Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Enchant The Paradox: "Aruba" Ends The Second Season Of Legends Of Tomorrow Well!


The Good: Engaging plot, Decent performances, Cool effects
The Bad: Repetitive gags,
The Basics: Legends Of Tomorrow climaxes its Spear Of Destiny plotline with "Aruba."


The second season of Legends Of Tomorrow has developed into something that has the potential to be very unfortunate. The season has rocketed into territory where the entire season has to be undone. The big question for fans of Legends Of Tomorrow is "how much of the season's events will evaporate in the resolution to the season's conflict?" "Aruba" answers that question as the second season of Legends Of Tomorrow comes to a head.

"Arbuba" opens up in the alternate universe created in "Doomworld" (reviewed here!) and rushes toward figuring out how to resolve the world created by the Legion Of Doom using the Spear Of Destiny after Thawne destroyed the Spear. The answer hinted at in the climax of "Doomworld" was that the Waverider might have to go to the future in order to rewrite history.

Opening with Rip Hunter, sober now, in the repaired but miniaturized Waverider, the Legends deal with the loss of Amaya while trying to figure out a way to communicate with the Waverider. Hunter brings the Waverider to the lab where the Legends have taken up and begin searching S.T.A.R. Labs for Palmer's Atom suit, believing that it is the key to restoring the Waverider to its proper size. After they find the suit, the team is able to restore the Waverider and the head back to France, 1916 and they prepare to create a paradox within the events of "Fellowship Of The Spear" (reviewed here!). Unfortunately, no sooner has Palmer recovered the Blood of Christ than Eobard Thawne arrives from the future and kills him.

While the Legion of Doom regroups to try to stop the Legends, the future Legends works to avoid their younger selves. Unfortunately, they soon find themselves face to face with their other selves and forced to confess everything. When the Waverider makes an unsuccessful time jump, the aberration Legends prepare to sacrifice themselves so their younger selves can get the Spear Of Destiny back to the other Waverider.

"Aruba" is a pretty constant refrain for Mick Rory, who wants to abandon the mission and just go to Aruba to get drunk. The episode has a predictably high body count as alternate Legends are executed and the only joke that fails to play effectively is the one where various Legends talk over themselves because, of course, they think alike.

The second season finale of Legends Of Tomorrow closes well the arc of Sara Lance as the leader of the Legends. For the entire season, Sara Lance has been the captain of the Waverider and that has meant that she has been both in command and faced repeatedly with her worst enemy. Lance has had to interact with Damien Darhk, the man who killed her sister, and she is given the chance to get revenge on him. Fortunately, "Aruba" resolves Lance's uncertainty and bloodlust incredibly well.

The episode has a plot-heavy first half, but "Aruba" climaxes with a decent amount of character. Dr. Heywood's story aboard the Waverider becomes vital, especially in the face of him being reunited with Amaya Jiwe. Jiwe makes an interesting choice in "Aruba" and it will be interesting to see how that develops in the third season.

On the villain front, Eobard Thawne is unfortunately erratic in "Aruba." While well-played by Matt Letscher, the role of the Reverse-Flash is written with an unfortunate inconsistency. Thawne shows his intelligence when he shuts up and kills Ray Palmer. And he is clever in his tactic to try to stop the Legends. But then, he turns into Generic Expository Gloating Super-Villain and at a key moment his character falls flat.

As with the first season, "Aruba" climaxes with a set-up for the next season and the current crew of the Waverider seems unlike it could credibly add new characters . . . or it might get some new characters whose stories would inherently be undone by the plot conceit of the episode's climax. While the journey there is pleasant, the end of "Aruba" leaves the Legends Of Tomorrow in much the same circumstances as where the episode - and the season - began. Reality has become filled with paradoxes and some form of reset is going to have to be done at some point. Can Legends Of Tomorrow reset its own universe better than The Flash has? One can only hope. With "Aruba," the sense is that the Legends will just keep digging themselves deeper into their own pit and if the writers and producers can credibly bring them out of it without destroying the entire DC Comics Television Universe, it will be a miracle.

For other season finales, please visit my reviews of:
"Legendary" - Legends Of Tomorrow
"Fast Enough" - The Flash
"The Race Of His Life" - The Flash

7/10

For other television season and episode reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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