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TV Review: Legends of Tomorrow - Season 1 Episode 9 "Left Behind"

04.01.2016

EPISODE 9: "Left Behind"

SYNOPSIS: "Ray (Brandon Routh), Sara (Caity Lotz) and Kendra (Ciara Renée) are shocked after they watch the Waverider fly off without them, leaving them stranded in the ‘50s. After waiting months for their teammates to come back, the three realize they must move on with their lives.  Ray and Kendra bond as a couple but Sara decides to return to the League of Assassins and Ra’s al Ghul (guest star Matt Nable)." 

REVIEW:

Ahoy there, fellow LEGENDS OF TOMORROW fans! It's been a few weeks, but we're back aboard the Wave Rider and looking for adventure! You know, I was really hoping that tonight's episode would start us off with a bang, and maybe get me re-energized to conquer the remainder of this season – however I find myself feeling luke-warm about what “Left Behind” had to offer.

Let's begin with some positives, shall we? It was nice to finally get some resolution on the whole Leonard (Wentworth Miller) shooting Mick (Dominic Purcell) with his cold gun scenario. I mean, we all knew that he didn't kill him, but having to go an episode and then several weeks without answers was a tad frustrating, don't you agree? That said, I'm not sure how people are feeling about the reveal - seeing as the details of it have been telegraphed for weeks prior to the airing of this episode. Hell, even those watching the program while diddling away on their smart phones could have called this one from a mile away. That's not to say that it's all bad, though. At the very least, Mick Rory is back in the rotation, though whether he'll be invited back onto the team remains to be seen. A part of me wishes he'd just get on-board with the rest of the crew so we can move on from the tit-for-tat routine between him and Snart. I suppose only time will tell. Get it? Guffaw guffaw!

Moving on! Does anyone else feel like every time we take two steps forward with Ray (Brandon Routh) we inevitably end up taking two steps back? Seriously, I just cannot get comfortable with this dude. I don't mind that his primary out-of-suit asset to the team is his intelligence and ingenuity, but do we have to make him so damn dopey and boring to watch? I suppose that part of his complacency in this episode is somehow linked to that Time Drift business that Rip was prattling on about, but in Ray's case, I think it just serves to make his character whiny and unappealing. And just so we're clear, I like Brandon Routh as an actor. I've even enjoyed the Ray Palmer character quite a bit when he was a semi-regular on ARROW. Perhaps it's a byproduct of having to cram so many characters into one show, but with that being said, Ray has certainly had his share of screen time to grow and take charge. I don't know. I suppose there's no sure-footed way to come down on this dillema just yet.

Focusing on a positive aspect of tonight's episode, let's have a chat about Kendra (Ciara Renee). We all know that I've struggled with her character pretty much since the start of the show, however, I do like that we're getting to see her break a few tired tropes here and there. In my opinon, it's all too often that female characters (both in television and major motion pictures) are used as damsels in distress or nothing more than an object of affection. However. tonight Kendra wasn't about to let herself be a part of that nonsense. Yes, she is most definitely involved with Ray, but did you see how eager she was to return to the ship? I like that she was ready and willing to climb aboard the time machine and return to her destiny as a savior of humanity. I like that she stepped up during the combat trials, knowing full-well that Sara (Caity Lotz) is more than capable of kicking her feathered ass nine ways till Sunday. While she might not have much on-screen chemistry with Ray, Kendra is clearly making advancements toward living up to her warrior heritage.

I could say a little something about Rip (Arthur Darvill), Professor Stein (Victor Garber), and Jax (Franz Drameh), but let's be honest, they were sort of a non-entity this evening. Rip, once again, was playing his dual role of babysitter and mediator, but that's about it. Stein and Jax got to power up and fly around a bit, but again, not much else to talk about there. All three characters looked cool during the final showdown with Cronos, but I'm feeling like we can move on without delving much farther into their exploits.

I suppose the last thing I'll mention is the whole Nanda Parbat angle to tonight's episode. I'll admit that I enjoyed seeing Matt Nable back in the role of R'as Al Ghul, though I can't help but feel like his character was oddly lenient, this evening. I mean granted, there was a lot of weird ass stuff going down, what with a laser-wielding transformer crashing his pad and a pair of nuclear powered super heroes leaving burn marks all over his nice stone floor. That said, I remember this guy being pretty ruthless. For me, it didn't detract from his involvement in the show, it simply struck me as a pretty radical change from the R'as I've come to know via ARROW. Eh. It was a cool cameo none the less, and the CW's gotta get their use out of that set somehow, right? Oh, and if you're waiting for me to critisize the moments in which the team was LOUDLY roaming the halls of Al Ghul's mountain getaway, do I really have to? We all know that was quite ridiculous.

