‘Legends of Tomorrow’ 1×14 Roundtable: ‘River of Time’

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 14 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, “River of Time” where we discuss our annoyance with Vandal Savage, the end of Atomic Hawk, and Rip Hunter’s questionable leadership.

What were your overall thoughts on “River of Time?”

ALYSSA

Overall the episode was a typical, non-impressive collective effort, but there were some solo standout moments in the episode. The flashbacks that were instituted in this episode brought something that has been seriously lacking since the beginning: an emotional connection with these characters and this journey. Because sure this show is about time travel, but it’s also about the characters on this mission. And if no one gives a damn about the characters they’re not going to care about the mission. While I never enjoyed Atomic Hawk, I did enjoy how they wrapped that relationship up. It was nice to have Ray be the one to break up with Kendra because he’d finally had enough and realized that he deserves better. Hallelujah.

LIZZIE

I feel like I’m a broken record, but it was messy, a bit nonsensical, and somewhat entertaining, as most Legends of Tomorrow episodes tend to be. I didn’t love it, but at least I wasn’t bored like in the old west episode. I got plenty of yelling at the TV done, especially considering all the stupid things all the characters did to get them to where they are at the end. And, hey, Ray and Kendra are done! That’s always a check in the win column.

LYRA

For a show that’s entering it’s final stretch, it still hasn’t hit it’s mark. These people continue to feel like strangers and not working members of “Legends.” Lack of proper leadership seems to be their biggest fault. This episode, like many others, highlights how ill-suited Rip Hunter is for leadership.

Then there’s Kendra…I’ve lost faith in her as a character completely. Legends of Tomorrow, stop making it so she’s defined by the relationships that she’s in! No! Toss that out of the window and give Kendra time to figure out what kind of person she is by herself. Explore the goddess inside and don’t let all this love triangle drama, dull your sparkle!

The only spotlight in the entire episode was Snart and Sara playing cards on their down time together. How’d they end up there? Why do they always seek companionship from each other? See, that’s a story I want to know about.

Vandal Savage still isn’t dead though a couple members of our team have had a chance to kill him. Does that just frustrate you to no end?

ALYSSA

Vandal Savage is the worst character on this show – and that’s including Rip Hunter and the Hawks. Savage is the most laughable villain that I’ve seen on these shows. We should cower in fear, and yet all I do is laugh at his slicked back hair and weird accent. I’ve never bought it. The hype is not worth it. Not even close. The only solace I’m taking out of this is that with season 2 introducing a new big bad that means Savage should be off the board soon. Though not soon enough. Rip and Kendra have had a couple of chances to kill this prick and still haven’t. And why? Because they’ll believe a villain when he promises them something they want? Come on. I’m so frustrated and flabbergasted that this guy is still alive. Granted the only reason he’s actually still alive is because we have two episodes left this season. It can’t come soon enough. I want the over-hyped bastard gone.

LIZZIE

Yes. I thought this whole thing was about killing Savage. The story can’t work if they all develop a concise about killing the evil dictator they were gunning for in the first place. I could put up with it when they were talking about killing a teenager, because, fine, morally gray place, but this? This is absurd. Savage should have been dead three times over already. They did bring some people on the team who were willing to do anything. Heck, even Rip sounded like he was ready to do whatever he needed to do. And then everyone just changed their minds, developed a conscience, thought of a better plan, etc….*rolls eyes*

LYRA

That’s like asking if puppies are absolutely adorable and if the sky is blue. It’s a yes all around! They had a chance to kill him and end the threat that he posed to the world. Instead Kendra acted selfishly for her man (who wasn’t her man at the moment) and Rip just wanted to brag. Both are not sufficient reasons to keep Savage alive. Why not kill him and then bring him to the Counsel? Then Rip could show the video, proving that Savage was messing with time, and his family would be saved! Woooop! As for the members who were on Savage’s side, they wouldn’t speak a word of it in fear of being caught on the losing side. You missed an opportunity Rip!

