Season Two, Episode One — “Out of Time”
By Jarrod Jones. What is it about bad television that makes it so difficult to walk away from? I know that when I eat something at a restaurant that makes me sick, I tend to veer wildly away from eating that thing and visiting the restaurant in which I procured it. Yet time and again I walk back into a new season of a crappy show hoping everyone involved with it spent their time off season finding the will to make a series that doesn’t make everybody’s eyeballs melt from their sockets. When a show remains consistently bad, who is really to blame — the people who dared make it, or the people who dared watch it?
My money’s on the former, but if the first episode of Legend of Tomorrow‘s second season has anything to say about this, it probably sounds a bit like, “Sorry, chaps, but you did have something better to do on Thursday night, only you spent it watching me, didn’t you.” Why did we decide to tune in to this batshit jamboree for another season? Why, the Justice Society of America, of course! And what did “Out of Time” offer us? Not the goddamned Justice Society, I can very well promise you that.
Instead we watched Legends of Tomorrow do what it does best — kick up a whole bunch of dust while making zero effort in providing the character depth that makes the big action moments matter. The only character who could claim any level of depth is Sara Lance, The White Canary, whose sister Laurel was killed by Damien Darhk in the last season of another television show I can only surmise is infinitely more engaging than anti-educational video for pre-schoolers that is Legends of Tomorrow.
So it was with a modicum of interest that I followed her on what looked like a promising revenge quest, only to find Sara sandwiched between the legs of the Queen of France one moment, and winking at a young witch in Salem, Massachusetts the next. (It’s implied that Sara plucked the woman’s innocence off screen, so at least somebody got lucky here.) For a person who presumably spends her afternoons sharpening stab-knives while glaring at a picture of Damien Darhk, Sara Lance sure does take crippling grief in stride.
The rest of the episode is utter chaos that nearly breaks its own back reminding us that this is a time-travel show, so we’re provided a ludicrously banal parade of Nazis, dinosaurs, and an ass-pinching Albert Einstein. I suppose Arthur Darville got tired of being the “Not-As-Cool-As-Captain-Cold” guy, so he gets a phony tearful-farewell, unceremoniously replaced by a sentient haircut called “Dr. Nate Heywood”, a character so utterly bland that people on this show unironically refer to him as “New Guy.” Did I mention that Albert Eintstein is in this episode? As an actual character, with lines that are said out loud in the worst German accent you ever heard? And that he pinches women’s asses?
Whether or not Albert Einstein was a Trump-level pig IRL is beside the point. That Legends insists that our heroes get paraded around in ridiculous and completely phony costumes is one thing, but to drag actual historical figures into their sideshow as though it was halfway competent as Star Trek: The Next Generation is quite another. Sure, there’s a moment where the episode makes an effort to point out that Mileva Marić had more to do with her famous husband’s work than is generally acknowledged. But there’s no drama between Mileva and Albert here — only caricature. (What’s more, Mileva doesn’t even have a speaking line.) If only Legends of Tomorrow was as intelligent as it is progressive.
Mick: “I thought you said you wanted to hear the whole story.” Ollie: “We do, but some of us have lives to get back to.” No kidding.
BEST MOMENT: When the Reverse-Flash showed up. Because Eobard Thawne rules.
EPISODE’S MVP: Rip Hunter, because he’s the only character who had the good sense to leave.
BE BRAVE AND BEHOLD:
– This episode’s title, “Out of Time”, was the title to the fifteenth episode of The Flash‘s first season.
– I really missed Wentworth Miller this week, and I suspect I’ll be missing Arthur Darville before long.
– Conway and Fifth, a cute nod to Gerry Conway, co-creator of Firestorm.
– I’m so sure Rip can lift Mick over his head.
– Just to underline how pathetically insipid this show can be at times, Legends actually misspelled Tintagel on screen. So there’s no oversight during post-production either. Good to know.
– Professor Martin Stein gets to punch Einstein in the face, because Show. Stein: “When there’s an action —” *punch* “– there’s an equal and opposite reaction.” Pee. Yew.
– Head’s up — we won’t be covering every episode of Legends of Tomorrow this season, but we’ll be back in time to recap the mid-season finale. Hopefully things pick up before then.
3 out of 10
Next: “Justice Society of America,” soon.
Before: “Legendary,” here.