That's all I've got for now. Overall, I'm happy to be back in my LEGENDS OF TOMORROW reviewers chair, I just hope that next week can bring the noise and perhaps a surprise or two. The show has had more than enough time to find its footing. It's time for the CW to step things up a bit and prove to us that they have some big ideas, and more importantly, that they can bring characters like Jax, Rip, and Rory up to par with the likes of Sara, Kendra, and Snart. Oh don't roll your eyes at me. Snart might not have a whole lot of depth, but he's still way cooler than most of the characters on this show. Heh. Did you see what I did there? I bet you did. Alright, I'll see you next week!

RECAP:

Previously on DC's LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, Cronos barged onto the Wave Rider as Rip, Snart, Professor Stein, and Jax were preparing the ship for travel. After gaining the upper hand, Cronos overrides the vessel's programming, which then prompts the craft to take off for parts unknown. As if a gun-toting, time-hopping madman wasn't enough to deal with, Ray, Kendra and Sara are stranded in the year 1958 with no means of escape. I think I'll let The Dude summarize this situation for us.

Tonight, our would-be legendary heroes are back and they've got some rescuing to do! The episode begins with Rip ordering Professor Stein and Jax to fall back and make their way to the jump ship while he and Snart attempt to deal with their unwanted guest. Rather than listen to their friend, Stein whips up one of his tried and true mini-speeches about teamwork and it's decided that they'll return to the fray and fight the good fight. Only, upon their arrival, they find an unconscious Captain Hunter and no sign of Leonard Snart. Evidently, Cronos was aiming to kidnap Snart all along, but why? Could it be that Cronos is actually …. ah ah ah, we're not there yet!

Back in 1958, and after much time has passed, Kendra, Ray, and Sara have been left with no choice but to make themselves comfortable while waiting for their friends to come back. In his infinite wisdom, Ray gets to work on building a time beacon that will (with any luck) provide the Wave Rider with coordinates to their location should anyone come looking. Two years later, the group is still marooned, though not all of them seem to mind very much. Ray has become a physics professor at the local college, Kendra a librarian, and Sara … well, we never do get to find out, do we? What we know is that she's sick and tired of waiting for a rescue that may never come. Fitfully, she exits for parts unknown, leaving her coupled teammates to live their own lives as they see fit.

Then, on a sunny day while having a picnic (yes, a picnic), Ray's time beacon begins to chirp just as he's about to pop the question to Kendra. Shortly thereafter, the Wave Rider appears - completely harshing Palmer's vibe. Upon reuniting, we get the sense that Kendra is thrilled to be back among her friends, while Ray was perfectly happy sporting his Brooks Brothers and Buster Browns. After the hugs, apologies, and affirmations, Rip has Gideon plot a course for Nanda Parbat – where they suspect Sara has returned to once again join up with the League of Assassins.

Next, we join a shackled Leonard Snart aboard Cronos' ship. There's a bit of confusion and blah blah blah before Captain Cold demands to know, specifically, why he's been taken. This is the moment we've all been waiting for, folks! Cronos slowly turns around, we hear the click and hiss of his helmet's hydraulics, and as he removes his mask we discover that Cronos has actually been Mick Rory all along!

As we return to Rip and the rest of our heroes, we find that they've landed on the island of Nanda Parbat. With far too much ease, the group then navigates the inner sanctum of Ra's Al Ghul while searching for Sara's whereabouts. Before long, Rip finds Sara resting in her living quarters, and unwisely moves in to confront the sleeping assassin. The born-again killer quickly wakes, and drops Rip like it's hot before alerting the guards of his presence. Pretty much right after that - while all speaking at full volume - the rest of our legends are surrounded by Al Ghul's cronies and are taken captive. I'll tell you what though, they totally deserve it. Who carries on a loud conversation while trying to “stealth” their way through the halls of a known assassin hot spot?

So, what's the deal? Why is Sara getting her black pajamas in a twist? Well, as Rip explains it, it's a time-traveling phenomenon referred to as Time Drift. It's like this, when one spends too long in an alien time-line, one looses ties with one's former self or identity. Upon hearing this explanation, it suddenly dawns on Kendra why she hasn't been able to recall her past lives or “Hawk-out” as it were. Next, in an effort to delay their doom, Rip moves to invoke the ancient bylaws of the League by requesting a trial by combat. Ra's accepts, and appoints Sara as his champion. To this, Rip then offers up Kendra as his warrior of choice.

