'Legends of Tomorrow' 1×12 Roundtable: 'Last Refuge'

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Last Refuge"-- Image LGN112b_0339b.jpg -- Pictured: Ciara Renee as Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl and Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary  -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
The CW

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 12 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, “Last Refuge,” where we discuss a significant threat for the Legends, the past versions of our Legends, and we wonder where the consequences have been in this series.

What were your overall thoughts on “Last Refuge?”

ALYSSA

Well considering the episode that preceded this one, “Last Refuge” was a significant improvement and one of the show’s better episodes most recently. For so long there’s been a lack of high stakes that one would expect with a show like this, but I felt like Legends of Tomorrow was able to institute that sense of danger as our Legends’ existence is now at risk. I really enjoyed getting to see past versions of a few of these characters, including a cameo from Arrow’s Paul Blackthorn as Quentin Lance. Unlike its predecessor, I felt like “Last Refuge” had a direction, a plan, and ultimately served a purpose in the grand scheme of things.

LIZZIE

Well, that was better than last week. Much better. There was still the usual lack of common sense, but at least I was entertained. At least there were stakes (not that anyone actually died, which makes the Pilgrim the actual worst). I’ve said this before and I’m going to repeat it till I’m blue in the face, Legends, for all its failings, it’s at its best when it focuses on its characters, when it lets the cast be the focus, instead of the plot. And this episode was yet more proof of that.

LYRA

I think it was a bold move away from the little dribbles of intrigue and high stakes that this show has given us before. For the first time I was actually concerned for our heroes and saw how far they’ve come. They’re a dysfunctional family who can and will survive together. This episode also featured some really cool visual effects and powers that I’d like to see again. It made me realize how different this show is in comparison to it’s partner shows Arrow & The Flash. That’s a good thing. Means that it’s managing to finally stand on it’s own two legs.
P.S. The Pilgrim’s hairstyle is another example of villains with slicked backed poofy hair. Never trust people with hair like that. Trust me. Most of the time they are the bad guys.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Last Refuge"-- Image LGN112a_0383b.jpg -- Pictured: Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Throughout this series we’ve seen our Legends mess with time without any meaningful consequences. What are your thoughts on that?

ALYSSA

For a show that deals with time travel and its supposed high stakes that comes with not changing events so as to mess the timeline, Legends of Tomorrow has existed without any real stakes to the timeline. And it’s been infuriating. How many times have we seen our Legends mess with time without any significant – or at all – consequences? It just seems too convenient sometimes which keeps me from being a passionate fan and stuck at dedicated. Off the top of my head, the last time I remember there being a threat to the timeline was when Martin Stein nearly prevented his meeting his future wife back in the 1970s – and that was in, what, episode two? Surely there have been other instances that are just not coming to mind, but not nearly as bold enough that one would expect when you’re messing with time.

LIZZIE

I hope when they get back to 2016 everything is fucked up. Or, I don’t, but that’s pretty much what they deserve. We got a whole spiel about not messing with the timeline in the Pilot, and then everyone forgot about it. When I say everyone, I mean everyone, even Rip Hunter, who only ever remembers on random occasions and when it suits his interests.
With as much as they’ve disregarded every rule, you’d think they would have altered something. But then again, it seems like when Legends of Tomorrow warned us that time wants to happen, it was pretty much giving itself an excuse to do anything and everything without changing the timeline. Because, why come up with actual believable rules of time-travel? No one wants to see that! *rolls eyes*

LYRA

Every single time they mess with time and it’s consequences I just want to bang my head (gently) against my desk. They make no sense! What are the rules of time travel? What happens if you meet your past self? Will the world implode? Can you change past events? And most importantly, why does Gideon choose to give them selection information about the future/past/present? (I’m telling you…that computer is the true villain. She feels emotions, has her favorites, and can read your mind while sleeping. Why hasn’t anyone worried about this?!) The fact that Legends of Tomorrow doesn’t give me solid rules and consequences for actions in time, makes it less likely that I’ll stick around for Season 2.

In this episode we were dealt probably the most significant threat of the season now that it’s possible that if the Legends don’t return their past selves in time that they’ll be wiped from existence. What do you think about this arc?

ALYSSA

Thankfully Legends of Tomorrow was able to up the ante with “Last Refuge” as it provided the series’ first significant threat to messing with time since Martin Stein nearly prevented his marriage to his wife from happening. But while there were a couple of things that felt too convenient – like the Pilgrim only being able to attempt to kill our Legends’ past selves once – this storyline brought with it something that had been lacking for quite some time: high stakes. One of the thrills of the show that I was expecting were the consequences that would come with messing with time occasionally – because no one is that good at being perfect with dealing with time travel. But that hasn’t been a factor at all this season.
But “Last Refuge” finally brought us a storyline where I’m a bit worried about what happens next regarding the fate of our Legends. Here we’re presented with a storyline where the fates of every one of our Legends – minus Rip and Kendra because reasons – is at risk now that their past selves have been taken from their rightful times as to keep them safe from the Pilgrim. But now that the Pilgrim is dead, they need to return their past selves back to the right time before they’re ultimately wiped from existence. That means they would have never existed; their families and friends would never know them; no one would miss them. And when we learned that, for the first time I really felt for this group and how this consequence came about only from them merely trying to protect themselves from an assassin. But finally we have a consequence that comes with messing with time.

LIZZIE

I like it. It’s about time we had something resembling stakes. Besides, the season is winding down, and these people seem to have forgotten they were here for a reason. Instead, they were saving a town in the old West, trying to rehabilitate Mick, anything BUT actually coming up with a plan to stop Savage. And it’s about time that stopped. I don’t particularly care about Savage, but he is the reason we’re here, isn’t he?

