Sunday, 10 April 2016

Legends of Tomorrow 'Progeny' 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.

After two weeks in the past Legends of Tomorrow takes us further into the future than we've ever been before, to the year 2147, just a few years before Savage launches his bid to take over the world.  Instead of targeting Savage, the team has come to stop Per Degaton, a teenage boy who will grow up to become a dictator that will kill millions and set the stage for Savage's rise to power.

The episode essentially has a go at the classic time travel question, 'if you could kill Hitler as a baby, would you?'.  

Whilst this dilemma may in theory introduce some degree of drama, it hinges upon the idea that any of our group of heroes would willingly kill a child, even if they are destined to become a murderer.  The thing is, our team are all decent people, even Captain Cold has proven that he's moved beyond the point of willingly killing anymore, having already let Mick live when he was intending to kill him.

Even when the team kidnap Per Degaton and Rip takes him out into the middle of nowhere to execute him there was never a doubt that he would back down.  It was briefly mentioned, but I think Rip coming to terms with the idea that there's a line he won't cross in his mission to get his family back rather than whether or not he'd actually kill a child.

For a man who has made it his mission to change history to save the lives of the people that he loves the most, and has done so pretty questionable things in the mission, to suddenly realise that there's some things he won't do to that end is a big moment for him.

It's not just Rip who's facing personal crisis in the future, however, as Ray discovers that his technology has gone on to be used by his descendants to create Atom robots that are used as autonomous law enforcement, and will go on to be used by Savage in his bids to take over the world.

Rather than being worried that his technology is being used by a genocidal maniac, Ray seems to focus on the fact that it would appear that he has a child that he doesn't know about back in 2016.  It's a bit of a relief that by the end of the episode we find out that Ray isn't actually a father, but that it's his brother's descendants who have gone on to produce the Atom robots.  Yes, it's a giant steal from the amazing Futurama episode 'The Luck of The Fryish', but at least it prevents Ray from moping around thinking that he might be an absent father.

Whilst Ray is dealing with these issues Kendra is having vivid flashbacks to her former life, particularly the time when she and Carter had a son, Aldus Boardman from earlier in the season.  It's nice to see Falk Hentschel back playing Carter again, but Kendra feeling like she is cheating on Carter with Ray would make more sense if he was still alive, and if her and Ray hadn't been in a relationship for two years at this point. 

The big fight towards the end of the episode is perhaps one of the shows most ambitious and best, especially as the team aren't just fighting soldiers but flying robots too.  The visual effects are on top form and show off just what television super heroics are capable of when given the chance.

As is becoming quite common with Legends, the best scenes in the episode fall to Captain Cold and Heatwave.  With Mick still locked up aboard the Waverider wanting revenge against Cold the rest of the team try to encourage Snart to go talk to his former friend.

Rather than trying to talk Mick around to being his old self again Cold just makes a deal with him, he opens up the cell and the two of them fight.  Having nearly beaten each other to a pulp Mick gets the upper hand but doesn't kill Cold, having lost his desire for revenge.  With Mick seemingly given up on wanting to kill his former teammates it looks like he might be back on the team again, plus he goes on to warn the others that because he's failed as Chronos the Time Masters will be sending more people to hunt them all down.

The realisation that the team try to change things for the better, but ends up bringing about Per Degaton's rise to power several years sooner is a sad moment, and you can see the events weighing heavily on Rip.

So far the team has struggled to stop Savage, and their latest attempt has even gone on to help him.  It's an episode that highlights the dangers of time travel and how things can go horribly wrong when altering history.


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