‘Legends of Tomorrow’ 1×02 Roundtable: Discussing ‘Pilot, Part 2’

Every week, Fangirlish writers will be discussing new episodes of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and sharing their thoughts, feelings, and speculation about the hour’s hot topics in a little something we like to call Fangirlish Roundtables.

Today, we’re breaking down the series premiere of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, “Pilot, Part 2,” where we discuss our favorite character pairings, the consequence of messing with time, and share our thoughts on Arrow and The Flash cameos.

What were your overall thoughts on “Pilot, Part 2?”

ALYSSA

It was definitely better than the first half of the pilot, and it’s still incredibly fun to watch. But I will admit that it feels overloaded, and maybe that’s because I’m not used to this many heroes/villains and storylines happening interchangeably. Or perhaps it’s that Legends hasn’t found its groove just yet. But look at Arrow, it took a while for the show to find its winning formula of Oliver/Diggle/Felicity in episode 14. It’ll take time, but eventually Legends will find its winning formula. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly entertaining.

LIZZIE

In general, I thought it was better than the first part of the Pilot – less exposition, but I also felt like I wanted to strangle people at times. Or, fine, just Rip Hunter. I feel like, for all the time this show wasted on exposition in the first episode, it still hasn’t properly explained time travel, and then Rip just stands there and expects people to get it. Don’t MESS with the timeline is not exactly detailed instructions, my dear Time Lord. Be specific, please. Provide details.

All in all, though, this show remains wildly entertaining, especially when it goes for the unexpected pairings. At some point the pairings won’t be unexpected, but so far the cast has amazing chemistry, so if they play their cards right, that won’t matter. Just give me different ears, fun costumes and some moments of character growth, and I’m game.

LYRA

Messy. It had moments where the characters truly shined, like Palmer and Snart bonding while trapped in a cage. But that moment was completely swallowed up by questionable moments that make you wonder who’s writing this thing (I’m talking about you ‘big red button on a nuclear device.’) It’s only episode two so I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for a couple more episodes before I decide to commit myself to a full season or not. I need substance, drama, and exploration of what it means to be a human. You hear that LOT writers?!

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Pilot, Part 2" -- Image LGN102_20151006-0122b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary and Victor Garber as Professor Martin Stein -- Photo: Diyah Perah/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This episode illustrated exactly what can happen when you mess with the timeline: you can alter your fate and not in a good way, as Stein learned. What did you think of the message?

ALYSSA

I thought that it was a good reminder that while time travel can be fun it’s also something that should not be taken lightly. Time travel is serious business, and anything you change can have a significant effect on that timeline moving forward. But this is a lesson that had to be learned. Everyone, not just Stein, needs to learn that messing with time is dangerous stuff. It also raises the stakes moving forward. They have to be incredibly careful so not to affect the future so drastically. Luckily for Stein, Rip Hunter was able to right the wrongs done to the timeline and ensure Stein’s future remained what it was.

LIZZIE

This is one of the basic rules of time travel – not that time travel is simple enough to have that many basic rules, but don’t change stuff is something everyone should know, even with Rip being less than forthcoming with actual details on how the whole thing works. I really liked the idea, though, that I don’t know if I’ve seen explained in any other show, that time wants to happen – that the timeline will try to rearrange itself so the events are not changed. That’s not only cool, but it’s dammed inconvenient for our heroes, which – sort of the point, right?

LYRA

It’s an obvious message that makes you question whether these people have ever watched a movie! Butterfly effect is real in this universe and the smallest change could make you a different version of yourself. Why would you risk that at all? Oh wait…because of Vandal Savage and his crazies. Still wouldn’t risk myself. But then I’m not a super hero.

One of the things that we saw in the episode were a couple of unlikely pairings with Stein/Jax and Sara and Snart/Rory and Ray. Which of those dynamics did you enjoy most?

