Legends of Tomorrow: “Blood Ties” Season 1 Episode 3 Review

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Even with a more serious tone, Legends of Tomorrow still manages to be ridiculous fun. “Blood Ties” had much of the team dealing with their dark pasts. Rip failed to kill Savage in an opportunity he had 4,000 years ago. Sara feels like a monster thanks to the effects of the Lazarus Pit. Snart tries to save himself and his sister from a violent upbringing. Ray had to get over his fiance’s death. Yet, there was still plenty of cheesy one-liners and breathtaking action to stay in line with the established tone.

So far, Legends‘ secret weapon has easily been Sara Lance. She smiles before she hits people and makes the most out of the ’70s fashion. For a second, as she reveals the same bloodlust Thea is fighting on Arrow, I worried this great character would derail into melodrama. But she and Rip prove to be a great pairing, one that’s never too serious but that allows them to grow with each other. It never quite makes sense why they don’t ask Ray or Stein for help, but the episode is all the better for it.

After all, Ray is too busy flying around in Kendra’s veins trying to destroy all the metal shards inching closer to her heart. This was clearly the part of the episode where the writers sort of had to have these characters doing something, but that something didn’t necessarily matter. Granted, the visual of Atom navigating Kendra’s blood was very cool. But the payoff of the teacher learning to protect the student was a little forced.

Faring better was Captain Cold’s visit home. Continuing to pair he and Heat Wave with one of the established hero characters continues to be hilarious, especially with how the two rogues egg each other on. In this case, Jax played a long a lot better than Ray did last week. But the best scene of this subplot was Snart telling his younger self to never let anyone hurt him. The writers haven’t forgotten that Captain Cold is a villain, so this flawed but vaguely sound advice was the perfect vehicle to see how Snart thinks.

Eventually, Rip and Sara need help, and who better to kick down the door and start shooting than Captain Cold and Heat Wave? But the most impressive part of this climax was Rip’s face-to-face confrontation with Vandal Savage, where the villain finally achieved the horrific heights the writers have been striving for. He’s still hardly the best big bad this universe has delivered, but at least he’s slightly intimidating now.

So while “Blood Ties” was lighter on comedy than the two-part pilot, it continued to build the stakes by strengthening its villain and deepening its characters. The team is fleshed out and we’re ready to head to the ’80s for more fun period gags an crazy action. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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