Friday, April 1, 2016

Chronos And The Waverider Return To Recover The Legends Of Tomorrow "Left Behind."

The Good: Character elements, Performances
The Bad: Dull, straightforward plot
The Basics: Picking up immediately where "Night Of The Hawk" ended, Legends Of Tomorrow finds the Waverider crew sidetracked when Palmer, Saunders, and Lance are "Left Behind."

There have been, so far, very few direct sequel episodes in Legends Of Tomorrow, though the show is strongly serialized. "Left Behind" is an obvious sequel, especially given where the prior episode ended. "Night Of The Hawk" was going along in one direction when it took an abrupt left turn in the final act. The appearance of Chronos left three of the main characters trapped in 1958 Oregon. "Left Behind" is left with the burden of resolving the journey of the three lost characters, while saving the crew of the Waverider from the bounty hunter.

"Left Behind" picks up immediately after "Night Of The Hawk" (reviewed here!), with Sara Lance, Ray Palmer and Kendra Saunders trapped in 1958 Oregon, after having just been abandoned and having just appeared to kill Vandal Savage. The Waverider crew, predictably, begins "Left Behind" under fire from Chronos. The episode evolves from a time travel mishap into a surprisingly smart character study for its best moments.

Chronos absconds with Leonard Snart and the Waverider finds itself trapped in the temporal zone, with only Firestorm and Rip Hunter left aboard. After ten minutes of waiting, Lance convinces Palmer and Saunders to move away from the drop point. Ten hours later, they hotwire a car and ten days later, they hole up in an apartment in Hub City. Lance quickly assumes the worst and tries to convince Palmer to give up waiting to be rescued. Two years later, Palmer is a professor, essentially married to Saunders, when the Waverider abruptly returns to normal time and space. Recovered by Hunter, Saunders is quick to ask why Chronos abducted Snart.

Snart meets the man beneath Chronos's mask and discovers that he is the one who created him. The attempt by the Waverider's crew to recover Sara Lance from the League Of Assassins results in them being captured. Hunter uses his knowledge of League law to arrange a trial by combat and he pits Saunders against Lance. When Chronos appears, Ra's al Ghul is forced to untether his captives and set them on their way.

Ray Palmer is fleshed out convincingly in "Left Behind" and Brandon Routh's performance is frequently heartwrenching to watch. Routh is able to present the complicated emotions and sense of loss with his eyes alone. Routh adds a wonderful body language to Palmer's hurt and sorrow over how Saunders treats their relationship after the Waverider recovers them. Routh explodes with talent in "Left Behind" and Ray Palmer is exceptionally easy to empathize with in the episode.

The identity of Chronos becomes obvious moments before he is revealed and the reveal is actually pretty cool. The idea that Mick Rory being abandoned by Snart had a deeper psychological effect on him is an awesome twist for a character who was treated remarkably monolithically during his tenure on Legends Of Tomorrow! As always, Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell play off each other expertly.

"Left Behind" smartly remains focused on resolving some of the past events, as opposed to making new, complicated storylines. Why Kendra Saunders and Ray Palmer did not try to assassinate Vandal Savage in their two years on Earth relatively proximate to him and the dagger that would end him is a bit of a mystery, but what is actually in the episode makes one almost overlook such things.

Despite one absolutely terrible stunt, "Left Behind" is a good series of character studies that explore consequences for a simple, straightforward, plot. The episode makes it very easy to fall back in love with Legends Of Tomorrow even if it keeps several questions unanswered and a number of problems in play.

[Knowing that single episodes are an inefficient way to get episodes, it's worth looking into Legends Of Tomorrow - The Complete First Season on DVD or Blu-Ray, which is also a better economical choice than buying individual episodes. Read my review of the premiere season of the time traveling hero team here!


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

© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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