Legends of Tomorrow: 1.04 White Knights
On this weeks exciting episode of Captain Kidnap and the Leg Ends of Tomorrow…
Rip has had another great idea! In the future there is a US Government file on Savage but, annoyingly, it’s been redacted – big black lines all over the info they need. So, the team head off to the pentagon in 1986 BEFORE the file was redacted so they can steal it and read it sans big black lines! Makes perfect sense…
What follows is a fun little heist sequence involving the full team infiltrating the Pentagon and successfully pinching the file. However, when cornered Kendra goes all Terrorhawk and everyone has to leg it. Back at the ship, with the file, they discover Savage has joined the Russians, at the height of the Cold War. This is bad news for the future, so we set off to Russia to stop Savage. All this happens before the opening credits have even finished!
If last weeks episode showed the strain of having so many characters in a confined space, this weeks managed to shake that off a little, presenting a more balanced, interweaving story for all players.
Kendra and Sara get the short change narrative wise, with the later tasked by Rip to train up the former in cool fighting moves and shit. This provides good character development for both but is a little detached form the wider story and does show the problem of having so many plates spinning at once.
Once again, Snart gets to steal the show. He and Ray head off to seduce Dr Vostok, a sexy female Russian scientist who is building a weapon of mass destruction for Savage (obviously). Despite being Brandon Routh dreamy, Ray just irritates Vostok when he tries to smooth talk her outside the ballet and Snart has to step in – he even gets to say the episode title when he saves her from Ray’s boring chat up lines “I’m no White Knight”. Man, [Wentworth] Miller is so goddamned cool!
Part way through their apparently not especially urgent scheme, Rip gets an offer from the Time Masters to give up his quest and return the Legends back to their own time. He and everyone else know it’s a trap. And it is. So they spring it… I think just to prove themselves right? It does trigger a good argument between Jefferson and Stein, who get some really nice stuff this week. They address the elephant in the room, namely, Stein basically kidnapped Jefferson. We also get a great sense of Stein being arrogant and selfish for noble and selfless motivations. Garber is especially good and the friendship developing between him and Ray is also enjoyable, if not just because scenes between Routh and Garber really pop.
The plot, which is very silly, eventually leads to Stein having to infiltrate a Russian research lab – which looks a lot like the same huge warehouse with steamy pipes from every other TV show ever – where he discovers Savage is trying to replicate his experiments that created Firestorm, showing their presence in the past has already had an adverse effect on the future/past/history. Ray and Snart turn up to help Stein, who has to deactivate a thermacore and scupper the soviet Firestorm program. After a few shenanigans and some great interplay between Snart and Ray, everyone gets captured because… I mean… these guys never think anything through.
There are lots of nice, fun touches in this episode; universal translator tablets that allow everyone to speak Russian, Rocky 4 references, timeships fighting in the sky and Kendra reminding everyone, again, that she used to be a barista. I used to be a barista, you don’t hear me going on about it all the time. The episode also gets in a lot of good character work and the feeling that the Legends are a bunch of wannabes trying to do the right thing plays out well. They’re almost working as a team but not quite. Our heroes still don’t really know how each other tick, so even when working towards the same end goal they still find each other destructively unpredictable. The show is finding its feet a little more now and this week feels like we’ve moved the narrative on.
The episode ends nicely with a bit of a cliffhanger when Rory turns up to save the day but gets captured along with Stein and Ray. This intervention does allow Snart to escape with the Thermaguffin, as well as shout the line: “Mick and Stein just got pinched by the Ruskies”. Man! Miller is so goddamned cool!