Legends of Tomorrow “River of Time” Review (Season 1 Episode 14)

Legends of Tomorrow has more or less proven itself to be a fairly dumb show at this point. I’ve made a case against the show’s ridiculously ill-conceived time travel rules, so I’ll try to avoid harping on them here. Instead, “River of Time” is the perfect chance to talk about how off the rails the different character arcs have gone at this point.

My main question at this point is who it is we’re actually supposed to relate to. Is it Ray, who pretty much burns away what good will the character still had by letting his emotions get the best of him and releasing Vandal Savage? Is it Kendra, who was more likable when her defining character trait was reminding everyone that she was a barista three months ago? Is it, and I shudder to think this, Rip, who’s arc tonight was proving for the umpteenth time that he doesn’t just see his teammates as cannon fodder?

Even the generally likable characters of Snart, Sara and Jax get the shaft this week, with the former two being given barely anything to do this week. As for Jax, well, I don’t know that anyone has been put through the wringer more than the youthful half of Firestorm, and this week took it to the extreme by essentially kicking him off the show as we head into the final two episodes.

That lack of a clear, relatable character makes it hard to fully invest in an episode that’s all about Vandal Savage getting under the team’s skin. This sort of episode is already frustrating because nobody should even think about spending time hanging out with the untrustworthy megalomaniac in the first place, yet they do anyway. Add in the fact that everyone is being unnecessarily angsty and moody as they theoretically near the end of their mission, and it makes for another frustrating hour.

That all said, the episode did finally seem to get a handle on how to best use Vandal Savage himself. Casper Crump has failed to portray Savage as a world-ending threat in the past, but he succeeds here when the character is instead asked to play an oily manipulator, sowing discontent among a fractured team. Sadly, his manipulations were barely even required in tonight’s episode, and it seems he’ll be right back to world-ending threat next week.

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