Legends of Tomorrow: Pilot, Part 1
January 21, 2016 6:11 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

In the year 2166 the immortal villain Vandal Savage is on the verge of destroying humanity; Rip Hunter travels back in time assemble a team of heroes and rogues to stop him.
posted by oh yeah! (60 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
DC's Legends Of Exposition
posted by Servo5678 at 6:24 PM on January 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I thought that got off to a rocky, cringeworthy, start - but then the 70's bar fight scene happened and it was fun at last.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:25 PM on January 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Canary/Cold/Heat Wave BroT3 is going to be utterly delightful, I can tell. Not only is Mick Rory finally getting something to do, he was a highlight of the episode.

Dr. Stein is thisclose to the path of Deathstorm supervillainy, judging by how he went straight to drugging and kidnapping when things didn't immediately go his way.

I kinda think Ray Palmer needs therapy for his huge fatalistic deathwish more than he needs to be historically famous, but you do you, Ray.
posted by nicebookrack at 6:34 PM on January 21, 2016 [7 favorites]


RE exposition: I adore that everyone else gets "As you know, Bob, here is my tragic backstory" scenes, and then Snart and Rory are like HELLO WE ARE HERE TO FIGHT THINGS AND ALSO STEAL THEM THE END.

Even though Snart had a rough childhood, too.
posted by nicebookrack at 6:43 PM on January 21, 2016 [16 favorites]


Yeah, I'm gonna give a show that sets a superhero barfight to Captain and Tennille a lot of leeway. A LOT.

I was also pretty fond of the "actually, I chose you all because you don't matter to history" idea.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:13 PM on January 21, 2016 [11 favorites]


Having two members of the main cast being named Rory is going to be confusing.
posted by charred husk at 7:25 PM on January 21, 2016 [4 favorites]


How bad will it be if I didn't watch the Flash (but did watch Arrow) for me here?
posted by Justinian at 7:36 PM on January 21, 2016


Justinian: you'll be missing out on all of Captain Cold's glorious smirking, but you can catch up on his character arc with all the episodes with "Rogue" in the title (plus the season 2 Christmas episode.)
posted by nicebookrack at 7:59 PM on January 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think you'll be fine but that's based on the fact that I'm the reverse and found the Arrow characters easily well introduced. As people have said above, there's lots of exposition, Heat Wave and Captain Cold are fairly easy characters to get a grasp on, and even if you aren't familiar with DC, any complexity of Firestorm's powers is made pretty clear. The only other thing that's been covered on The Flash was the history of Hawkgirl, Hawkman, and Vandal Savage which was part of an episode that introduced them, but they basically cover all those same things in this episode.

Honestly, that's one of the things the DC TV Arrowverse does right; it feels like an honest to goodness old school comics crossover. You don't have to watch each show/read every series to enjoy. (I'm sure I'd enjoy Arrow but just had to make the decision what I could and do it; time now is the equivalent of money back when I was a pre-teen/teenager reading comics.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:00 PM on January 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


IIRC current Firestorm duo got all of ONE buildup episode before hitting LoT, after season 1 Firestorm-half actor went off to work on movies.

One of the small joys of rewatching The Flash has been noticing that even as the Captain Cold / Rogue episodes stand alone, Leonard Snart builds an actual character arc over time from icy (ha!) pragmatist to weirdly affectionate frienemy. Wentworth Miller is a fucking gift of camp-deadpan in a fluffy parka.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:06 PM on January 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


MCMikeNamaea, just watch the back of of season 2 of Arrow. Its tremendous. The strength of that season is what got Flash made and its really great.
posted by kittensofthenight at 11:35 PM on January 21, 2016


I was a little underwhelmed, and as much as I enjoy Wentworth Miller in anything I felt like it was still a little weak on saying why he and Heatwave would be down for this plan. If anything I think the episode went a little light on Rip simply saying "what the hell else you have going on, really?"

