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LEGENDS OF TOMORROW: Rip and Sara Face off Against Savage in “Blood Ties”

By on February 5, 2016
Legends of Tomorrow

Pictured (L-R): Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/ White Canary and Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW

By Justin Carter

During large universe-wide event comics like Marvel’s recently concluded Secret Wars or DC’s Convergence from last year, miniseries comics are released around the same time. One such miniseries that comes out fairly often is Marvel’s What If?, wherein a simple question is made into a full comic; think something like “Hey, what if Thor were a frog?” or “What if Spider-Man was killed by the Punisher?” By now, with three of its 12 episodes viewed, it’s clear to me that Legends of Tomorrow is more or less that DC/CW Universe’s “What if?” series.

While that’s not necessarily a bad thing (it works with the Guardians of the Galaxy tone they’ve been selling in the ads, and it has given us great moments including Sara Lance just being herself and last week’s unforgettable opening fight) it also means the series could run the risk of not really knowing what to do besides providing a series of funny or action moments. As we kick off this week’s episode we find that once again, the team is still in 1975 and divided up into three teams: one that actually does the important stuff that leads to facing off with Vandal Savage (so much for being stealthy), one team that’s 2/3 made up of Snart and Rory as they try to steal something they definitely shouldn’t be stealing, and the other team that’s confined to the ship largely until the end. In this case, Team 1 is Rip and Sara as they try to undermine Savage financially to prevent him from rising to power as quickly, while Team 3 is Ray and Stein working together to remove shards of Savage’s dagger from Kendra and Team 2’s Rory and Snart force Jackson to help them steal an emerald.

Of the three storylines, Rip and Sara’s is the best. It wouldn’t surprise me at this point if the show was created literally just so Caity Lotz could show up in a new outfit every week and do something awesome, because she just owns the role of Sara so well. It feels so her that she’d walk into a bank with two knives and be able to wipe the floor with everyone no problem. Of course, this is right around the time that her bloodlust from being dead pops right back up, but the show thankfully doesn’t make this into too much of a thing like last time around. It’d feel too much like a repeat of Arrow from earlier in their season, and there isn’t much new to do with it, so Sara seemingly conquers it during the end fight after Rip gives her a pep talk about being better than it.

Lotz and Darvill have a fun dynamic together in the vein of Oliver and Barry during their yearly teamups. The two play off each other pretty well and communicate with each other so effortlessly that it may have some viewers thinking of Max and Furiosa in last year’s Fury Road. They’re so open and honest with each other about everything, from his failure to kill Savage in ancient Egypt or her struggle to maintain her humanity, that they more or less have to be in sync during the party at Savage’s cult meeting. Like with Sara and Snart in the series premiere, this is hopefully a pairing that becomes more common in future episodes.

Team 3’s combo of Ray and Stein feels like it should work a lot better than it actually does. Brandon Routh’s eager to please puppy dog routine is endearing when it isn’t overkill, but there frankly isn’t much we learn about either of the men as they come up with a Fantastic Voyage idea to remove the dagger from Kendra’s body. Considering that they aren’t even present for the final fight, you could cut them from the episode and not miss much.

As for Snart and Rory’s heist of the week? Well, it’s a nice reason to show that underneath Snart’s heart of ice is a kid who just wanted his dad around. Stealing the same emerald that his dad was going to steal in the hope of getting him to not steal it and avoid jail is sweet, and ties back nicely into doing it to protect his sister from their dad’s wrath. Wentworth Miller’s advice to his younger self to never let the world hurt him is some powerful stuff, and it seems like this could get him to commit to the mission for real.

Just as well too, because I was worried that the series was starting to just wander around aimlessly. While Rip and Sara do discover that Savage has a cult that he’s helping keep alive for a couple hundreds of years with the blood of the dead Carter (gross), this really is a minor development for now. Thankfully, the series is changing the scenery next week with a trip to 1986, so we’ll hopefully be getting some more substantial stuff going forward. Not that I have an issue with 1975, since I’ve never been there, but a time travel series eventually does need to go to another point in history to avoid feeling old. And now that everyone’s on the same page as far as having something to do instead of going on joyrides, the real fun can begin.

Additional Notes

  • Jax: “Is there anything you care about more than yourself?” Snart: “Money.”
  • “How many knives do you have?!”
  • At what point will the show just shamelessly use the song “Time After Time” without irony?
  • While Sara is able to blend into the 1970s like a boss, Rip’s no slouch in that department himself.
  • Good job on letting Savage know the name of your wife and son, Rip. That’s certainly going to end well.
  • Oh, “Blood Ties,” I get the reference. Gross.

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