‘WHITE KNIGHTS’ PLOT SUMMARY:
Savage (Casper Crump) retreats behind Soviet lines during the height of the Cold War. As nuclear scientists begin to disappear in his wake, the team follows him into Red territory to find his next target and his next move.
Marvel has created its world within the already existing world. Captain America was intertwined with World War II and Iron Man had ties with the Middle East. It’s the norm to be in London, or New York, or Washington, D.C. because that’s how Marvel set up its universe. However, DC did not do that. It created its own cities and though they are set vaguely in a world similar to our own, the DC universe operates mostly between Starling City, Central City, Gotham, and the other made up places. The events of our world are not incorporated into the DC universe.
I was a little jolted by tonight’s episode, “White Knights.” We began as the ship landed in the 1980s at the height of the Cold War. The team was first at the Pentagon, attempting to steal a folder on Vandal Savage (Crump) that would help determine who his next target was. They discovered he retreated behind Soviet Union lines and was backing a scientist named Valentina Vostock (Stephanie Corneliussen). The team then flew to Russia in the hopes of warning Valentina who she was working for and to figure out Savage’s next move.
To start with the positives though, “White Knights” had more defined plotlines than any other episode so far. Every character had a place and a path and the writers balanced the storylines pretty well. There were still some that were weaker than others, like Kendra (Ciara Renée) and Sara (Caity Lotz) training each other, and some that added more conflict than was needed, like Kronos and the Time Masters. But overall the story shaped up nicely. I think this was because Savage seemed to have a more defined and concrete plan which then informed us what the team was going to do.
My weird shock or issue with the episode really lies in the fact that it was steeped in actual history and in actual places. I have gotten used to the extra fiction that is customary with DC universe stories but “White Knights” threw that to the side. I don’t think it actually impacted the episode much, as far as watchability, but it made me feel kind of weird.
Speaking of weird, we need to talk about Professor Stein (Victor Garber) and Jax (Franz Drameh) for a quick second. Their whole subplot emotional thing was very strange. The father comment Jax made came out of left field and Drameh’s acting was not good enough to pass it off. I don’t feel that Legends of Tomorrow has given us enough emotional stock in these characters and “White Knights” only provided a sporadic build up to their fight so the emotional impact was not there.
Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart is another matter entirely though. Everything he does seems to be okay by me at this point. I’ll be honest, I’m not fully sure where or why my love of Leonard Snart came about. I actually super hated him during his first couple appearances on The Flash. But now he is by far the strongest character on Legends of Tomorrow and he had a lot shining moments in tonight’s episode, like seducing Valentina after Ray (Brandon Routh) failed twice and stealing her key card and wallet during their kiss. Simple, and some could say clichéd, but well done nonetheless.
My biggest beef with Legends of Tomorrow was probably pacing. The overall arc was happening so slowly, while the episode events were happening much more rapidly with little to no build up. “White Knights” ended with Stein, Ray, and Mick (Dominic Purcell) captured by the Soviets. We are going to be in the 1980s for at least one more episode. But I have come to a loose conclusion that Legends of Tomorrow is attempting to be more serialized than previous DC shows.
“White Knights” was the best episode to date and so my hope from last week was not entirely in vain. I think the plotlines can still be tightened and dialogue can be a little less obvious, but it’s getting there.
RATING: 4 OUT OF 10