Monday 9:00 PM on The CW (Returning October 22, 2018)
Well, that was fun. It was a romp, for the most part, but did we expect anything serious from Legends? I don’t think so.

Let's recap "Aruba-Con". First, they resolve last season's "Whoops, we broke the timeline" cliffhanger by having a curiously irritable Rip Hunter show up and tell the team that he formed a new Time Bureau. They put everything back in order, Rip disbands the team, and takes Waverider. It's been five years for him since he left the crew, but he still seems curiously abrupt.

It's five months later, naturally (i.e, May to October). The Legends are moving on with their lives. Sara works for a Bed & Bathroom-like outfit and gets harassed by a petty manager who reminds me a bit of Robi in Mr. Mercedes. Ray is working for an unappreciative boss at a Silicon Valley dating app company. Nate is, rather oddly, fighting crime with Wally in Central City. Even though that isn't mentioned at all in tonight's The Flash.

Despite the touching "We'll stay with each other scene" between Nate and Amaya in last season's cliffhanger, Amaya and Nate have broken up and Amaya has returned to 1942. Mick is hanging out on a beach in Aruba. Martin has returned home and just discovered that his altered-timeline daughter Lily is pregnant with his first grandchild. And Jax has dropped out of engineering college because he's already lived a life of time-traveling engineering.

The story proper starts when Julius Caesar somehow shows up in Aruba during Aruba-Con (i.e., "Rubicon", get it?) and beelines to Mick. Mick calls the others, they get together, and decide to break into the new Time Bureau HQ using a key card Sara stole from an agent. They get arrested, Mick accidentally grabs a frat boy posing as Caesar during a toga party, and it turns out that the Legends are pretty much a joke in the annals of the Bureau. They're using Waverider as a training simulator (with Gideon in hibernation mode: weren't it and Rip uber-partners?), and everyone mocks the tactics the Legend used to stop the Legion and the time alterations.

This is mostly played for laughs, as it mostly has been throughout the series, but it's still a little irritating. Given Rip commanded the Legends during most of their two years, you'd think the Bureau he formed wouldn't think much of him, either. Or he would have installed a little more respect in the Bureau. It's a bit like discovering that the U.S. Founding Fathers acted like the Three Stooges and everyone treats them that way, and they find out about it.

The Legends soon realize that Mick had the real Caesar, and steal Waverider to go back to Aruba and capture Caesar. Except the Bureau captures them and Rip tells them to retire. That goes about as well as expected, and they return Caesar to just before he crossed the Rubicon. Except Caesar steals Nate's history book on the rise of Rome, and sets out to kill Brutus and the others who killed him.

The Legends discover that in the new history, the U.S. is a Roman colony. The Bureau agents show up again, but their leader Ava Sharpe gets captured by Caesar and Rip reluctantly agrees to let the Legends rescue her and get the book back. They do so and Rip decides to let the team continue. He and Ava have a brief conversation about how he might need them against a bigger threat that they face, one named Mallus that the Legends themselves might have created.

Martin decides to stay on so that Jax can continue being Firestorm, to make up for his hijacking Jax into the Legends originally. Sara and Mick share a beer. Nate looks wistfully at a datafile on Amaya.

And in the closing tag, we see Amaya in 1942 protecting her village using the Tantu Totem, killing at least one of the invading Belgian soldiers judging from his off-camera screams of agony.

"Aruba-Con" was a perfectly decent season opener. It wrote off the events from the cliffhanger pretty handily: the broken timeline, Rip leaving Sara in charge, and Amaya and Nate getting together. The bit with Nate working with Kid Flash in Central City is also a bit weird. I suppose Oliver & Co. are busy on the island, and I suppose it's possible that Nate went to Oliver first. Since that's what he did in the season 2 premiere. Still it seems more like a cameo opportunity for Keiynan Lonsdale than an organic part of Legends or Flash. More like Lonsdale happened to be around the set that day and they decided to toss Kid Flash in.

And as I noted, Rip seemed curiously off. Yeah, he's always been a bit of a dick and whined about how the Legends didn't do things the "proper" way. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, I guess. And it got things going. Still, it seemed an odd characterization. Rip doesn't seem to be a character that they knew what to do with, which might be why he was absent for much of the second season and is now just a Special Guest Star.

Also, putting Sara in a discount store as a worker seems a little weird. Wouldn't she go back to… vigilantism? League of Assassinating? Something? Her going so passive seemed oddly weird. Was Sara fighting crime or killing people on the side?

Overall, though, "Aruba-Con" did a good job of bringing the band back together, so to speak. All of the actors have charisma in spades, except maybe Arthur Darvill. Sorry, still not feeling the love, folks. Simon Merrells (Spartacus, Dominion) was good as Caesar, and they even managed to tie his backstory in with Sara's character arc a bit.

So "Aruba-Con" was a good episode, and it promised a bit more. It doesn't look like next week's "Freakshow" will be anything great, and it's hard to believe that "Mallus" will top the Legion of Doom from last year. But it took them a while to get that rolling as well, so we'll see.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
Comments (2)
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Oct 14, 2017
The League is disbanded now, presumably, so Sarah wouldn't go back to them. But why would she be in a grocery store? I'd expect her to be in anything from a street cop to secret service.

Heck, she could just give Digg's wife a call, they did work together during the alien invasion thing, didn't they?

But the worst of them all was Ray. I mean seriously?!? The guy was a tech genius millionaire. The excuse that he is just a random programmer for some stupid dating app breaks any form of suspension of disbelief. Just his shrinking suit alone will make him a millionaire in a second.

Heck, he should be running whatever the equivalent of the Wayne securities is in this place (RIP Powerless). Even if he isn't being respected as a CEO (despite the guy flat out saying he knew Felicity was the one who messed the company up) he is still a top tier inventor and visionary. Anyone from Gates to Musk to Zuckerberg would snatch him in a second.
Him working on something as dumb as a rotated Tinder is absurd.

Then again, the episode itself was dumb as well, but that's nothing new to this show. Logic was never it's strong suit. But come on... I get that JC was a smart guy, but him out thinking the time bureau - who know everything about him and surpass him technologically and he managed to set a trap for them? But he doesn't even know they exist?
It was just a dumb excuse to let the Legend come and fix everything in the last second.

Still... The part about Firestorm getting the god of war wrong was pretty funny... as is eveyrthing that Mick does.
Oct 11, 2017
When watching this show I experience a profound since of saudade. The thing I miss is not what it was, because it is now, as it has always been. No, the thing I find myself longing for in the wee hours of the morn is what it could have been. So, as I sat there, admittedly of my own accord, bearing witness to what no honest citizen would call the pinnacle of mans creative endeavors. I found myself asking the question, “why keep going”? Is it because I look at the history of mankind: fire, wheel, moon landing (alleged) and I know that we are better than this and I’m just waiting to be proven right? Nope. Does within me beat the heart of a cinematic masochist? While no stranger to the pleasure found in the strategic application of pain, the answer is no. Is it because when all is said and done, I just like to see fights, explosions, and women kissing each other? Yeah, pretty much.

All of that being said, I am genuinely looking forward to future clashes between Rip and the Legends.  
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