That would have worked well for everyone, given the reveal that they leave little mark on the universe, and how much trouble would it have been to show that there's not much thieving challenge for Heat & Cold unless the Flash gets in their way? Perhaps that sort of "why not" steps too hard on Suicide Squad for DC's comfort but it seems like it would have been a good hook for this bunch.
posted by phearlez at 8:18 AM on January 22, 2016


Mick and Len's motivation for tagging along was totally 40% boredom, 60% desire to hang with their new bestie White Canary. If you look closely, you can actually see the heart emojis floating from their eyes as they watch Sara kicking ass at the bar. 😍😍
posted by nicebookrack at 9:07 AM on January 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


phearlez: "I was a little underwhelmed, and as much as I enjoy Wentworth Miller in anything I felt like it was still a little weak on saying why he and Heatwave would be down for this plan. If anything I think the episode went a little light on Rip simply saying "what the hell else you have going on, really?"

That would have worked well for everyone, given the reveal that they leave little mark on the universe, and how much trouble would it have been to show that there's not much thieving challenge for Heat & Cold unless the Flash gets in their way? Perhaps that sort of "why not" steps too hard on Suicide Squad for DC's comfort but it seems like it would have been a good hook for this bunch.
"

Because, if you like to start trouble, where better that to start trouble through TIME? Think of what they could do betting on World Series? Stealing something, selling it, then investing their money and wiping out Wall Street when they collect? Or, for that matter, stealing Canary's undies and placing them in well-known current day archaeological dig locations? The possibilities for mayhem are endless!
posted by Samizdata at 10:28 AM on January 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also, I liked it. I never judge a series until about halfway through the season. Have to let the writers have a little time to settle into the new job and figure out where they are planning to go with things.

Also, WHEN did Ray bring the suit with him? Continuity error or unpresented due to episode time compression? I mean, he is smart and all, but I don't see him being all that useful without the suit.
posted by Samizdata at 10:30 AM on January 22, 2016


He can do science stuff! Just like Stein is mostly useless without Jefferson, but can still do science stuff! Jefferson is basically Stein's Atom suit. But at least Jefferson can offer... um... hmm. I guess at least the other black person on the team is more useful.

For an exposition pilot it was pretty good, considering they have 10+ characters to involve in every episode. Though I might just DVR the whole season and watch them all at once.
posted by numaner at 10:42 AM on January 22, 2016


Jax is a mechanic, so maybe he can fix the flux capacitor when the Waverider breaks down again.

And Wentworth Miller is biracial, though with white actors playing Leonard Snart's sister and father, the creators are probably passing him off as another generic white dude. If we see a past scene with the MIA Mama Snart as a WOC, I will explode from happiness. (Lisa Snart could be Len's half-sister.…)
posted by nicebookrack at 11:27 AM on January 22, 2016


The possibilities for mayhem are endless!

I do not disagree. I just didn't feel like they demonstrated that thought process very well at all.
posted by phearlez at 1:54 PM on January 22, 2016


Wow, I can't decide which yicks me out more: chauvinistic Hawkman or Professor Stein straight up drugging Jefferson.

Other than that, FUN.
posted by Kitteh at 3:06 PM on January 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


This felt like Pilot by Committee, but I'll give this a bit longer because it could find a nice groove.
posted by ODiV at 3:12 PM on January 22, 2016


Feels like this DC's Guardians of the Galaxy equivalent in terms of dynamic, with the squabbling teammates who aren't all good guys exactly (see: crooks, assassins, roofies) but clearly are going to come together when they have to. Plus the obvious Doctor Who influence, and I don't just mean casting Rory Pond. The difference is that I like and care about the characters already except for Hawkbro (meh) and Rip Hunter, and I fell in love with Rip immediately.

60% desire to hang with their new bestie White Canary

Sara totally fits in their dynamic the way Lisa did in the Flash.

And they weren't the only one who had heart-eyes at Sara. When she first appeared, we were all "ZOMG SARA IS MARION RAVENWOOD!" with glee.
posted by immlass at 6:33 PM on January 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


nicebookrack: "Jax is a mechanic, so maybe he can fix the flux capacitor when the Waverider breaks down again.

