How to Put Down a “Leviathan” in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

29 Apr

 By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Sometimes the worst idea is the best. As for why the Legends of Tomorrow team never thought of simply ripping Vandal Savage from the time-line at the start would have drastically changed the course of events for everyone, and although that would have created the grand-father of all paradoxes (i.e. how can his tyrannical rule begin in the first place) in “Leviathan.”

The episode titles not only set the tone for each show but also suggests how this season will climax to its series one finale. “Blood Ties,” “White Knights” and “Progeny” are significant such that this series will be a generational product. There’s a reason for the series writers to decide Savage took the time to have children. The idea was alluded to in the past titles. Cassandra is just as vicious as her father. She’s been led to believe Per Degaton is the reason the planet is as messed up as it is and it’s up to pops to clean up shop to unite the world. However, as this TV series has revealed since its initial broadcast: time wants a particular course of events to happen. It’s impossible to alter it completely.

That sucks for the team, but unless they look for the avatars connected with the Three Fates from mythology or encounter the Endless (namely deal with Destiny from DC Comic’s Vertigo universe), that’s not going to happen. The latter is not about “the sum of all our own choices,” as Hunter told Savage.

The episode “Progeny” shows how messing with time can lead to a series of unfortunate events. The Armageddon virus was released far too early. Savage will still kill Rip’s family (I find the results strange as that still occurs on the same date and time) and his rule will happen sooner. But wouldn’t a shift change when some key moments will take place? Messing with Time is a fickle concept to play with. What’s funny with these type of stories is that no matter how hard the team tried, all those past episodes meant nothing in the greater picture. It did not affect the time-line at all. Gideon (the Waverider’s Artificial Intelligence) told Rip the results of the team’s actions and he never thought of changing tactics. He should have gone for the throat at the beginning and just rip Savage away at a certain point in time so none of the established past (and future to come) could have happened. The team messed with time so much, as Time Masters in the episode “Last Refuge” has revealed, hat harm can another alteration do?

To lock Vandal away and realize another version of him exists would re-introduce what’s already known about this DC extended television universe — alternate dimensions exists. This series can get interesting when the results of affecting one multiverse can effect another. To witness a trickle down effect can make for an interesting way to introduce the Crisis of Infinite Earths, a story line which I really hope will get explored on television. This week’s CW’s The Flash definitely showed Zoom having a new agenda: to bring all the alternate Earths to their knees because of his megalomanical desire to see them all collapse. I have to wonder which villain is worse: Zoom or Savage? I would love to see them square off and watch how they can divvy up the multiverse so each of them can rule or destroy.

The silliest part of this episode is why didn’t the team think of this before? The reason is mostly in the fact that the team lacked knowledge in how Savage thinks. You’d think Rip Hunter has an idea, but he hasn’t. He’s mode of thought is rather one-dimensional. He could have taken the Nth metal weapon (the artefact that can kill Savage) out of Kendra’s hand and do the deed himself. From a scientific point of view, the radiation imbued into the objects during Saunders, Hall and Savage’s ‘first death’ is the only magic that can disrupt Savage’s soul for good. From a metaphysical standpoint, just why Kendra must do the deed suggests only her added vibration (i.e. her connection with this individual) can shatter Vandal’s place in the universe. What’s interesting about this week’s narrative is in how it enforces the concept of how faith in one another will bring good to the final outcome. Rip trusts his team in doing the right thing, including not killing the villain outright.

Morality is a bitch, and Kendra has the pure spirit of an angel. Death is not an answer to sentencing despots. While placing them to an eternal prison is not better, the act at least puts criminals away to a place where they can not do further harm. Take, for example, the Doctor Who Movie from the mid 90’s. The Master was finally caught and sentenced to death. The Daleks (already without emotion or soul) carried out the deed. However this Time Lord’s essence is immortal and it’s to be sent home (that’s until something in the vortex rattles the TARDIS). Somehow. it awakened The Master and his essence forced a detour….

Savage is a tough one to cage up and put down. Once he’s removed from the time-line long enough, Rip’s wife and son will no doubt live. The masses need to forget. As the series revealed, once folks are ripped from the time-line, the people met from that instance of disappearing will forget. That’s key to destroying Savage once and for all instead of simply killing him. Nobody in the series has realized that yet!

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