Well, that hurt. Tonight, Legends delivered a brutal one-two punch: First, Leonard sacrificed himself — after Mick tried to do so first — to save Ray, which means no more brooding from Wentworth Miller and no more having chemistry with pretty much every guest star Snart has met. Second, everything the “legends” have been doing up until this episode has been orchestrated by the Time Masters, which means the show has essentially been following a losing script this whole time, with each episode’s missions mere diversions on the path to failure.
In other words…no one has any free will, everything we’ve ever done was predetermined by a council of cloak-wearing senior citizens, and Vandal Savage was always going to prevail? Way to toss the “legends” into an existential crisis, Legends.
So how exactly did the team find out about this timey-wimey twist? At the Vanishing Point, Time Master Druce pulls Rip away from his cell to show him that the Time Masters only worked with Savage because they saw that Savage could save the world in 2175, when aliens from the planet Thanagar attack Earth. Only Savage’s forces and total control prevent humans from going extinct. Rip looks dismayed, so Druce decides to sink the knife in deeper: He takes Rip to the Oculus viewing chamber, where he shows him what the High Council of Time Masters is capable of doing. Through a window into time, they can see everything in the past, present, and future, as well as manipulate and shape time however they need to. Which means everything Rip has been trying to do has been futile — the entire time (sorry), the Time Masters have been pushing Rip into helping Savage along by losing over and over and over again. And yes, that means Rip’s family will indeed have to die, no matter what he does. It wasn’t the nature of time being fickle after all — it was the Time Masters fiddling with the puppet strings. No, really, it all looks like a bunch of strings of light:
By the time Rip returns looking hollowed out, Stein has gotten sicker from being away from Jax while the guards have taken Mick to turn him into Chronos again and Kendra to place her on Savage’s ship with Carter back to 2166. Rip has even more bad news to share: During his trip in the Oculus, he saw Ray’s impending death, but Ray’s not quick to accept it, calling the rest of the team quitters for thinking they can’t escape their future. After all, Sara and Snart are still on the Waverider, hidden from the guards.
Indeed, the team assassin and team, uhh, cold-gun bearer managed to hide under the floorboards — Leonard had combed the ship when he first joined — and are able to make contact with Gideon after a tense standoff over whether to leave the rest behind. Gideon guides them into places on all the ships in the hangar, then reboots the time drive, and, with Sara in the captain’s seat, flies out of their prison.
As expected, the Time Masters quickly learn of the pair’s escape, and Druce deploys every time ship — until each one fails because of Gideon’s devices. With this distraction in play, Sara fires from the Waverider onto the Vanishing Point while Leonard bursts into the team’s prison and takes out all the guards with Mick’s help. (Mick managed to survive another round of being inducted into serving the Time Masters by focusing on his loyalty to the team, he tells Ray later. Aww, Mick! Heat Wave does have a heart.)
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With everyone back on the Waverider, the team just has to deal with a few more loose threads: Stein is growing sicker without Jax and stays in the medical bay, Kendra and Carter are still off with Savage, and Ray, determined to forge ahead despite his looming death, encourages the rest to do what the Time Masters won’t be able to control: return to the Vanishing Point — time can’t be shaped there — and destroy the Oculus so the Time Masters can’t help Savage and destroy the team any longer. Before they go, Leonard finds Sara to apologize for getting angry at her earlier, then muses about free will. Leonard hates the feeling of being played and, in a vulnerable moment, hits on Sara, saying he wonders what the future holds for them. Well, sorry, Leonard; Sara’s not really into playing any games right now.
By the time they reach the Oculus wellspring, the “legends” are thrilled at the prospect of taking fate into their own hands. But just as they arrive, the meet Druce and his forces near the entrance. Which means… it’s a trap!
