The season premiere of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow was certainly explosive, to say the least. The episode scattered our time-traveling heroes to different eras, averted a Nazi victory, introduced a new face, and — spoiler warning — saw the apparent noble death of Rip Hunter.
But before we get to R.I.P. Hunter, let’s take a page of out Legends of Tomorrow’s book and go back in time a little bit to see how we got here. Nathan Heywood, time detective, has a hunch that the Legends are in trouble, having disappeared in an apparent nuclear blast some three years before the atom bomb was ever invented. Along with a mostly disinterested Green Arrow, Nathan finds the sunken Waverider, and Mick in stasis.
Over the course of a few beers, Mick fills them in on what happened. Nazis obtained nuclear secrets from Albert Einstein (whose grab-ass ways probably seemed a lot cuter before all the Donald Trump floodgates opened). Armed with an A-bomb, the Nazi’s nuked New York, but the Legends were able to prevent disaster, at great cost.
Rip sends his team through time to get them out of harm’s way, and places an injured Mick in a protective stasis, before using the Waverider itself to intercept the bomb.
After Nathan collects the time-stranded Legends, they learn that Rip apparently didn’t escape. In a touching final recorded message, he explained that the captain must go down with the ship, something that actor Victor Garber has, uh, heard before.
Without Rip’s expertise, the Legends are leaderless, and it’s going to be up to the new kid, Nathan, to guide them through time. Despite the somber loss, it was a pretty enjoyable episode, and Nathan’s fish-out-of-water newbie status looks like it’s going to keep Season 2 light, fun, and enjoyably corny.
(Also, this is a goofy time travel show. We’ll be shocked if Rip doesn’t turn up alive again in some way or another.)
For our money, though, the most quietly amusing part of the episode, was just how little patience or time Green Arrow had for these time travelers. Mayor Oliver Queen makes what basically amounts to a framing device cameo to help Nathan find the ship and hear Mick’s story, and then he peaces out, apparently not super concerned about Sara’s mission to avenge Laurel or the fact that Nazis blew up New York.
Crossovers, man. They’re not always perfect, but it was a nice little guest spot that didn’t detract from a fun romp through time — and there’s an exciting tease of things to come: The JSA.