Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Borg Take On "Camelot/3000" In Legends Of Tomorrow!

The Good: Decent plot development, Special effects, Most of the performances, Fun and dangerous tone
The Bad: Virtually no character development
The Basics: Legends Of Tomorrow goes forward and back in time with "Camelot/3000," which allows Ray Palmer and Stargirl to become real heroes!

One of the issues for television shows these days is that the television-watching audience has become far more sophisticated than they used to be. Viewers today are much more savvy about serialized arcs, so they tend to be able to handle long arcs and they appreciate a good story that develops over quite a few episodes. Because of the binge-watching phenomenon, individual episodes have to stand on their own and hold up as part of a larger season's story better than they used to. Legends Of Tomorrow has been having some trouble in its second season finding a flow that works for the show episode to episode. One hilarious episode is followed by an intense and violent episode, which is followed by a dark, but predictable, one. "Camelot/3000" treads toward the serious, which is good given how dire the stakes are becoming in the season.

"Camelot/3000" follows on the events of "Turncoat" (reviewed here!), which had a pretty long denoument with Rip Hunter returning to the Legion Of Doom as their tool, while the Legends celebrated Christmas aboard the Waverider. "Camelot/3000" returns Rip Hunter, villain, to the narrative and allows the Legends Of Tomorrow to become a part of Arthurian myth.

Opening in Detroit in the year 3000, Rip Hunter arrives where he meets Charles McNider. McNider does not give up the fragment of the Spear Of Destiny that he possesses, but Hunter realizes that it is probably inside the scientist. Arriving at 3000, Heywood and Jiwe disagree on the nature of their relationship. Jiwe is upset because McNider was Dr. Mid-Nite in her Justice Society Of America and after they discover McNider's corpse, Jiwe clashes with Lance. Lily Stein's daughter created an algorithm for finding the pieces of the Spear Of Destiny and it points the Waverider crew to 570 Britain. While in 3000, though, Dr. Stein stole something from Dr. Mid-Nite's laboratory. When in Britain, the Legends encounter Guinevere and Palmer talks his way into the court of King Arthur. At Camelot, the Legends find Stargirl acting as Merlyn and she explains how the J.S.A.'s final mission went down.

When King Arthur tracks down his mysterious Black Knight, the knight turns out to be Damien Darhk. Darhk and Rip Hunter take control of Arthur's mind and hold Camelot ransom for the fragment of the Spear that Courtney (Stargirl) hid. Fortunately, the object that Stein stole from Mid-Nite's lab is the telepathic control device Rip Hunter is using. Stein uses Rory as a test subject, but the test only informs Stein that Hunter and Darhk are coming in force on Camelot. As Guinevere steps up to lead the remaining knights, the Legends search for the last piece of the Spear to take it from Stargirl. When Heywood checks his manuscript, he realizes Palmer will die in the past and the Legends have to decide whether or not to leave him and save reality or let Palmer become a hero.

By the point of "Camelot/3000," Legends Of Tomorrow has created a web of temporal anomalies that are pretty extraordinary. It seems like a huge stretch to believe that the season can be resolved without it actually undoing the entire season. The adventure in Camelot for Legends Of Tomorrow is, at the very least, fun.

"Camelot/3000" unfortunately minimizes Sarah Lance. Lance continues to get played as a one-note character. It's fun watching Lance seduce historical women and the chemistry she has with Guinevere is good. But it seems like that is the only note the writers are playing with the character. Lance has the potential to be a great leader, but most of the second season, she has been relegated to a simple assassin or temporal lech. Fortunately, by the end of "Camelot/3000" writer Anderson Mackenzie finds more for her to do as an inspirational leader.

Legends Of Tomorrow smartly raises the stakes with the big picture - as Lance recognizes it - with the last fragment being put in play. The addition of a mind-controlled army - it is like a Borg invasion! - could have been a mess, but Legends Of Tomorrow manages to pull it off by having the characters play to their strengths. Dr. Stein is not a traditional fighter, so having him try to hijack the technology Hunter is using to win the day makes a lot of sense. The episode makes surprisingly good use of Stargirl and Ray Palmer . . . two characters who have been either entirely undeveloped (in Courtney's case) or underused - Ray Palmer hasn't had a truly decent arc since Hawkgirl left at the end of the first season.

While "Camelot/3000" has a long build-up, the resolution to the episode is well-executed, even if some aspects of it are predictable. While it might be tough to believe the season might not simply get undone in some fashion by its end, "Camelot/3000" is almost enough to make the viewer believe that the Legends actually have the potential to end up as legendary characters!

For other works with Caity Lotz, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
"Invasion!" - Arrow
"Invasion!" - The Flash
Legends Of Tomorrow - Season 1

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


For other television and movie reviews, please visit my Movie Review Index Page for an organized listing!

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