This review contains spoilers
After twelve episodes spent flitting around trying to stop Vandal Savage’s rise to power, Rip Hunter and The Waverider crew have now decided to confront him right at the last minute – mere days before he murders Rip’s wife and child – instead. It’s a bit like Terminator: Genisys, when Sarah Connor jumps right to the Skynet launch day rather than sticking around in the 1980s to prepare in any way.
Instead of stopping for too long to question the dodginess of this plan (have they really exhausted every available moment in Savage’s centuries of existence? Does the fate of the planet really depend on them pinching a bit of jewellery?), let’s move on to talk about what walked in Leviathan…
The massive robot was a nice touch, for one. This gave the impression that Savage’s rein could descend into a Days Of Future Past-alike dystopia, as well as allowing Ray to try out a new ginormous form of The Atom. The subsequent fight scene was great fun to watch, and the TV-budget special effects looked pretty solid.
Who’d have thought, when Arrow first premiered four years ago, that we’d eventually see a giant robot fight set in the same universe? As a comic book fan, it’s pure wish-fulfilment to see this wacky, gleeful side of the DC universe invading the live-action realm. It’s not all about the darker, gritty stuff, after all. (Also, speaking of nerdy glee, Ray reversing the polarity was great.)
It was also nice to see Kendra brought back into the action side of things. Yes, her relationships are a core part of her character, but it’s much more exciting to see her flying around and walloping people with a mace. Maybe that’s just my personal preference, and everyone else loves the romance, but still.
Again, though, the not-particularly-high threat level of Vandal Savage was a problem this week. Every time the group gets an opportunity to kill him, it becomes more and more obvious that they’ll get him in the end with relative ease. There’s only so many times you can find a way out of a fight-to-the-death before it starts getting boring.
Call me cynical, but bringing back Carter when there are just three episodes to go feels a bit like the show trying to pad out its total running time. Savage is in custody now, and the gang have all this snazzy future tech at their disposal. Can’t Gideon just cook up a way to save Carter and let Kendra get on with bludgeoning Savage to death? Is there really three hours of story left here? We’ll have to wait and see, of course.
Another element I didn’t really like this week was Vandal Savage’s daughter. Jessica Sipos brought Cassandra Savage to life with just the right amount of grumpiness, and it was nice to see Leonard taking on the task of talking her around, but there wasn’t really much for Cassandra to do was there? She just seemed to mention that she’s Vandal’s daughter in every scene and not really do anything else.
But still, let’s not get too downbeat here. This episode had a robot fight. How can we possibly complain?