written by Matthew Finneman
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
Before we begin, can we just talk about how awesome the logo title screen is? All the individual logos for each hero flying off to become a different letter of the show? Man. I can’t get enough of it.
So we are in our first non-pilot episode of the show. How does it hold up? The strongest aspect of “Blood Ties” is that it no longer seems to be relying as much on the “WE ARE ALL RELATED TO FLASH AND ARROW” aspect that the pilot mined so heavily. But there were lots of other things to enjoy as well, which we will get into right away!
Well, after the obligatory plot recap, of course.
Our heroes are still stuck in the ’70s. Vandal Savage can’t be killed, so why don’t we cripple him in other ways? Financial ruin everyone? Hells yeah. Financial ruin is where it. Is. AT! Meanwhile, the B story crew steals the show as peer pressure advocates Captain Cold and Heat Wave convince the younger half of Firestorm to pull off a heist. The C story has the Atom doing the most cliché shrinking superhero plot line ever with the near-death Hawkgirl, with Professor Stein coaching the effort. So let’s tackle each plotline and discuss what was enjoyable for each.
It was really nice seeing White Canary and Rip Hunter team up for the main plot this week. White Canary didn’t get a lot to do in the two-part pilot episode, so watching her really take center stage was a nice touch. We got more depth to her character, got a lot of amazing fight sequences featuring her, and the casual sarcasm of her comments towards Rip were highly enjoyable. Meanwhile, Casper Crump is doing his absolute best Christoph Waltz impression as Vandal Savage. The idea to bankrupt Vandal to delay his ability to wage war was a sound one, and I have to admit I was not expecting the “bank heist” storyline to take a turn onto crazy lane with an Eyes Wide Shut homage, complete with robed monks chanting, candlelit rooms, and a self-referential comment by Heat Wave! The ending sequence was another example of how well Legends Of Tomorrow has been handling its big team battles. I always get excited when a battle is about to begin!
The next plot line was the true winner. Wentworth Miller is the absolute best as Captain Cold. He is so awesome. In fact, one might even say he isn’t just cool…he’s cold. Having Cold and Heat Wave together will never not be the best thing ever. Bringing Jefferson along was nice, but not particularly needed for the plot of trying to change Snart’s childhood, and thus, his future. We not only got a great lesson in how time travel doesn’t always work in the ways we hoped, but we also got to see Captain Cold set his own destiny in play by giving his younger self the very advice that led to his current mental state and personality. Basically, the takeaway is that Captain Cold is the best.
The final plot had the Atom and Professor Stein trying to save Hawkgirl by going on a journey inside her body to destroy the fragments of Savage’s dagger from last week. This was easily the weakest of the plotlines. We get some forced connection between Ray Palmer and Stein, and some hard-to-believe crisis of confidence for Ray deep within Kendra’s blood stream. Out of all three plot lines, this one was the most by-the-numbers one we got. I love me some Ray Palmer, so I was hoping for more.
Will Heat Wave ever get more depth? He’s solid as the partner in crime for Cold, but will we ever see the side of him that is both tortured and mesmerized by fire?
Seriously. Casper Crump is basically a TV version of Christoph Waltz at this point.
If you didn’t get flashbacks to The Magic School Bus while watching the Atom’s plot line, you had a terrible childhood.
The scene where Vandal Savage learns about Rip’s family might be the single greatest scene in the show so far.
Legends Of Tomorrow airs Thursdays on the CW at 8 ET/7 CT. Matthew can be reached on Twitter @NOLANerdCast