‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Post-Show Analysis: Season 1, Episode 7: ‘Marooned’
After a half-season of set-up in both Arrow and The Flash, it’s finally here: the CW’s latest super-show, Legends of Tomorrow, featuring Arrow’s Atom and White Canary, as well as both halves of Firestorm, the Hawkpersons, and rogues Captain Cold and Heat Wave from The Flash, the show follows Rip Hunter and his team of misfits across time.
Our longest-serving Arrow and Flash recappers, Matt Wilson and Dylan Todd, have joined forces for Stuff of Legends, our Legends of Tomorrow post-show analysis. In this week's "Marooned," the team answers a mysterious SOS and finds itself embroiled in some space difficulties, while one member of the crew seemingly goes rogue. Gregory Smith directed the episode, which was written by Anderson Mackenzie and Phil Klemmer.
Dylan: This week’s episode takes us from the far-flung future to the depths of space, with our Legends running afoul of a gang of wily space pirates while internal forces tear partners apart. We can get down to the nitty gritty in a sec, but what did you think of the episode as a whole, Matt?
Matt: This is going to sound like I’m trashing it, but I’m really not. Well, maybe a little.
It felt like an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Forget this episode’s debate over whether Ray is Kirk or Picard, or its nods to Star Wars. The debate is settled, and the script had all the beats of a TNG episode: Answering a distress call to find unexpected complications! An away team! A crisis back on the ship! Starfleet or, er, Time Master Academy! A crew member bravely putting himself in danger to fix a mechanical problem! It’s all there, pretty much until the moment Heat Wave goes rogue.
Dylan: It definitely felt like a TNG episode. It was serviceable enough, but not a whole lot stood out about it. And yeah, I kept wishing those pirates were more… piratical, as opposed to looking like they were dressed in Goth Firefly cosplay. I mean, no pirates I’ve ever heard of have as nice of teeth as Captain Valler/Callum Keith Rennie has. Would it have killed them to give us one measly peg leg?
Matt: A time peg leg! Made out of a giant minute hand! At the very least they could have gone with the Metroid space pirates tack and made them bug aliens.
I actually noticed for the first time in this episode that the Waverider has straight-up TNG computers. Same color scheme, almost the same design, everything.
Dylan: It’s been right under our noses the whole time! And let’s just go ahead and put this idea to rest that Picard is sexier than Kirk. I mean, really. More than anything else this episode, that bugged me. Although, if I’m being generous, it could be a way to show that Kendra has terrible taste in men, which would explain her continually falling for Carter Hall despite him being The Absolute Worst.
Matt: Sisko beats ‘em all anyway.
Dylan: Too true. The A-plot involves Rip Hunter, Professor Stein, Jax and Heat Wave intercepting a derelict time ship, and Rip, ever the scumbag, needs to steal a piece from to get his own ship going again. What did you think about this grouping?
Matt: Like many episodes of TNG --- which I liked, but hey, let’s be honest --- it was kind of boring. Dylan, as you mentioned, would you have expected time pirates (time pirates!) to be this generic and uninspired? Would you have thought this new Time Master we met (Captain Eve Baxter) would be so easily swayed in Rip’s favor?
The only things that injected any drama at all were Heat Wave’s wild card factor and Professor Stein’s sudden reversion into his childhood space-adventuring fandom. The Spaceballs-style scene where he beats up a guard offscreen and walks back through a door in his dumb time pirate beret was maybe my favorite moment of the whole episode.
Dylan: Oh, for sure. Martin Stein: Space Ranger is a thing I can get behind.
Back on the ship, we are left with Ray Palmer and Kendra, who sort of follow up last week’s aborted flirt sesh with, well, more flirting. We discussed Palmer’s squeaky clean persona last week, and it certainly got a chance to shine here. How did you feel about the Ray/Kendra stuff? Did it line up with your slash fiction at all?
Matt: My slash fiction would have Sara Lance doing way more than just sitting around in a cold room, I’ll tell you that much.
As for Ray and Kendra, I like both actors, but there’s not a ton of chemistry there. If it’s any indication on whether this plot burned up my screen, the only note I wrote down was, “Why did Ray go outside the ship with only 10 minutes worth of oxygen?”
Dylan: Because then he gets a dramatic almost-death where Kendra realizes that life is too short, continual-reincarnation or no. I very much get what you’re saying, though.
We also got treated to a bunch of Dooku flashbacks from Rip’s past, with him and his wife and all that. I'm sure it was meant to help us understand his plight, but the way he treated his teammates this week sort of sucked the air out of those overly-schmatlzy scenes. What did you think about the trip down Time Master Memory Lane?
