The Legends of Tomorrow are back with a new line up, new season, and the introductory voice-over by Martin Stein gives a brief rundown of the members. The season opens with the somewhat ominous title of “Out of Time,” which starts us off in a new status quo. A lot has happened since the last time we saw the team.
The show opens with someone who is very determined to get a meeting with Mayor Oliver Queen. After a mad dash through a lot of security (that we never see on Arrow), he manages it. Nate Haywood, very unusual historian, wants to talk about Sara Lance and Ray Palmer… oh, and by the way, he knows Oliver is Green Arrow. Nate is somehow or other noticing changes in history which lead him to believe the Legends are scattered through time. How he’s noticing this I don’t know, as it seems to totally contradict the time travel rules established over on Flash. He ends up telling Oliver that as far as he can tell, the Legends ran into a problem with a nuclear device in 1942… which, of course, is before nuclear weapons were invented.
24 hours later, Oliver and Nate are somehow or other in a sub searching for the Waverider. Where they got the sub, or how the Waverider went undiscovered from ‘42 to 2016 I have no idea. In another somehow or other moment, they get aboard the Waverider. Among the surprises- it’s still watertight, still has power, and Mick Rory is in the medbay in stasis. After some confusion when he first wakes up, Rory tells them what’s happened to the team.
They protected the French King and Queen back in 1637. You’d think that would be easy enough for a team with superpowers and impressive skills, but apparently the would-be assassins have help from a rogue time-traveler of some kind. Then again, one could argue the Legends are rogue time travelers at this point. But, at any rate, when the bad guys start using lasers, the Legends cut loose with their powers, including a really clever new Firestorm merge (although Stein didn’t appreciate it). Sara found a unique way to keep the Queen out of the fight and safe, which she got teased about later.
The Waverider leaves France behind, but gets hit with a timequake, which apparently is a side effect of a major historical aberration. They trace the disturbance to New York in 1942, which is exactly where Rex Tyler told them not to go at the end of last season. Naturally, they go anyway. Rory, for reasons never explained, has a major issue with Nazis. No one really likes them, of course, outside a few nutjobs, but this is really intense. I think there’s a story there somewhere. The team decides to go, over Rip’s objections. I sometimes think his “captain” is more an honorary title than anything else.
While Sara pursues her own agenda, the team talks about the new history of World War II. The Allies still win, but it takes until 1947, which is bad for everyone, except maybe arms manufacturers. Also, they notice that Albert Einstein was reported missing shortly before the nuclear attack. Well, it doesn’t take a genius to work that out… We also learn that Rip has been grooming Jax to become his replacement, at least as far as taking care of the Waverider goes.
After their arrival, the team splits up more, as Sara goes off on her own, and Ray follows her. Even ninjas have trouble spotting a tail when he’s only six inches high or so. The rest of them go to the physics symposium, which Mick amusingly calls a “nerd party.” They finally find Einstein, and he’s not quite what most of them expected, although Professor Stein is absolutely starstruck. The Nazis try and kidnap Einstein, chaos breaks out, and, when he’s not cooperating with their efforts to save him, Martin knocks him out. It must be hard to deck one of your heroes. Sara and Ray meanwhile have adventures in vengeance, focus, and uranium.
They put Einstein in the brig for safe keeping, which I’m not sure would have been my first choice. He rages at first, then trails off when he figures out they are time travelers. However, even with Albert in their custody, history remains unchanged. It turns out he’s had a secret work partner all this time, and the Nazis just grab her instead. How they knew this secret, I’m not wholly clear on. After Sara and Ray have an argument, they figure out how to track down the Nazis, who have both the uranium and Mileva Maric, Einstein’s ex-wife and coworker.
There’s another fight that makes little sense to me. I can see armed Nazis causing problems for some of the team, and Atom is busy trying to defuse the nuke (which Einstein keeps correcting everyone to say it’s an atomic bomb, not nuclear), but seriously, what’s Firestorm doing during all this? Even if his transmutation power last season was a fluke, he should still be mopping the floor with the non-powered humans armed with regular, 40’s weaponry. Sara takes off to fight Damian Darhk on her own, trying to get pre-emptive revenge for his killing her sister. Somehow or other, the Nazis get away.
The team returns to the Waverider and pursues the U-boat full of nuclear armed Nazis. Of course, this is leading up to how Rory ended up in stasis, since he was wounded during the firefight with the Nazis. As Jax makes some modifications to the ship, he learns about something called the Time Scatter. We’ll see what that is shortly. In desperation, they use the Waverider to intercept the nuke (yeah, yeah, atomic bomb) after it’s launched in a torpedo. Rip triggers the Time Scatter, which sends everyone to different points in history except Rip and Rory.
Back in the “now,” they realize they need to save the team. Oliver says Rory should take the Waverider and Haywood to find them. Everyone is surprised by this, including me. From a story/series perspective, I get why Green Arrow can’t stick around. But in character, what just happened is the best established hero in that world just told a known criminal and a stranger to go play in time to save, among others, a woman he once loved and a close friend. That really doesn’t make a lot of sense.
They retrieve everyone from random eras, the best of which was Ray Palmer vs. T-Rex, the worst being Sara in the Salem Witch Trials. I’ll take a moment for a mini-rant here. Sara has been through a lot of changes, not all of them good in my opinion. She was bi, which I thought was great, since bi people get almost no positive representation on tv. Now she seems to be being written as lesbian (just like what has shifted with Jack Harkness over in the Torchwood world). Additionally, she seems to be whatever the preferred term for a nymphomaniac these days is. She couldn’t keep herself under control long enough to not get in trouble in Salem, and then gets captured by Pligrim-type settlers? Really?
The team returns to the 40’s and makes a minor change to history which hopefully corrects all the nuclear/atomic problems. Sara and Ray settle their spat. Rip, still missing, leaves behind a holographic recording charging them to keep protecting history. All this is good until the very end, when they’re trying to return to the ship after fixing the 40’s. They get interrupted by a version of the Justice Society of America, who seems to suspect they’re up to no good. It’s no version of the JSA I’ve ever seen, and has some really anachronistic members, but it’s still great to see them on the screen. Although the Legends might not think so.
The very end is ominous indeed. Damian Darhk now being aware of time travel is bad. His being allied with Nazis is worse. But it gets darker. Darhk isn’t alone. His newly revealed ally is a familiar face from another DC/CW show, and them together is going to be bad news for the Legends.
What I liked: This version of Einstein was fun. I loved seeing the JSA, even if it was just a teaser for next week. Ray and the T-Rex was just cool. I’m really interested in the mystery of what happened to Rip Hunter. It was an interesting choice to have them change history on purpose. The alliance at the end is going to be bad, but fun to watch. I’m really curious about who the rogue time traveler is, unless it’s Darhk’s new ally.
What I didn’t: I enjoyed the episode, but it was definitely one of those “don’t think about it” ones. Unfortunately, I do end up thinking about those things. How’d they get the sub at the beginning? Why is Ollie handing the fates of people important to him off to those two? How is Haywood aware of history changing? What the heck are they doing to Sara? How’d the Nazis hold off the team in the fight?
Despite my many questions, it was still a fun episode. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5, and I can’t wait for the JSA.