‘Legends of Tomorrow’ 1×03 Roundtable: Discussing ‘Blood Ties’

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 episode three of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, “Blood Ties” where we discuss Sara’s struggle with the bloodlust, Ray Palmer’s confidence issues, and Leonard Snart trying to rewrite his past.

What were your overall thoughts on “Blood Ties?”

ALYSSA

Now we’re talking. There has been so much potential with this show from the very beginning. I know that shows take some time to really find what works, but the difference between this episode and the first two is staggering. It’s almost as if we’re watching a completely different show now. Not that the first two episodes were bad. It’s just that they lacked the direction that this third episode excelled with. Now that this time traveling world has been introduced and our characters have had a couple of episodes to breathe in it, we’re finally starting to see how this show will play out every episode. There will be several things happening at once and our Legends will take their place in each all with the intention of bringing an end to Savage. And along the way we’ll get some amazing character exploration, like we did with Sara, Ray and Snart in this episode. Now I can finally see what this show is looking to accomplish, and I could not be more excited to see where it takes us.

LIZZIE

This was much better than the first two episodes. MUCH, MUCH BETTER. In fact, it was such a vast improvement that I was forced to use all caps to explain how much better it was. The Pilot was entertaining, and it showed promise, but it never allowed us to connect with the characters, never made us feel what they were feeling. This episode, however, was all about the feels. From Rip and Sara to Ray and Stein, in one hour I went from: Okay, let’s see what shenanigans these people can get into to: My babies! Let me hug you.

And that’s a good thing.

LYRA

LOT has finally hit it’s stride! In the first two episodes they were trying to change the characters we knew and loved. No, writers. I already know who they are. In episode three they finally realized that all they had to do was build on what was there. They showed a combination of doubt, triumph, pain, lose, encouragement, and lack of control in each character. We’re starting to see how this journey can turn ordinary scoundrels/heroes into legends.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Blood Ties" -- Image LGN103A_0137b.jpg -- Pictured: Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/ White Canary -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Sara was once again overcome by the bloodlust, and we learned that, despite her sunny façade, she now considers herself a monster. Do you think this is something she can ever hope to control? And, do you agree with her assessment?

ALYSSA

Sara continues to be my favorite character on this show, and it’s because of the complexity of her character that endears her to me. Sara is someone who has always struggled with darkness in her life dating back to that fateful boat trip on the Queen’s Gambit. We watched her reach her darkest – as a member of the League of Assassins – and battle back to become a hero as the Canary. Then we watched it all taken away from her when Malcolm Merlyn had her killed. Now she’s been resurrected through the Lazarus Pit, which brings this new set of mystical challenges that really makes Sara consider herself a monster. The bloodlust is no joke, as we’ve seen with Thea on Arrow. It’s something that you hope to control but ultimately ends up controlling you.

I have to hope that this is something that she can eventually control. Sara is a hero, and we’ve seen Oliver Queen come back from darkness, albeit a different, non-mystical darkness. But one of the themes in all of these DC television shows is: hope. Hope that even the darkest of heroes can rise again. With that said, there happens to be a plant called the Lotus, which counteracts the Lazarus Pit effects, that Sara’s ex-girlfriend is currently in possession of. So, there’s that.

LIZZIE

Sara is not a monster. Just the fact that she thinks she might be pretty much disqualifies her, because monsters never really see themselves as they are. No, instead, they justify it. Sara saying she’s a monster is her letting her own insecurities shine through. She’s afraid, plain and simple. And if you add that to the fact that she’s surrounded by people she doesn’t know, and who have no way of knowing what she’s been through, and it’s just easier to call yourself a monster than to have someone else do it.

That being said, I don’t know that the bloodlust is someone she can train against. This is not about her getting stronger and beating it, at least, it doesn’t seem like it. This will require a magical fix. Thankfully, they have a time machine, so magic should be easy to procure, right?

LYRA

I’m just glad it’s back. They were ignoring a core part of her since her return. She died! You don’t just forget that. It’s something that she must deal with and probably thinks about every second of every day. When those thoughts plague you for so long you start thinking that there something wrong with you. Combine that with the deaths that happened in this episode and Sara is reaching the end of her rope. Sara needs to deal with this. She also needs to realize that she’s not a monster. Our White Canary is a courageous survivor who went through the unimaginable. If she could come back from death she can can get pass this with flying colors. She’s got this!

We learned in this episode that Ray Palmer is not the confident man we thought he was. What did you think of Ray’s crisis? And what are you hoping to see from him moving forward?

ALYSSA

Ray has always been a problematic character for me on Arrow, but since he’s been on Legends I’ve really begun to like him and want to know more about him. We’ve known about what happened to his wife when Slade Wilson’s Mirakuru army struck a couple of years back on Arrow, but this was the first time we really got to see just how much he carries that with him in everything that he does. When Ray felt powerless in helping Kendra on that first attempt he was brought back to that night his fiancée was killed and he felt utterly powerless. That’s the entire reason for his hero’s journey, which he’s still making progress with. Ray created the Atom suit so that he wouldn’t be powerless to help someone again. But a suit a hero does not make. Ray’s going to need to develop some confidence in who he is in order to truly find his place as a hero.

LIZZIE

Give me more of this Ray Palmer. Give me this Ray Palmer every day and twice on Sundays, please.

We’d heard about Ray’s fiancée before, so this was not our first glimpse of this storyline, however, it was our first glimpse of what this did to Ray. He did a good job of keeping that hidden, on Arrow, and, in a way, the fact that he isn’t this 100% confident, smart and suave man just makes him …well, better? Does that make any sense?

