TV Review: The Flash – “Legends of Today”

The Flash - "Legends of Today"
Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find my review of the previous episode of The Flash here.
This week, our heroes teamed up with Green Arrow to chase down an immortal madman on a rampage against a reincarnated warrior priestess with wings. Ladies and gentlemen, The Flash!
"Legends of Today" was the kind of episode where the sheer spectacle of what was unfolding compensated for any flaws in its execution. This year’s Flash/Arrow crossover event is for the most part a movie-length setup for Legends of Tomorrow. So as the first half of this event, "Legends of Today" was essentially the setup of a larger setup. Being saddled with more introductions and board-setting than actual action gave the episode some wonky pacing, but there was more than enough to keep the fun going.
Kendra SaundersThere’s just something so lovely about having the characters from both shows get together and interact. Having drinks, swapping stories about their crazy adventures, catching up with the things they missed… There was a warm, familial sense to these scenes. On the other side of that coin, seeing them get together as heroes, use their powers to assist each other (like Oliver saving Barry with a zipline arrow), and just kick ass in general was thrilling. Adding in new heroes and villains with their own powers on top of that? Now that’s entertainment.
Hawkman didn’t make much of an impression as Carter Hall in his first appearance, but that’s only because his main job was to deliver exposition and drive Kendra’s story forward. As Hawkman, though, with the wings and the mace, that was a different story. He literally swooped into the show, and his battle with Oliver and Barry was really cool.
Vandal Savage, on the other hand, made more of an impact. I liked how he was depicted, both in personality and skill as a villain. He came off as a worthy adversary for this crossover, but he’s supposed to be the Big Bad on Legends of Tomorrow by himself, and he didn’t make enough of a splash this week to sell that. I think the writers are holding him back a bit so that he doesn’t overshadow the threats of Zoom and Damien Darhk, so I’m assuming he’ll get that larger than life aura in Legends of Tomorrow.
The short Kendra story arc that drove "Legends of Today" was an effective one, as the woman who would be Hawkgirl gradually came to accept her heroic destiny. There were many depictions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl from the comics that the show could have picked, but going with the reincarnation angle without hesitation yet again shows how Arrow and The Flash are embracing comic book stories in all their wackiness, realism be damned. I absolutely love it.
Damien Darhk got one very short scene in "Legends of Today", and Neal McDonough was determined to make the most out of it. He’s having so much fun just hamming it up in this role, and it’s so great to watch. That being said, the scene highlighted how contrived some of the elements of this episode were. Are we to believe Darhk would have killed Ollie right then had Flash not happened to pay him this rare visit at that exact time?
Speaking of scenery-chewing villains, Malcolm had no role in "Legends of Today" other than delivering exposition. Even Barry made a joke about it. It’s actually hilarious how the episode didn’t even bother hiding it—he literally appeared out of nowhere twice to give out information and vanished the remainder of the time. The show was so unapologetic about it, I’m not even mad!
I also liked that even in a Legends of Tomorrow-centric episode, The Flash didn’t completely forget about the Zoom situation. I’m liking Earth-2 Wells and Caitlin as a team, and I wonder what the introduction of the Velocity 6 drug will add to future episodes. Although him getting shot with his only hope for survival being Jay taking the just-created drug was yet another part that felt contrived this week. Unless Wells had planned the whole thing to test Jay somehow, but I don’t see how it’s possible. And by the way, that’s what happens when you keep Patty out of the loop, people!
Unlike last year, this crossover event is just one story split across two shows, which is awesome. I’ll be writing up a review for the Arrow half of the crossover soon enough, so keep an eye out for that.

Rating: 4/5 (Great)

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