Sunday, 22 May 2016

Legends of Tomorrow 'Destiny' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt, please do not read further.

Well, 'Destiny' may just be the best episode of Legends of Tomorrow yet.  It looks like the last four episodes of the season are shaping up to be the very peak of the show (assuming the season finale can keep up the quality) and this episode delivers on a lot of levels.

The episode opens with the team in the worst position they've been in yet, with Vandal Savage freed by the Time Masters and travelling back through time with Kendra and Carter as his prisoners, Jax back in 2016 and Stein dying, Mick about to be brainwashed into being Chronos again and the rest of the team held prisoner.  It's one of the darkest places our heroes have found themselves, which leads to all of them getting to step up and prove just why they're heroes.  Even Captain Cold and Heatwave.  Especially Captain Cold and Heatwave.

When the show started the two of them were definitely the odd choices for Rip to bring along with him, and I and many other viewers found the choice of their inclusion on the team to be a strange one.  After just a few weeks though they proved that they did have a place and a lot to offer, but it's here that we see that they're not just valuable members of the team but true heroes.

Whilst everyone (other than Carter and Kendra) have the chance to show that they're heroes it's definitely Mick and Leonard's episode this week.  First of all Mick is willing to sacrifice himself instead of letting Ray die in order to save the rest of the team.  It's a big moment for him, and goes to show just how far the character has come in just a handful of episodes, especially since his time as Chronos.

Fortunately for Mick, but not so much for the audience, Leonard isn't prepared to lose his best friend.  Making up for his earlier betrayal in the season he knocks Mick unconscious and takes his place arming the bomb.  As the scene progresses I'm sure I wasn't the only one hoping that he'd find a way out of his predicament, but sadly it wasn't to be and Captain Cold, the show stealing criminal turned hero, gives his life to stop the Time Masters and free his friends from their control.

Out of all the cast the loss of Cold is probably the one that hurt the most, I know he was the one cast member I really wanted to stick around, and that goes a long way to show both the level of charm and acting that Wentworth Miller brought to the role and the strength of the writing.  And yes, the writers went and stole an iconic line from last years 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' as his dying words are 'There are no strings on me', but boy did they deliver a gut punch as he sacrificed everything for the greater good.

Captain Cold was the best thing that this show had, his presence and his character growth kept me interested during the start of the season when the show was still trying to find its feet.  The loss of his presence will definitely be felt, but thankfully the show has developed some of its other characters to the point where his loss won't be as crippling as it would have been half a dozen episodes before.

Jax also gets a chance to show just how good of a character has been hiding beneath the surface and how far he has come since the first episode as he travels back to before the team left 2016 to enlist the help of the younger version of Professor Stein to help him find a way back to Vanishing Point and the rest of the team.

Whilst the changes in Mick and Leonard were quite apparent it wasn't until I saw Jax meet up with the episode one version of Stein that I realised just how much the two of them had changed over the course of the season too.  Not only has Jax used his mechanical skills to learn about the technology aboard the Waverider and increase his scientific knowhow, but he's much more comfortable and confident in both his role as a hero and his relationship with Stein.

The fact that Stein goes into the events of the first episode knowing that he and Jax are destined to board the Waverider does change a few moments of that first episode as it seems to shed Stein's actions into a new light.  Whilst initially his choice to drug Jax and take him aboard the ship seemed out of character and something of a horrible thing to do we now know that Stein knew he had to get Jax to go on the mission in order to keep events on track.

The revelation that the Time Masters have been manipulating all of the events of the season came as something of a surprise.  Whilst many fans anticipated them being slightly more villainous than they first appeared this goes from making some less than moral choices to full on villainous.  Learning that everything that he knew about the Time Masters is sure to have an effect on Rip going forward and will hopefully change his character going into season two, hopefully to the point where he's  going to be rebuilding the idea of the Time Masters himself and doing things the right way.

Even though he had limited screen time Savage performed brilliantly in this episode as he returned to 2166 and murders Rips wife and son.  It's something that we saw in the very first episode, but the fact that we're seeing it again and Kendra and Carter are there must mean that this is now unstoppable, that because it's happened relative for Rip and the team they no longer have a chance of stopping it.

We've seen this scene before in the first episode, and the characters have spoken about it so often over the course of the whole show that it would have been easy for the scene to feel dull and overused, but perhaps because we've come to care for Rip and his loss so much that the scene becomes hard to watch and definitely cements Savage as a character to hate.

'Destiny' manages to keep the drama, action and character development going to produce what I believe to be on of the strongest episodes of the season, full of twists and turns, visual flare and even heartbreak. Hopefully the show will continue to keep this standard for the season finale and going into the second season.


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