I just finished watching the second season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on Netflix! I was actually pleasantly surprised because I wasn’t too excited going into it, considering the frustrating first season, which was watchable (I mean I did finish the whole season) but made me want to tear my hair out a lot of the time. However, the second season was much better. It saddens me to an extent because one reason for its improvement was actually a slight change in the cast, and I had liked the cast for season one, but the new cast did work very well – better, even. There was a lot more humor that I absolutely loved and had me chuckling (one of my favorites was Nate copying Mick saying, “Wait,” which I replayed multiple times because he hit it on the nose). There were better relationships in the team (like Nate and Ray’s adorable bromance) and a lot less bickering (which got so old in the first season). There were better antagonists and stories, as well. Most of the characters had their personal arcs which you couldn’t help but be invested in, so there was a lot of growth and connection to the characters, which is important when watching a TV series. However, the season still had its flaws and I wanted to flesh them out so that I could just let them all out. Yes, it’s time for an Annie rant sesh!
- There are a lot of contradictions. I know that the topic of time travel is super tricky and complicated, so there has to be a somewhat laissez-faire attitude when developing the stories, otherwise things will get too technical and nothing would happen. Still, there was so much reckless abandonment in how the Legends handled certain situations and also ignorant disregard for how they could better handle other situations. Addressing the first point, they had shown their powers how many times to extremely famous historical figures? They took Einstein and Tolkein back to their ship, for fox sake (you know what I mean). And yet this didn’t alter the timeline whatsoever? All we get is a statue of Mick from the American Revolution? And Nate does mention some things in the first episode when talking to Oliver Queen, but no one seems to care. As for the second point, they always had to travel to very specific points in time to uncover parts of the spear or the blood of Jesus Christ, and my big question is: Why? They were intent on going to a very specific year of World War I so that they could make things as difficult as possible for themselves by attempting to retrieve the vial in the middle of the bloodiest battlefield in history. Why not go years before when the field would be completely empty? That blood was there for how many years now? Also, I just read this on another site, which makes an excellent point: Why was a cease-fire even necessary when Nate, the man of steel, could literally just waltz in there and retrieve it, flying bullets and all? So, yeah, there are a lot of issues with how they “protect” and “maintain” the historical timeline. This is only forgiven to an extent because time traveling stuff is hella confusing.
- Jumping off that, there are a lot of contradictions and convenient changes in storytelling. For example, I’m very sure that in the first season, Rip advises not to take someone out of the timeline for too long because this will alter the timeline, yet here is Amaya just waltzing onto the time ship, leaving 1942, which results in… no repercussions? How does she even get on the time ship? Why does Gideon not say anything about the stowaway who almost murders the whole crew? And this is also contradictory because we have her former teammates mention her disappearance/abandonment, yet her “future” is unaltered otherwise… She still has her daughter and her granddaughter, according to Gideon, which means she must have gone back to her own time eventually, right? So how could she have both abandoned her team and have the exact same future she was going to have anyway? Unless she was going to abandon her team regardless, but I think we know this was just an oversight. A convenient change in storytelling was Nate’s relationship with his father. When Nate first encounters his grandfather, Commander Steels, he’s ecstatic to meet him, saying that as a boy, he’s heard so many tales of his grandfather’s heroic deeds from his father. Um, jump ahead a few episodes, and suddenly Nate has a sappy story about how his father was cold toward him because his father had felt abandoned by his own father, Commander Steels. What? Your cold, distant father told you amazing bedtime tales about your grandfather by whom he had felt abandoned as a child? This is a contradiction, forced into the storyline when it doesn’t fit. Nate’s sudden desire to change his life by having his grandfather return home to give his father a loving childhood comes out of nowhere. Why didn’t he even mention this, then, when he first met his grandfather? He was all, “OMG I’m so excited to meet you,” instead of, “So why did you abandon my father?” He seems to have just thought of this whole beef with his dad when it became convenient to the plot.
- This next part isn’t necessarily a complaint because I both liked and disliked it. There are a lot of allusions or “homages” to other stories. While fun, they also seemed somewhat unoriginal? I still enjoyed them a lot. For example, it’s interesting to see how the whole story with the spear-everybody-wants-but-is-hard-to-control gets translated into Tolkein’s famous Lord of the Rings series, but that also makes me wonder, “So is this even an original story?” I also liked the episode on changing Rip back after he became evil, but this was totally screaming INCEPTION. The whole, “If we go back to a time we already went to, we can’t run into one another,” makes me think of Hermione and Harry hiding from themselves when they use her time turner in Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s all still very fun and I don’t think it’s necessarily harmful or a sign of being uncreative, but it was a bit of a distraction to think I’ve seen this all before.
- This point is also not necessarily a complaint but an observation that somewhat bothers me. We consistently are told that Sara is bisexual, yet we see no sign of this. She continuously engages in only lesbian overtures, which is not a problem, of course, but this makes me wonder why do they even bother to say she’s bisexual? They might as well just say she’s lesbian with an exception for Oliver Queen. Otherwise, we don’t see her having a single romantic encounter or even attraction to a man in the series. She constantly remarks on the hotness of other women (which I find hilarious the way it’s delivered, like the part with the president and Gideon), but she seems absolutely disinterested in men. This would totally be fine if they just made her lesbian, but I guess they need to make some explanation for her rendezvous with Oliver in the past? This isn’t a huge problem or anything. I just find it amusing because it’s like, “We want her to be lesbian–but oh shoot, she had that whole thing with Oliver… HMMM… Okay, we’ll make her bi! But she’ll do almost nothing with men! There was some chemistry with Snart, though, so let’s kill him! When he comes back in season two, they will not interact whatsoever, got it?!”
