Legends of Tomorrow ends its first season with the appropriately titled “Legendary.” There were a lot of surprises, and I’ll do my best to keep the spoilers out of the review until the very end and I’ll mark them beforehand. But I will say the final reveal made the old-school DC Comics fan in me very happy.
The show opens with the Waverider returning the team to their present… almost. Instead of returning them the moment they left, as he’s been promising, Rip has dropped them off five months later. Clearly, this is going to cause a problem to those of the team with a family life. He knows this isn’t going to go over well, so Rip didn’t actually leave the ship, but escorted them off as a hologram.
The team goes about trying to pick up their lives, with varying degrees of success. Sara drops by Team Arrow’s bunker (were they using that when she was around last?) and finds her father. After some talk, Captain Lance breaks the bad news to her about Laurel’s death. Sara is crushed.
Mick goes back to his old ways, and has given Snart’s cold gun to a punk kid. The kid definitely lacks Snart’s, well, cool. In the comics, some lesser-skilled people got hold of some of Snart’s gear. Each one went by the handle Chillblain. This one wasn’t around long enough to get a name. Let’s say Mick doesn’t reward mistakes. He does get a surprise when a new getaway driver shows up.
Martin Stein goes home and plays Trivial Pursuit (they never say it, but that’s what it is) with his wife. Amusingly, he gets a question about HG Wells’ boyhood nickname, which is a nice nod to the team’s trip to the Old West. Stein is barely back and already restless. He and Jax go back to where the Waverider left them, and the rest of the team reassembles there, too.
Rip is on the Waverider, continuing his probably not really healthy habit of rewatching his old family videos. Gideon interrupts to tell him the team is calling him from 2016. They end up reunited, when a furious Sara demands to be taken back so she can try and save Laurel. Rip refuses, citing mysterious Time Master reasons. Sara is not happy. The team insists they are coming with Rip to finish the mission.
Our missing teammate finally shows up. Kendra has gotten away from Savage, and is running for her life in 1944 France. She runs into a GI whose helmet was in Rip’s study, and quicky writes a note that she stuffs in the liner. Savage catches up and kills the poor soldier, recapturing Kendra.
When Sara pretty much attacks Rip, the rest of the team learns about Laurel. After Sara is stunned by Rip and one of his toys, they start discussing ways to go after Savage. The helmet Kendra wrote the note in is suddenly in a different place because of some weird time travel bit I didn’t really understand, but it gives the team the clue they need to go after Savage next.
Savage himself is gloating over Kendra and Carter. Between threats, he tells them about his plan to use Thanagarian technology to change the world from 1700 BC forward. Neither Kendra nor Carter are happy about this.
Rip makes a sort of truce with Sara about not bringing her back to save Laurel. Apparently, even without the Time Masters, he can still scan timelines. If Sara had been there the night of Darhk’s escape, Laurel would still be dead, but so would Sara and Captain Lance. Laurel being dead is bad, but it’s better than all three of them.
Gideon manages to locate Savage, using Kendra’s clue. The team goes to France in ‘44, and fights both Savage and Nazis. One of the big surprises is that, during the fight, Firestorm uses his power of atomic transmutation for the first time. It’s one of his most powerful weapons in the comics, and I was glad to finally see it. Jax was almost as surprised as I was. This happened while Firestorm was freeing Hawkgirl and Hawkman, after asking, “Is he still nuts?” A fair question given all that’s happened. Hawkgirl gets recaptured, but Hawkman and Firestorm escape.
While Rip puzzles out what Savage is trying to do, Jax wants to try the transmutation trick again. He and Stein don’t manage to pull it off, but something gives Stein an idea. Apparently, Savage, in three different time periods, is going to use the Hawks’ blood on the meteors to somehow rewrite time. The three relevant time periods are 1944, 1958, and 2021. In 1958, they end up back in Harmony Falls. There’s a very surreal scene of Savage literally talking to himself.
The plan ends up being to split the team into three sections and go after Savage to prevent him from carrying out his plan. The theory is that the radiation from the meteors will make Savage mortal so the others can kill him.
In St. Roch in 2021, Savage still has Kendra prisoner. He gloats about his plan, which seems to be one of his hobbies. St. Roch is one of the comic book homes of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Rip Hunter and Carter the Hawkman show up to free her, and one of the three fights that are all in different years but somehow at the same time start.
In Harmony Falls in 1958, Atom and Mick Rory face off against Savage and his bird-men. As Ray remarks, “Not these guys again.” While they fight, Firestorm and Sara take on Savage in 1944. There’s a lot of action and a lot of scores settled as the team takes out their frustrations on Savage’s various incarnations. In one scene, Rip uses the Waverider to save his life as he’s knocked off a building, which really makes me wonder why they aren’t using the ship’s weapons.
The team wins, but the meteors have become unstable in the fight. Firestorm manages to transmute one, and Atom shrinks another so that it’s destruction doesn’t do any harm. The third one is somehow immune to both powers. Rip takes the Waverider and plans on sending the meteor, the ship, and himself into the sun. After some kind of vision of his family, Rip manages to escape and come back.
The reunited team gets back to 2016. Rip announces his intent to take the place of the either weakened or destroyed Time Masters to keep the timelines safe. He offers the crew the chance to come with him, which several of them debate among themselves and with their loved ones. Some come along, and some opt to leave, which surprised me. I hadn’t heard anything about actors leaving the show.
After that gets settled, there is the final scene which I’d heard hints about. This is that spoiler warning I mentioned. SPOILERS FOLLOW, BE WARNED.
The Hawks leave, looking for a normal life. A second Waverider crashes, and someone gets out. The man that gets out introduces himself by name, codename, and team, and all three of those were great to see and hear. The new arrival is Rex Tyler, the original Hourman, and he even says he’s a member of the Justice Society of America. The JSA was the world’s first superhero team, both in the comic book world and the real one. They were pretty much wiped out of comics when DC did their big reboot a few years ago. I am a very happy comic book geek to see that they, or at least some of them, are showing up in the CW universe.
What I liked: Firestorm finally has his biggest power. I’ve been waiting for that since he first turned up on Flash. The Ray and Kendra soap opera is over. Not like I’d hoped, but at least it’s done. And we’re through with Savage. I am so hugely excited about Hourman and the JSA.
What I didn’t: The Hawks are gone, which surprised me. Captain Cold is apparently staying dead, and he was my favorite character on the show. Why was Rip using the Waverider in a fight as a safety net, but ignoring the weapons?
I’ll give the finale a 4 out of 5. I am really looking forward to seeing where they go with Hourman and the JSA.