Legends of Tomorrow 1×06 Review: Star City 2046
Legends of Tomorrow, “Star City 2046” places our characters in the crosshairs of their own desires, while finding themselves in a possible future that has not been cemented in time. This is very much a Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) centric episode considering she’s from Star City and has family ties to the people who seem to be lost during it’s fall. The writers also took this opportunity to continue fleshing out Mick (Dominic Purcell) in a surprising turn as he finds himself a new crew in this criminal overrun city. Overall “Star City 2046” is another step in the right direction as this series really begins to take off and explore various moral obstacles that time travel presents our central characters, “Every future is worth fighting for.”
The episode picks up right where “Fail Safe” stops, with the crew crashing landing in a burning city. Both Ray (Brandon Routh) and Sara are quick to put together that they are in Star City. This is not the same place they remember, even if it comes with both a Green Arrow and a Deathstroke. “Oliver Queen is dead, no one has seen him since the uprising,” explains this future’s Green Arrow, also known as John Diggle Jr, but goes by Connor Hawke (Joseph David-Jones). A round of applause for the writers as they hid both comic book and the Arrow series Easter eggs into that reveal. In the comics Connor is actually Oliver’s son, making this lineage change a very interesting creative choice, especially with the current absentee father plotline on Arrow. The writers even continue to tie Star City’s past, present, and future together with the introduction of Grant Wilson (Jamie Andrew Cutler) leading the uprising that took Oliver Queen’s arm in the process. “I knew your father, he was insane, it seems to run in the family,” says Sara after making the connection between this Deathstroke and her former foe, Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett); some people just shouldn’t be allowed to produce offspring. Being a huge fan of the Arrow television series, I wonder if in a few seasons we would ever meet Grant Wilson, or another member of Slade’s family? In addition, the concept that in this possible future John Diggle Jr. becomes the Green Arrow after his father’s death makes me think if these writers are hinting at possibly who is in the grave on the main show. I understand that John Diggle Jr hasn’t even been born yet, but we’ve seen future events be merely postponed after a time travel interference occurs; Arrow “Legends of Yesterday” (4×8).
Now, in thirty years Connor Hawke may be donning the green hood, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is not still in town. “What do you want me to say Sara? Thirty years ago you and Ray hopped on a spaceship and you never came back,” explains old man Ollie, while standing in the abandoned Arrow cave. Well apparently in this timeline Oliver has grown to quit blaming himself for all the tragedies that befall Star City and has begun to blame everyone else. On the other hand, this line does raise some suspicion on whether or not Sara ever returns home to Star City. I also like how it’s the guilt from believing that her absence led to her home being destroyed, motivates Sara to act heroic in this time of crisis. Over the past few episodes the writers have continued to flesh out her demons, the darkness inside her, almost forgetting that Sara Lance once inspired hope for others. Her decision to save Connor from Deathstroke after being captured merely is the tipping point for the ongoing tension between her and Rip throughout the episode. “Your wife and son’s death is in the future, you want us to change that,” states Sara before abandoning ship to go and save her city. Rip initially recruited everyone based on the premise that their mission is to save the world and become legends, but really his goal is vengeance on the man who killed his family. Now in “Star City 2046” Rip begrudgingly allows Sara to resolve her guilt over her lost loved ones, as she reminds her old friend of a timeless truth, “This city will always need a Green Arrow.” Great ending fight scene with the team taking on Wilson’s goons, while both Oliver and Connor defeat Grant Wilson; together. Really, my favorite part was watching Oliver’s prosthetic arm locking into place, allowing him to shoot arrows. Many other fans and comic readers probably enjoyed Ollie’s entire look which paid homage to a famous Green Arrow arc from The Dark Knight Returns. Now Felicity Smoak may have left after the “uprising,” but I can’t help theorizing that she built him this prosthetic before her departure. “Every future may be worth fighting for,” but I don’t really want one that entails no #Olicity… talk about a tragic fate.
“To avoid the risk of a paradox it’s probably best to refrain from killing anyone,” explains Rip (Arthur Darvill) to Mick, while walking down the city streets. While, Sara attempts to save Star City from this possible tragic fate, Mick finds himself wanting to make it his home. “No cops, no heroes, just some fool in a green hoodie,” says Mick to Snart (Wentworth Miller) after coming across a rogue crew of criminals. Throughout the episode Snart persists on saving Mick from his own foolish desires, and tries to convince his friend that their mission is more important than this odd place in time. Even though I really enjoyed this plot line, it still felt like an abrupt turn for Mick to take after his refusal to leave Ray behind in the Russian Gulag during “Fail Safe.” That being said, the writers really did a great job paralleling a villain’s desire to lay claim to a fallen city in an unset future, with a hero’s desire to save it. “Gentlemen your timing is exemplary,” says Rip after Mick and Snart come in guns blazing, to help their friends from being captured by Grant’s men. Before Mick can make his exit and return to his newly acquired criminal crew, Snart knocks him out. This leads to one of my favorite moments in “Star City 2046,” the confrontation between Mick and Snart back on The Waverider. Not only do the writers subtly address the present conflict between these two friends, but provide ample setup for Mick’s dark turn in the upcoming “Marooned.” Snart may continue to persist that he’s not a hero, but his actions throughout this episode clearly indicate his aspiration to become one at some point in time. Mick begins to suspect the same turn, but this goes against his very nature, “You know what I want from this world,” he says to Snart, “to see it burn.” Mick flashbacks now please! I am finally seeing Mick Rory as a multi-layer character and not the villainous Heatwave caricature from The Flash series. The final shot between Mick and Ray looking out over the city they’re leaving behind is such a strong character beat to end the episode on,“I don’t know who my people are anymore.”
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