Our time traveling adventures this week on Legends of Tomorrow drops us into the future timeline of Green Arrow’s stomping grounds, Star City, in the year 2046. While the concept for this episode is certainly a sound one, offering lots of treats for Arrow fans by showing a potential future for the series, or perhaps a look at things to come, overall I think the journey doesn’t manage to stick the landing as well as it could have. First, I feel that it’s almost essential to be a regular viewer of Arrow to have any idea of what’s going on. And while it’s a good bet that viewers of Legends are watching the flagship title of the CW DC Universe, I still can’t imagine a newcomer’s head not exploding with all the references and name drops throughout the proceedings.
“Star City 2046” shows our heroes attempting to fix their ship while also assisting the city in one of its darkest hours, with roaming gangs and a new Green Arrow and Deathstroke roaming the streets. The identities of both these new figures brought a smile to my face, twisting comic book lore with the universe that’s already created in the history of the CW. When the Legends first encounter the new Green Arrow, we’re treated to a nice action scene wherein he is zigzagging across the screen, firing arrows at a frantic pace and causing the heroes to retreat back to their ship. One thing that the DC CW shows have been able to do well during their tenure is their choreographed action sequences, and this episode is no different. When it al goes down, you can tell that a lot of thought, effort, and planning goes into how everything will be seen on the screen. It’s a thrill to see all these super powers seamlessly crisscross across the screen, and kudos to the folks responsible for coordinating them.
Following that encounter, the team splits up, as is per usual for the Scooby gang, with some plotlines far and away topping others. Let’s start with the best of the night, unsurprisingly, in the form of Captain Cold and Heat Wave. I’ve stated in my past reviews that this nefarious pair would make a great next spinoff for the CW, if they wanted another superhero outing, and this episode reinforces that. Snart and Mick break free from the rest of the group, with the two running into a street gang, promptly taking out the gang’s leader, and ruling it as their own, with Rory taking a nice big fur coat for his troubles. You can just tell that Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell are in love with these characters, hamming it up with the best of them as they both burn and freeze their enemies. Their personalities play so well off one another that it’s crazy.
All is not well in “Rogueland” however, as Captain Cold and Heat Wave disagree on whether or not they should stay put in this future timeline, one in which there are “no heroes” to stop them from pulling any future jobs. Cold believes that they should stay their present course and assist their teammates in defeating Savage, making them the “biggest badasses of all time.” Heat Wave likes his new Mad Max lifestyle and attire, though, and comes to blows with Snart over how they should spend the remainder of their days. With all the characters and humor being thrown the audience’s way, sometimes you forget that Cold and Heatwave are in fact, villains. However, Snart describing Rory’s character as that of a man whose one wish is simply to “watch the world burn” was chilling, and reinforced the idea that while these two are charismatic thieves, they’re also sort of nuts! It makes for a great dynamic, and far and away makes them the most enjoyable and complex characters on the show.
Meanwhile, let’s get to the not-so-great side of things, with the seemingly out of nowhere love triangle among Hawkgirl, Ray Palmer, and Jackson. While attempting to fix the time traveling spaceship, which Jackson can do because he can fix cars (let’s not go overboard here, show), Jackson expresses an interest in Kendra, but is unfortunately blocked by Ray, albeit inadvertently. I’m not saying that this is completely out of nowhere, since Jackson spent some time with Hawkgirl during last episode’s jail break from “Nightmare Gulag,” but man, does it just not work here. It almost feels like the writers were trying to give the characters something to do in this episode, so they came up with this storyline and went full steam ahead. I’m not against a love triangle, but surely they could have picked a few other members of the cast to go down this road. I actually thought that Stein was the shining light here, with his attempts to aid Jackson coupled with his generally prickly personality, making him somewhat endearing in the trainwreck.
Back to the main plot though, a huge amount of information is dropped on the audience by revealing numerous potential future storylines for Arrow. In 2046, the new Green Arrow is John Diggle’s son, now going by the name Connor Hawke. Oliver is thought dead, but is actually an old man living in the remnants of Arrow HQ with a missing arm. Deathstroke’s son, Grant Wilson, has donned his father’s costume and attitude, ruling Star City with roaming packs of mini-Deathstrokes. It’s the kind of environment that Legends of Tomorrow was made for, to be honest, but it’s bogged down somewhat in its constant references to what has happened to characters in the past, where they’ve ended up, etc etc. I think if the show had hinted more than flat out shown, things would have been a bit more compelling here.
The gang manages to rally together, along with new Green Arrow and old Green Arrow with a robot arm, defeating Grant Wilson and setting this possible future on the right path once again. Ultimately, this episode was a solid diversion from the Vandal Savage storyline, but could have been so much more. Too many misfires stopped this episode from achieving potential greatness.
Rating: ★★★ Good
Notes of Tomorrow
– Man, it’s hard to believe that we haven’t really seen Oliver ever have a full beard, especially since the Green Arrow of the comics is most known for having one. The loss of his arm is a play on his appearance in the Dark Knight Returns comic, which is the inspiration for the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice movie. It’s all a circle, kids.
– Kudos on the makeup job for Stephen Amell, as he does make for a somewhat convincing old man.
– Connor Hawke in the comics is actually Ollie’s son, who takes up the mantle of Green Arrow when his father dies in an exploding plane. Diggle didn’t really exist in the comics when Connor hit the scene, so they’re mostly unrelated, though it’s a nice nod.
– Deathstroke has three kids in the forms of a son named Jericho who was a Teen Titan, a daughter named Rose who becomes a villain/anti-hero named Ravager, and a son named Grant who we saw tonight. Grant is pretty spot-on with the comics here, as he always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps.
– Hunter- “It’s called shooting back!”
– Heat Wave – “Kid’s right, let’s stay behind and kill him.”
– Ray – “Palmer Tech sounds better right? Be honest.”
– Sara – “Seems to be dead inside and missing his left arm.”
– Ray – “That is not a nice family.”