And Wentworth Miller is biracial, though with white actors playing Leonard Snart's sister and father, the creators are probably passing him off as another generic white dude. If we see a past scene with the MIA Mama Snart as a WOC, I will explode from happiness. (Lisa Snart could be Len's half-sister.…)
"

Did NOT know that. His portrayal of Snart is SO Boston Brahmin, in my book, it never even struck me.

Also, not expecting much out of Jax fixing stuff. Catalytic converters are one thing, unobtainium transfer cores another. I was expecting Ray to jump in though.
posted by Samizdata at 8:39 PM on January 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


immlass: "Feels like this DC's Guardians of the Galaxy equivalent in terms of dynamic, with the squabbling teammates who aren't all good guys exactly (see: crooks, assassins, roofies) but clearly are going to come together when they have to. Plus the obvious Doctor Who influence, and I don't just mean casting Rory Pond. The difference is that I like and care about the characters already except for Hawkbro (meh) and Rip Hunter, and I fell in love with Rip immediately.

60% desire to hang with their new bestie White Canary

Sara totally fits in their dynamic the way Lisa did in the Flash.

And they weren't the only one who had heart-eyes at Sara. When she first appeared, we were all "ZOMG SARA IS MARION RAVENWOOD!" with glee.
"

Thank God, I am not the only one underimpressed with Hawkman. Also, you know, for a love that has straddled the centuries, there is an amazing lack of chemistry between the Hawktwins. She ignores him, and he alternately belittles, blusters, and puppy-dog eyes her every scene. Seems more dysfunctional than sweepingly romantic. I say she needs to DTMFA already and hit on Cisco (who's fashion career is apparently BOOMING! Fabulous!)
posted by Samizdata at 8:43 PM on January 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hawkman sucks, Firestorm is awful but i hated firestorm back when I was 10 too.

Besides that i fucking loved it. Even the exposition. The timeship looks great, that bad guy was awesomem, White Canary is amazing, even Heateave had some character that he lacked on the flash. i love Kendra and hope the plot shows that she needs to break the cycle of this shitty love affair to destroy vandal.
posted by kittensofthenight at 9:29 PM on January 22, 2016


I know this is just a teeny, tiny little bit of set-up that really doesn't matter in the long run, but where did they get Laurel's characterization from in this episode? She's all just, "fine, go off and travel through time." Really? She has never been fine before when Sara took off. And now she's suddenly not worried about Lazarus Pit induced bloodlust? Oh, that's right, that won't be an issue because she ordered a new suit from Cisco, so that wipes the psychological slate clean for her sister. Gah!

Also, I hope they back off on the zippy camera effects during the fight scenes. I don't recall Caity Lotz needing that much "help" before to make the brawls look convincing, and if anything I find the technique having the opposite effect. The fight lacked weight and power and force. It seemed more like something choreographed for Speedy and not the original Canary.
posted by sardonyx at 11:02 PM on January 22, 2016


That's a weird looking TARDIS...And why isn't it bigger on the inside?
When did Rory become a time lord?!?
I feel like I missed an important episode of Doctor Who...
posted by FallowKing at 12:46 AM on January 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


kittensofthenight: "Hawkman sucks, Firestorm is awful but i hated firestorm back when I was 10 too.

Besides that i fucking loved it. Even the exposition. The timeship looks great, that bad guy was awesomem, White Canary is amazing, even Heateave had some character that he lacked on the flash. i love Kendra and hope the plot shows that she needs to break the cycle of this shitty love affair to destroy vandal.
"

Surprised no one noticed or commented on the name reference. I caught it right off, but I am a giant ball of squee when it comes to time travel stuff.

Also, did Laurel HAVE to bogart the Canary's Cry device? I thought there was more than one.
posted by Samizdata at 12:53 AM on January 23, 2016


Also, did Laurel HAVE to bogart the Canary's Cry device? I thought there was more than one.

