REVIEW: Legends of Tomorrow, S3E1 – Aruba-Con

Legends of Tomorrow continues to live up to its promise of being the wackiest and most humorous DCTV show, though it does have a few plot holes along the way. “Aruba-Con” opens right where last season’s finale left off, with the team facing off against dinosaurs in the middle of Los Angeles. While that alone would have made for a fun premiere hour, the writers had different plans in mind for their favorite misfits.

These two just can’t see eye to eye.

Not 15 minutes after Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) said his goodbyes to the Legends, he’s back with an entire Time Bureau at his disposal. He now disdains the Legends for the anachronisms they’ve caused and is ready to clean the dinosaurs right up and erase everyone’s memories without their help. He then dismisses the team from duty and they reluctantly go home. This right here was where I had my biggest issue with the otherwise enjoyable episode: why did Sara (Caity Lotz) and the rest listen to him? It feels like something that just had to happen so that we could get the hilarious shenanigans at their respective home bases – not to mention so that we could set up a mystery surrounding Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) – but it wasn’t organic.

Regardless, it is fun to see Sara trying to hack it in retail and not wind up hacking her boss to bits instead. Poor Ray (Brandon Routh) has to deal with the ugly side of Silicon Valley while Nate (Nick Zano) is playing second fiddle to Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale in a delightful cameo) in Central City and reeling from an unexplained break up with Amaya. The interactions between the three heroes as they commiserated on their new lives were adorable, and Legends of Tomorrow did a great job hitting on the central theme of the episode and perhaps the season. Does the world really need the Legends, or are they the ones who need to be Legends for their own sanity?

Don’t mess with Mick’s vacation.

In the end, Mick’s (Dominic Purcell) vacation to Aruba is what provides the impetus to bring the team back together when he runs into a time-displaced Julius Caesar inciting a revolt in the present day. A lot of the struggle this episode is due to Rip not believing them and then trying to take care of the problems with his Bureau instead, which leaves the Legends no other recourse but to steal the Waverider and take care of business. Hijinks are the real reason to watch Legends of Tomorrow, and on that front “Aruba-Con” most definitely did not fail us. Between Sara beating up a Roman emperor and Rip’s students learning from his previous teammates’ mistakes, there was a good deal of fun throughout the hour.

Stein (Victor Garber) and Jax (Franz Drameh) had diminished roles for the premiere, but at least we got to see that Stein’s on his way to being a grandfather. Hopefully we will see their dynamic shine once more in future episodes now that all of the group is back together… All of them except for Amaya, that is. Nate revealed that she went back to 1942 because Rip told her something about her destiny, while Rip declares that it was her own choice and had nothing to do with his manipulations. Whatever the truth is, it was abrupt and unsatisfactory – but thankfully not the end of her character. We know she is still part of the regular cast, and the final scene gave us a hint as to what she is doing back in her past. Even though I wasn’t a fan of the set up for it, I look forward to pulling at that thread and seeing where the show goes with her story.

Overall, “Aruba-Con” was a fast-paced and fun premiere that spent more time re-establishing its characters and dynamics than setting up a complicated mystery or villain, and that’s quite all right.

Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays on the CW at 9/8c.