Where’s the “Last Refuge” found in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow?

23 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

Some unintentionally funny moments written in “Last Refuge” in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow make this episode shine. Most of it is in how Rory and Sara are being set up as the next merry couple. The still troubled romance does not have to be between Carter, Kendra and Ray. There has to be a reason in why the two are always paired up. It’s destiny. When the main plot is about saving these younger incarnations of the team from death by a time travelling assassin known as The Pilgrim (Faye Kingslee, pictured right), just why these two youths are picked up as teens and not kids must be an executive decision. When they are stuck in the Waverider’s hold, I found it funny that Rory would get fresh with the White Canary.

At long last, the memories which shaped who Rory is are revealed. He fell in love with playing with fire and lost control of it when watching how its luscious curves can destroy. He’s consumed with guilt. He could have saved his family when the house went ablaze but something else guided him that night: fear. To see the child and adult interact with each other suggests the elder wanting his younger self to develop a heart, if not compassion. In addition to a great line, “You better not drop my future criminal partner!” by the elder to the youth holding baby Snart, I’m beginning to think he’s starting to change for the better. Dominic Purcell shines in this episode and it is about time. Despite the hate the two shared at each other in the past, some respect still exists between the two career thugs.

To see Sara and Kendra gush over baby Snart is not without some chuckles and to see Jefferson try to change his future is about the only real drama this episode tries to examine. He lost his father too soon. The death happened two weeks after he was born, and he’s always wondered what life would have been like had he have been around. His father is a career soldier and he died on the call of duty. Sadly, all the talks and reveal go by too fast to have weight. The character was more of a deux et machina for later events (he gets kidnapped by Pilgrim) and even afterwards, to see the two share a proud father-son moment just didn’t have the gravitas needed to put closure in junior’s life. Jefferson deserves better and could use refinement like in how CW’s The Flash is handling Wally West becoming part of the family. Barry and Joe have this camaraderie which audiences love. Between Jackson Jr. and Sr., they just met. The short ten minutes is not enough to cover the feelings the young man needs to let out about seeing his father for the first time and last time. To preserve the timeline, this soldier will have to forget. That’s not a good thing for Jackson.

vlcsnap-2016-04-23-04h52m57s758As for Rip, a bit about his enigmatic past is revealed. He was a miscreant once, but after being recruited by the order and put into a boarding house to be raised by Mary Xavier (Celia Imrie), a foster-mother for future time lords, he’s somewhat turned over a new leaf. He’s still a renegade, but apparently he still loves Xavier’s mince meat pies. Imrie is a breath of fresh air to the series and she plays the role of mentor much like Mary Poppins, stern but full of love. Her home becomes the refuge for the younger versions of the Legends team because it exists outside of the time stream. The council of time lords can not find them and since the youths cannot stay long, just when and where they existed (and the people who knows them) will eventually be erased too. Rip will have done the job for the Time Lords but in a paradoxical way. If the youths are not returned soon, no one will know them. Not even Arrow. Because there is an atomic clock indicating the passage of real time which Rip has to be aware of, these kids have to be returned soon.

The big question the series needs to answer is who or what is the greater villain? Could time be against the team too? Will stopping Savage quiet the Time Masters? Most likely not. The order exists to prevent the timeline to be altered in drastic ways. They believe Vandal Savage’s conquering of Earth (humanity) is preordained and thus have turned a blind eye to the events while Rip thinks otherwise. No matter what the outcome is, Rip Hunter and his team will always be marked as renegades. The council is unlikely to fix the timeline even if Savage is defeated. Time marches on and they will pursue Rip until he is caught and put on trial. This latest episode does not say if Rip is to be spared from the hit list. As for whether or not his punishment means being tossed to Earth with no benefit of a working time ship, I’m hoping the long-term plan is not along those lines.

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