[Review] Legends Of Tomorrow Episode 1×06: “Star City 2046”

written by Kate Spencer


We pick up where we left off with the team crashing in Star City in the year 2046. I’d nitpick the convenience of crashing in one of the cities that’s relevant to our heroes and in a time where people and events are still familiar to them when they have all of history they could have crashed in, but…you know what? Reincarnated hawk goddess. Seriously, that’s going to be my “a wizard did it” go-to suspension of disbelief thing. The Legends are immediately confronted by a Green Arrow who isn’t Oliver Queen. New Green Arrow sure does fight like Oliver though, because he unloads a quiverful of arrows on them. Well…I say unloads, but despite going through 20-some arrows his quiver still looks full. That’s not unusual though – I’ve watched two seasons of Arrow and I’ve only seen Ollie run out of arrows once. >.> Hawk goddess!

The team retreats back to the ship to assess the situation. Rip explains that this is only a possible future, and that the future isn’t set. The engines are shot to hell and Gideon is offline. To repair Gideon they need a special part which Ray’s company, Palmer Tech – now Smoak Technologies – was working on in 2016. Ray trusts that a working prototype exists in this time period. He also states that he thinks Palmer Tech is a much better name. Look, I love Felicity, but I agree. As a techie, hearing “smoke” and technology in the same sentence tends to make me worry. Ray volunteers to get the part, but Rip benches Ray and Sara since they both have a connection to this timeline. He assigns Ray, Kendra, Jax, and Stein to repair the engines while Mick and Leonard go with him to steal the A.I. part. Sara demands to be taken along, resorting to threatening Rip with physical harm when he refuses. On one hand, yay for Sara being tough. On the other hand…yeesh.

While they walk through the apocalyptic hellhole, Leonard sarcastically observes that Sara’s cop father did an excellent job protecting the city. Sara concludes that the only way her father and her friends would have let this happen is if they were all dead. Their search is interrupted by a gang of criminals fighting Green Arrow. The archer gets shot, so Sara runs off to check on him with Rip in tow, leaving Leonard and Mick to their own devices in a city overrun by rioters, thieves, and looters. Have I mentioned that Rip is a bad babysitter? Hot & Cold don’t want to wait around for Rip and Sara, so they wander off to rob a bank. Those two can be predictable sometimes, but it can be entertaining. They run into a gang right away and after Mick sets the leader on fire, he takes over.

Rip, I’m thinking taking the pyromaniac arsonist thief into a post-apocalyptic war zone that’s constantly on fire was maybe a bad idea.

Sara catches up to Green Arrow who is uninjured because of body armor. Green Arrow appears to be a young man is using that voice distorter thing all of the Arrow heroes have clipped to their belts – the one that magically masks their real voice and only makes the distorted one audible. >.> He switches it off when Sara mentions Oliver Queen, and informs her that Oliver is dead. He says Oliver died when “the uprising” started 15 years earlier. When “he” brought an army with him. At this point I’m groaning out loud that it’s Vandal Savage again, but the real culprit recognizes his cue to arrive on the scene – Deathstroke…kinda. Rip finally catches up and Sara asks “Slade” how he’s still alive. Deathstroke removes his mask to reveal…not Slade! “How do you know my father?” Ohai, Ravager. When Grant calls in his army, Green Arrow makes a hasty retreat with Sara and Rip.

Mick is enjoying being leader of a gang. This is his kind of town – no cops, everything he wants is laid out in front of him for the taking, and the only thing to stop him is one guy in a green hood. “It’s Christmas every day!” Leonard isn’t keen on staying and wants to get back to Rip, Sara, and the mission as soon as possible.

