‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1 Finale: A Timemaster is Never Late!

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Spoilers everywhere!

Well, now. Given the events of the previous episode, particularly what happened to our beloved Snart, Captain Hunter has decided to take all our Legends home, back to 2016. The thing is, it’s May 2016, not January, when they officially left the first time. And once again, Captain Hunter has taken it upon himself to what he believes just has to be the right thing, without consulting anyone else on the team, and our Legends are understandably upset.

Those of us who keep up with all the CW DC shows (Arrow, Flash, and, soon, Supergirl) remember that the Black Canary left us recently. Sara didn’t know that though, and she is justifiably devastated. Meanwhile, Rory is trying to go back to his old life with a new partner, and of course that isn’t working, either. Ray coming to save Rory and become his new partner is one of the most unlikely things to happen in this universe, but then again, perhaps not. Harken back to the Russian gulag episode, and we see a strange understanding begin to develop between “Haircut,” as Rory calls Ray, and Heatwave. Stein and his wife are trying to rebuild and of course our silver fox is restless, and Jax just can’t let the mission to stop Vandal Savage die, either. If nothing else, Carter and Kendra still need to be saved; bring the Waverider back here, right now!

So where, or rather when and where, the hell is Kendra anyway? Someplace called Saint Lo, France, in 1944, apparently. Some helmeted skullduggery (how did she know how to do that again?) allows our hunting Legends to figure out the answer to both questions, and off the ship goes to catch our wayward Hawk folk!

Okie doke, so now it’s time for some background, if you haven’t been paying attention to the major background plots of Legends of Tomorrow. Way back when, in ancient Egyptian times when all this stuff with Savage and our Hawk folk popped off, the Thanagarians sent three meteorites with alien technology to earth. Combined with the blood of Carter and Kendra, Savage is going to take these three meteorites he’s been chasing all over time and literally re-write time itself, according to his wishes. The Thanagarians and the Hawk people have a long and rich history in the DC-verse, so introducing this depth of a storyline is actually quite cool.

Sara Lance is perhaps the finest female character on the show, and to see her literally begging Captain Hunter to go back and save her sister is truly heartbreaking. Why can’t Hunter go back just a few measly months and help Sara save Laurel? Some muckity-muck about timelines and alternate multiple deaths, which is kind of the show’s way of saying, “Her death is now canon in the Arrow-verse and there really isn’t anything we can do about it.” I had kind of hoped for a better thought-out explanation, but hey, we recall along with Sara that Laurel was the one who convinced Sara to go serve and save as the White Canary, so perhaps that’s the encouragement she needs to never, ever give up fighting.

Dude, lookit, we now have a plan! Three plans, to be precise. Somehow, yet another thing that wasn’t explained too clearly, but who cares: Vandal Savage is able to be three places at once, crossing his own timeline. (I bet Sam Beckett could tell Savage that was never a good idea.) And he’s after the three Thanagarian meteorites, armed with Hawk folk blood, for the timeline re-write ritual too! In 1958, according to Stein, there was a rare alignment of the Earth with Thanagar, so, of course, one Savage will be there/then. The ATOM and Heatwave are waiting in hiding for their turn to heat things up! St. Roch in 2021 finds current-Savage with Kendra, preparing for the ritual, while Captain Hunter and a newly-resolved and becostumed Carter anxiously await much asskickery! And in Norway in 1975, while Sara is dealing with thugs and a nuclear bomb, Jax and Stein wait to take people out as Firestorm!

This really is the ultimate climax scene of the entire season of Legends of Tomorrow, where, in unlikely pairs, our Legends all simultaneously take out a different Vandal Savage and stop alien armageddon! Kendra bursts her bonds with a mighty flap of her wings as Carter is downed and sets upon Vandal Savage with the fury of four thousand years of deaths, persecution, and lies! Sara Lance in her leather whites besets another Vandal Savage with the quip, “A Timemaster is never late,” and proceeds to kick his ass up, down, and sideways! Wait, did she just say that, about herself? Ooh. Layers. The ATOM is dealing with flying monkey monsters while Heatwave just puts the beatdown on the man who caused the death of his beloved partner, the other half of his sundered soul, we miss you already Leonard Snart. A savage neck-snap, a pillar of fire, and an intimate stab through the heart later, and the changed timeline bubble-ripples across the land, as Rip Hunter finally gets his revenge. But it’s not over yet!

