Legends of Tomorrow S01E01: Pilot, Part 1
I’ll be honest, after the first trailer, I wasn’t as excited about the show as I thought I would be. I wasn’t sold on most of the characters, the plot seemed a bit thin and I thought I might end up losing interest…
But that train of thought all ended about 2 minutes after I started watching the premier.
I loved it!
Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t a few things that could use some work, a few things that didn’t completely appeal to me, but as a whole the episode really ended up being exceptionally enjoyable. This is honestly the most excited I’ve been about starting a new show in far too long.
So, onto the episode plot.
The pilot begins in London 2166, where we’re introduced to the concept of what the story will be about. Captain Rip Hunter asks the Time Masters Council for permission to change the past in the hope to save humanity’s future. He’s soon departing in a ship, so we all assume that he’s granted permission and he’s off to find the Legends to start his task.
Hunter assembles the eight of them, explains his mission then sends them off to think about it for 36 hours. During the 36 hour period, the audience is let into each of the Legend’s mindset and each has their own motivations for eventually agreeing to Captain Hunter’s quest. This is also a really beautiful way to incapsulate a little of each character’s own personality and introduce them, for those who don’t watch Arrow or the Flash.
Ray Palmer: Now, I loved Ray in Arrow. I loved him because he was like a male version of Felicity and what’s not to love about Felicity? I’m not sold on ‘The Atom’ though and this episode definitely didn’t sell him to me because I kind of just see it like a rip off Iron Man. But in the pilot, it came across like he cared more about making his name memorable than actually doing some good. When he was talking to Oliver he was almost a little arrogant and a tad condescending about how he was going to save the world while it’s fun to watch Oliver ‘kick and punch and skewer bad guys’. I’m by no means an Oliver Queen fan but it was rather lofty coming from the guy who continually screws up to the point Oliver’s had to save his ass on numerous occasions.
Sara Lance: I LOVE SARA! When Arrow killed Sara off, I was outraged. Her character is so incredibly compelling and she never falls into the typical trope that a lot of shows write women into – the damsel – which is incredibly refreshing. Sara and Laurel sparring had me fangirling because that’s something I’ve been dying to see for a while. Their bonding moments in this episode were heartfelt and touching, while Laurel was also unconditionally supportive of Sara. It was wonderful to see the older sister / younger sister dynamic in play along with Sara expressing her fears and doubts to her big sister, and big sister delivering the kind support that Sara has been missing for years. It’s rare to see any vulnerability coming from Sara, so it was nice to glance behind the wall and see the lost girl for once instead of just the assassin.
Professor Martin Stein & Jefferson ‘Jax’ Jackson: I’m not a fan of Professor Stein. His intelligence will no doubt be useful as will the Firestorm combo but I had major issues with him drugging Jefferson. Jefferson made it quite clear that he did not want to join Captain Hunter’s quest, but the Professor took away his choice, drugged him and forced him to against his will – and nobody else called him on it (plot hole). That is not okay and by the end of the episode it was swept under the rug. I don’t like that. I take major issue with any non-consent story line. I always have and always will. Jefferson on the other hand seems to be a genuinely decent man and I’m very keen to see his character develop. I haven’t been watching the Flash recently, so this episode was my first introduction to Jefferson but I’m intrigued by him already and I hope he gets a really good story line.
Mick Rory & Leonard Snart: Like a lot of people, I was a huge fan of Prison Break. When I saw these two on the Flash, I groaned because the characters were such one dimensional figures and couldn’t compare to Michael & Lincoln (Prison Break). However, in the premier I actually found them to be much better written, the material was witty and clever and they’re my favourites along with Sara and Jefferson. What I especially liked about these characters was their flat out denial about being heroes. They don’t want that, they’re in it for themselves and they have their own motivations. They’re honest about who and what they are. I like that. Characters who think they’re better than they are annoy me, so it was refreshing to see these characters’ acceptance of themselves with no sugarcoated delusions. I expect great things from these two and I can’t wait to see how they acclimate with the team.
Chay-Ara & Khufu: I do not like Khufu. He is entitled, self-righteous and high on himself – three attributes that tend to make me despise a character. His interactions with Chay-Ara / Kendra irritate me to no end because he doesn’t give her a choice; it’s as if just because they were together in past lives, she shouldn’t be allowed to have any other choices. In anything. He knows better than her, he’s stronger than her and he downplays any fear or worries she has as irrelevant or preposterous, seemingly knowing better than her. I understand that they’re supposed to be ‘soul mates’ but I am not feeling that at all. Kendra seems to continually want some distance between them but he doesn’t allow it. He seems to keep her down and that’s a bit uncomfortable to watch because she seems uncomfortable. I’m really hoping that they stray from the comics and give her a new romance (I totally ship her with Cisco) because to me it seems like Khufu’s the reason for all of her misery even more than the villain who’s been hunting them forever. My hopes for Kendra are high and I hope that she gets out from Khufu’s shadow and gets to shine on her own without the permanent shackles that Khufu seems to keep around her ankles. I really felt her heartbreak when her son died and I hope the fact he got to see his parents one last time gives her a little comfort in such a dark moment.
Captain Rip Hunter: I was really surprised by how his character gained so much depth in such a short period of time. To start out he seemed to be charismatic, intelligent and very much the Captain with discernible leadership qualities. And by the end of the episode, he was a heartbroken father and widower (not sure if they were actually married) looking for retribution on the man who not only slaughtered his family, but destroyed the world around him. I was really with him from the beginning because he seems like a genuinely good man, but I was completely with him by the end of it because I want the man who killed his son dead too. That’s how compelling he was. Kudos, Captain Hunter, I’ve got my eye on you.
The episode in general was an introduction to the characters, so it was action light which is to be expected. The team coming together at the end to fight against the assassin (?) weaved together really well and they have a nice group dynamic already. I’m glad that Jefferson chose to be part of the team by the end of the episode because I’m already rooting for them.
I don’t want to jump the gun, but if the rest of the season plays out like this, I might have a new favourite show.
Favourite Scene: The bar fight! It was spectacular! I could watch Sara, Leonard and Mick hanging out all the time because their chemistry is great and Sara and Leonard are my new BroTP. I hope we get more great scenes like that with them together. Oh and ‘I love the seventies’ might be my favourite line in the episode. I literally laughed out loud. Dominic Purcell is ace.
Episode MVP: That’s a tough one. I want to say Sara because I love her and she’s so badass but I might have to go with Captain Hunter. When he told us that the little boy killed at the beginning was his son, I felt how his insides were torn apart and I was completely on his side.
Surprises: Honestly, there are two many to list. So off the top of my head, Chay-Ara & Khufu’s son, Laurel & Sara sparring, Captain Hunter having defied the council and Professor Stein not remembering Ray (also made me laugh).
Episode Rating: 9/10 – only because of the drugging and Khufu, otherwise it would have been 10 because it was awesome.
Overall Impression: I can already tell that Sara, Leonard, Jefferson, Mick, Kendra and Captain Hunter will be my priority when watching. I’m not bothered about Ray for the moment but I hope that changes and the pilot impression of him doesn’t stick. Otherwise, I’m exceptionally positive about the premier and next week can’t come fast enough!