This Legends of Tomorrow review contains spoilers.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 1 Episode 7
It’s an obvious fake-out, but still. It looks like we’re going to have to cancel the “Nobody’s Having More Fun Than Captain Cold And Heat Wave” watch. It’s not center stage for the whole episode, but “Marooned” is shot through entirely with the conflict between the two best friends.
The episode starts with Rip, drunk and surly and watching holos of his dead family. We find out that the crew of the Waverider has been sitting around for a week while Hunter was unable to figure out how to find Savage. It turns out they’ve been unable to update Gideon’s databases since Rip went rogue, because he’s no longer allowed in the Time Masters’ network.
They get a distress call from another time ship, the Acheron, and everyone decides the obvious trap is a good place to go update their drivers. So Rip gets a boarding party together – Stein, Jackson, and the antsy (like, hurling knives into metal boxes antsy) Mick Rory – and they board the other ship. Stein gets left on the shuttle, and the other three head to the bridge where they are ambushed by space pirates. Captain John Valor (played by Leoben from Battlestar Galactica) lectures them a bit, then demands that Rip turn over the Waverider. Rip opens a channel to his ship, and uses some code words to start Gideon on an auto-evade/defense program, and again to cloak it, but not before Valor manages to blow a hole in the side of the Waverider. So Captain Cold and White Canary head down to the engine room and try to use Cold’s freeze gun to seal the hole. It doesn’t work.
They’re trapped in a room slowly leaking oxygen and heat; Rip, Jax and Mick are stuck in the Acheron’s brig with Captain Eve Baxter, until Mick decides to sell them out and lead them, unopposed, onto the Waverider; Stein patrols the Acheron trying to break them out; all while Ray modifies the Atom suit to go for a spacewalk. Ray fixes the hole, but runs out of oxygen at the last second. Stein ambushes a pirate and takes his gun and very smart beret, and eventually frees his comrades from the brig, who take back the Acheron. Ray gets his heart punched back to “ON” by Kendra, and they’re joined by Cold and Canary to welcome Heat Wave back on the ship. Buuuuuuuuuuut! Mick is joined by a bunch of pirates, so the Legends crew (including a very smartly beret-ed Professor Stein shouting “Vive le espace!”) has to beat all their asses, and Sara and Snart team up to take down Heat Wave while Rip kicks the bejeezus out of Leoben and retakes the Acheron.
This episode was vastly less complicated and plot driven than the last few, and yet it was more entertaining and felt better constructed than any of them. The plot moves – there’s no dragging search sequences, but nothing feels hurried either. There’s plenty of time for nice character moments, but it doesn’t feel gratuitous, and nobody really feels horribly neglected as a character. Even Kendra, who’s been more of a plot device than a character since the Flash/Arrow crossover that led into this show, gets some nice face time and a couple of quick insights. The last fight sequence is edited really well, jumping between Rip beating the Black Pirate’s ass, Sara beating Mick’s, and the rest of the Legends beating on various henchpirates. We get a series of flashbacks to Rip’s time at the Time Master Academy that show us when he first met his wife, making the emotional drive of the show a little more earned. Wentworth Miller continues to be absolutely captivating: his time “chilling” (AAH? AAAAAAH?) with Sara is the high point of the episode, and his anguish at the end is tangible. Even though it’s obviously a fake-out.
Let’s talk about the fake-out, shall we? The one place where the episode goes a little awry is trying to sell the idea that Leonard Snart would kill Mick Rory because he’s “unpredictable” or a danger to the mission. First of all, a huge deal has been made of Snart’s code, not killing without a reason. There’s no way he kills the guy who, as they say in the episode, has been protecting him since he was a runt in juvie. Secondly, the cast is utterly abusive to Mick in this episode. Everyone rolls their eyes at him being stir crazy at the beginning; Rip calls him a moron to his face several times while they’re locked up in the brig; and the scene where Cold “kills” him is more or less a direct lift from Old Yeller. The writers have been really good to their characters so far. To suddenly treat one of them like an actual dog is too far out of the ordinary to be anything but misdirection. So yeah, we’re taking a break from the “Captain Cold and Heat Wave Are The Best” beat, but I’m sure we’ll be back in a week or two.
DC UNIVERSE TIME BUBBLES
Lots of smooching this week: we see the smooches between Rip and Miranda Coburn that almost get him expelled from the academy, and then at the end Kendra and Ray do make-outs too.
This week’s episode is jam-packed with sass, from Gideon quipping “I wasn’t talking to you” to Ray to Jax telling Stein that he couldn’t be an astronaut because he was a big pothead.
There is also a really smart conversation about who was the better captain of the Enterprise between Kendra and Ray. Kendra is team Picard, Ray is Kirk. Ray calls Picard sexless, and Kendra rightly cites Vash. They are, however, both wrong. Sisko 4eva.
Captain Jon Valor isn’t a space pirate in the comics. He’s just a regular pirate. The Black Pirate, in fact, starring in some ‘40s issues of Action Comics and popping back up again in Starman, maybe the best DC comic ever made.
Eve Baxter may be based on Bonnie Baxter, Rip’s girlfriend from his 60s introduction. For the love of Christ, do not google Eve Baxter unless you want to know when an actress is turning 18.
Rip’s two remote commands are the Kanjar Ro protocol to cloak the ship, and the Imperiex Onslaught to start it shooting. Kanjar Ro is a space dictator who, whenever he shows up, you know it’s moderately serious business. The Imperiex Onslaught maneuver is based on the two worst crossovers from the ‘90s: Imperiex is “the embodiment of entropy” and causes periodic big bangs and was just genuinely terrible in “Our Worlds At War” (but much better in the criminally underrated Legion of Super Heroes cartoon). Onslaught was the combination of Professor X and Magneto who killed the Avengers and Fantastic Four in the morally and fictionally repugnant crossover “Onslaught” that led to Heroes Reborn and yes it was in fact provably worse than the Clone Saga.
Rick Starr: Space Ranger was a for real comic character. The Space Ranger showed up in several issues of Showcase in the 50s, before moving to Mystery In Space. I don’t get how you drop this much DC space stuff in here and NOT put Captain Comet in.
Ray’s chances of survival after he ran out of oxygen were calculated by Gideon as being less than 3720 to 1 after he drifted into an asteroid field trying to avoid a star destroyer I mean after he went into cardiac arrest after he ran out of oxygen.
Stein may have straight up killed a dude. He punches him out of an airlock.
NEXT WEEK: I finally get the DC Comics cover of Pleasantville I’ve never actually asked for, when the Legends hit Harmony Falls, Oregon in 1958.