Thursday, 18 February 2016

Legends of Tomorrow 'White Knights' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS for the episode to be discussed, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt, please do not read further.

This week's episode of Legends of Tomorrow sees the action shift from the 1970's to the 80's and the height of the Cold War as Rip and the team must infiltrate the Pentagon to find restricted documents about Vandal Savage.

The episode opens with the team having to sneak their way into one of the most heavily guarded buildings in the world, and at first things seem like they're going to work.  Ray and Cold pose as janitors so that Cold can pickpocket an ID, who passess it on to Sarah and Kendra who are posing as military personnel, Mick is creating a distraction as an armwrestling soldier and Firestorm is using his powers to ensure everyone else gets away.  It's the first time the team have properly come together to use their skills effectively.

Unfortunately things don't go quite according to plan as some bickering between the two halves of Firestorm lead to the alarm being sounded, forcing the rest of the team to improvise.  As Kendra and Sarah get into a fight with security something happens to Kendra and for lack of a better word she goes feral.  Luckily for the team Rip manages to erase all of the security footage of the incident, but the government have still seen a woman with wings tearing up a soldiers face and a flying man on fire.

Considering that this is the height of the Cold War and it's the Pentagon there's no telling how this could end up affecting the time line, if at all, but we will probably have to wait until the team move on to another time period before we find out.

Sadly the heist going wrong is also showing us that despite how good a Time Master he might be Rip is not a leader, or at least not a leader for a group of people with such different personalities like our Legends.  Unless Rip can prove himself competent of controlling his team very soon it might be time to appoint another person as the field leader, and at this point the only person who seems anywhere near competent for the role is Captain Cold.

Yes, just like every other episode of the series so far this is yet another episode where Captain Cold manages to steal the show and prove himself to be the team MVP.  When the team head to Russia to track down Savage's current scheme it's down to him and Ray to try and get information from a scientist, something that Ray fails miserably at.  If it wasn't for Cold stepping in and being the charming thief he is the mission would have failed completely.

The same can be said for the explosive finale of the show when he, Ray and Stein go into the enemy base to steal this weeks mcguffin Cold is willing to take a bullet and be killed for the mission.  He's also willing to listen to Rips reasoning and complete the mission even though it would mean leaving being Ray, Stein and Mick.  He doesn't like the decision, and takes Rip to task for it, but does it because he knows the mission needs to come first because the stakes are that high.

Cold is a villain, he's a thief and if needs be a killer, but he's got a moral compass and he's got rules.  In some ways he seems much more suited to being a hero than some of our other Legends.  More so than Ray or Stein, and in a way more so than Sarah, who if we're keeping tally is a bigger killer than Cold.  Is this the route the show is going to go down, are they turning Cold into a straight up hero?  I hope not, I think he's much more interesting when he's walking the line between good guy and bad guy, but maybe changing him to the point where he'll team up with The Flash every now and then would be pretty damn cool.

Elsewhere in the episode Rip gets a reunion with Druce, the Time Master that trained him.  Rip is faced with a tough decision when Druce offers him a peaceful way out of his mission, one that will assure the safety of the team.  It's clear in these scenes that whilst Rip is determined to stop Savage and save his family he has come to care about the lives and safety of his friends, and that the loss of Carter effected him more than he let on.

It's only through some criminal insight from an eavesdropping Mick that Rip becomes aware that Druce isn't being as honest as he claims, and plans to double cross them.  It would appear that sometimes it pays to think like a crook, as Mick is proven right when Druce returns with Kronos and orders the death of Rip.  Luckily Rip took Mick's warning to heart and had some backup with him to get him out of the situation.  With the Time Masters openly declaring war on Rip and the team there's sure to be further conflict between the two groups to come.

The episode's other sub-plot, of Sarah and Kendra training together to try and help Kendra overcome her savage side feels like a bit of a waste of air time if I'm being honest.  There's been no hint of Kendra having this feral side before now, so unless it's some kind of side effect of Carter dieing but Kendra living it's come completely out of the blue.  And if there is an explanation for why it's suddenly appeared, we've not been given it yet.

The fact that Sarah is already fighting the blood lust from her Lazarus Pit experience is one thing, now we have both female members of the team fighting very similar inner demons, and two characters that could potentially jeopardise missions in the future if they don't gain control of their blood lust.  It just feels wasteful to do it a second time, especially when they could have taken a more interesting route with Kendra trying to come to terms with her past lives without Carter rather than the same kind of story Sarah is going through.

One of the better moments of this weeks episode came from Stein.  After him and Jax mess up the opening mission with their constant arguing the same happens later on when they're fighting against Kronos, leading to Jax being injured.  Stein loses it with Jax and ends up looking like a complete arsehole to the young man.  It's only when confronted by Ray that Stein reveals that the reason he's so harsh on Jax is because he feels that he needs the anger to get better, because after losing Ronnie Stein is terrified of losing another half of Firestorm.

The moment is actually very touching, and Victor Garber plays it brilliantly, as a man who is still deeply grieving for Ronnie, someone who he was closer to than possibly anyone else in his whole life.  He lost a part of himself when Ronnie died on The Flash, and he clearly can't go through that again with Jax.  It's an interesting dynamic, and hopefully one that will get resolved before it overstays its welcome as Jax shouldn't end up hating Stein, and losing the arguing would be a lot better too.

With half the team captured, and it's two heaviest hitters out of play, the rest of the team are left to try and mount a rescue mission to get their friends back and stop Savage before he can learn the secrets to creating a Firestorm of his own.


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