Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Legends of Tomorrow 1x06 Review: "Star City 2046" (The Past Meets the Future) [Contributor: Lynnie Purcell]

"Star City 2046" 
Original Airdate: February 25, 2016

The team has crash landed in the year 2046. The location? Star City. The world has turned to darkness, and the city is in ruins. Goodness has been abandoned, light has stopped shining. (Literally, there’s no daylight at all throughout the entire episode. I’m attributing it to the lack of Felicity Smoak. You can quote me on that.)

This was one of the better episodes of the season, and it only has a little bit to do with Oliver Queen and the return to Star City. Let’s break down the good, the bad, and the whatever of "Star City 2046."


The bottle nature of this episode really seemed to work out for the writing. The fact that Savage was missing and they weren’t trying to fight him in some way worked in the show’s favor. It’s what the series is in need of — a break from the Savage crap that is hard to care about and a step into the forward motion of an episode dependent on motion rather than lengthy explanations.

Sara’s tension with Rip continues to be fascinating to watch. She calls him out on his hypocrisy; she doesn’t let his edicts stand. She is slowly becoming co-leader of the TARDIS... er, spaceship. Their arguments were genuinely fun to watch, and Lotz and Darvil have true chemistry in their scenes. They feed off each other well. Sara’s plot fits in well with who we knew of her in Arrow. She is protective of her city and her family. She now has neither. Doing nothing is not an option for her. She must react. So, when the new Green Arrow, John Diggle’s son, is kidnapped by Slade Wilson’s son — a Kylo Ren impersonator — she decides to act. Against Rip’s orders, and with the very real threat of getting trapped in 2046, Sara goes after him, and convinces Grumpy Cat Oliver Queen to go with her. For a moment, Sara is the light. She guides Oliver back to helping people, to a different Diggle, to fighting for the people of the city. It was wonderful to see her be the hero, the one who inspires.

Seeing Oliver without Felicity, seeing a future without her in it, was also fun from an Arrow prospective. It paints a bleak future, and shows how hard the show ships the pair. Stephen Amell also did a fabulous job acting out the grumpy, growly guy he would definitely end up being should the he find himself squatting in a basement surrounded by memories of the woman he couldn’t have. His arc, his connection with Connor, finding his way back to the light was a short look into how much Oliver craves the light. Nice foreshadowing for the end of season four, I’m sure.

Rip continues to confound me, but I think it’s on purpose. The others keep calling him out on his hypocrisy, encouraging him to be the sort of moral man that Savage is not, and it will either lend itself to some great personal growth or we will see Oliver Queen levels of stubbornness. Either way, Stein, Sara, and Snart’s relationship with the captain adds some layers to a man who has been an outlier in the bonding scenes we’ve gotten from the rest of the cast, and his final scene with Sara was revealing and hopeful.

Heat Wave and Captain Cold were a little hot and cold this episode. They were eager for the chance to loot in a world with no cops, but Mick had one idea of what should happen and Snart had another. For all his show, Snart keeps proving again and again that he is loyal to the team now. Whether that’s for a greater nefarious plan or not — as some dialogue potentially foreshadowed — is undecided. But every scene between the pair was perfection. Like Lotz and Darvill, these two have real chemistry and they act off each other well.

Mick’s desire to stay and lead the criminals, in an empire of debauchery and no rules, is clear. Snart has less interest and urges Mick to move on and help Sara and Rip be hero. The differing opinions culminates when Snart knocks Mick unconscious and tosses him into prison on board the ship. Snart points out how he’s lied to Mick before, and Mick mentions how Snart is beginning to be less the partner and more someone he doesn’t recognize. The scene is laced with tension and has all the emotion that lends itself to future problems and issues to unravel that will most definitely be messy. It’s the kind of tension that the show needs to be focused on instead of weird love triangles literally no one wants.


Kendra’s plot was shelved in the favor of doing the wholly feminist thing of having two men who have shown no interest in building relationship with her whatsoever spend the episode turning her into a trophy instead of a human being. Yay.

If this plot was meant to be funny, I missed the threads that were supposed to lead me there. Instead, I found myself feeling equal parts bored and frustrated that they were actually taking screentime away from everyone else to deal with this nonsense. Though they ended the whole mess with Palmer and Jax talking it out and being friendly, it was still dumb and unnecessary. The entire thing was an example of the "telling" instead of "showing" of writing, and was entirely sloppy. My only thought whenever they were on screen talking about Kendra was that I really wanted Heat Wave to use his fire gun on the entire plot.

Also, stop writing love triangles as a woman’s whole plot point, Guggenhiem and crew. Please. I will beg. I will buy you any cookie you want, just stop.

This is also the second episode in a row that Kendra has had nothing to do. I feel like the writers aren’t quite certain how to balance all the characters in a way that makes sense yet. I’m hoping they’ll figure it out, because I like the interactions when they aren’t turning women into prizes and creating tension where there is none.

John Diggle is dead in this timeline. This is the most terrible thing the writers have ever done, and I may never recover. (I love Dig, okay?)

The show has a fascination with talking about the time travel in a way that points out all the plot holes and fixes nothing. Let’s make a Fight Club rule about time travel — pointing out how it doesn’t make sense isn’t helping your case. It just makes me realize that it doesn’t make any sense.


The apocalypse is not nearly as terrifying as Oliver Queen’s facial hair. I don’t know how many albino muskrats died in the making of that goatee, but rest in peace, tiny, sweet mammals. You didn’t deserve your fates.

Mick and Snart kept talking about stealing stuff, but I’m pretty sure a city overrun by criminals would be cleaned out, including that warehouse with the super convenient tech that helped the ship get up and running.

Grant Wilson/Not Your Daddy’s Deathstroke is totally Kylo Ren, complete with tantrums, floppy hair, and — of course! — daddy issues.

Oliver Queen blames Sara and Ray for the collapse of Star City? They haven’t been in 80% of the episodes, and Oliver Queen has spent more time doing things on his own and pushing people away than he has anything else, and suddenly it’s Sara fault because she decided to be monologue-d at every episode about the importance of killing Savage by Rip? Like, chill, dude. She was dead a year ago, and you’re blaming her for the apocalypse? Take some responsibility.

Everyone is so clean despite there being no running water or functioning bathrooms.


"Star City 2046" worked because of its bottle nature, its plot that centered around Sara being the hero she is meant to be, how the future merged with the past, and the forward momentum of saving a city. It was a callback for Arrow fans, and a chance for the writers to ramp up the tension between certain characters, namely Rip and Sara and Mick and Snart. It wasn’t perfect, but there was a lot I enjoyed about it and hope that they will have more bottle episodes in the future. (Heh, see what I did there?)


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