[Editor’s note: WARNING. This review contains spoilers.]
Director: Dermott Downs
Writers: Greg Berlanti, Chris Fedak, Marc Guggenheim and Klemmer
Starring: Victor Garber, Brandon Routh, Arthur Darvill, Caity Lotz, Franz Drameh and Dominic Purcell
Newcomer Dr. Nate Heywood, who is a theoretical historian, shows up at Mayor Queen’s office. He knows everything about Ollie and more importantly, he knows about the Legends. He explains there have been some historical aberrations. Heywood convinces Ollie to go with him to find a crashed time ship in New York. Sure enough, they find the Waverider with Mick in suspended animation. He tells them the tale of how the team foiled an attempt by Nazis (whom Mick reminds us over and over that he hates) to blow up New York City in 1942, three years before the A-Bomb exists. The Einsteins (yes, both of them), some world class baddies in the form of Damien Darhk and Eobard Thawne, and the Justice Society of America, make cameos. There is a lot to unpack there.
The big concern was how was the team chemistry going to be affected by the death of Snart (Captain Cold) and the departure of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Right out of the gate, that is put to bed. This leaner version of the Legends has plenty of chemistry. That is explained by a throw away line that they have been solving time aberrations for the “past six months.” They have not been standing on that roof where we last saw them at the end of season 2. The writers made sure that there is a lot of history we did not get to see so that we understand the team has bonded, they have bickered and they have healed from the loss of several key members of the team. This works really well. If the show has picked up right where we left off, we would have to watch that. Instead, we are thrown into the plot and that makes for a better show. We know there will be new members of the team and we can only assume Hawkman and Hawkgirl will make an appearance eventually, but for now, this is the core group and they are well-oiled machine.
History nerds rejoice. The cool thing about this show is that the history is accurate. Of course, until the Legends or whomever they are chasing, screw it up. Instead of relying on made up villains or heroes from history, real life people show up. It is a good touch of reality in a show that is so full of science fiction craziness.
As was the case last season, some of the effects are sub-par. This is not a cheap show to produce and thus, sometimes, something has to look a bit campy. As accurate as the history is, the science sometimes get thrown out the window. Sure, it is a show about time travel and super heroes so why would science matter? Well, the fact that two of the main characters are scientists means that there should be some longer explanations of things. Not, a lecture mind you, just some throw away lines in the same way they fill plot holes in history.
The concern for all of these shows is that the universes keep getting bigger. Of course, you can not have the Green Arrow brooding on a roof without anyone to hear him talk and the Flash can not be running around just whistling to himself, but those teams are smallish. There is a core. In this show, a team show, every plot line needs to include at least six people plus the villains plus the normals. That leads to each show having 12-15 “main” characters in each story. Now, the ending of this episode throws in an entirely new super team. While that is pretty cool, it is a lot of people talking. This is not called DC’s Legends of Angry Discussions Around a Boardroom Table.
Concerns about clutter aside, season two is off to a great start. The team has a clear mission. They have a new leader. They have to grapple with some internal issues. Sara looks like a key player to everything and that is a great move. She has anger issues and they will be exploited in this season. As Mick says, “Buckle up,” as this season is looking to be a great ride.
Easter Eggs/ References
Reverse-Flash seems to have left Barry on the porch at the end of episode 1 of The Flash and right onto Damian’s submarine. Flashpoint is clearly part of this. Time travel here, time travel there. Is a time wraith too far behind?
Damian Darhk has a Lazarus pit. Yes, we kind of know that already, but since Sara’s whole existence is predicated on one of those pits, could he find a weakness in her armor.
Nate Heywood and the JSA. In the comic, Nate takes the mantle of Citizen Steel from his grandfather who was Commander Steel. How long before we see him getting into the muck with the rest of the team? Not long one would assume.