Legends of Tomorrow manages to go bigger than I ever thought possible, do some pretty neat comic book-y things, still manage to be sort of dumb, and reveal a legitimate shock at the end of the episode. In other words, this is the best episode of the series thus far, and it managed to do that without a gimmicky time travel setting.
1. “Time wants to happen”
Not to pat myself on the back too hard, but just last week, I reflected on the idea of the universe wanting certain events to happen – I referenced LOST saying how the universe has a way of ‘course correcting’ – and then this week, we get Rip telling the crew that ‘time wants to happen.’ Certain things seemed destined to occur, no matter what. This episode brings Rip’s paranoia that, perhaps, his family’s death is one such event.
Now, Rip is not a character without motivation, but this adds a whole new level to his role on the show. Of course, no matter if there is a 1% chance to save your family, you try. But now we see the doubt creeping in, and that makes Rip an even more sympathetic and interesting character. I don’t know why they waited until now to introduce this concept (maybe they felt it would make him seem weak/unflattering earlier?), but I’m glad they did.
2. Cassandral? Scassandra?
I understand why “Scandal” Savage was changed to Cassandra for the purposes of television, but I do like Savage’s family coming more into focus. Of course, it was comically easy to turn her against her father, which is just about the laziest trope in the TV universe, but it worked in the context of the show. Snart has really become an interesting character this season, and seeing him as the resident “hey, my dad’s fucked up too!” guy was a development I didn’t really see coming.
Whether or not Cassandra will be a part of the final trio of shows remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s part of the team for the last few episodes of the season.
One note involving Savage – I know this is the only moment in time for them to definitively know his whereabouts and therefore stop him, but doesn’t this seem too late for anyone not named Rip Hunter? Sure, it’ll save his wife and son, but we find out this week that London is supposedly the only place on Earth that hasn’t fallen to Savage yet. I know they need to stop him in general, but this seems like stopping him ten minutes before the end of his story.
When the episode title was released, I was supposing that it would be a tie-in to the Talia al Ghul reveal from earlier this season. Leviathan was the name of Talia’s evil organization in the pages of Grant Morrison’s “Batman, Incorporated,” and it seemed like maybe that would play into this.
Instead, we got Vandal Savage’s version of a Sentinel, and since Marvel owns that name, we call him Leviathan. Part Jet Jaguar, part giant Atom suit, this giant robot was how Savage was able to take out so many areas with relative ease – he just threw a 200 foot robot at the problem. You’d be surprised how easy it is to deal with most problems when you’ve got a 200 foot robot. Rent is late? Take it up with my robot. Don’t want to go on a date with me? Perhaps you’ll date my robot. Don’t want to hire me? Maybe you’d like to interview my robot instead.
4. Giant Sized Atom
We see Ray use some power from the Waverider to essentially reverse his suit to, instead of making him tiny, grow him into a monster of comparable size to Leviathan. This had shades of Giant Man, mixed with some Kaiju action and a little bit of Real Steel thrown in for good measure. Jax was his cut man/coach cheering him on from the corner, which was useful because Ray forgot he could do things like shoot lasers.
This was one of the most comic book-y things we’ve seen from the show, and it totally worked. The stakes were high, the action was intense, and it was nice to see Ray do something other than be Tony Stark-lite. Plus, with Stein injured, it gave Jax something to do besides worry about ‘Grey.’Continued below
The show’s big plot point this week was that Cassandra had a bracelet of Kendra’s (from her first life) that could, in theory, be used to kill Savage. The team acted like metal was something that couldn’t hurt him – they spent a long time wondering ‘how do we weaponize metal?’ Instead of just sharpening a point and using it as a knife/needle, Mick melted it onto Carter’s mace, providing Kendra with a high powered weapon to take down Savage with.
And she almost did it, until she found out that one of Savage’s henchman was 2166’s Carter. Savage found him before he got woke, and so he became one of Savage’s goons instead of a man destined to take him down. Savage then told Kendra that if she killed him, Carter’s memories would never return and he would be ‘lost forever.’
Now, while I get that Kendra doesn’t want that to happen to her forever lover (Is that what she said? I don’t believe it!), she’s currently in love with Ray, who is right in front of her. Not only that, but Savage will, again, destroy the fucking world if he lives. This is supremely selfish of her but, again, this whole episode is built around the idea that, as long as Rip’s family is ok, then the rest of the world can suck an egg.
Despite that, this was a really great episode of the series that has primed the last few episodes to be quite the ride.
What did you think? Let me know in the comments!