TV Review: Legends of Tomorrow - Season 1 Episode 6 "Star City 2046"
EPISODE 6: "Star City 2046"
SYNOPSIS: "When a malfunction sends the Waverider crashing into 2046 Star City, our heroes face a startling version of their own future where they never stop Savage (Casper Crump) and never return home. The city is in ruins and overrun by criminals, which thrills Rory (Dominic Purcell). Sara (Caity Lotz) is despondent over the destruction of her home and stunned when she learns what happened to her old friend, Oliver Queen (guest star Stephen Amell). Steve Shill directed the episode written by Marc Guggenheim & Ray Utarnachitt."
I'll tell you. Just like our characters Heatwave and Captain Cold, this show blows very hot and cold for me, sometimes. One moment I'm truly invested in what's going down, and the next, I'm left asking myself “Why are we wasting our time with this nonsense?”
First, I'll tell you what I did like. I thought returning to a war-torn Star City was an interesting locale for our heroes, and that perhaps it would serve as sort of a Ghost of Apocalypse Future for them. You know, a “Hey, if you don't get your acts together, this is what you can look forward to.” sort of thing. I was also pumped to see the guest appearances of not just Old Man Ollie (Steve Amell), but Connor Hawke (Joseph David-Jones) as well. Truth be told, it's my opinion that bad-beard Ollie and the heroic actions of John Diggle's son were the crowning aspects of this episode.
The fact of the matter is, that at this stage in the show's evolution, we can count on Mick (Dominic Pucell) and Leonard (Wentworth Miller) for a good time. Between Mick's enthusiasm for tackling the improbable head-on, and Leonard's Smarmosaurus Rex routine, we're guaranteed at least a few laugh-out-loud moments - not to mention any number of classic one-liners. I'm not saying that they're infallible, just that week after week I've found them to be the stand-out characters of each episode.
Our other legends, though, woof! I'm just kidding. They're not all bad, though I would be lying if I'd failed to admit that I've grown tired of Rip (Arthur Darvill)'s temper tantrums or Kendra (Ciara Renee)'s well … everything really. To elaborate, I think Rip is a solid character, but the writers need to script him some real take-charge moments and quick if they want him to remain an engaging character. I can appreciate that he has a lot on his shoulders, but between the hypocritical rants and mismanagement of his team, I find myself growing bored of the circular nature of his contributions to the show. What I really want from him is to take charge, and to start believing in the the abilities of his friends. You can't moan and admonish your way to victory, dude!
As for Kendra, can we please give this more-than-capable woman something to do other than mourn her old life and be the show's go-to love interest? I swear, if she reminds the audience of her pre-Hawkgirl life one more time, I'm going to lose it. Part of me feels like the writers don't know what to do with her ever since they killed off Carter in the second episode. Yeah, Kendra's offered us a cool moment here and there, but still hasn't been given any real moment to shine. Yes, she is the only who can land the deathblow on Savage, but that doesn't mean she needs to be kept in the fridge until it's time for the finale.
Stepping away from the negativity for a moment, I want to give it up for Joseph David-Jones and his portrayal of Connor Hawke. This dude seemed to be real comfortable wearing the Arrow suit - like he'd been rocking it long before the airing of this episode. I also enjoyed the way in which the writers switched up the comic-related lore for the purpose of his character. Diversity is a subject that both DC and Marvel need to pay strong attention to if they're to continue being an influential cornerstone of pop culture entertainment. Honestly, I hope they find a way to bring Connor into the fold on a more permanent basis - whether here or on some other program.
If I wanted to make a list of other positive aspects for this week's episode, it would certainly include the heart, actions and convictions of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz). The White Canary is without a doubt one of my favorite character's of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW - standing proudly alongside Snart and Rory, of course. Sara wasn't taking any shit from Rip this episode, and was even willing to sacrifice her own future in order to save a fellow comrade she barely knew. That's leadership material, right there. In short, this was a great episode in which to demonstrate Sara's true strengths beyond that of her ass-kicking capabilities.
I suppose that before we get out of here I should remark on what I believe to be the glowing flaw of this episode. Of course I'm talking about the all-too-pointless love triangle bit that happened aboard the Wave Rider. I completely admit that I thought this entire portion of the show was trash. Okay, so we got a giggle out of Ray (Brandon Routh) and Jax (Franz Drameh) while commiserating about their failed attempts to win Kendra's affections, but in the end it all just felt like a huge waste of time. Gideon remarks later in the episode about how is was Kendra who more or less fixed the ship, show us that! For real, anything would have been better than Stein (Victor Garber) capering about the ship, looking to play Doctor Love. I understand that he was just trying to help, but still.
