So after all those temporal pit stops and misadventures and road blocks, did the “legends” finally become actual…legends?
If all you wanted them to do was kill Vandal Savage, then yes, they’re legends. If you, as Stein pointed out in the pilot, require legends to die first, well then, Rip Hunter apologizes for not going through with flying into the sun.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. When the hour begins, Rip decides it’s time to go forth and kill Savage himself, so he uses a hologram to drop the “legends” off in Star City 2016, five months after they had left. Everyone attempts to go back to a normal life, but it’s not exactly easy to shake off the memory of more than a dozen time-traveling adventures. Ray and Mick, strangely enough, vow to do right by Leonard and finish their mission. Stein plays a pleasant game of historical trivia with his wife but wishes he were helping finish what he had signed up for. And as the team gathers to try to bring Rip to them, Sara joins the fray as well.
Aboard the Waverider, Rip replays the message from his son over and over, brooding about what he lost. Gideon notices Stein and Ray’s transmission, and just like that, Rip returns to pick up the team. Sara, however, isn’t interested in moving forward with finding Savage. Instead, she draws a knife and threatens Rip, making him confess that he knew Laurel would die while she was away, and that that’s why he returned them months after they had left. She comes very close to forcing him into taking them to the near past to save Laurel, but Rip knocks her out. Jax is shocked at the violence: “What the hell, Rip?”
Same here, Jax. But Rip can’t be stopped. After the team finds a note left by Kendra in a helmet Rip would eventually come to possess, Rip decides they’ll jump to where and when she is — as in France in 1944 — to finally finish what they set out to do.
Alas, France during World War II isn’t a good place to be, but what else is new for Rip and the “legends”? As soon as they track down Savage, they’re attacked not only Savage’s soldiers, but also by the Nazis. And in that time, Savage manages to hold on to what he needed: vials of Carter and Kendra’s blood to unlock Thanagarian (as in alien) technology that will allow him to erase time itself and return him and the Hawkcouple back to square one, a.k.a. 1700 B.C.
Yeah, it’s quite a…busy plan, but Savage is delighted with destroying the world, and besides, he still has Kendra after her botched escape. When the “legends” regroup without her, Carter — whose brain is still a bit out of sorts thanks to Savage’s meddling — tells the rest what he overheard: that Savage will use alien technology found in meteors to carry out his plan. Jax notices that the rock is the same as what he saw in 1958, and the team puts two and two together: Savage has to use the Hawkcouple’s blood to unlock the powerful technology. But how can the team stop him when they have no idea where he went?
Luckily, Firestorm just discovered a new move called transmutation, which allows them to transform something into something else. Stein, while joking that “the third time’s the charm,” realizes that “three” could really be the magic number. If Savage is after alien technology to destroy the world, he has to make sure that Earth and the planet Thanagar are aligned, something that has only happened three times in recent history: 1958, 1975, and 2021. And so the final mission to take down Savage becomes clear: All they have to do is find Savage kill him across all three timelines, and then neutralize the meteors. Easy peasy!
No, really — the entire operation goes smoothly, an impressive feat considering how often the “legends” have screwed up when simply dealing with a single time period. Rip and Carter save Kendra in 2021, Sara, Jax, and Stein kill Savage and transmutate the meteor into water in Norway 1975, and Mick and Ray burn Savage alive before shrinking the meteor into a non-destructive atom in 1958. The only snag they hit? By the time Gideon brings the other groups to 2021, it’s too late to stop the meteor’s technology from going nuclear, even though Kendra delivers the blow that kills Savage once and for all.
The solution: Rip decides to take the meteor and fly it into the sun. Hm, sounds like someone’s been watching Battlestar Galactica!
NEXT: R.I.P. Rip?