Still got to deal with those damned meteorites, right? The ATOM shrinks one of em, no problem there. Firestorm freaking vaporizes another one, and with the help of the AI ship, all our Legends are back together for the final ball of destruction. But these other methods aren’t working anymore, so once again the Captain takes it upon himself to grab the death-ball with the Waverider and fly it into the sun! Of course this means the death of Captain Rip Hunter, the AI Gideon, and the ship Waverider, and we simply cannot have that. It’s time for some final soul-searching, for forgiveness, and ultimately, for some real responsibility taken for all these actions in the shows previous episodes. Leave it to the AI to say, “I’m not ready to die.”

Since the Chronoflow was pretty much destroyed, the Oculus doesn’t help any more, either. The Timemasters scattered to the winds and there’s no real police force against Vandal Savage (or any other DC villains) messing with the timelines; that is the new job of Captain Hunter and our Legends! Sara at Laurel’s graveside remembers her dear sister and takes on the new mission in her name. Stein gets a loving but firm push out the door from his wife, and Jax, because Firestorm is truly meant for changing things for the better. Poor Rory takes a farewell jaunt back to Central City in 2013, and — aw, my heart is melting — he went to meet Snart one last time. This is what we call a loving full-circle coming around, as Rory stumbles about telling Snart he’s a hero, the best guy Rory ever knew. We all saw Snart struggle and resist the heroic ideal while part of the crew of the Waverider, and yet he truly became one somehow, perhaps because he knew it was important. Not to the universe, or even to the other Legends, but to his best friend, the guy who had his back from when they were pickpocket-y pre-teens, his partner, his brother: Mick Rory.

So now, we’re finally back where we began, the team gathered in Star City, preparing to go off on the Waverider with Captain Rip Hunter! Well, everyone but Carter and Kendra, who want to make a go at a “normal life.” Being reincarnated Hawk peoples might make that kind of difficult, you just know they’ll show up again in season two. But wait! It’s another Waverider, piloted by — holy shit, it’s Rex Tyler, a member of the Justice Society of America!

Legends of Tomorrow has never shied away from bringing in relatively obscure but beloved DC characters, and this drop of Patrick J. Adams as Rex Tyler, also known as Hourman in the DC-verse, is no exception. There was Connor Hawke, a legacy of Green Arrow; world-destroyer Per Degaton; son of Deathstroke, called Ravager in the comics; even the redoubtable cowboy of the DC world, Jonah Hex. But this finale episode really stuck it to us eternal fans in the best way possible, by introducing the Justice Society of America for season two!

I enjoyed this series way more than I ever thought I would, and hope you-all have enjoyed running through it with me and fellow Agent Nur Hussein. While, yes, there may be some issues in translating the time travel twisty funnery to the audience in a believable way, that’s honestly not really what we’re here for. These characters and their enduring story of personal drama, idealistic morals and epic ass-kickery in the face of pure evil ensures that they really are legendary. We can’t wait to see what season two brings!

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‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E14: So, That’s Why it’s Called the Vanishing Point

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Flying Spoilers a-comin!

Way back in the very beginning of all this nonsense, Savage (before he was called that) did actually manage to capture Rip Hunter. Despite a few conversations with our Captain languishing in his Egyptian prison cell, he did manage to escape and damn it, Savage wants to know how Khalib did it!

Meanwhile aboard the Waverider, the thieving twins and their assassin gal pal all think we should just kill Savage already, never mind what happens to future-Carter’s somewhat scrambled brains afterwards. But the readouts from the Rock-Em-Sock-Em Robot battle of the previous episode tells our Legends that Vandal Savage really has been using all sorts of time tech and know-how that should, finally, get the Timemaster Council to deal with him once and for all!