ALYSSA

Definitely Snart/Rory and Ray. Come to think of it, I love any and every pairing where the dynamic duo of Captain Cold and Heat Wave are just killing it. Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell are pure magic together – always have and always will be. While I enjoyed the duo’s team-up with Sara in the first half of the pilot, those three were more similar than different. But with Ray and the two, they couldn’t have been more different, and that made it especially entertaining to behold. There was a great moment between Ray and Snart when we saw that while they couldn’t have grown up under more different circumstances they’re very much the same in what they want. But then again I also really enjoyed Sara working with Stein and Jax. Sara’s snark beautifully complemented Stein’s cautious demeanor and she had a great rapport with Jax. Funny how every one of the Legends seems to be paired up – Snart with Rory, Stein with Jax, Kendra with Carter – except for Sara and Ray. My White Atom heart can only hope those two pair up in the future – platonically or not *wink*

LIZZIE

Snart/Rory and Ray. By a country mile. I mean, the whole Sara flirting with young Stein was kind of fun, but Snart/Ray was, without a doubt, the best part of the episode. Ray is a wonderful character in that, for some reason, he serves as a foil for absolutely everyone. I still can’t figure out why that is. But my point is, the relationship between these two was sort of like watching feuding brothers who, deep down, do have things in common, but refuse to say it out loud. Maybe it’s because Brandon Routh and Wentworth Miller are two of the most dynamic actors in this bunch, but I’d sign up for one straight hour of their banter at this point.

Also, I’m really enjoying the fact that Ray, one of the smartest, most successful people in this group, keeps being the one to mess up. He’s not doing it on purpose, and Routh plays him in such an endearing way that you can’t even be mad at him, but it’s a wonderful departure from the cool, confident Ray that still feels very much in character, and I’m game for all the whoops moments.

LYRA

Snart and Ray stood out the most. In another life, with a different father for sure, Snart could have been Ray. I think that’s why Captain Cold holds such contempt against Palmer. He sees a piece of himself in the other man and it grates his nerves because he’s being forced to confront it. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the man underneath the cold exterior.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Pilot, Part 2" -- Image LGN102_20150922_0125b -- Pictured (L-R): Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

We met young Stein aka Marty in this episode and saw how amazing it can be when these Legends come into contact with other versions of themselves. Would you be interested in seeing this happen to the other Legends at some point?

ALYSSA

Only if it makes sense and sparingly. I loved what bringing in a younger version of Stein did for Stein’s character and his development, but it’s not something I want to see continuously because then it loses its impact. But I would be interested in seeing different versions of these characters because it feels like that’s one of the concepts that this show needs to take advantage of. It’s time travel for crying out loud. And Sara herself said this is about changing their fate. So why couldn’t they have a run-in with their past or future selves? I would also be interested in the crew coming into contact with the people they know in their lives – like characters we know from Arrow and The Flash – and playing with that dynamic.

LIZZIE

If it doesn’t happen to just about every one of them, it’ll be a lost opportunity. THIS is the beauty of time-travel. Though I don’t know what they could need with a young Sara, but maybe a League of Assassins version of Sara? That’d be a fun way to bring Nyssa back. And I won’t say no to more Snart backstory, mostly because, at this point, Snart is one of my faves and I won’t say no to anything that means more of him.

But you know who I’m more interested to see? Young Rip. Or, younger Rip. Not sure if they’re going so far into the future anytime soon, but I bet they’re going to need to before this journey is over.

Also, this is a show about time travel, so they better give me 5 different versions of Oliver Queen, and Barry Allen. This is half the reason why we’re watching, after all.

LYRA

Honestly no. It’s a trope that is used continuously because it sets the stakes so high. And while part of me would love to see young Snart I don’t’ want to mess with what we’ve got or the man he is. Let’s do something a little different.

We saw Kendra continue to struggle with fate insisting that she’s supposed to be with Carter only to learn that she might’ve wanted to be until he was killed by Vandal Savage. What did you think of the Hawks this episode and do you think this is really the end of Carter in this life?

ALYSSA

It’s no secret that the Hawks have been one of my least favorite parts about this show. They were kind of introduced as two characters that the audience has an emotional connection to. Only we don’t. So it didn’t feel genuine when it was approached from a perspective where we’re supposed to feel that immense connection. But in this episode I did enjoy Kendra taking her stance on being in charge of her own destiny. It doesn’t matter if fate says she’s going to be with Carter in the end, she’s the one that wanted to make that decision. She wants to have some control over her life, and that was an empowering stand on her part.

