Saturday, June 11, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.01: “Pilot Part 1”

“All your worlds are about to change.”
- Rip Hunter

I have to admit that I am very excited to see where “Legends of Tomorrow” goes. I’ve enjoyed Arrow and The Flash so I am anticipating falling in love with this show. Plus, Arthur Darvill once again being a time traveler kind of makes me giddy. Overall, I thought the first episode was really fun. Yes, it was quite exposition heavy but with so many characters to set up (especially for viewers who don’t watch Flash and Arrow) that was kind of understandable. At least they managed to do much of said exposition through action. When we first find Vandal Savage in London in 2166, he’s killing people left and right, including shooting a little boy named Jonas in the face. Bastard! Cut to one Captain Rip Hunter, Time Master (sorry I kind of just want to call him a Time Agent and pretend for a moment that he and Captain Jack Harkness have crossed paths somewhere before) beseeching the Time Council to intervene in Savage’s reign of terror. They aren’t interested. Their policy is don’t change the timeline which is exactly what Rip wants to do.

So he ventures off to January 2016 and systematically recruits a handful of supporting characters from its parent shows. He nabs Sara from a bar in Tibet and Captain Cold and Heat Wave after they did some looting. He grabs Ray while he’s working a mission with Green Arrow and Firestorm while they’re working on honing their teamwork and powers. Finally, he grabs Kendra and Carter while they were rescuing some random woman. He knows them all out with something that reminded me of the Flashy light from Men in Black. Everyone wakes up rather disoriented on a rooftop where Rip gives them the speech about needing their help to stop Savage and that they all become legends. He gives them a day to think about it and we see the various groups of people consider the offer. Sara bounces ideas off Laurel and Ray does the same with Oliver. The bad boys decide they’ll take up the offer if only to steal stuff before the advent of modern crime scene technology. Kendra loses a fight to Carter so they’re on board as well and Martin drugs Jax so he will go along for the ride. Oops!

Ray and Stein get to geek out a bit over the time ship when everyone eventually joins up to take on the mission of hunting Savage through time. It was kind of adorable how they were trying to figure out how the ship worked. The team’s first stop, 1975 to pick the brain of Dr. Boardman, the only known scholar of Vandal Savage. Rip only takes Stein, Ray and the Hawk duo with him to find the professor. Jax isn’t having any of it and Sara, Cold and Heat Wave are benched because their particular skillset isn’t needed at the moment. So those three (Jax is too young to drink even in 1975) head to a bar and get into a pretty awesome fight. I thought it was hilarious that Sara would fall in the bad boys of the team. Well, she is still fighting her blood lust!

While the trio of terror is getting down and dirty, Kendra and Carter are getting a history lesson they aren’t likely to forget. It turns out unless one of them delivers the fatal blow to Savage, he can be reincarnated from a single cell (hence Malcolm scooping up the ash at the end of the Flash/Arrow crossover). Anyway, it also turns out that Boardman is the son of one of the Hawk duo’s prior incarnations. I should have seen that coming. They know he’s going to die in the next twenty-four hours and so Kendra demands they bring him back to the ship. It turns out Chronos, a bounty hunter has found the ship and is blasting it to yell.

A firefight ensues and the team manages to escape but the ship is in need of repair and Dr. Boardman is not doing so hot. The team demands some answers and Rip comes clean. He’s no longer a Time Master because he stole the ship and the mission isn’t sanctioned. What’s more, none of the team are legends. They’re nobodies so that it wouldn’t mess up Rip’s timeline or future. And his personal vendetta against Savage is pretty obvious, too. Little Jonas is his son. I honestly wasn’t expecting that to be the case, especially the “not legends” part. Since that’s in the title and all and was made a big deal of in the promotions. But I’m sure they’ll get to setting that straight soon. See, the gang decides that they are going to change time anyway (if they beat Savage) so they can just change their own fates, too. So they’re all on board with the mission and so they are off in search of Savage (he’s in Eastern Europe, getting his hands on a nuke).

I am excited to see what the writers have in store for us going forward. I hope now that the major exposition is done, we can really dive into the action and some fun character dynamics. I’d like to see Stein and Ray become more peers and colleagues (since Ray was a student…not that Stein remembers). I’d also like to get more back story on Cold and Heat Wave and see them become more fleshed out as characters. And I’m just happy to have Sara back and out of the drama of being Laurel’s sister and Oliver’s ex-girlfriend. Maybe we’ll get lucky and she’ll cross paths with Nyssa so they can get their final goodbye. And I want to see more of Rip’s history, too (not just the loss of his family). I want to see what made him become a Time Master and maybe the history of that organization as well. All in all a solid start to yet another successful franchise for the CW.

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