I want to see more vulnerability. I want to see him display that youthful exuberance. I want him to get a chance to save Anna and realize that, if he does, he’ll be changing everything. I want him to fail, and get up, and try again. I’m invested now. I want all the good/bad things.

LYRA

It made him so relatable. When he was on Arrow he felt like an oddball. Sure he fit in with Felicity but nothing else worked. He wasn’t approachable and no understood his false bravado. There was no explanation. In LOT all that bold matter and whitty is stripped away and he has to bring solutions/commitment to the table.

Ray’s crisis of doubt is what he needs to grow as a character. He was tested by Stein because despite how much of a jerk that old guy is he wants the people around him to succeed. He knows that Ray hasn’t been tested like this before and sees a bit of himself in the tech genius. Palmer’s journey is real and will make him into the hero he’s always wanted to be.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Blood Ties" -- Image LGN103A_0010b.jpg -- Pictured: Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Leonard Snart tried to change the past, give himself a chance at a better life, and failed. What do you think the message of this storyline is? Are some people just incapable of change?

ALYSSA

This was a tough lesson that Snart had to learn in this episode. Snart was definitely the product of his upbringing – the son of a thief taught to steal and just trying to find a way to survive. So when Snart saw a chance to rewrite his childhood and essentially his history of course he took it. But sometimes no matter how much you want to change your story, you can change yourself if you try, but you can’t change the people that are in your life and have had an impact on it. But my favorite part about this episode was that scene with Snart and the younger version of himself when he told him: “Do not let anyone hurt you. Not in here,” pointing to the kid’s head, “or in here,” pointing to the kid’s heart. That is the beauty of this show and the many characters that populate it. It’s why the villains or anti-heroes are the ones that are the most intriguing because we can dig deep and see what really makes them tick, see what they’re really feeling. We’ve known how difficult Snart’s childhood was with his ass of a father, but getting to see Snart give some advice to his younger self hit me in a deep emotional place.

LIZZIE

I don’t think that’s where the story was going, I think they were going for the “Time wants to happen” angle, but yes, I do believe that’s part of it. Snart gave his father a chance to change, but the decision to actually do it had to be his. And his father just couldn’t. This is both sad, and unbelievably real.

LYRA

Snart is the best thing on this show. At first you think he’s a jerk only after his own success. Sure he loves his sister but that’s the only redeeming feature about him (besides his good looks). His storyline in this episode totally blew it out of the water. He went back and tried to change his fathers fate. HE KILLED THIS MAN! Somehow he set it aside because somewhere in that villainous body he wanted a different life for himself and his little sister. That’s a move that only a powerful man with a great heart can do.

Despite his efforts his father was an undeserving jerk. He couldn’t change no matter what Leonard tried. But that doesn’t mean that change can’t happen. Leonard is proof that you can be a multifaceted person with aspirations beyond this world. His father just happened to be one of those jerks that had nothing else going for him and didn’t want to try. Change is possible if you try and put the effort in against the odds.

This episode saw the team being shuffled once again. What did you enjoy most, the Rip/Sara dynamics or the Ray/Stein team up?

ALYSSA

I enjoyed the emotional aspects of both of those dynamics. These differing dynamics are my favorite part about this show to this point because it allows for so much character exploration and development in such an organic way. With Rip and Sara I really enjoyed how Rip was there to reassure Sara that she’s not this monster that she believes herself to be, and then he in turn believed himself to be a monster because he couldn’t kill Savage when he had the chance 4,000 years prior. With Ray and Stein there’s this adorable aspect to their relationship – with Stein not remembering who Ray is – but there was that surprising emotional element where Stein really helped Ray rediscover a confidence in himself that helped save Kendra’s life. These experiences that all of our characters go through together are shaping the people that they are becoming. Those nobodies that Rip Hunter pointed out in the pilot are already nonexistent as in just three episodes this team has proven that they are becoming the legends that Rip once lied about them becoming.

LIZZIE

I can’t choose. Don’t make me choose. I enjoyed both. And I enjoyed Snart/Rory. I always enjoy Snart/Rory. In fact, at this point, the only two people on that ship I don’t enjoy are Kendra and Jax. The rest I’m cool with.

LYRA

I enjoyed the Rip/Sara dynamics. We saw them bond through the vulnerability both of them experience daily because of their past. Sara saw the lengths Rip was willing to go for his family. He’s changed time and become a thorn in Savage’s side because of that. Rip saw that Sara was being affected by something he couldn’t understand. She’s a powerful ally who needs help as much as everyone else on the team. They’re all vulnerable and can only survive if they take on the weight of each others burdens.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Blood Ties" -- Image LGN103A_0180b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

What do you want to see from this show going forward?

ALYSSA

I want to continue to see these different dynamics between these characters continue to be explored and when the story calls for it. The best part about every one of these superhero shows out there are the characters, what they believe in, who they love, and what makes them that hero under the costume that we all love. We’ve just begun to scratch the surface of these characters and their relationships with each other. You can really see how these characters are bringing out different sides to one another and how they’re encouraging each other in this shared mission. And I just love that. I feel like Legends of Tomorrow is headed to a really good place right now. It’s on the verge of finding what works for it, and once it really does strike gold they’ll be no stopping these Legends from kicking some major ass.

LIZZIE

More unlikely pairings, more character development and more Savage backstory.

Okay, fine, I don’t want the last one, but we desperately need it. At this point Savage is the worst villain DC TV has ever spawned. He’s nonsensical, not even a tiny bit scary, and just plain boring. And for that to change, we need to know him. We need to understand him.

LYRA

Less Savage and more integration of the team. Savage is boring and drags down the story. Instead they need to focus on giving the team side missions and personal goals that will keep them going on the path to becoming legends. They got this!

What are your thoughts on “Blood Ties?” 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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