Tuesday, January 26, 2016

DC's Legends of Tomorrow Recap and Reaction: "Pilot, Part 1" (1x01)

London 2166: The Second Blitz

Firepower rains down upon the futuristic city of London. Armed soldiers target civilians. Rip Hunter, a member of the Time Masters Council, does a voice-over about the destruction of the city, the destruction of the world. Vandal Savage (you know, the guy who died in the Arrow and The Flash crossover special last fall) has conquered the entire planet.

Savage waltzes through the carnage. He shoots a woman, then corners a young boy to question him. The boy's name is Jonas. Instead of answering Savage, Jonas spits on him. Savage lifts his gun to aim at the boy.

Rip Hunter stands before the Time Masters Council. (Prepare yourself for Doctor Who jokes because Hunter is played by Arthur Darvill, who portrayed on of the Doctor's companions, Rory Williams. So wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, eh?) He pleads for them to do something, anything, to stop Savage and to save humanity. But the Council isn't interested in protecting humanity, just time. Hunter tries to appeal to their own humanity to sway them to his side.

Hunter returns to his ship, where Gideon, his AI computer (which has been featured in The Flash), prepares his ship for travel. Time-travel. (Cue "doo-wee-ooh" music.)

Hunter tracks down the current whereabouts of the eight members for a potential team, who will defeat Savage once and for all. Ray Palmer, the ATOM, assists the Green Arrow in sabotaging HIVE. Sara Lance, former Canary, winds up in a bar fight in Tibet. Dr. Stein and Jefferson Jackson, together FIRESTORM, bicker over their methods of "heroism." Carter Hall, Hawkman, criticizes Kendra Saunder, Hawkgirl, and her methods of fighting. Leonard Snart and Mick Rory, Captain Cold and Heatwave, are making their getaway from another heist. Rip Hunter visits them all, blasting them with some kind of light.

They all wake up on a rooftop, groggy and confused. (The banter between the ones who recognize each other is just superhero cute.) Rip Hunter introduces himself and explains why he assembled them together. (I see what you did there, eh?) He tells them about Vandal Savage.

Apparently, Savage still lives because Kendra and Carter weren't the ones to deliver the fatal blow to Savage. Thus, he doesn't fully die. Instead, if any part of him is able to be recovered, he can come back. (So when Mr. Malcolm Merlyn put his ashes in that jar... it kept Savage alive. The agony.)

Snart doesn't think he's a hero, but Hunter explains that when he comes from, they aren't just heroes--they're legends. They're destined for greatness. He shows them a projection of the war-torn future and offers them a chance to save their world. He tells them to meet him in thirty-six hours if they will join him.

Next, each of them decides why they will or will not join Hunter's crusade. Ray finds Oliver to discuss the predicament. Oliver isn't optimistic about this endeavor. (But when he is optimistic about anything?) Ray even admits he's as trusting as Oliver is cynical. He explains to Oliver that when he "died," nothing mattered in the end. Nobody noticed or cared; he didn't change anything for the better. Now he has a chance to do something.

Kendra and Carter argue about going. Kendra isn't too keen on going up against Savage again, but Carter thinks this is their best shot at finally defeating Savage. They decide to fight it out--whoever wins gets to decide what they do. (Carter is convinced he'll win. I hope Kendra knocks that smug look off his face.)

Sara spars with Laurel in the Arrow hideout. Laurel gives her full support to Sara. She tells her to do it. But Sara isn't so sure. She's still feeling like a monster after her resurrection from the pit. Laurel says maybe she needs to do this, maybe she needs to become a hero to move on from her past. Maybe she needs to become the White Canary, a hero of the light instead of the shadows. Laurel gives her a new suit (Thanks, Cisco), one without a mask.

Snart and Rory decided to join the team because of the time-travel potential. They might have the opportunity to steal things from time before the objects are famous or before they could get caught by modern investigations.

