As the episode begins the ‘Legends’ are still imprisoned at the Vanishing Point, Snart and Sara are still hiding aboard the Waverider, and Jax is still on his way back to 2016. To start, let’s go with Jax’s storyline, as he arrives back in 2016 at more or less the same moment that Rip invites the team to join him as legends. Following that, Jax meets up with 2016 Stein who he asks for help in getting the jumpship to take him back to the Vanishing Point. Younger Stein is still as arrogant as Jax remembers, but the man is impressed with the maturity he sees in Jax, which will clearly help him justify his decision to drug his partner and force him along on the mission. In a secret lab (presumably at STAR Labs), Jax and younger Stein manage to fix the jumpship, and Jax is very careful not to let younger Stein know anything else about what is going to happen. He leaves Stein behind in 2016, and jumps ahead to find and save his team.
Kendra is taken from the prison and put on a ship with Savage and the injured Carter Hall, with Savage intended on letting Kendra watch as he executes Rip’s wife and son. He lands in 2166 London, and despite Kendra pleading with him not to do it, Savage does indeed head out and kill Rip’s family, same as he does in the Pilot, and we get our first sense of how futile everything the Legends have done on the show up to this point has been.
Mick meanwhile is taken from his cell and re-indoctrinated into being Chronos, but not before he promises the Time Master supervising the conversion that should this fail, he will crush him beneath his boot. After much electroshock therapy and torture, Mick once again answers to Chronos, and prepares to head out and find Snart and Sara, the last legends that need to be dealt with.
Rip is taken by the Time Masters who explain that everything he and his team have done has been part of a grand design to put Savage into power, as every stop for the Legends has inadvertantly benefitted Savage. Apparently there will be a Thenagarian invasion in 2175 which can only be stopped if the earth is united under Savage and his forces, which is why the Time Masters have thrown in their lot with the villain. They then show Rip the Oculus, which is apparently how the Time Masters can see the past,present and future, and can literally manipulate the strands of time, meaning in actuality there is no real free will, only destiny which can be programmed by the Time Masters at their whim. Rip could not ever save his family because the Time Masters decreed they would die to push Rip into his mission. Rip returns to his cell dejected, and with Stein currently dying from being away from Jax for so long, Ray is the only one that remains optimistic, even when Rip says he saw Ray’s death in the Oculus.
Snart and Sara meanwhile, take control of the Waverider, and discover that Gideon has restored herself and the timedrive, and has a plan, but first they need to disable all the other timeships in the hangar with them. While speaking about freewill and doing the right thing, Sara and Snart get into an argument as Snart just wants to cut and run, but Sara cannot abandon the team, and in the end, Snart cannot either. So they sabotage all the other timeships and then take off, making the jump into the time stream quickly. As the other ships prepare to take off, Gideon’s sabotage devices activate, and corrupt the AI’s on the other ships, leaving them singing Karaoke and unable to launch their ships. Snart and Sara meanwhile do not jump far, and in fact bring the ship back into the Vanishing Point right outside the prison cells (which they coincidentally just happened to know the location of), and while Sara blasts the building with the Waverider, Snart heads inside to free their friends. Unfortunately, he is met by Chronos, and they hold each other at gun point. The Time Master who supervised the Chronos creation demands that Chronos shoots, and Chronos turns and shoots the Time Master, then crushes his head under his boot, as promised. Snart and Mick free the rest and they escape in the Waverider, as Rip fills everyone in on what he learned and how fruitless their mission has thus far been. Ray and Mick have a moment at the Waverider food dispenser, with Ray resigning himself to the death Rip saw, while Mick admits that he was able to fight against the Chronos brainwashing by remembering the team and his feelings of loyalty toward them. It is a nice moment, and definitely feels like set up for one of these characters to die.
The team decides to take out the Oculus, thus destroying the Time Master’s primary means of manipulating the timeline and restoring freewill to everyone in the timeline. Unfortunately, when they arrive at the Oculus wellspring, they discover that the Time Masters have set a trap for the team, which they are powerless to do anything against. Until Jax arrives in the dropship and blasts away the Time Master’s forces, thus giving the Legends an opening to proceed. Jax leaves the ship and merges with Stein, thus saving his friend from a nuclear explosion and giving the team the Firestorm advantage, and they break into the Oculus Wellspring, and Ray does his work to rig the device to blow up. As he takes off his helmet, Rip realizes this is the moment where he saw Ray die, and he warns his teammate about his fate. Ray soon learns that the Oculus has a failsafe against self-implosion, which means someone will need to manually hold the device until the team is clear, and then sacrifice themselves to blow up the Oculus. Of course Ray volunteers himself, but Mick will not hear of it, and he knocks out Ray and takes the post himself. Rip shrinks Ray down and puts him in his pocket and returns to the team, but when Sara and Snart hear about Mick’s sacrifice, they hurry back to help the man (why exactly? I’m not sure). They arrive and Snart proceeds to knock out Mick, saying he will be the one to make the sacrifice. His heroic action lands him a kiss from Sara, who then has the unhappy task of carrying Mick back to the ship. As the Waverider takes off, Snart sets off the self-desturct, and the Oculus wellspring is destroyed, a fact confirmed by Gideon when she states that with the Oculus gone, they can no longer glimpse potential timelines anymore.
The team mourns the loss of Snart, and Rip has Gideon check newspapers from 2166, which confirms that Savage did indeed still kill his family. The team decides that they should still go kill Savage, to avenge Snart and Rip’s family. Savage meanwhile returns to the ship following his murdering of Rip’s family, and learns that the Oculus has been destroyed, and the Time Masters can no longer help him. Kendra laughs at this misfortune, until Savage points out that he no longer needs to rule the world. With the power of the Time Masters crippled, he can now change the world without them interfering.
THEORIES FOR TOMORROW:
– So all of this is happening… WHILE THEIR YOUNGER SELVES ARE STILL MISSING FROM THE TIMELINE? I mean, how could Jax go back to 2016 to meet with younger Stein, if baby Stein is still outside the timeline being held by Rip’s mother. NONE of this makes sense anymore.
– Why hasn’t Savage killed Kendra or Carter? I mean, he GETS HIS POWER from Killing them. What is he waiting for? He seems way too Saturday Morning cartoon villain right now.
– Is Snart really dead? You can never tell with this show, it has no stakes in that we have yet to see an important character die and stay dead, so we will see about old Captain Cold.
Not a bad episode, but the time travel stuff is very annoying, as it still does not make a lot of sense. Why does the Vanishing Point exist outside of the timeline? How did the Time Masters know the Legends would attack the Oculus Wellspring if it cannot see things that happen in the Vanishing Point? How did Jax know where the Oculus Wellspring was? There’s not much left of the season, and though I highly doubt they will fill in all these loose ends, I am hoping for a satisfying ending to the Savage storyline at the very least, and some decent action. See you back here next week for the season finale!
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.