Needless to say this is going to have spoilers for last nights DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
After countless trailers and teasers we finally got to see the first episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, the show that the producers said was filled with the insanity of a big summer blockbuster. Did it live up to the hype? The ratings were good… getting a 1.2 overnight rating and pulling in 3.1 million viewers. Those numbers are great for a CW Thursday night but not quite up to the debuts of Arrow or The Flash. We will get a better sense of the show's success when we get the extended ratings and see how the second episode does. But for now, on to the important moments.
1 – The opening scene is where we get the setup for the series and met Rip Hunter, but we also get an interesting parallel. Though it's not said at the time, it was fairly obvious the Time Masters declined Rips' request to change the future. So he goes rogue, commandeers at time ship (so it can travel through time and space…) and goes off on his mission. Now it may just be because Arthur Darvill is playing the role, but you get a kind of Whovian deja vu with the Waverunner being his Tardis. Perhaps this was the producers plan all along to make time travel more acceptable to the audience framing it subtly in the feel of Doctor Who. It takes nothing away from the show, but it is interesting.
2 – After the meeting on the roof, which was different than the teaser we had seen in the past that included Green Arrow and The Flash, each potential member of the team had time to think about joining Hunter and why. And each person had someone to talk to about it. Ray Palmer went to Oliver Queen, Sara Lance went to her sister Laurel Lance and the others all had partners. Each one has a unique reason for wanting to go including redemption, finding purpose, taking out a foe, new things to steal or one last adventure… though two didn't really want to go, they got beaten and drugged instead. (It's insinuated that Hawkgirl lost to Hawkman.)
3 – Since finding out that she had powers, Kendra Saunders' life has been turned upside down and she is still having a time coping and accepting. Nothing Carter Hall has said has made her feel too much better, but when they travel back in time and visit Dr. Aldus Boardman, she discovers that he is there son.This gives her reason to believe and a connection to what is going on that she was fighting against
4 – Now Chronos is interesting. He is a character from the comics with a history involving Rip Hunter, the Time Masters and The Atom. He started as a straight foward time-themed villain but became more than that post-Crisis when he became ARGUS agent and at one point a version had a time traveling suit. But here he is a time bounty hunter sent by the Time Masters to stop Rip Hunter. But his role here is three fold, he gives the action to the episode, he exposes Hunter's lies and he turns this group into a team. The team part can't be overlooked as it finally gave Jefferson Jackson a reason to be part of the adventure.
5 – The fact that the Time Masters sent a bounty hunter after him forces Rip to tell everyone the truth, that his mission is not sanctioned and that they aren't a group of legends… they were all expendable assets who had no major effect on the time line. But he explains that Vandal Savage killed his wife and child and this revenge is more than just trying to save humanity, it's also personal. The revelation forces each member of the team to rethink why they are there… and all decide to stay (meaning the two that were coerced / forced along now were willing).
6 – Now this isn't a specific moment, but it is important and can be interpreted in different ways. Palmer's motivation for going is that he wants to make a difference in the world. When he was presumed dead, there was a few minor tributes but overall the world just kept moving on like he had never existed. And this has him questioning everything he has done and what he should do next. He tells Queen that he wants to go to make a difference. For his life to mean something. Yet everything in the episode reminds him that he is small and insignificant regardless of his money or power. Professor Stein doesn't remember him from the class he took and Palmer is a genius. Now some may look at this as arrogance and the old 'don't you know who I am' line, but I think this is very different. I think this is a man who has so many assets but no idea of his purpose in life. All his money and power and he couldn't save the woman he loved so he decides to save the city only to find out that he doesn't mater to the future at all. I don't think that is arrogance or pride but rather the question that drives a lot of men to explore and reach for more… 'why am I here?'
This was the first part of the pilot. We barely got to see Vandal Savage in action and only the one action sequence, so it's hard to judge it without the other half. But the show has a lot of potential and really thought about each characters motivation and bringing that across to the viewer. For a show that is supposed to be the big summer blockbuster of the Arrowverse / CWverse, there was a hell of a lot of character development and I'm glad of it.
Now here is the trailer for part 2 of the pilot.