Season Two, Episode Eight — “Legends of Today”

© 2015 The CW Network. All rights reserved.

© 2015 The CW Network. All rights reserved.

By Jarrod Jones. I keep having to remind myself that Legends of Tomorrow is only one month away. If “Legends of Today” feels like too much is happening at once, there’s a deliberate reason for that. While we’ve enjoyed the show’s slow burn reveals — like Cisco Ramon’s Vibe and the burgeoning menace of Grodd, among many others — last night’s whackadoo battle of superfriends needed to happen. And while the episode is only too necessary, it’s like Kendra tells Cisco: “This is… a lot to take in right now.”

Still, what’s not to love about the outright craziness of “Heroes Join Forces, Part I”? It’s definitely an indicator of the insanity Legends of Tomorrow undoubtedly has in store for us, but there’s no denying that this episode of The Flash was little more than a tremendously engaging infodump, one that both rewarded long-time viewers and potentially alienated Johnny-come-latelys who react to all the Easter Eggs and deeply embedded secrets of the ever-growing DC TV Multiverse with hastily-typed texts to their dorkier friends. (“Is that guy with the wings an X-Men?“) As stalwart readers of superhero comics will tell you: when so much havoc is on display, it’s vital that you take time to appreciate all the fun that’s being laid out for you. And take lots of notes.

WHAT WORKED: Even though it only happens once a year (unless the Reverse-Flash is in town), Barry’s little visits with Team Arrow remain utterly priceless. Yes, there’s quite a bit more bickering than usual (and The Flash‘s writers seem to be struggling with Oliver Queen’s newly-acquired smiley-face), and yes, some characters get so lost in the shuffle, it’s a wonder they were even necessary at all (I could go the rest of my life without seeing Thea Queen in a domino mask, and Diggle could have used this time to maybe fashion a less ridiculous helmet). But it’s still nice to see Felicity and Barry get a moment to themselves: life has decided that these two aren’t the show-crossed lovers we always wanted them to be, and that’s fine. There’s no shady jealousy or even a wistful sigh shared between them. Their personal happiness is met with maturity and grace. “That’s great. You deserve someone amazing,” Felicity tells Barry. (No, I’m not crying you’re crying.)

Touted as the biggest bad in all the CW DC TV (© 2015, DoomRocket), Vandal Savage was every bit the monstrous showboat he’s always been in the comic books. (Thus one more lofty expectation of mine has been bravely met by The Flash.) The hilariously-named Casper Crump is going to simply destroy it on Legends of Tomorrow, just you wait.

WHAT DIDN’T: I’m sorry, I know they’re ninjas and call themselves “The League of Assassins” and everything, but Ra’s al Ghul (who I guess is Malcolm Merlyn now? Yeesh) and his goon squad keep on popping up the Green Arrow’s cyber-cave whenever exposition needs to get dumped on the viewers. There were far more elegant ways of informing us of Savage’s nefarious history than having John Barrowman vamping on screen for no reason whatsoever.

Progressing the narratives of both Arrow and The Flash during these annual get togethers is a jarring thing indeed: Why does every vital plot twist have to happen at CC Jitters? (See FLASH FACTS.) Yes, we found out last year that Ollie’s former squeeze peaced out to Central City after faking a miscarriage, but jeez Louise, is that coffee shop the center of the damn universe, or what. My guess? The show’s writers work out their teleplays in a coffee shop, where life just happens, you know? Feh.

Hey, Jay’s back! And he’s… a guinea pig? Because Patty Spivot shouldn’t be allowed a service weapon? While all this proto-Justice League craziness is going on in Star City, the show felt it needed to squeeze in a subplot where Harrison Wells gets shot by Central City’s most go-gettin’ police detective. That’s a lot to unload, and the show just doesn’t have the time to make it stick. (‘Sides, Wells probably planned it that way anyhow.) If anything, it makes everyone involved with the subplot morally dubious jerkfaces: Detective Joe West won’t call the shooting in, despite the fact that it’s police-related, Caitlin Snow guilt trips Jay Garrick into using his body against his better judgment, and Patty probably needs to go to jail. Nope, nope, nope.


Kendra’s not going anywhere with you, Highlander.” – Cisco.

Barry: “Didn’t you say guys like us don’t get the girl?” Oliver: “Yep! I was wrong.

Since when did our lives all of a sudden become an Indiana Jones movie?” – Cisco.

The rules keep changing. It’s like, one day I have to run through time. The next I’m fighting a telepathic gorilla. And now, we’re what? We’re chasing down an immortal madman on a rampage against a reincarnated warrior priestess?” – Barry.

BEST MOMENT: Hawkman vs. Green Arrow. Though they typically spend their time arguing over the virtues of how dumb the other looks (or politics, because they’re both kinda dicks), we got to witness the first-ever row between Green Arrow and Hawkman. If this show did one thing right, it gave us the Silver Age goosepimples like crazy.

EPISODE’S MVP: Vandal Savage. Barry’s pushing Ollie around. Ollie can’t decided if he’s grumpy, happy, or grumpappy. Cisco’s all, “that’s my girl, bro”. When the boys get together, they do tend to get a little chumpy. Good thing Casper Crump is here to scare the living heck out of everybody. Each moment Vandal Savage is on the screen is a moment where absolutely everyone — including the viewer — is quaking in their bright yellow boots. (What, you don’t wear yours when you’re watching The Flash?)

© 2015 The CW Network. All rights reserved.

© 2015 The CW Network. All rights reserved.


– I can’t help but feel the show missed a tremendous opportunity with this episode’s title: “Legends of Tomorrow… Today!” would have been soooo much more classy.

– I’m not watching this season of Arrow, but… is Damien Darhk supposed to be that… peculiar?

– Prettty sure this is the first time we’ve seen Barry draw. And that’s pretty impressive. (Am I nuts, or does Barry like to draw in the comics? Or am I just confusing Barry Allen with Gary Cooper again?)

– Savage just Ultron-ed Barry and Ollie’s party.

– And speaking of villains stealing another villain’s thunder, Harrison Wells and Caitlin Snow — villains both, in some regard (Snow is fated to become Killer Frost at some point, and Wells’ Earth-1 doppelganger… well, y’know) — appear to have developed a speed serum called “Velocity 6”, which is a CW analogue to the DC Comics’ Velocity 9, a drug known to grant people superspeed for a short period of time. Who developed it in the comics? None other than Vandal Savage. That can’t be a coincidence.

– Considering the rather convoluted histories between Hawkman and Hawkgirl (seriously, Google that mess), it’s interesting to see their dichotomy play out in this televised version of the DC Universe. The biggest comparison I draw to is easily the Justice League Unlimited version, where, yes, they’re reincarnated lovers from thousands of years ago, yes, they’re constantly being killed off by an unstoppable nemesis, and yes, Hawkman is totally a creeper. But on CW DC TV, Cisco is John Stewart, Savage is the Shadow Thief, and holy cow I’m talking about Hawkman.

– Hey, everybody! First ever Connor sighting! At CC Jitters, of all damn places. If that kid’s name is anything but Connor Hawke, I’m changing mine to Mayor McCheese.

– So here’s something different: instead of a sneak peek at the next episode of The Flash (“Running to Stand Still”, which, shhh, allegedly features the glorious return of Mark Hamill!), I have for you a sneak peek at tonight’s second part to Heroes Join Forces. (Which, how long did it take to workshop that title?)