Someone queue up Huey Lewis and The News, Legends of Tomorrow is back for better or worse. Despite being the most comic like of all the DCW shows, Legends suffered from it’s lack of clear direction. Whereas Flash, Arrow, and now Supergirl have clear well defined arcs that help their characters grow, Legends subscribes to the “screw it, this seem like a good idea” school of storytelling. Thats not to say that Legends is by any means a bad show, in fact out of all of the premieres that have take place this fall it may be the second most enjoyable from a pure pulp idea. It is the way in which Legends went about showing its cards that has me worried about how the season will take place and evolve. It is one thing to be super fun and pulpy, it is and entirely other thing to feel as if you are directionless and one step away from flying off the rails.
As with any episode of Legends we start with how great the characters are. I mean sure we were lacking in a truly cohesive plot but damn if it isn’t fun to see all of these characters play off each other. Watching Jax be the annoying baby brother to Sara, Mick and Ray’s friendship taking a new form, Jax being trained in the ways of the Waverider by Rip. Of all the shows I think that Legends easily manages to have the most cohesive and fun group of characters. It may be a side effect of never really taking time to actually focus on the plot, but just spending time with the crew is what makes this episode fun. I mean everyone has their faults, everyone has their strengths, but this is truly a team effort and not just relying on one or two characters to make the show work.
Similarly, we had a really good plot device in the form of Dr. Nate Heywood and Oliver learning about the Legends from Mick. It makes sense to have the least sensible member of the Legends be the one to educate Nate, and seeing Mick recount France and New York adds a special flair to the whole affair. Nate as a character right now is unfortunately very bland, since unlike the rest of the cast we have no real history with him and have not grown to love or hate the character yet. He feels like a low rent mixture between Stein and Rip, so I can only hope that he manages to develop some charisma or fun rapport with our team moving forward. Same thing goes for the JSA reveal at the end. We need these characters to feel larger than life and not just be unfortunate one offs.
On the other side of the coin, I really have no idea as to why the writers thought this would be a good way to reintroduce us to the cast. The overall plot of the team attempting to stop Damien Darhk in 1942 was a solid focus, but the little interludes left a lot to be desired. Rip’s idea of scattering the team across time was a fun little idea, but it lacked the necessary punch to make us fear for the team. I mean despite Mick saying Rex specifically told them not to go to 1942 and that the threat of going to New York is nothing new. I wanted to be afraid for the team and have a better understanding of why Rip decided this was the only course of action. Especially in light of him now no longer being part of the crew. I mean are we never going to see Rip again or is he simply going to swoop in at a moments notice. It just seems so fractured that we may loose focus to quickly.
We also had the introduction of two members of the Legion of Doom in the form of Reverse Flash and Damien Darhk. From the info we are presented in this episode it seems as if they are screwing with the timeline for no apparent reason other than they can. If this is the case, which I am fairly certain it is not then we have a very flimsy Legion. I mean these are some of the worst of the worst and they are messing with the timeline for shits and giggles? It seems super small in scope if that is all they are up to.
Overall it was a decent enough premiere. It was just missing that punch that has helped to make the series enjoyable.
Final Grade B-
+Excellent action scenes
+Strong character interactions
+Setup for the team losing their safety net
-Legion of Doom feels slightly flimsy
-Weak overall plot for the episode
-Nate feels bland
-Team getting scattered across time had no tension
-Best moments of the episode were easily Jax giving Sara props for sleeping with the Queen and Sara being proudly promiscuous. Sara starting in the lead for MVP this season.
-Oliver really had no reason to be there besides to threaten Mick. Not a huge complaint but it is nice to have dickish Ollie back.
-Einstein is a player. I love it.
-So Eobard was just chilling on that ship and no one saw him. What the hell?