The Legends finally crack the code to beat Vandal Savage
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’s season finale reinforced the notion that some shows take longer than others to find their way. Midway through, I was 50/50 on my enthusiasm for a second season. After a very strong final act culminating in a thrilling season finale, I’m pretty amped for Season 2. And that was even before that terrific last sequence arrival.
With Hawkman and Hawkgirl in Vandal Savage’s clutches and no way of tracking them down, Rip relieved his fellow Legends team of its duty ‘stranded’ them back in 2016. For most of the Legends even the five-month time jump failed to significantly impact their lives, but for Sara, it was life-altering.
After reuniting with her father, Sara learned her sister, Laurel, was killed by Damien Darhk. Caity Lotz has often played White Canary as the cool, controlled team member so it was a powerful moment seeing her so broken about losing Laurel. And as always Paul Blackthorne getting choked up never fails to be emotional. Quickly, the team starts to miss their old exploits and signals the Waverider to rejoin Rip.
Thanks to a time message from Kendra, the team finally figures out Savage’s plan. He’s going to use the three Thanagarian meteorites and make himself all powerful. Legends has slowly eased into a point where the schemes don’t fully have to make sense since they’re so enjoyable to watch unfold.
Playing up on the time traveling theme by having the team split off and battle Savage in three separate periods of time was a neat trick. Doubly so for returning to previous destinations the team explored earlier this season. Kudos to Rip for not sending Jax back to 1958 again. See? He’s learning.
The biggest sticking point was how after endless debates about being better than simple executioners the Legends ultimately did just kill Savage. Just like with Jessica Jones, heroes who recognize early on the only recourse to stopping the villain and not doing it just makes them responsible for the future crimes. Interestingly, Rip landed the final blow on the last Savage that sent him into a power grid. Surely that power wave wasn’t just for show and I’m sure that will be the catalyst for Savage’s return.
One of the most significant developments was how the episode finally started treated Firestorm like Firestorm. Stein was constantly backseat driving/commentating and Firestorm discovered a new power — transmutation. I’ve hated how Firestorm was basically the Human Torch and how redundant that made Rory. Now with his more comic book power, Firestorm should prove to be far more interesting in battles. While there’s still a decent learning curve, I’m really interested to see how Firestorm evolves over the course of the next season.
Beating Savage was just part one as each of the meteorites had to be destroyed before they destroyed the timeline as well. Firestorm changed one into water while ATOM shrank another to ineffectiveness. Those same tricks didn’t work for the third so Rip transported it in the Waverider toward the sun and pulled off his own last minute rescue. He’s ready to live and best honor his family by protecting the time stream.
With Savage defeated, Rip gave the group time to decide if they’d join him. The logistics somewhat got in the way here as there seemed little reason why the group had to leave so suddenly and not help Sara (and Team Arrow) beat Damien Darhk to avenge her sister. Stein was bored out of his skull playing Trivial Pursuit until his wife called Jax to get him back out the house. And Rory in essence bid farewell to Snart in a really nice scene in Central City 2013 with Rip’s assistance.
Only Hawkgirl and Hawkman decided to stay behind so they could figure out their complicated relationship. That wasn’t a major loss as Kendra never clicked as a character, Carter was always getting killed and the show’s budget had to limit the Hawks going all-out in most fights.
Now for the really exciting part. Just as the team prepares to head off for their next mission, another Waverider crash lands. The lone hooded passenger warns them not to get in the ship saying that was a direct message from Rory. The hooded figure pulls down his hood and introduces himself as Rex Tyler of the Justice Society of America!
Oh the possibilities! If we could just get even a 3 to 4 episode arc featuring the JSA I’d be ecstatic. But who else should be part of the team and be done reasonably well? Dr. Midnite, Sandman and Starman seem like easy options on the Legends’ budget and maybe Jakeem Thunder for the one time use of Thunderbolt as well as a powered down Dr. Fate? Let’s get those suggestions cranking!
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Legends struggled to find its way, but once it did, it really became an entertaining show. Assuming the latter half momentum is the new norm, this could very well regularly compete for Best of the Week in the CW’s DC TV lineup.