- I love Ray except when I want to slap him silly. He got a lot more endearing since the first season. I still liked him in the first season, but there were a LOT of times I got frustrated with him. In the second season, it was really one episode where that frustration returned – the one in Camelot. He became, once again, a completely irrational, naive idiot, which seems like a serious character flaw. His determination to die for a legendary fight in Camelot came out of nowhere, and his explanation that this meant so much to him because it was a huge part of his childhood was not convincing whatsoever, nor was it an excuse for how idiotic he was being. Also, I was confused by this episode in general because they keep referring to the land of Camelot as legend but aren’t we only supposed to be talking about history here? So it’s a legend.. not history… But-but it is history because Star Girl purposely recreated the legend and incorporated it into history to survive and complete her mission there… and this was totally okay? How does this all work exactly? And yes, Ray, I would like to know how you got male dinosaur urine all over your home in the Crustacean period.
- In the beginning, there are many times I felt like I was watching filler episodes, like the one in Japan. And that episode was nice only because of the kickass fighting by Sara (especially the end sword duel), not the generic representations of the period like the typical Japanese woman whom the white male protagonist always falls for (ALWAYS, like in that terrible Wolverine movie). And it was a joke to think they could beat ninjas with their brawling techniques (I’m lookin’ at you, Mick). Also, what’s with Americans’ fascination and obsession with Japanese culture? And the conceited notion that the Japanese need a strong white man to save them? And there are no Asian superheroes at all. We only have Katana. And then she’s not Japanese-American, she’s just Japanese, dressed in Japanese attire, speaking with a Japanese accent, and bearing a Japanese weapon. The superhero world needs to branch out a bit. Okay, I went off on a tangent. Back to it!
- Where the hell did Leonard Snart come from? We eventually find out that he was recruited by the “Legion of Doom” before he even joined the Legends and died. I also figure that his ability to appear and disappear like hallucinations sprouts from the speedster serving as his transporter. HOWEVER, this does not explain how he appears on the time ship whatsoever, and that’s where he first appears – multiple times. How did he get on it? If Thawne was able to get on the ship all this time, then there’d be no need to plan something so elaborate as impersonating Professor Stein to get on the ship to search for the relics. It’s clear that he can’t just willy nilly get on the time ship, especially because it floats around in the temporal zone and all that jazz, so how would he even be able to get Snart in and out? What’s your secret, Snart?!
- We did not see enough of Firestorm. More often than not, we saw Professor Stein and Jax as separate entities or even separate teams for most of the episode. It’s great for their personal development in the series and we still see awesome moments of their partnership, but I’d also like to see more of them kicking ass, thanks.
- THE ABSOLUTE WORST THING ABOUT THIS SEASON IS CW’S TRADEMARK FOR EVERY SHOW: THE FUCKING FORCED ROMANCE. Yeah, I cursed, even after I said “fox sake” to keep it PG before. Because this just got me like WHAT THE FUCK. Where the hell did Nate and Amaya come from? Was this really necessary? It came from left field and ruined the flow of the show. Does every show have to have a romance? If so, can’t you find a better one? The show tricks you into thinking there will be, if anything, a budding relationship between Mick and Amaya. We know as heck that Mick definitely needed this, but then they chain Mick to Snart again instead of letting him branch out and form connections with his alive teammates and then throw Nate and Amaya at us and expect us to take it well. It made both Nate and Amaya a whole lot less interesting and a whole lot more generic. I wanted more Nate/Ray bromance and Mick/Amaya friendship/relationship, but both pretty much fly out the window after these two are forced to get together. Not only that, CW has this annoying knack for turning everything into a total cringe-fest. This is probably a case of the actors going “whaaaat” but having no say in the writing because, well, they’re not writers. Yet it seems like CW recruits teenage girls who excel at fanfic writing just for the love lines. I can imagine Captain Steele finding out and saying to Amaya, “Um, I thought you boarded the Waverider to catch the killer of your lover not engage in multiple coitus with my grandson.” Awk-ward. Poor Rex was forgotten so soon. She never mentions him again, even whenever she faces the speedster. And she was so angry and intent on getting justice before… And the way in which their relationship starts… “Oh, we have a mission and our teammates are in danger but first, SEX.” And I hate the whole blase attitude they have about their relationship when they know they can’t be together. It’s like, “Oh, we’re here to save history but ya know what, screw history, we want to be together after barely interacting before having sex.” It’s like Romeo and Juliet, and I hate Romeo and Juliet because to me, it’s a cautionary tale on how being too young, foolish, and horny can lead to self-destruction, but is always misconstrued into something romantic. The CW writers clearly did not get the message. And at the end, she decides to stay with the team?! And the whole team is okay with this?!?!?! I’m hoping she gets her ass back to 1942 in the next season or I’m gonna be flipping tables. This is bigger than them. This is beyond being greedy. Honestly, it seems like they’re letting their sexual compatibility control their brains because all we really see them do and talk about is having sex. Why do they like each other? That’s never made clear except that they’re trapped on a time ship together and are both attractive – which sounds like lust not love. Nate offers to go back to 1942 with her like that fixes problems (it doesn’t). Besides, if they decide it won’t work out (because they barely know each other), he’s basically trapped there. And does Nate not realize that technically, if her village had not burned, she would have still been alive in 2017? And so she’d basically be a granny there? And then he can meet her superhero daughter Mari, give her a wink, gesture at her frail grandma, and go, “Yeah, I tapped that.”
As a reminder, I did enjoy the series a lot, but there were definitely still some flaws that CW should consider while making the third season… Anyhow, before that, if you have Netflix, check out the second season there!