“Wow.” That is all I can honestly say. “Wow.” Legends of Tomorrow is every bit as fun as I hoped it would be and it wasted no time in delivering the action. The first part of the pilot opens in 2166 during the Second Blitz of London. Vandal Savage leads his troops through the fallen city and specifically targets a young mother (Alex Duncan) and her son (Kiefer O’Reilly). After killing the mother, he asks the boy what his name is. The child, Jonas, stands up to Savage without a hint of fear. Savage tells the boy, “Your mother was brave, just as your father was foolish. Which are you?” Without hesitation, Jonas spits in the immortal villain’s face and is shot down after Savage comments that the boy takes after his mother. Or not. The episode then cuts to the Time Masters Council where Rip Hunter is demanding that his peers intervene and stop Vandal Savage. He wants the authority to change the timeline just this once, and one ship along with recruits to help him in this mission. The Council seems adamant though that they should not interfere, nor should Hunter. Hunter goes to his ship, the Wave Rider, and sets a course for 2016 to start recruiting his army. His proposed team includes: Ray Palmer, the Atom; Sara Lance, the White Canary; Professor Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson, Firestorm; Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall, Hawkgirl and Hawkman; Len Snart, Captain Cold and Mick Rory, Heat Wave, who he snatches from their various locations and brings together to explain the situation at hand. Carter and Kendra are surprised to learn that Savage is alive and that he has conquered the future. Hunter tells the team that they will travel in time and stop Savage before he becomes the despot of the future. He assures everyone that they have what it takes because they are legends in the future and each of them is destined for greatness. He then departs, telling them to meet with him at certain address if they are willing to join him on this mission in thirty-six hours. Each of the future legends seeks council, either from friends or amongst themselves. Ray seeks out Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), and tells him how the world never noticed he was gone when it thought he was dead. Palmer sees this mission as his chance to change that and to make a difference. Carter wants to face Savage head-on, but Kendra is reluctant. Hawkman is eager to take this chance since they will have support, perhaps enough to end their mortal enemy once and for all. Sara discusses the offer with her sister, Laurel, the Black Canary (Katie Cassidy). Laurel believes Sara should take this opportunity and become a hero in the light (with the aid of a new costume thanks to Cisco Ramon). Rory wants no part of saving the world, but Snart convinces him that time travel offers so many opportunities, like committing crimes before finger prints, surveillance cameras and DNA analysis. The only person who really wants no part of this, and who will not be convinced otherwise to join, is Jefferson. Stein seems okay with his young partner’s decision, but then he drugs him and drags him off to the meeting place where the other legends gather. Once onboard the Wave Rider, both Palmer and Stein marvel at the timeship and Ray theorizes it must use ionic propulsion. Stein disagrees and Ray comments they had actually discussed this sort of thing before when Palmer was Stein’s student. He is dismayed when Stein not only doesn’t remember Ray’s paper on subspace field mechanics, he doesn’t even remember Ray. Ouch, baby. Very ouch. Hunter outlines his plan to stop Savage, and it begins in St. Roch, New Orleans in 1975 and talk with the closet person there has ever been to an authority on Vandal Savage, Dr. Aldus Boardman (Peter Francis James). As the Wave Rider departs 2016, it is seen by two frat boys (Madison Smith and Braeden Clark). They are also on hand to witness the arrival of Chronos (voiced by Steven Blum), who, once he has determined that neither of these young men are essential to the timeline, kills them pretty quickly. In 1975, Hunter leaves Sara, Len and Mick on the ship and takes the rest of the crew to find Boardman, who according to history will be dead in 24 hours, at St. Roch University. Jefferson declines the offer as he is royally ticked at Stein for drugging him and dragging him off on this grand adventure against his will. When Hunter and the others find Boardman, the professor recognizes Carter and Kendra immediately. He knows all about the Hawks’ past lives, and well he should. Boardman is the son of Joe and Edith Boardman, past incarnations of Hawkman and Hawkgirl, who lost his parents to Savage when he was just ten years old. Meanwhile, Sarah and the Rogues hit a local bar and make nice with the locals. Not. I gotta admit, I never thought of The Captain and Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” as a suitable song for a barroom brawl, but Caity Lotz, Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell make it work. Back at the university, Boardman hands over all the data he has gathered on Savage just as Stein gets the feeling that Jefferson is in danger, and indeed he is as Chronos has found the Wave Rider and is trying to breach the ship. Hunter and crew beat a hasty retreat back to the ship, but the Hawks insist on bringing their son with them. Once at the ship, Palmer makes a run for his Atom suit and Stein makes a run for Jefferson as Hawkman and Hawkgirl go on the offensive. Chronos is beaten