Thursday, October 13, 2016

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2, Episode 1 - Out Of Time

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Historian Dr. Nate Heywood seeks out Oliver Queen when he discovers evidence of the timeline being altered and The Legends being endangered. Heywood's trail leads to a stasis-locked Mick Rory, who tells them about Rex Tyler's warning not to travel to 1942 and The Legends' ignoring that warning to prevent the Nazis dropping the first nuclear bomb on New York City! But Sara Lance has her own agenda in the middle of all this - killing Damien Darhk in the past before he can kill her sister.


The Three Musketeers
(the France 1637 sequence is set in the same time period, Stein, Rip and Rory are teamed together while dressed in Musketeer garb), Das Boot (the submarine fight sequences) Men In Black (Rip's weapon that knocks a person unconscious with a light blast looks like the memory erasing tool) A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court (Jax and Stein wind up posing as wizards in the British royal court) and Geoff Johns' JSA (The character of Nate Heywood, the appearance of the JSA at the end of the episode).


Einstein says that his wife divorced him 30 years earlier. He may be rounding up or mis-remembering, but Einstein's first wife did not divorce him until 1919. They were separated for at least five years before that, so Einstein may have considered himself divorced after his wife left him, regardless of when the marriage legally ended.

Oliver Queen says he doesn't have time to time-travel. Logically, with a time-machine, he should have all the time in the world! (I know they can't have Stephen Amell on this show all season, but they could have come up with a better excuse!)

Given Mick Rory's time as Chronos, his ability to pilot a time-ship shouldn't be so surprising.

While we don't know how long Jax and Stein were in 821 England, one marvels at his smart phone holding a charge for however long he was there given that he and Stein had time to become court wizards.

It's unclear just how Einstein acknowledging his ex-wife as a secret collaborator on his work will protect her or him from being abducted by Nazis.


Nick Zano doesn't get much time to establish Nate Heywood as anything beyond the typical excitable academic figure. Still, he does well enough with what he has.

Dominic Purcell damn near steals every scene he's in.


The whole of the Louis XIII scene is brilliantly executed - excellent direction, wonderful fight-choreography and tremendous editing of the various scenes that are going on simultaneously.

The fight scene between Sara and Darhk.

Excellent set design on the new Time Library and Waverider bridge.

Trivia Of Tomorrow

In the comics, Nathaniel "Nate" Heywood was the real name of the superhero Citizen Steel. A former football star who lost his leg following an injury, Nathaniel Heywood was the grandson of Henry Heywood (the Golden Age hero Commander Steel) and the cousin of Henry Heywood III (the hero Steel).

Commander Steel was a US Marine who served during WWII. After suffering severe injuries, portions of his body were replaced with metal and motors and enhanced by a bio-formula that gave him advanced healing powers. His son was killed in Vietnam and the Commander saw the same process inflicted upon his grandson, in his warped desire for a legacy. His grandson, Steel, served with distinction in The Justice League before his death.

Nathaniel Heywood developed super powers after a Nazi-themed super-group called The Fourth Reich targeted a Heywood family reunion with the intent of killing all of Commander Steel's bloodline. Apart from a few children and "Uncle Nate" they were successful. Nate came into contact with the metallic blood of Reichsmark - a villain whose touch killed instantly and transformed people's bodies into metal statues. Somehow, the metal bonded with Nate's body, regrowing his lost leg and granting him super-human strength and durability on par with his grandfather. Having not served in the military, he refused to take his grandfather's name and was dubbed Citizen Steel by Power Girl after she tried to recruit him for the JSA.

As introduced, the DCTVU version of Nate Haywood does not have any superpowers. Also, unlike his comic-book-counterpart, he is a doctor of history - a specialist in deductive historical reconstructions.

There is some historical evidence that Louis XIII was gay and preferred his male courtiers to his wife, Anne of Austria. He was recorded as having taken no mistresses, earning him the honorific Louis The Chaste. What is known is that the two of them finally had a child together after 23 years of marriage and four still-births, as depicted in this episode.