Thing is, getting to the Vanishing Point, where the Timemasters are, is problematic. The ship was damaged in the previous episode and of course Captain Hunter’s impatience and selfishness ends up costing Jax his health and safety. Jax is aging at an accelerated rate after being dosed to hell and gone with time radiation, and there really isn’t anything anyone can do. Jax is stuck in the med bay, subconsciously recalling when he left to go on this mission, he was roofied and never got to say goodbye to his mother, which obviously bothers him.

Inevitably, every last Legend just has to go and talk to Vandal Savage personally, engaging in all sorts of mental sword-fighting with what is supposed to be their ultimate enemy. The manner in which he greets Sarah in particular, asking if she had heard from her sister Laurel lately, only managed to severely piss us Arrow fans off and remind us, oh yeah, this guy’s a total villain.

Kendra, accompanied by a rather dour Ray, is attempting to jog future-Carter’s memory and having zero luck. Why Ray thought demanding the answer from Vandal Savage on how to fix Carter would work, I have no idea. For all that Ray is a scientist, inventor, and genius, he’s still an awk-nerd fanboy, rather clueless about relationships and their long-reaching issues. Savage attempts to explain to Ray that they’re the same, at least when it comes to Kendra, because Vandal loved her and was together with her a long long time ago; it was fated. And though Ray truly wants to help Kendra, finding her speaking that ancient love Egyptian love poem to Carter to thump his head, seems to really bother him, too.

Of course, now Snart and Rory want to get off this ride, taking the jump ship and its one single pre-programmed jump back to 2016. Sara, on the other hand, never runs from a fight, even one she didn’t start, and we’re treated to a lovely goodbye scene with Nyssa Al Ghul as Sara remembers her last cleanups before embarking on this mission. Silverfox Stein thinks he can talk Savage into helping our Legends and Jax in particular somehow, only to be reminded that he’s the Enemy, sure, but he’s also very clever. So, Grandpa Jax gets roofied ah-gain and sent off on the jump ship back to 2016 all on his lonesome. And a sad Stein remembers the few bittersweet moments with his beloved wife Clarissa before he left on this insane mission, too.

Really, Ray? Really? We’re going to engage in raging fisticuffs with an effectively immortal tyrant, and we wonder how the hell Savage manages to escape. I do love how, as Rory and Ray are heading off to recapture the villain, Rory drawls, “If we live through this, you bumbling idiot, I might just kill you.”

Stein and Sara have been tasked with getting the ship flying again, which, between the former Space Ranger-turned-engineer and the effective hand of the League of Assassins, now navigator, seems actually possible. Sara can make the tough calls in extreme situations, as Rip points out, and no one can argue with that. Love you forever, Sara Lance.

So Rory and Snart, Ray and Kendra are all fighting Savage and Carter all at the same time, while the Captain and his Engineer and Navigator steer the ship with all they’ve got! Rip has to run off to martyr himself, leaving Sara to actually pilot the Waverider, and hot damn if she doesn’t do an excellent job! Is there anything that can pop the lock on the brainwashing Savage has done to Carter? Turns out, seeing his beloved potentially fated Hawkgirl almost slain by the hand of Vandal Savage is enough to make Carter sprout wings like the most badass avian hybrid ever and swoop in for the kill! Or rather, the knockout.

So we’ve actually made it to the Vanishing Point, more or less intact. But there’s still time for one last epic betrayal, and the whole of time and space may pay the price! There is one more episode before the phenomenal season finale, so it’s entirely possible that there’s way more badass villainy to deal with than just Vandal Savage. And that’s how our beloved characters become truly Legends!

Catch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Thursdays on the CW at 8:00 p.m./7:00 p.m., Central!

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E10 : Teach Your Children Well

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

All the Spoilers!

When we last left our intrepid Legends, things had gotten all shook up! The real identity of Chronos has been revealed, Rory is back aboard the Waverider, and the next time jump is intended for the future!

