Legends of Tomorrow 3.01

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ 3.01 Recap: “Your Salad Sucks”

The new season of ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ finally acknowledges something that nobody wanted to admit until now. This team of heroes are really a bunch of incompetent nincompoops.

Remember the kind-of fun cliffhanger that last season ended on, where the Waverider crashed into present-day Los Angeles and found the city overrun with dinosaurs? The new premiere wastes no time writing that out. Within about 30 seconds, Rip Hunter (suddenly sporting a buzz cut) appears along with a team of agents in business suits, opening portals to usher the dinosaurs back to their original time periods and wiping all the spectators’ memories, ‘Men in Black’-style.

Rip explains that, although he had just left the team and handed the reins of leadership over to Sara moments ago from her perspective, he’s actually been gone for five years, during which he established a new agency called the Time Bureau to take over for the now-defunct Time Masters. Their job is to clean up anachronisms that result from people (like the Legends) messing around with time travel.

Oh yeah, Rip has also pretty much turned into a major a’hole. The power of his position has gone to his head, and he’s utterly dismissive of his former friends. Disregarding all the adventures they had together (not to mention the fact that he spent a good chunk of last season brainwashed and evil until they saved him), the first thing he does is tell the team that their services are no longer required and they’re relieved of duty.

Cut to six months later. Sara is stuck working retail in a store hilariously called “Sink Shower & Stuff.” Genius inventor Ray’s business went under and he’s been reduced to coding a dating app for a Silicon Valley startup run by an idiot douchebag. Nate joined forces with Wally West to fight crime in Central City and seems to be having a good time, but Amaya broke up with him and returned to 1942 (even though, the last we saw her, she explicitly decided not to do that). Prof. Stein has settled into retirement with a grandchild on the way. Jax went back to school but thirsts for adventure.

Mick, presumably living off stolen cash, is chilling on a beach in Aruba when, from out of nowhere, none other than Julius Caesar rides up on a horse. (Remarkably, the fact that this ancient Roman conveniently somehow speaks perfect English is addressed later in the episode. The answer is stupid, but someone at least recognized the problem.) They get into a fight and Mick subdues Caesar, then calls Sara to ask what to do.

Sara gathers up Ray and Nate and brings them to the Time Bureau headquarters, hoping to convince Rip to let them join the team and go on time travel adventures again. Rip isn’t having any of it. Everyone at the Time Bureau, especially second-in-command Agent Sharpe (Jes Macallan), consider the Legends to be losers and openly mock them.

Not really believing Sara, Rip sends some of his agents to look into the Caesar situation. Unfortunately, Caesar loses them in the middle of a Spring Break toga party, leaving Rip to assume that Mick is simply an idiot and confused a frat boy in a robe for a genuine historical figure.

Asked to leave the building, Sara and the others steal the Waverider (currently being used as a training simulator), fetch Stein and Jax, and head to Aruba to prove that they’ve still got what it takes to be time-travel heroes. In short order, Sara, wearing a bikini top and shorts, fights Caesar on the beach, kicks his ass, then scoops him up and returns him to ancient Gaul. Stupidly, Nate lets him swipe a history book, which allows Caesar to avoid his assassination and conquer the entire world. Before they realize what happened, the United States is gone and is now known as Magna Hesperia. Whoops.

Before Sara has a chance to formulate a plan to fix this mess, a very pissy Rip Hunter arrives with a Time Bureau squad to clean it up. Agents storm in to remove all anachronisms and wipe Caesar’s memory, but Caesar has set a trap for them and kidnaps Agent Sharpe. Realizing that his own people are inadequate at field work and the Legends are better suited to brawny action stuff, Rip allows Sara to lead the team into a very silly battle wherein the Legends fight a bunch of cosplayers in a field and miraculously save history once again. Rip lets them keep the ship, mentioning something cryptic about how they may prove useful against a threat that’s coming down the road.

Lest we assume she’s been written off the show, Amaya turns up in 1942, using her animal powers to protect her village of Zambesi from bandits or something.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, it’s also hinted that Sara may not be a lesbian anymore. I’m not sure why that’s important, and it seems potentially offensive.

Episode Verdict

Even by ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ standards, this episode is pretty goofy. At least the show is aware of this and does it deliberately. For a season premiere, the plot stakes are pretty low and it seems like the writers just want to have some lighthearted fun this year. I could be on board with that, even if I’m not really in love with the Time Bureau storyline or with Rip now being a total prick.