You're not actually sad we don't have to listen to more of that awful screeching, are you?
posted by ktkt at 4:10 AM on January 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why did Rory need Snart and Heat Wave? Couldn't he have just stolen the guns, found a couple of cops who were a day away from getting killed and given them the weapons? Do their personalities offer anything beyond putting the mission at risk?

Screenwriters, I DEMAND you sacrifice having an interesting plot and character dynamics to satisfy my nitpicking!
posted by FallowKing at 7:44 AM on January 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Mostly I'm wondering how this ties in with the other series. Does this mean we don't get Captain Cold in The Flash anymore? Or does he occasionally show up and doesn't want to talk about it? I suppose what would make the most sense is to bring the characters back to the time they left plus however much time they experienced.

Kind of surprised they didn't bring the professor's body back so he could be found dead in his office. Maybe they'll take care of that in the next one.
posted by ODiV at 8:14 AM on January 23, 2016


Also, not expecting much out of Jax fixing stuff. Catalytic converters are one thing, unobtainium transfer cores another.

This is American television -- the black dude ALWAYS fixes the stuff.
posted by briank at 1:31 PM on January 23, 2016


As someone who hasn't really been into comic book since puberty (and, so, had no idea who any of these characters were save for Hawkman and Atom), I tuned in nonetheless because it looked kind of fun.

It was...ok...for a pilot. The enormous cast meant a ton of time had to be spent establishing, however minimally, the various characters and framing the main story arc.

It was fun seeing Rory promoted to Time LordMaster. I'll be really disappointed if they don't drop some oblique joke about this into the show somehow. Is Karen Gillan available for a cameo?

Otherwise, I'm holding opinion once I get a couple actual episodes under my belt. I'm not a big fan of the CW/DC shows, so I really hope they don't start overlapping in a way that makes it impossible to follow the story unless you saw X episode of Arrow. That won't fly for me.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:00 PM on January 23, 2016


I thought it was fun but feel like I need a character backstory summary-anything out there that's easier than watching a bunch more TV first?
posted by purenitrous at 5:25 PM on January 23, 2016


So. There is a TV show, where Dr. Who steals the Millennium Falcon and puts together a team of at-best comic book Anti-heroes (Yes, even Ray) and at worst actual super-villains who demand their world not be destroyed, and takes them on a jaunt through time to get into bar fights!

Smallville Hawkman is the best Hawkman - clearly cray-cray, complete with an amazingly embarrassing outfit, and is also able to handle anyone short of Darkseid handily with a mace to the face. This Hawkman is terrible. Once Hawkgirl realizes she can ditch the dude, and he deserves to be ditched in this incarnation unless he dramatically gets his mysterious-mentor bullshit under control, she will be the fantastic mace-to-the-face heroine we've all been wanting.

Mick Rory. Goddamn. In The Flash, we were all like, "Why does Snart hang out with this guy?" Question answered.

The roofie thing with Firestorm was viscerally upsetting. Rory casually acknowledging the Professor as a fellow villain was fitting, but not enough. Really, really culturally tone-deaf move.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:06 PM on January 23, 2016


Really, really culturally tone-deaf move.

You mean the thing where a rich old white man kidnapped a young black man and took him to a distant place so he could force his labour out of him?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:44 AM on January 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


I know we assume comic book canon applies here, but is Rip from far enough into the future? I'd have thought the writers would want to give themselves a bit more leeway in terms of bringing in other futuristic characters (Legion, Booster, etc.) and scenarios.
posted by sardonyx at 10:27 AM on January 24, 2016


Jefferson is basically Stein's Atom suit.

Doesn't Jefferson have control over Firestorm's actions while Stein is stuck giving advice? If anything, Stein is the Jarvis in Jefferson's Iron Man suit!
posted by brundlefly at 11:06 AM on January 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Can't. Can't assume... I hate typos.
posted by sardonyx at 11:35 AM on January 24, 2016


I know we assume comic book canon applies here, but is Rip from far enough into the future? I'd have thought the writers would want to give themselves a bit more leeway in terms of bringing in other futuristic characters (Legion, Booster, etc.) and scenarios.

