Recap: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Pilot, Part 1

*Contains spoilers for Legends of Tomorrow as well as most recent seasons of Arrow and The Flash*

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow premiered on the CW last night with part one of its pilot episode. It’s the second spin-off of the network’s popular show, Arrow, and its spin-off, The Flash. The show follows a group of heroes and villains brought together by a time traveler named Rip Hunter in order to stop the world from being destroyed by the immortal villain Vandal Savage. Their goal is to stop Vandal Savage by traveling to the past and future to prevent him from seizing power, which he has already done by “Captain” Rip Hunter’s time.

Who are the Legends of Tomorrow?

DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Ray Palmer, aka The Atom, a billionaire tech genius who has the ability to shrink down to molecular size with his Ironman-like power suit. He was believed dead after an explosion took out the top floor of his building on the season 3 finale of Arrow, but he managed to take his prototype power suit and shrink down in order to dodge the explosion. He was captured by Arrow season 4 baddie, Damien Darhk, before being rescued by the Arrow and his team.

Sara Lance, aka The White Canary, she was the original Black Canary and former member of the League of the Assassins on Arrow until her death and subsequent resurrection on the most recent season. Her sister, Laurel Lance, is the current Black Canary on Arrow. It’s her sister who dubs her the White Canary by giving her a white, mask-less outfit to wear on her missions.

Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall, aka Hawkgirl and Hawkman, reincarnated lovers with wings granting them the ability to fly. They are tied to Vandal Savage and have been for the last 4,000 years stretching back to ancient Egypt. Vandal Savage, in order to maintain his immortality, must hunt down and kill the Hawks in each lifetime. They made their debut on the crossover episodes of Arrow and The Flash.

Jefferson Jackson and Professor Martin Stein aka Firestorm, the newly formed duo of the flame-wielding hero created after the death of Ronnie Raymond at the end of the first season of The Flash. The particle accelerator that exploded at the premiere of The Flash caused Professor Martin Stein and Ronnie Raymond to fuse with the “Firestorm” matrix, combining the two of them together into one being with the ability to shoot fire. Jefferson Jackson, also affected by the particle accelerator, joined with Professor Stein in order to survive.

Leonard Snart and Mick Rory, aka Captain Cold and Heat Wave, a pair of Flash rogues with guns that shoot ice and fire, respectively. They’re super criminals that join the team for the opportunity to rob great treasures throughout history.

Why are They Assembled?

Rip Hunter and DC's Legends of Tomorrow

As I mentioned earlier, these Legends are brought together by Rip Hunter. Captain Hunter is a former member of the Time Masters, an enigmatic group of people responsible for protecting the timeline from destruction. At the beginning of the show, 2166 AD, Rip Hunter begs the Time Masters to allow him to go back in time in order to stop Vandal Savage. The Time Masters refuse, stating their job is to protect reality not humanity. Enraged, Rip Hunter disobeys and takes his time-traveling ship, the Waverider, back to the “present” in order to gather up the crew, who he has selected because he claims in the future they are legends.

The team is skeptical, and Rip gives them time to sort things out and decide for themselves. After talking with friends and family back on their host shows, Arrow and The Flash, all eventually, for vastly different reasons except for Jackson who has to be drugged by Stein in order to go, decide to go ahead and join Rip Hunter’s plan to save the world from Vandal Savage. They head to 1975 in order to meet with Dr. Aldus Boardman, the only known expert on Vandal Savage. The reason for doing this is because Dr. Boardman is supposed to die the next day, and, by meeting with him the day before his death, it won’t affect the timeline, according to Rip Hunter. Over the course of the next few episodes, the writers are going to have to flesh out the rules of time travel on this show because things can get confusing really fast when it comes to time travel in science fiction. Just ask Doctor Who fans. Funny enough, Arthur Darvill, the actor who plays Rip Hunter, is a Doctor Who alum. Even his ship, the Waverider, is a sort of TARDIS knock-off. The Waverider does, however, come with an A.I. named Gideon, who Flash fans will recognize as the A.I. that assisted the Reverse-Flash in the first season. That’s another mystery to solve later down the road.

