The Legends of Tomorrow Crash Land in “Star City: 2046”

Rip Hunter and his terrible crew of time traveling legends get shot down and land in Star City of the future where everything appears to be on fire for no reason and a new Green Arrow is fighting a losing battle with a new Deathstroke.  Meanwhile, Captain Cold and Heatwave have a difference of opinion and Hawkgirl finds herself in the middle of a love triangle she has no idea she’s a part of.

I haven’t reviewed an episode of Legends of Tomorrow until now.  I don’t hate the show, I do watch it every week… but at the same time, I don’t love it.  This series has problems.  It has a serious lack of focus and, if anything, “Star City 2046” demonstrates this glaring deficiency as the series’ greatest transgressor so far.

First of all, this is our first trip to the future and that’s cool.  I love seeing thought experiments about what happens to characters we know and love years down the road.  The problem is, the story they chose to do has been done many times before and in much better ways.  For goodness sake, Gargoyles did a version of this story that was way, way. waaaaay more emotionally involving and uprisings.

“Star City 2046” was so predictable that it bordered on the point of lunacy.  I am neither precognitive or really that intelligent of a man, but I plotted out what was going to happen in the entire episode in my head within the first ten minutes.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t predict the Captain Cold/Heatwave side plot or the love triangle side plot, but the whole thing with Conner Hawke?  Aside from his parentage, I had it all figured out.  As soon as he said that Oliver Queen was dead, it might as well have started a countdown clock in the corner of the screen with the words “OLLIE SHOWS UP IN 7:56… 7:55… 7:54…”

There in lies the rub of the show… none of it is surprising.  It’s not even that inventive.  Nothing about the series has challenged me or made me think.  Not a single solitary beat of this show has shocked me or made me feel… not Hawkman getting killed, not the female Firestorm… nothing.

I’m not saying that Legends of Tomorrow is a bad show.  Like I said, I watch it every week, but I rarely ever think of it after its done.  It never sticks with me.  I have the sickening feeling that, if I forgot to watch it once or twice, I would probably stop watching it all together and never have a regret.  It would simply be a series that I used to know.

As if the predictable and formulaic plots aren’t enough, Legends of Tomorrow wastes time with pointless side stories.  In the show’s defense, I see that they are taking the Captain Cold and Heatwave fallout somewhere next week, so I won’t harp on it because it actually seems to be driving a story, but what was the deal with Ray and Jax fawning all over Kendra?  Forgetting the fact that the love of her life was stabbed in front of her only a few days ago (but, then again, she seems to have gotten over it supernaturally quickly), this stupid love triangle went nowhere and did nothing for the episode or the show.  It was pointless filler that could have been better served fleshing out the world of the future Star City… telling us more about Conner or Ollie or what happened to the rest of Team Arrow.

Instead… cutesy flirting and love triangles so that we can be reminded that the other characters exist.

Here’s the deal…  Legends of Tomorrow has a mission:  Stop Vandal Savage.  It’s a good and simple mission and every episode should be taking us closer and closer to that goal, but every episode of the show spins its wheels in the mud and everything goes nowhere fast.  Yes, you can have episodes like this one where you explore what could have beens and what might bes – it’s the glorious gift of a time-travel series – but you’ve got to at least make these episodes interesting and inventive… actually put effort into making your series worth more than the comic book properties attached to it.

Think about the way that The Flash is handling its Zoom story or the way that Arrow is handling its Damion Darhk story.  They have a sense of urgency, importance, and most of all… clear direction.  Legends of Tomorrow, despite having what should be the clearest direction of all, doesn’t know where the heck it wants to go even though there’s a flashing neon sign that says “GO HERE, STUPID!”   It’s wasting its cast of characters and their potential on nonsensical sit-com whims and taking no effort into being anything other than average.  It’s as if the show is afraid to take chances and be bold.

“Star City 2046” wasn’t a bad episode.  None of them have been bad episodes, but at this point I would almost wish for a bad episode just so Legends of Tomorrow could make me feel anything towards it.  Even hatred.  This show is like an emotional vacuum… a sleepy non-entity.  Going no where and doing nothing.

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