Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Legends of Tomorrow 'Marooned' 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.

Considering the short length of the first season of Legends of Tomorrow I was surprised that the show would do another stand alone episode after last week's one off trip to the future Star City, but taking the time to stay away from the main Vandal Savage story to focus on our core characters proves to be a wise move as we're given some of the best character moments in the series yet.

When the Waverider receives a distress call from another time ship Rip suggests answering the call so that they can get access to updated information on the time line in order to help track down Vandal Savage.

Despite expecting a trap Rip takes a team consisting of Mick, Jax and Professor Stein over to the other ship, leaving Ray in command of the Waverider.  Once aboard the other ship the team, minus Stein, are beset by time pirates and taken captive.  

Sadly this is another example of how questionable Rip Hunter appears to be as a leader, as yet again he leads his team into an obviously bad situation, leaves some of his biggest guns behind on the Waverider, and even separates Jax and Stein so he doesn't even have Firestorm with him.  I know that it must be hard to manage such a varied and clashing team such as the Legends, but so far Rip has displayed very poor judgement as a leader.

He manages to redeem himself a little over the course of the episode, using voice commands over an open channel to get the Waverider to take action against the pirates, but it still doesn't do enough to make him seem like the leader the team deserves as much of the events of the episode could have easily have been avoided with better decisions on his part.

With the Waverider damaged in the attack by the pirates Cold and Sarah become trapped in a compartment on the ship that was damaged and are slowly freezing to death, leaving Ray to modify the Atom suit for space flight in order to repair the damage to the ship.

The scenes with Ray in space are interesting, and show the versatility of the Atom suit, but also manage to walk a fine line of not making the suit too powerful enough to be an answer to every problem the team has by having Ray almost die in the process.  

Aboard the other time ship Mick makes the decision to join up with the pirates, having lost all faith in the team and their mission since the events of last week's episode.  With the fight that Mick and Cold had in the last episode, and his distance from his friend at the beginning of this episode, it's not a surprise that Mick finally decides that he's had enough and wants to go home.

Heatwave has been one of the more complex characters in the whole show and his presence has been questionable at best.  Whilst Captain Cold has been gradually turning towards the path of a hero, and clearly wants to be a better man, Heatwave has never changed from his original outset of wanting to steal things and watch the world burn.  This week we find out exactly why Rip brought him along, because his inclusion was the only way to get Captain Cold.

It's the final straw that breaks the camel's back and drives him to turn on his friends.  It's a ad moment, especially considering how much growth he displayed in the episodes set in 80's Russia, but his true nature just can't seem to be changed and he's no hero.

The confrontation with Mick leads to the rest of the team having to decide what they can do with him, considering that the Waverider has no long term holding facilities aboard.  Some members of the group initially suggest just sending him home, but Cold warns them that Mick has gotten to know the team over the last few weeks, and will use that knowledge to go after their families.  Cold tells them that there is only one way for them to deal with Mick that keeps them and their families safe, and volunteers to kill his best friend.

The final scene is one of the best of the series to date, as Cold wakes up Mick in the middle of some woods, somewhere in time and space, and appears to kill his oldest friend.  It's a hard scene to watch, even if like myself you don't believe that Cold actually kills him, as their friendship finally falls apart to the point where there is no way of putting it back together.

Whilst most of the episode is fairly throw away the breakdown of the relationship between Cold and Heatwave is the heart of the story, and the culmination of seeds that were planted way back in the first episode.

Other than Cold and Heatwave we also see much more of Rips past then we have to date, with extensive flashbacks to his time training to be a Time Master,  These flashbacks are good for not only showing us the internal politics of the Time Masters rather then just telling us, plus we get to find out that Rips wife was, in fact, a Time Master in training herself.

It might not seem like a big thing, but these flashbacks don't just set up the story of how Rip comes up with the idea of how to beat the pirates, but avoids some clunky conversations where Rip has to go into the history of him and his wife by just showing us the audience instead.

'Marooned' is a fairly formulaic space adventure episode, but thankfully gets around being dull by having the characters point out a lot of space tropes with pop culture references that most of us would make in the same situation, and by giving us a fantastic conclusion to the Captain Cold/Heatwave story.


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