least feel fairly confident in the idea that this show can pull off a true character death that means something to this world.

With that darker tone came some really good character development for two sets of characters, Ray and Mick as well as Sara and Snart. I was really happy to see Mick play up his reputation as a career criminal and let Ray learn that everywhere is not all sunshine and puppies. At the same time I was especially proud to see Ray actually step up and earn Mick’s respect as he got the crap beat out of him by the interrogator. We knew Ray and Snart had a small begrudging bond, but now that Ray has earned Mick’s respect there are so many more possible avenues for this relationship to develop on. I want to see all of them out on a mission and having each others back rather than Mick and Snart only looking out for themselves. Similarly it was great to see Snart and Sara come to terms about not letting their terms define them. Sara is not just an assassin she is a valuable friend and pretty smart strategist, where as Snart is not just a thief he is also the most loyal and seemingly trustworthy member of the team. These are he steps that make up a nice solidification of the teams dynamics, so that at least we know no matter the mission it won’t entirely go off the rails.

One dynamic that it does feel like we are unfortunately being beaten over the head with is that of Jax and Stein. we are nearly halfway through the season and every episode has featured these two characters trying to reconcile or bond in some way, and at this point it is getting extremely frustrating to see the same plot point repeated over and over again. I understand that for the purpose of tonights episode it was worth the time and effort to make this happen, but at some point these two really need to trust each other implicitly. I did appreciate that it was Jax taking the initiative this time rather than Stein and showing Rip as well as the entire team exactly how important he is to the mission as a whole. Next week however, everything between these two characters better have been settled because I can’t handle another week of them not trusting each other.

The other aspect that was really touch and go this week were our villains, as Savage was compelling, but everyone else around him was very one note. I like that Savage is simply amused by everything going on around him and the fact that everyone who is challenging him is simply a nuisance. However, Vostok was really a one note villain of wanting to create Firestorm in order to help the soviets when she would have been infinitely more compelling if she was not as dedicated to the soviets and more loyal to Savage as a whole. It is also confusing as to how she thought that she could stabilize the Firestorm matrix without the proper equipment. The tech they needed was from 2015 how in the hell were they going to make a working, stable Firestorm? Just some confusing choices.

Overall it was a quality episode that set up a big set piece for next week.

Final Grade B

+Solid character teams

+Darker tone than usual

+Savage enjoyable

-Vostok never really developed into anything

-Firestorm drama getting old.

Extra Thoughts

-Jax’s pride in yelling “Barry Allen who.” was well worth the majority of the drama we had to go through.

-Sadly no Red Star. I can’t imagine he was on DC’s no use list, so I will look forward to his future appearance.

-Next week Connor Hawke, Future Deathstroke vs Future Ollie, and Mick in a pimp coat. I am very excited for Mick in a pimp coat.

About the author

Scott Swartz