Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 3, Episode 1 - Aruba-Con

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


The Legends defeated The Legion of Doom, but their actions have caused a fracturing of the time-stream that has unleashed thousands of anachronisms and paradoxes. Before they can get to work on fixing the problem, Rip Hunter (who had just left them moments earlier from their perspective) returns with agents from a newly formed Time Bureau, who relieve them of The Waverider.

This suits Mick Rory just fine, as he finally gets to take his long-delayed trip to Aruba and forget about the whole "saving the timeline" thing... right up until the point that Julius Caesar shows up intent on conquering the beach!


Army of Darkness (the scene of Sara working retail is like Ash and his job at S-Mart), the Men In Black movies (the mind-erasing device and the general look of The Time Agents), the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (Caesar quotes a line from it during his speech to the toga party, Nate quotes it when questioning Sara) and the movie Back To The Future II (the heroes have to stop a villain who used a book from the future to change history after allowing said book to wind up in the hands of said villain in the first place.)


It's hard to believe The Legends would just walk around a dinosaur-filled Los Angeles in their civies as nonchalantly as they do in the opening scene.

Funny as it is to see Sara working retail and granting that it's done entirely for comedic effect, it seems hard to believe she couldn't have gotten a better job, especially in Star City. Even if Oliver Queen or her dad couldn't get her a job on their security detail because of nepotism laws, surely they could pull some strings to get her work in a similar field!

If nothing else, you'd think Sara would be able to come up with a new identity for herself with her assassin training, particularly given how easily she's able to acquire the means of breaking into The Time Bureau.

It's also hard to believe that Ray Palmer, who built himself up from nothing with his tech company, has been reduced to doing grunt work with some dating app company.

Kid Flash unmasks in front of a bunch of criminals to talk with Nate?

Julius Caesar refers to Ate vexing him. Ate was the Greek goddess of ruin and folly - not Roman.

Why did The Time Bureau allow Amaya to stay in 2017 until she decided to return to 1942 on her own? Isn't she an anachronism?

It's highly coincidental that Sara just happened to steal a Time Bureau agent's badge for no real reason after a one night stand.

Given that The Time Bureau now have the technology to open direct portals between two points in time without the need for a ship, why did they need to take King Arthur back to Camelot from The Spanish Civil War through Star City in 2017?

You'd think Ray of all people would know better than to ask if Sara needs help in a fight. She kicked his ass handily in the last episode.


Once again, Caity Lotz steals the show and shows why this series has become her vehicle.

The interaction between Franz Drameh and Victor Garber is fantastic, with the two playing off the conflict between Stein and Jax perfectly.


The fight scenes of Sharpe and Sara working to fight the Roman Centurions is nicely shot.

Trivia Of Tomorrow

The episode opens with a quick recap of the last season. We are specifically reminded that Rip Hunter left the team, officially naming Sara Lance as Captain of The Waverider, that Amaya elected to stay on the team despite what recorded history says due to her love of Nate Heywood and that the team crash-landed in 2017 Los Angeles after a time-quake, at which point they discovered several buildings out of their proper place... and live dinosaurs roaming the streets. .

The episode title is a pun on The Rubicon - a shallow river in Northern Italy, which Julius Caesar famously crossed in 49 BC. Since then, the phrase "Crossing The Rubicon" has come to refer to "the point of no return" or any action that might be seen as risky or revolutionary with no alternatives but total defeat or complete victory possible as an outcome.

Roman law at the time prohibited any general from crossing into Roman territory at the head of an army. Julius Caesar defied this law by crossing The Rubicon, moving southward from Gaul and marching upon Rome. This started what is known as Caesar's Civil War and eventually led to the foundation of The Roman Empire with Julius Caesar as Dictator.

The Time Bureau is a unique organization, new to the DCTVU. In terms of focus, they seem similar to The Linear Men - a group which monitored the time-stream for paradoxes in the Post-Crisis DC Comics Universe, who recruited Rip Hunter in the wake of the destruction of The Time Masters.

When Sara is powering up The Waverider, she says "engines to power, batteries to speed." This is a nod to the phrase frequently said by Batman and Robin in the 1966 Batman TV show when starting The Batmobile, though there it was "atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed."

Professor Stein says "Great Caesar's Ghost!" upon seeing Julius Caesar in the flesh. This is a nod to the catch-phrase of Perry White, the editor of The Daily Planet in the Superman comics, who used "Great Caesar's Ghost!" as a polite exclamation whenever upset.

Julius Caesar's speech to rally a toga party to his cause features the line, "The cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste death but once!" This is a paraphrase of a line from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar - "A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once."

