By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow gets better with age, and in the third episode, “Blood ties,” more character building exercises are taking place. This time, the complexities of what makes Leonard Snart cold-hearted is explored, the insecurities of Palmer gets confronted and the demons Lance faces come to head. The sub-plots developing these characters will no doubt continue, and hopefully Rory / Heat Wave will get the justice he deserves. He’s still being handled as a throwaway character, described as thick, and all he does is follow along to anything Snart orders him to do. While he gets some great Arnold Schwarzenegger style lines, hopefully he can get some decent development in future episodes.
This episode continues where the last left off. Nearly a day has passed. Rip and Sara (The ferocity in Loltz’s stunts is getting better!) decide to damage Vandal Savage in where losing his finances will hurt the most. Their plan seems to go off nicely, with some well done fight sequences against South African trained militia, but victory is short-lived. Back at the Waverider, the time-ship, Kendra is in a coma. Bits of the dagger are drifting in her bloodstream threatening her life. Her fate is in the hands of the Professor and Palmer. They have to figure out a way to safely remove them so her body can naturally heal. Garber is definitely excellent as the sage and the humour behind referencing James Cameron’s Titanic is not without a few chuckles. While saving Kendra’s life is in safe hands by one pair, Snart and Rory have cabin fever. Just how Captain Cold decides to change his life for the better seems convenient since he knows what this timeline offers for him to steal, but sadly, no matter what he does, nothing has changed. Was he hoping his life can be better by altering the circumstances towards his father’s incarceration? Perhaps for Cold, he’s a fixed point and inert.
Anyone exposed to the matter in the time-stream hardly ever can drastically create a better future. Audiences have learned this in Doctor Who; despite the best intentions of Rose wanting to see her father again and Clara wanting to change Danny’s fate, time is cruel. Creatures from outside the time-space universe will take notice.
This episode is great to watch for showing that Rip’s hatred for Savage is very deep. The opening act most likely showed his first attempt at killing him. The lessons he learned no doubt cumulated to him realizing that he has to recruit heroes from the present. Although they are finally getting the idea of functioning as a team, the big question is if the Waverider has a danger room so they can practice moves where the group can hit their enemies hard instead of simply charging in individually all the time. Hunter does show leadership, but he needs to know strategy.
In the story to wrap up this group’s trip to 1975, the fate of Hawkman’s body is finally addressed. In a segment that feels like a prod at Young Sherlock Holmes, the fact that a cult has grown to worship Savage is interesting. He refers to Rip as a Kaleem, an appropriate name when considering its meaning (lecturer). Just how long this group has existed must be addressed. A fascinating note is the fact he considers himself a god — but shouldn’t he be Satan? The way he manipulates people and wants war is more suggestive of that fallen angel instead of a truly divine figure. The fact Hawkman’s blood can grant immortality is a curious one; could there be a genetic mutation from the radiation of the meteorite that granted Khufu and Chay-Ara powers? Fans will no doubt be waiting to hear if any crystals from that meteorite exists, and if any of it will be crafted into the weapons both Hawk characters will eventually carry. This Nth Metal will have to appear sooner or later. Since these iterations are not Thanagarians, something about their cosmic role as avengers of Horus must be addressed. Prophecy says only Hawkgirl can kill Savage but perhaps all that’s needed is who welds and can awaken the irradiated metal’s cosmic energy.
Other little details bear noting is the fact Batman and Superman does exist. Rip’s line of watching “Men of Steel die and Dark Knights Fall” suggest a cult has grown around them too. The line being said in plural is important and it cannot be a throwaway piece of dialogue. For the second time, the old poster advertising a bounty for a cowboy character is seen again. The director really wants to play this camera shot up and hopefully the episode featuring Jonah Hex will be good. When filming begins, perhaps the crew will travel to Alberta to film at Em-Te Town.
When considering this series’ Egyptian style origins of the big three, a question does come up: Will the producers introduce magic to this show? When considering John Constantine showed up in Arrow, Doctor Fate can not be far behind.