LEGENDS OF TOMORROW was, at least for a time, the bastard step-child of the Berlanti Productions “Arrowverse.” As noted in the overview of Season 1, the shaky start to the series eventually found its groove, proving that the time travel concept was a versatile and agile one. Thrusting itself deep into the heart of the DC Universe, the first season’s cliffhanger left us with a dangling hint about the Justice Society of America. While the second season debut doesn’t introduce them immediately, it certainly paves the way quickly.
Avast ye! There be spoilers ahead, Time Team mateys!
The episode kicks off in Star City in 2016, with time detective/historian Nate Heywood (Nick Zano) enlisting the help of guest star Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) to help track down the sunken Waverider. Only Mick is alive on board, kept in stasis to tell the story of where Rip’s current team have gone to. The bulk of the episode is pinging through time picking up Ray, Sara, Jefferson and Martin; stopping the abduction of Albert Einstein (John Rubenstein) by Arrow villain Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) and creating a nuclear bomb that will destroy New York in 1942.
“Out of Time” is an odd bird, as it feels for all the world like a pilot. Filled with appearances of characters from other shows (more on that later), there’s a slightly scattered approach to storytelling as the show tries to work out the new dynamic between the diminished team. The tone is undoubtedly lighter, with the Vandal Savage storyline no longer slaving the show to a singular narrative. Yet the show previously spent so much time focusing on Hawkgirl, thankfully absent from this season, and it no longer has the charismatic Wentworth Miller chewing scenery and words. It’s definitely an improvement on the previous year, but it’s going to take a little time find its feet again.
There’s a lot of fun to be had in the episode, and “Out of Time” also gives us plenty to ponder for the rest of the season. Where has Rip gone to, and will this mean a diminished appearance of Arthur Darvill this season? How big a role will the Justice Society of America play in the season? Has Flashpoint had any impact on this series? After all, it now seems as though Darhk is working with Reverse Flash (Matt Letscher), with LEGENDS OF TOMORROW doubling down on the cameos and bringing in one of the key figures of the Flashpoint storyline. Only…ahem…time will tell.