[Review] Legends Of Tomorrow Episode 1×13: “Leviathan”

written by Kate Spencer

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

It’s a race against time! Or maybe a race against the rules of time travel? Something like that. Rip Hunter and the team have one last shot at killing Vandal Savage – by traveling to 2166, only three days before Savage murders Rip’s family.

After a warm welcome from Savage’s army, the Waverider touches down in London. Gideon knows where Savage is going to be tonight, so Rip takes along “The killer, the klepto, and the pyro.” (Sara, Leonard, and Mick). In case we didn’t know Savage is evil, he’s giving a speech to a group of gathered soldiers, yelling rhetoric about victory and how unstoppable they are, and to top it all off the crowd and Savage do a Nazi-like salute. Kendra, who’s coordinating the attack from the ship, sees the blonde woman with Savage is wearing Chay-ara’s bracelet – and any object present at the time of Chay-ara and Khufu’s first deaths can be used to kill Savage.

Wait, they blundered into 2166 without a way to kill Savage? Also, what’s the plan here? Kidnap Savage, take him to the ship, and have Kendra kill him? She can’t without a weapon! This was a poorly thought-out plan.

Mick and Leonard trip Rip to distract Savage’s guards and they attack. Sara fights the blonde but isn’t able to get the bracelet, and the team is quickly outnumbered by Savage’s guards, forcing a retreat. Yeah, you see? That didn’t go so well, did it? Here’s a thought, instead of the killer, the klepto, and the pyro, why not take the heavy hitters like the hawk, the guy who is literally a pocket-sized Iron Man, and the two guys who can become a walking nuclear reaction? Furthermore, do you really need a weapon to kill Savage? He’s immortal, sure, but he can’t fly or teleport. Drop him off somewhere where he can’t cause trouble? Go be immortal on Pluto. Or the sun. The sun was there the day Savage killed the Hawks – sun god and all. Just get the Waverider as close as you can and push Savage out of the airlock.

Kendra explains the significance of the bracelet but Sara doubts they can kill Savage with a bracelet. Hey, weren’t you trained by the League of Assassins? Can’t you kill a guy with a cocktail napkin? Teach Kendra to kill a guy with a bracelet and call it a day. Team Icy Hot is sent after the bracelet, Sara is assigned to train Kendra for her fight, and the rest of the team try to make contact with the London resistance. Stein and Jax try to help the refugee children by giving them food. Ray asks Rip a question I’ve been thinking about off and on the entire series: why doesn’t Rip just get his family out of Whitechapel before they’re killed? Rip already tried that. After his first attempt to kill Savage in ancient Egypt, he went to 2166 to try to get Miranda and Jonas to safety, but they were shot by Savage’s troops on their way to the Waverider. He went back earlier and tried again and again but it was always the same outcome – he watched his family die. Time wants to happen, and for Rip that means the universe is telling him his family is supposed to die.

Word arrives that another camp has been destroyed. Savage has a weapon which is devastating the resistance, and London has the only standing group of resistance fighters left. Kendra and Sara search through Professor Boardman’s research to see what they can learn about the bracelet, but Kendra finds Carter’s mace, and has a flashback from touching it. In a past life, Carter trained her to use the mace in case she ever had to face Savage alone. That gives Kendra an idea. Meanwhile the Frostfire Boyfriends kidnap the blonde woman and get the bracelet, but she’s particularly defiant and confident that Savage will come for her. She’s his daughter.

No, not Scandal Savage, she’s “Cassandra”, but she is pretty badass and I can’t help but think maybe Scandal inspired the character. She also knows who all of them are. Leonard tries talking to her by bonding over their crappy fathers, but she idolizes Savage. She thinks he saved the world from Per Degaton who unleashed the Armageddon Virus that killed her mother. Ooooh, she’s in for a shock.

Mick assists Kendra in melting down the bracelet and using it to coat the head of Carter’s mace. That’s a clever solution. Mick doubts Kendra has killed anyone in her 4000 years of reincarnation and asks if she’s ready to kill Savage. Mick, shutup. We finally get Hawkgirl swinging a mace – don’t ruin this. Kendra is ready.

Gideon finds an old spy satellite still in operation and Ray has used it to analyze the impact craters of the last attack on a resistance camp. They’re not impact craters at all – they’re footprints. Faster than you can say Jurassic Park reference, some ominous rumbling indicates something really big is approaching. Stein and Ray get everyone from the resistance camp onto the ship (with obligatory Rip losing his shit about more strays), and the Waverider takes off just in time to see a giant robot, the Leviathan. After failing to fight it, the Waverider is tossed by the Leviathan. The Waverider is trashed, Stein is injured and put in the med bay, and the Leviathan is coming back for them. Leonard tries to appeal to Cassandra again by showing her the people on the ship, whom she initially dismisses as dangerous rebels. Finally, he shows her a recording of the board meeting from fourteen years ago in which Savage was pushing the Kasnia board of directors to thin out the population. She agrees to help them stop her father.

