DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: That was fun!

Legends of Tomorrow was definitely one of my favorite shows this season, and I started thinking of things to say about it a couple episodes before its recent finale. And man, am I glad I waited.

Ditching Vandal Savage and all the drama with Hawkman and Hawkgirl was definitely an improvement. Bringing in the best villains from The Flash and Arrow made things super fun (if not a little confusing at times), and the manufactured drama surrounding newcomers Nate and Amarra wasn’t nearly as distracting as what came before. And then there was Mick. Dear, wonderful Mick.

Let’s take it from the top.

Season one of Legends of Tomorrow was OK, but honestly I didn’t find Vandal Savage — a villain who’s origin story on the show pretty much consists of being spurned by a princess in ancient Egypt and never getting over it — terribly compelling. Plus, it didn’t help that the whole plot of the season was centered on figuring out how to kill him and then doing so in three different time periods. I mean, yeah, he was a bad man, but that was a dark way to go for a show full of characters who– Sarah excluded — don’t carry Oliver Queen levels of darkness.

So, when season two switched over to the Legends gallivanting through history to find their lost friend, fix time aberrations, and ultimately get a quest, it created a mission that was much more palatable with the show’s overall tone.

And let’s be real: A time remnant of Eobard Thawne plucking Damien Darhk and Malcolm Merlyn from various points in time in order find the spear of destiny and rewrite reality to fix their broken lives made for way more compelling villains. First, we know them. Second, they’re cheesy, campy fun. Third, sure, they’re bad guys, but their motivations come from better places than “not getting the girl.”

doom comp
Superior villains: Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher) and Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough).

As for Nate and Amarra. I don’t know. They’re both kind of bland and their burgeoning romance is kind of cute. And I’ll take bland, kind of cute and only mildly angsty over the cluster that was Hawkman/Hawkgirl/Ray.

But honestly, this whole post began as an excuse to talk about Mick.

Mick_Rory
Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell)

Of everyone, I don’t think it’s a stretch to call him the breakout character of the season.  He got a lot of growth, starting right there in the premiere when he was the one tasked with finding the rest of the team after they all got separated — an event sort of mirrored in the last few episodes when he had to find everyone in the Doom reality.

Watching him cope with Leonard’s death and learn to be part of a team — while still always being up for a beer and a brawl with maybe some petty theft in between — was ultimately really gratifying, but there was a time when everything looked all too familiar, and not necessarily in a good way. It started to seem eerily reminiscent of Leonard’s growth in season one.

And when Leonard shows up again — courtesy of Thawne going into the past and picking up a pre-Legends version of him, I really started to question things. I almost wanted to go back and rewatch season one to see if this super cold take on Leonard was anything like season one Leonard and if Mick’s story line really was as copy/paste as it felt.

And then? The show addressed it! So, blah blah battles, blah blah fixing things, and in the end Mick drops pre-Legends Leonard back where he belongs, does some memory wipey thing that I guess they can do now and sets Leonard down the path of not being quite so evil.  So it all came full circle.  Mick helped Leonard become the man he needed to be so that Leonard could help Mick become the man HE needed to be.

And I really like that, even though right after Mick says he’s going to send Leonard down the right path, he flashy-things him and walks away. I’m choosing to handwave that as a consequence of editing choices born out of TV time constraints.

Miscellaneous stuff

Legends has definitely usurped The Flash in the fun department. I mean, the Legends meet and buck up George Lucas! And JRR Tolkien! They’re part of the Apollo 13 incident! It’s just really fun.

jax and stein comp
Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Jefferson Jackson (Franz Drameh)

Firestorm. I’m a little worried about Firestorm. Well, more to the point, I’m worried about Victor Garber’s continued presence on the show. Like last season, there are more rumblings about cast shakeups in the next season, and with Mick’s conversation with Martin about not being a spring chicken anymore and he should be teaching Jax how to get on without him, it seems kind of logical that we’re being set up to lose him. I never really have much to say about Jax and Martin or Firestorm because they’re just…comfortable characters that I don’t want to change.

rip hunter
Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill)

I’ve never really watched the new Doctor Who. I keep saying some day I’m going to, but it’s  just one more thing on a ridiculously long list of things I want to watch. But I know Arthur Darvill plays a companion for a season or two, and I’ve really been impressed with him on this. Whether he’s the war-weary captain out to avenge his family, the meek film student being taunted b the Legion of Doom for information he wiped from his memory, the brainwashed evil guy or back-to-himself gatherer of Legends trying to make amends and find his place in a new dynamic, I bought it all.

Eobard. I’ve got to be honest, while there is a part of me that dislikes Eobard because his existence meant the Harrison Wells we all knew and loved was just a big ol’ lie, I really like this character, and I’m sad to see him go. But I really don’t see any way for him to ever come back, since his ancestor (Eddie) is dead and childless (as far as we know, I guess), and this Eobard only existed as a fluke of time travel.  Matt Letscher is an actor I’ve enjoyed since his time way back on the Mark Feuerstein vehicle “Good Morning, Miami,” and I really liked the depth he gave Eobard here. Most notably when he hides from the time wraith by not running from it and just has to stand absolutely terrified and perfectly still.

scaredy thawne
“*Gulp* He’s right behind me, isn’t he?”

Prison Break. I never watched this show, but I’ve been so impressed with Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller on Legends of Tomorrow, that I’ve added to my already lengthy list of things to watch.

Next season

Based on the end of the finale, the legends have really managed to break time.  They crashed into the present, surrounded by dinosaurs! I’d wonder what that was about, except I don’t see it being anything that lasts more than an episode, maybe two.

The following is speculation based on observable things in Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash, and the aforementioned cast shakeup rumor.

I really like the Arrowverse shows, but I have a hard time seeing any of them continuing beyond another couple of seasons. So I expect we’re going to start seeing them crossover even more than we did this season and for more than gimmicky  “It’s an alien invasion!” plots.  Which means, I suspect Hawkman and Hawkgirl are about to rejoin the waverider.  That 2024 news article that Barry keeps angsting over after the byline changed from Iris West-Allen to somebody else, if you freeze frame it and read the bits of the story, it says Flash disappeared during a fight that Hawkman and Hawkgirl were also there for.  I don’t remember the rest of the details, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the rest of the legends were there as well. Of course, it should be noted that I am trying desperately to live in denial about even the possibility of losing Martin Stein.

So, the one and only real prediction I’m going to make for season three of Legends of Tomorrow, is that Nate and Amara will return to Amara’s present together, and Amara’s future will continue as it had, only – surprise! – Nate is a part of Vixen’s family tree. And in their absence, Carter (Hawkman) and Kendra (Hawkgirl) will return and bore me to tears.

Season two of Legends of Tomorrow has concluded and is already available on Netflix. Other shows in the Arrowverse — The Flash and Arrow — return with new episodes next week. Supergirl, too, but she’s on another Earth and I don’t care.

Leisure Time is on Twitter! Follow @theLTtweet for post updates and smaller thoughts.

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