Friday, January 29, 2016

DC's Legends of Tomorrow 1x02 "Pilot, Part 2" (Time Changes, People Don’t) [Contributor: Lizzie]

"Pilot, Part 2"
Original Airdate: January 28, 2016

Well, that was certainly not what I expected. In fact, that was so far from what I expected that I’ve lost sight of my expectations. I wonder where those went. It’s not that I miss them, but it’s very rare that a show manages to catch me completely off-guard. In a good way. At least, I think in a good way.

Two-part pilots are tricky to say the least, especially when they air on different nights. Pilots are supposed to do two things and two things only: introduce you to the characters, and hook you. Part one of the pilot did the first effectively (with a lot of help from Arrow and The Flash) but, until the last few minutes of part two, I wasn’t quite sure the second hour had done enough to get me invested.
Color me surprised. And, okay, maybe intrigued. Not convinced yet, but I’m here. I’m willing.

So, join me as we recap a wildly-entertaining though still rather messy episode of Legends of Tomorrow, and speculate on what, exactly, needs to happen next.


The whole time-travel thing is a mess. And when I say a mess, I mean a BIG mess. I’m an X-Files fan, so I can tell you about messes. The X-Files conspiracy? Mess. THIS? Even bigger mess.

Basically, I don’t understand anything regarding time-travel rules in this universe. I have a vague idea of them, but no concrete evidence if my guesses are right, because Rip Hunter never actually explains anything. And I love me some sass, but how can he expect these eight people he dragged on a journey through time to NOT mess up if he doesn’t ever explain how time travel actually works? What can they do? What’s unacceptable? Just tell them, Rip. And tell us, while you’re at it.

Far be it for me to ask for more exposition on a show that’s already having problems balancing exposition, but some explanations you need and others you don’t. This is vital. You’re the expert, Rip. Set some ground rules. Fast.


The premise of this show promised us a wealth of disparate interactions. These people had nothing in common, after all, and they were being forced to spend a lot of time together in a confined space. The whole thing was (is) a gold mine. But I have to admit, even in my wildest moments, I didn’t see Snart/Ray coming. I mean, the two of them being forced to work together? Okay. Me liking their interactions, and wanting to see more of them? Nope, never in a million years would I have guessed that.

In a way, we’ve already been here with Snart. Ray is just playing the role of Barry in the “you’re smarter than this” game. Because Snart IS smarter than this, and I don’t even mean smarter than being a criminal, I mean smarter than a guy who resorts to this because he can’t do anything else. Ray is just a painful reminder of what he could have been had his life turned out differently.

And in this, the show finally does exactly what it promised — it makes these very different people confront other sides of themselves, other possibilities. It’s not character growth quite yet, but it’s only episode two. I’m willing to give this particular element some time.

(And by “some time,” I mean like three or four more episodes.)


Our “feathered friends” Kendra and Carter have been underwhelming, to say the least. We were told they were great warriors, and yet never really saw it. We were told they were in love, and yeah, not buying that either. And that’s the problem. We were told many, many things, but the two actors playing these characters were projecting nothing.

Well, nothing good, at least.

OTPs these days are not predetermined things that you package and sell to fans. Most of the times, it’s the other way around. When the chemistry is there, the fans will demand it. And Kendra/Carter? No one was buying that. No one was selling that. In fact, most people didn’t even care.

I’m going to go on a limb and say the problem was mostly with Carter. He was a jerk, who acted like he knew absolutely everything (even though he clearly didn’t — past child and all), had an attitude about the fact that Kendra didn’t remember their lives together, and just expected her to fall in love with him even though he wasn’t doing anything to make it happen. He clearly cared for her, and maybe, from his point of view, this was all inevitable (207th time and all) anyway. But his attitude didn’t exactly make him all that lovable.

Oh, yeah, and I use the past tense because...


We hardly knew ye! And I, for one, won’t miss you one bit. Especially because, this being a time-travel show with questionable rules, you’ll be back eventually. But mostly because, your departure frees up Kendra to become the badass woman she’s destined to be.