There is not any historical evidence that Anne of Austria was a lesbian or bisexual.

When Sara breaks off from the rest of the Legends in 1942 New York, she asks a cabbie to take her to Conway and 5th. This is a nod to legendary comics writer Gerry Conway who - among other accomplishments - was responsible for co-creating Firestorm, Vixen, Steel and Vibe. He also wrote a 1970s revival of the All Star Comics series, featuring The Justice Society of America and was the author of the first official crossover comic between Marvel Comics and DC Comics - Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man.

Albert Einstein's portrayal as "a pig" in this episode is true to the historical record. Einstein's was a notorious womanizer. He is said to have cheated on his first wife with her sister and cheated on his second wife with his secretary, in addition to having at least six other affairs. He was even said to wear a silk robe at social gatherings, so he could "accidentally" expose himself and see which women were more interested than offended.

As Einstein notes when questioned about his wife, his first wife divorced him (in 1919 following a long separation) and his second wife died (in 1936).

Einstein did not publish his theory of Unified Field Theory until 1950.

Einstein's first wife - Mileva Maric - was a Serbian physicist. It has been suggested that she may have collaborated with him on some of his earliest published works in 1905 but opinion is divided upon the subject.

There is no evidence of Einstein and Maric collaborating on anything as late as 1942. Indeed, their oldest son said that his mother gave up all interest in the study of science after marriage.


The Waverider's medical bay is capable of putting a person into stasis, freezing them in time.

Aberrations are the technical term used to describe problems in the time-stream caused by rogue time-travelers.

A time quake is a disturbance in the temporal zone caused by an unusually large aberration. They are rare enough that even Rip Hunter hasn't experienced one.

People in the temporal zone when a time quake occurs are immune to its effects so long as they remain outside of normal space-time.

It takes time for the consequences of a aberration - even one as large as changing a World War- to ripple throughout history and change things.

The sensors in The Atom suit can be used to track radioactive signatures.

The subliminal variance of the quantum manifold is two microns.

If one wants to divert power from the axial array, it cannot be done. You would have to go through the clavian adjunct.

The Timescatter is a last-ditch option Rip Hunter designed. When activated, it teleports everyone on The Waverider to a different random point in time. He uses this to send everyone (with the exception of Mick Rory) away during his attempt to intercept the atomic bomb that threatens New York City.

A ship that is designed to travel in space and an atmosphere is ill-equipped to handle the pressures of an underwater environment.

Ray attempts to bypass the tertiary subsystem array.

Once again, Rip uses a device capable of rendering a person unconscious with a flash of bright light.

Dialogue Triumphs

Stein (voice-over):  The Time Masters were an organization charged with protecting history from rogue time-travelers, but they were destroyed. Under the leadership of Rip Hunter, we have taken up their mantle. Sara Lance - former member of the League of Assassins. Dr Raymond Palmer - The Atom. The arsonist, Mick Rory. And Firestorm - the merged super-form of Jefferson Jackson and myself, Martin Stein. We are the only ones left to protect history. We are the Legends of Tomorrow.

Nate: I'm a historian. I specialize in deductive historical reconstruction. In layman's terms, I'm a time detective. Which I really don't have to be to look at a calendar to see one week after you came to this city, Robin Hood showed up.
Ollie: You said that Sara and Ray are...?
Nate: ... traveling throughout time with the other Legends. Legends is what they call themselves. (fumbling with notes) Now, for the past six months I've been noticing subtle changes to history. Almost imperceptible, Actually, if it wasn't for a friend of mine who is a quantum physicist, I wouldn't have been able to detect the subliminal alterations. The point being, I think your friends are responsible.
(Ollie just stares at Nate skeptically.)
Nate: You're look at me like you want evidence. Evidence! Okay. (starts holding up documents) An illuminated manuscript from 1216 depicting a knight. Looks a lot like your friend  Dr. Palmer. Same nose and chin. Erratic text, describing a woman in white with a bo staff!  Hieroglyphics from Mesopotamia depicting an albeit crude ship that flies through the air and disappears...
Ollie: Let's skip to the part where they're in trouble...
Nate: UFO sighting! New York City! 1942! Multiple witnesses report a flying machine diving into the Atlantic, which matches not only the Mesopotamian hieroglyphics-
Ollie: (impatiently) The part where they're in trouble!
Nate: (frantically) Contemporaneous with the sighting were multiple reports of an underwater detonation of an atomic bomb!  Now, the government has denied this-
Ollie: Did you say 1942?  That's three years before...
Nate:  - before the atomic bomb was supposedly invented, yes. I told you history was changing!
Ollie: Dr. Heywood, if The Legend's ship met an A-bomb they aren't in trouble. They're dead.

