Truly the Forest Gump of the comic book TV shows, Legends of Tomorrow again proved you never know what you’re going to get from week to week. Prior to its March Madness inspired hiatus, Legends was trending downward with some questionable decisions and a cliffhanger the show seemed poised to fumble upon its return. Instead, the show delivered its second best outing with some time traveling fallout and another killer cameo from the Arrow franchise.
Stranded in 1958, Ray, Kendra and Sara tried to adjust to their new time stranded lives. Two years later, Ray and Kendra appeared to easily settle into their role as a college professor and librarian. The only eye rolling moment was Ray teaching William Gates and being the one to suggest he nicknamed Bill. In limited doses those kind of winking moments aren’t bad. Ray’s gig was a nice touch as he was in the profession of his comic book counterpart. The DC CW team is typically great on these subtle nods so I was surprised they missed stranded the trio there for three years to coincide with The Silver Age Atom’s comic book debut.
When Rip finally regained control of the Waverider and located them, Ray wasn’t exactly thrilled to ditch the life he’d established over the last two years while Kendra was ecstatic to return to normal. I hadn’t warmed to the Kendra/Ray romance until this episode. While we didn’t see most of it, the two years they spent as a couple gave their relationship some much needed credibility that it wasn’t just a teammate thing. Ray was so set to move on he was set to propose to Kendra, but ended up shelving it.
Sara wanted little to do with this boring suburban life and returned to the League of Assassins and Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable). It was very cool watching Sara go into full-bore assassin mode again. And I totally geeked out with the unexpected Ra’s cameo complete with young Talia al Ghul (Milli Wilkinson) making her DC CW debut.
The team’s plan to retrieve Sara didn’t go as smoothly as planned. Sara was well indoctrinated into her League training and was unwavering in her loyalty to Ra’s forcing Kendra to face her in combat to secure their release. Despite Kendra’s best effort, Sara still beat her and came thisclose to killing her before Chronos arrived.
Snart had his own former associate issues as Chronos kidnapped him and revealed his identity. Like many viewers correctly guessed, the bumbling, incompetent Chronos was actually time displaced Heat Wave itching for payback on his old teammates. Although it may have been predictable, this made sense while explaining why Chronos was so doggedly pursuing them and failing at every turn. Rory was never a strategist and his charging approach was completely in character even after decades of reprogramming by The Time Lords. From a shock value that reveal worked, but it did seem strange that Rip Hunter never knew Chronos’ identity.
Snart freezing his hand to shatter his restraints seemed a bit melodramatic especially since with that kind of foot and trigger control, he’d been better off aiming at the restraints. Ultimately his sacrifice meant little since Rip had a handy tissue regeneration device aboard the Waverider.
The budget was clearly in effect this episode as Firestorm, Atom and Hawkgirl got to flex their powers in taking Chronos down. Just before the team was set to take Chronos out for good, Snart arrived to spare Rory once again. This led to an inspired heroic discussion where the team unanimously decides to help Rory break the Time Masters’ conditioning.
With the gang reunited, Rip refocuses on the main objective — Vandal Savage and traveling into the future to tangle with him next. The show always gets a bit iffy when directly involving Savage so I’m a bit leery any good will come of going after him again when episodes like Star City 2046 and this one prove the show is better without him and the team’s dubious main mission.
If Legends could be this solid every week it would be in the top tier of the comic book TV genre. Next week could go the complete opposite direction, but one thing is always for sure — this will be an unpredictable ride each week.