MAROONED – 5.5/10.
Legends of Tomorrow’s first season has been somewhat of a mixed bag, it’s not surprising that a show with so many moving parts has proven to be hit and miss. My major criticisms of it thus far have been the inconsistency of the characters, the surprising lack of scale for a show that covers all of space and time, and the repetitious, formulaic structure used for most of the episodes. Last week’s jaunt to 2046 should have been fantastic, but an underwhelming cameo from an older Oliver Queen wasn’t enough to push this show to the next level where it belongs. But let’s not forget we are only seven episodes in to a high concept show, while Flash may have been great almost immediately it took Arrow a little longer to get there, so I am still willing to give LOT the benefit of the doubt.
This week’s episode was unique in as much as the team travelled through space rather than time, working through a veritable smorgasbord of sci-fi tropes in the process. Having gone rogue and being very much a fugitive, Rip is unable to connect his ship to the Time Masters’ database to update Gideon’s files on Savage. As a result of this the time trail has gone frustratingly cold, leaving Rip to stew over holo-messages of his dead family (oh look a sci-fi trope) and the rest of the team to slowly lose their minds out of boredom. The downtime is especially difficult for Captain Cold and Heat Wave, with tensions still running high between them after Cold sucker punched his partner to pull him out of 2046. Clearly, hugging it out isn’t going to be the solution to this situation.
The tedium is broken when Gideon picks up a distress signal from the flagship of the Time Master’s fleet, the Akaron. Rip decides to risk capture to answer the call, enabling Gideon to update her files and giving Professor Stein the opportunity to finally explore deep space. Rip boards the Akaron with Jax, Stein and Heat Wave, who volunteers to go just so he can get away from Cold. While the Akaron may appear to be a ghost ship at first, the team is soon captured by a group of vicious time pirates led by Captain Valor. The pirates were in the process of being transported to prison when they seized control of the ship. However, they were outsmarted by the Akaron’s commanding officer, Captain Baxter, who jettisoned the time drive, marooning them in time.
While Stein sneaks about the Akaron unnoticed, Valor offers to drop Rip and his team anywhere in time if they willingly hand over their ship’s time drive. Rip refuses and proceeds to use coded messages to Gideon to activate the Waverider’s preprogramed battle sequences. Valor soon realises what is going on and throws Rip, Jax and Heat Wave in to the brig with Captain Baxter where everyone proceeds to argue… a lot. Which is pretty much all that happens on LOT; endless arguments and Power Rangers style fight scenes. The Waverider sustains heavy damage to its life support systems during the battle and Sara and Cold find themselves locked in a rapidly freezing hull whilst trying to repair it. Things don’t look great for our sort-of-heroes, but at least it gives them time to bond.
After a particularly brutal argument with Heat Wave, Rip ends up telling him that he is only part of the team because Cold wouldn’t come without him. This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Heat Wave and he makes a deal with the pirates to hand the Waverider over to them. While Heat Wave betrays the team, Ray risks his life to save them, using the A.T.O.M. suit to fly into deep space and repair the hull. The episode features a lot of flirting between Ray and Kendra and she does her best to keep Ray focused as his O2 supply slowly runs out. He manages to make it back on to the ship in time but still needs to be revived by a concerned Kendra. Ray doesn’t get to catch his breath though as Heat Wave soon arrives with the pirates, leading to an all-out battle for the time drive.
Back on the Akaron, Stein somehow manages to overpower a guard and release Rip, Jax and Baxter. They seize control of the ship and flush the pirates out into space using a trick that Rip’s wife once used/stole from Star Trek. Back on the Waverider, Sara battles Heat Wave who is then incapacitated by Captain Cold. Baxter shows her gratitude to Rip by giving him the coordinates for Savage and also not turning him over to the Time Masters. But before the team can continue on their mission they must first decide what to do about Heat Wave. They can’t take him back to 2016 as it would put all of their families at risk, so Cold says he will deal with it. He takes Heat Wave to an undisclosed time on Earth and after a lengthy argument he does the unthinkable, turning his cold gun on his partner.
The episode was punctuated by flashbacks to Rip’s romance with his wife Miranda, I’m sure this was intended to add depth to his character but it only really served to clog the pace. Similarly, the romance between Ray and Kendra felt forced and is clearly only happening to facilitate some Dawson’s Creek style drama when Carter finally reappears. But the episode had just as many positives as negatives, the story between Cold and Heat Wave was particularly engaging. I almost feel guilty for caring more about two criminals ‘breaking up’ than I did about Rip’s dead family. The success of Cold’s character on the show is a prime example of how good things can be when they work on LOT, It’s just a shame that these successes can’t be a little more consistent.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- Cold clearly didn’t Kill his best friend. After confessing to Sara that he wishes he had left Heat Wave in 2046 it seems likely that that is where Cold has ‘marooned’ him.
- Why didn’t Stein and Jax fuse and fight off the pirates as Firestorm on the Akaron?
- Good to know that Kendra prefers Picard to Kirk, personally I do as well.
- So it seems that Gideon is not the standard A.I. used by time travellers, there is also a male version called Gilbert. Okay, so it isn’t really a point of interest but it still counts.