(Ollie and Nate enter the med bay of The Waverider. They find Mick Rory, lying on a bed, bathed in blue light.)
Ollie: The ship's keeping him in stasis.
Nate: How do you know that?
(Ollie gestures to a panel on the wall next to the bed which reads STASIS ACTIVATED.)

(Sara walks behind Queen Anne, placing a necklace around her neck as she looks at herself in the mirror.)
Sara: It's beautiful, Your Grace.
Queen Anne: As is yours. Who gave it to you?
Sara: (sadly) My sister.
Queen Anne: You speak of her as if she is gone. I hate to see a lady so beautiful, so sad.
(Queen Anne stands and moves behind Sara, rubbing her shoulder.)
Sara: Your husband-
Queen Anne: Enjoys the company of his male courtiers. Why should I be denied a similar.. pleasure?

(Upon seeing Firestorm and The Atom flying over Louie XIII's chateau.)
Oh bloody hell...
(The Atom lands in front of Rip, smiling.)
The Atom: That was the last assassin.
Rip: What did we say about using powers and future-tech, Dr. Palmer?
The Atom: (sheepishly) Well, yeah but... they started it.
(Enter Rory, guiding a panicked Louis XIII)
Rory: Don't look at me. I left my gun on the ship like a good little Boy Scout.

Sara: Nobody wants to address the fact that Cardinal Richelieu's men were armed with laser guns?
Stein: Clearly provided to them by a time-pirate or some-such.
Jax: Grey's right. We need to find out who, so-
Rip: - you can get another chance at destroying the very history that we are supposed to be protecting?
The Atom: Ah, I knew I forgot something! The part where Rip tells us everything we did wrong.
Rip: As in seducing the Queen of France just before she's suppose to conceive the country's greatest hope for the future?
Sara: She seduced me.
Rip: Or wrong as in violating our policy of not using super-powers in front of people?
Jax: They had laser guns.
Rory: At least I didn't screw up this time.
(Rip walks over to Rory, grabs at his sleeve and retrieves a golden cross on a chain in one smooth motion.)
Rory: Stealing's not screwing up.

(Stein and Rory see Einsten from across the room at a cocktail party. He is walking up to a group of young women, )
Stein: That-th-that's him!
Einstein: Good evening, ladies.
Stein: The greatest mind the world has ever known!
(Einstein's hand suddenly runs down one lady's hip and grabs her backside. She slaps his hand away.)
Einstein: (chuckling) I am merely demonstrating Newton's Third Law - for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Rory: (laughs) I like him! He's a pig!

(Stein and Rory approach Einstein.)
Stein: Oh, Herr Professor, I am so sorry to interrupt!
Einstein: Who are you?
Stein: My colleague and I were just having a rather spirited debate about your theory of relativity. Perhaps you could help us settle it?
(Einstein looks on helplessly as the two women he was talking to walk off.)
Einstein: I was -this- close to getting them both to come back to my room!
Stein: (shocked) Well, what about your wife?
Einstein: The one who died or the one who divorced me thirty years ago?

