When the new season of DC superhero shows premiered on the CW this fall, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow was the one I was least anticipating. It’s also the one I decided I would stockpile to watch later when the other shows go on hiatus because my roster is full of so many current television shows to watch, shows that I like much more than I like Legends, as well as new shows that I want to like more.
Truth is, as I mentioned in my 2016-17 DC show roundup, I nearly bailed on this series during Season 2. It’s full of a lot of cool things. It’s just that none of it seems to have any lasting consequence. It’s Doctor Who with superheroes, but without much lasting merit.
I mention all of this because I did watch the premiere episode of Season 3, “Aruba-Con,” and you should know that I was predisposed to not like it. In fact, the opening episode of this season would’ve had to blow me away to get me back into the fold to be its cheerleader.
No suspense here. It didn’t blow me away. I didn’t hate the episode, but I was still far from liking it, let alone being blown away.
The game has been reset once again, which is getting tiresome. Rip Hunter is now the head of a MIB/Minority Report-type agency called the Time Bureau that is in charge of correcting time anomalies, most of which were created by the group that called itself the Legends. So, several months after the group returns to their original timeline, they get the band back together again, steal the Waverider, and get up to their old tricks. Purely by coincidence, Mick Rory—probably my favorite Legend since Snark no longer exists—runs into Julius Caesar in Aruba. “Aruba-Con,” the title of the episode, is a play on “Rubicon.” Get it? Yeah, that’s about as good as this episode gets.
Later in the episode, there is mention of someone or something called “Mallus” that is probably being set up to be the Big Bad for the season. Then, we get a brief glimpse of Amaya, back in 1942, confronting a group of poachers outside of her village.
Despite this attempt to kickstart a season-long arc, the episode itself accomplishes virtually nothing. More of the same, really. Take away the introduction of the Time Bureau, and the story is just throwaway, so much fluff.
My two cents: this is what’s wrong with the series. Too much favoring of episodic television (that could be shown in any order in syndication) over serialized storytelling. Also, this is a true ensemble show, which in this case does not enhance the show. I think it would be better if there were a true focal character. Maybe Rip Hunter, at least in season one. One of the others now. Nate or Ray, perhaps, since both have their own Everyman quality. A show with Mick Rory as the central character would also be interesting, to say the least. All of the other CW superhero shows have one central character: Green Arrow, Flash, and Supergirl. All of the other characters on the shows, superhero or not, are supporting characters. We’re missing that here. And, this is another example of when more isn’t necessarily better.
Again, my opinion. You don’t have to buy into it.
I don’t know when I’ll watch another episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, but it won’t be until later this year at the earliest. Oh, there’s a crossover event called Crisis on Earth-X, so I’ll watch that episode for certain, but probably not any of those preceding it until the winter hiatus.
I am normally a booster of all superhero television shows, and there are plenty of cool things in this one, if that’s enough for you. If this review seems uncharacteristically negative, I apologize.