Once The CW had success with superhero vigilante show Arrow, it seemed a wise choice to spin off from the series. The Flash soon followed, and has arguably become more popular than its predecessor. With heroes team-up Legends of Tomorrow and recent acquisition of CBS's Supergirl, the network now has its own primetime DC universe.
While it had its problems in season 1, Legends of Tomorrow chose an engaging cast from the show's predecessors, including Sara (Caity Lotz) from Arrow and Firestorm (Franz Drameh/Victor Garber) from The Flash. While viewers tired of a season-long, no-win battle against immortal villain Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), the camaraderie and humorous friction between the disparate group of heroes kept fans tuning in for more.
With both Savage and the corrupt Time Masters finally defeated in the first season finale, the door is open for the team's new mission as "history's last line of defense." In an interview with CBR, actors Lotz, Garber, and Dominic Purcell (Heat Wave) shared how the whole vibe of the show will change. To start, policing all of Time means there'll be an immediate change in structure, as Purcell explained in very blunt, Mick-like fashion.
"I felt like last year, there was a bit of predictability to things, which I think tends to happen on a big show. ... Now that we've got that first year behind us, we know what's going to work. In the second year, the team and the actors, we've all been collaborating; this year, you're going to see more individualized journeys. We're going to be pairing off, singles or pairs, instead of the entire group doing the same thing every week around that f***ing table. I'm guessing it's going to be an entirely different kind of show. We've shot four or five days -- already, I feel a difference."
While Purcell adds that he doesn't see his character veering much away from being his traditional "impulsive, instinctual, simmering volcano," he sounded intrigued about exploring just where Mick's unpredictability will take him. Meanwhile Garber, who frequently asked the showrunners "where's my wife?" to remind them of some important character continuity for Dr. Martin Stein, also seemed hopeful about the show's new format.
"I come from the old school where people have conversations, and something happens. Where someone is motivated to act because of something else. So I'm always looking for that in the script, and when it's not there, I say I think we need something more substantial. I see that changing."
Sara came home last season on Legends of Tomorrow to discover the heartbreaking news that her sister Laurel (Katie Cassidy) had been killed, and season 2 will explore her reaction to what Lotz calls the "deepest burn she's ever felt." Now that we know that a version of Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) will be appearing this season on LoT, Sara's healing will definitely be mixed in with attempts at vengeance. Like her costars, the actress is excited by the opportunities for further character development.
"It's less of a, 'We have to save the world!' every episode. It's more contained. It's starting to get more of a sense of its own tone and character voices. Now, when I read the scripts, it's so specific. Each character is so distinct, and I like that, when you have these characters that are so rich and interesting. I think they're shining through this season."
Tying different shows together can be a difficult task, and like Stein's missing wife, LoT definitely had its share of dangling plot threads and conflicts last season. The more episodic nature of the new season should allow for getting to know each of the characters better, as well as experimenting with one-off villains and unusual expeditions. Season 2 will still have an overarching plot involving the Justice Society of America in the 1940s, however, so it won't be a completely scattershot storyline.
Considering how honest the actors were about some flaws in structure and plot last season, it's a good sign that they're pleased at the new direction for this year's episodes. Even with its troubles, Legends of Tomorrow managed to be entertaining with its misfit characters and time travel challenges, so the potential for an even more enjoyable season 2 seems high.
The Flash season 3 will premiere Tuesday October 4th at 8pm on The CW, Arrow season 5 will premiere in the same timeslot on Wednesday October 5th, Supergirl season 2 on Monday October 10th, and Legends of Tomorrow season 2 on Thursday October 13th.