I suppose there's no reason Rip needs to be from the time where he married and became a father, though that's getting a little slippery.
posted by phearlez at 12:40 PM on January 24, 2016




nicebookrack: "Leonard Snart's "just traveled through time" face is perfect"

Pretty much, Snart's perfect to me.
posted by Samizdata at 8:21 AM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Snart isn't quite as good as Jensen Ackles as a source of reaction gifs, but he's doing pretty damn well.
posted by brundlefly at 11:51 AM on January 25, 2016


Case in point.
posted by brundlefly at 11:52 AM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


NOTHING tops the cocoa scene, but these are still highly amusing.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:39 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


SPOILER ALERT Kevin Smith has an interesting major spoiler for Part 2 of the pilot

and my reaction to the spoiler

I'm kinda cranky that they didn't air both hours of the pilot together last week; maybe then the pilot would feel less rushed. Why couldn't they push The 100's season premiere back a week?
posted by nicebookrack at 2:36 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well we were all pretty much expecting that spoiler development, weren't we? Considering that character was never mentioned in all the pre-show buzz and promotion. It always felt like that hero was just a temporary add-on, and given the nature of the character's existence, being dead really doesn't mean much. But I totally agree that I would have loved to have seen a longer pilot.
posted by sardonyx at 5:43 PM on January 25, 2016


My husband pointed out that that spoiler is predicted by the way the credits are set up.

I'm glad I came in here and saw that, but I really came in here to say that I have been earwormed by Love Will Keep Us Together and cannot get it out of my head. So thanks, show, for that!
posted by immlass at 6:12 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


My husband pointed out that that spoiler is predicted by the way the credits are set up.

Which is amusing, since Smith's co-host here goes on to claim that in the pilot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer there's a character in the credits who gets offed. Which categorically did not happen. It's what Whedon wanted to happen, but the nature of pay scale requirements supposedly would have made it way too expensive for a whim indulgence. So the particular person who gets dead in the pilot was not in the credits but Whedon wanted him to be.
posted by phearlez at 6:22 PM on January 25, 2016


Why did Rory need Snart and Heat Wave? Couldn't he have just stolen the guns, found a couple of cops who were a day away from getting killed and given them the weapons? Do their personalities offer anything beyond putting the mission at risk?

I think Snart and Heatwave were selected because they are resourceful and ruthless adrenaline junkies who have a personal stake in the world not being destroyed, and they are very much team players without being pushovers. Having The Atom, Hawkgirl and Firestorm makes the team effective - having Captain Cold, Heatwave and White Canary makes the team dangerous.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:35 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Whedon did put a season 6 character for the first time in the opening credits for the episode in which they die (a death I will never forgive!), so maybe that's what the cohost meant.

It's so interesting how TV's complicated political hierarchy of onscreen credits and such ends up giving away the story game to savvy viewers who are paying attention. I must pay attention to the LoT credits order once it normalizes, because I think Miller, Garber, Purcell, Lotz, and Routh all got "Special Guest Star" status when they were on Flash and Arrow. Ciara Renée likely gets the bottom rung of the credit ladder.
posted by nicebookrack at 6:42 PM on January 25, 2016


If that spoiler is true, then this show got a bajillion percent better in my books but all I'm saying is that had better be no mourning the passing of a jerk.
posted by Kitteh at 5:29 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


So... They cut out a scene where Hawkman beats Hawkgirl into submission.
posted by FallowKing at 11:34 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Slap*Happy: "Why did Rory need Snart and Heat Wave? Couldn't he have just stolen the guns, found a couple of cops who were a day away from getting killed and given them the weapons? Do their personalities offer anything beyond putting the mission at risk?

