Legends of Tomorrow: “Left Behind” Season 1 Episode 9 Review

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Legends of Tomorrow is suffering for its creative choices this week. “Left Behind” is an episode that mostly didn’t need to happen. With Sara, Kendra, and Ray stuck in 1958 after Chronos attacks, what are they to do? They assimilate into new lives. Ray and Kendra start a relationship, while Sara rejoins the League of Assassins. After two years, the Waverider jumps back into 1960, forcing the rest of the team to bring them back aboard. What a bizarre idea for an episode and what an ever stranger execution. I mean really though, why does Ray seem to grow while Kendra remains the same? Do we really have to put up with the fact that they’ve now been dating for two years after five minutes of screentime? Did we even want to watch two seasons of this relationship building anyway? Why does Talia al Ghul get name dropped like 20 times? Is she the next main villain on Arrow? How was Sara so easily brainwashed? Is the League of Assassins even going to play a significant role on Legends of Tomorrow anytime soon? What the hell was the point of all of this?

Meanwhile, Snart is captured by Chronos during the attack. The bounty hunter turns out to be none other than Rory, who Snart supposedly killed a few episodes ago. We get a ridiculous flashback showing he didn’t in fact kill him, but Rory still hates Snart because the Timemasters got him and brainwashed him, which I guess is supposed to mirror Sara with the League — does anyone else have a headache? The longer Legends of Tomorrow went, the more convoluted and confusing it would get. The hope was, however, that the fun that hooked us at the start would last and carry the show through these moments. Well, no one was having fun on “Left Behind.” Two of the show’s best characters were brainwashed into being evil, while the others faced the emotional consequences based on two years of drama or a plot twist surmounting another plot twist.

There are some ideas here that would work in theory. Having Hawkgirl bring Sara out of her funk is a decent idea, but why does it only occur when the former refers to the latter as White Canary? I’m pretty sure she’s been called that a total of three times since the show started, with no significance to it other than her sister making the costume. And why introduce the fact that Kendra lost her powers after the Waverider left only to have her sprout ’em two minutes later?

Look, when Legends of Tomorrow is fun, it doesn’t warrant all these questions. When it’s melodramatic, the bits that just don’t make sense fall apart. “Left Behind” was a mess of terrible creative decisions and characters’ actions coming out of nowhere. It’s the worst episode of the series yet, one that forgoes everything that made this show great. It has two saving graces: the return of Heat Wave and not forcing us to watch a Ray/Kendra romance from the beginning. But then the show shouldn’t have gotten rid of Rory to begin with, or not forced a contrived romance upon us. Grade: D-

Some Other Notes:

  • Matt Nable returns as Ra’s al Ghul to essentially do nothing. We do meet Talia though, Nyssa’s older sister. But does this mean there’s a young Bruce Wayne in Gotham City right around the same time? Does the complete suckage of Batman v Superman mean these shows can use those characters yet?
  • The fight against Chronos in Nanda Parbat was pretty decent, especially’s Atom’s bits.
  • Jax also had some decent moments this week.
  • Kendra has always been a weak link on the show, but somehow she’s bringing Ray down with her. But how?! He was great on Arrow! How is this show taking such a dark turn so quickly?!

By Matt Dougherty

 

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