Legends of Tomorrow returns to answer the important question… what will the team do now that they’ve broken time and there are dinosaurs running around? The answer: have it resolved by someone else within the first five minutes of the episode, obviously.
Whilst the initial resolution to the surprise cliffhanger of Season Two might be a bit of a let down, it quickly becomes apparent that it doesn’t really matter, because that isn’t what this episode is about. Instead of having the Legends fight dinosaurs and try to fix time, we have them out of the job and trying to live normal lives because of the appearance of a five years older Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) and his new Time Bureau. This is the kind of thing that makes Legends of Tomorrow one of the most enjoyable shows in the CW DC Universe; its ability to subvert expectations, deliver wonderful character moments, and create genuinely laugh out loud funny moments.
With the team no longer playing hero to the timestream, Sara (Caity Lotz) is working in a department store with a dick boss; Ray (Brandon Routh) is working for a dating app company with a dick boss; Jax (Franz Drameh) has quit college and doesn’t know what to do with himself; and Nate (Nick Zano) is trying to be a superhero in Central City after his relationship with Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) has broken down. The only members of the team who are actually enjoying their break from being a superhero are Stein (Victor Garber), who is a grandfather to be, and Mick (Dominic Purcell), who’s enjoying a holiday in Aruba.
It’s fun to see our characters lost like this, dealing with the frustrations of the real world. It’s bad enough being stuck in a dead-end job that you don’t like, but it’d be extra frustrating after you’ve saved the world from aliens, fought dinosaurs, travelled to the distant future, and been to the court of King Arthur. Thankfully for the team, things soon kick off again when Mick’s vacation is interrupted by the sudden appearance of Julius Caesar (standard). With time needing to be fixed once again, it’s time to put the team back together, including stealing the Waverider back from the Time Bureau, who are using the ship as a training simulator for their cadets.
Legends of Tomorrow really embraces its role as an action comedy series, mixing some excellent fight scenes with ridiculous physical comedy. It may have taken time for the series to figure out the kind of show that it wanted to be, but now that it’s settled it’s easily one of the most enjoyable parts of the CW DC Universe. There’s also some great character moments in the episode, especially between Stein and Jax. With Stein about to become a grandfather he’s ready to put his superhero days behind him, but acknowledges that he owes Jax for tricking him onto the Waverider in the first place and agrees to rejoin the team in order to help make Jax happy.
The episode also sets up some elements that will be explored in the season to come; the Time Bureau and how Rip formed them, why Amaya went back to her own time, plus the mysterious threat that’s looming on the horizon. There’s a lot more to come with the third season of Legends of Tomorrow, and the first episode establishes a strong foundation.
Legends of Tomorrow airs on Fridays in the UK on Sky. Let us know what you think of the season.