Friday, March 11, 2016

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1x08 Review: “Night of the Hawk” (Left Behind) [Contributor: Lizzie]

"Night of the Hawk”
Original Airdate: March 10th, 2016

In some episodes of Legends of Tomorrow, the characters make the whole thing work. Last week was one of those episodes. Last week I could forget how little sense the plot made because I was engaged with the people. This week? This week is another story altogether. A horror story, if you will. And not one of the good ones, where you scream and leave the theater still thinking about how spooky it was.

This whole show is like a house of cards precariously perched in the middle of a trampoline. One wrong step and it will all come crashing down. And the worst part is that the writers don’t seem to understand that. They’re all jumping around on the trampoline, not realizing how incredibly lucky they are that the whole thing hasn’t collapsed yet.

We’ve had eight episodes — that’s half the season — of Legends of Tomorrow. At this point, someone (I’m looking at you, Rip) needs to come up with an actual plan other than: “Let’s find Savage and hope for the best.” If Kendra is the only one who can kill him, wouldn’t training Kendra make more sense than going: “Oh, nothing has changed, and he’s killed you over two hundred times, but we really believe this time will be different”?

Either that or they need to focus more on the characters and less on the plot so I can forget how little sense it all makes.


Ah, the 1950s. If the show did anything well this week, it was managing to showcase an era that, on paper, looks picturesque but, in truth, was anything but. Stein’s memories of the 50s, when he must have been a child, are all very idyllic. But as Sara quickly points out, he’s: white, a man, and straight. Of course he’d have an easy time in the 50s.

Jax, on the other hand, doesn’t. We talk about racism in this day and age and how things can and should get better, but it’s hard to forget that sixty years ago, the world was very different. The fact that things aren’t perfect doesn’t mean they haven’t changed — and as much as a kid like Jax might have an idea of how bad it was for someone like him sixty years ago, living it is another matter altogether. In this regard, it was nice to see both Jax and Sara find people they could form a bond with in a place where they seemed not to belong. It was easier for Sara, of course: she could pass as just another nurse.

But in a way, that’s what makes it harder for Sara. The fact that she can hide who she is means that she WILL hide who she is. Sara might not be Oliver Queen, but she also has a self-preservation mode; and in that mode, Sara just doesn’t feel. Lindsay broke through that. And while that might have been a good thing for Sara if she’d gotten on the Waverider and flown away, it looks to be a more difficult situation for the Sara that’s now stuck in the 50s.


Look, I get it. Ray/Kendra is happening. I should get used to it, probably. And I can, if I close my eyes and focus only on Ray. But that’s not really how I shipping works. Shipping is supposed to be about two people. But, before shipping is about how two people come together, it’s supposed to be about individual characters. How can I ship two people I don’t like?

And that’s the problem here. When it comes to Ray, the writers have done a good job. I’m sold. The man I didn’t like one bit in Arrow is now one of the highlights of Legends of Tomorrow. It’s probably half good writing and half Brandon Routh’s charisma. Either way, I’m game. Kendra, however, is another matter.

It’s not that I don’t like her as much as it is that I just don’t care about her. At first I could dismiss her lack of emotions as her being closed-off and confused. That made sense. But after a couple of episodes of The Flash, the crossover, and eight episodes of Legends, I’m forced to reach the conclusion that she’s just not a very well-written character. It’s not a knock on the actress, but if the only thing she’s asked to play is “Kendra is scared” and/or “Kendra pursing her lips,” then how am I to like and relate to her?

What I need is more of how she’s feeling. Does Savage scare her? Does she still miss Carter? How much does she remember of her past lives? How does Ray figure into how she feels for the love she’s apparently destined to have? Does she even believe in destiny anymore? What does she want from the future?

One or a few of those answers would go a long way for me, maybe, in caring about Kendra. And if I care about her, maybe, I can start to invest in the pairing. For now though, I’m just here hoping something will distract Ray from the woman, who — if you ask me — is just not as invested as him.


Vandal Savage has two modes: creepy and boring. And even “creepy” is a bit of a stretch. He’s not creepy in the kind of way that will make you have nightmares. He’s creepy in more of the “Ugh, here’s that annoying guy who always tries to feel me up” kind of way. He supposedly has a plan to rule and conquer the world. But as of yet, we’ve only seen pieces of a puzzle that doesn’t seem to form anything.

I’m not sure if he truly wants to conquer the world, if he just wants Kendra, or if he really wanted to hang around in the 50s eating tuna surprise. I’m really not sure. And, just as with Kendra, I couldn’t care less.

