Recap: 'Legends of Tomorrow' Season 1, Episode 1, "Pilot"


I have always enjoyed watching superhero shows. Whether it was the 1960’s Batman TV show or Arrow, I have always been drawn to the superhero genre. My favorite subcategory in the Superhero Genre is super hero teams.  There’s something special seeing extraordinary characters team up for a common cause. In addition seeing members of these teams work through their internal conflict is entertaining as well. Teams like the X-Men, Justice League, or Fantastic Four are some of favorites to watch.             

The creative team that produced Arrow and the Flash are trying their luck again with Legends of Tomorrow. The premise is simple; Time traveler, Rip Hunter recruits leftover heroes and villains from the other successful superhero shows on the CW to catch Vandal Savage, the main big bad from the last Arrow/ Flash crossover. Prior to seeing the show, I was excited to see how the characters evolved since we last saw them. In addition, I was excited to see what the team dynamic was going to look like.  I didn’t care for the first episode of Legends of Tomorrow. The show not horrible, but it felt like something was missing from the episode. I remember watching the first episode of Arrow and immediately being drawn into Oliver Queen’s world. A lot of that has to do with Oliver’s motivation. He wants to save his city and rid it of the corruption that infiltrated his own family. The same could be said for the first episode of the Flash. I bought into Barry Allen trying to figure out who really killed his mom while at the same time trying to figure out the his new powers. Legends of Tomorrow really didn’t have anything for me to care about. Now don’t get me wrong, there were positive moments throughout the show. The highlight for me was Vandal Savage. I loved everything about Vandal Savage in the opening scene. His presence was domineering and scary. I wish he were featured in the show more.  He has no remorse for his actions. Watching him kill a mother and her child reaffirms how heartless this guy is.  I hope that the writers are able to keep his character interesting. Rip Hunter on the other hand was just ok. He’s a member of the Time Masters and he is responsible for protecting timeline. I even buy into him avenging his families death and  his dissatisfaction with the Time Masters Council not caring about his lost.  However, the manner in which it was portrayed on the show felt forced. Watching Rip on screen wasn’t as entertaining as watching him in the trailers for the show. 

The characters that make appearances in Legends for tomorrow were okay. The standouts to me were Ray Palmer aka The Atom and Heat Wave. I love how Ray is evolving in the DCTV universe. He’s not the man we met in season three of Arrow. He is trying to be the man who leaves an impactful mark on the world. Palmer wants to make difference and feel Rip is offering a way for him to do that.  Heat Wave had the best one liners in the show. On the Flash, he came across as Captain Cold’s  lackey to me. I felt like I saw more of his personality on this episode. The cameo by Oliver Queen and Laurel Lance was great. I loved the Canary’s fight scenes but I hope that they use this show to explore what her life is like now after being brought back from the dead. I could do without Captain Cold and Firestorm on this show. I feel like Captain Cold fits better in the Flash universe. I’m not sold on him being apart of this team. Firestorm was another character that felt out of place. Jefferson was very bratty in the episode which is unfortunate because he portrayed Firestorm on Flash he was very good. I don’t like this version of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. After watching the Justice League Animated Series and seeing how strong and powerful these two characters are, the portrayal on Legends of Tomorrow is boring to me.

The sets and special effects weren’t stellar but I’m hoping that improve as the show continues.  The fight scenes were entertaining but felt forced or maybe unnecessary. For example, Canary, Heatwave and Captain Cold bar fight felt like another excuse to have a fight but it did not help move the story along. The show found its stride towards the end when it was revealed that Rip was not part of the Time Master Council and is working has gone rogue  to defeat Savage. The predicament that the heroes are in is heightened thanks Rip not telling the truth.
 Does Legends of Tomorrow have potential? Yes. Was that potential revealed in any of the pilot? Not really. This was only the first episode, so my expectation is that the writers will tweak the parts of the show that need work. A big improvement would be to remove some of the characters from the show.  Get rid of Hawkman and Hawkgirl if they are going to be watered down generic versions of their comic book counterparts. Remove Firestorm, Captain Cold from the team and send them back to the Flash.  The writers and producers of Legends of Tomorrow need to maintain the creative integrity that matches Flash and Arrow. The CW has handled two of the DC properties well lets see if they can do it a third time.