When DC unveiled plans for another spin-off of Arrow and The Flash, even I had my doubts. A third Arrowverse series? I have never supported the narrative that there are “too many” superhero shows (and if there are? hey, don’t watch them and keep your opinions to yourself) — but even I was growing weary at the prospect. Little did I know that what delight and joy that DC’s Legends of Tomorrow would bring.
“Leviathan” feels like the finale to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, but this end is really just the beginning. With nowhere else to find the immortal dictator Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), the enigmatic Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) takes his crew to just three days before his family will die by Savage in the year of 2166, the height of Savage’s global dominance. The stealthier ones of the group — White Canary/Sara (Caity Lotz), Captain Cold/Snart (Wentworth Miller), Heatwave/Chronos/Rory (Dominic Purcell, it’s not clear what he goes by now) — infiltrate Savage’s army to get close to the guy before unleashing hell. But one thing leads to another and the team ends up capturing Savage’s greatest lieutenant: His daughter Cassandra (Jessica Sipos).
There’s more to “Leviathan” but the first thing you should know is that ATOM GOES GIGANTIC! At last, the Iron Man/Ant-Man hybrid of the DC Universe (played by ex-Superman Brandon Routh) achieves his colossal size — Atom has the power to grow to any size, but has thus far in Legends of Tomorrow only shrunk — to take on Savage’s giant robot (of course he has one), Leviathan. Yeah, the CGI is cheesy, but a romp and stomp kaiju fight happens on Legends of Tomorrow! I couldn’t care less that the construction and editing weren’t rhythmic or paced like a superior Ultraman fight. It was the most delightful Thursday night surprise and I reveled in it.
But the more important and admittedly less exciting plot occurs when Hawkgirl/Kendra (Ciara Renee) corners Savage, armed with her enchanted bracelet melted onto her mace (this was a big thing I’ve glossed over in my recaps, but Kendra needs an object from when she was first killed by Savage to break the curse). With Savage on the ropes, Kendra can kill Savage once and for all. But she fends off one of Savage’s soldiers and finds it’s Carter, brainwashed without his memories. Savage is the only one who can unlock his mind, so she lets Savage live.
Yawn. I get that killing Savage ends the curse, but Savage is helpless. Everything they have sacrificed and the actual centuries Kendra has spent hunting Savage could be done away with in one strike. Does it matter she won’t be with Carter anymore? She has hundreds of years of memories with the guy. Some people barely get a lifetime.
Rip Hunter traps Savage in the ship below and the team plausibly convince Cassandra to defect and fight for the rebellion — it’s hokey but it works — but Kendra’s dumb move will cost the team when Savage inevitably escapes. Thankfully, Legends of Tomorrow did a bang up job convincing us to stay tuned.