The Flash S2x08 “Legends of Today”
The first part of the annual Flash and Arrow crossover kicked off earlier this week with an exposition-heavy, but still fun episode that continued to lay the groundwork for the upcoming series Legends of Tomorrow. Focusing on Hawkgirl and Hawkman, the show handled both characters’ introduction to the show very well as it saw Kendra embrace her powers as Hawkgirl, a reincarnated figure from Egypt’s past. However, both Hawkgirl and Hawkman have demons of their own and they’re being chased by the immortal Vandal Savage.
On the whole, “Legends of Today” was a fun episode that handled itself a lot better than last year’s somewhat forced Flash/Arrow crossover. This didn’t have the baggage of last season when it dragged out Arrow’s main arc, and as a result, I felt that “Legends of Today” worked pretty well. The flashbacks, however, weren’t quite one of the strongest parts of the episode unfortunately as we spent time with actors Ciara Renee and Falk Hentschel. These characters got a full backstory in Ancient Egypt which whilst was solid enough, suffered from pacing issues, because let’s be honest, trying to fit the whole Hawk mythology into one episode of The Flash alongside Vandal Savage without having an episode entirely focused on the flashbacks would have been near impossible to pull off, so at least the structure for the upcoming series looks pretty cool. The intervention of Hawkgirl and Hawkman allowed a better excuse for a Barry and Oliver reunion, but also threw up the question (aside from the obvious matters of legal problems and rights issues) why would Oliver not give Constantine a call to deal with Vandal Savage? Maybe it’s because I want Constantine back on TV, but for me he would have been the first point of call for battles against the Supernatural.
However, when they didn’t have Constantine, it seems that the show went with the next best thing in Malcolm Merlyn as the new Ra’s al Ghul. His role here as it turned out was just to provide information for the protagonists, and it did feel like a lazy way of getting his character into the show unfortunately. Even if in fairness, there was a lot of explaining to do, they still could have at least handled the exposition better than what we got. It’s also safe to bear in mind that Malcolm isn’t exactly the most trustworthy person ever, so maybe Carter Hall, aka Hawkman, might have been the better person to provide information as well.
One of the added benifits about this show is that the lighter tone seems to stick throughout no matter what characters they bring to the show. There’s no sense of darkness and we really get the feeling that Oliver in The Flash is fun and uplifting, especially as we get to see how Thea and Diggle got to react to superpowers, which in Diggle’s case, never gets old. Thea’s comment about knowing The Flash also worked as well, given what she was up to last season in Arrow, so this is the first meeting with him for her. It’s a nice development that worked well, and made things enjoyable even if the exposition at times was blatant, and was one of the things that was handled quite well indeed.
We also got a small development of storyline concerning the Zoom plot which wasn’t totally shoved out the door in favour of the crossover as Harrison Wells from Earth 2 developed a serum capable of giving Barry faster speed. It did seem to work for Jay as well, but we’ll have to wait and see where this goes from here.
In conclusion, it’s safe to agree that “Legends of Today” was a fun if imperfect episode of The Flash that suffered the problems that most two part episodes in series seem to have, especially crossovers. The first part is all about setting up the story allowing the second to bring the action to the table, and I’ll of course be looking at “Legends of Yesterday” in the near future, so keep an eye out for my review and be sure to let me know what you thought of the episode and the crossover in general in the comments below!