I don't know if it's the talented actors or the fact that there's so many of them, but this show never stops moving.
Like the black market arms auction where the participants were bidding by shooting at the ceiling, all of the superheroes and a zillion extras battled it out, and then a nuke actually went off. And all that happened before the credits. (Damien Darhk dressed up like a Bond villain, and Ray hiding in Stein's pocket. So cool.)
But the best part of this episode was Martin Stein meeting his younger self (whom I'll call Marty) and realizing that while Marty partied a lot more, the basic arrogant Stein was still much the same. Graeme McComb was perfect casting as Marty, and the scene where Stein realized his younger self was flirting with Sara was very cute. Ditto Sara knocking Marty out with a big red bong, and making off with the joints. Rip getting Marty to the Fish Under the Sea dance in time to meet his future wife was an obvious homage to a certain famous time travel movie.
Our two villainous heroes and Ray Palmer breaking into Vandal's house worked for me, too. Ray may be a know-it-all but he is still likeable, while Snart and Mick are already my favorite characters. It was perceptive of Ray to realize that Snart and Mick might have something to teach him, and that Snart could have grown up to be an electrical engineer if his nasty father hadn't railroaded him into a life of crime. Dominic Purcell's Mick is surprisingly wonderful comic relief, but I'm already invested in the possibility of Snart turning his life around and becoming the hero he should have been.
And that made me think about which characters in this series are already working for me, and which aren't. Martin Stein works for me, of course, and Sara Lance was already a favorite of mine on Arrow. (Loved that she took down Vandal's lab all by herself while she was stoned.) I think a forthright upright but still geeky hero type like Ray Palmer works for the series, too. Jax had some nice moments in this episode, and I particularly like the way he and Stein are actively supporting each other as friends as well as Firestorm partners.
But so far, Rip Hunter mostly seems to be there to direct the action and scold everyone. And then there's Hawkman and Hawk
Since they reincarnate, I actually did expect one of the Hawks to die at some point -- but not this soon. Are there time travel rules for reincarnation? Will Carter be reborn in 1975? Will they go back to 2016 at some point and just pick him up again? The rules for how to kill Savage seem to be all amorphous, too. We have this magical poem-encrusted dagger that will kill Savage. No, wait -- it can only kill Savage if Kendra is holding it. Doesn't seem quite fair.
So our heroes fixed their mistake and Central City in 2016 will be okay, but they've made zero progress with fixing the future, and Vandal Savage now knows that time travelers are after him. (How does that work? Do the memories just magically appear in his head in 2016?) And of course, Carter died. Oops.
Bits and pieces:
-- We now know that they can't go back and change a time they've already visited. That's a smart writing decision because if you can continually keep changing something, there are no consequences. Plus overlapping visits would be a bitch to film.
-- Martin Stein possibly losing the wife he hadn't met yet was a little foreshadowing of Kendra losing her husband just as she finally remembered him.
-- The Hawks put their son in cryo storage on the ship, probably for a future plotline.
-- Sara, the word is pronounced "noo-clear."
Everybody remember where we parked:
-- We're still in 1975, but the Waverider moved around a bit: northern Norway and Ivy Town (a fictional DC city).
-- This week's 1975 music was "Disco Inferno." I've been humming it all day.
-- Stein introduced himself as Professor Elon Musk.
Rip: "The Waverider has a fabrication room which can fashion temporally indigenous, uh, fashion."
Jax: "You got a room that makes clothing?"
Rip: "Doesn't everyone?"
Mick: "Can I burn some stuff now?"
Snart: "I wish you would."
Rip: "While you were busy saving Norway from nuclear annihilation..."
Mick: "You're welcome, Norway."
Rip: "... Savage sent one of his cronies back to the site of the arms sale. Anyone care to guess what he found?"
Rip: "Time is like cement. It takes time to become permanent."
Jax: "People actually wore this crap?"
Stein: "People smoked a lot of pot in the seventies. It clearly had a deleterious effect on the fashion of the era."
|Victor Garber in Godspell, 1973|
Stein: "I don't partake in cannabis. Anymore, that is. In fact, perhaps you should take it easy."
Marty: "It helps me think better, Dad."
Stein: "Yes, but what about the long-term health consequences? Speaking of which, you might want to lay off the saturated fats."
Sara: "I cannot believe that that is you."
Jax: "Seriously, I had no idea you were ever cool."
Stein: "I was not cool. I was an arrogant little snot."
Snart: "Raymond, you don't break into a candy store and steal one gumball."
I wish they'd shown both parts of the pilot together. What did you guys think?
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.