The photo that Gideon supplies for the mock dating profile Ray creates as a distraction is an actual photo of actress Amy Pemberton, who provides the voice of Gideon.

Ray and Nate pay homage to the original Ghosbusters, quoting Bill Murray's misquote of Julius Caesar - "We came. We saw. We kicked its ass!"

Nate quotes Shakespeare - Et tu, Sara?" - when Sara elects to return to The Time Bureau rather than put Caesar back where he belongs themselves. "Et tu" is Latin for "And you also?" The line "Et tu, Brute" is said when The Senators are killing Caesar on the floor of The Senate and the last to draw a sword is Brutus, whom Caesar considered one of his closest friends.

In the timeline formed when Caesar is not assassinated, The Roman Empire lasts another 2000 years and conquers The New World. What was the United States is labeled "Magna Hesperia" on the new map. In Latin, this means "Great Western Land". The map also identifies several areas with Latin names including Civitas Angeli (City of Angels) near Los Angeles, Flos (Flower) in Florida, Sola Stella (The Only Star) in Texas and Procidens Aqua (Falling Water) near Niagara Falls.

Nate says "dormi strictum amicus" before knocking out a guard. This means "Sleep clenched his friend." in Latin. Or, as Nate loosely translates it, "Sleep tight, buddy."

In the final scene of the episode, Amaya is seen using The Anansi Totem to summon several animal spirits at once, using them to attack a group of British soldiers. This is a new power for Vixen, who has previously only been depicted summoning one spirit at a time to draw upon their power.


An anachronism is a person, place or thing outside of it's natural place in time.

Ray Palmer has developed a new way of shrinking organic matter and streamlined the technology so that it can be worn more effectively.

Ray discovers that Gideon has been in sleep mode for five years when they steal The Waverider. He is able to revive her by diverting her power back to the core.

Temporal Linguistic Dysplasia is a condition where a time-traveler arrives in a time able to speak the native language. It's a frequent side-effect of historical displacement. This is why Julius Caesar is able to speak English.

Dialogue Triumphs

Sarah's daydream sequence where she fantasizes killing her boss.

Ray: My miniaturization technology has the potential to actually make the world a better place!
Alan: If that were true, it would be an app. If it doesn't live on a phone, it's not the future, Ray.
(Alan walks away from his desk. Ray just stands there, still in shock.)
Ray: (quietly) Well, I've actually been to the future.  Like, three times.

(Mick looks up to see who is blocking his light while tanning. He sees a Roman officer on horseback.)
Mick: And who the hell are you supposed to be?
Ceaser: I am Gaius Julius Caesar of Rome!
Mick: Ah. Thought I recognized you. Knocked-off one of your casinos in Vegas.

Nate: You sure this is where they're at?
Sara: I bumped into one of Rip's Time Agents a while back. He may have left his badge at my place.
Ray: He left it at your place?
Sara: All right. Maybe I lifted it off of him in the morning.

Nate: (to Time Bureau agents) I didn't know Men's Warehouse gave group discounts.
Ava Sharpe: What's wrong with you people?! Do you want to get shot?!
Nate: Totally rather get shot than look like a Sears model.

Sara's non-verbal reaction and hiding of her face when she sees King Arthur. (Remember how she was the inspiration for Sir Lancelot?)

Rip Hunter: All humility aside, we are the most important security organization that no one's ever heard of.

(Mick struggles with two suit-clad Time Agents)
Mick: Get off me you damn missionaries!

Gideon: Hello, Legends.. What did I miss?
Ray: Well, we're about to steal a ship, go grab Julius Caesar in Aruba - all before history completely collapses.
Gideon: So, it's business as usual, then?

Jax: Come on, Grey. A chance to meet Julius Caesar and fix history!
(Stein sighs cynically.)
Jax: Look, we have a time ship! We can get you home in time for dessert!
Stein: That's what I told Clarissa the last time I left...
Ray: (cheerfully) And when you came home you had a surprise daughter!
(Jax nods as if this proves his point.)
Stein: Your point?
Nate: The point is... sometimes we screw things up for the better.
Sara: (deadpan) That's a good motto. We should use that.

(As Sara is knocking-out Julius Caesar.)
Jax: Yep. I'd say our work here is done.
Stein: And to quote the great conqueror himself, "We came. We saw-"
Ray and Nate: "We kicked Caesar's ass!"
(Ray and Nate high-five.)

Jax: (quietly and jokingly, to Sara): Nice work. I'd have done it faster.

