The CW’s crop of DC Comics shows wouldn’t be complete without Legends of Tomorrow, which returned for its second season with a premiere that set the course for a new-look and new-feel show.
There was a lot to love about Legends’ season two premiere, including a new tone that really allowed the show to shine, a new dynamic between two of our favorites, and the introduction of the JSA. There’s no doubt that Legends of Tomorrow struggled in its first season to really find itself as a time travel show. It was bogged down by its own story and struggled to find its blueprint.
But “Out of Time” really set the tone for a new Legends of Tomorrow that can still be serious when it needs to be, but mostly finds its strength in embracing the quirks of time travel.
Here are 10 things that we loved the most about “Out of Time”:
1. A New Tone
One of the more noticeable changes about Legends of Tomorrow that was evident from the beginning of the premiere was a new tone to the series. While it still remains a time travel show, there was a new jovial quality to it where the show embraces its quirks and uses them to its advantage. It leaves behind the darker tone that it embraced in season one, and it feels like Legends of Tomorrow has finally found its footing as a time travel show. If all goes right, Legends should be able to blend a balance of seriousness and lightheartedness that would spell a recipe for success.
2. Sara and Ray’s Dynamic
Funny story, long before Legends of Tomorrow premiered I had already had my sights set on a relationship between Sara and Ray (proof here). Most of it was attributed to their chemistry as co-stars in the past, but then the more I thought about the more it made sense. The broken assassin and the pure genius who couldn’t be more opposite and who couldn’t be so right. This ship was everything I look for in a show.
But after last season with Sara and Snart’s connection that never got to fully be and Ray’s laughable relationship with Kendra, all hope seemed lost that they’d ever go there. Until the season two premiere where my White Atom feels came crashing back.
When you think about it, Sara and Ray hardly interacted in season one, for whatever reason I don’t know. But they hadn’t really had time alone where we got to see their dynamic. In the season two premiere, it was an almost instantaneous connection as Caity Lotz and Brandon Routh’s chemistry flourished.
We immediately saw Ray’s concern and sympathy for Sara following Laurel’s death and how he knew she wasn’t exactly taking it well. We watched as Ray’s concern overshadowed the mission as he followed her in her pursuit of Damien Darhk. We watched as Sara and Ray got into a heated argument and later apologized. We watched as Sara and Ray saw each other for the first time since they were sent spiraling through time. There’s something there, guys. I’m not making this up.
Now of course I’d like to believe that Legends of Tomorrow learned its lesson with Ray and Kendra last season in terms of rushing a relationship. Granted that relationship never made sense in the first place. I definitely felt that there was a vibe between Sara and Ray, and it’s definitely something I believe the writers will continue to explore this season. Think slowburn, people. Slowburns are the best. And I can’t wait to watch week after week as Sara and Ray’s relationship strengthens.
3. Oliver Queen Makes a Cameo
It was certainly an Arrow-filled week as Emily Bett Rickards guest starred on The Flash on Tuesday, a new episode of Arrow on Wednesday, and Stephen Amell making a cameo on Legends of Tomorrow’s season premiere. That’s the beauty of these crossovers: these shows and their characters have relationships that extend far beyond the constraints of the show itself. These relationships have been built and expanded upon sometimes off-screen, but the development is there.
So it should come as no surprise that newbie Dr. Nate Heywood came to Oliver Queen for some help in finding two of his friends, Sara and Ray, as well as the rest of the Legends. What soon followed was Oliver and Nate journeying aboard the Waverider and listening to Mick Rory tell the story of what the hell happened. It was entertaining, light-hearted, and downright enjoyable. Just another reminder of how much Legends of Tomorrow has already matured. Well, that and anytime Stephen Amell is on our screens we’re happy.
4. Sara Lance vs. Damien Darhk
One of the cool things about this joint universe on The CW is how several characters have multiple connections to other series. For Sara Lance, she’s coming off a horrific tragedy where her sister Laurel was murdered by Damien Darhk. And if you thought five months was enough time to wipe away that heartbreak, pain, and hatred then you’d be wrong.
It’s almost immediately that we discover that Sara is still not okay when it comes to the situation. Here she is holed up on a time machine with the ability to go back in time to save her sister. Or, as a way to save her sister and countless other lives, Sara could kill the man responsible and that’s that. Only history is a touchy subject.
