When it comes to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the show has had its share of highs and low in terms of installments. It’s sort of taken on its own feel – of course that’d happen, only on Legends of Tomorrow. It’s messy, but that’s always been Legends. And we still enjoy it.
But “Leviathan” was one of the better episodes of late, which isn’t saying much unfortunately, as it finally felt like we’re gearing up for the major arc as we race toward the season finale. In terms of episodes that Vandal Savage was a part of, it was one of the better ones.
In this episode, our group of Legends journeyed to 2166 London where they went right for the heart – Savage, in this case, at the peak of his rise before the end of the world. They ran into some obvious trouble, which consisted of a giant robot and a passionate daughter, en route to easily the team’s biggest win this season – the capture of Vandal Savage.
One of the central themes of the hour proved to be fate vs. choice – do you believe things are destined to be, or do you believe that’s your choice? Well, for me, I firmly believe in choice – that the decisions you make shape who you become and what ultimately happens. No one is controlling you like a puppet on a string.
But fate and choice become more complicated with the whole time travel thing. Because in a way, if something is by your choice, that you become the person you are, can that be changed? Is that fated in its own way? Time travel is an entirely different monster. “Time wants to happen,” as Rip Hunter says, and if this show has shown us anything so far it’s that you can’t change time.
WHAT’S ON OUR MINDS
Do You Believe in Fate or Free Will?
When you dabble in time it’s important to ask yourself what you believe in. Do you believe in fate – that something is meant to be – or do you believe in free will – that the choices you make shape what happens? This was an interesting discussion between Rip and Ray where the two, each on an opposite side of the spectrum in this discussion, shared their thoughts on why they do or don’t believe in fate.
Rip has good reason to believe in fate – that “time wants to happen” – as he’s tried again and again to prevent the deaths of his wife and son by going back in time only to get the same result again and again. That’s watching his wife and son die again and again. But then you have Ray, who is firmly on the free will side of things, who believes that your destiny isn’t predetermined; the choices you make ultimately shape who you become. And you can’t help but think that Ray was hinting a bit at his relationship with Kendra, as she believes they aren’t “fated” to be together given Kendra and Carter’s timeless romance.
But this is a common theme throughout the series. When it comes to time travel there’s a certain lure to want to change things for the better. But time travel isn’t an easy thing – if it were we’d all be doing it. It’s interesting because we’ve seen a couple of our Legends attempt to change their pasts but to no avail. As Rip Hunter said, “Time wants to happen.” Some things you just cannot change.
Vandal Savage is Captured – What Now?
This entire season has been geared towards our group of Legends has been to stop Vandal Savage. Following “Leviathan,” Savage is now locked up on the Waverider where apparently the Legends aren’t sure what to do with him. Isn’t the point of stopping Vandal Savage to kill him to ensure the safety of their futures and of the world? I mean, I know why Savage is still breathing – Kendra needs him to give Carter his memories back – but I don’t understand it. Part of being a hero is being self-sacrificial – that’s sacrificing your needs for the betterment of the world. When Kendra had the chance to kill Savage, she hesitated. More than that, she didn’t do it. She let Savage get inside her head; she believed him when he told her that only he could save Carter from the brainwashing he had instilled in him. It was almost kind of a fail-safe of sorts. For the first and only time, I’m mildly impressed with Savage if that’s the case.
So obviously the plan moving forward is going to be to try and get Savage to fix Carter and then rid the world of him, only Savage isn’t that stupid and neither are we. What’s the plan here? Someone’s going to have to make a decision here. Kendra needs to understand that it isn’t just her future on the line – it’s the world’s. Heroes make the tough calls – they sacrifice their happiness for what’s right. If it comes down to it, here’s hoping Kendra learns that lesson.
Like Father, Not Like Daughter
One of the things we saw in this episode was the impact of fathers – or bad fathers, in this case. Seeing as Cassandra turned out to be the daughter of Vandal Savage, the team believed they could use her against her father. But the problem here was that Cassandra was under the impression that her father wasn’t the man poisoning the world, but the one saving it. As far as she was concerned no one was going to convince her otherwise, especially Snart.
Both Snart and Cassandra hail from fathers that had them fooled of their good intentions. As Snart said and as we’ve seen, it took him a while to figure out that his father was a bad guy. But he eventually made the decision to rid himself of his father’s control. And Cassandra having made the choice to not stand by her monster of a father and instead stand on the side of those trying to save the world from his destruction, she showed that she is not her father. You are not your parents. You are your own person.
Carter Returns – Is This the End of Kendra and Ray?
Well, colored me not as surprised as Kendra to see Carter make his return to the show. As Kendra battled Vandal Savage – and brought him to a compromising position where she could’ve easily killed him and saved the world – Kendra was distracted and compromised herself when she saw that Carter was still alive. And he wasn’t just alive, he was brainwashed by Savage to forget all of his memories, to become one of his puppets. But even then Kendra had the chance to kill Savage once and for all – and she didn’t take it because she believed Savage when he told her he was her only way of fixing Carter’s mind. But it was evident how much Kendra loves Carter – how much she has realized it after all this time. So much that she didn’t kill Savage to save the world because of it.
I’ve made it no secret that the Ray and Kendra relationship just doesn’t resonate with me – at all – but Kendra and Carter at least has the timeless love thing to lean on. So with Carter making his return, does this spell the beginning of the end for Ray and Kendra? Considering that Carter isn’t in his right mind right now, Kendra has some work to do to get him back. And by work, that means convincing Savage to fix his mind after he destroyed it. But given that final, “Ray, we need to talk…” line from Kendra at episode’s end, things don’t look good for Ray and Kendra.
NEXT TIME ON ‘LEGENDS OF TOMORROW’
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8/7c on the CW.