Rip: I trust you'll use your best judgement.
(Rip's hologram disappears.)
Jax: Ha! Does he not know this team?!

(Caesar steps forward, putting his hands on Sara's shoulders.)
Caesar: It cost me eight years and countless centurions to conquer Gaul. But with an Amazonian queen like you by my side, I could make short work of the rest of the world.
Sara: Conquering the world does sound nice...
(Sara places a hand on Caesar's chest and pushes him back.)
... but I don't need you to do it.

(Stein announces his intention to remain among The Legends to Jax.)
Stein: I shanghaied you into our first voyage. I forced this life upon you. I can hardly ask you to give it up now.
Jax: But... your life?  Your family?
Stein: I'll make it home for the birth of my first grandchild. As for my family... they're on this ship as well.


It has been five years since Rip Hunter last interacted with The Legends from his perspective. From their perspective, Rip left The Waverider 15 minutes ago.

During those five years, Rip Hunter has worked to establish The Time Bureau and their more advanced time-travel technology. He elected to disband The Legends personally since he was responsible for forming them.

Sara Lance has been declared legally dead twice.

According to Ray Palmer's new boss, Felicity Smoak ran Palmer Technologies into the ground.

Nate spent the last six months fighting crime as Steel in Central City, independent of Kid Flash and Vibe. He claims to be the second most popular superhero in Central City, behind The Flash.

Nate also broke up with Amaya, who was allowed to stay in 2017. Apparently she dumped him and decided to return to 1942 on her own following a conversation with Rip Hunter. According to Rip, going back to her proper time was her idea, not his.

The Time Bureau has an office in Star City in 2017.

King Arthur, last seen in 212, makes an appearance, being dragged through the Star City Time Bureau office in 2017 after having somehow made an appearance during The Spanish Civil War.

The Waverider has been re-purposed as a training simulator for newbie Time Agents. The simulation they are seen running is based on the events of 214, where The Legends had to save the Apollo 13 astronauts. They are told tomorrow's class will have them stopping a nuclear missile from attacking New York City - a disaster The Legends averted in 201.

Mick has apparently acquired several STDs recently. For some reason, The Time Bureau has sensors that can detect this.

The other Legends are convinced Mick is telling the truth about seeing the real Julius Caesar after Mick tries to use a golden Roman aureus from the first century B.C. in a vending machine.

Jax and Professor Stein still both live in Central City, though they haven't been socializing outside of a weekly bonding session required by their powers as Firestorm.

Jax has dropped out of college, despite being on his way to getting a Masters in Engineering in two years.

Lily Stein is pregnant. Apparently she had a boyfriend (now future husband) with whom she was on an academic sabbatical in Rome. She had just returned home to tell her parents in person.

Sara is capable enough a fighter to defeat Julius Caesar in single combat.

Julius Caesar was taken out of time the night before he crossed The Rubicon in 49 BC.

After reading Nate's history book on Rome, Caesar still moves to conquer Rome but declares the first thing he will do upon getting there is kill Brutus and Cassius - the two Senators who plotted his assassination years later. This eventually leads to Ceasar founding a Roman Empire that lasts over 2000 years and conquers The New World.

Mick steals a Time Courier (i.e. time portal generator), a communications device and a memory-eraser from Rip Hunter.

Rip explains to Agent Sharpe that he is allowing The Legends to retain The Waverider and to work for The Time Bureau because they may be the best weapon they have against Mallus - an unspecified threat that is coming at some point in the future, who apparently became a threat because of The Legends.

In the final scene, we see Amaya in Zambesi, using her necklace to summon several animal spirits, who maul Belgian Imperial soldiers intent on attacking her village.


Los Angeles, California - 2017.
Star City - 2017.
Silicon Valley - 2017.
Central City - 2017.
Aruba - 2017.
Cisalpine Gaul - 49 BC.
Zambesi - 1942.

Untelevised Adventures

Apparently Ray, Sara and Nate have been continuing to work as vigilante heroes over the past six months.

The Crisis Factor

There are several moments of The Legends being played up as incompetent in order to make The Time Bureau look more efficient. Nothing quite tops Nate failing to notice Julius Caesar stealing his book, however.

The Bottom Line

Illogical and nonsensical as it is at times, this show is still just plain fun. The episode establishes the new status quo with only a few hiccups along the way, such as how quickly The Time Bureau is able to solve the massive cliff-hanger from the end of the last season. The cast still sells it all through sheer charisma and the show sets up enough solid mysteries to provide some forward momentum beyond the usual "crisis of the week" storylines.

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