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legends of tomorrow season 5 premiere meet the legends ray palmer

Spoilers ahead for the January 21 episode of Legends of Tomorrow, called "Meet the Legends."

Legends of Tomorrow returned for its first non-crossover episode of Season 5, and "Meet the Legends" proved that the events of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" didn't change the goofy and self-aware shenanigans through time and space all that much. The first bad guy of the season was none other than Rasputin, a.k.a. the Russian mystic known for being very hard to kill back in the early 20th century. The whole episode was basically Legends of Tomorrow making fun of itself and not taking its genre too seriously, which raises the question: can Legends' villains be scary in Season 5?

Legends of Tomorrow showrunner Phil Klemmer teased what's in store on the villain front in Season 5, and he promised some "terrifying" baddies are on the way:

In addition to the marquis villains of history, we also explore the more obscure. Some are terrifying, some are silly, at least one is an animal. But by the end of the season, the Legends will encounter a big bad like no other. Whereas we've been tinkering with history for five seasons, a long-slumbering and powerful season 5 big bad who has been pulling the strings from the very beginning will awaken. The question is what will happen when our big bad sees what a mess [they've] made of history

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Based on Phil Klemmer's comments to TV Guide, Legends of Tomorrow Season 5 will feature more big-name bad guys like Rasputin, but also some lesser-known villains. It's not hard to believe that some villains will be silly, and I can easily believe a villainous animal is on the way after Legends pulled off a killer unicorn in the Season 4 premiere and a big bad Beebo. Can Legends get properly scary with its villain this year?

I'm inclined to say yes, even though I was pretty much grinning from start to finish during "Meet the Legends," which was an accomplishment in itself since Sara was mourning Oliver and the episode aired right after a pretty serious installment of Arrow. Legends of Tomorrow surely won't go so meta and make fun of itself in every episode.

If anything, this episode proved to me that Legends is the best show of the Arrow-verse when it comes to reaching both sides of the emotional spectrum. Arrow and Batwoman can pull off the darkness, but not so much the humor. The Flash and Supergirl are the most natural when their heroes get to be bright and altruistic, and the darkness can feel unnatural. Legends of Tomorrow can be self-aware and silly while also packing an emotional punch.

Even while "Meet the Legends" unfolded like a Legends-centric documentary, Sara mourning Oliver after his "Crisis" death wasn't played for laughs. Sure, Eva's attempt at a sympathy card for Sara reminding her that she used to sleep with him and he also slept with Laurel was one of my biggest laughs of the episode, but Sara's grief was real. Similarly, Nate's realization that he was missing somebody wasn't a joke, and he presumably won't forget that glimpse of a recording of Zari any time soon.

So, when will Legends of Tomorrow introduce its new villains? Well, the Legends are already getting a week off due to Arrow's special presentation and series finale taking both blocks of The CW's primetime on January 28, and Legends of Tomorrow won't be back until Tuesday, February 4 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

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