Warning: major spoilers below! You know the drill. Don’t read this recap until you’ve seen the 13th episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. You’ve been warned!
Giant robots make everything better. And this week, we got a giant robot on Legends of Tomorrow. But only one, because this is a TV show with a TV show budget. If you were an immortal madman who was conquering the world, wouldn’t you invest in more than one giant robot?
But just because the titular Leviathan was a joy to watch doesn’t mean that Legends of Tomorrow is firing on all cylinders. The amazing thing is the current set up for the show is actually very compelling. Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) and the crew of the Waverunner have finally come to 2166 to confront Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) at the height of his power. Remember, the height of Savage’s power is exactly one giant robot and a suburb of refugees that live on the outskirts of London that he hasn’t quite managed to crush…for reasons that are nebulous at best.
And how did Hunter and his team end up in this situation? By bungling almost every mission up to this point. Hunter and his team have made things worse time and time again. To cap off their season of failure, Hunter’s team failed spectacularly again before the opening credits when they blew their element of surprise and allowed Savage to escape their clumsy attempt to assassinate him. Hunter was wrong about his companions. If they’re legendary, it’s only for their incompetence. And that’s a trait that Captain Hunter shares with them.
It’s not as if there weren’t fun things in the episode. Dominic Purcell’s delivery of the line “It works with my outfit” was simply hilarious, and it may be the best joke that this show has ever done. Second place for best line of the hour goes to Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and her exasperated “It wasn’t rhetorical!” to Hunter’s request to weaponize a piece of jewelry. One of the other highlights was Hunter’s admission that he’s already tried to save his family from Savage numerous times, only to watch them die again and again. That moment had some emotional bite, but this was something we should have seen. It lost a lot of impact by occurring offscreen.
The previously mentioned giant robot was easily the greatest part of the episode, and one of the few genuine surprises of the series. The Leviathan also had a pretty sharp design with some retro elements and an atom symbol that suggested it was built from Ray Palmer’s (Brandon Routh) work. That made Ray the logical choice to fight the Leviathan on equal terms, even though he didn’t really talk about its origins. To stand a chance, Ray modified his Atom suit to turn him into a giant. Some of the visual effects of the giant man vs. giant robot fight were a little iffy, but it was still a standout sequence.
Even Kendra (Ciara Renée) got some strong moments this week, as she claimed Hawkman’s mace and went on to beat the crap out of Savage with it. That was long overdue, and something that seemed destined for the season finale. But instead of finishing off Savage with three episodes left in the season, Kendra spared Savage’s life because she discovered that a reincarnation of Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) was brainwashed into being one of Savage’s soldiers. The interesting thing here is that Carter reincarnated without Kendra. The 2016 Carter died in the ‘70s, so how many times has he reincarnated and been unable to find Kendra because she’s lost in time?
Considering that this episode hinged on turning Cassandra Savage (Jessica Sipos) against her father, it was disappointing that it was the weakest part of the story. I can live with Cassandra not being Scandal Savage from the comics (although there was really no reason not to use Scandal), but she was shockingly boring to watch. That’s a quality that seems to run in the family for the Savages on this series. The writers of this episode appeared to have no idea how to convincingly portray Cassandra’s change of heart or develop her character. And that’s unforgivable, since that was the whole point of putting her in this position. The only intriguing aspect of Cassandra was that she was fully aware of who the members of Hunter’s team were…which means that Savage knows as well.
The idea of keeping Savage as a prisoner on the Waverunner will probably be better in concept than execution. Because we know what to expect from this show, and the weakest elements have always been the Ray and Kendra romance and Savage himself, both of which are about to head to the forefront again. There’s also a tall order ahead of the writers to make sure that the remaining episodes of the season don’t feel like they’re stalling for time. There’s still a lot to enjoy on the show, but execution is everything. So far, Legends of Tomorrow’s inconsistency has left it far behind Arrow and The Flash in terms of its story. But at least the creative team will have three more chances to get it right this season.
What did you think about the 13th episode of Legends of Tomorrow? Let us know in the comment section below!
Images: DC Entertainment/The CW