Legends of Tomorrow “Last Refuge” Review (Season 1 Episode 12)

If a time travel story is going to work, there need to be rules. Be they complex or simple, all of the best time travel narrative create a set of rules to govern their temporal hijinks by and stick to them. It’s clear that Legends of Tomorrow spent no time before release actually developing such a set of rules; the result is a show that, week-to-week, changes and warps how things work to fit whatever the creators want for a given episode. “Last Refuge” pushes the show’s logic past the breaking point, and when you throw in the unearned emotional beats and lacking storytelling, it all adds up not only to a bad episode of Legends, but one of the worst in the entire Arrowverse.

Really, I could fill this article up with all of the questions I have about just how shoddy the Time Masters’ plan here was, but I’ll try to stick to just a few. For one thing, if the Time Masters are so concerned about not messing with the timeline, why do they have an assassin specifically dedicated to going back in time and killing people who displease them? Why not just send her after Savage, given how terrible he is? Further, how is Rip giving up his past self such a gain for the Pilgrim? Wouldn’t the Time Masters know where he was, given that they put him there? And why would time “set” without the characters’ younger selves? Why couldn’t they just return them whenever and things reset to how they should be?

That’s only a few of the many question this show has left us with, and there’s likely never going to be a satisfying answer to many of them. I appreciate the writers’ desire to create a time travel show where anything can happen, but it’s left us with a show that, at only twelve episodes in, it’s become impossible to emotionally invest in. Because what does anything good or bad that happens matter if we know the show can create some new, contradictory rule to change things?

All of that would be bad enough on a confusing level, but this episode failed to offer much compelling material anywhere else. Jax’s dead father was more or less invented to try and give the character an emotional connection to the events of tonight’s episode, so it was hard to really invest in that. Meanwhile, the ongoing Ray/Kendra turmoil reached near-unbearable levels of angst, and I doubt their decision to get married is going to make that go away any time soon. And while the Pilgrim’s time-stop powers were cool visually, the character failed to stand out from any other bounty hunter the characters have fought. This episode was just a mess, and the only hope is that things can’t get worse from here.

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