Episode Title: “Legends of Today”
Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Shantel VanSanten
Directed By: Ralph Hemecker
“Legends of Today presented the first part of the two-part crossover between The Flash and Arrow which introduces fans to several new characters and serves as a lead in to the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow spinoff series from the CW. As the episode opens, Vandal Savage, one of DC’s most enduring villains, first appearing in 1944, has arrived in Central City as a captured stowaway aboard a cargo ship. Savage magically frees himself from his handcuffs and kills several guards and the ship’s captain and escapes. Although this begs the question why does a guy who has been around for thousands of years and has unlimited resources need to stowaway on a ship?
Savage attacks Kendra and Cisco in the coffee shop but The Flash is able to drive him off. Since Savage is determined a mystical threat rather than a scientific one (in a rather flimsy plot device) Barry decides to take Kendra to Star City to seek help from the Green Arrow as they have more experience with magic. Savage launches another attack, this time at Oliver’s apartment and it takes the combined forces of Oliver, Thea, and Barry to defeat him. As they plan their next move Kendra is kidnapped by Hawkman. Green Arrow and the Flash pair up to take Hawkman down and restrain him.
Carter Hall reveals he is the reincarnation of Egyptian Prince Khufu and that Kendra is Princess Shiera. The pair are lovers and soulmates who have been hunted down and killed by Savage over 200 times throughout the centuries, reincarnating each time. Savage grows more powerful each time he kills them. But this is the first time he has encountered meta-humans. To aid him, Savage locates an ancient artifact known as the Staff of Horus.
Kendra finally shakes off her disbelief and unlocks her powers as Hawkgirl as the group decides to head back to Central City to format a plan to stop Savage. Meanwhile, Caitlin and Wells are working on a serum called Velocity 6 which can enhance Barry’s speed to battle Zoom. Before the serum can be tested, Patty shoots Wells, believing he is the Wells from her world.
So yeah, that was a lot to take in. I am all for crossovers that expand the DC TV Universe but even as crossovers go this one threatens to collapse under its own weight. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the episode but there was just too much going on to fit neatly in an hour. To all of the above you toss in a quick segment with Damien Darhk and a couple appearances by Malcolm Merlyn and the League of Assassins and you got yourself a sandwich a little too much meat.
The use of Merlyn, popping up out of the shadows right in Oliver’s new Arrow Cave, and offering dire advice was gratuitous. We didn’t need them. Hawkman was more than able to provide what they needed to know about Savage. Speaking of Hawkman he came off a bit…limp. Hawkman, especially in the modern comic era, was always been portrayed as a fairly savage badass. I did like Savage (Casper Crump) much more. He lived up to his name and has no problem killing or trying to kill anyone who gets in his way.
All that said I think it’s great that we have reached a point where we can critique the fact that DC and Warner Bros/CW are expanding the TV universe. We don’t have to just be happy anymore that more comic book elements are included. It was still a fun episode and I am looking forward to part two on Arrow tonight.