Flash: Legends of Today

legend

The CW shows kick off another crossover event, beginning on Flash with “Legends of Today.” Obviously, this is a lead-in to January’s Legends of Tomorrow show, and a lot happens. This one opens with a small montage of Barry training, trying to push his powers to new levels. Wells looks on disapprovingly, saying that Barry is nowhere near fast enough to fight Zoom. Caitlin tries to look for a new approach, but Wells is pessimistic. Barry agrees he needs to be faster, but also has no ideas, so he goes off to see Patty. 

Down on the docks, Vandal Savage is under arrest for being a stowaway. Displaying powers I’ve never seen him use before, he somehow transfers the cuffs from himself to the captain that arrested him. He then uses his coat of many knives to kill everyone else there. In the comics, Vandal was a Cro Magnon who was made immortal by a falling meteor and has plagued DC heroes in every time frame. Here, he’s in town to kill Hawkman and Hawkgirl.

In the lab, Joe, Patty, and Barry are doing a rare bit of actual police work. There are fragments from the blades in the wounds of all the dead sailors, and Barry is going to analyze them later. Joe teases Patty and Barry for not showing affection in front of him.

At Jitters (vying with the nameless restaurant on Supergirl for having a refreshment monopoly for a major city), Kendra has made dinner for Cisco. It’s a really impressive date. She clearly went to a lot of effort for him. Of course, you rarely get a smooth date on an action show, so Vandal shows up to kill Kendra. Cisco stole a page from Jimmy Olsen’s book and has an emergency alert for Flash, who shows up to stop Vandal’s knife throwing act. Cisco amusingly calls Vandal Highlander before Flash runs him off, then blows Barry’s secret ID to Kendra. Why not, everyone else knows except Patty.

Somehow or other intuiting that Vandal is a mystic, Barry goes for help. No, not Constantine, although that would have been really cool. Flash runs off to Star City to talk to Green Arrow. He gets there just as Team Arrow is losing a fight to Damian Darhk. Green Arrow does get in a really cool new trick arrow before things go badly. Flash whisks them off, while a bemused Damian wonders aloud, “What was THAT?” Speedy looks surprised, turning to her friends, “We know the Flash? Did I know we knew the Flash?”

In the new lair, Team Arrow shows the STAR Labs crew around. Barry is impressed. Cisco is annoyed they didn’t follow his specs. Felicity tries to defend that choice, then admits things aren’t quite working right. This might account for the power fluctuations we’ve been seeing on Arrow, but if so, it’s a long way to go for one line.

Back at STAR, Caitlin and Wells stayed behind. They are working on something to help Barry, a drug compound Wells invented. He calls it Velocity 6. In the comics back during the Wally West era, Flash was plagued by people on a drug called Velocity 9. I guess they aren’t quite up to that version yet. Caitlin and Wells brainstorm over ways to perfect it.

At Oliver and Felicity’s apartment, everyone tries to relax. Cisco teases Thea about “Speedy” for her codename, pointing out that naming people is one of his strengths. Barry and Oliver banter a bit about maturity. It has the makings for a fun evening, so of course Vandal shows up again. There is much knife throwing, arrow shooting, and speed-catching of blades. Vandal once again gets away. I sort of wonder how an immortal keeps evading the Fastest Man Alive.

Back in Central, Wells calls Jay for a test of Velocity 6. This is apparently ground they’ve gone over before, and Jay refuses, leaving angrily. Wells goes off to do something or other, and Patty sees him. Patty follows him back to STAR (hey, remember that new security system that’s supposed to keep people out? Neither do they…), sees him with the Velocity 6 dispenser, mistakes it for a weapon and shoots him. In desperation to save him, Caitlin calls Joe and Jay. Joe shoos Patty off (I’d love to hear that explanation later), and Jay uses the Velocity 6 to temporarily get his powers back and phase the bullet out of Wells. So we know the stuff works, and that Jay still doesn’t have his powers after it wears off.

The heroes go back to the Arrow lair and try and figure out what they’re going to do. Malcolm shows up with a band of League assassins to essentially tell them Vandal is unstoppable and to not fight him. It’s the anti-morale speech. Kendra leaves, upset by all this. She and Cisco have a brief scene on the roof before Hawkman swoops in and carries her off. This leads, of course, to the classic hero misunderstanding/fight between Flash, Green Arrow , and Hawkman. Hawkman and GA really go at it, which might be an amusing callback to the silver age Justice League, when those two characters were constantly fighting.

Hawkman wakes up chained to a pillar. Flash and Green Arrow are unmasked for no apparent reason. These guys really suck at the secret identity thing. Hawkman explains that Vandal Savage hunts them down, life after life, and they are reborn each time. It’s happened 206 times so far, and each time he kills them, Vandal gets stronger. Malcolm pops up again and relays that Savage is seeking the Staff of Horus, which will make him even more powerful. Cisco jokes about their life becoming Indiana Jones.

Apparently Kendra “emerges,” that is, remembers her past lives, by falling. She gets set to jump off a tower they are on and Carter/Hawkman casually pushes her off. She doesn’t sprout wings, and Barry manages a super-speed save. They work out the Staff is back in Central City, so Green Arrow and Flash take off to find it. Cisco finally admits his powers to Kendra and tells her about his vision of her. Kendra, determined, jumps off the roof and this time gets her wings as Cisco cheers before dubbing her Hawkgirl.

Flash and Green Arrow arrive at the Staff’s location too late. Vandal has it already. They fight, and the Staff proves to be very powerful. Flash barely gets them out before the building explodes around them. Everyone agrees to regroup in Central. Barry and Oliver go out for coffee, and Oliver is amused to see “The Flash” drink. He and Barry banter a bit before Oliver gets a surprise- one of his exes is in Central. The one his mother paid off to vanish when she announced she was pregnant.  This episode continues on this week’s Arrow, “Heroes of Yesterday.”

What I liked: It’s always fun to see the groups team up. Darhk got minimum screen time, but was still an amusing presence. Hawkman and Hawkgirl are the last two members of the cast of Legends of Tomorrow aside from Rip Hunter. Barry and Oliver seem to actually like and respect each other. The Velocity 6 is an interesting development.

What I didn’t: The heroes’ ongoing problem with keeping their identities secret is getting ridiculous. There was so much going on that a lot of the cast got very little to do. I really hope they address Patty seeing (and shooting) Wells and then being told to go away by Joe. I keep hoping they will do something with Jay to get his powers back for real. Patty bypassing the alleged security at STAR is part of a trend that needs to stop.

I had fun with this one. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5. I’m looking forward to part two in Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow in January.

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