Legends of Tomorrow “Fail-Safe” Review (Season 1 Episode 5)

Legends of Tomorrow is still struggling in its fifth episode, the showrunners still not quite finding a proper balance between its cast members. The show takes steps in the right direction with “Fail-Safe”, but the bland ongoing story arc continues to disappoint.

Right off, it’s worth noting that one of the problems is that while the show promises legends, the structure of a weekly TV series necessitates that characters are going to shift in and out of focus each episode. With so many characters, that means that it’s going to take a while for the show to find that proper rhythm. Here, things definitely moved closer to that balance, with the show finally giving Rory a bit more to do than simply sneer and drop one-liners, allowing the weird bond between Ray and the two Rogues to grow.

The problem is that there continues to be a clear divide between the MVPs of the series and the less-important members of the cast. Up until now, I’d been doing a weekly ranking of the characters, but what’s the point if half the team is going to be so consistently put in the spotlight above the others. Kendra, Rory, and Jax just aren’t getting the focus they need to not feel like second-class characters. Ideally, that will change in the future, but for now, Snart, Stein, and Sara continue to carry the show.

It also doesn’t help that the show’s been trapped in a fairly uninspired group of locales so far. Over five episodes, the team has only travelled to two time periods, only one of which truly captured a proper sense of the era. Even in that case, the 70’s only felt iconic in one of those hours. Fortunately, knowing some of the time periods the show will be visiting as soon as next week’s episode, this will hopefully not be a problem moving forward.

Because the show needs to become a more bombastic, exciting show to stand out from its Arrowverse compatriots. Up until now, Legends has failed to offer anything that outdoes the spectacle of The Flash, but it should be able to. This series should be all about exploring the far, wild reaches of the DC Universe that the other shows can’t. Until it does, it will continue to feel like a lesser product than the series that precede it each week.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!