The Kasnian Conglomerate is the main corporation in charge of things here in the future, where we’re now attempting to hunt down Vandal Savage at a stockholders meeting approximately five years before the destruction of Captain Hunter’s future world. After some adorable sleight of eye, our Legends get an earful of the untenable situation for those outside the Kasnian borders, living in squalor and misery as they are. Predictably, Vandal Savage, who is sitting at the stockholders’ table, is all in favor of a culling, which is exactly what it sounds like. He’s also a tutor to Per Degaton, son of his main opposition on the council, the kid Captain Hunter equates to the Adolf Hitler of his own time. This information leads to a very frank discussion around the planning table, bringing up one of the great philosophical questions of any generation: If you had a time machine, would you go back and kill Adolf Hitler? Or the LoT equivalent, which, in this case, means killing Per Degaton.

Everyone on the team has an opinion about this plan, ranging from outraged at infanticide to the “I volunteer as tribute already,” drawl of Snart. So, instead, our well-meaning heroes graduate from infanticide to child abduction, thinking this is somehow better, and figuring they’ll decide what to do with Little Lord Fauntleroy after they’ve nabbed him. The team’s actual method of kidnapping the mini-goose-stepper are fairly clever and fun.

Meanwhile, Ray and Stein and Jax have all gone to check out the robotics department of the place that made the autonomous robots based on Palmer’s A.T.O.M. design. What do they find? A very merry sci-fi alum, in the form of Jewel Staite as Doctor Rachel Turner, purportedly the great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Palmer himself. So yes, Ray gets to have his own internal mini-crisis, at the idea that his ghosted girlfriend back in 2016, who never got a name mind you, potentially had his child. And, you know, that his family would be responsible for the bots Savage uses in the future in his massive despotic takeover.

Elsewhere, Kendra is dealing with visions of her past lives, in particular the life with Carter that led to the birth of the Boardmans and their son. The flashback scenes are in sepia Oz-style tones, which is fine, I suppose, but I’d like to see some other lives, too. How about a Victorian Hawkgirl, or a Renaissance Hawkman? Well, the idea they seem to be trying to get across is that, in this particular life, Kendra will make her own choices, and right now, she chooses Ray. For a while, anyway.

Also in the midst of this funnery, people are visiting the clear cage Rory is being kept in, each speaking with him in their own way, from their own point of view. Sarah’s scene in particular, how she speaks so bluntly from a position of absolute calm and without any fear, about the bond between Rory and Snart, is a gorgeous little piece of writing. Only Sarah could somehow get Snart to finally go to his adopted brother, his partner, the heat to his cold, honestly the other part of his soul. So much for being a soulless League of Assassins killer; we heart you Sarah.

So, Captain Hunter is off with mini-Hitler in tow, to learn once again the simple lesson that we’re supposed to be a team, and you really shouldn’t be trying to do these time-changing moments alone. Because, hey, Savage and the future-time military police are headed for our Legends, to steal back Per Degaton at any cost! Time for lots of fighting, some harsh Palmer family truths, and a final exchange of he-who-could-become-Hitler and Sarah with the enemy!

None of this sits well with Captain Hunter, especially since the current-future timeline shows Per Degaton taking out his competition and Savage’s rise to sudden power. Ray and Kendra have come to an understanding and that’s fine, for now. The best part of the last segment is the fight between Rory and Snart, where the two of them finally hash it all out with their fists, after which a healthy serving of nasty truth is served up to the entire team, and a new mission of sorts is given: run.

Next episode, our Legends are headed to the Old West and the introduction of another epic DC character, Jonah Hex!

Catch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Thursdays on the CW at 8:00 p.m./7:00 p.m., Central!

XXX

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E6: Green Arrow forever!

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Oh, so many Spoilers! 

Welcome back, my fellow superhero lovers! When we last left our intrepid Legends, they had landed in a potential-future all but destroyed version of Star City in 2046. A masked black man wearing those iconic green leathers and shooting anything that moves with a wooden bow — who does not answer to “Oliver!” —  greets our bewildered Legends, while masked bad guys are shooting up the streets. Most everyone hurries back to the ship to repair it and the futuristic AI Gideon, while the criminal twins, our resident assassin Sarah, and Captain Hunter go out to hunt down a piece of tech from Smoak Industries.

