“Blood Ties” – aired 2/4/2016 – *****stars
Written by Marc Guggenheim & Chris Fedak
Directed by Dermott Downs
*spoilers contained within*
Last week’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow left Kendra/Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee) with life-threatening injuries and a broken heart after the death of Carter/Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) at the hands of Vandal Savage (Casper Crump). While it left viewers heartbroken, it brought the team one step closer to being a united front. This week’s episode, “Blood Ties,” opens with a flashback to ancient Egypt where Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) gets his chance to battle Vandal Savage in an attempt to stop him from completing his evil mission to take over the world. The fight sequence is cut short as we see Rip and Sara/White Canary (Caity Lotz) in modern times on the Waverider. Sara suggests that being Savage is immortal, Rip can take out his finances instead. Rip agrees and the two pose as a wealthy couple to gain access to the bank. Once again, Leonard/Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), Mick/Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) and Jax/Firestorm (Franz Drameh) are told to stay behind. The two villains get anxious and convince Jax to repair and use a shuttle to fly to Central City and steal an emerald. Rip and Sara try again to get Vanadal Savage, but are captured by Savage and watch him perform a ritual over Carter’s body.
This episode was a particularly emotional episode for more than just Carter’s death and Kendra’s life hanging in the balance. During the mission in the bank, Rip and Sara are made by Vandal’s henchmen and a fight ensues. We see Sara’s rage as she kills some of the men and is about to behead another when Rip stops her. When he reprimands her, she reminds him of what she turned into when she was resurrected in the Lazarus Pit. This not only told a backstory for Sara, it also connected Arrow fans with the show. It’s a smart way to build an on the Arrow‘s foundation. Viewers got to see a different side to Leonard when he detours to a house after stealing the emerald. We see him talking to a boy before a man pulls a gun on him. He gives the emerald to the man and tells him he will go to jail. It turns out Leonard revisited his youth to change his father’s abusive ways. Unfortunately it does not work, but we see that there’s more to him than just a criminal.
There was no more emotional part of this episode than the part with Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) helping Dr. Ray Palmer/Atom (Brandon Routh) remove the knife particles from Kendra’s body. Dr. Palmer uses his suit to shrink himself and travel through Kendra’s body, destroying the particles. He gets hit by one and retreats. When Dr. Stein urges him to go back in, Dr. Palmer refuses and tells him a story about how he saw his fiance killed by criminals in Starling City, but couldn’t help her because they broke his leg. Dr. Stein lies to Palmer about his memory of him as a student to help Dr. Palmer get his confidence back. It works and Dr. Palmer goes back and destroys the particles, healing Kendra. Kendra wakes up, chanting what Savage and his followers were chanting at the ceremony. She alerts the two doctors to the ceremony to save Rip and Sara.
It was great to see an episode so early into a show’s run that puts the viewers into the character’s heads and experience the events that make them who they are. It puts the show in a new perspective and helps the audience connect with the characters. After watching this episode, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is more to me now than time-travel, music and fighting. It’s the story of a group of people fighting internal demons while fighting the demons of the world. They are more than just heroes in costumes with fancy gizmos and gadgets now. They are human beings with authentically acted and written feelings. I am enjoying this show more with every episode I watch. I am excited for next week’s episode because the team travels to 1986…the year I was born. I sure hope they don’t alter that part of the timeline.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8pm on The CW. Check your local listings.