Speaking of, Rip asks Sara to not worry about this particular future and to stay focused on their mission. Green Arrow tells them all of the good stuff from Smoak Technologies was moved, so he takes them to…the Arrow Lair? Anyway, they’re confronted there by Stephen Amell in really rough old man makeup, a beard, and one arm tucked into his shirt. No, it’s a one-armed Oliver Queen! Despite the kinda shoddy makeup (it’s hard to age someone thirty years with only makeup), I really like Oliver’s look here. It’s supposed to be a callback to The Dark Knight Returns and I think if they’re going to do a dystopian future Ollie, that’s the look to go for. Oliver refers to the new Green Arrow as “John”, as in John Diggle Jr. Green Arrow says his dad is dead because he couldn’t save him, and he doesn’t think he deserves to have the same name. “I’m Connor Hawke.”

When Oliver asks why Connor won’t take his father’s name but he’ll take the Green Arrow identity, Connor says someone had to – and everyone thought Oliver was dead. Oliver suggests that if Sara and Ray had been around, things might have gone differently when the Uprising happened. Rip tells them why they’re there and Oliver tells them the stuff from Smoak Technologies is in an old warehouse, then tells them to fuck off. Okay, not in those exact words, but close enough.

Ravager/Grant Wilson shows up to recruit Mick’s gang for a city-wide hunt for Connor, Sara, and Rip. Mick isn’t happy about losing control of his gang, but Leonard is more concerned that the gang is now being sent after their friends. Yes, Leonard uses the word “friends”, and that even catches Mick by surprise. When Leonard tells Mick it’s time to go, Mick refuses to take orders and the two nearly draw their weapons on each other. Leonard calms him down and tables the fight for later.

Sara asks if Rip knew about this future, and he says he thinks so, but that’s a good thing – when they stop Savage, Sara and Ray will be returned to their timeline so that they’re there to stop the Uprising and prevent this future from ever happening. Sara finds something of interest in the warehouse while Rip finds the part they need for the ship just before Grant’s men attack. Mick and Leonard arrive to help but Connor is captured. Rip refuses to go after Connor because this timeline doesn’t matter and won’t exist if their mission succeeds. And Mick and Leonard finally have their chat. Mick wants to stay in what he sees as his dream city. Leonard presents the butt of his cold gun as a counterpoint.

Rip: “What happened to him?”

Leonard: “Difference of opinion.”

Rip: “Right…”

I think more than anyone else, Rip understands Leonard and Mick.

Back on the ship, the repairs are finished and Rip is ready to leave, but Sara wants to stay and rescue Connor. Stein and Jax agree. Rip won’t allow it, though, because this isn’t like changing the past since the future is still in flux. Sara points out that it’s no different than Rip wanting to save his family. Uh-oh, shouldn’t have pushed that button. Rip says he’s not just trying to save his family but an entire world, and Sara is selfishly trying to save one city. He relents and gives her one hour to save Connor, then the Waverider is leaving with or without her.

Sara returns to Oliver and offers him the bow she found in the warehouse and the two of them arrive at Connor’s execution in time to save him (with Oliver making use of a prosthetic arm seen earlier). The rest of the team arrives after Rip has a change of heart, and they defeat Grant’s minions. Grant himself is knocked unconscious by Oliver, who turns his bow over to Connor Hawke: the new Green Arrow.

There’s also a subplot to this episode in which Jax reveals that he likes Kendra, but Ray seems to be moving in on her too and he feels he can’t compete with a billionaire genius playboy philanthropist. Stein takes on a kind of fatherly role with Jax this episode and he tells him to just be confident in himself. He also tries to figure out if Ray has feelings for Kendra, inadvertently making Ray realize he does and giving Jax some competition. In the end, Ray is the first to make an actual move but Kendra shoots him down. She’s dealing with too much right now between finding out who she is, traveling in time, dealing with Savage, and losing Carter to add another complication to her life. Ray (and Jax who was eavesdropping) end their pursuit but joke with each other about who she would have picked. Personally I think Sara has a better shot than either of them. Fingers crossed.