NEXT: Eye of the Firestorm! [pagebreak]
Luckily, Jax has figured out how to return to the Vanishing Point and arrives just in time, shooting away Druce and the enemies from the drop ship. Jax had been sent back to Central City in 2016, but found Stein, and together they reconfigured the ship to take Jax back into the time stream. Stein is grateful to have met future Jax and to know that their relationship heads for the better on their adventures. If only he knew what would happen to him in Russia…
Finally inside the wellspring, the group splits up to protect Ray, as he does his Atom magic on the device to make it self-destruct. Mick and Rip cover Ray at the core itself, but Firestorm, Sara, and Leonard head outside to deal with Druce’s goons. In short: A lot of Star Wars-like pew pew pew happens, Ray finds the core has a fail-safe that requires someone to stay behind to hold it down so it can explode, and Mick knocks Ray out to save his life and sacrifices himself instead.
Leonard, though, isn’t willing to let Mick do the hero thing. He knocks Mick out and convinces Sara to leave him behind. Sara accepts and kisses him (aww) before leaving with Mick’s body in tow. Left alone, Leonard defies Druce, who pleads with him to let the core go, and dies in the explosion. Oh, Leonard.
Aboard the Waverider, the team mourns the loss. But Rip, sitting alone with the cargo, asks Gideon to check in on news reports from 2166 because maybe, just maybe, Savage didn’t succeed in killing his family this time… Alas, Gideon tells him Savage did just as he has always done, and they didn’t destroy the Oculus in time to prevent that fate from happening. There is some good news, however: Mick, after Ray explains to him that they’ve achieved a blank slate on time now that the Oculus is gone, is eager to avenge Leonard’s death by killing Savage, who still has Carter and Kendra. And speaking of the Hawkcouple, Kendra’s present when Savage learns that the Time Masters’ power is no more. She bursts out laughing at Savage’s demise, but Savage isn’t done carrying out his reign of terror. “I no longer need to rule the world; I now have the ability to change the world,” he boasts. Huh. Savage as solo Time Master sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Cheesiest Line of the Night: “Did somebody order a rescue?” —Captain Cold. (I mean…who “orders” a rescue?!)
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: Dominic Purcell. I know it’s probably the 400th time he’s won, but hey, who’s counting? I’m giving it to him for his the ridiculous induction scene and for, well, following through on his promise to crush the Time Master’s head with his boot. Mick knows how to get attention.
Team MVP: Leonard, obviously. Dying for the team’s as far as you can go to contribute.
Time for timey-wimey notes!
- So, yes, I guess this means Wentworth Miller will be spending some quality time on the Prison Break reboot. Hey, maybe he’ll make a pointed reference to Legends of Tomorrow if he has a line about time travel? If they can revive him on Prison Break, anything can happen:
- In the comics, Thanagar is tied to the origins of Hawkgirl and Hawkman. Could Thanagarians play a bigger role in season 2? Or maybe Legends only wants to nod at Kendra and Carter’s print counterparts without diving too deep?
- Okay, so if the Time Masters exist in this Berlanti universe, does it mean that everything on Arrow and The Flash is also predetermined and manipulated by the High Council? Because, if so, should Barry Allen & Co. even attempt to do the time-traveling they do on that show? Or do Time Masters not exist in new timelines or other Earths? Never mind. All I’m doing is confusing myself further.
- The Waverider makes good cupcakes. Cool.
- Should the “legends” even try to stop Savage anymore? The whole race to stop him feels trivial now that we know the Time Masters had way too much power (and time!) on their hands.
- The Oculus wellspring looks like half of Spaceship Earth from Epcot:
- Was it just me, or did tonight’s episode feel a bit… 2001: A Space Odyssey to you, too? First, there was the Oculus viewing chamber, where we got some nifty close-ups of Rip’s eyes as he saw ~everything~ in time, mirroring that final act in the film, and then there was the AI’s singing on the time ships, indicating their loss of intelligence and control. Maybe I’m drawing too many forced connections between a B-grade superhero show and a sci-fi classic. My bad.
- The “legends” posed like an oddly threatening band off to perform at Eurovision in this scene…
…but you know what, I’d buy tickets.