When it comes to romance on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the fact of the matter is that it just doesn’t feel necessary at this point. We’re just 13 episodes in and these characters are still getting to know each other. Now, come season two after these characters have had a season of growth and experiences then relationships might seem more plausible.
While Legends of Tomorrow continues to employ the dysfunctional relationship of Ray and Kendra, known by fans as Atomic Hawk, there’s actually a relationship brewing slowly in the background that could be just what this show is looking for.
I’ll be honest, before Legends of Tomorrow premiered earlier this year I was adamantly convinced that Sara and Ray was going to be a thing. You know, the relationship where the character with a troubled past is drawn to and healed by a character with unwavering light and both find meaning in each other. But this Arrowverse has already done that, with Arrow’s Oliver and Felicity, so it’s smart to steer clear of that.
So when the show premiered in January and we saw how Sara and Snart interacted with each other it was one of those things that you just don’t plan for. That’s the thing with these “ships.” You can try all you want to force your audience to like a couple, but the fact of the matter is that they’re going to make that decision all on their own regardless of what you tell them. But chemistry also speaks for itself, which Sara and Snart have in spades.
The thing with Sara and Snart is that there’s been no indication in the writing that shows us that these two are headed in a romantic direction. But the chemistry and subtle nuances in the way that Caity Lotz and Wenworth Miller play their characters’ relationship is creating the conversation and planting the seed in the minds of the writers.
While romance is often the first thing to be criticized by angered fans – especially comic book purists – the fact of the matter is that romance sells. Romance is what gets people talking, whether it’s good or bad. Networks want that hype, which is why I believe Legends of Tomorrow tried to introduce a romance into the show. Only it wasn’t executed properly.
When Legends of Tomorrow first hinted at a Ray and Kendra romance I thought they were joking because there had been no buildup or indication that these characters thought of each other in that way. Then once they decided to dive head-on into Atomic Hawk it was rushed and poorly executed in a way that’s left me uncomfortable and disliking Kendra for the way they’ve written her. When things are rushed it’s almost as if you’re being suffocated by it more than anything, as is the case with Ray and Kendra.
But Legends of Tomorrow is doing right by Sara and Snart if that’s the direction they plan on taking. Letting the two characters grow with each other as friends and teammates, as well as the subtle flirting, and slowly revealing their vulnerabilities and connecting through their troubled past experiences.
The thing that has proven to be the stuff of legend (hehe) when it comes to these successful ships has been a developmental foundation for these two characters. Basically, they need time to develop a relationship based on trust and understanding before they jump into a romantic entanglement.
In just 13 episodes we’ve already gotten some incredible character dynamics between Sara and Snart. Both essentially found themselves on the opposite end of the hero spectrum in their own minds, with Snart questioning whether his past controls his future and Sara rising from the dead and questioning her humanity.
We’ve seen Snart act as Sara’s moral compass of sorts as she grapples with taming the monster she believes exists within her. This is a darkness that has plagued Sara long before she died and was resurrected through dark magical waters. Sara has seen darkness unlike any other, except maybe Oliver Queen, and her recent experience of rising from the dead certainly didn’t help matters. She feels broken, like she’s expected to be the person that lives in the darkness. We saw that when she contemplated killing Martin Stein in order to save all of their lives. She couldn’t even consider there was another way to save them all.
She couldn’t take that risk. But Snart reminded her that, while that’s how a killer thinks, that that’s not who she is anymore.
When it comes to Snart, he’s someone that has had his share of trust issues. From his dark childhood to the present, there was only one person that he could ever trust beside himself: Rory. But Sara has slowly become someone that he relies on to guide him in the right direction; the direction where he can be the hero that he’s never thought he could be. She’s there to motivate him to get his act into gear or to remind him of the person that he can become.
Heading into this, you’d expect that Sara and Snart aren’t the type for the romance of it all. But if they do get to that place eventually then I expect them to continue to be that strong, stable foundation for each other – with the added benefits of it all.
But right now, as far as the show is considered, Sara and Snart are friends and teammates who have bigger concerns that romance. But they also have a strong relationship that will only continue to grow the more they experience and the more they lean on one another, as we’ve seen before.
But they’re also two people that I believe aren’t really thinking about romance. All they know is that they care about one another. They’re two people that I expect to be blindsided by their feelings if/when they do hit, which would open the door to some emotional and intriguing storytelling as they would navigate that new world.
Captain Canary has all of the makings of the epic romance that Legends of Tomorrow wants and deserves. As for right now, they are continuing to build and strengthen their relationship so that if/when the time does come for them to take that next step that it won’t feel forced; it won’t be poorly executed. It will feel organic just as their relationship has been from the start.
What are your thoughts on Captain Canary?