‘Legends of Tomorrow’ 1.07 Recap: “A Captain Never Surrenders His Ship”

For as goofy as the plot of last week’s ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ episode may be (and it’s plenty goofy), I still feel that the show’s premise is finally starting to come together and work out some of its kinks. For example, this episode directly addresses a major burning question that has felt like a pretty big plot hole.

I’ve asked several times in previous recaps why Rip Hunter doesn’t just take the Waverider further back into the past to kill Vandal Savage before the villain knows enough to expect him. At the beginning of episode ‘Marooned’, Rip explains to Dr. Stein that he has so little information on Savage’s whereabouts or activities through most of recorded history that he doesn’t know where to find him. I would almost consider that a satisfactory answer, except that Rip previously showed the crew some photos of Savage at various points throughout history (including Nazi Germany) which should have given him enough info to work from. Oh well, at least the show is trying to patch up some of these holes.

Because Rip is no longer a Time Master, the ship’s computer Gideon doesn’t have the latest software that might help track Savage. As their captain struggles to find the right moment in time to attack Savage again, the rest of the crew is getting antsy – especially Mick, who’s still pissed at Snart for pulling him away from 2046 Star City. When the Waverider receives a distress call from another Time Master ship called the Acheron, Rip believes that rescuing the ship will allow them to get the software they need. Mick is all for this plan, if only because it will give him something to do.

This rescue op takes the Waverider into deep space. Rip forms a boarding party including himself, Dr. Stein, Jax and Mick. Stein in particular is very excited to live out the space cadet fantasies of his youth. As they fly to the Acheron in a shuttle, Rip leaves Ray in charge of the Waverider. Nerd that he is, this allows Ray to live out his own fantasies of being Captain Kirk.

Once they get to the other ship, Rip and his team walk directly into a trap set by so-called “time pirates” (yeesh!) led by a guy named John Valor (Callum Keith Rennie). We know that time pirates are a big problem for Time Masters because a flashback to Rip’s days as a Time Master cadet show him winning a Kobayashi Maru-type training simulation that involved an attack by time pirates. Hmm, I wonder if the strategy Rip used in that exercise will prove useful in his current situation?

The Acheron’s time drive was damaged in the pirate attack. After capturing Rip, Valor radios over to the Waverider to demand that acting captain Ray surrender. However, Rip speaks a code phrase that triggers Gideon to engage the auto-pilot and attack the other ship. Valor has the Acheron fight back, and manages to blow a hole in the Waverider’s hull. When Snart and Sara try to fix it, they get trapped behind a bulkhead in a room that’s slowly leaking heat. Gideon can’t open the door until the breach is fixed. Unfortunately, Snart and Sara have only temporarily patched it using Snart’s freeze gun, which is now out of juice. They don’t have any other tools to fix it from inside the room, and they’ll freeze to death if they can’t get out.

Rip, Mick and Jax get tossed in the Acheron’s brig with that ship’s original crew, whose captain, Eve Baxter (Stephanie Cleough), is thoroughly ungrateful for the attempted rescue. Left behind in the shuttle when the others boarded, only Dr. Stein remains uncaptured. (Fortunately, the pirates never think to search the shuttle.) He sneaks onto the Acheron and disables its weapons from harming the Waverider further.

During this lull in the battle, Ray puts on this A.T.O.M. suit (which conveniently is suitable as a spacesuit) and does an EVA to fix the hull breach. He leaves Kendra in charge of the ship while he takes care of that.

While in the brig, Rip and Mick have an argument about the latter’s dissatisfaction with the former’s leadership. Rip says really hurtful things about only recruiting Mick for the team because he came as a “package deal” with Snart. Fuming at that, Mick calls the guards and asks to speak to Capt. Valor. He wants to make a deal.

Ray barely finishes welding the breach before his suit runs out of air and he passes out. (He couldn’t have gone back inside for a minute to refill?) The suit automatically pilots him back into the airlock, where Kendra gives Ray really terrible CPR that involves a lot of pounding on his chest. This being a TV show, it works and Ray revives. Snart and Sara are also able to get out of their room safely now that the breach is fixed.

Mick strikes a deal with Capt. Valor that he’ll help the pirates take the Waverider so long as they deposit him back on Earth at the very moment he agreed to join Snart on this crazy team, so that he can stop that from happening. He flies back to the Waverider in the shuttle, radioing Kendra and Ray that he escaped. They let him back on board, only for Mick to reveal that he he’s brought a team of pirates along with him. (How did Gideon not notice this?)

This leads to much fightin’ and shootin’ aboard the Waverider. Snart’s gun, which we were just told was all out of juice, has somehow charged up again. Mick goes to the engine room to steal the ship’s time drive. Sara tries to fight him off but he overpowers her until Snart shoots him with the freeze gun. (Why is it that his freeze gun doesn’t actually freeze people, anyway?)

Back on the Acheron, Stein busts Rip, Jax and Baxter’s crew out of the brig. Surprise surprise, Rip then uses the exact same strategy from his old training simulation to open all the ship’s airlocks and eject the pirates into space, murdering every last one of them, except Valor, who gets captured.

Both ships saved, Capt. Baxter has a change of heart and gives Rip the information he wanted, which allows him to locate Vandal Savage in 1958. Ray and Kendra celebrate their victory by making out.

Even though the bad guys are defeated, the team still needs to decide what to do with Mick, who betrayed them. Snart says that it’s his responsibility to take care of it. And by “take care of it,” he means kill his friend. They return to Earth (time period unspecified), and Snart drags Mick out into the woods to shoot him.

Episode Verdict

I don’t buy for a second that Snart killed Mick. That’s clearly a fake-out. Most of the stuff involving the time pirates is pretty silly, even for this show, and the way the episode liberally lifts big chunks of plot from ‘The Wrath of Khan’ is only partially offset by Ray making direct ‘Star Trek’ references.

That said, the episode has some decent action and character development (a bit where Snart explains to Sara why he’s friends with Mick in the first place is almost touching), and I remain grateful for any episode that doesn’t directly involve Vandal Savage. This one gets a pass from me, despite some obvious weaknesses.

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