I do not expect to recap this show very often this season, but I’ll continue to watch and may check in again at the end.


  1. Guy

    “Somewhere in the middle of all this, it’s also hinted that Sara may not be a lesbian anymore. I’m not sure why that’s important, and it seems potentially offensive.”

    Josh, I know you don’t watch Arrow, so you’re probably unaware Sara’s bisexual, not lesbian. Her time on Arrow was filled with her being in romantic relationships with both women and men. For a while now, some in the bisexual community have been miffed about Legends of Tomorrow seemingly turning her into a full-on lesbian. They were feeling like doing so was perpetuating the myth that bisexual is just being in transition between straight and gay. That moment was Legends of Tomorrow finally acknowledging this. I’m not sure why it took until season 3 for them to explicitly hook Sara up with a dude again (though, I certainly read romantic tension between her and Smart back in the day), but that was their nod to the audience that she’s still after fellas too.

    More generally, this may be my favorite episode in the entire series. Watching other characters tell the Legends they’re idiots to their very faces is just what I’ve been waiting for a long while. They’re generally likeable characters, but they’re terrible at their self-appointed job. Out of sheer recklessness and disregard for rules they knew existed, they damaged the timeline just as badly as any villains purposefully would have. They deserve to be talked mean to. I found it hilarious.

    I’d like to hope this is the creators giving themselves a meta intervention as well. Trainees making fun of how the Legends handled past situations was a laugh at the writing staff’s own expense. Maybe they’ve decided to challenge themselves to plot better. The new framing for the episodes helps as well. Time being messed up before the Legends even get there is an easier route to go than the Legends trying to prevent stuff before it happens like the previous two seasons. The team can be as messy as they want in a time period between memory erasers and returning an anachronism to its original time time potentially erasing the aberrant events anyway. I’m more hopeful for this show after this episode than I have been since before the series premiere.

    • Josh Zyber

      I was not aware of that. She’s only ever been presented as lesbian on this show, and whoever she was talking to in this episode (I think it was Ray) expressed surprise that she hooked up with a man.

      • Guy

        I interpreted those looks from Ray and Nate as sort of winks at the audience members thinking, “It’s been a while since Sara went for a man.”

        Right in the first episode of this shared universe (though portrayed by a different actress in just that Arrow pilot), Sara was lost in the same shipwreck Oliver was marooned in because she was along on the yacht having an illicit affair with him while he was dating her sister. The journey back to civilization that followed is how she became a trained assassin.

        When she returned to the present storylines in season 2 as Black Canary, her romantic life was rekindling a relationship with Oliver whilst spurning insistent advances from her League of Assassins ex-girlfriend – Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter Nyssa.

        Considering all that as well as other hookups mentioned by her verbally make up the sexual history of the character, it’s why it’s been odd to Arrow viewers that Legends only ever had her chasing women. Because of that, I understand why you’d assume lesbian. They’ve certainly done their best to give people that impression. But I saw an interview with one of the producers over the summer where he hinted they haven’t forgotten she’s bi. I was expecting something like this.

        • Josh Zyber

          I watched the pilot episode of Arrow when it originally aired, but the show did nothing for me and the only other episodes I’ve ever watched have been the crossovers with The Flash and this show. I never put together that Sara was supposed to be the girl Oliver was boinking on the yacht.

          • Guy

            Yep. That’s her. Interestingly, when they recasted the role and Caity Lotz came on board for season 2 of Arrow, they refilmed that whole yacht sequence from the pilot with her for an episode where we got Sara’s story of shipwreck survival. Any subsequent flashback to the yacht uses the Caity Lotz reshoots. Since that footage exists, I’m sure someone on the internet has gotten their fanboy George Lucas on and created a Special Edition Arrow pilot where there is no Sara discrepancy anymore.

            Just out of curiosity, what did you think was the impetus of Sara becoming a League of Assassins member if you didn’t know she went down on the same ship as Oliver? I find the idea of an Arrow-less perspective on character like Sara Lance interesting. I’ve watched Arrow since the beginning, so I view the whole shared universe through its lens. I find it hard to recall now what character aspects of Sara and Ray I know from Arrow vs. what’s come from Legends.

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