The Future & “The Progeny” Are Everywhere In DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

11 Apr

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-17h07m22s089By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert *

What I like to know in last week’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow “Progeny” is what happened to Kendra and Carter’s son? Saunders is having flashbacks to a time when both she and Carter are very happy together. Their love blossomed over the successive reincarnations, and they have to stay one step ahead of Vandal Savage otherwise all they have built can get ripped away. Perhaps with the fact they have a child, to keep running is all they can do. As any superhero story can tell you, to let your enemy know you have loved ones only means trouble. In what’s revealed from the flashback foreshadow  what’s to come in the present. Hopefully, more of what Kendra is starting to remember will reveal what the child they raised has become and what befell them in the 1930’s.

This episode, however, is set in the 2100’s. The story nicely explores a timeless debate: if given the opportunity to kill the child who would later be Hitler, would you? The main plot looks at the team arriving to change a pivotal point in history when Savage is mentoring the young Per Degaton to become the next despot. The casting for this lad is spot-on. There’s a cold heart being nurtured in Cory Grüter-Andrew’s performance and I can’t help but wonder how much crueller he will become as time passes by. Although revealed by Rip that he pales in comparison to Savage, just how nasty the series villain can be has yet to be revealed. The problem with messing with the timeline is sometimes the events that lead to the downfall of human civilization can get advanced. Hunter is not the type to say oops.

This episode’s title is a touch misleading in a good way. The story is not about one person who can change the course of the future, but of several. I like how each episode is building on themes established in the title: “Marooned” was about how people get affected when left stranded, or to be more specific, “Left Behind.” Those people have to make a new life for themselves. Ray and Kendra form a relationship, Sara reverts to her old ways and Rory is remade into the image the Time Masters want. “Night of the Hawk” looks at the rage within. Unless curated, these characters have the potential to go ballistic. This latest episode only affirms several individuals concerned with the people left in the time stream who will eventually do harm in the future. Although Saunder’s child may be safe, will he surface in the future as a hero or villain? Could he become Warhawk? Most likely not, as this character was created for the DC Animated Universe instead of comic. He is the son of Green Lantern (John Stewart) and Hawkgirl rekindling their relationship instead of GL continuing his romance with Vixen. This character was introduced into this DC Expanded (Television) Universe and it’s unlikely a cross-over can occur until GL is introduced to the CW universe.

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The same can be said about legacies left behind, especially when considering what befell Ray’s company. Ever since he left the business of Palmer Tech in the hands of Felicity in CW’s (Arrow), nobody knew he had a twin who would eventually come to work for her. Will this reveal mean seeing Brandon Routh returning to the series playing a darker version? To see a sibling resembling Ray and be not as kind suggests new conflicts are in store in the sister show, Arrow. This other Palmer has somehow rediscovered the technology Ray made and has thus developed a new police labour force of the future. For Ray, his moral dilemma is to do with how fate is twisted. He questions how his tech became involved in creating the fascist state this future world represents. Had he stayed, would the outcome be different?

I enjoyed watching Ray question all the what ifs that happens in any time travel series. Much like the other subplots going on, he provides the moral glue to discuss what’s needed to raise a child to become “good” in his adult years. It makes me wonder how his brother was raised and why he turned dark. Ray said he would offer a kind and guiding hand over how Per is being handled by the misogynistic Vandal. Palmer is like The Fifth Doctor in Doctor Who, so full of doubt. While no time lord, he eventually will have faith in his abilities to become a Legend as this series opening narrative dictates.

The series remains nicely consistent in developing all the characters, their internal struggles, however inconsistent the explorations get per episode. The develops arcs are more tangible when viewing episodes back to back instead of weekly. Rory is the most complex of all when we see him not put an end to Snart. They have an uneasy camaraderie ever since Cold decided not to kill him three episodes ago. Much like how Rip cannot kill the young Per, the parallelisms show that good cannot justify killing without feeling the consequences. As for what’s to come next, a visit to the Wild West is in order. Although I thought Rip would take his boy away, the thought that maybe he’d take Per to this time period did cross my mind while watching.

I try to avoid trailers to know what’s happening next week. I would rather reveal a guess in what I think may happen. I’m okay with being completely off, but as for seeing Jonah Hex in action, that’s an episode I do not want to miss. The Weird West is a wonderful world to play in. The more eerily supernatural it gets, the better! However, can the team use it to hide from the people they are fleeing from? Could the Time Masters become just as dangerous as Savage now that Rory failed to put a stop to the team? And will he be part of the Legends again? Lots of questions are raised in this episode, and there are only five episodes left.

NOTE: I was away in Seattle to partake in my annual nerdvana at Emerald City Comicon (Apr 7-10). This commentary / review comes late after giving this episode a watch after a much-needed night’s rest and decompression from the return trip. I learned from illustrator John Gallagher (official production artist for CW’s The Flash) that the team behind the Legends of Tomorrow series have the saga plotted out well into season three. No spoilers were shared due to contractual obligations but it’s good to hear at least two more years are guaranteed.

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