You know what they say: When one flagging Terminator franchise’s future goes up in the air, simply move that franchise to the small screen, gender-flip the villain, and make it the plot of the week.
Oh wait, is that not what happened? Whatever, it happened anyway: “The Pilgrim,” the Time Masters’ best assassin, goes on a hunt for every Sarah Connor of the “legends” — as in, the “legends” themselves, but younger — to stop them from ever becoming a time-traveling team. But weirdly enough, the “legends” actually pulled off survival…as a team.
Because this time, well, they really had to save their own skins. The Pilgrim begins by going after Mick in Central City in 1990, where a young version of him had just set his home on fire and walked away unscathed while the rest of his family burned. Ray steps in and saves the young Mick, bringing him on board the Waverider to wait out the ordeal. But with several more team members to pick and choose from, the Pilgrim gets permission to go after each of them — the ones that make sense, anyway, so no Time Master-ing Rip and no reincarnating Kendra — and their younger selves. Next up: Sara in Starling City, 2007.
This Sara, complete with bangs and a ruffly skirt, is no assassin. She’s handcuffed by Starling City PD, and father Quentin cheerily chides her for getting into trouble. (Hey there, Quentin! Love the hair.) Future Sara saves her younger self, fighting the Pilgrim and later bringing young Sara to hang out with young Mick.
After saving two members, however, the “legends” can no longer track the Pilgrim’s movements. While they debate what to do, the younger versions of Sara and Mick fight, but it’s nothing compared to the emotional chaos Ray and Kendra are about to endure. When the Pilgrim decides to attack younger Ray next in Star City, 2014, Ray begins to die on board the Waverider, and after the team saves younger Ray, older Ray hastily proposes to Kendra, who just as hastily accepts. But of course, Kendra immediately questions what she’s done afterward and confesses to Sara her doubts in a conversation Ray overhears. But she’s right, in a way: Didn’t her older self in the Old West just tell her that she can’t live with the wrong romantic partner? When will reincarnating, cursed women ever have it all?!
Anyway, at least Rip’s figured out a plan. All they’ll have to do to stop the Pilgrim from destroying each of them is to kidnap themselves as newborns so they won’t risk the possibility of the Pilgrim finding them at any age. (Just ignore the fact that the Pilgrim mercifully decides against simply tracking down their parents and immediately killing them. The whole Sarah Connor idea just didn’t strike anyone.) Sara and Kendra are successful in finding (and cooing over) baby Leonard in Central City in the ’70s while the rest manage to talk Stein’s father into letting his son be snatched away. Later, their kidnapping mission even gets Jax face-time with the father he never met. In Central City, 1993, Stein leads Jax to his father, who’s staring at his newborn son. His father gushes about how his son is “destined for great things,” and, well, I’m totally not crying — you’re crying! (Sniff.) Jax almost warns his father about how he dies in battle but leaves instead with his newborn self safely in tow, juuuust out of reach of the Pilgrim.
NEXT: How does a cutpurse, orphan, son of a — nevermind, Rip’s past is still in the shadows