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'Legends of Tomorrow' recap: 'River of Time'

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Diyah Pera/The CW

DC's Legends of Tomorrow

type:
TV Show
genre:
Action, Sci-fi
run date:
01/21/16
performer:
Victor Garber, Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, Arthur Darvill, Dominic Purcell
broadcaster:
The CW
seasons:
2
Current Status:
In Season

I take back every good thing I’ve ever said about Ray. 

Okay, fine, that’s a bit harsh, but come on: For one of the team’s smartest people, Ray turned out to be the dimmest when it came to handling Savage one-on-one. How could he have been so easily manipulated into freeing him when they were this close to getting rid of the immortal bastard once and for all?! 

Then again, it’s not like the rest of the team had much success, either. (What else is new in the world of the “legends”?) The hour begins with the group bickering over whether to kill Savage before they unlock Carter’s mind until they think they’ve found a loophole that will implicate Savage. Ray and Jax discover that Savage has been using futuristic technology — as in, past 2166 — in his plot, and because of that, the Time Masters will have no choice but to arrest him for manipulating the timeline. 

And so, Rip decides to get a confession out of Savage himself by approaching Savage in the glass prison that had recently held his daughter and goading him into boasting about how he managed to figure out time travel after seeing that Rip could, too. “You may be a Time Master, but I’m a master of time,” Savage boasts. 

Of course, I doubt Savage can figure out how to save the Waverider. Eager to bring Savage to the Time Masters at the Vanishing Point, Rip had pushed Gideon into overworking the time drive, forcing the ship to break down and require repairs while they’re waiting, stranded in the timestream. And so, strike one Against Capt. Hunter: He fails to listen to Sara. Strike Two: He sends Jax, in his stead, in to repair the drive, where he might be exposed to too much temporal radiation — and indeed, a blast causes Jax to be hit with enough radiation to cause him to begin aging rapidly. With Jax injured, Rip reassesses what he’s doing — and admits to Sara that he’s willing to sell out his crew in order to save his family. 

It’s not what Sara wants to hear. She had, after the Waverider stalled, approached Savage’s cell to make sure their VIP was still locked up and ready to be taken to the end of the timeline. Savage, as always, decided to strike up a chat, asking Sara about Laurel (uh oh) and telling her Rip is bad news. 

Leonard and Mick have picked up on this all by themselves, however: After seeing Jax grow frail through accelerated aging, they decide to confront Rip about their Savage predicament. Rip, seeing their dismay, tells them they’re free to leave on the jump ship preset to return to 2016 — and they decide to do so, with or without the rest of the team. (Without, it turns out.) But Stein got there first: In order to reverse Jax’s aging, he — after a short trip to Savage’s chamber — figures out that he needs to get Jax on the jump ship so he can travel through time, during which, well, the “theorem of quantum retrocausality” will take hold. In other words: Jax will live. Yay for Jax!

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Oh, wait: Jax refuses to leave Stein on his own — Firestorm can only be Firestorm with both of them! — so Stein drugs him yet again and straps him unwillingly to a ship. Inside the jump ship, Jax struggles out of his seat and tries to convince Stein to bring him in. Stein tears up but launches his partner away anyway, a move that thoroughly pisses Leonard and Mick off when they arrive moments later. 

At the same time, another separation is taking place: Kendra and Ray have been trying to break through to Carter to no avail, so Ray tries to interrogate Savage into telling him the key to bringing Carter back. Savage takes the opportunity to get under Ray’s skin instead, pointing out that if they brought Carter back, all that would do is take Kendra away. Ray tries to shake the thought away, but when he spots Kendra affectionately reciting the Hawkcouple’s love poem to Carter, Ray loses it, running back to Savage and clearly searching for a fight. 

Savage gives him the perfect chance, teasing him about how the two of them are both unhinged and more alike than he’d expect because at one point, a memory-free previous incarnation of Kendra had loved Savage just as much, too. Savage calls Ray crazy and remarks that it’s “no wonder she didn’t choose you.” The speech breaks Ray, and Ray forces himself into the cage, beating up Savage until Savage gets the upper hand and uses Ray’s ID to make his way out of his glass prison. Ooooops.

