DC’s Legends of Tomorrow series premiere recap
London, the year 2166. Robots and lasers abound, as do screams and ten foot flames. Vandal Savage, the immortal being as seen in the Arrow and The Flash crossover, has done the impossible and conqured the world. He approaches a young woman and her son, Jonas, killing her in cold blood. Savage tells him he knew his father and mother, and wonders which he is more like. After the kid spits in his face, he knows, and incinerates him. Rip Hunter stands in front of the Time Masters Council and urgers them to do something to stop Savage, but they refuse. Hunter, however, asks for a ship and goes to Star City in the year 2016.
In the present day, he finds and recruits Ray Palmer before journeying to Tibet to find Sara Lance, Pittsburgh to retrieve Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson, St. Roch to locate Kendra Saunders and Carter Call, and Central City where he finds Captain Cold and Heat Wave. The group wakes up on a rooftop where Hunter explains that the future needs their help and that despite thinking they previously killed Vandal Savage, he can always return unless Kendra or Carter deliver the killing blow. He also explains that they’re not just heroes in the future, they’re legends. Get it? To further cement his need for help, he shows them the future of Central City, a burnt out hellscape and a shell of civilization. Hunter gives them all 26 hours to make a decision.
Every member of the team goes to their own corners to decide on what to do. Ray consults with Oliver Queen, and cites the world didn’t care before when he died so why not try and change it. Kendra and Carter get into a beat down about it, Sara spars with Laurel, and Captain Cold and Heat Wave realize they could steal stuff all across time. The worst of course is Dr. Stein, who drugs Jax after he reveals he doesn’t want to take on the mission. The team assembles in a vacant lot where Hunter decloaks his timeship, The Waverider, and they all head on board. Our Legends get on board, pondering how all this works, and take their seats. Rip introduces them to the ship’s AI, Gideon (could it be the same one created by Barry Allen in the future and used by the Reverse Flash?) before they take off and head to St. Roch in 1975 to find Aldus Boardman, the lead authority on Vandal Savage. Two teenagers watch the ship leave and are quickly gunned down by an assassin named Chronos.
Once in the ’70s, the Waverider parks in a field and Hunter tells Sara, Snart, and Rory to stay on the ship while they find Boardman. Jax stays back too, having recently been drugged by his partner. The group arrives on campus and finds. Dr. Boardman sleeping in his office, who immediately recognizes Kendra and Carter when he awakes. Sara starts to get restless on the ship and decides to go hit up a bar with Captain Cold and Heat Wave, but Jax once again has to stay behind. Dr. Boardman has a book explaining all about Priestess Chay-Ara and Prince Khufu, in case you didn’t see the Arrow/Flash crossover, but he reveals that he knew them before, back when they were Joe and Eddith Boardman, his parents. Vandal Savage killed them when he was just 10 years old and he’s been hunting him ever since.
Meanwhile in the bar, Sara makes a few friends on the dance floor and an all out brawl breaks out. Just the sort of thing the three of them are all good at. On the Waverider, Jax asks Gideon questions but she gets short with him once the ship falls under attack from none other than Chronos. Boardman hands over a book to Hunter once they realize they have to return to the ship. When Hunter says they have to leave without Boardman, both Kendra and Carter protest and they bring him along. Chronos continues to fire on the ship, but Hawkman and Hawkgirl fly down and start the fight. Martin runs to the ship to fuse with Jax, followed by Ray who is after his super suit, but the fight is over once Captain Cold runs Chronos over with the car. The team assembles back on the ship and flies to their next destination, but Aldus took a hit from Chronos’ blaster en route to the ship.
Hunter explains that they’re in the Temporal Zone, a time limbo, a safe place where he can repair the ship. Kendra approaches and slugs him, demanding answers. He reveals that Chronos works for the Council of Time Masters, his former employers, which doesn’t exactly match up with what he first said. This prompts a punch from Sara and another confession: none of them are legends. He picked them because their lives have minimal effect on the recorded timeline. They’re literally the opposite of legends and the title of the show tricked us. Rip goes on to say that he may have lied about all that other stuff, but he didn’t lie about the mission, confiding that Vandal Savage killed his wife and son, Jonas. The Time Masters turned their eyes away but Rip will have his revenge. He gives the team the opportunity to leave if they want, once he’s fixed it all.
Kendra stands over Aldus in the medbay and he gives her his mother (her) old wedding ring, which jogs her memory of their life together. She and Carter share a moment later and embrace. Stein apologizes to Jax who confides how much he likes being on a team – remember we first saw him playing high school football. Ray works on his suit while Sara, Snart, and Rory sit nearby. His frustrations get the better of him and he wonders why even bother, though he doesn’t want to live with someone telling him what his destiny should be. Sara latches on to that idea and elaborates, they may not be significant in Rip Hunter’s future, but they can change it. She’s about three seconds away from repeating the Terminator 2: Judgment Day line “There’s no fate but what we make for ourselves.” The team assembles, Kendra confides that Aldus passed away, and Hunter has made all the repairs, so it’s time to plot a course to another part of time and space. Meanwhile, back in 1975 again, Vandal Savage secures a nuke in Norway.
You can watch a preview of Part 2 of the pilot, airing next Thursday, using the player below.