(Einstein awakens in The Waverider's brig.)
Stein: Guten Morgen.
Einstein: What is this? Some sort of prison? What am I doing in here?
Rory: Good question.
Stein: I'm sorry. I never had the opportunity to introduce myself. I'm Professor Martin Stein. Just like Einstein. Minus the Ein. There's just so much I'd like to discuss with you...Such as your paper on Unified Field Theory.
Einstein: I have not yet published my paper on Unified Field Theory! Who are you? Why have you abducted me?!
Rory: The guys at the party wanted you to build an atomic bomb for "ze Furher"
Einstein: No. Not even a man as mad as Adolph Hitler would want to create such a terrible weapon.
Stein: You yourself once said that two things are infinite - the universe and human stupidity.
Einstein: And you are living proof of the latter!
Rory: (smirking to Stein) He just called you stupid.

(Rory just saved Ray from a dinosaur)
Ray: Mick!  Buddy!  How did you find me?
Rory: I didn't. Pretty did.
(Rory nods to Nate, who is throwing up behind him.)
Ray: Is he okay?
Rory: Side effects of time-travel.
Nate: Speaking of, you're never going to believe where the rest of your team ended up.
(Nate vomits again as Ray looks on in disbelief.)

Dialogue Disasters

Ollie: I don't have time to time-travel.


According to Mick Rory, The Legends spent six months repairing the time stream before the incident that put him into stasis.

Mick Rory says that after appearing to The Legends in 116 and introducing himself, Rex Tyler said the team could never travel to 1942 or it would mean their deaths before disappearing.

Damien Darhk was alive in 1942, thanks to his use of The Lazarus Pit.

In the revised timeline, The Germans get the Atomic Bomb three years before The Allies and bomb New York City in 1942. The Allies still win World War II but it takes them an additional two years, during which time 12 million more people died.

The Waverider is now equipped with a "time library" that enables anyone to research anything involving the current state of history.

In the previous six months, Rip has had Jax create the time library, modify the bridge of The Waverider, and several other technical tasks.that he only trusts Jax to manage instead of going out on missions.

Nate Heywood's lead on finding Ray Palmer is an article entitled - Jurassic Man - Real or Hoax?

The side effects of time travel on the human body can include nausea.

Stein and Jax were sent to England in 821, where they play at being wizards.

Sara was sent to Salem at the time of the witch trials, where she was nearly hung.

Damien Darhk was working with The Nazis in WWII. At the end of the episode, he is revealed to also be partnered with The Reverse Flash.

The Justice Society of America stop The Legends as they are about to leave 1942. Full write-ups on each member we see will be included in next week's entry.


Star City 2016
The floor of the Atlantic Ocean 2016 (one day after Star City)
France 1637
New York City 1942
Hoboken, New Jersey 1942
South Dakota - 70 million years ago.
Tintangel, England 821 AD
Salem, Massachusetts 1693

Untelevised Adventures

The Legends had been working at protecting history for six months between when they met Rex Tyler and their rescuing King Louis XIII.

The Fridge Factor

Granting that Sara Lance is a sensual woman, it's a little hard to believe that she wouldn't have the common sense to curb her appetites when she's stranded in Salem at the time of The Witch Trials and the local civic leaders were looking for any signs of deviant behavior among the local women.

Also, have the writers decided that Sara is a full lesbian rather than bisexual? We've yet to see her get involved with a male character out of the many dalliances she's had since she started time-traveling. It would be nice if this point were clarified, yet it hardly matters as it seems the writers are encouraging the stereotype of bisexuals and lesbians being promiscuous either way.

The Bottom Line

Definitely more than the sum of its parts. The penultimate section of the show is particularly weak and Stephen Amell's cameo is wasted. There's way too many cheap jokes about Rory being slow-witted and Sara being promiscuous that really don't make sense in context. And yet, there's so much that DOES work that you find yourself liking it anyway. And then you get the double-whammies in the final two minutes that I can only imagine were truly shocking for those, unlike me, who hadn't read the news about the plan for merging the various DCTVU shows together this year. As an episode, it's merely decent. As the base for something bigger, it's perfect.

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