DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Season 1 Episode 7
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow takes the team into outer space after receiving a distress call from another ship.
Readers of this site will be aware of the fact that I love Star Trek. It’s my favourite franchise of all time and it’s something that will stick with me for the rest of my life so for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow to have an episode that is supposed to feel like an episode of Star Trek is a very exciting prospect for me.
This episode could be considered filler as it doesn’t further the Vandal Savage plot in any way but it justifies its existence by focusing on the development of the characters. In particular Snart and Mick’s friendship is the one being tested after Mick felt that his partner betrayed him by knocking him out and forcing him to leave 2046.
Both characters have undergone significant development since coming on this show and completely transcended what was established about them on The Flash. The angle that has been taken is that they are essentially brothers who have stuck by one another for a long time. Recent events have caused them to have differences of opinions and Mick no longer has faith in that bond.
The strength of the bond is reinforced through Snart telling Sara about how they met. Snart was once almost killed by a group of kids back when he was in Juvie but he was saved when Mick stood up for him. Their bond is so deep that Snart literally owed Mick his life. Having this background makes the loss of that friendship all the more powerful. The explanation is essentially exposition but there’s a sincerity to Wentworth Miller’s performance that makes it work.
Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell did a great job portraying the loss of such a profound connection. The central conflict is that Snart feels like he is part of the team that Rip set up but Mick still feels as if they are out for themselves. It used to be simple, they looked out for each other exclusively but this new team dynamic has complicated things. Mick doesn’t feel like part of the team despite appearing to warm up to Ray back in “Fail-Safe” so feels betrayed when Snart openly identifies as enjoying playing hero.
The conflict culminates in Mick betraying the team and forcing Snart to choose between joining him and committing fully to Rip’s mission. He chooses the team and works with them to bring Mick down. It is played as a profound moment and Wentworth Miller projects Snart’s confidence in the decision he made perfectly. It’s clear that Snart thinks he is doing the right thing and makes no apologies for it.
After his betrayal Mick is identified as a dangerous liability and Snart sees it as his responsibility to handle it. The only option is to kill him because letting him roam the ship isn’t an option, the brig isn’t suitable for long term imprisonment and sending him back to 2016 allows him to go after their families. He is basically a mad dog that needs to be put down despite how harsh that might seem.
Snart and Mick’s conversation in the final scene is the final breakdown of their friendship where Snart tells him that he has outgrown their selfish desire to be criminals and wants to be part of something greater. He puts it most eloquently by saying “People change!” before firing his weapon at him.
I don’t believe for a second that Mick is dead. I’m mostly basing this on the fact that the scene is left ambiguous and that always means that it isn’t that simple. If Mick is killed then it ruins the dramatic potential of this failed relationship playing out over the course of the season. It wouldn’t be such a bad idea for Mick to defect to Vandal Savage’s side and increase the stakes for the team. This could be what the show needs to make the Vandal Savage threat more significant so I hope that it happens.
Rip gets some much needed development around his relationship to his wife as well as the other Time Masters. There’s a really good scene at the beginning of the episode where he watches a hologram of his son on loop. It’s a quiet scene but Arthur Darvill conveys the sense of loss really well using only his body language. It’s clear that he is hiding a lot of pain that he keeps from the crew so that he can seem as if he is a more effective leader.
The flashbacks showing he and his wife involved in a training exercise really felt like filler but it was good to actually have his wife Miranda (Alex Duncan) become a character rather than an idea. She’s a really poorly developed character but it’s a start at least. There is some insight into the Time Master rule forbidding their agents from forming attachments. It’s all fairly superficial and the forbidden romance doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. A few lines of dialogue could have achieved the same effect but maybe flashbacks showing Rip’s relationship with his family could be better used in the future. The payoff of him using the tactic his wife used in training in the present day added some relevance.
I found the resolution of the tribunal in the flashbacks to be really problematic. Miranda proves herself to be a really competent lateral thinking person but she gives up her entire career to take full responsibility for their illicit relationship even though she would arguably be more competent in the role of Time Master than Rip is. The whole concept of “love conquers all” is at the heart of Rip Hunter’s motivation but it seems like there was a better solution that would allow Miranda to retain some agency. Her sacrifice is supposed to be noble and it does reinforce her lateral thinking approach that allows one of them to retain their career but the execution was very clumsy.
Rip’s competence as a leader is entirely in dispute based on how he handles this entire solution. He answers the distress call because Gideon needs updated information to help figure out the best time period to travel to despite the fact that it is so obviously a trap. He is told this by people who understand how traps work and falls for it anyway. His away team –I couldn’t resist a Star Trek reference- consists of Jax, Mick and Stein which seems like a versatile group except from the fact that Stein is left on the shuttle making using Firestorm if things should go badly impossible. Mick is a loose cannon at this point so bringing him along is a bad idea as well and it ends with betrayal.
Leaving Ray in charge of the Waverider is a solid idea in the absence of anyone else. Ray takes this with the same level of nerdy optimism that he always does and pretends to be Captain Kirk. Kendra tells him that he’s more like Picard and impresses with her Star Trek knowledge to justify that. I like the insight into Kendra’s character provided here as it shows a bit of personality to her without reminding us that she’s in over her head for the umpteenth time. Finding out that she’s a bit of a nerd gives her some common ground with Ray and lets a fun dynamic start to develop. The forced romance between them feels entirely tacked on and comes from nowhere after being cut off last week. Her choice to not complicate her life any more was completely valid so I don’t see why this has been changed.
I touched on Snart and Sara’s conversation earlier in the review but there was more to it than the insight into Snart and Mick’s friendship. These characters have had a solid dynamic since the first episode and every interaction they have develops this further. In this episode they have a really intimate discussion about death where Sara tells him what her experience of it was. She mentions the loneliness that she felt knowing that those she loved were completely beyond her reach. Being dead has really affected her and it’s something she won’t soon get over.
The Space/Time Pirates to be really underwhelming as villains and massively underused Callum Keith Rennie as their leader. He brought his particular brand of casual villainy and sadism to the role but there isn’t much to the character other than being an obstacle for the team to defeat. As a device to inspire Mick’s betrayal they do what they need to but there’s nothing beyond that.
Despite that the episode was an awful lot of fun with a shared crisis pulling in the entire team. There’s plenty of hand to hand combat and even a short space battle thrown in for good measure. This is a good episode for showing the potential this show has to tell more varied stories. Ray going out into space to repair a hull breach was impressively tense as well though I have to question whether the Atom suit is suitable for the vacuum of space. It felt like an above average Star Trek episode and I had a lot of fun with it throughout.
The best episode yet! It’s a really fun sci fi adventure episode that does a good job showing the breakdown of Mick and Snart’s partnership. The villains were ill defined and Kendra’s romance with Ray is completely out of place but it’s a good example of the varied storytelling potential of this show and has all of the characters working together on a shared crisis.
- the variety of the action from hand to hand combat to space battles
- Snart and Mick’s partnership completely breaking down
- Ray channelling his inner Captain Picard
- Sara and Snart’s conversation about death
- the underdeveloped villains
- an out of place romance
- flashbacks that have very little depth