Rebelling against destiny is one thing when destiny is right there in front of you to fall back on if things get scary. But this is a whole new world for Kendra now. Sure, she might have resisted destiny, but destiny was there. Now there’s nothing. Now she makes her own destiny.

And that’s both awesome and the scariest thing anyone can ever tell you.


Vandal Savage told Kendra he loved her just as he stabbed her. And, look, I’m all for crazy villain having a convoluted idea of romance, but let’s dispense with this notion right away. Vandal Savage is not in love with Chay-Ara. Not then. Certainly not now. He’s a kid with a toy. Wait, no, not even that. He’s like a kid who wanted a toy, couldn’t get it, lashed out, and had the toy taken from him, and so he comes back time after time, obsessed with destroying the toy, because if he doesn’t get to have it, no one else can. Does that sound like love to you?

It sounds like obsession to me. Vandal Savage is obsessed with the power he has over Chay-Ara. He’s obsessed with the idea of getting revenge on her for not wanting him. He’s basically an abusive prick who can’t accept that a woman might want someone else. And I’m not under any delusions that people might ever empathize with Savage, but there’s a tendency to “romanticize” the idea that he’s doing all of this because he loves her, and that’s just true.

Carter loved Chay-Ara. Sure, he was a jerk, and he handled it all wrong. But he didn’t go around killing her two hundred and six times either. Because the whole stabbing thing? Not love, people. Not love.


Anything? Everything? Hopefully with some actual rules thrown in for a change? The death of Carter gives this “team” a new and better reason to become a team, but there’s still a long way to go before these people are actually believable as one. What this show needs, in the meantime, is stay fun, travel to different eras so we can at least get some cool costumes, allow Ray to interact with absolutely everyone and use his big-kid eyes to look into their soul, and just let things develop. Chemistry will show itself.

With some luck, the show will find its footing. This episode at least served as proof that they’re willing to shake things up if needed. Now, they better not kill anyone else. At least not until we actually care.

Other things:
  • Since Carter essentially died “out of his time” does that mean he doesn’t get to reincarnate until Kendra dies? Is he in limbo? Will anyone ever answer all my questions?
  • Kendra remembering how she felt about Carter after she lost him was a good touch, and the first time I felt any emotion regarding Carter ever since he was introduced. 
  • I love that Damien Darhk got some screen-time, I really do. But when you bring in Neil McDonough and put him beside Casper Crump, I can’t help but think that one of them is a scary villain and the other one is... well, Vandal Savage. 
  • Brandon Routh has chemistry with absolutely everyone. It’s possible he might have chemistry with inanimate objects. I’ve loved him with Sara, Snart and Stein. Now I kind of want him to interact with Kendra.
  • I’m going to refer to Hawgirl and Hawkman as our “feathered friends” from now on, okay?
  • Normally, I’m willing to give shows a wide berth when it comes to villains and their reasoning, and I can accept that Vandal Savage thinks he loves Kendra, but I’m going to need the show to stop selling this, stat. This man doesn’t love anyone. 
  • Two episodes in, Leonard Snart is BY FAR my favorite. Sara and Ray come second, and only because I feel like I know them better. All my love for Stein comes from the fact that I love Victor Garber. I’m meh about the rest. 
  • Now that Carter’s (hopefully) gone for good, I’ve got hopes for Kendra, though.
  • If Ray can be both Oliver’s foil and Snart’s foil does that mean he can potentially be EVERYONE’S foil? 
  • SERIOUSLY, LEGENDS? Seriously? A big RED BUTTON? Are we five, or what?
  • Good for Young!Stein and Clarissa, I mean, kudos. Now, can you explain why, if you love your wife so much, you didn’t even TELL HER you were coming on this ridiculous mission? 
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8/7c on the CW.

1 comment:

  1. Hawkman dying is exactly what Kendra needed! She can forge ahead and choose who she wants to be without the tight constraints that he put on her. It's her choice now to find him and accept her destiny. HERS! And Vandal with his toy...LMAO. Absolutely spot on. He's a grown man who is throwing a child's tantrum. Aspire for more than this endless torment that will need no where.