‘Legends of Tomorrow’ (Season 3): Time Travelling with Idiots

Talking critically about a show like Legends of Tomorrow is a tricky deal. Three seasons in, it’s still plagued by some of the problems it started with, particularly some of the loosest, most poorly defined time travel rules imaginable. However, in fully embracing its most ridiculous aspects, it’s become the most enjoyable show in the Arrowverse. Weirdly, by giving in to its silliest impulses, Legends has become the easiest show to invest in.

To be clear, that’s not to say the Waverider crew are suddenly the deepest, most compelling characters in this particular DC multiverse. However, the fact that they’re not only absolute screw-ups, but fully willing to admit it, makes them endearing beyond belief. They know they’re going to mess things up before they make them better, but the fact that they never give up proves that they’re true heroes. It’s basically the comic-book version of an underdog sports movie.

The Legends are the definition of ragtag, a motley assortment of heroes who would have no business time travelling if they didn’t have superpowers to allow them to take on threats Rip’s Time Bureau can’t. The premiere all but confirms that Rip is once again back to his old tricks, keeping the Legends in the dark to help him fight a threat he can’t. The difference this time is that the group is nowhere near as self-serious, and they all but laugh at the threat of some greater evil. In their minds, if they can take on an immortal madman and a vengeful speedster, what can’t they do at this point?

Of course, the delight of this show has become repeatedly seeing Sara and her crew eat their words, and the introduction of more mystical threats feels like exactly the sort of challenge they’ll find themselves being smacked around by. It’s too early to tell who exactly Mallus is – Trigon the Terrible? Etrigan the Demon? Morgaine le Fay – but their minions are making the rounds to collect mystical allies such as Kuasa from Vixen.

So yes, things are obviously going to get darker as the season moves forward, but unlike the show’s first year, I have no doubt we’ll continue to have silly moments like Stein dressing up as a balloon-making clown or Caesar crossing the Aruba-Con. Will lives and time itself be messed up along the way? Of course they will. After all, the Legends screw things up, but it’s almost always for the better.