Matt: If the point of those flashbacks (which gave me weird Arrow flashback tingles) was to really, deeply confirm that Rip’s a terrible guy, then mission accomplished. He whines when his wife-to-be figures out a clever way to complete a simulation. Then, when she and he get caught having an inappropriate relationship (Are Time Hunters like Jedi and supposed to have no romantic attachments?) he lets her take the fall for him with only the weakest of protests.
My big takeaway was that Lieutenant Coburn would have been a way better Waverider captain than Rip Hunter.
Dylan: I hate him so much. I initially thought/hoped he was being extra-mean to Heat Wave as part of some plan to… make him angry and bust them out? Or something? But no; he’s just awful.
Matt: Yeah, I don’t know if it was an on-purpose fakeout or not, but I kept waiting for Heat Wave to reveal that he was part of some secret plan to take out the pirates. Turns out he’s just a loose cannon who doesn’t play by the rules, Jack.
Dylan: Can you blame him, though? Like, his one buddy from small times, who brought him along on this crazy adventure with promises of “tiiiiime criiiiimes” has gone soft, their leader is an ineffectual mope who can’t stop lying, and there’s not even any beer on this time ship!
Matt: Yeah, one thing we didn’t mention is that the episode starts with Rip literally sitting around wallowing in his grief, watching old messages from his wife and son. And look, I understand that stuff is difficult to deal with and takes a long time to get over, but he’s got a crew of people on the ship who have been sitting around for a week (a week!) while he is doing “work” in his little study. I’d be as mad as Heat Wave is, too. I bet the food on the Waverider is awful.
Dylan: Just reconstituted protein cubes and expired Tang.
Also, why doesn’t Rip’s kid have an accent if both of his parents are all pip-pip-cheerio all the time?
Matt: Blame it on American TV.
Dylan: But the actress playing Miranda is Australian! She’s doing a fake British accent! Get the kid to do one, too! He says like three things! (Editor's note: The actress playing Miranda is doing a truly awful fake British accent and let's please have no more of that.)
Matt: Maybe they tried and it just wasn’t happening.
Dylan: It would at least be entertaining. And speaking of entertaining, the other big deal this episode was the strained relationship of Captain Cold and Heat Wave. Between Cold’s reminiscing with Canary and Heat Wave’s ultimate, inevitable betrayal, I gotta say, I felt a lot more from those scenes than I did during the (kind of terrible and unnecessary) Rip/Miranda scenes. How'd you like the Hot and Cold stuff?
Matt: I agree that it was the best story of the episode, but like just about everything else in this one, it felt kind of designed to sap out all the drama. Captain Cold and Heat Wave are onscreen together for, what, all of two or three minutes? I get the idea of separating them so they can come together and clash at the end, but I feel like they left a lot of conflict and drama unexplored, you know?
Dylan: Agreed. Finally, that last scene better not mean what I think they wanted us to think it means. Are you ready to riot should Heat Wave disappear from the show, Matt? How's your pitchfork? Nice and pointy?
Matt: It is sharp and I have my torch at the ready.
I figure that it’s a fakeout. It has to be, right? Heat Wave is the character who’s been keeping things interesting these last couple episodes.
Dylan: I’m thinking the “Marooned” in the title is a clue? That Cold is just freezing him somewhere to come back to pick him up. In any case, I’ll be sad to see him go.
Matt: I guess we could go look up the insider news and find out how many episodes Dominic Purcell signed up to do, but I want to keep hope alive. (Also, I’m getting kind of burned out on knowing stuff that will happen on TV shows before they happen.)
Dylan: I did find it weird that he didn’t seem to be a huge part of the initial push for the series. Maybe they needed him earlier than Miller for the Prison Break revival which I am totally gonna watch now because of these two together of this show.
Matt: Yeah, I kinda want to go back and watch the original Prison Break, which I did not watch at all. Legends of Tomorrow has inspired me to almost action!
Dylan: Legends of Tomorrow: Sometimes It’s Real Fun And Other Times It Makes You Want To Watch Other Shows.
Matt: Or movies! This episode name checks Star Wars, and next week someone mentions Pleasantville, because Dylan, we’re headed to the 1950s. Get your hair grease and traditional gender roles revved up, because we’re blasting back in time!
Dylan: I’m hoping Martin Stein accidentally invents rock and roll and almost has sex with his mother. Or at least falls out a tree and gets hit by a car.
Matt: “Hey Chuck, it’s your cousin Marvin! Marvin Kenmore! You know that new freezer you been workin’ on? Well, get a blast of this cold gun!”