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…