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "River of Time"-- Image LGN114a_0090b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Casper Crump as Vandal Savage and Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
The CW

Rip Hunter admitted that he would sell out his team for his wife and son. What are your thoughts on Rip as the leader of this supposed team?

ALYSSA

Next to Vandal Savage and the Hawks, Rip Hunter is a character that has unnerved me from the very beginning. The fact that Rip is deemed the leader of this team when he would put himself and his selfish needs before them every time is something that I still don’t understand especially after this episode. While we’ve all suspected it, actually getting to hear Rip verbally acknowledge that he would sell his team out to save his family in an instant was what I needed to hear. The thing with these “teams,” as we’ve seen on Arrow and The Flash, is that they’re more like families. Sure, they work together, but they love, care, and respect each other like family. They have each other’s best interests at heart. Sure they might make a selfish decision here and there, but it’s a constant like with Rip. That’s the problem. Rip has never considered this team anything other than a means to an end; a way to get what he so desperately wants: his family safe. But what about this group of people valiantly fighting and putting their lives on the line? Hell, Snart and Rory are more leader than Rip. They actually care about each other. At least it appears as if Rip is going to “try.” But I have a sneaking suspicion that he’ll return to his old ways when his family is dangled in front of him.

LIZZIE

I think this was probably framed in a way that would make Rip look as worse as possible, because, let’s be honest, wouldn’t we all sell out most people for our family? If we’re being honest with ourselves, the answer is yes. It’s just that most of us would never be put in a position where we would have to make that choice, and Rip probably won’t, either. Moreover, he can say this, but he hasn’t done anything to make us believe he would actually sell out everyone – in fact, if we want to think about it, he’s been just as bad at the actual job of killing Savage as the rest of the idiots he recruited.

Sure, he was selfish when he sent out Jax to fix the ship, but that’s not exactly the same as selling out the team for Savage. That’s just him being very, very stupid and careless.

Now, this defense of Rip doesn’t mean I think he’s a good leader. He’s absolutely rubbish at leading this team, mostly because he never explains things, he doesn’t PLAN, he’s not a good motivator, and worst of all, he always seems very surprised when things go wrong. I mean, the least he could do is pretend, right? Even if it’s just to save face.

LYRA

Rip Hunter continues to be an incompetent leader. The only thing consistent about his leadership is that he’s not consistent. To this day I wonder how he managed to convince so many people to follow him or work with him. He’d give them up in a second, without looking for another way, if it meant saving his family.

Atomic Hawk is officially over! What are your thoughts on Ray calling it quits with Kendra after everything he saw this episode? What do you think lies in store for Kendra and Carter?

ALYSSA

I’m so relieved that Ray was the one to end things. I’m glad that he finally realized that he deserves so much more than someone stringing him along. I’m impressed that he was able to realize that sometimes love isn’t enough to make a relationship work. It takes work and commitment, and we just haven’t seen that from Kendra at all. This relationship has irked me to no end because I never felt that it was going anywhere, and this was exactly why. Kendra was still in love with Carter, and Ray was basically her rebound guy. But Ray is about as far from a rebound guy as you can get. He’s in it for commitment, which was something he hadn’t really experienced since his fiancée died. But at least Ray was able to finally take away something from his doomed romance with Kendra: it’s possible to love again after Anna’s death. As far as Kendra and Carter goes, I mean I assume they’re going to be romantically involved moving forward, though I’m not looking forward to it any more than Atomic Hawk.

LIZZIE

I couldn’t care less about Kendra and Carter. They could take out Savage, go out with him, go live their lives in peace somewhere; it’s all okay with me, as long as I don’t have to put up with their love nonsense on the show. Because I’m seriously done not just with this ridiculous love triangle of sorts, but with Kendra in general. I can’t root for a woman who’s whole storyline is about which boy she will choose, and I find Carter boring and one-dimensional, so if she’s choosing him, then I just don’t want to watch.

As for Ray, I’m glad he finally saw what was right in front of him. He’s been desperate to find someone to love since Anna died, mostly I think, because he wanted to find somewhere to belong to. And though that’s understandable, it’s made him act in very, very questionable ways. Remember the beginning of his relationship with Felicity? Creepy as hell. So, maybe it’s time for Ray Palmer to just be alone for a while. Find himself and all that. Maybe, just maybe, love will then find him.

