DC's Legends of Tomorrow Recap -- "Pilot, Part 1"

Can these gathered heroes save the future by changing the past?


Warning: This recap will contain spoilers for the January 21 episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow is a very ambitious show. Spinning out of Arrow and The Flash, the show features eight characters seen on those shows and introduces us to the time traveling Rip Hunter. Hunter, a member of the Time Masters Council, has selected eight legends to accompany him on his mission to save the world in 2166, where Vandal Savage has conquered the entire world. With such a big cast and the combination of sci-fi and superheroes, there will be a lot for the show to juggle in order to stay afloat.

Photo Credit: Jeff Weddell/The CW
Photo Credit: Jeff Weddell/The CW

As a pilot episode, viewers are introduced to each of the eight heroes. Fans of both Arrow and The Flash will recognize them all. New viewers can get the general idea of who everyone is (and an introduction of each character can be found here). With so many other shows in the superhero genre currently on air, can this show stand up to them all? Read my impressions and highlights from the episode.

  • Seeing London getting attacked in 2166 sets the stage for the show. We get to see why Rip Hunter decides to ask the Time Masters Council for permission to change the timeline this one time.
  • In order to gather all his recruits, Rip essentially kidnaps them all. He gathers them all on a rooftop and explains the situation plus the fact they are all destined to be legends (including crooks Captain Cold and Heatwave). He gives them 36 hours to think about it.
  • As the heroes think over the offer to travel through time to save the future, we see them seek out allies for advice or simply discuss it among themselves. Ray Palmer talks to Green Arrow. Hawkgirl and Hawkman already have a past with Savage and have to decide if they can risk getting killed again. Sara Lance talks to her sister who convinces her to seek the light and go by the name White Canary. Captain Cold and Heatwave see this as an opportunity to steal in the past without getting caught. Professor Stein and Jax are at odds over it, but Stein drugs Jax so they can both go on the mission as Firestorm.
  • When all the heroes show up at the meeting place, they are wowed by Rip's time ship. He calls the ship Waverider which is a nod to the DC character who is a time traveling superhero involved in many big comic book events.
  • The Waverider is operated by an A.I. named Gideon. That is also the name of Eobard "Reverse Flash" Thawne's A.I. in the future timeline in The Flash.
  • The first stop is 1975. Tracking down Vandal Savage is tricky so they seek out an expert. It turns out he is the son of Hawkman and Hawkgirl from their previous lives.
  • Captain Cold, Heatwave, and White Canary were to stay on the ship because their skills weren't needed. They decide to go to a bar which leads to a bar fight. This shows how this strange mix of characters can offer a variety of different situations.
Photo Credit: Jeff Weddell/The CW
Photo Credit: Jeff Weddell/The CW
  • Of course going back in time seeking Vandal Savage can't be too easy. It turns out they are being hunted by a temporal bounty hunter named Chronos. He tracks them down in 1975 and attacks the ship. This causes the other heroes to band together to protect the ship and Jax inside. During the fight, Hawkman and Hawkgirl's son is gravely injured.
  • The big twist in the show is revealed when Rip reluctantly explains why they are being hunted. Chronos works for the Council of Time Masters, Rip’s former employers. Rip is no longer a Time Master since he stole the Waverider. He lied to them. He also lied about them being legends. Their lives will have minimal effects on the timeline. Their help wouldn’t affect the 21st Century.
  • Rip’s motives are personal. As a Time Master, he's not supposed to have any connections. Regardless, he fell in love and had a child, Jonas. Savage killed them both. The Council wouldn’t do anything despite the thousands of other families Savage killed.

  • Some of the heroes, like Ray, are disappointed that their lives simply won't matter. It's White Canary that convinces Ray, Captain Cold, and Heatwave that if they could change the past to save the future, they should be able to change their fates as well.
  • There's a lot going on in the show. There's a lot of characters and it seems like the special FX and sets could require a bigger budget. With so many characters involved, the writers will need to give them all a reason or purpose in each episode. With the idea of going back into different eras to hunt down Savage, the show could easily fall into a rut and I'm not completely sold on him as the main villain. We could end up with the same thing week after week--seek out Savage, try to stop him, watch him escape, repeat in a different time period. It'll be interesting to see what happens when they start to interact with Vandal. Will he remember them when they meet again or will they have to jump further back in time. Time travel stories can always get messy if there isn't caution in the execution. It's a good mix of characters and hopefully they'll all be utilized in each episode. This was just part one of the pilot. We'll have to wait to see what happens next.

What did you think of the premiere episode? Sound off in the comments below!

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