Legends of Tomorrow, Episode 2 “Pilot, Part 2” Broadcast on January 28, 2016
Written by Phil Klemmer & Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg
Directed by Glen Winter
Rip Hunter narrates over images from the first episode, “In 2116 an immortal tyrant named Vandal Savage conquered the world and murdered my wife and child. I have assembled an elite team to hunt him down throughout time and stop his rise to power. Unfortunately, my plan is opposed by the body I’d sworn to allegiance, the Time Masters. In the future my friends may not be heroes, but if we succeed, they they will be remembered as legends.”
“Previously on Legends of Tomorrow,” the team goes back to 1975 to learn the origin of Savage from a college professor who’s devoted his life to collecting information on the evil immortal. The professor is killed and Hunter’s words to convince the team to form are revealed as false, yet the team still wants to take on Savage.
Norway, 1975. Using the dead professor’s notebook, Hunter has theorized that Vandal may be there. The Hawks want to go back in time and save the professor, who was their son, but Rip says that they can’t go back and alter time in which they participated as that would create a fold in time. The topic moves back to Savage and Hunter says there’s a gathering of terrorists and fringe groups looking to purchase illegal arms, so he will most likely be there. As they make their way off of Waverider, Rory, Snart, and Palmer tell Hunter they’re having trust issues with him. Four of the team have a momentary problem entering through the front door, but one of them has historical knowledge to allow them entrance. Jefferson and the Hawks are on the roof as backup if the kidnapping of Vandal goes wrong. However, none of them recognize Damien Darhk is there to make some purchases. Plans become further complicated as the group sees that Vandal isn’t one of the buyers at the event, he’s the seller. During the first sale, Savage feels the Hawks nearby. He also notices the four time travelers sticking out. After a brief conversation with the group, Vandal returns to the stage. “Change of plans. I’ll provide a twenty-five percent discount to the organization which brings me the heads of those men.” Heat Wave produces his gun and chaos breaks out. The Hawks arrive, adding their power to the melee. The good guys look to be winning, though a villain’s blow knocks a piece of tech off of the Atom’s armor. Vandal smiles at the violence around him, which increases when the Hawks join him. The madman complicates the situation as he exits, though it is resolved in dramatic fashion before the opening title sequence.
Back on the Waverider, everyone is bickering about what’s just occurred, until Hunter’s sarcastic applause shuts them down. One of the buyer’s ran off with something that wasn’t for sale. Palmer looks at his suit and notices a piece missing. “Whoops.” Using the ship’s A.I., Hunter has learned that Savage gets the futuristic tech, allowing him to conquer earth in 2016. If they don’t set things right, that future will be a part of history. Cue first commercial break.
First and foremost, that’s an incredible action sequence at the weapon’s sale. With all the heroes involved, taking on an endless supply of baddies, it’s amazing to look at. And it might just be outdone by the blowout at the end. The money is on the screen during these fights and they look spectacular. I admit to going back to those scenes several times on my DVR to bask in the stellar work of the actors, the stunt people, and the visual effects department, all under the beautiful direction of Glen Winter. It’s fantastic — really! The story is also well done, involving time travel issues (which never fail to entertain) and the team broken into three groups. Sara, Jefferson, and Martin are a fantastic trio, with the younger pair having some fun reactions to what they encounter. Caity Lotz gets the best lines and moments in tonight’s script and she knocks them out of the park — please take note of what she uses as a weapon and what she grabs before the commercial break — I gave a loud WHOOP! at that last one. Ray, Leonard, and Mick are also a great trio, with Ray trying to be one of the guys and not achieving the same level of sophistication as his partners. The scenes between Wentworth Miller and Brandon Routh are really good, showing the pair to be more similar than either suspected. Falk Hentschel and Ciara Renee’s scenes are better than in the previous episode as their characters try to have Shiera regain an important memory. Renee was best in her final scene, which was actually moving. Arthur Darvill doesn’t do much this episode but have to play Rip being snarky, though his scene with one of the other characters gave him some needed emotional punch.
The good: Victor Garber, Caity Lotz (stealing every scene), Franz Drameh, Brandon Routh, Wentworth Miller, Mick Rory, Neal McDonough in a cameo, Casper Crump (who’s last scene as Savage puts a new spin on his relationship with one of the Hawks), Graeme McComb, excellent choices of teams, a good twist with the home owner, Jefferson finally getting a strong character moment with another, epic fight scenes, and a great alias chosen by the Doctor.
Fun lines: “You’re a special kind of crazy. I like it,” “Your plan sucks. You know that, right?”, “Okay, fine. Whatever. I’ll do it,” “Aww…You think I’m –“, and “One thing that time travel teaches you is that time changes, people don’t.”
The bad: Not enough Darvill and the Hawks were fairly “blah” unless they suited up.
The final line: Big improvement over the first part with epic fights, great character growth, and somebody’s already out? The fights thrilled me, but the characters won my heart. These characters are already Legends. Overall grade: A