LYRA

I love that the stakes were elevated. There were real consequences if their foe got to their past selves. So, the question that keeps running around in my mind is, why didn’t they do this before? They kept giving me cheap scares of a ‘big bad threat’ right around the bend. Each were a failure and didn’t make me care one iota for our heroes. The Pilgrim was a frightening concept with endless possibilities of going terribly wrong. Hell, I liked this threat better than Vandal Savage! Give me more threats like the Pilgrim and I’ll be happy aka panicking like crazy over their survival.
That being said…I was a little disappointed someone didn’t die. Just a teeny bit. This woman was a badass. Why not go all the way if you’re going to present such a fabulous baddie?
DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Last Refuge"-- Image LGN112b_0259b.jpg -- Pictured: Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

With the Legends’ existence in danger they had to go back in time to save and kidnap their past selves to keep them safe from the Pilgrim. What did you think of those scenes?

ALYSSA

Those scenes were quite enjoyable as we got to see our Legends react – both as their present selves and past selves – to seeing a different version of themselves that they now know. While we only got to see babies of Stein, Jax, and Snart – seriously, Sara and Kendra fawning over baby Snart was the cutest thing – we did get to see Rory in the prime of his pyromaniac days, Ray like a year and a half ago, and a pre-Island Sara, which also featured a cameo from her father Quentin, who looked entirely different with his full head of hair. It was cool getting to see Sara and Rory dealing with their past selves as their past selves interacted with each other. It was incredible to note the changes in character from the past to the present.

LIZZIE

I really liked the idea, and I really liked most of the scenes. Even if some of them left me a bit disturbed – Stein’s parents did give him up pretty easily. My favorites were Sara (because Sara/Quentin sass is the best thing ever) and Mick, because it finally gave us a glimpse into who he is, why he ended up as he did. Before, all we knew about his past was what Snart had told us, but now we see Mick for Mick, and in a way, it’s easy to understand why he took he path he did, just as it’s easy to understand why Mick would try to change his past self. Even when he claims not to want it, he does dream of something better for himself. Do you smell the redemption? I smell the redemption.

LYRA

I absolutely loved them! Seriously, best scenes of the entire show so far. There was a perfect balance of funny smashed into serious ‘oh my god we’re protecting our younger selves’. Moments and content like this is what we need all the time. We understood what the stakes were if they didn’t find their past selves and WE CARED. That’s never happened to me before! I’m guilty of wanting them to die on plenty of occasions. This time I wanted them to survive another day. Give me more of this and I’ll probably stick around for Season 2.

So Ray finally proposed to Kendra and after some serious doubts she accepted in the end. What do you think of this engagement?

ALYSSA

To be clear, the only reason why we’re still talking about Ray and Kendra is because the show won’t stop and we have to address it. With that said, I’m not gonna lie – not a fan of the engagement. In the slightest. Not a fan of the couple at all. I continue to question what the writers see in these two because it’s just not translating on screen. The writing just doesn’t make sense for a couple we’re supposed to believe in. The most I gave a damn about these two came in this episode when it appeared as if Kendra was going to break up with Ray having now understood that they can never be – and then she didn’t. Then she accepted his proposal, and I went right back to stewing about a relationship that just does not resonate in the slightest. Seriously, can Carter be resurrected or something?

LIZZIE

Just the mention of it makes me want to puke. Why do we have to put up with more of this? The last 4 episodes have been Kendra taking three steps back and then one step forward, and at this point, it’s tiresome. I usually enjoy the character of Ray, but even that has been somewhat dimmed thanks to this romance. I don’t want to see any of them together, and if that means I don’t see the two characters ever, I’m game. That’s how bad this couple is.

LYRA

She’s settling. There’s no passion behind her acceptance of Ray’s proposal. She’s doing it because she desperately wants to fight against destiny. Here’s a newsflash for you Kendra, you don’t have to do it by sacrificing your relationship with Ray. Back down from being boyfriend and girlfriend and take a chance at being friends. You need to discover who you are first. Take charge of that powerful goddess inside and stop settling. Screw fate and your past self. You do you!
DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Last Refuge"-- Image LGN112b_0413b.jpg -- Pictured: Franz Drameh as Jefferson "Jax" Jackson -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

We saw Jax try to change the past by warning his father to be careful on the day he dies. Do you ultimately think it’ll make a difference?

ALYSSA

No. I wish it would, but it won’t. This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen someone attempt to change their future by changing the past – we saw it Snart when he approached his younger self earlier this season – but I have no doubt it’ll be the last either – especially when Sara learns that her sister died. But that doesn’t change the fact that time ultimately resets itself. Certain things have been foretold – they’re destined to happen. If you happen to prevent something from happening when it’s supposed to, then time will just find a way for that to happen in another way. Think of it as Final Destination (which was a terrifying movie series). So perhaps Jax was able to prevent his father from dying on that given day, but what’s to say that he just doesn’t die the day after that? But then you had Rip Hunter telling Jax that perhaps time wants a father and son to be happy, which I can’t tell was Rip Hunter lying his ass off or this show once again being not-so-clear with its rules of time and time travel.

LIZZIE

No, I don’t, but I’m glad that he tried. How could he NOT try? Especially considering all everything else in the team has done to mess with the timeline? He really had nothing to lose – maybe he wasn’t going to affect anything, but maybe he was. It was a more than acceptable gamble to take.

LYRA

Ultimately…no. Legends of Tomorrow has it’s own brand of time travel rules aka they don’t. One of the things that they’ll try to keep to is…events cemented in time. It sucks, I know. I really want his dad to survive.
What are your thoughts on “Last Refuge?” 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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