Coming off of a rather mediocre and over-stuffed pilot, Legends Of Tomorrow‘s second installment overall turned out to be a substantial improvement over it’s first.
This uptake in quality can likely be owed to the show’s groundwork being laid so fervently in the premiere, and so the pilot’s follow-up (and hopefully the rest of the season) is consequently free to explore the full potential of this concept without being restrained by exposition. The pilot’s “straight out of the comics” tone returned in this episode, with sweeping action spectacle that would not look out of place on either a DC Comics’ splash page or in the midst of a superhero blockbuster. The opening scene, where the team unsuccessfully attempts to apprehend Savage at a 1975 arms auction, was the highlight of the episode, featuring a surprise appearance by current Arrow antagonist Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) and possibly the most comic book-esque moment in a show filled with them, where Firestorm prevents a nuclear warhead from detonating by absorbing it’s energy.
The show being now unshackled by the expositional set-up that so heavily plagued the premiere also allowed for superior character work, with Rip Hunter taking a backseat to allow the present day (from our perspective) characters a chance in the spotlight. The criminal pair Captain Cold & Heatwave were paired with The Atom/Ray Palmer in attempt to steal an Egyptian dagger which holds the power to kill Savage; seeing the entirely self-interested pair play off of the most traditionally heroic member of the team proved to be both entertaining and insightful. Meanwhile, the Firestorm duo partnered with Sara in an effort to track down Professor Stein circa. 1975 for his recently invented “Alpha particle detector”, which would in turn enable the team to find a piece of the Atom suit which had fallen into Savage’s hands. Stein, ashamed of his younger self’s persona and the fact that he hasn’t changed all that much, grew closer to Jax, but they were not the only pair to do so.
The relationship between the Hawk duo of Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall received a good amount of focus. Kendra has been consistently unreceptive to Carter’s attempts at restarting their millennia long relationship. But throughout this episode, she began to dig deeper into her forgotten memories, recalling her past lives in greater detail and beginning to reciprocate Carter’s feelings. Unfortunately, this subplot barely had time to incubate, as Carter was tragically stabbed to death by Savage in the episode’s climax. Losing both her son and lover in the span of two episodes is bound to have a drastic effect on Kendra’s development throughout the series, and Carter’s early death reiterated that none of these characters are truly safe. However, given the Hawkman’s ability to reincarnate, I’m willing to bet this isn’t the last we’ve seen of him (or at least of actor Falk Hentschel) on either Legends Of Tomorrow or the wider CW-verse.
Overall, Legends Of Tomorrow: Pilot, Part 2 was a very entertaining hour of television, and if subsequent episodes can continue the quality trend set by this, we may be in for quite a treat.
Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars