The Legends of Tomorrow….IN SPAACCEEE. Yes, away from the city streets of Starling City in the year 2046, the team now finds themselves in outer space trying to determine the best route in taking down Vandal Savage. Due to the fluctuations in the timestream from the changes they’ve made, the Legends have lost sight of where Savage is at any given time and thus need a software upgrade for their onboard friendly computer, Gideon. Rip, who is attempting to keep the team together while also falling into a depressive stupor thanks to being unable to find a way to save his family who were murdered by Vandal, gets a spotlight shone here with periodic flashbacks to his past and his dealings with the Time Masters.
Honestly, just to get it out of the way, the material involving Rip Hunter and his inability to love another Time Master due to their strange “no relationships” rule was the weakest part of the episode. Much like the pitfalls of the flashbacks in Legends’ sister show, Arrow, the retelling of Rip’s lost love seemed superfluous and ultimately unnecessary. What’s even stranger is that when the two are discovered and put on trial, Rip’s girlfriend (soon to be wife), Lt. Corben, essentially takes the blame entirely for their relationship and lets Rip walk away scott free, continuing his role as a Time Master. Funny, I didn’t know that was an option in Time Master world, but there you have it. (To be fair, I just wanted to get this weak section out of the way because overall, I had a blast with this episode and it honestly felt as if the series decided to take a page from Star Trek, only with super-powered folks populating the Enterprise).
After Rip informs Professor Stein of the team’s latest dilemma, they (conveniently enough) receive a distress call from the Time Master ship, the Akeron. Looking at an opportunity to not only upgrade Gideon’s tech, but also help some folks in need, the team jumps into action, only to realize that the distress call was a trap! Shocker, I know. Laying in wait for the team is a gaggle of “time pirates,” led by John Valor (who I’ll get into in the notes) looking to steal the Waverider from the Legends to continue their pirating ways. With half the team captured, and the other half on the Waverider, it’s up to Professor Stein to save the day, and boy does he ever. Stein, fueled by his love of his childhood hero “Rick Star, Space Ranger” leaps into action, taking out a pirate and stealing his weapon — and hat. When Stein walks into where the rest of the team is being held captive on the Time Master ship, I couldn’t help but grin and cheer.
Back on the Waverider, Palmer and Kendra are attempting to save Cold and White Canary as they are attempt to stop from freezing to death as life support systems fail on their level. It’s an oddly touching moment as Snart asks Sara what dying was like, as she had done so previously in the third season of Arrow before being resurrected thanks to Oliver Queen, her sister, and one John Constantine. In comics, you see a lot of reboots and stories that are made to accommodate new readers to the fold, but there’s something to be said about relying on a character’s history to add an emotional punch to a scene that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. Sara walking Snart towards accepting his own mortality was a powerful scene, and did a good job of pulling at the heart strings considering one of the characters is currently wielding a “freeze gun.” Back to Hawkgirl and Ray briefly, I had mentioned in a previous episode that I thought their relationship had come out of nowhere, but I think that here would have been a much better place for it to have started, as the two play off well with one another with some snappy banter.
As the various squads of the Legends do their thing — which is masterfully weaved throughout the episode by the way — Heat Wave continues to descend into outright villainy rather than “anti-hero” territory. Rory as the loose cannon of the team works exceptionally well here, as his scenes of “parlaying” with the pirates and fighting with Sara were all compelling. Adding Snart and Mick to the team was perhaps the greatest decision the showrunners had made, and this episode once again helps to shine a light on that fact, especially with the ending. After dealing with the time pirates by sucking them out of the hull of the Time Master ship, Rip gets what he needs from the remaining Time Master on board to upgrade Gideon’s software.
In the final meeting of the team, they hash out what’s to be done with Mick now that the time pirate adventure is done. Logically, they inquire if they should drop Mick back to 2016, but Snart lets them know that isn’t the best decision, as Rory will start going after their families — you know since he isn’t the best of guys. Instead, Snart says he’ll handle Heat Wave himself, and the two are dropped into an undisclosed location and time. Having one final heart to heart, Mick tells Leonard that he would always be the kid who needed saving in juvie, and that only one of them will leave alive, with Captain Cold ending the episode by blasting Heat Wave with his cold gun, seemingly killing him. With comic book anything, you usually don’t think that someone is dead unless you see a body, so we’ll have to wait until next week to know if Heatwave’s candle has gone out.
This episode, minus the Rip Hunter flashback hiccup, was really good and another solid installment of the series, easily proving its one of the best superhero shows on TV today.
Rating: ★★★★ Very good
Notes of Tomorrow
– Rip stating that Heat Wave was only on the team so they could add Snart to the ranks was a nice final nail in the coffin to Rory being any sort of hero, and made for an extra deep cut. Poor Mick.
– The Atom and Hawkgirl’s first kiss. Poor Cisco.
– John Valor is actually a DC villain known as the “Black Pirate” who appeared in the 1950’s, and later was a ghost who made a comeback in the pages of Starman (which you should read if you’re looking for a new comic book sink your teeth into).
– Rip mentions the “Imperiex Onslaught” as a code word for Gideon to attack the ship. Imperiex is actually a Superman villain, somewhat similar to Marvel’s Galactus in being crazy powerful and nearly God-like. He primarily appears in a big comic book crossover known as “Our Worlds At War”.
– Valor mentions Kanjar-Ro who is also a space pirate, but mostly acted as a thorn in Green Lantern’s side. CW has really been dropping some obscure DC bombs as of late.
– Heat Wave – “I’m sore because I was recruited for my unique ability to light things on fire!”
– Stein – “They had strict guidelines about nearsightedness.”
Jackson – “And smoking weed.”
– Jackson – “To quote every Star Wars ever made, I got a bad feeling about this.”
– Kendra – “You’re no Captain Kirk, you’re Picard.”
– Palmer – “Actually I’m more like Sulu right now, or Han Solo!”
– Stein – “That’ll teach you to mess with a nuclear physicist.”
– Stein – “Take heart dear Captain!”
– Kendra – “Everyone has a favorite Beatle.”