While the majority of superhero shows that air on the CW are on break for a few weeks, one of them wrapped up last night. So while Arrow and The Flash rest up for a few weeks, before their triumphant returns for more action, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has wrapped up its second season.
Overall, the second season was by far superior to the first. The dynamics within the team seemed more organic. The new characters were fun. The overall storyline was simply better. The villain(s) were also greatly improved. And finally, there was a lot less focus on Rip Hunter.
And it just so happens that Rip made a decision at the end of the season two finale that will lead fans to believe, he won’t be around much in coming installments. After defeating the Legion of Doom and seeing Reverse Flash perish at the hands of Black Flash, Rip tried to sneak away in the jump ship.
But he was stopped by Captain Sara Lance. She asked him, jokingly, if he was going on a trip. He did have a bag over his shoulder, leading to the Captain’s suspicion. When he replied yes, she was a bit surprised. But after a heart-to-heart talk, Sara was perfectly ok with Rip walking away. Everything from their conversion was true. Most importantly, the team proved they can get by just fine without him.
They most surely can. And quite frankly, the show improved during his absence this season as well. So not only does the decision make sense from an entertainment point of view, but also a storyline point of view.
Let’s take things back to season one. This was a season that saw Rip recruit the members of the Waverider. The list included the likes of Sara, Ray Palmer, Martin Stein, Jax and others. He was their captain. And as a result, the focus always seemed to be on him. He was the one making the command decisions. He was the one who had the tragic backstory of lost loved ones at the hands of the season’s big bad, Vandal Savage.
So while I did not hate the character of Rip, there wasn’t really anything that made he a favorite in my eyes either. Getting a weekly dose of him over the likes of some of the other characters made the first season suffer a bit in this fans eyes. But from the storyline’s point of view, it was needed.
Then we move ahead to season two. Rip made a command decision in the first episode to split the team around history in order to save them. After that, we went a few months before seeing him again. And quite frankly, those early episodes of the season were certainly better than season one.
We were introduced to new characters like Nate and Amaya. Nate basically took Rip’s spot on the ship and was simply a much more charismatic character that I enjoyed watching each week. He was goofy but a bit charming at the same time. Simply put, he was someone fans could get behind. Especially after he got his powers.
Then when we finally got to see Rip again, he was not the same man. His memory was essentially wiped. And he was ultimately recruited by the Legion to the dark side for a few episodes. And evil Rip was honestly my favorite take on the character. I don’t know what about him being on the bad guys side made him more enjoyable to watch, but I found myself wishing they’d keep him there.
But by season’s end he was back with the Legends. And as he said to Sara, they had proved they did not need him around anymore. With her in the Captain’s chair, the team had the guidance they needed. And with the countless weeks where he was not around, things went just as smooth as they could go.
With a show that has an ensemble type of cast, characters are going to come and go. The showrunners have already teased new characters coming aboard the Waverider in season three. So ultimately, someone had to go. And the show certainly made the right call by picking Rip.
And by having him simply walk away, it always leaves the door open for future installments. They did not kill him. They let him ride into the sunset on his own accord. It was the perfect ending to the character’s arc over the course of the two seasons. And it was also the perfect decision for the show as a whole as they prepare for season three.