The fight begins, and for a short time the ladies are pretty evenly matched, until Sara gets stabby and Kendra falls to the ground. Then, before Sara can deliver the deathblow, Cronos arrives and starts getting all Shooty McGee. Ra's, who's probably seen enough weird shit for one evening, realizes that he and his league are out-classed and must retreat. That said, his unwanted guests brought the Rock 'em Sock 'em robot to his doorstep, so he cuts Rip and the others free under the condition that they take his undesirable house-guest out. Now, you might be asking yourself, where has Snart been during all this fuss? Well, he's busy freezing and shattering his own hand into pieces as an effort to get out of some future-tech handcuffs. You know, like you do!

Hey, do you kids know what time it is? That's right, it's budget blowing time! Heh, I jest, but what we get next is one of this seasons more impressive team battles. I'm talking Hawkgirl, The Atom, Team Firestorm, Rip, and Sara all giving Cronos the old one-two before Leonard hobbles in to break it all up. Confused, the team looks to Snart for an explanation. That's when Cronos reveals his true identity to the rest of the team. A collective but silent gasp later, the legends stagger back in astonishment at the thought of their former teammate being the one who's been giving them so much trouble since their journey began. Rather than kill him, Jax gives Mick a swift kick to the kisser and knocks him out.

With Mick safely tucked away in the Wave Rider's containment cube, Rip then makes an effort to explain all that's transpired to R'as. Al Ghul goes on to say that's he's seen a lot of strange things in his time, and that he has far too much respect for Sara's warrior prowess to keep her in Nanda Parbat against her will. To be honest, everything ends pretty amicably. And as a way of saying thanks, Sara warns R'as of a terrible injustice done to him and his family in the distant future.

As the episode draws to a close: Snart gets his hand rebuilt by Gideon, Ray and Kendra decide to continue living with one another while aboard the ship, and Rip announces that they're heading to the year 2147 – where they'll find the still-at-large time-tyrant Vandal Savage waiting.

STINGER: "Progeny" airs April 7th - "Rip (Arthur Darvill) tells the team they are headed to the future to take out a powerful ally that Savage (guest star Casper Crump) needs in order to conquer the world.  However, when Rip reveals the ally is a 14 year-old boy (guest star Cory Gruter-Andrew) who will one day grow into an evil dictator, the team is split about the morality of killing a child, even if it does save the world.  Meanwhile, Sara (Caity Lotz) talks Snart (Wentworth Miller) through a rough patch and Ray (Brandon Routh) learns something that could impact his future with Kendra (Ciara Renée)."

Extra Tidbit: Here in New York, Seinfeld has got to be the strangest lead-in to this show. Tonight was the "Fusilli Jerry" episode. It really got me pumped to return to Legends of Tomorrow. Okay, so maybe it didn't. Whatever.

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11:31AM on 04/01/2016

Disagree with the 5/10

I actual thought this was a great episode, one of their best ones so I strongly disagree with the review. The team fight was certainly the best of the series. I attribute Ra's leniency to inexperience to some degree. We have to keep in mind this is what 40-50 years earlier in his life and rule. So he might very well have been more measured then. Not to mention he know Sara was trained by the league already, so he is quite possibly confused and intrigued. I mean the dude just saw a bunch of shit
I actual thought this was a great episode, one of their best ones so I strongly disagree with the review. The team fight was certainly the best of the series. I attribute Ra's leniency to inexperience to some degree. We have to keep in mind this is what 40-50 years earlier in his life and rule. So he might very well have been more measured then. Not to mention he know Sara was trained by the league already, so he is quite possibly confused and intrigued. I mean the dude just saw a bunch of shit that would blow anyone's mind, and he played it like a champ. I think he knew when he was "beat" as in he couldn't exactly fight against this guys with both Atom and Firestorm fully suited/powered up. And yes we all knew Heatwave was Kronos, but I still loved the reveal and the fact he is actually intelligent now. Once he folds back into the team, with the knowledge he has, I'd love to see how formidable he becomes. He's no longer the just dumb muscle. Not to mention his Kronos suit could grow into his true Heatwave Suit or at least look a little close than just wearing the fireman's jacket.
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8:35AM on 04/01/2016
5/10? Someone had a bad night.
5/10? Someone had a bad night.
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