DC's Legends of Tomorrow Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Pilot, Part 1

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Alright. So here's the thing. If you're a fan of the characters amassed for this superhero mash up – especially their delivery of one-liners – then you probably really enjoyed the series premiere.

For the record, I get an enormous kick out of those one-liners, and five of the characters featured on DC's Legends of Tomorrow Season 1 Episode 1 can be counted among my favorites. For that reason, I quite enjoyed the premiere. 

However, from a more subjective point of view, so much of what appeared in the pilot not only already played out in either Arrow or The Flash, but was then explained during a special half-hour after airing after The Flash that the pilot cannot receive the highest marks.

I've been covering Arrow and The Flash long enough to know what turns on the viewers, and the lack of definitive story in this pilot may not going to have viewers clinging to the remote in anticipation of what lies ahead.

There was far too much exposition, too much rehashing of things we've been told before. If you have not been privy to either of the aforementioned series and didn't watch the special about what to expect of this one, perhaps it was all welcome. 

I'm willing to guess, however, that even then there wasn't a hook sharp enough to guarantee you'll tune in for the next installment. Or, let me revise that. To guarantee a DVR season pass.

What Legends does is entertain. It's a lot of fun. There is plenty of wit and sharp dialog. The characters are known to each other just enough to cause friction with the amount of knowledge they have to use to poke and prod, pushing all of the right buttons to get under each other's skin. 

Yet you can also see new relationships forming, such as with Sara Lance aka White Canary, Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold and Mick Rory aka Heat Wave. Their foray to the bar allowed them to have some fun together and give us a glimpse into the dynamic between the three of them that is taking shape, somewhat of an older brother little sister situation.

Ray Palmer, meanwhile, is having a tough time reconciling the fact he's still destined to be a nobody when all he's wanted is to be somebody, to make a difference. Will he and Dr. Stein find a sympatico relationship since it's one Palmer seems to respect? He studied under Stein in college and wants him to see him as his intellectual equal.

The Hawk people are still finding their way with each other, and discovering they had a son in one of their past lives (great callback to Arrow Season 4 Episode 8) brought them closer together, and also showed the entire team the actual perils of working within the space/time continuum. There are stakes none of them understand yet, and they need to be careful.

The one person we had to meet in more detail was Rip Hunter. It turns out he wasn't exactly truthful with everyone when he picked them up. 

The reason he chose them was they had the skills required and they're nobodies. Taking them out of their timeline had no impact on the future. That's a really awful thing to find out about yourself, but Sara, who is now living in the light, has decided to look at the bright side. If they can make an impact on THE future, who is to say they can't make an impact on THEIR futures?

But more than that, Rip has suffered. He knows loss. He may have lied to get them on board, but he did it because the men he counted on to help him avenge the deaths of his wife and child turned their backs on him. He saw in his new team like-minded souls who could help him.

Other thoughts:

  • I'm still not sold on Vandal Savage as a big bad every week for, what, ever? It seems he'll grow old after a while.
  • When the Waverider took them all on their first trip and after landing various members suffered from nausea, vertigo and temporary blindness? Laugh out loud moments.
  • Dominic Purcell never really had much to do as Heat Wave, but he really gives Wentworth Miller aka Captain Cold's one liners a run for the money. Mick's lines about the 70s had me laughing, too.
  • The team is so big, it seems like there needs to be a focal point. I'm still getting the feeling that Sara Lance is going to be the character that gets the most play. She just shines with this newer, brighter version.
  • I've never been a fan of superhero mash up origin stories. X-Men movies, for example, are the worst for me. It feels like they are all origin stories. Hope so much exposition didn't push people away already.

Alright. What did you guys think? Is it everything you expected of a superhero mash up or were you left wanting more? 

Pilot, Part 1 Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (80 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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