Legends of Tomorrow: “White Knights” Season 1 Episode 4 Review

Legends of Tomorrow is still in a period where what a typical episode looks like isn’t quite established. For me, looking at the clock as this episode started to wrap-up, I was surprised at how effectively it handled its cliffhanger. Whether “White Knights” is a two-parter of sorts or we’ll go back to more enclosed episodes after next week remains to be seen. But for telling larger stories that span multiple episodes, this was a solid start.

Another thing Legends of Tomorrow is doing well in these early episodes is establishing personal connections between this group of misfits. The character groupings have all made sense so far, with this episode further delivering different pairings. For example, “White Knights” brought together the show’s strongest and weakest links and drew parallels between them. Sara has run away with all her scenes on this series so far, while Kendra feels like she’s had her wings clipped. But giving Hawkgirl a Wolverine-esque berserker rage that she can’t control makes Sara the perfect one to train her. Having these two find control within each others’ strength is a great step toward deepening the relationship of the only two females on the show and bringing Hawkgirl up to speed with the rest of the cast.

But the main storyline of “White Knights” brought the team to Soviet Russia circa 1986. As if Legends of Tomorrow wasn’t delightfully old-school enough for you, there’s a lot of the team hitting Commies this week. Turns out, Russia is trying to create their own version of Firestorm.

Too bad the original (well, not technically, but you get it) can’t seem to agree on anything. Jax brings up some seriously good points about his life in Central City, which Stein ripped him from without his consent. So Rip sends Stein, Ray, Captain Cold, and Heat Wave into the Soviet research facility to stop them from completing their goal. There’s a lot of fun moments in this skirmish, but more important were some of the more emotional ones. Snart looking Ray dead in the eyes to not prevent a bullet from entering his head. Jax yelling at Stein to not be stupid and stay alive. Heat Wave yelling to the team to get out of there alive, showing his first sign of pathos. There was some heavy stuff between the usual wisecracks, proving this show still maintains its stakes from the beginning.

Of course, with the cliffhanger, the episode naturally feels more like a “part one,” and therefore less like a full meal, than the other episodes we’ve gotten so far. But everything it did it did incredibly well. I just can’t wait for the resolution. Grade: B+

Some Other Notes:

  • The Pentagon heist was lifted right out of X-Men: Days of Future Past, so I’m glad it wasn’t the main set piece of the episode.
  • Snart successfully picks up the Soviet woman over Ray. Wentworth Miller is just perfect, but you also have to love how well Brandon Routh plays off of him.
  • I really can’t wait for Heat Wave to unleash hell on the Russians next week.

By Matt Dougherty

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