This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt, please do not read further.
The first episode of the premier season of Legends of Tomorrow has finally come to a close in something of a spectacular fashion as our heroes have a final showdown with the villain not just once, but three times with the fate of the entire time line hanging in the balance.
The sudden reveal that Vandal Savage has greater plans than global domination, and intends to 'end' time and return history back to ancient Egypt and the moment he was granted immortality is a little hokey, and doesn't quite seem to mesh with what we've seen over the course of the season, but at least it does give us the chance to see Savage meet his end three times.
With Savage's plan requiring him to use Carter and Kendra's blood on the Thanagarian meteor that gave them all their powers in three separate points in history our team have to split up in order to stop his plans. The upshot of this is that every member of the team gets to play a part in the fight against Savage and multiple members of the team get the chance to shine.
In particular the fight in the 1970's stands out as one of the best, with Sara getting the chance to have a Street Fighter style showdown with the immortal tyrant, pitting knives against staffs until she's able to snap his neck. Add into this Rip punching Savage into an electrical box and Mick setting him on fire and we get a very satisfying end to the villain.
Despite killing off the main villain three times and bringing an end to the story of Savage and Rip's quest to save his family the real heart of the episode is the characters. Upon being returned to their homes and lives in 2016 none of them are able to carry on with their lives, all of them having been too affected by their time with Rip and the rest of the team. Even Mick, who attempts to go back to being a crook can't find the satisfaction being a thief once had for him.
These scenes go a long way to showing how each and every member of the team has been changed by their experiences aboard the Waverider, whether that being going from a villain to being a hero, or if it meant that their old life feels too small and confining for them now.
The character with the most important change awaiting them in 2016 is Sara, who returns during the events of the 'Arrow' finale, at which time her sister Laurel has been killed by the villain Damian Darhk. Her reaction to the loss of her sister is truly heartbreaking and thoroughly believable as she tries desperately to get Rip to take her back to a point where she can save Laurel.
One of the biggest problems that the shared DC television universe has at this point, with time travel, alternate worlds, Lazarus Pits and magic is that it becomes very hard to kill a character and keep them dead in a justifiable way. Rip's insistence that Laurel's death was the best possible outcome in that scenario, and that Sara's presence would have resulted in an even worse series of events feels like a little bit of a cop-out, but then again the writers have been put in a tough spot of giving a just reason as to why they couldn't go back in time and save Laurel.
With Savage defeated and the team free to return to their normal lives Rip offers them a choice, to continue on with him travelling through the time stream, fixing problems and saving history as they rebuild the Time Masters as a force for good.
The Hawks chose not to continue on and leave the team, something that not only makes a lot of sense now that Savage is gone, but also comes as something of a relief going into season two as they have been two of the dullest characters in the series. What is surprising, however, is how willing Mick is to rejoin the team and to continue on his journey to being a hero, a choice that is solidified for him when Rip allows him to travel back to 2013 and talk to the younger version of Leonard Snart, a conversation that not only gives Mick his chance to tell his best friend how much he means to him, but to highlight just how far Snart had come on his own journey to being a hero.
One of the best parts of the whole episode comes in the final scene, though, when as the team are preparing to board the Waverider. They are moments away from getting on the ship when another Waverider appears out of nowhere, crashing to the ground. A lone figure emerges from the wreckage and tells the group that they will die if they get on the ship.
When questioned about how he could know that he tells them that he was sent to warn them, by Mick. He then lowers his hood and introduces himself to the team, Rex Tyler, A.K.A Hourman, a member of the Justice Society of America. The introduction of the Justice Society has me extremely excited and has me eagerly anticipating the next season of the show.
'Legends of Tomorrow' has been a show that has grown in quality as the series has gone on, having taken some of the lesser used side characters of the shared DC television universe and giving them the chance to grow as characters and shine in their own right. With some great writing and the bravery to introduce some crazy concepts the series has definitely established itself as one of the stronger series the universe has to offer and has paved the way for an exciting second season.