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“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” Recap: “Legendary” Feels Like a Reset, and That’s a Good Thing

by  in TV News Comment
“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” Recap: “Legendary” Feels Like a Reset, and That’s a Good Thing

Let’s just get this out of the way: Most of “Legendary” doesn’t make a lick of sense. And yet at this point, it feels passe to lambast the flimsy time-travel rules on “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” Not that the show’s critic-proof (far from it), but it seems that its constantly in-flux pseudoscience is just a part of the show — jumbled into a byzantine narrative that, in the better episodes, has a satisfying visual or emotional payoff at the end. It’s about pulling apart the messy web to get to the juicy fly at the center.

And to “Legendary’s” credit, that fly is juicy indeed, starting with the tri-parallel battle with Vandal Savage. Is the business about the meteors and the Thanagarians and what not leading up to it frustrating? Absolutely. But the core idea of having to simultaneously defeat three different versions of the main villain in three different eras is an entrancing one that results in one of the best fight sequences of the series, which is only fitting for a season finale.

As if to double down (make that triple down) on the vengeance and how frustrating Savage has been as a plot point, director Dermott Downs uses identical framing for each separate duel. White Canary cutting him down melds perfectly with Heat Wave lighting him on fire and Hawkgirl — then Rip — driving the knife into his chest, as if it’s all part of the same fluid fight. Then, for good measure, Rip throws the body smack dab into a rooftop power generator. It’s overkill, but visually impressive and justified overkill, given how long we’ve waited for Savage’s demise.

It also functions as somewhat of a reset for the team. By the episode’s end, Rip flies the last meteor into the sun in time to reunite with everyone (after a heartbreaking visit from his wife and son), Heat Wave gets to say goodbye to Captain Cold by visiting him in 2013, Hawkgirl runs off with a mentally rejuvenated Hawkman, and the timeline is restored. Granted, it’s not without tension: I can see White Canary’s thirst for revenge over her dead sister becoming a problem next year.

This is all a little too easily resolved to be believable, but it also sets the stage for next season to be less about time travel and more about a direct, less convoluted path for the characters. Even if they have to take up the mantle of the Time Masters (which it looks like they will), it might feel like a more grounded — yet still thrilling — genre series if they’re not the ones constantly doing the time-hopping.

And of course, that eleventh-hour appearance of Hourman is also something to be excited about. His affiliation with the Justice Society of America means we’ll be seeing the additional heroes Greg Berlanti and co. have been promising for quite a while now, which should also mean even more action and conflicts between the central cast. That’s a whole lot more appealing than fuzzy time-travel logic, and if the writers stick to that simpler foundation, they may create a second season that puts the uneven — albeit frequently entertaining — first one to shame. Be cautiously excited, but be excited all the same.

Stay tuned to CBR for more on “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.”

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