By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
* Spoiler Alert
The stand-alone episodes of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow are easy to follow and read into than the two-parters. In “Marooned,” viewers are at the half-way point of the 16 episode season. Just where Vandal Savage is can be anywhere in time on Earth, and unfortunately Rip Hunter is clueless as to what to do next. Gideon cannot even calculate where this villain is because her database is not up to date. As luck would have it, a distress call from another time-ship, helps save the day.
After the gang splits up with a crew still on the Waverider (Palmer, Lance, Snart and Chay-Ara) and another to shuttle over to the other damaged craft in space (Rory, Stein, Jackson and Hunter), the landing party discovers it was raided by Time Bandits. Terry Gilliam was not involved in the production of this series and nor would he be interested. These pirates hail from DC comics lore only long-term readers would recognize (this group is led by Captain Jon Valor, Action Comics #23) and they help flesh out what kind of world Rip is from. The future’s ridden with problems since time travelling is commonplace. This reveal shows the Time Masters have a huge job of cleaning up any displaced gaffe on the time stream.
To have Rip go rogue only undermines what this organization is doing for “the sake of the future.” However, as far as Hunter is concerned, he’s out to change the outcome so his wife, Maranda, and son, Jonas, survives the war. This episode is great for establishing his relationship with the woman who would become his love interest. In the flashback sequences, both he and Maranda are co-workers. Love is forbidden in the order of the Time Masters and if every joke has been made about how great love is, Baz Luhrmann and Andrew Lloyd Webber should team up to craft Legends of Tomorrow the Musical. That will never happen, but the clichés are so well-worn, the use of it in Rip’s flashback sequences are sentimental.
In the present, all the Star Wars and Star Trek jokes had to be tossed in for good measure. Ray is certainly having fun being temporary captain of the ship. These moments make for some amusement, but in the story that matters, I’m still glued to watching the relationship between Rory and Snart disintegrate. The sudden interest Kendra has for Ray feels forced and sudden, and if that’s to set up conflict later on when Carter reincarnates, the conflict is going to get stale.
Captain Cold’s overwhelming sense of honour goes beyond the code established amongst thieves. Heat Wave’s chaotic nature is getting no better, and he shows that he does have a boiling point where he will do as much harm as he can. I was hoping to see a glimmer of hope, and his joining the pirates was simply a ruse to get close to the captain and steal the keys so the rest can escape, but nope.
Heat Wave shows that he’s willing to abandon ship. He pretty much commits mutiny, and the result suggests the crew is now less another member. This departure can be seen a mile away, but as for whether he’s dead or not, that remains to be seen. The big question is does he still have possession of his weapon? He no doubt has been unceremoniously tossed off the boat, making him the one lost in space.
The pirates are an amusing lot. They feel more like cannon fodder to give this episode a villain of the week to fill the episode with. They are the incidental antagonists over the internal conflict that’s going on amongst the crew of the Waverider. Should they return, hopefully they will have a better captain. Jon Valor pales in comparison to the likes of Blackbeard even though the though of pirates in this television series happens to materialize in space instead of the oceans of Earth. Close, but no cigar, but its nice to see what kind of future is in store for the team if it moves forward in a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century style scenario.
When considering Heat Wave was iced, perhaps he will be thawing out to some future where he has to learn how to work within a group (staying in theme with the series) instead of being a solo maverick if he is to survive.