Legends of Tomorrow: Ground Control to Sara Lance

They definitely abducted the wrong one.

Between the show being a mid-season slot and all the COVID issues, it’s been a year since we saw the Legends of Tomorrow. The last thing we saw was the defeat of the Fates, a big celebration after, and then Sara unexpectedly kidnapped by aliens without the others seeing. It’s a hell of a setup for the season, and the team is already dealing with changes, since Astra seems to have joined up and Charlie has left, as did Ray last season (which I’m still not happy about). Now the team has a lot of strange things to figure out, and we get a surprise guest appearance, sort of. The Legends’ new season kicks off with their usual brand of madness in “Ground Control to Sara Lance.”

In 1977 London, Mick returns to the Waverider and wades through assorted post-party debris, including a few very much worse-for-the-wear punks, and Eva, who clearly over-indulged. Gradually, the befuddled woman realizes Sara should be there, and isn’t, and Gideon confirms that Sara isn’t onboard. Then again, a good bit of the team seems to be missing. This kicks off a montage of tracking down the assorted Legends. Constantine and Zari are sharing a hotel room, so that relationship is clearly moving along; Behrad is chatting with one of the Beefeaters, Astra has found a new hobby, and none of them know where Sara is. Things get interesting when they find Nate. Aside from a big hole in Eva’s pop knowledge, they also find that Nate has struck up an interesting acquaintance with a legendary musician, who, in turn, provides an unexpected lead about Sara.

As the team realizes they are dealing with something they don’t really have much experience with, and Mick reveals something really surprising about his night, we see where Sara actually is. She makes a partial escape and a new, well, more temporary ally than friend. Eva shows she’s actually a much better leader and manipulator than she seems, and she impresses Nate, who is probably one of the more reasonable, reliable, and responsible Legends at this point. Eva reveals the next phase of her plan, and there’s a nice nod to the show’s history and a very mature attitude from Eva.

Sara and her new companion do some exploring, and John Constantine runs into a big limit on his power, which I’m not entirely sure made sense, but kept the plot going at least. As he recovers from the attempt, Zari gets an idea and enlists Astra’s aid. In another nice continuity nod, we see why Eva’s plan won’t work, and it does tie to events in another show, which Legends often doesn’t do. Nate reminds her how rarely things go to plan for this group, which is when Behrad wanders in with a lead that’s questionable at best. Since grasping at straws is a Legends specialty, Eva goes with it, and sends Mick along with him, for a very unusual team up.

Sara learns a bit more about where she is and what she’s up against, and gets several surprises along the way. After a big fight, she gets very annoyed at her new ally, which I don’t blame her for at all. Mick is being even more negative than usual, countered by Behrad’s unwavering optimism. Sara and her new companion get a shocking demonstration of exactly what they’re up against. John Constantine gets un unpleasant awakening and then hears about a new idea from Astra and Zari. I’m sure there’s an A to Z joke in there somewhere. Things start leading to some interesting places when Constantine and company make a startling discovery at about the same time Sara gets a similar surprise.

There’s an old saying about eavesdroppers rarely hearing something pleasant, and that’s roughly what happens when Eva hears Mick and Behrad talking on coms. Nate makes an interesting observation that Eva takes issue with. As Eva makes her argument, Mick and Behrad get their own surprise after underestimating someone. Worrying about new developments, Eva gets a bigger surprise when Zari demonstrates an interesting piece of technology they’ve found. Sara gets a lot of exposition dropped on her in a very bizarre conversation that has a lot odd twists and turns, some of them kind of funny.                 

Mick and Behrad find themselves in a bad situation, and we meet the newest addition to the Legends crew. Like many before her, she’s not eager to join the insanity, but Behrad makes some decent points. The rest of the team arrives, and also underestimate the newcomer, with some interesting results for the Waverider. After Eva makes a heartfelt plea that is pretty much ignored, Mick manages to free himself and take some action to end the standoff. Sara and her surprising newest ally make a fairly desperate plan, and Sara learns a few more surprising things.

After a bit more of a misunderstanding and some hasty introductions, the team moves on to their next attempt to find Sara. It ends up needing the help of their new ally, Constantine, and Eva, as well as an interesting smoothie. After managing some brief contact, Zari has to do something to save a life, and Sara manages to fight back against her captor. It’s not one of her better fights, but she’s not up against run of the mill henchmen, either. By the time the fight is done, a major subplot for the season has kicked in, giving the Legends another task in addition to trying to save their lost leader.

Assorted small scenes end the show and start setting things up for what I expect will be assorted subplots of various intensities and lengths. Astra gets in a quick conversation with Constantine, and makes a few interesting observations. They also talk about a figure with a lot of legends about him in the supernatural community, and what they might actually mean. Behrad tries to live up to the team’s promise to the new arrival, and finds both some unexpected results and a few changes in Gideon, possibly from her time with the Fates last season. The ship encounters a new phenomenon in the timestream, which is going to make things hard on them as the season goes on. And the last thing we see is a desperate plan from Sara that doesn’t quite work, leaving her and her companion in a bad spot.

What I liked: I enjoy this show a lot, and they’ve found their groove in their endearing silliness. It’s good to see them all again, although I still miss a lot of the ones we’ve lost. I keep hoping to hear Leonard Snart’s snide tones again, someday. The new setup is interesting, and gives them a new focus, as past seasons have dealt with time disruptions, magic, and escapees from Hell. I’m not sure what to make of the new character yet, but she has potential, certainly. The tie to recent events (and longer ago ones) in Supergirl were nice bits.

What I didn’t: The weird limit on Constantine’s power didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I know, comic book science and magic both work how the writers want them to, but it was still odd. I don’t like the complete rewrite of a longtime recurring character, and don’t see how it works at all. I can think of several who should have known the difference. I miss Ray, and am still miffed they wrote him off.         

It was a fun outing. I’m glad to see the crew of misfits back, although it sounds like we’re losing another one at the end of the season. I’ll give this a 3 out of 5, and look forward to seeing how the things they’ve set up work out.