Monday, May 16, 2016

Late Blooming Legend

I haven't yet blogged about the WB superhero drama Legends of Tomorrow, mainly because save for about three episodes of its season-long run, it's been embarrassingly bad.

For those who've skipped the show thus far (and who can blame them?), Legends of Tomorrow brings together a disparate cast of DC Comics heroes and villains (White Canary, Captain Cold, Firestorm, Heat Wave, the Atom, Hawkman and Hawkwoman) and throws them in a time ship with Rip Hunter, Time Master, who enlists the team in a plan to save his parents - and the future - from immortal dictator Vandal Savage.

It's a silly comic book premise, granted, but in the right hands any premise can provide decent entertainment. Unfortunately, for most of its run Legends has been hampered by painful dialogue, gigantic plot holes, awkward characterization (Rip Hunter doesn't seem to understand basic time travel tricks that the average SF devotee knows by heart) and just plain lazy writing.

And yet, by some miracle, the season's penultimate episode, "Destiny," is fast-paced, entertaining, poignant and adds considerable heft and gravity to the overall story arc and each character. Usually I watch Legends while distracted by some other task, but this time I was on the edge of my seat as the team, captured by the Time Masters and about to be executed for their efforts to save the world, rallied and snatched victory - almost - from the jaws of defeat. It reminded me somewhat of the feel Buffy the Vampire Slayer gave me back during its run; I felt myself rooting for a group of heroes I could (finally) believe in. And it has a tragic payoff that reminds me of Buffy, too.

Whether they can continue this magic into this week's season finale is an open question. But at least "Destiny" gives me reason to care again. 

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