First there was Arrow. Then there was The Flash, a spinoff of Arrow. Now we have Legends of Tomorrow – a spinoff of both. So how did the season premier do? Where does it rank? What lies in store for this wibbly wobbly, timey wimey series? Let’s take a Closer Look at Part 1 of its Pilot episode to see what was familiar, what was new and what has the potential to be LEGENDS!!
General Comments – Action, Effect & Scope:
First and foremost, we have to address this show as what it is, a massive sustained crossover/spin off whose scope and pace will be unlike anything that has come before. As I’ll detail in the next section, continuity is up for grabs as this show can literally change almost any event – if they choose to go that way. It can drastically change that path of established characters, as we could see with Captain Cold & Heat Wave. Though what it has already established in JUST the premier is the first live-action Superhero team-up show as well as a graphics department that has taken everything they’ve learned from The Flash and kicked it up several notches. That fight against Kronos was incredible in terms of how each multiple characters got their moment to shine and yet it didn’t once seem overly cluttered. Balancing the huge cast with their individual moments of individuality is quite the difficult task; but Part 1 of the Pilot already showed that the writers and choreographers can balance this larger than life adventure with a closer look at the characters we’ve grown to love over the years.
WHEN Does Legends of Tomorrow Take Place? – Timeline & Continuity:
By and large, Legends of Tomorrow is a show about all of time, so placing events within the Arrow-verse timeline is fairly superfluous. That being said, as the PILOT episode of this series, we do have to place some chronology where certain heroes/heroines are concerned – primarily with the Arrow side of things. Firestorm, Captain Cold and Heat Wave from The Flash were already off on their own and self-contained story elements; but when it comes to Arrow the inclusion – and exclusion – of certain characters does have massive importance considering what just happened.
– If you haven’t seen this week’s Arrow “Blood Debts”, SKIP the next paragraph –
In the Legends of Tomorrow set up, we find Oliver instructing Palmer on how to infiltrate a Hive facility; but wait… where’s Felicity? As we saw in the preview for next week’s Arrow, Felicity takes some time off after her recovery and somber diagnosis. Taking this into consideration, we can confirm that Legends Of Tomorrow begins shortly after this week’s episodes of Arrow because it is the only time where (1) there would be ‘down’ time since Oliver was in full Bloodlust vengeance mode this week and (2) it would still be in the time frame before Felicity came back to the Arrowcave.
The Trouble Of Time Travel – A Familiar Theme:
As far as explaining backstories with cameos and such, this show focused a little more on the Arrow side of things – Oliver helping Palmer, Laurel helping Sarah. Though when it came to a major recurring themes, Legends of Tomorrow takes its cue from The Flash. From Season 1 on The Flash to this season’s Arrow/Flash crossover event, the theme of “the problem of time travel” is an all too familiar one; and just in case you forgot about it, Legends of Tomorrow brought it up right from the start. Hearing how ‘averting one disaster could cause one even worse’ has happened multiple times before and is coincidentally how this whole twisted future came about in the first place – because Flash went back in time and changed things. And again similarly to The Flash, the argument is made of “what if this option is SO bad, it must be changed”.
In The Flash there was a tidal wave and Cisco died before Barry turned back the clock. On the Arrow/Flash crossover, Savage killed EVERYONE! So when Rip Hunter shows how Savage has killed billions of people, it’s hard to understand why the Time Master still choose to remain idle. Well, I actually have a theory on that; but I’ll get to that at the end of the article. The point is that over this season we’ll see what happens as our heroes try to change fate – their own and humanity’s as a whole – and the repercussions that follow. That is because no matter how hard you try, time still fights back and tries to set back in motion what was originally meant to be – or something even worse. In a sense, “Time” itself becomes an antagonist of sorts for this show, which brings us to our next topic!
