Legends of Tomorrow: “Last Refuge” Season 1 Episode 12 Review

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I know these CW superhero shows don’t need to make sense, this one especially. But man I wish it tried to just a little. There are some good things about “Last Refuge,” which puts it a degree higher than some other recent episodes. Overall, however, it’s mostly just a mess of nonsensical time travel rules and some forced drama out of, well, not much.

The new villain hunting the team is called the Pilgrim (Faye Kingslee). She is targeting each member of the team, aside from Rip and Kendra, to kill their past selves so that none of this could have ever happened. Why not Kendra and Rip? With all of Kendra’s reincarnations, it wouldn’t make sense to kill her (except it definitely would, because this Kendra is still different from all the other Kendras). As for Rip, he doesn’t have a past, so that’s that until it’s revealed he does and then it all becomes about saving young Rip, who, by the way, is a malicious, knife-wielding monster.

But before that, there are moments that work. All of Mick’s moments with his younger self, who just watched his family burn thanks to a fire he caused, were really well done. On top of that, the Pilgrim ended up being a pretty cool foe. Sure, explaining away her telekinesis as some short range form of time travel was absurd, but it was the kind of absurd that made the episode more fun. Not like, say, the fact that she can only time travel to kill each team member once for a silly reason Rip quickly yammers off just so we don’t ask questions. Maybe season two can just have them be superheroes and avoid time travel altogether?

Still, for everything that worked, there was something that equally didn’t work. For example, the only people we actually legitimately see younger are Mick and Rip, everyone else is either played by their current actor or just an infant. Only Mick really confronts his older demons and works through them. There was a great opportunity here, but everyone else is either two years younger or a baby. Also, Ray and Kendra could die at this point and I wouldn’t feel a thing. Something truly awful would have to come around for them not to be declared the worst television romance of 2016. All this side-stepping each other and pushing for deeper meaning sucks the fun out of every episode and plods along with no end in sight.

Also off-putting was how Pilgrim was defeated. First, little Rip stabs her repeatedly. Then, the team turns her to dust with their various powers and weapons. She’s dead now, by way of fire, ice, laser bullet, whatever comes out of Atom’s gloves, and a little boy with a knife. These guys are heroes, right? And she was the best villain on the series yet. More missed opportunities.

All this made “Last Refuge” as uneven as they come. Legends of Tomorrow hasn’t delivered a really good episode in this second half of the season so far. With four episodes left, the show needs to ditch all the side drama and get the team working together as they did in the early episodes. Grade: C+

Some Other Notes:

  • Kendra and Sara both squealing over an infant Snart was cringe-worthy. Because all women love babies and let their motherly side distract them from their professional life, right?
  • Know what would be a much more fun episode? The camera cutting to the team walking in increasingly ridiculous locales with Snart purring “Again, where is here?” for every single one of them.
  • The stuff with Jax and his father was okay. The show is still struggling to get us to care about the other half of Firestorm, and this subplot fell neutral in that effort.
  • Hopefully we’ll be getting more of Rip’s mom in the future, she was delightful.
  • Sara’s father guest starred here but didn’t really have much to do. Though it did serves as a stark reminder of the tragedy that recently occurred on Arrow and how sad the next episode of that show is going to be. If only this show could pull off the drama and humor as cohesively as its older brother.

By Matt Dougherty

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