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[TV Review] ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Episode 1.06 – “Star City 2046”

Last week’s episode saw our Legends escape from the 1980s, only to be pursued once more by the dreaded bounty hunter, Cronos.  They managed elude him, but not before their ship, the Waverider, was terribly damaged.  They ultimately crash-landed in Star City…albeit 30 years from now in a possible future.  The scene was apocalyptic, with the city aflame and overrun with crime.  Greeted by a rather hostile Green Arrow in the final moments, they were shocked to find out that the Emerald Archer of 2046 was not Oliver Queen, but someone else entirely.

This week picked up where it left off, with this new Green Arrow sending them running before shooting off into the night.  Back on the ship, the team comes up with a gameplan: Kendra, Ray, Jackson, and Stein will remain on board the Waverider to make any necessary repairs.  Rip, Sara, Leonard, and Mick will set out on foot into the city to track down a replacement part to repair the ship’s A.I. navigator.

On the ship, events are rather playful overall.  It appears that Jackson has developed a crush on Kendra and Martin decides to help him out.  Unfortunately, in the process of doing so, Martin also enlightens Ray about the fact that Kendra has flirtatious towards him.  So basically we have a little comedic love triangle in place for a time between Kendra, Jackson, and Ray, with poor Martin Stein stuck watching it all blow up.  Nothing turns nasty and there’s no fighting.  Both are also shut down fairly quickly.  After all, Kendra just had the love of her (countless) lives killed in front of her once more.  She has no interest in starting up another relationship.  Still, it all makes for some fun, light-hearted moments between the four of them.

Things are less cheery out on the streets of Star City, where poor Sara is crushed by what has happened to her hometown.  Rip couldn’t care less, with his mind solely focused on the mission at hand.  Then we have Leonard Snart and Mick Rory, our theft-happy convicts.  Mick is delighted at the chaos around him and actually wants to stay.  Leonard, however, has no interest in remaining in such squalor.  These two former best buds are beginning to drift apart and its a rift that could easily lead to one of them dying at the hands of the other as the season goes on.

I’m not sure if I’d call Snart’s path a redemptive one, but he certainly seems more conscientious about the importance of the mission and the need to set aside petty personal goals until it is over.  Mick just wants to be Mick, which is starting to become a problem for the team. I have a sneaking suspicion that Snart is going to be forced to put his buddy Mick down, much like he did  his own father earlier this year on “The Flash“.

The real showcase this week, however, is Star City 2046.  The city has been overrun for a decade and a half by the time our team lands in it.  It appears that 15 years earlier, Grant Wilson (son of Slade) took up his father’s mantle as Deathstroke and invaded Star City.  During the chaos as citizens fled the uprising, this new Deathstroke outed Oliver Queen as Green Arrow and severed one of his arms.  Oliver has not been seen since and is presumed dead.

The rumors are only half right.  Sara and Rip, after aiding new Green Arrow Connor Hawke (Joseph David-Jones), stumble upon the still-living 65-year-old Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) in the ruins of his old base of operations.  He’s only a shadow of his former self and after revealing Connor Hawke’s true identity (he’s John Diggle Jr.!), he bids them to leave him in peace.  They begrudgingly comply.  Amell sells this emotionally and psychologically destroyed version of Oliver Queen well.  The old age makeup point on him looks pretty good in most of his scenes and fans are finally gifted with a big bushy goatee and beard on Amell’s handsome mug.

The Waverider is repaired without too many hiccups, but in retrieving the needed piece of tech, Connor Hawke is captured by Grant Wilson’s men and scheduled to be executed.  Despite Rip’s initial objections, the team decides to stay behind and save Connor before getting back to their mission to stop Vandal Savage.  They also get some extra help, after Sara pleads with this future’s grizzled old Oliver to pick his bow back up and take on Grant Wilson (Jamie Andrew Cutler) once more!

The resulting skirmish with Deathstroke 2.0’s men isn’t as long as I’d have liked, nor is the Green Arrows vs. Deathstroke aspect of it, but on the whole, it all works. I like the mantles of both Green Arrow and Deathstroke becoming legacies passed down.  Grant picking up his father Slade’s terrorist moniker and in lieu of his own son (William) taking up Oliver’s Green Arrow legacy, it is instead an unborn son of John Diggle stepping into the role of Star City’s emerald hero.  It not only showcases the importance of heroism throughout time in regards to the themes of “Legends of Tomorrow“, but it also continues the parent/child themes of “Arrow” from its own current season.

I honestly thought we might get to see Amell have a second death scene as Oliver Queen this year, after his pre-Flash time travel death back in December.  That ultimately wasn’t the case, as battle-hardened (and now mechanical arm’d) Oliver and his new protege Connor successfully take out Grant.  I still kind of wish we could have seen him go out in the blaze of glory, sacrificing himself in battle once more, but the ending we received worked as well.  Instead of self-sacrifice, we see Oliver’s zest for life and quest for justice renewed, with him vowing to take back his city once more with Connor at his side.

While not perfect, this was definitely one of the best episodes of the season thus far and a good example of how the series should run going forward.  Not only just it give fans glimpses of future events (or alternate ones) that they otherwise would never see happen with these characters on these shows, it appears that between last week and this week, the showrunners have finally found a good balance when it comes to showcasing the team members.  Everyone finally has their niche on the team and the series is beginning to fire on all cylinders.  There’s certainly still room for improvement, but I’m starting to really like where things are headed now.

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