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‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Recap Pilot, Part 1

After months of promos and crossovers, we were finally able to take our first bite out of Legends of Tomorrow and while it was filled with a lot of exposition and backstory, it did not disappoint. It’s been no secret that Legends would involve a lot of time travel so what better way to start the show than in year 2166? We open with this season’s villain, Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) conquering the entire planet as his immortally permits. He murders in cold blood a woman and her son, which may be seen as a way to show just how brutal he is but as the episode goes on we find out that it’s much more than that.

The CW
The CW

Soon after this we meet our fearless leader, Rip Hunte (Arthur Darvill) pleading to The Master’s Council to allow him permission to change history and prevent Vandal Savage from making it to 2166. They reject him due to the fact that the Council’s job is to protect the timeline, not humanity. So, what does Mr. Hunter do? Well, he decides to go rouge and create his own team of misfits to join him on this crusade. So, let’s meet our “Legends”.

  • Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh)- The Atom. As seen on Arrow and The Flash, Ray is a computer wiz who created his own shrinking super suit. He’s happy to join the team and have the opportunity to make a real difference in the world, as his first death had no impact despite all he had accomplished.
  • Sara Lance (Caity Lotz)- White Canary. Also introduced to us on Arrow, Sara is still dealing with the repercussions of her resurrection from the Lazarus Pit. At first she is skeptical but after Laurel tells her it would be good for her to have something good to work towards she decides to join.
  • Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Jefferson “Jax” Jackson (Franz Drameh)- Firestorm. These two are definitely going to bring some great comedic relief. They bicker like a parent
    and an angst-ridden teenager. Of course, Stein wants to join and learn all about the technology and time travel and how he can use that to better his research, but Jax… not so much. He doesn’t really get a say in the matter though as Stein drugs him and brings him along anyway.
  • Carter Hall (Falk Hentschel) and Kendra Saunders (Ciara Renee) – Hawkman & Hawkgirl. These two were introduced on Arrow and The Flash as well. I don’t really know how I feel about them on the show as a whole (mainly because they seem to lack chemistry) but they do provide a lot of interesting narrative due to their immortality and history with Savage.
  • Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) and Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell)- Captain Cold and Heat Wave. The Flash’s favorite villains with no “real” powers are more than happy to join Rip’s team as it provides them with ample opportunity to perform criminal acts in the past and the future. Mona Lisa better watch out.

So, the team assembles at an empty lot where Rip reveals his invisible time
traveling ship, Waverider. It actually looks super cool and very spacious, which is always welcome with air travel. Their first mission is to try and locate Savage, which is near impossible. Not even Waverider’s super computer Gideon can figure out his whereabouts. This forces them to travel to the year 1975 in St. Roch, New Orleans in order to find a professor by the name of Aldus Boardman.

The ship takes off (visibly) and two bystanders see it. All of the sudden a terrifying looking robot soldier appears and blows up the two boys with some sort of zapping weapon after determining that they were not integral to the timeline. He makes it clear that he is looking for Rip Hunter.

Once they reach St. Roch, Hunter tells Lance, Snart, and Rory that their services are not needed. Jax chooses to stay behind too as he has no trust in Stein right now. They are able to find Boardman and he fills us in on a lot of summary and exposition about The Hawks. While it is delivered quite naturally, it is still a reminder of how much is actually going on in this show and how many characters are indeed involved. It could be problematic, but pilots are always about set up.

The reason that Boardman knows so much about Savage and The Hawks is because in one of their lifetimes Kara and Carter were his parents and he has been studying them ever since. Even though they do not remember him, it was still a touching moment. He is able to give them a last known location of Savage.

Stein gets a headache, signaling to him that Jax is in trouble back on the ship (the other three had left to go drink and get in a bar fight.) The menacing solider from earlier is apparently named Chronos and according to Hunter is a “temporal bounty hunter.” He is attacking the ship and forcing them to cut their visit short and hurry back (with Boardman in toe). Hunter is able to navigate them away from the danger with a few nicks to the ship, but the Legends are far too curious as to why a bounty hunter is after them if Hunter was given permission to go on this journey by the Council.

Turn out, his speech about how they all become legends in the future was really just a persuasive speech with a lot of liberties about the integrity of their timelines. None of them have any sort of impact on the timeline, but they each do bring something special to the table that Hunter thinks will benefit the mission. He also reveals that the woman and child we saw murdered in the opening scene were his wife and son. So, of course he wants his revenge on Savage.

This allows the team the opportunity to reevaluate whether or not they want to stay on board, which they all do. Some of them take more convincing than others, like Ray, who is convinced that he will die again with nothing to show for it. Sara reminds him that they still have the opportunity to change their fates if they are able to change the future.

With the team all on board again, Hunter and Gideon map out a route to the location that Boardman had provided them before he passed away. It then cuts to Savage in Norway, 1975 revealing some sort of weapon that looks like it can cause a heck of a lot of trouble. His final words are “I’m just trying to make the world a better place…one war at a time.”

So, Legends does a pretty good job at setting up the basic premise of the show- do whatever it takes each week to find and defeat Savage. However, the main issue that I see is the fact that there are
so many characters, each with their own backstory and their own problems. It could be an issue trying to shine light on all of these each week, but as history proves, it’s very easy to have faith in the Berlanti empire. I look forward to seeing this show progress each week as it searches for its footing and it’s place in this new universe.

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Casey Perriccio

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Casey is a TV junkie currently living in Raleigh, NC. She studied Writing & Media Communication at James Madison University (go dukes!) and currently works in the pharmaceutical field. Constantly wanting to talk about television and learn more about her favorite shows led her to discovering the joy of recaps. From there, she combined her love of TV and writing to become a recapper for FanFest.