Warning: major spoilers below! You know the drill. Don’t read this recap until you’ve seen the 14th episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. You’ve been warned!
Are you ready for some bad decision making? But first, let’s ask another question: when did the Kendra (Ciara Renée) and Ray (Brandon Routh) romance become the most important thing on this show? That subplot is at the forefront of “River of Time,” and it was truly awful. Legends of Tomorrow has tried to force the relationship between Kendra and Ray, but they’ve never been convincing as lovers. Kendra has more chemistry with Sara (Caity Lotz) than she does with Ray! Just sayin’, this was a misfire.
After last week’s episode, Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) was captured and brought on board the Waverider along with a brainwashed Carter Hall (Falk Hentschel), hence the tension between Ray and Kendra. Even though Savage practically admitted that he was manipulating the situation, that didn’t stop Ray from pulling off the stupidest move of the season. Ray actually opened the door to Savage’s cell and tried to fight someone who has had lifetimes to learn hand-to-hand combat. Of course Ray was gonna get his ass kicked. And of course that resulted in Savage letting loose on the ship.
It was far more interesting when Savage revealed to Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) that he has become a time traveler as well. That was an intriguing explanation for his absences throughout history, but the episode glossed over how Savage managed to travel through time or make an alliance with the Time Masters. We’ll get to that later.
One of the more effective subplots this week had to overcome some lackluster aging makeup. Hunter put Jefferson (Franz Drameh) in danger, and he was blasted by time energy, making him age rapidly. However, this was an instance where the show should have hired an older actor to play Jefferson for these scenes. Old Jefferson’s makeup was so unconvincing that it almost undercut the entire story.
The thing that worked about that plotline, however, was Martin Stein’s (Victor Garber) willingness to sacrifice himself to save Jefferson by putting him on a ship with a one way ticket to 2016. Martin has clearly come to love Jefferson as a son, although he keeps drugging Jefferson to get his way…and that’s something that this show really needs to stop doing. Aside from making Martin look bad, it’s never a good idea for a character like Jefferson to be routinely stripped of his choices because his father figure keeps using roofies on him. And was there any reason that Martin couldn’t have gotten on the ship with Jefferson so that he won’t die when they can’t form Firestorm?
Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) had some fun moments as the voices of reason and sanity, but their decision to bail the ship came too late. They arrived just in time to see that the escape ship was gone. But as angry as the duo was, the final battle with Savage on the Waverunner was a lot more fun because they were there. Even against the assembled crew, Savage nearly took everyone out until Carter conveniently remembered who he was before dying again. Oh wait, he’s not dead? Well, don’t worry Ray and Kendra shippers, if you exist. Carter has a habit of catching sharp objects with his chest, so there’s always the chance that he’ll die again in the next two episodes.
There were a few flashbacks throughout the episode that seemed like we should have seen them a lot sooner, including Sara’s reunion with Nyssa (Katrina Law), and Martin’s non-goodbye with his wife. But they didn’t serve much a purpose in this episode aside from stalling for time before the team arrived at the Vanishing Point, the home of the Time Masters. And predictably enough, Hunter’s plan went to hell after he exposed Savage as a rogue time traveler, only to realize too late that Savage has been working with the Time Masters. Almost of the remaining Waverider crew were then imprisoned, but it’s hinted that Sara and Cold remain free.
It’s a pretty good cliffhanger leading into the show’s penultimate episode of the season. But the narrative shortcuts it took to get there were not appreciated. The crew of the Waverider haven’t been the sharpest team, but this episode turned most of them into idiots for the sake of the plot. Despite the attempts to use Savage as a low rent Hannibal Lecter, it’s clear that the so-called “legends” are their own greatest enemies. Bad writing and weak special effects are on that list of enemies as well.
I am curious to see how the team gets out of their current situation, but Legends of Tomorrow has regularly failed to live up to expectations. There’s no reason to believe that anything will be different in the last two episodes of the season.
What did you think about the 14th episode of Legends of Tomorrow? Let us know in the comment section below!
Images: DC Entertainment/The CW