I think Snart and Heatwave were selected because they are resourceful and ruthless adrenaline junkies who have a personal stake in the world not being destroyed, and they are very much team players without being pushovers. Having The Atom, Hawkgirl and Firestorm makes the team effective - having Captain Cold, Heatwave and White Canary makes the team dangerous.
"

Can't steal if you are dead, amirite? Plus, we need some people on the team who are not ALL good. They have already announced no Arrow/Flash crossovers, so we need people who are like Ollie, and can make the "tough choices", thus Team Thermal...
posted by Samizdata at 1:34 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


FallowKing: "So... They cut out a scene where Hawkman beats Hawkgirl into submission."

Some times I am all for grimdark (WH40K fluff fan) and gritty reimaginings, but, yeah, unneeded, indeed.
posted by Samizdata at 1:37 PM on January 26, 2016


I have no idea who any of these characters are, and it was fun. It also felt like The Most Comic Booky TV Show Ever In The History Of The World, as if the selection of characters was done to hit all the comic book tropes:
  1. mythical backstory - check
  2. super scientist who is (kind of smooth) - check
  3. super scientist who is a bumbler (and also a throwback to the good ol' southern Plantation days?) - check
  4. conflicted timelord who breaks the rules - check
  5. troubled souls - a lot of checks
  6. kid from the big city who's not sure he's really down to be a superhero - check
  7. thief / ne'er-do-well who helps out in a pinch - check and check
I'm sure there are more tropes to check off (and they're missing the anthropomorphic animal/elemental and the alien), but they did pretty well covering their bases.

Also, the acting was so hammy, which boosted the feeling that this was a comic book show, but in a generally fun way.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:18 AM on January 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Comic book dialogue is not ready for prime time.
posted by amtho at 10:23 AM on January 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I watched this while I was doing the ironing, with the advantage that it made me iron faster, because when all the shirts were done I could turn it off. As it turned out, it lasted exactly as long as it took me to iron eight shirts and two pairs of trousers.

It did feel like whoever wrote this was ticking off items on a checklist as they went. And, yes, Exposition! Exposition! Exposition!

I shan't watch any more, I think. I don't want to watch something I don't enjoy.

I think there's something to be written by a much cleverer person than I about how the assumptions of U.S. culture that throws up something like this also lies behind the people who over-ran that government building in Oregon. I hope to read it some time.

On the other hand, it's always interesting to see what U.S. popular culture comes up with when it tries to rip off Doctor Who. Personally I preferred Aztec Ace, but then I'm old. And of course I prefer actual Doctor Who over any of them.

And it's lovely to see Arthur Darvill in gainful employment.
posted by Grangousier at 2:54 PM on January 30, 2016


Dr. Who was ripping off American interwar pulps, who were in turn ripping off British Victorian penny-dreadfulls, who were in turn ripping off antebellum American fantasists like E.A. Poe, Herman Mellville, Hawthorne, Irving Washington and James Fennimore Cooper.

And I could recite who they were ripping off, but I won't.

But, come ON! You had to at least like the BadGoodGuys a little. I freaking LOST IT when Heatwave got super excited that he could play The Captain and Tennille on the jukebox. Also, they respected White Canary, going all team-building-exercise up in that bar only when she invited them to. What other show has that?
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:09 PM on January 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


When The Bad Guy Wins

(The song is by the Insane Clown Posse. This is Metafilter. We've been telling you they were worth a listen a long while now.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:07 PM on February 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey it's me from two years in the future! I just started watching this show on the back of the Earth X crossovers from Arrow. I really enjoyed the goofiness of the Legends so I went back in time to see their origin story. It's fun!

What's remarkable is how much of the show's tone is established in this very first episode. Maybe this comes from having the writing done in the comics and some of the setups in the other Arrowverse shows. But most of the characters already feel exactly like they do in the future, in season 3, at least the two episodes from that I've seen.

Wentworth Miller steals every scene. I love how he just fully hams it up, not even trying to pretend to act like a normal person. He's way more comic-booky than the flying people.
posted by Nelson at 7:54 AM on December 18, 2017


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