TV Korner: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.13 – “Leviathan”

By patricksmith - May 1, 2016

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This week’s Legends of Tomorrow redeemed this week’s lackluster Flash and Arrow episodes.

With no more time left, the team has decided to attack Vandal Savage at the height of his power in 2166. Power means resistance, so when the I say that there are a ton of fight scenes in “Leviathan” you might not think that that’s unusual for Legends of Tomorrow. What makes this statement significant though is the sheer variety; chief among those fights is a Kaiju style battle between The Atom and The Leviathan. Now, this is a TV show and as such the CGI quality is considerably lower than if you were watching a movie, but that doesn’t stop Legends from making this giant fight scene an incredibly exciting one. The movements aren’t quite out of the uncanny valley, but there’s still a surprising amount of variation for such a simple brawl. The regular fight scenes are also much higher quality than we’ve been seeing lately, the choreography conveys different levels of efficiency and emotion to tell the stories of the fighters (like good fight scenes are supposed to).

The action of “Leviathan” was clearly what drew me in, but the building of the Vandal Savage mythos in the series raced far ahead from where it was previously. Surprisingly, learning about Savage’s means and methods doesn’t diminish his menace; rather it magnifies it. It’s also especially telling once Cassandra Savage is introduced (Jessica Sipos). Her perception of Vandal Savage as a father and a savior creates a fascinating dynamic. Unfortunately, this concept isn’t explored sufficiently and is cut short for a quick and easy “change of heart” when she see the truth behind the Armageddon Virus  Now, the squalor of the makeshift societies/resistance fighters of a world destroyed is not a new concept in sci-fi; the scene involving Jefferson giving a starving child chocolate in fact is a cliché all on its own. However, due to the enormous amount of time we’ve spent with the main characters of the series, and our knowledge of Savage’s power and ruthlessness, these scenes hold much more weight than they typically do in similar stories.

Final Word: “Leviathan” reveals the dystopia of the world after Savage by inches, but capitalizes on the emotion relating to the destruction of the common people by leveraging the reactions of the well known Legends characters. Cliche, but the characters make it matter. Jessica Sipos is a mesmerizing presence as Savage’s daughter, but her turn doesn’t have that same effect. Speaking of effect, Ray’s battle with the Leviathan is like nothing else seen in the show. It’s far from perfect, but it’s simplicity gives each punch more impact. Also, it’s Ray so it’s hard to not get drawn in. Kendra gets a worthwhile storyline this time that actually connects to what’s presently going on as well as taking advantage of her unique history. Ciara Renee finally gets her chance to shine from both an action and emotional perspective, and she nails both. The tyrant Vandal Savage is finally revealed, and Casper Crump commands much more menace than he previously did. I imagine we’ll see a real twist of the knife in the next episode.

“Leviathan” gets a 8.5/10. Everyone has something significant going on, and it all falls on good old fashioned sci-fi tropes to tell a story unique to Flash and Arrow. Legends does what it does best, and that’s everything that those two shows don’t.

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