At the end of the premiere episode last week, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow left me encouraged of the show it could eventually become. Tonight’s episode had me far more optimistic and actually eagerly anticipating next week’s show. Not bad for a sophomore outing.
Given the way the episode played out, I wonder if CW wouldn’t have just been better off making the premiere a two-hour event instead of splitting the pilot across two weeks. Part 2 provided a fuller picture of what future episodes would resemble since it wasn’t burdened with exposition and team assembling like the premiere.
The team stayed in 1975 as their pursuit of Vandal Savage led them to Norway where he was auctioning a nuclear warhead. I really wish the DC CW shows would ditch their opening credits format as they spoiled Damien Darhk’s cameo with the “special guest appearance by Neal McDonough” mention before he arrived on screen. Despite the tip-off, it was fun watching the equally apparently ageless Darhk interact with fellow villains Heat Wave and Captain Cold.
One of the more impressive aspects of the show early on has been the action sequences, which are clean and give everyone a nice spotlight to show off their abilities. Atom’s powers seem to focus more on his shrinking ability than being a DC stand-in for Iron Man, which is a major improvement.
During the battle with Savage’s men, Ray lost part of his armor, forcing the team to retrieve it before creating a time paradox with Savage having access to 21st century tech much earlier. I like that Savage doesn’t have any powers beyond what he’s learned over the decades and the team can travel to multiple eras and fight less or more experienced versions of Savage.
We got a great example of the potential screwiness the team’s time traveling could create with Professor Stein interacting with his younger self to find a device capable of tracking Atom’s missing part. This felt ripe from a common subplot on Quantum Leap, which is a great thing. I really liked that this episode explored other team combinations.
Ray was far less appreciative of going on a mission with Cold and Heat Wave than Canary was last week while Stein, Jax and Canary were a fun pairing. Heat Wave has been a lot more enjoyable in this setting playing the thick-headed, but loyal hammer of the team. Cold and Heat Wave may have won me over with their participation on this show as this episode established the comics’ Rogues code of honor and their thief mentality.
Watching the team members react to the various time frames, particularly the fashion — Canary in go go boots was amazing FYI — seems like a winning weekly formula. One of the funniest moments was young Stein smoking a doobie and hitting on Canary while older Stein and Jax looked on in part admiration and disgust. And faced with the threat of his younger self not meeting his future wife due to their involvement allowed Stein to show some concern for his wife. It still seems odd Stein was so preoccupied with ensuring he would get married than worrying about the wife he ditched in the present to go play time-traveling superhero.
Savage finally was established as a genuine threat to the team as he trapped Atom, Heat Wave and Cold and used them as bait to lure Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Even more surprising was Savage actually halfway accomplishing his goal by killing Hawkman.
The fight at Savage’s home was top-notch with easily discernible action and showcase moments for the team. Hopefully this wasn’t just the premiere budget and this level of quality will continue throughout the season.
Considering the DC CW universe, I probably shouldn’t grieve too long, but Hawkman’s death is good for the sake of the show for a number of reasons. Two winged characters on this show would be redundant; it allows a reference of the potential risk of their mission and gives the team a personal vendetta against Savage. There’s definitely potential story lines for Kendra now that her memories of loving Carter returned. I want to buy into it, but seeing as how the DC CW shows’ specialty is reincarnation and death fake-outs, I’ve got a feeling this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Hawkman.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Quickly picking up the pace from the solid premiere, the second half of the pilot showed Legends could quickly become a player in the must-watch superhero TV show category thanks to the team chemistry and high quality action scenes.