Dr. Stein and Jefferson argue over the offer. Stein is on board with helping; Jefferson, not so much. Stein says he'll try to convince Hunter to use him for his scientific knowledge instead of his powers in order to appease Jefferson's refusal. However, he hands Jefferson a glass in order to make a toast to his "solo adventure." When Jefferson takes a sip, he passes out. (Whoa, Dr. Stein, I didn't know you were so...devious.)

They gather in the location (Well, Stein drags Jefferson there). Hunter greets them and shows them his ship, the Waverider. It has camouflage capabilities so when they time-travel they don't mess up the time stream by having an aircraft appear in the wrong time period. (But does it turn into a blue police box?)

The team explores the Waverider with awe. Ray discusses science mumbo-jumbo with Dr. Stein. (Apparently, Ray had Stein as a professor, but Stein doesn't remember him. Oops?) Hunter introduces them to Gideon--the artificial consciousness of the ship. He tells them about Professor Boardman--the world's only expert on Savage. He died in 1975. Luckily, they've got a time machine. Thus, they prepare to travel back to 1975 in order to meet with Boardman hours before his death. (This will help keep Boardman from damaging his timeline or the future if he learns they're from a different time period.)

They get settled in the super cool seats. They begin to take off when Jefferson finally wakes up and promptly freaks out. As they zip off, two guys witness the ship disappear among the clouds. They're left in awe when a robot, bounty hunter thing appears and begins to analyze them. One of the kids calls the hunter "Darth Vader." (Though clearly, he's Boba Fett.) The robot, bounty hunter decides these two aren't "integral" to the time streams, so he blasts them into oblivion (or something). Uh, what?

They land in 1975. Hunter tells Sara, Snart, and Rory to stay on the ship. They aren't needed for this part of the mission. Jefferson decides to stay with them because he's so upset with Dr. Stein.

The others--Hunter, Stein, Ray, Kendra, and Carter--visit Professor Boardman at the college he teaches at. Hunter tells them Boardman's death has been documented to occur on campus for "unknown" reasons. However, when they find him, he immediately recognizes Kendra by her Egyptian counterpart: Priestess Chay-Ara. Snart, Sara, and Rory get "bored" waiting in the ship. So they decide to leave and find something to drink, despite protests from Gideon and Jefferson.

Boardman explains what he knows about Savage--and Kendra and Carter, who were related to Professor Boardman in one of their past lives. They were his parents. He tells them he was only ten years old when Savage murdered them. (Oh boy, this got depressing real fast.) He says he promised to dedicate the rest of his life to learning about Savage. Hunter asks where Savage is now. Boardman show them photos of Savage from the past. During every important part in history, he's always there in the shadows, a step behind the most powerful leaders.

Snart, Sara, and Rory hang out in a bar. Sara asks Leonard to dance, but he passes. So she dances by herself. Until a pub-crawler grabs her from behind and asks her to meet him in the parking lot. She refuses, saying he's not her type but his date is. Then she twists his arm, instigating a fight. She whips the man and some of his buddies before calling Snart and Rory to join her. (Looks like she's one lady who doesn't need help fighting her way out of a brawl.)

Back on the Waverider, Jefferson tries to convince Gideon to take him back to 2016. But the artificial consciousness refuses, saying Hunter warned her Jefferson might try something. Then, the robot bounty hunter--whose name is Chronos--attacks the ship. (Okay, but how did he get there? Is his jetpack a time-machine?)

Professor Boardman gives them a way to locate Savage. Dr. Stein realizes something is happening to Jefferson back on the ship. Hunter decides it's time for them to leave. But Kendra doesn't want to just leave Boardman--her son--to die, so she convinces Hunter to let him come with them. Carter backs her up.

They return to the ship and find a firefight. They battle with Chronos while Stein tries to breach the battlefield to get to Jefferson. Snart, Sara, and Rory arrive just in time to hit "Boba Fett" with a car. But "Boba Fett" isn't going down so easy. He shoots Professor Boardman. They get him in the ship and take off to anywhere but there.

Gideon gives Hunter a rundown on the ship's damages. They'll have to hang out in "time limbo," or the temporal rift, until they can fix the ship. Hunter explains who Chronos is to the team. He works for the Time Masters. (Uhhh, what?) They're hunting Hunter.

