“Leviathan” could easily fall victim to the usual tired story tropes seen on “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” namely trying to get us to care about people who we have no business caring about. Hawkman got taken out so early in the game that I don’t care much about his return as a brainwashed soldier, even with another bland flashback to his and Hawkgirl’s relationship. I don’t care much about the innocent bystanders in 2166 either. There are a lot of them, so I guess it’s sad that they could be potential cannon fodder for Savage’s all-out war. But we also never spend enough time with anyone to not see them as archetypical peasants — bargaining chips between the two opposing forces.
And none of that matters. It really doesn’t, because at the end of the day, we get to see Atom grow to gargantuan proportions and brawl with a giant robot. More epic than anything the show has pulled thus far, their fight is the kind of awe-inspiring, sluggish yet nimble combat usually reserved for Kaiju. When Atom rips an electric tower from the ground and wields it like a club, smashing it into the incandescent head of a behemoth built with his own technology, it serves as a much-needed second wind the show in the back end of its first season. Forget all the unnecessary subplots and increasingly fuzzy time-travel logic — “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” works best when its characters kick the crap out of each other.
Executive Producer Phil Klemmer has already said that the second season will be going in a much different direction, so let’s hope he means more single-purposed moments like this. Let’s hope there’s a streamlining of the story that makes way for clearer narratives and grandiose battle sequences. After tonight, that certainly seems like a possibility, with Savage’s arc getting closer and closer to its end, thanks in no small part to his daughter Cassandra (Jessica Sipos).
Initially on her father’s side, she gets captured by the Legends, with Captain Cold soon convincing her what a terrible dad Savage truly is. It helps that Cold has plenty of experience with his own awful father, and once he reveals that Savage had a hand in the Armageddon Virus that killed Cassandra’s mother, he’s got her on his side. She helps the Legends infiltrate Savage’s forces, getting Hawkgirl close enough that she finally has the chance to kill her archenemy. Unfortunately, Savage reveals Hawkman’s zombified state — a state that only he can break him out of — and cuts her fatal blow short.
As I said, I’m still not emotionally invested in the whole Kendra/Carter back-and-forth, but it does get Savage in captivity on the Waverider, which will hopefully mean less time-hopping and more thunderous fistfights — robot or otherwise — in the coming weeks. Make that the coming seasons, and The CW will have a hell of a show on their hands.
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