My chief issue with this part of the episode is that it served no purpose in moving the story forward, nor did it result in any character growth. I suppose Jax reached some manner of zen with regard to his hormones, but that's about it. Really, there's nothing I like less than investing myself in a show and it's character's only to have to slog through 17-minutes-worth of un-eventful filler.
In the end, I can't help feeling a bit “meh” about tonight's episode. I know that's not the most constructive term, but dammit, it feels appropriate here. I'm still enjoying LEGENDS OF TOMORROW a great deal, even if it might not appear that way from time to time. It was fun to travel into the future, meet a badass new Arrow, laugh at Grant Wilson's worst Slade impression, watch Rory become king for a day, and bask in the glory of Oliver's horrendous facial hair. All of that said, I'm anxious to see where the Wave Rider travels next week!
After an encounter with the time-hopping bounty hunter, Cronos, the Wave Rider is damaged, leaving team no choice but to make an unscheduled pit-stop in Star City cira 2046. Upon exiting the ship, the crew discovers that their once fair city has been reduced to nothing more than a wasteland of lawlessness and destruction. Before long, the team encounters a hooded figure who they then mistake for their friend and compatriot, Oliver Queen. After a puzzling exchange, the figure steps into the firelight, revealing not Oliver, but a different man all together. As the team looks on in confusion, the hooded man nocks back an explosive arrow and fires a warning shot across the group's nose.
While running in stunned surprise, the legends retreat back to the Wave Rider to regroup and find a better way to navigate the strange city. Rip then takes this moment of reprieve to remind the team that their goal is simply to make the necessary repairs to the ship as quickly and quietly as possible, essentially warning the group that the future they're seeing is not set, it's mailable. To put it plainly, he explains, “The events that you dread could very well come to be due to your actions to prevent them.”
With Rip's wagging of the finger for this week's episode out of the way, it's time for the legends to make a plan. It's then decided that Kendra, Ray, Jax and Professor Stein will remain aboard the Wave Rider in an effort to make what repairs they can to the ship. This leaves Rip, Sara, Snart, and Rory the task of recovering a neuromorphic prototype that will act as a means of getting the ship's A.I. unit, Gideon, back in proper working order. With that settled, the team moves to complete their respective missions, but not before Sara and Rip have some words about Sara's participation. Feeling as if she's too emotionally connected to Star City, Rip would like it if the White Canary would remain behind. Shocked by his words (but more-so by his hypocrisy), Sara insists on joining the outbound team.
Meanwhile, while making repairs to the Wave Rider, Stein has become aware of Jax's growing biological urges toward their teammate, Kendra. Sensing the frustration of his partner, Martin advises Jax to have confidence in himself, and postulates that when the time is right, Jax should tell Kendra how he feels. Taking a “no time like the present” approach, Jax moves to the back of the ship to talk with the warrior princess - only to find that she and Ray are getting along quite well. This then ignites a all-but-pointless love triangle between Jax, Ray, and Kendra.
Back on the streets of Star City, our team has encountered a group of road warrior wannabes, and are forced to split up, leaving Snart and Rory to deal with the local rabble. How does one deal with rabble in the future, you might ask? Well, according to Mick Rory, the best way is to identify the alpha and then duff them the hell out … even if you have to use a fire gun to do it. With their gang leader nothing more than a ruined smore on the pavement, the sheep-like cronies appoint Mick as their new head honcho. As you can imagine, this suits Rory just fine, much to Snart's impatience and despair.
Geez, there's always some kind of war going on in Star City, amiright? Amidst the confusion and fighting, Sara spies the strange hooded figure from earlier as he becomes wounded in battle. Still believing the man to be a reclusive Oliver Queen, Sara gives chase, hoping to be of some help to her estranged friend. Upon catching up with the wounded man in a Green Arrow suit, it's revealed to Sara that the man she's been after is not Oliver at all, but a young black dude who has taken up the mantle. As he lowers his bow, Star City's new Green Arrow informs Sara that Oliver Queen is dead.
Shocked by his words, Sara asks that he explain what happened. With a somber tone in his voice, the hooded man speaks of an uprising that happened some 15 years ago, ignited by a man named … ohhhhhh, wait for it, because in this moment Sara turns around and DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN, it's Deathstroke! Say what? But how can that be? I'll tell you how. This dude isn't Slade Wilson. No sir, it's his son, Grant Wilson. That's right, old sonny boy has taken up the family business! You know what, though? Now's probably not the best time to sort this all out. Needless to say, Sara, the new Green Arrow, and a late-to-the-party Rip Hunter make their escape.
