By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow is venturing into new territory, and census says it feels like classic era Doctor Who material. The Time Masters are gone, wiped out, and Rip feels the group should take on the mantle to correct anomalies manifesting in the time stream. As I recall, even though the third doctor was exiled to Earth, that did not stop the Time Lords from recruiting him for missions they deem needs intervention in. I’m okay with this direction, and still have to wonder if Thanagar (from last season’s finale) has further plans with the planet Earth. To totally ignore a few plot reveals in a finale does not mean these details are unimportant. The showrunners and writers of this show decided this planet is of universal importance in the great cosmic scheme of things.
As the streamlined crew (minus Hawkman and girl) are out to right what once went wrong, I have to wonder how much Quantum Leaping this group will do? As this episode begins, Nate Heywood reveals to Mayor Oliver Queen that he’s finding minor aberrations in the timeline; they go off to find the sunken Waverider and one survivor — Mick — who recounts what has happened. The dire warning from last season where Rex Tyler warned of their eventual death gets explored in a massive flashback making up this episode — and most of the episode shows how the group has gotten better at being heroes.
Damien Darhk looks like the new villain of the season. He is immortal because he bathes in the Lazurus Pits (Fountain of Life) and his plans for world domination make the goals the Illumanti has look tame. He’s plotting the future for mankind and most of the story settles in 1942 prior to the bombing of Hiroshima which ended World War II. As the team alters events slightly (Einstein’s relationship with Mileva Marić in developing the first atomic bomb is brought out into the open), the timeline is secured but what’s next for the group? Apparently, their actions have come to the attention of organizations in the past but also present.
At some point in the series, Heywood might become Commander Steel, a hero with a metallic body, to keep him in line to his comic book origins. Interestingly, Vandal Savage was active in the era the Legends team are currently in. I’m hoping Casper Crump will have a continued presence in the show. This character never really got to shine in the last season as he was often written like a cardboard character, and this actor deserves more to work from.
Perhaps if the next couple of episodes linger back and forth, where the Legends team find themselves returning to the 40’s for some time, we can see both Savage and Darhk operate behind the scenes as gangsters in league with Al Capone. When the eighth episode is titled “The Chicago Way,” the Untouchables, Eliot Ness and Capone will have to make an appearance. This episode has to be a game changer for how the season will progress.
To not see Rip guide the team makes this season a lot more refreshing. He’s assumed dead, but I’m confident he will return by the third episode. Until then, to hear Martin Stein provide the voice-over suggests he is going to lead the team. These changes make the show feel more solid.