We gave it a C+
The Legends may have broken time, but they were never ready for a break. (Well, Mick was, but…that’s just Mick.)
In the past two seasons of this crazy-wonderful, delightfully nonsensical show about a motley crew of time travelers swashbuckling their way through the past and future, they’ve never stopped their adventures for anything. But this time, after the season 2 finale saw them create too big a time paradox for time to fix itself — there are too few synonyms for time, sorry — they’ve really, properly screwed things up for themselves.
When season 3 opens, they’re not trying contain the dinosaurs running around Los Angeles in 2017; instead, Rip Hunter, now five years older and wiser, has created a team called the Time Bureau that takes care of these “anachronisms,” beings that have been displaced through this new reality where time is broken. That solves the problem of the dinos (and the budget for showing them), but it means that the Legends are no longer needed.
And returning to normal life absolutely sucks for these guys. Sara works a mind-numbing job at a Bed Bath & Beyond knockoff, Ray’s putting up with a young Silicon Valley CEO intent on building his “holistic social networking platform” that’s basically Tinder but with swiping up and down, Nate’s saving Central City with Wally but has been dumped by Amaya, and Jax is studying engineering instead of practicing it. Only Stein and Mick are happy where they are: Stein’s daughter Lily has a child on the way, and Mick is on permanent vacation in Aruba.
These scenes are fun, if only to see the Legends doing something we’ve never seen before: coping with life outside the Waverider. But after stalling the action so early in the first act, the premiere never quite picks up the pace. It throws a wrench into it all early on by having Julius Caesar show up in Aruba right in front of Mick as an anachronism Rip’s team improbably fails to detect, yet it slows it all down further by having Sara, Nate, and Ray stop by Rip’s headquarters to try to convince him that they should be the ones handling Caesar.
The characters jump through several hoops to try to get Rip back on their side, but the plot jumps through even more just so they can get back to time-traveling: First, Rip’s team has to fail to capture the right Caesar. Then, Mick has to fail to recognize that they brought back the wrong Caesar. After that, Mick has to accidentally drop an authentic Roman coin so Nate can identify it and prove that Mick was right about Caesar being in Aruba. It’s only after all that that the former Legends finally reconvene inside the Waverider — right before they take yet another detour in order to pick up Jax and Stein, because the ship, which has since been repurposed into a simulator, needs repairs.
Got all that? If not, well, long story short, it takes half of the premiere just to get the Legends back to doing what they do best: irresponsibly traveling through time. (Next: They should totally just stab Caesar)