The CW’s new freshman show, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has surpassed every expectation I had. They banded together B, C, D and E list heroes and villains led by Time Master, Rip Hunter, to stop Vandal Savage from destroying Earth in 2166 (as well as prevent the deaths of Rip’s wife and son). The ragtag crew consists of Captain Cold, Heat Wave, White Canary, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, and Firestorm (Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson). Think 1 part Doctor Who, 1 part Suicide Squad, two dashes of The Flash and Arrow and a sprinkle of A Course In Miracles and you have LoT.
Characterization and relatability are always a huge part of my commitment to a show. LoT’s writers have consistently focused on the development of the characters as much as the storylines, if not more so. My particular favorites are Sara Lance and Kendra Saunders. When these two characters are together, sparks fly as they see a reflection of themselves in each other. Light accepting dark and dark accepting light.
Additionally, we slowly see the redemption of former villains Captain Cold and Heat Wave into altruistic heroes. While the internet was all ablaze about Martin Stein’s decision to roofie Jefferson in the series premiere, the partnership of these very different individuals develops well. Ray Palmer’s constant insecurities about not making a difference is interesting to watch, and Rip Hunter gives a certain Time Lord a run for his money. Unfortunately, we barely got a chance to know hunky Hawkman as he dies in the second episode (but comes back later but from another time period). The best part, no headaches from all the time jumping that this writer can sometimes suffer from.
Enough of my love fest for this show. On to the Season Finale: Legendary.
::River Song Voice:: SPOILERS!
The episodes opens with Rip Hunter returning the team to 2016, sans Captain Cold, who allegedly died in the previous episode, and Hawkgirl and Hawkman who have been kidnapped by Savage. Since Savage has succeeded in conquering the Earth in 2166 as well as killing Mrs. Hunter and Rip Jr., the Time Master has given up. He deceives the team and abandons them back at their time. The team is brought together by the news of Laurel Lance’s alleged death on that atrocity of a show Arrow (season 4 anyway) and Sara’s quest to save her. Rip refuses to go back in time and save Laurel (and kind of roofies Sara). Along the way, Kendra gets a message to the team and the LoT are back in action.
Of course conquering the Earth in 2166 was not enough for Savage. He concocts a plan in which he erases time and is permanently romantically linked with his love – Kendra (Single White Female anyone?). The episode spans three time periods and the action of the centuries ensues. The best part – my girls Sara and Kendra – take permanent care of Savage (with help from Heatwave). However, before they can celebrate their victory, a new disaster emerges and the team is dumbfounded as to what to do.
Rip appears to make the ultimate sacrifice, possibly fueled by feeling defeated, but the most underrated member of the team, Gideon – The Waverider’s computer guidance system, reminds him why he must go on and live. Rip ends the latest disaster and rejoins the team with a new mission – guarding the timeline. He asks all the members to rejoin him but sadly the Hawks decline. As they are about to board the Waverider, another Waverider appears and none other than Rex Tyler comes out, setting the stage for Season 2 of LoT.
So, what makes these characters legendary? It’s not their flashy costumes, mad fighting skills, or bad ass super-powers. It wasn’t that they disposed of Savage over three time periods. It’s their innate desire to create change in the world and putting the team’s needs before their own. It is through these self-surprising altruistic acts that they see a side of themselves that they otherwise would not have. They don’t necessarily believe in themselves but through each other’s eyes and the selflessness that emerges, they rise and become legends.
Thank you LoT writers for providing this geek with a mirror of what I aspire to be (sans the costume, fighting skills and superpowers) because altruism is a superpower.