Legends Of Tomorrow Season 2 Review

By
x
TV:
Robert Yaniz Jr.

Reviewed by:
Rating:
2.5
On October 9, 2016
Last modified:October 9, 2016

Summary:

A high-profile guest star adds little energy to the team's time-hopping adventures. Here's hoping Legends of Tomorrow season 2 places more of an emphasis on character than overly convoluted plot in upcoming episodes.

Over the past few years, The CW schedule has become more and more occupied by hit series based on iconic DC Comics superheroes like Green Arrow, The Flash and (starting this fall), Supergirl. Even among its peers then, Legends of Tomorrow has always been an outlier.

Originally rumored to be a spinoff centering on Brandon Routh’s fan-favorite Arrow character Ray Palmer aka The Atom, the series instead rooted itself in a motley team of supporting players from both that show and The Flash. Anchored (ostensibly) by Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter, Legends of Tomorrow has operated as the collective melting pot for the “Arrowverse” and given the shows a venue to tell stories that wouldn’t fit in an otherwise more traditional narrative. Why then is Legends of Tomorrow not more fun to watch?

Clearly designed as a sort of devil-may-care Guardians of the Galaxy riff (not to set off the whole “Marvel versus DC” debate, but similarities abound), Legends of Tomorrow should carry with it the same limitless potential as the time travel device that drives the story forward. Yet, for a number of reasons (the show’s lack of a definitive main character, its off-the-wall plotlines, the lack of significant comic book source material, etc.), “Out of Time” kicks off season 2 with a story that ultimately falls flat, despite setting up some drastic changes for the upcoming batch of episodes.

Following the destruction of the Time Masters, it seems that the Legends themselves are more than their requisite bit of trouble. And so, it falls to Nate Heywood – a self-professed “time detective” – to seek out Oliver Queen (guest star Stephen Amell) and determine the heroes’ fates.

Picking up six months after the season 1 finale, what follows is an episode that chronicles the team’s (mis)adventures through time as they attempt to fix lingering aberrations throughout history, told largely from the perspective of Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell). The returning cast members – such as Routh and Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary – continue to handle their roles well, with Lotz in particular providing this chapter with the emotional resonance it needs.

The show has fun with wrangling in historical figures and hopping time periods at a moment’s notice, like a season’s worth of Quantum Leap crammed into a single episode of television. Familiar faces (villainous ones, to be a bit more specific) pop up too to wreak havoc, and it is this connective tissue to both Arrow and The Flash that continues to keep Legends of Tomorrow afloat.

Despite the talented gift and promising premise, Legends of Tomorrow cannot escape the undeniable fact that it feels like an overheated rehash of storylines that fans have already seen on the other Arrowverse shows. Conceptually, the series may wish to stand apart from its forebears, but its very existence is owed to what has come before, seeing as it is a direct spinoff of Arrow and The Flash. Moreover, its future is also dependent on fans’ knowledge and enthusiasm for elements introduced on those other shows.

While season 1 leaned heavily on the villainous Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), this batch of episodes appears to be really relying on fan service for its overarching storyline to draw the attention of viewers. Ironically for a time-travel show with such a forward-thinking title, Legends of Tomorrow truly cannot stop living in the past. In doing so, it emerges as the clear weakest link in The CW’s schedule of DC Comics series, even if it brings its fair share of fun-but-derivative moments. One can only wonder how long the show will be able to sustain itself before it officially runs out of narrative road to travel.

In the end, Legends of Tomorrow is a fine series for fans who desperately want to spend another hour living in the Arrowverse each week. However, it still has little to offer beyond serving as a catch-all repository for all the standout supporting characters from its sister shows. In many cases, these heroes lack the depth and complexity required to carry a series on their own, and the overbearing, overly complicated plot and rapid-fire pace rob them of the chance to play off of each other as an effective ensemble.

Fans of season 1 should be equally shocked and excited by what “Out of Time” sets up. However, Legends of Tomorrow is one of those series that is only worth adding to the queue for those who are already fans of its “Doctor Who meets the DC universe” storytelling. That is, until this season’s mega-crossover with the other Arrowverse shows. We’ll all we watching then.

Legends Of Tomorrow Season 2 Review
Middling

A high-profile guest star adds little energy to the team's time-hopping adventures. Here's hoping Legends of Tomorrow season 2 places more of an emphasis on character than overly convoluted plot in upcoming episodes.