This review contains spoilers
1.12 Last Refuge
Legends Of Tomorrow really makes the most of its time travel, doesn’t it? In season 1 of the show we’ve already visited the Old West, hung out with Marty McStein in the 1970s and seen a fair few scary dystopian futures. And now, Last Refuge has come up with another fun way to utilise temporal trickery…
The Time Masters have sent another assassin after The Waverider crew – The Pilgrim, played with cold callousness by guest star Faye Kingslee – and tasked her with stopping the Legends by killing their younger selves. ‘If you had a TARDIS, how would you stop The Terminator?’ is essentially the question posed this week. Of course, Ray Palmer spotted this quickly and got in the spirit with a “come with me if you want to live”.
For my money, this premise is the strongest single-episode idea that Legends Of Tomorrow has produced thus far. It was so much fun to whizz throughout history and catch a glimpse at the younger versions of everyone: the cute baby of Captain Cold was a personal highlight, and it was also great to see pre-Arrow Sara and Quentin bantering in Starling City.
It would’ve been so easy to put the emotional weight of the episode on Sara or Ray – both of whom were visited in pre-major-life-tragedy spots on their timelines – making it neat that the writers took the path-less-trodden route take instead. Dominic Purcell and Franz Drameh have never been given much heartfelt material in this or The Flash, and now that’s been remedied.
There was a tear in my eye practically every time that Jax’s dad (guest star Eli Goore) was on screen, partly down to the easy chemistry between the pair. These scenes had both a quiet tragedy and a friendly warmth to them, which pulled a much more show-stealing performance out of Mr Drameh than his usual bickering with Stein could ever achieve.
Mick Rory’s attempts to dissuade his younger self from a life of crime failed to prod my tear glands into action, but still developed Purcell’s character in surprising new ways. Didn’t he hate everyone and what to kill them a few weeks ago? Now, he’s following their lead and attempting to change his life for the better. Somehow, this didn’t really feel jarring, and made Heat Wave far more likeable than before.
And, of course, there was plenty of action this week as well. The Pilgrim’s Kylo Ren-like abilities to stop things in mid-air made her a much more challenging adversary than most of the ones that the Legends have faced before, and it was a nice change of tune for a young cockney to stab the villain rather than a laser beam of some sort seeing them off.
I can’t find a way to fault this episode, really. Like Rip Hunter seems to be, I’m quite far beyond caring now regarding changes to the timeline. Far more important is that Legends has some strong action, loads of humour (Ray’s “can anyone hear me?” moment had me LOL-ing heartily), flashes of emotion, and a strong story. And it never hurts to have a collection of interesting guest stars (Wasn’t Celia Imrie great?).
Next week, as Vandal Savage pops back up, let’s hope that the quality stays this high…