I feel like there’s some character inconsistency between episodes. In some episodes, Stein and Jax get along great, in others they’re at each others’ throats. Rip and Sara had developed a good rapport over the past few episodes but in this one they resorted to threatening each other. From Sara’s point of view, I can see her acting somewhat irrationally given that she’s seeing her home in ruins and everyone she’s ever loved is dead. That doesn’t quite excuse Rip. Given that he’s pretty vague with all of them on the rules of time travel and his own goal in all of this, you would think he’d be more understanding of what Sara was going through. Until Stein lectures him, the only understanding Rip offered was giving Sara an extra thirty minutes to save Connor. He does apologize in the end and acquiesces that every future is worth saving, but he’s still out of line in this episode.

Leonard and Mick – didn’t I say these two were going to be interesting? Mick got some character development this episode, but none of it was good. He thrives on chaos and greed, and being taken out of his element makes him feel uncomfortable. Worse yet, the one person he thought he could count on is betraying him in his eyes. There’s a great scene where they’re talking to each other with Mick in a cell after being knocked unconscious by Leonard. Mick accuses Leonard of going soft and becoming a hero more concerned with stopping Savage. That he’d rather save the world than be partners in crime. Leonard says that’s what it’s going to take to defeat Savage. I’m reminded of a discussion between Ray and Leonard in episode 2: Leonard says that robbing banks is more satisfying than playing hero and saving the world, and that thinking that way makes him a survivor. Now we’re seeing him thinking like a hero – does he see that as a more viable means of survival? Leonard tells Mick if they help defeat Vandal Savage they’ll be regarded as “the two baddest sons of bitches of all time.” But Mick doesn’t want that. The only thing he wants from the world is to see it burn. He adds that if Leonard hits him again, he’ll burn him too. At the close of the episode, Mick says he’ll miss this version of Star City, to which Ray – being Ray – says that the inhabitants seemed like Mick’s kind of people. “I don’t know who my people are anymore.”

I applaud the show for going this route with Mick. It’s clear that Mick is not and never will be a hero. He might occasionally do something that benefits others, but he’s not doing it out of the kindness of his heart. The man is a criminal to the bone and desires nothing but anarchy. It’s becoming apparent that he’s little more than an attack dog for the team, and from a writing standpoint, that’s a pretty gutsy move. His partnership with Leonard is the only thing keeping him on the chain, so it will be interesting to see how the rift between them plays out.

I really liked this episode. Connor Hawke is very different from his comic counterpart – especially in his origin and who he actually is, but I like this version. And seeing the budding partnership between him and Oliver at the end kind of makes me want to see a Connor Hawke miniseries with Oliver as a partner and mentor. Speaking of Oliver, I like how they did the future version – he’s broken and defeated, his city is in ruin, all of his allies are dead or moved on. My only complaint is the bionic arm. There are actually one-armed archers out there in real life who are quite skilled. (Really!) And in fact the comic which inspired this version of Ollie (The Dark Knight Returns) had him using a bow without a bionic arm. I know, the arm’s existence is easily explained away by Felicity or her company building it for him, but it would have been interesting to see him using one-armed archery techniques.

The timeline brought me some amusement this week and last. The team (with the exception of Rip) is from 2016. Last episode they were in 1986, this episode in 2046. I can’t help but wonder if the choice of timespans is deliberate and/or possibly a reference to Back To the Future where the first two films saw Marty McFly traveling thirty years into the past and thirty years into the future. Can’t wait for the Old West episode.

I’m beginning to get concerned about the series as a whole. The writing, acting, and directing are okay, but what I’m seeing is a show that probably has a pretty high budget. It can’t be easy having a show with a team full of super people who require special effects, and some of the sets and locations they’ve used so far look expensive as well. I’m afraid the network might end up cutting their budget or axing the show altogether. We will see.

Legends Of Tomorrow airs Thursdays on the CW at 8 ET/7 CT. Kate can be reached on Twitter @WearyKatie.

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