A Closer Look: Legends Of Tomorrow – “Blood Ties”

Legends of Tomorrow Blood Ties Analysis

With Legends Of Tomorrow’s Pilot episodes behind us, we can finally get to the meat and genuine feel of the series; and honestly this week’s was the best yet. Usually we feel that Pilot-episodes must be the most over the top and alluring, but this week’s story, themes and uniting premise was so wonderful it put everything we saw in the past two episodes to shame.

So let’s start our Closer Look at Legends Of Tomorrow “Blood Ties”

“Blood Ties” – Tying The Episode Together:

One of the biggest hurdles for this show to overcome is how they can take so many unconnected characters and connect them. Although for a truly great story, they need a lot more than ‘proximity and teamwork’ to achieve this – and that is exactly why “Blood Ties” is so important. It’s not simply the episode name, but also the very thing that is uniting the entire team this week despite their varied locations and missions.

In Group 1, we have Hawkgirl who is experiencing everything that’s happening to Carter’s body, even though he is dead. And while this is going on, we have Stein and Palmer who are trying to remove the metal poisoning from Hawkgirl’s blood. In Group 2, we have Rory and Jax who are accompanying Snart on a slight detour in an effort to stop his father from going to prison. I’ll discuss this more in the next section, but this whole mission is about Snart trying to help his literal blood (family). And finally in Group 3, we have Rip and Sarah. On one side, we find Rip who is driven by his desire for revenge for his family (literal blood again) and on the other we find Sarah who is driven by bloodlust. Though as the episode ends, it was quite fitting to juxtapose both while experiencing moments of enraged bloodlust.

Even the antagonists got in on this theme as we learned that Savage’s wealth and power isn’t influenced by money or possessions, but rather by belief as Savage’s long list of followers see him as a God, from whom they can receive Immortal Life. Even though he alone has immortality, by spilling the blood of one of the Hawks, he can extend the life of a follower by approximately 100 years. It’s too soon to tell if this – episode title dictates what unites the team and/or villains – will become a trend, but this was certainly a very nice touch that I as an analyst enjoyed!

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Self-Fulfilling Prophecies & The Futility Of Time – Leo Snart & Rip Hunter:

There’s an old philosophical teaching that says “one will usually meet his fate on the path he/she takes to avoid it”; and that was quite a major theme this episode when it came to Snart and Rip’s storylines. As the episode opens, we find Rip Hunter thousands of years in the past to before Savage was immortal. Later we learn that he hesitated to kill Savage and inspired a life-long legend in Savage’s mind about the man who’d return to kill him. Though as the episode concludes, we realize a shocking truth moments before Rip does… Rip Hunter just caused the murders of his wife and child.

Remember when we first met Savage in Legends of Tomorrow? He was dead set on killing Rip Hunter’s wife and son, and he spoke as if he and Rip Hunter had been lifelong enemies. Well this episode showed us that that was indeed true. In the hopes of saving/avenging his wife and son, Rip Hunter inserted himself into the early days of Savage’s timeline and made himself the main antagonist. Worse still, Rip then tells Savage later that he hates him because he killed his wife and son. Rip even goes as far as telling Savage their names before he realizes his critical mistake. This Savage hasn’t killed Hunter’s wife and child yet, but now he knows that the man he’s feared/hated for so long has two weaknesses. So by telling Savage WHY he hates him, Rip just became the cause of why Savage is so adamant about killing them years from now. By trying to avoid his family’s fate, Rip just sealed it.

Sadly Rip isn’t the only one who is beginning to understand the futility of messing with time as Leo Snart used this moment to try to rewrite his father’s – and thus his family’s – history. As you’ll remember from The Flash episode “Family of Rogues” earlier this season, Leo and his father never saw eye to eye. His father was a violent drunk and an abuser who treated Snart and especially his younger sister like dirt. This was a man so evil that Leo didn’t hesitate to literally break his father’s heart. So why go through all this trouble to help him in the past?

Simple, because if Snart can prevent his father from being arrested stealing a famed emerald, he can stop him from going to jail and becoming the abusive and manipulative father we met in The Flash. If this is changed, perhaps Leo and his sister might have a better childhood and not end up crooks, but maybe heroes. Sadly, time has a way of working itself out; and despite Snart’s good deed and stern warning to his father, it was all in vain because instead of going to jail for ‘stealing’ the emerald, he went to jail for trying to ‘sell it’. Both Rip and Snart had the best of intentions, but by trying to prevent one watershed moment, they became the very cause of those moments.

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Legends Of The Episode – Easter Eggs, Quotes & Other Notables:

  • Yes, that Staff Vandal used to fight Rip Hunter in the opening of this week’s episode was the Staff of Horus we saw in the Flash/Arrow crossover that introduced him – you know, the one the vaporized everyone…
  • “I’ve seen Men of Steel die and Dark Knights fall,” This would normally be in the Quotes section, but it’s a definite reference to Batman and Superman, which does kinda exist – at least at one point – in the Arrowverse thanks to The Flash. Future newspapers have spoken about Wayne Industries and we just learned that Flash and Supergirl (which has a Superman) will indeed crossover later this season.
  • Contrary to what we heard this week on Arrow, Sarah does very much still have the bloodlust similar to Thea. As for why the illness hasn’t struck, it’s because Sarah has killed a lot more and continues to. Looks like the Lotus (Arrow) really is the only way to avoid the damage.
  • Here we learned that Palmer’s dead fiancé’s name was Anna Loring.
  • Considering the show of believers and faithful we saw this episode, I believer even more firmly in My Week 1 Theory that Vandal Savage has a strong influence over key members (or all) of the Time Master’s council.
  • The “Eyes Wide Shut” joke from Rory to Sarah and Rip was about an old film by the same name where Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman attend a kinky cult party.
  • Favorite Quotes: Winner (Rip Hunter)
    • “We know how to case bsanks, we’re basically bankers” – Rory
    • “Exactly how many knifes doyou have” – Rip to Sarah
    • “Can I shoot him… So no shooting” – Heatwave
    • “For someone who doesn’t remember me, you sure have a lot of personal observations to offer” – Palmer to Stein
    • “For a monster, you dance quite gracefully Miss Lance” – Rip to Sarah
    • “Can I tell you something Leo? Don’t ever let anyone hurt you… not here and not here” – Leo to his younger self

Legends of Tomorrow returns next week (or this week depending on when you’re reading it) and next stop: The 80s!!!!!!!! but not if the Time Masters have anything to say about it! What will we learn in next week’s episode? Will my Time Master/Vandal Savage Theory get the confirmation I’m looking for? Perhaps it’s a little too soon for that; but hey, you never know. So stay tuned!!!!

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