Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Flash - Legends of Today

After weeks of laying building blocks leading up to the mid-season premiere of the new spin-off Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash kicks things into high-gear with the first part of a Flash/Arrow crossover that brings he heroes of both cities together to fight the unstoppable force of the immortal Vandal Savage (Casper Crump). Although Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) is nowhere to be found, all other hands are on deck for a storyline that begins in Central City with Savage's arrival searching for the reincarnated Kendra Saunders (Ciara Renée) and her Hawkman (Falk Hentschel). The plot will lead back to Starling with Barry (Grant Gustin) calling on the help of Oliver (Stephen Amell) and company to keep Saunders safe while trying to figure out exactly what the group is dealing with.

"Legends of Today" has several goals, the most important of which is introduce Vandal Savage as a threat too big for either Green Arrow or the Flash to take down alone. Check. The choice to tie Savage's immortality with that of Hawkgirl and Hawkman makes the character far younger than his comic counterpart but also helps simplify the convoluted history of the heroes. The arrival of Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) and the League of Assassins also helps further legitimize Savage as a threat. The episode also needs to sell us on both Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Although I'm not completely sold on the design of Hawkman's costume, his fight with Oliver is well-handled (and a nice nod for longtime fans of comics who know the animosity between the two characters).

Not ignoring ongoing storylines, the episode also gives us back-up stories involving the Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) working together on a scientific way to increase Barry's speed, Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) getting a glimpse at the secrets inside S.T.A.R. Labs, and Oliver discovering a truth his mother spent $1,000,000 to hide from him. I'd expect all of these storylines to be touched on in Arrow's follow-up episode as well as the heroes' new plan for taking on Savage which will no doubt lay even more groundwork for the spin-off beginning in January.

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