LYRA

Finally! *pops streamers* This will they, won’t they, has been dragging on for weeks and it’s been an absolute disaster. The things that I’ve loved about these characters have disappeared in light of this romance. Their friendship is totalled and I’ve lost any interest in Kendra. She’s toyed with a friend because she was bored and didn’t want to face the fact that Carter was gone. As for Kendra and Carter, I want them to run away together and leave the team, never to be seen again.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow --"River of Time"-- Image LGN114a_0405b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul and Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
The CW

This episode saw a few flashbacks to right before the team left for this mission. We saw some familiar lovable faces in Felicity and Nyssa. What did you think about those flashbacks?

ALYSSA

To be honest all three of the flashbacks were the best part of the entire episode. Legends has felt off for most of its season. Early on it focused on some more of the personal aspects of the characters that really resonated, but it’s gotten away from that. These flashbacks were a great example of what happens when you get to explore that personal connection to the mission. We saw Ray saying goodbye to Felicity, where he discussed his need to do good in this world and find a purpose. We saw Sara visit Nyssa and Nyssa encouraging Sara to go live her own life as she sees fit. We saw Stein basically lie to his wife about what he was doing only to later regret it. The flashbacks felt organic and allowed me to connect to the characters in a way we hadn’t see for awhile.

LIZZIE

Best part of the episode. Isn’t that sad? Two characters from Arrow are the best part of a Legends of Tomorrow episode. Maybe it’s because it’s two characters we care about, maybe because those characters make sense, maybe because they played on already established relationships, I don’t know. All I know is that Nyssa and Felicity were my highlights in a messy and at times ridiculous episode. Well, them and Clarissa. It was really nice to see that, despite the lack of explanations they gave us at the beginning of the show, these characters had actually tried to say goodbye to the people in their lives. I’d already accepted this one of the other things that didn’t make sense in LOT, and I’m glad I was wrong in this respect.

LYRA

They were sweet additions that helped us connect with Sara and Ray on different fronts. Sara has been either wrapped up in her anger or ignoring the problem completely. Seeing Nyssa helped us to connect with the kind and loving woman underneath. Missed this aspect of her. As for Ray, it was fantastic to see him without the Kendra angst that’s always hovering over his head. He’s just a guy trying to find his way and fight the good fight. Without Kendra he’ll hopefully remember that.

Following Rip’s selfishness, a medical emergency forced Stein to send Jax back to 2016. Do you think we’ll see him again this season?

ALYSSA

I mean I still remain completely lost sometimes when it comes to the whole time travel thing, but I’d imagine that we see Jax sometime in these last two episodes, probably the season finale. If I recall the season finale is going to be about the team choosing to keep on the mission or return home so I imagine we’ll see our team returned to 2016 at some point. So Jax will be there obviously with some choice words for Stein about sending him home. So maybe Jax will even choose to keep on this mission for season two.

LIZZIE

I think this is the last we’ll see of Jax for this mission, but I have a feeling our “heroes” will end up in 2016 at the end of the season. Sara still has to find out about Laurel, after all. So, whatever the next mission is, a pit stop in 2016 makes sense, not just for Sara, but for Jax. I like Stein and all, but Rip wanted Firestorm, not just Stein. That’s the whole reason why Stein drugged Jax in the first place! Besides, I don’t even know how the whole sending Jax back thing works considering his younger self *was* kidnapped.

But I’m not going to think too hard about it. Nope. It’ll just give me a headache.

LYRA

Probably. Legends of Tomorrow has this funny way of making it’s own rules when it very well pleases them. Maybe next time we see Jax he’s an old man whose tried for decades to get back to them. Or maybe he’ll arrive in the nick of time to stop Stein from exploding. (Don’t they need each other to survive? Trying to think this through and make sense of it.) Pretty sure it’s going to be the latter.

What are your thoughts on “River of Time?” 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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