As the Legends journeyed to 1942 New York City, Sara had an ulterior motive as she had been tracking Darhk as a means to kill the bastard that had killed her sister thus ensuring that Laurel never dies in 2016. She eventually got her chance at killing as Darhk as she came face-to-face with him on a mission to prevent an atomic bomb from destroying New York City.
As you’d expect, she was blinded by rage as she fought a man who had no idea who she was. Her revenge was cut short as the Legends had to retreat, but something tells me this revenge story is far from over. And to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sara manages to eventually kill Darhk and prevent her sister from ever dying. Unless something or someone else kills her instead.
5. A Villainous Team Up
Following last season’s horrific big bad in Vandal Savage, Legends of Tomorrow appears to be taking a different direction led by a group of familiar villains who are threatening to rewrite history. That’s right, Damien Darhk and Eobard Thawne (Reverse Flash) have teamed up in an attempt to most likely destroy history as we know it. Because that’s what the bad guys do.
Of course the real question is: What are they after? Clearly Reverse Flash has come from the future and Darhk exists in the past, given the Lazarus Pit’s Fountain of Youth-like waters. Their first attempt at destruction involved destroying New York City in 1942 and giving the power to the Germans essentially rewriting World War II. So what is their endgame? Is it a single entity? Or is it something even greater than we can imagine?
6. Historian Nate Heywood Charms in His Introduction
Legends of Tomorrow had an interesting approach when introducing historian Nate Heywood, which involved Heywood seeking out Oliver Queen to help him find the Legends that were scattered throughout time. Heywood, who is not a hero as of now, is merely a historian who has been noticing subtle changes throughout history that appeared to be caused by our Legends. Whether it was a drawing that looked just like Ray or words about a woman in white with a bow staff, the Legends were leaving their subtle marks throughout history. And Heywood had a feeling they were in trouble. Smart one, that Dr. Heywood.
Heywood is a character that I fell in love with instantaneously because he adds a different layer to the cast on the Waverider as he’s merely a guide while the Legends are the weapons. He’s got a lovable, quirky personality that really works for him. His love of history really comes across as genuine, and I have a feeling my love of Nate will only continue to grow.
7. Mick Rory’s Quippy One-Liners
No one does quippy one-liners like Mick Rory. And damn was he on top of his game in the season 2 premiere of Legends of Tomorrow. While we’ve most always known Rory as a companion to Leonard Snart, this season is going to be his coming out party where he stands as an individual on his own. That means getting to see more of his unique, humorous personality that was on full-display. Whether it was “I’ve never been to a nerd party” or “I love roasting Nazis,” Dominic Purcell’s comedic timing was especially on point during “Out of Time.”
8. Albert Einstein
As our group of Legends focused on preventing the destruction of New York City in 1942, our group traveled back to that time to kidnap Albert Einstein before Damien Darhk and the Nazis could, which would lead to Einstein creating an atomic bomb for them before the Americans were slated to.
One of the tonal changes in the show shone through in the depiction of Einstein, who while he was the intelligent man we know him as, was also a man that loved the ladies. Just, wow, with that “for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction” line. Gross. But it worked for the character. There was a levity to the dire circumstances of the situation, which was still very believable.
9. Scattered Throughout Time
As we learned near the end of the season premiere, Rip Hunter sent our merry band of Legends – minus Rory – to various time periods in history to help save them from the atomic bomb hitting the Waverider. That brought us a hilarious montage where we glimpsed our Legends throughout different time periods as Rory and Heywood set off to find them and bring them back to the ship. We save Ray running for his life from a T-Rex (yeah, I’m not making this stuff up), Jax and Stein about to be beheaded in medieval times, and Sara about to be burned at the stake as she got friendly with some of the Salem women. It was one of the great examples of how Legends of Tomorrow has found its footing with the jovial tone as it doesn’t take time travel too seriously anymore.
10. The Justice Society of America
Of course they were saving the Justice Society of America for the very end. As Legends of Tomorrow heads into its second season, one of the big storylines will involve the JSA, which made its brief debut in the final seconds of the premiere. The JSA is going to be a huge focus this season, and will also feature a familiar yet new character joining the Legends on their mission as Vixen will soon join the team. There’s so much possibility with the JSA storyline and how this will all play out, but right now we’re just basking in the glory that is the JSA.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.