Fate vs Free-Will – A Theme Of Its Own:
A new theme that this show is bringing up – and yet a genuine offshoot of the Flash’s “Trouble Of Time Travel” theme – is how with time travel there is this odd struggle between Free Will and Fate. On one hand, when Time Travel becomes a possibility, you gain the ability to change certain events. Though despite this freedom, Time has a way of fighting back and making things occur regardless of your interference – ie: how Kendra’s past-life son still died. And even IF you are able to drastically effect change, the alternative timeline could be so horrendous that you’d want to go back and set things right – ie: what would have happened if Barry went back and DID save his mom (Flashpoint Paradox reference & explanation of why that Future Flash shock his head “no” when he saw Past Flash there).
So what problems will our heroes face? Besides taking down Savage they all want to effect their own futures. They all want to be legends or at least make a difference on the world – good or bad. In fact, the reason Rip chose them is because they had such a miniscule impact on the timeline so what will happen when they treat time like a bull in a fine china store? Our heroes aren’t just fighting Savage, but also the Time Masters AND Time itself. And even if they do succeed, will they then want to go back and undo actions they’ve done – or go back and make sure they act in a certain way? Anyone else have a headache?
Panda Plot-Twist Predictions – Savage Controls The Time Masters:
With time travel at its disposal, there’s many twists and turns this show can take. For example, maybe Sarah tries to cure her bloodlust by making it so that Thea never killed her. Sure this would drastically changing EVERYTHING that’s happened on Arrow the past 2 seasons, but it’s not really a ‘plot twist’ as far as this show is concerned. Having our heroes learn that they are in fact NOT legends was a great twist for the first episode – and does add depth to the show title as I’ll explain in the next section – but it wasn’t a real kicker of a twist. So what could this show do?
Well my theory is that – one way or another – Vandal Savage is in control of the Time Masters. First of all, this would explain why the Time Masters refuse to go after Savage despite him having killed billions of people already. Secondly, there was great emphasis placed upon Savage usually working from the shadows and yet staying in the center of things/speaking into the ear of someone important. At the midseason climax, if we learned that the mysterious head of the Time Masters was in fact Vandall Savage – OR that an existing head was reporting to Savage (keeping in line with the notion of Savage remaining ‘close’ to the center of things throughout history) – that would be a beyond epic twist for this show! So as of the moment, I’m calling/hoping for this outcome. © 1/21/2016
Legends Of The Episode – Easter Eggs, Quotes & Other Notables:
- I for one am VERY happy that they made it a point to reveal that the ‘Legends’ on this show aren’t legends at all. This not only explains why BIG characters like Flash, Green Arrow, etc don’t appear but also gives new meaning to the show title. “Legends of Tomorrow” literally means that they aren’t Legends yet – present or in the set future – so they’ll have to strive to change their destinies to one day become legends. It adds an immense amount of depth to the show while also making that whole “You’re not just heroes, you’re LEGENDS” speech a little less corny.
- Besides the fact that Arthur Darvill (Rip Hunter) also played Rory Williams on Doctor Who, there are SO many Doctor Who parallels with his story. A Time Master (‘Time Lord’) sees what his superiors are doing is wrong, so he steals a Time Machine and yet knows there’s certain events in time that can’t be messed with. Looks like the ‘Companion’ has become the ‘Master’…. but seriously!
- We get a more complete/comic-bookish explanation to Savage’s and the Hawks’ powers as coming from Meteorites and the life cycle continues as one steals the meteor energy from the other.
- Even in the year 2166, Gideon – the AI eventually built by Barry Allen apparently – is still in good shape.
- I loved how the Firestorm disagreement and the the Hawkgirl/man disagreement kind of paralleled each other considering each are two parts of a whole in one way or another. Although in firestorm’s case, it was less a battle and more a roofie…
- We learn that Ray Palmer was one of Martin Stein’s old students… and even he doesn’t remember Palmer… ouch.
- Here we learn that the further back in time you go, the worse the side effects on the body…. Well that will certainly come into play at some point.
- Favorite Quotes: Winner – Heatwave
- “Why do they play only reruns?” – Heatwave not realizing they’re not reruns (timetravel)
- “I love the 70s” – Heatwave after beating up a bunch of people
- “We go for one lousy drink and you guys somehow manage to pick a fight with Boba Fett” – Captain Cold
So what’s next for these LEGENDS? Well we’ll find out as the Pilot episode continues next time. So stay tuned!