Returning to the love machine, I mean the time machine, Stein is found chatting with Ray in an effort to dissuade him from becoming romantically involved with Kendra – should there be any interest. Ray assures the professor that the thought hadn't even crossed his mind. Next, we re-join Snart and Rory as they're seen partying at the hedonistic hideout of their new gang-related friends. As Rory is enjoying the many perks of his newly-appointed position as the group's alpha, Snart urges his partner to end the charade and return to their mission. Seeing this new future as a place where they can rule, Mick confesses to Snart that he has no intentions of going back to the year 2016.
After a narrow escape from Deathstroke Jr. and his mirakuru-infused thugs, Rip, Sara and the mysterious Green Arrow have arrived at what remains of Oliver's Arrowcave. While in search of the prototype, the group become startled as an angry voice warns them away from the dust-covered equipment. Hmmm, that voice sounds gruff, but familiar. It's not. It couldn't be. Oh snap! It is! It's an aged, one-armed Oliver Queen, and he's wearing the worst prop beard ever!
With everyone all “Wat?”, the hooded man steps forward and reveals himself to be Connor Hawke, son of the late John Diggle. Feeling as if he owes them an explanation, Oliver confesses to the group that he went into hiding after everything went to hell in a hand-basket for Star City. In his best old-man-voice, Oliver places partial blame on Sara, Ray, and their friends for abandoning Team Arrow in their time of need. Oh, but don't worry, Oliver makes sure to brood about his own failings until the very last frame of this scene.
Seeing as Oliver would rather haunt the Arrowcave than be of any use, Sara, Rip, and Connor decide to continue their search – eventually making their way to a warehouse where Felicity's old projects are being kept. Once they've split up, Sara un-earths a duffel bag or two, filled with old equipment from her Arrow days. Across the room, Rip has discovered the location of the neuromorphic prototype. With the device in-hand, the room then erupts in gunfire as members of Deathstroke's crew arrive. Seemingly outnumbered, Snart arrives with a reluctant Rory to lend a helping pair of hands. Only, it seems as if they're too late, for it appears Connor has been taken hostage during the scuffle.
Left feeling partially responsible, Sara announces to her friends that she plans to rescue Connor. And like clockwork, Rip vehemently opposes her. Frustrated by her refusal to heed his warning, Rip reminds Sara that this is only a potential future, and that returning to the ship is their only priority. Mick, satisfied with having lent a hand to his friends in their hour of need, tells Snart that he's staying put, and wants him to be a part of the action. Having grown tired of his friend's childishness, Leonard knocks Mick out cold and places him back aboard the Wave Rider.
With everyone gathered in the ship's main cabin, Sara shares the news of Connor's abduction and her plan to rescue him. While Rip completely loses it on her in front of the whole group, the legends step forward, saying they agree with Sara and want to help. With a dramatic huff, Rip then warns Sara that if she's not back in an hour, the ship will leave with or without her. Sara sees this an opportunity to exit the ship, for a trip back to the Arrowcave, in the hope of recruiting an old friend for a brand-new mission.
Down in the holding cells of the ship, Snart and Rory are found arguing with one another about their divergence in a taste for the criminal life. Mick accuses Leonard of having gone soft since joining the team, but Snart insists that his intentions are as dastardly as ever. Basically, Leonard figures that if he and Mick can take Savage out, they'll be the biggest pair of badasses the world has ever seen. Mick relinquishes his anger toward Leonard, but not before reminding him that he got into the villain game for only one reason: To see the world burn.
Next, we join Sara back at the Arrowcave where she's convinced Oliver to suit up and help save the life of Connor Hawke. Above ground, the miscreants of Star City have all gathered for the beheading of the Green Arrow. Suddenly, among the excitement and shouting, Sara and Oliver announce their arrival with a flurry of kicks, punches, and a volley of green arrows! Awwww yeah, old man Olive in the house, y'all!
Shortly thereafter, Sara and Oliver are joined by the remaining members of the Legends of Tomorrow, and make quick work of Grant Wilson and his men. Inspired by their collective efforts to win the day, Oliver announces that he plans on returning to a life of crime fighting, provided that Connor will join him, of course. The team then say their goodbyes to Ollie and Connor, fire up the Wave Rider, and plot a course for when and where Vandal Savage will strike next.
STINGER: "Marooned" airs March 3rd - "After receiving a distress call from another timeship stranded in space, Rip (Arthur Darvill) decides to answer the call in order to use the other ship’s computer to track Savage (Casper Crump). The team is suspicious and warns him this could be a trap but he moves forward with his plan. Ultimately, the team was right and they have to battle time pirates. With most of the team captured, it is up to Professor Stein (Victor Garber) to rescue them all. Gregory Smith directed the episode written by Anderson Mackenzie & Phil Klemmer."
|Extra Tidbit:||In the comics, Connor Hawke is the son of Oliver Queen - though that is not the case for this episode of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW. The original version of Hawke made his debut in Green Arrow #0 cira 1994.|