Meanwhile, we have to have some sort of idiotic cute little dynamic going on between the folk who stayed behind on the ship to affect repairs. Jax has decided he has a thing for Kendra, and is struggling to put on his big-boy confidence pants and tell her. He needs to act fast because Ray is being his somewhat charming self and unknowingly moving in on some sweet hawk-goddess territory! Even Professor Stein notices the triangle and tries to help, in his singularly ineffective manner, by trying to steer Ray away from Kendra. Which of course backfires when Ray is like, hey yeah, I never thought of her that way, but now that you mention it … As we watch Jax headdesk.

Out on the city streets, the eternal killing has resumed and our Legends have to duck and cover. Of course, Sarah is determined to help when she sees Green Arrow 2.0 take a fall and Captain Hunter goes with her while the criminal twins Rory and Snart end up “you keep what you kill”-ing to a street gang and head off for their very own criminal kingdom! Sarah and Rip, now joined by a fabulous Joseph David-Jones as Connor Hawke, have a nice little confrontation with Deathstroke! Or actually, it’s Deathstroke Jr., Jamie Andrew Cutler as Grant Wilson, called Ravager in the comics. Now it’s off to where Ollie’s former Arrow lair was, for several hard truths and revelations, and hopefully, that piece of Felicity tech they’re looking for.

Connor told them all that Oliver Queen was dead, that he disappeared during the Uprising of Deathstroke Jr.’s troops that decimated the city, so to find a very aged and bitter and decidedly one-arm-less Oliver still hiding in the mothballed lair is certainly news to Connor. He and 50-something bearded and grizzled Oliver have a rather biting exchange, wherein Ollie reveals who Connor Hawke really is: get a load of it, Arrow fans, in this particular version of the DC-verse, Connor Hawke is John Diggle, Jr.! In the comic books, Connor Hawke is the son of Oliver Queen, but this version totally works for me.

And then there’s the makeup used for the aged and bitter Oliver Queen, I’m not talking about that amazing Smoak Industries prosthetic arm either! The show producers had actually been contemplating bringing in a whole new actor to play 50-something Green Arrow, but the more they thought about it, they just decided to take the big risk of aged makeup on Arrow Queen actor Stephen Amell. And holy crow did it pay off! The makeup and iconic Earth-31 Green Arrow look is so well captured here, it looks like they had some of their best winners from Face Off (yes, I am a fan of that show, too!) do the job.

Rory meanwhile has decided that he’s very happy as King in the Mad Max version of Star City and wants to stay. Snart, of course, is unamused, though whether it’s because this isn’t what he had in mind or because Rory is trying to think for himself, it’s hard to say. The criminal partners have the very best dynamic, and conversations, of the entire episode. Rory and Snart are the epitome of the criminal duo, the brains and the brawn, the two men not blood-related but who understood each other so well that they chose to team up better than brothers. But now, the epic dynamic between the two of them is actually breaking down because, as Rory not-so-stupidly points out, Snart has begun to desire to be an actual hero and save the world. Whereas, as Snart almost lovingly responds, Rory just wants to watch the world burn, and you know, be King of whatever wastelands are left. As much as the post-apocalyptic Star City may be horrible for Sarah, as much as we the audience might disapprove of such a thing, we all have to admit that “home” means very different things to different people, and this seems to be Rory’s version of it.

So yes Captain Hunter got the Smoak tech piece they needed and sent it over to help fix the ship, but he doesn’t seem very interested in helping the last few heroes left save what’s left of Star City. He’s of the opinion that since this is only a potential future, there’s no point in trying to save anything and even interfere, which of course doesn’t sit well with Sarah at all. Most of our Legends actually completely agree with Sarah and lodge a protest to Captain Hunter, while Sarah goes off on her lonesome to recruit Oliver Queen to go rescue Connor Hawke! Because the city always needs a Green Arrow!