Rip has lost faith – he can’t repair the Waverider before the Leviathan’s next attack and they can’t kill Savage. He thinks the people on the ship are doomed just like his family. Ray tells him not to give up hope, because he doesn’t believe in fate and he’s willing to fight to the end. He has a plan to stop the robot, Kendra says she has a way to kill Savage, and Leonard says Cassandra can get them close enough to him to do it. That’s enough for Rip.

Jax helps Ray modify the Atom suit to make a stand against the Leviathan robot. OMG this is really happening. Ray grows to massive size and attacks the Leviathan head-on. It’s not outright stated but the symbols on the Leviathan and its weaponry make me think that it’s based on the Atombot technology we saw in episode 10. The fight is pretty awesome. They slow the two down a little to add weight and a sense of scale to it. It really feels like two massive combatants punching and throwing each other. Jax monitors Ray’s suit from the Waverider and coaches him through the fight. Ray goes down briefly, but after a pep talk from Jax, he gets up and punches the Leviathan so hard he decapitates it.

Cassandra returns to Savage, who sees through the deception. Rip, Mick, Leonard, Sara, and Cassandra deal with Savage’s guards and Kendra goes one-on-one with Savage himself. I’ve been waiting for this all season. We’ve seen Kendra in fights throughout this seaso, but seeing her go full fury mode on Savage is fantastic. Savage gets in a few hits, but Kendra dominates this fight, delivering blow after punishing blow. Before she can deliver the killing blow “for Carter”, a soldier enters and shoots at her. When she knocks the soldier out, she’s stunned to see that it’s Carter – or his incarnation in this time period. Savage explains that he found this incarnation of Carter before he recovered his past memories and brainwashed him. He taunts Kendra, saying if she kills him then Carter’s mind will be lost forever. Kendra can’t do it, and instead both Carter and Savage are brought aboard the Waverider.

Leonard takes Cassandra to the resistance and she pledges her support to them. Savage’s army is still out there, but Cassandra knows their tactics and their weaknesses. Stein recovers in the med lab, having slept through the entire finale. Kendra tells Ray they need to talk (but that relationship drama will have to wait for the next episode or continue off-screen). Rip goes to the holding cell to visit a confident Savage, who delights in knowing that Rip’s family can’t be saved as long as Kendra wants to save Carter. The episode ends with Savage taunting Rip through the glass.

First of all, this is the Hawkgirl I like. Not part of the drama vehicle she and Ray have been since the start of their relationship, but a badass and confident warrior. She came up with the idea of using the bracelet, applied it to the mace herself after Mick melted it down, and she went into the fight ready to take Savage down for good. The fight with Savage was pretty one-sided, but I think after a season of Savage always having the upper hand, it was cathartic to watch Kendra deliver the mother of all beatdowns. I’m not entirely happy with the end of the fight, but I guess they have to do something for three more episodes. Kendra’s hesitation to kill Savage after she finds out about Carter is understandable, though. Of course Savage isn’t going to just restore Carter if she spares his life, but killing him and possibly removing the only way to get her 4,000-year lover back isn’t easy either.

The rest…not a lot to say. Ray’s optimism pulling Rip out of his despair was good. Leonard taking it upon himself to reform Cassandra makes him even more likable. Stein being so adamant about helping the refugees was a nice touch, but with everything else going on it was like they didn’t have time for him to do much else so they wrote him out of the finale. Maybe it was because they blew most of the budget on the robot fight and couldn’t have Firestorm. I have been noticing that they tend to sideline Firestorm or split Stein and Jax onto separate teams in several episodes. In other episodes Kendra will be out of the fight for some reason (“Blood Ties”), Mick and Leonard will be separated from their guns (“The Magnificent Eight”), or Ray will be too beat up to use the Atom suit (“Fail-Safe”). It really feels like they’re budgeting the episodes. Which I’m okay with if it means costs are down and the show remains profitable enough to keep going.

I liked this one. Those final fights were awesome – the effects-heavy Atom/Leviathan battle and the brutal Kendra/Savage smackdown. Makes me wonder what they have planned for the finale and if it can top this. But please…I’m really tired of the Vandal Savage storyline. I just don’t find Savage to be an interesting villain in the show. It does look like it’s wrapping up, so maybe the last few episodes will introduce whatever the season 2 threat will be. My money is currently on the Time Masters being a corrupt organization.

Three episodes left in the season. Next week, Savage is in custody, but how long will he stay there?

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

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