Before, I had asked for more of him. I thought that if the writers would give Savage’s backstory, then maybe his plot to conquer the world would make sense. Maybe I would understand.

Now? Now I just hope the writers don’t try to give me backstory. Have you heard of the phrase “too little, too late”? This applies to Savage. He’s the worst villain DC TV has ever created, and there’s really nothing they can do at this point to salvage that. So, what Savage really has to do now is die in a way that furthers the journey of the people I DO care about (read: everyone besides Kendra). If he can at least manage that, then he’ll have done something right.


Ugh, drama for the sake of drama. All shows do it. Well, not all shows, but I can’t say Legends of Tomorrow’s big sisters Arrow and The Flash have been a shining example in this department. In a way, I didn’t expect Legends of Tomorrow to have to stoop so low because they already had the whole Savage idiocy to contend with. But, no. Now we have to deal with Sara, Ray, and Kendra stuck in the 1950s for what I presume will be a while, because no one could think of a better plan to get rid of Kronos apart from just up and leaving.

The whole thing makes no sense. I don’t know how the writers can justify themselves or how they’ll explain it to the three poor suckers who got left behind. What I do know is that this is the show’s way of trying to a) speed up Kendra/Ray’s relationship, and b) give Sara a full emotional arc in the space of one episode. And I get it. Sara has been too “nice” and “normal” and Ray/Kendra, as it stands, does not work. But it still sucks that no one could come up with an actual coherent reason for this to happen other than, oops! You were late to the ship!

But then again, I’m not surprised. It’s not like anything makes sense in this show, after all.

Other things:
  • Rip refers to the team as “my friends” in the voiceover, but, eh... you’re going to have to give me more than you’ve given me so far to believe that Rip considers all of them his friends. WAY more.
  • Do we think Kendra and Sara had a little talk about switching seats? Because Sara used to sit beside Ray on the Waverider, and now Kendra does. 
  • “What the hell is Savage doing in Pleasantville?” You spoke for all of us, Jax.
  • Do these people actually believe that Snart killed Rory? Do they? Because either they do and they’re pretty nonchalant about it, or they don’t AND THEY’RE PRETTY NONCHALANT ABOUT IT.
  • At first Rip was telling the team not to mess with the timeline (over and over), and now it’s like he doesn’t even care. 
  • An interracial couple in the 1950s. That’s inconspicuous. NOT.
  • The more this episode went on, the more I wondered if Rip actually knew anything about the 50s. 
  • Special Agent “Rip Hunter” and his partner “Leonard With-No-Last-Name”? There comes a point when the lack of actual coherent thought is not even funny; it’s painful. 
  • If I’ve learned one lesson from scary movies is that you should never, ever split up. EVER. 
  • Also, “I’ll let you know if I need help” only works if you have a way to let him know.
  • What was the point of jiggling the lock, Ray? Are you still Superman, or did you think it would just open because of your pretty face?
  • I love it how Jax gets kidnapped and everyone’s like: “Well, we have other problems right now.” Even Stein seems to feel no sense of urgency in spite of the fact that he, presumably, can feel what Jax is feeling. 
  • But, I must say, this is the first time the show managed to make me feel SOMETHING for Jax. 
  • So, let me get this straight: Ray and Kendra were late to the ship because Ray wanted to pack the stuff from their fake life that they weren’t going to take anywhere? Are you for real, Legends?
  • Are we sure that taking flight while Kronos was IN the ship and leaving three members of your team behind was the best way to, you know, get rid of Kronos? Because it kind of seems like you TOOK HIM WITH YOU. 
Legends on Tomorrow is on hiatus until March 31st, which is: a) a bad thing, because I’m curious about what’s going to happen to Sara, Ray and Kendra, and b) a good thing, because I need a break from the nonsense.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.

1 comment:

  1. Every snarky comment above is correct. What I couldn't understand is how the plan makes any sense. Why isn't Sara the wife? If you are trying to blend into 1950s suburbia, she makes more sense right as the wife and Kendra as the nurse. Of course, you don't get the ship or Sara's relationship-ish of the week, but IT MAKES MORE SENSE, which maybe an explaination of why they didn't choose that path.

    100% of your complaints on Savage are spot on. If you are immortal, you porbably should, you know, be scarrier. Creepy and underwhelming are not strong suits of immortals. Blend in and otherwise be amazing or terrifying. That's it.

    Good review of a bad episode.