Legends of Tomorrow “Progeny” Review (Season 1 Episode 10)

After several strong episodes, Legends of Tomorrow took a step back with its storytelling this week. While the initial premise of visiting a dystopian future was promising, “Progeny” failed to offer much in the way of compelling material for its characters. Throw in some frustrating backslides in some of the character relationships and the ever-shaky time travel rules this show operates on, and this was an overall unfortunate week for the show.

I think it’s worth mentioning that, honestly, the show has been at its weakest whenever Vandal Savage is the main focus. Aside from his turn as a mad scientist in “Night of the Hawk,” the character has really just been a flop, failing to impress and never having the presence of just about any other Arrowverse villain. The result is an overarching narrative for the show that’s just not as interesting as its characters and time-hopping premise deserve.
The problem with Savage is that his desire for world conquest is so generic. By only catching glimpses of him throughout history, we never really get to know what motivates him. We had a sense of his ties to Kendra and Carter early on, but that doesn’t even come up in every appearance. Basically, he’s just a wannabe tyrant who wants to take over the world because, well, what else is an immortal to do.

What’s helped the show improve, then, is the way it’s recently focused on fleshing out its characters. That’s why this week’s subplots are so frustrating. The biggest offender here is the Kendra/Ray romance. If a bit rushed, I’ve actually been on board with the pairing up until now, particularly enjoying their two years spent lost in time together last week. However, Kendra’s suddenly feeling so weird about their relationship because of Carter felt out of nowhere given how long they’ve now been together, creating drama just for the sake of it.

Meanwhile, the one relationship that should be filled with drama and tension had the air let out of it with Snart and Mick seeming to reconcile too easily. I have no doubt that Mick will continue to have a chip on his shoulder, but it feels like the show neutered his thirst for vengeance way too quickly. Maybe this’ll prove untrue in the coming weeks, but for now, it feels like a mistake.

Finally, I may need to just give up on the show’s time travel ever making any sense and go the Doctor Who route of “timey wimey” logic. The big offender this week has to do with Per Degaton, the future tyrant that the team briefly considers killing. After kidnapping Per with a plan to abandon him somewhere else in the time stream, they learn that his disappearance will have no effect on the future. So if removing him from the equation one way has no effect, why does Rip suddenly become so intent on killing him? If he’s gone, why does it matter if he’s alive or dead? It’s just another example of the show failing to properly explain its own internal logic, and another mark against it.

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