NEXT: Capt. Lance — Sara Lance, that is…[pagebreak]

Just as the team finishes repairing the ship, Ray arrives to report that — heh, sorry guys — Savage in all his savagery has been unleashed and ready to wreak havoc. Havoc like shutting down Gideon and leaving them to manually pilot the ship. Rip quickly figures out a plan: He, Stein, and Sara will navigate and pilot the ship to the Vanishing Point while Ray, Leonard, Mick, and Kendra will go to head off Savage and Carter, who Savage freed as well.

The latter group hits a snag pretty quickly. As their opponents attack them from both sides, the boys fall to Savage and Carter, but Kendra holds Carter off as Rip runs to join the fray. As Savage begins to kill Kendra, Carter finally jolts awake, regaining his flashbacks and attacking Savage — until Savage plunges his dagger into Carter all over again. Rip saves Kendra just in time, taking a laser shot to his shoulder as Kendra battles and finally knocks Savage out. (Later, Ray’s so grateful he’s even willing to help recuperate the injured Carter and graciously break up with Kendra. Maybe Ray’s not so bad after all? Wait, no, he still let a psycho mass killer get to him. Bad Ray.)

Meanwhile, Rip left Sara in the captain’s seat with Stein as her engineer. The pair manage to hold on to the ship and bring it all the way to the Vanishing Point, which might just be the coolest location illustrated on the show so far:

A skeletal-looking structure floating in space, the Vanishing Point is home to the Time Council, to which Rip brings Savage. He hopes the Time Council, using the evidence he presents of Savage’s temporal tampering, will arrest him and take him off his hands. Instead, the Time Council frees Savage and captures Rip — after all this, well, time, it turns out Savage has had the Time Council in his pocket for a while. 

The Time Masters then board the Waverider, rounding up each of the “legends” in the process, including Ray, Kendra, Carter, Mick (who’s casually drinking), and Stein. Leonard and Sara, however, notice the commotion during the card game, and Leonard tells Sara they have to hide. Will they be the only ones left to save the entire team? Looks like it — for now, anyway. 

Cheesiest Line of the Night: “I’d tell you to go to hell, but you’d probably just feel at home there.” — Sara Lance, Master of Quips vs. Vandal Savage, Master of Time.

This Week’s Winner of the Unofficial EW Legends of Tomorrow Scenery Chewing but in a Good Way Award, a.k.a. The Legend-ary Ham of the Week: Carter. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the extremely hammy Hawkcouple ham it all the ham way up, but this week, Falk Hentschel got to do a bit of smirking and mustache-twirling as Darth Hawk. It was fun. Too bad it made Ray go nuts.

Team MVP: Sara, hands down. Rip trusts her enough to have her pilot the Waverider without him! 

Plus, she had the most gut-wrenching flashback, for Arrow fans, anyway. Speaking of which…

  • I haven’t even touched on the flashbacks! It’s a bit strange why this episode of all episodes was chosen to be The One With the Backstories, but it helps fill in some blanks. For one thing, we get a chance to see how Stein exited 2016 — with a little white lie to his wife — as well as a quick scene between Sara and her beloved Nyssa back at the League of Assassins, and Ray and Felicity before he left for his journey. These farewells showed just how optimistic everyone was, but with a shade of regret at leaving their loved ones behind. As always, I wonder if anyone who doesn’t watch Arrow has been watching Legends because the importance of Felicity and Nyssa’s guest appearances would have been hard to figure out without knowledge of the other show.
  • Yup, Vandal Savage time travels, which is how he’s managed to stay hidden for so long. Yay?
  • Rip reveals to Savage how he escaped that Egyptian prison in his flashback — it involved a novelty pen and a horny guard — but Savage takes pleasure in showing Rip in the final scene that he still has the pen. Vandal Savage: Master of Hoarding!
  • Savage has a point: Ray can look real crazy.
  • Rip’s reaction to the time drive failing? “Bollocks! Gideon!” Sounds about right.
  • So…should we assume Jax will find a way back to the crew, or is this the end of the line for Franz Drameh? If the latter, I’m sad to see we’ve swapped him out for the reunion of Hawkcouple, but I guess it’s only fitting to have both Hawkpeople in the mix in their final front against Savage. (Fingers crossed Kendra gets to deliver the killing blow!) Either way, Drameh gets to don all the fun face makeup: 

What was worse: Tonight’s look or the one from “Night of the Hawk“?

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