The last episode of ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ teased viewers with a little cliffhanger and then the show had the gall to take a couple weeks off. It’s back now, better late than never, to pick up that storyline and deliver a pretty huge plot twist.
In a replay of the previous episode’s climax, the Waverider ship is attacked and boarded by Chronos the bounty hunter. Rip and the team on board are forced to flee from the bridge, upon which Chronos takes control of the ship, reprograms the computer to only take commands from him, and flies it away. In doing so, the ship strands Ray, Kendra and Sara in 1958.
Dr. Stein and Jax debate the risks of merging into Firestorm while aboard the ship. (That this might be any sort of problem seems entirely contrived.) They ultimately do it and try to retake the bridge with Rip, only to find that Chronos is gone – and he’s kidnapped Snart, for reasons unclear. Not only that, Chronos sabotaged the ship before leaving and sent it freefalling through time. That doesn’t sound good.
Back in 1958, the trio who were left behind are perplexed as to why their friends would abandon them. Remembering his Boy Scout training, Ray wants to stay put until rescue can come for them. He figures that, wherever Rip took the ship, he’d eventually return to that very moment to pick them up again. Sadly, that doesn’t happen. After waiting around for a while until it’s clear that nobody is coming, Sara gets antsy to leave and steals a car. She convinces Ray and Kendra to skip town with her, because Vandal Savage is still nearby and the three of them can’t take him on their own. Also, if Savage senses Kendra’s presence, he’ll inevitably hunt her down again.
We jump forward ten days. Ray, Kendra and Sara have rented an apartment in someplace called Hub City. Ray works on building a transponder beacon that the Waverider can detect when it eventually comes back for them… if it eventually comes back for them.
Ten weeks pass. Sara is convinced that their friends are dead and will never come back, but Ray won’t give up hope just yet. Eventually, Sara gets fed up of Ray and Kendra playing house and leaves to find someplace she belongs.
Another two years go by. Ray and Kendra have established a life for themselves in 1960. Ray works as a professor (and realizes that one of his students is Bill Gates’ father). He has also, finally, accepted that their friends aren’t coming for them and has made peace with it. In fact, he seems quite happy in his new life. Ray brings Kendra out to a park for a picnic where he plans to deactivate the transponder beacon and propose to her. Just as he’s about to pull out the ring, the transponder alarm goes off and the Waverider appears above them. The ship lands and Rip makes apologies. Due to the damage that Cronos did to the ship, this was as close to 1958 as he could pilot it. Kendra is ecstatic , but Ray is visibly disappointed.
Ray tells Rip that he needs to return to his apartment to get the A.T.O.M. suit. He asks Kendra which of their things she’d like him to collect while he’s there, but Kendra is very eager to leave that life behind and never think about it again. She’s thrilled to be able to put on a comfortable pair of jeans again.
Meanwhile, Sara has rejoined (or joined for the first time, owing to time travel) the League of Assassins. Under the tutelage of her former mentor Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable), she has learned to control her urge to kill. However, the place seems awfully culty.
Elsewhere in the time stream, Snart is handcuffed to the bridge of Chronos’ ship. Snart asks why Chronos wanted him, of all people. The bounty hunter removes his helmet and reveals himself to be… Snart’s former partner Mick! Oh, but he’s not exactly happy to see his old friend again. Although (as fully expected) Snart couldn’t bring himself to kill Mick when he dumped him in the woods, Mick is still very pissed about being left for dead. He explains that he was eventually found by the Time Masters, who brought him to a place called Vanishing Point and trained him over many years to be the imposing time-traveling bounty hunter he is today. Yes, this is an older, even grumpier Mick from the future. He’s had a long time to dwell on his plans for revenge against his former friends. He tells Snart that he’s going to return to 2016 Central City to kill Snart’s sister in front of him, and then go back a day and do it again, and then again, and then again.
Thinking on it for a bit, Kendra deduces that Sara probably went back to the League of Assassins. Rip flies the ship to the island of Nanda Parat, and the group finds the security at the ninja stronghold to be almost comically lax. Rip has no problem locating Sara inside. Unfortunately, she immediately calls the guards and has all of her friends captured and brought before Ra’s al Ghul. Clearly brainwashed, Sara says that she’s found peace and didn’t want to be rescued.
Having studied the League’s ancient rules and rituals, Rip appeals to Ra’s al Ghul and evokes the right to Trial by Combat. Ra’s agrees, and chooses Sara to be his champion. Kendra volunteers to fight for the other side, hoping that she’ll be able to talk some sense into her friend.
During the fight, Kendra hawks-out. Sara stabs her, but eventually Kendra gets through to her and Sara holds back from delivering a killing blow. Suddenly, Chronos busts into the room and starts shooting up the place. The League assassins try to fight him off with arrows and swords, all of which just bounce off his armor. Rip convinces Ra’s al Ghul to set him and his friends free because only they have the abilities to stop Chronos and save the League from being wiped out.
Back on Chronos’ ship, Snart wiggles his way along a railing and, very conveniently, finds his freeze gun just within reach. He maneuvers it to blast his own left hand and freeze it solid, then smashes it against the ship and shatters it to get free of the handcuffs.
In the League temple, the Legends team use all their powers and eventually overcome Chronos. One-handed Snart runs into the room and stops them from killing him. He then reveals that Chronos is Mick.
Ra’s al Ghul puts 2 and 2 together and figures out that Rip and the others (including Sara) must be from the future. He’s a smart cookie. In thanks for them saving him, he formally releases Sara from being indentured to the League. In return, Rip warns him that he’ll need to save his daughter Talia from a future event that I assume was must have been a plot-point on ‘Arrow’ I’m not familiar with.
Mick gets locked in the brig aboard the Waverider. Rip and the team debate whether to kill him or try to reform him. Rip is confident that he can undo the Time Masters’ programming, and everyone agrees to help. Mick may be a homicidal jerk, but he’s still their friend.
Thanks to the miracle of 22nd Century technology, the ship’s medical bay is able to reconstruct Snart’s hand. Just as Ray starts to come to terms with the fact that his comfortable life with Kendra in 1960 is over, Kendra professes that she’s still in love with him, no matter where they are.
As the episode wraps up, Rip sets course for the ship’s next stop, in the year 2147 at something called the “Kasnia Conglomerate.”
I’ll be honest that when the show took a break for a couple weeks, I also took a break from thinking about it. This is the type of series that I enjoy enough to keep watching, but would not be terribly heartbroken if it disappeared one day.
That said, this is a pretty decent episode, with the exception that the supposedly-fearsome League of Assassins come across as laughably weak and inept. Pretty much anyone can just walk into their secret compound undetected, and the assassins themselves are utterly useless in a fight. I’m also not too impressed with the actor playing Ra’s al Ghul. He’s certainly no Liam Neeson.
I like the plot twist with Mick even though it means that, as a bounty hunter working for the Time Masters, he has repeatedly violated the Time Masters’ first rule: Never go back to a time where you’ve already been. As Chronos, he’d appeared numerous places coinciding with himself as Mick. For that matter, if Chronos has been future Mick all along, wouldn’t he have memories of his younger self fighting Chronos and winning (or at least staving him off)? That being the case, wouldn’t he change his attack strategy?
Oh well, there’s no point overthinking these things. The show’s writers obviously haven’t.