TV Review: Legends of Tomorrow – “Blood Ties”

Legends of Tomorrow - "Blood Ties"
Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find my review of the previous episode of Legends of Tomorrow here.
Sometimes it feels like Legends of Tomorrow is gradually becoming “The Sara Lance and Friends” show, and I don’t mind that one bit. These past three episodes alone justified her resurrection on Arrow. She’s the most enjoyable character on the show, and every episode finds more ways of asserting that. “Blood Ties” saw her paired up with Rip Hunter in the main plot of the episode, and the two characters worked really well together. So far Sarah’s teamed up with most of the cast, and she’s had excellent chemistry with all of them, livening up each plotline she’s been involved with.
The plotline itself was decent, involving Rip and Sara unsuccessfully trying to rob Vandal Savage of his finances. It ended with another faceoff against Savage, who was a bit more compelling than usual this time—confidently monologuing rather than stomping around and shouting—though still not enough. But it did give us insight into his operations, which include a creepy cult of followers whom he gifts extended lifespans, as well as a past history with Rip Hunter.
Captain Cold and HeatwaveBetter than the main plot of the episode, though, was the subplot involving Captain Cold. Sara might be the best character, but Captain Cold comes very close. In “Blood Ties”, he took advantage of his presence in 1975 in order to save his father from going to prison—and thus saving his past self and his sister from an abusive parent. The most touching scene of the episode was Cold meeting his past self as a child. It was one of the rare times we’ve seen him drop his supervillain act and be his real self. Gone was the sarcastic drawl, replaced by genuine emotion. That scene, and the way it contrasted with Snart’s usual self, cemented Wentworth Miller as the best performer on Legends of Tomorrow.
Less compelling was the third plot thread of the episode, in which Martin Stein and Ray Palmer teamed up to save Kendra Saunders after her injuries last week. The storyline was hit and miss. On one hand, the relationship that developed between Stein and Palmer was heartwarming. And having the Atom shrink down enough to be able to swim in Kendra’s bloodstream was an awesome comic book-like use of his powers. On the other hand, the way it was handled overall was predictable. And I was not a fan of the way Hawkgirl was sidelined, after stating in my previous review that I’d hoped Hawkman’s absence would allow her to spread her wings (pun semi-intended).
One little thing that annoyed me was the fact that after Rip “killed” Savage, they left his recovering body lying there instead of taking him aboard their ship and imprisoning him. Yes, he was going to heal and come back from his injuries, but it would have been better than having him roam free and having to track him down through time yet again. That issue would have easily been cleared up by, say, having the room flooded with henchmen, or really anything that would force the team to escape without being able to take Savage’s incapacitated body with them. As it stands, I’ll just have to assume that happened offscreen.
One great thing that’s becoming clear, especially thanks to this episode, is the way Legends of Tomorrow is using its time-hopping setting to develop a unique sense of style, much like Agent Carter does in the 1940s. An example of this is seeing Rip and Sarah in their multiple 1970s disguises, accompanied by era-appropriate music and matching cinematography. This sets the show apart from even its sister series, Arrow and The Flash.

Rating: 4/5 (Great)

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