Who is Dr. Boardman

Back in 1975, Captain Hunter takes most of the team to meet with Dr. Boardman while ordering Canary, Cold, and Heatwave to stay behind because their skill set isn’t needed. Well that doesn’t sit well with them. They head out to a bar to explore the 70s, and they end up getting into a bar fight. Canary really knows how to fight. With a little help from Captain Cold and Heatwave, she easily beats up a bunch of drunken thugs. I sure hope they weren’t essential to the timeline. The three of them seem to be developing rapport, which makes sense since they are the most rogue-ish of the team. It’ll be interesting to see if a friendship or dare I say romance develops between them, especially Canary and Cold.

When Rip and the others wake a sleeping Dr. Boardman in his office, we learn why Dr. Boardman is the only expert on Vandal Savage. It turns out Dr. Boardman is the son of Hawkgirl and Hawkman from one of their previous lives. Dr. Boardman watched Savage murder them. Since that day, he has dedicated his life to studying Vandal Savage, so he could help his reincarnated parents defeat him once and for all. Boardman explains why Vandal Savage didn’t permanently die after his defeat during the Arrow and Flash crossover. Savage must be killed by the Hawks, otherwise, from just one cell, he’ll regenerate.

Who is Chronos

Chronos from DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Meanwhile, back at the ship, Jefferson Jackson, is attacked by a mysterious figure named Chronos. Telepathically sensing his other half is in danger, Professor Stein warns the others, and they rush back to the ship. Hawkgirl insists her “son” comes with them, but Rip Hunter says he is supposed to die this day and, if he doesn’t, it could seriously alter the timeline. Backed up by Hawkman, Hawkgirl refuses to back down, and Captain Hunter relents, all too easily I thought especially if messing with the timeline can have drastic repercussions. Joined by Cold, Canary, and Heatwave, the team learns, Chronos, humorously dubbed Boba Fett by Captain Cold, is a time-hopping bounty hunter sent by the Time Masters to stop Rip Hunter.

Outnumbering Chronos, the team is able to escape, but not before Chronos causes massive damage to the Waverider. The team confronts Hunter about why a bounty hunter sent by the Time Masters is after them. Hunter drops a bombshell on them: he has renounced his membership in the Time Masters in order to get revenge on Vandal Savage for murdering his wife and son in cold blood. He then proceeds to drop an even bigger bombshell on them: he chose the eight of them because removing them from the timeline will have minimal to no effect on it. Meaning, they are far from legends, but rather disposable leftovers. However, the Arrowverse has established the Hawks are essential to Vandal Savage maintaining his power. If they are removed, wouldn’t that get rid of Savage? I’m sure the writers have thought about this and will have a convoluted in-universe logic to explain it. For now though, we have to take Rip Hunter at face value that removing the Hawks, in addition to the other “Legends” won’t affect the timeline in any substantial way, and that’s why he chose them.

Will They Continue as the Legends

Hawkgirl from DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Dismayed, the team splits up to various parts of the ship to digest what they just learned. Professor Stein apologizes to Jackson for drugging and kidnapping him, and says to him if he wants to go back they can. Surprisingly, Jackson says he wants to stay, going into a story about his football playing days and wanting to be a part of a team to do something greater than himself. The Hawks talk with each other about their long history with Savage, and this could be their one chance to stop him once and for all. Atom, Canary, Cold, and Heat Wave initially plan to ditch the team because they don’t want to be anyone’s fodder, especially if their lives don’t mean anything. Canary rallies them by saying this is their chance to remake history in order to become something great. Hesitant at first, the others come around to her line of thinking. Gideon helps Hunter repair the ship, saying there is a very small chance the team will agree to go on helping him. However, they surprise him by saying they’re in. Rejuvenated, Hunter says he has an idea on how to stop Savage, and they make their next jump into another time. Meanwhile, in 1975, Vandal Savage stumbles across what looks like a nuclear missile while performing a typical evil villain monologue.

Part two of the pilot will kick off next week.

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