back as the entire team reunites, but Boardman is critically injured in the battle and eventually dies. Hunter takes the Wave Rider to a safe area called the Temporal Zone. There he can make repairs, but he also forced to come clean and admit that Chronos came after him because the Time Masters sicced the temporal bounty hunter after him. Hunter is no longer a Time Master, nor was his mission authorized. Even worse, Hunter lied about the team being legends. Indeed, their lives had no recorded effect on the future. “So we’re not an elite group of heroes on a sanctioned mission to rid the future of its most horrific bad guy,” comments Palmer. “Just a collection of nobodies who time really doesn’t give a damn about.” Hunter assures them all that he didn’t lie about Savage, that part is true. Hunter reveals that Jonas, the boy Savage murdered at the beginning of the episode, was his son and his mother was the woman Rip loved. When the Time Masters refused to act, Hunter went rogue, feeling it was his only option to make Savage pay for what he had done. As the Hawks deal with the death of their son, Jefferson starts to come around, impressed by the way everyone worked together to take on Chronos. Meanwhile, Ray is starting to feel sorry for himself and that his life has no meaning. Sara reminds him that in Rip’s future they are all nobodies. “But this mission is about changing the future,” she tells Palmer. “If we have the power to change the world, don’t you think we have the power to change our own fate?” To his surprise, Hunter finds his team willing to carry on with the mission at hand. Determined to take their fates in their own hands, and out of history’s, the legends join Hunter as he plots a course to 1975 Norway, where Savage has just acquired a nuclear warhead. Again, Legends of Tomorrow hits the ground running and is a heck of a lot of fun. For the past couple of years, we’ve seen actors like Brandon Routh, Victor Garber, Caity Lotz and Wentworth Miller be supporting players to the main characters on Arrow and The Flash, but now they all have a chance to shine as an ensemble in a show of their own and it is just great to watch. Hunter’s bait and switch comes as a bit of a sting, especially to Palmer who was left questioning if his life had meaning after his ‘death’ at the end of Arrow’s third season. You really get the feeling Palmer is a decent guy and he is just trying to do right and just not being appreciated for his efforts. Just as much as Grant Gustin gives heart and soul to the Flash, Routh does likewise to the Atom and we have yet another television superhero who is truly one of the good guys. There were some nice tweaks to DC lore in the first half of the pilot. Dr. Boardman was introduced back during The Flash/Arrow event and to find out he was the son of Hawkman and Hawkgirl was a twist I didn’t see coming. The idea of the Hawks meeting one of their children from a past life was covered in JSA, but this revelation just comes out of nowhere and the scenes are extremely powerful, at least they were for me (speaking for myself, as someone who has lost both parents, suddenly have your mom and dad show up on your doorstep is a wish fulfillment you can’t imagine). The scenes between Boardman and his parents are just beautifully handled and very touching. I especially thought there was a great mother-son bond between actor Peter Francis James and Ciara Renee. Also, I loved how they have worked Chronos into this series. In the comics, he was an okay bad guy, but now, having him be a time travelling bounty hunter…that is pretty freaking sweet. And given that his main adversaries in the comics have been the Atom and Rip Hunter, he is an appropriate choice for a villain. If there was one thing that disappointed me, it was actually Arthur Darvill’s Rip Hunter. The character is certainly loaded with potential, but I felt like he got the short-end of the stick in this outing. I want to know more about the character and I can only hope we’ll get that in future installments. Also, everyone else wears their characters like comfortable shoes, they know them so well. Could be Darvill is still getting to know who the Time Master is. Also, I want someone, anyone, to slip up and call him a Time Lord just once. If that happens, then who knows. “Pilot Part One” might get bumped up from a 4 to a higher score. Legends of Tomorrow 1.01 “Pilot Part One”Dan's Rating4.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related 4 Responses Glenn Crouch January 28, 2016 Good review Dan – I also enjoyed the reference to Per Degaton 🙂 Log in to Reply Dan Johnson January 28, 2016 Thank you, Glenn. I admit, I missed that one. Course the DC shows have so many Easter eggs, you gotta watch them multiple times to catch them all (not that its a bad thing). Log in to Reply Glenn Crouch January 28, 2016 Agreed I can see the Arrow/Flash/Legends/Supergirl being shows like Star Trek that I will enjoy going back to meet “old friends”. My whole family enjoy these shows – and we especially enjoy the Easter Eggs 😉 And I look forward to your reviews – as a quick way to see if I missed anything – keep up the good work! Dan Johnson January 29, 2016 Very cool! Again, thank you! And I agree that one of the great things about these shows is that they are something the whole family can enjoy together. I know several parents who have told me The Flash is the one thing they can watch with their kids and rarely worry about content. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.