I feel like a terrible person for saying this, but killing Carter was a smart move on the part of the show. Because it finally got me to start caring about Kendra, about Carter. I finally felt emotions watching them and watching the team’s reaction to Carter’s death. And to be honest I don’t really believe he’s dead and gone in this lifetime. Not in this show.

LIZZIE

I feel kind of bad for saying this, but I’m glad Carter’s gone. I don’t know if this was the intention or not, but he always came off as somewhat of a jerk. Sure, I get that from his vantage point, Kendra was just supposed to love him, but he sure took a lot for granted. How about ….I don’t know, actually trying to get to know her? Woo her? Something? Anything other than just stand there and act like she was depriving him of something he was entitled to would have worked.

By herself, though, Kendra can be interesting. She’s not exactly my favorite yet, but I really liked the thing with her rebelling against destiny, and then, having the possibility of destiny taken away from her just when she was, maybe, ready to accept it. It’s a very powerful thing – and it’s bound to make her even more determined to kill Savage. But, also, on a personal level, it’s gotta be devastating, and that just opens up a million storytelling possibilities. Give me Kendra the strong, bad-ass woman. I’m here for that.

LYRA

Carter’s death was necessary. He could only harp on about fate for so long until we got bored. (*whispers* I got bored.) Now Kendra has a chance to choose what she’s going to do next without the pressure that Hawkman always put on her. Since they reincarnate I have no doubt that he’ll be back just as Kendra finds a bit of ground in life. Until that happens I’m ready to see the development of Hawkgirl.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Pilot, Part 2" -- Image LGN102_20150917_0279b -- Pictured (L-R): Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk and Casper Crump as Vandal Savage -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

We got a cameo from Arrow’s Damien Darhk. How are you liking the cameos so far?

ALYSSA

I like the idea of the cameos as they cement the fact that this show is an offshoot of both Arrow and The Flash. It’s fun to get to see these crossovers when they’re necessary – necessary being the key point. It was cool seeing Damien Darhk make a cameo, but it didn’t really feel too impactful. To be honest I’m more excited about future cameos where we get to see past or future versions of the characters we love on Arrow and The Flash, including that 2046 version of Oliver Queen in episode six. Now that is what makes the idea of this show and the whole time travel element so special is that they can do that. They can journey 30 years in the future and show us a glimpse of what a hero we’re currently watching is up to. That episode hasn’t even aired, and it’s already my favorite one of Legends. That’s what makes this show what it is: the shows that came before it, the characters that knew this cast of legends, the places and times where these Legends came from.

LIZZIE

I think the cameos are fun, or will be fun, but in this case, they should have done away with it. That’s not a knock on Neal McDonough; on the contrary, it’s a compliment. You see, Damien Darhk is a good villain. He’s effective, he’s scary, and I’m invested in what he’s doing. Vandal Savage? Not so much. He’s a caricature of a guy I’m supposed to be scared of, but who only manages to make me feel vaguely repulsed. When Savage is by himself, however, I can sort of forget about that. When you put him beside Darhk, the contrast is just too much. Good villains and bad villains shouldn’t share a screen. They just shouldn’t.

(However, I’m here for all the future and past incarnations of the people we know and love. Give me that, please)

LYRA

I feel like the cameos are throwing me off kilter and taking my focus off of Legends of Tomorrow. Don’t focus on the past. I know where you come from LOT. Sure it was nice seeing Damien Darkh in his Aryan glory (thank you for that joke Heat Wave). But soon enough these ‘what if’ moments where they meet people from their future will get tedious and repetitive. It will also bring up the question everyone’s thinking of, “How haven’t they been recognized yet?” Surely villains aren’t idiots.

What are your thoughts on “Pilot, Part 2?” Sound off in the comments to keep the discussion going!

Join us for another Legends of Tomorrow roundtable next Wednesday!

Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.

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