Ultimately, this is all kinds of an epic Arrow episode for fans of all ages! Though Grant Wilson accuses Connor Hawke of simply being a hack in a Halloween costume during his would-be execution scene, and even with Sarah and Ollie and the rest of the Legends showing up for an assist, Diggle Jr. proves he can do honor to those green leathers and bow just fine, thank you. As Ollie proudly proclaims him, even though they can’t seem to agree on what name to call Connor, whatever he calls himself, it is always and forever Green Arrow. This proves that the legacy of our Legends is ongoing and that all potential futures are worth fighting for!

Catch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Thursdays on the CW at 8:00 p.m./7:00 p.m., Central!

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‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E5: Not our First Prison Break

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

When we last left our intrepid time-hopping Legends, fully half the team was either incapacitated or captured in a – what else? It’s 1986 – maximum-security Russian gulag. Our resident silverfox Professor Stein is being held for extra-special treatment, because the bad guys have figured out he could make a Russian Firestorm way way earlier than such a thing should be possible. Rory and Ray have been tossed into gulag gen-pop together, and the crew of the Waverider are working on how to bust them all out!

Well, mostly. Snart claims to be generally only interested in getting his partner back, which makes it odd when he very easily figures out that Captain Hunter ordered our assassin Sarah to take Stein out if it looks like rescue isn’t an option, and he has a rather surprisingly adverse reaction to the idea. Though of course the proposed plans give Snart the chance to smirk, “Not my first prison break,” to Rip, and all of us in the know have to grin. No-one seems particularly interested in rescuing the lone boy scout of the team, and indeed, Ray gets himself a good old fashioned beat-down in the gulag yard when he just can’t seem to shut his mouth, while Rory is over there fascinated by a Zippo he stole and not doing a damned thing to help. Rip also completely vetoes recovering Jax and Kendra’s offer to help, at least on the scout mission to the Bratva, the Russian mafia underground.

This episode’s scenes with Ray were particularly hard to watch, not necessarily because he takes several hard-core beatings, but because of why he does it. The first beat-down in the yard, well that was just your standard Russian cold-war welcome. But later, when it’s all gone to hell and Ray and Rory have been brought out for glorious electrical torture to goad Stein into giving up his Firestorm secrets to Vandal Savage and the crazy Russian lady scientist, Vostok, Ray’s deadly boy scout instincts kick in and he purposefully turns all attention to himself. While it’s true that as soon as they can get Ray to the Waverider his injuries can be healed quite easily, that says nothing for the here and now and those busted ribs, blackened eyes, and weeping cuts. What we see here is the run of being Superman that Brandon Routh just can’t seem to escape, the one who heroically takes it all upon himself because he just can’t stand to see others he cares about harmed. And it takes that kind of selflessness to get Heatwave, the criminal Rory who uses his S.T.A.R. labs firegun to mow down good and bad guys alike while he steals things, to go back for Ray when the rescue attempt is made.

So, the rescue attempt has degenerated into a prison riot, as often happens, and at the same time that crazy Russian chick and the Prof have melted together in the hottest forced not-sex you’ll ever see! Captain Hunter and Vandal Savage have had their posturing moment, and Jax and Kendra have decided to get in on the rescue mission regardless of what the Captain says! The small moments of humanity from our assassin Sarah, goaded on by our less-criminal-than-previously-thought Snart, are beautiful and show the team coming together despite their clear differences. And that’s how, working together once again, our Legends have made it back to the Waverider more or less whole, to jump through time while being chased by Chronos yet again!

Spoiler, Spoiler, Spoil-ers!

But wait! There’s totes more. Our Legends managed a landing despite Chronos’ best efforts, and here we are in Star City! Sort of. Star City in 2046, apparently, rather remarkably different. And of course there’s a guy in those iconic forest green leathers with a bow! But that’s not Oliver Queen. No, my fellow archer fan-atics, it’s Connor Hawke! Drool with me.

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