Apparently, Hunter didn't exactly get the Time Masters approval to gather a team to defeat Savage. So he resigned from the Council, stole the Waverider, and lied to them about being legends. He chose the eight of them because they don't matter in 2166. In truth, they're nobodies.

Since they aren't happy with Hunter, they demand to know why he's so determined to stop Savage. (I guess they don't believe the "it's-the-right-thing-to-do-for-the-good-of-humanity" kind of reason.) He explains that he fell in love, despite the future's restrictions on reproduction, and had a son, Jonas. (Arthur Darvill's acting in this scene, though. My little baby Rory all grown up.) Savage killed his family, and the Council will do nothing to help. He couldn't just sit back anymore. He had to do something. (Oh, look, the depressing show got even more depressing.)

Dr. Stein suggests everybody takes some time to clear their minds and to decide what each of them will do now that they know the truth. Kendra visits Professor Boardman in the infirmary. He gives her a ring--her ring. She then thanks Carter for agreeing with her about Boardman and for helping her get him on the ship. (Oohh, la, la, I smell reconciliation between these two coming soon.) Dr. Stein finds Jefferson to apologize. He suggests they could return to 2016 and fight crime at home. But Jefferson isn't so sure anymore. He says he likes being part of a team. Ray fiddles with some kind of device, which almost shoots Rory (Precious, dark-haired science baby). He discusses their situation with Snart, Sara, and Rory. He says he doesn't want someone to limit his life or his future. Sara suggests this mission was always about changing the future, so what is stopping them from changing their fates? (Deep, Sara Lance. Real deep. Did you get that deep wisdom from the pit?)

Hunter is fixing the ship when Kendra and Carter tell him Professor Boardman died. (Seriously, this show is already wrecking my heart.) The rest of the team enter the room and tell Hunter they're still with him--they'll still help Hunter stop Savage.

They take off through time.

1975: Norway
Savage stands among fallen soldiers. He discusses a device that will change the world: a weapon of war.

I'm almost convinced the writers of Legends of Tomorrow made a list of things to put into this show to personally appeal to me.

  • ragtag group of heroes and anti-heroes finding their potential: check
  • bickering romantic relationships: check
  • strong sister relationships: check
  • dialogue perfection: check
  • time-traveling British dude: check
  • a sassy AI unit: check
  • the end of the world and time itself: check
  • wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey circumstances: check
  • Arthur Darvill doing anything: check
  • crossovers with other superhero TV shows: check
I'll stop there because the list could go on. Basically: I love everything about this show. When I first heard the CW was in talks for a third superhero TV show, I could only dream it would be true. But now it's a team involving familiar characters from Arrow and The Flash, Arthur Darvill as a time-traveler (again!!!), and an epic plot that seems too good to be true. Somebody pinch me. 

Within forty-five minutes of air time, this show has already caught hold of me. The dialogue was wonderful with plenty of witty banter and perfectly timed lines. The action was fun yet cool. Robot, "Boba Fett" Bounty Hunter: yes, please. Time-traveling aircraft: I'll take one. Sara Lance kicking butt: I needed this in my life. There was humor and heartbreak and heroic action. Overall, the episode was a great blend of different genres--action, science-fiction, even a little bit of romance--to satisfy all types of viewers.

Despite having nine major characters (plus a bad baddie and an AI unit), each character had equal screen time. Everybody's opinions were heard; everybody had a chance to get in on the action. This show is revolutionizing the concept of a superhero "team." The team consists of old and young alike, men and women (women with their own stories and identities, I might add), people of different races, different sexual preferences, different back stories, different concepts of "hero." If this show succeeds, it'll definitely be something to change the superhero world. 

The first episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow is a strong start to an epic show. Despite having a not-so-exciting lineup of characters, they've managed to give us reason to care for the side characters of other shows. I look forward to future episodes. I'll definitely be rooting for these guys and gals to not only save the day but to find out who they truly are as... legends.

What do you think of DC's Legends of Tomorrow? Will you be watching?


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