Time sucks when you’re not traveling in it — for time-travelers, anyway. Even though Sara, Ray, and Kendra found new lives during their two years left behind in 1958, their time away from the Waverider left them confused about their mission and weaker than before.
And it’s all because of Chronos. After the bounty hunter attacked the Waverider and forced Rip, Jax, Stein, and Leonard to fly away from their teammates, he shoots up the ship and takes Leonard with him — a kidnapping the other three should have realized was a clue to his identity. See, the man under the mask turned out to be Mick Rory, Heat Wave 2.0 who’s been with the Time Masters ever since they found him crawling around alone in the woods (and “strangling rats to survive,” as he puts it) after Leonard failed to kill him. At first, Mick plans to exact revenge by taking his ship to Central City, where he can kill Leonard’s sister Lisa over and over just for, well, the sadism of it.
But before he can go full Darth Mick, his ship picks up a signal: a time anomaly has occurred in 1960, where the Waverider made it after going into freefall while Rip rebooted Gideon, who Mick tampered with while leaving the ship with Leonard.
1960 is also where when Sara, Ray, and Kendra have ended up, but they’re no longer in Harmony Falls, where Vandal Savage is still hanging around. During those two years, the trio drove off to Hub City (hmm, no sign of The Question?), but a few weeks in, Ray’s optimism about their rescue drives Sara to realize they’re never going to picked up again by their friends. (After all, you shouldn’t be late if you have a time machine.) She heads off without telling the couple where she’s headed, while Ray and Kendra live as a couple in a large apartment with an abundance of board games and both get jobs at a local university, where Ray teaches a man whose son will be named Bill Gates (maybe it’s a different Bill Gates, Ray!) and Kendra works as a librarian.
During this time, Ray has been scavenging the future tech from his Atom suit to help build a beacon that would allow the Waverider to locate them if it were to ever return. But just as he’s ready to dispose of it on the day he planned to propose to Kendra, the Waverider appears and picks them up. Ray’s devastated — he loved being trapped in the late ’50s, what with his Eagle Scout sensibilities — but Kendra’s delighted. The pair argue about leaving behind their apartment and just how quickly Kendra adopted back modern clothing, as if the two years never existed, but with Rip intent on getting back on track, they prepare to leave.
The one catch? Sara, who Kendra realizes must have returned to Nanda Parbat, the one place she had felt at home before they went on their insane journey to stop Vandal Savage. Rip decides the team’s mission to go to Nanda Parbat and retrieve Sara won’t take much time at all, but of course, he has no idea Chronos is still tracking their every move.
But first: Hey look, it’s Matt Nable! Be honest: Did you like him as Ra’s his first time with the gig on Arrow? Because his guest turn on Legends of Tomorrow still didn’t feel impressive or imposing enough to capture the grit and violence of the League of Assassins. At least Arrow had this scene for him to work with:
Anyway, back to the matter at hand! Or rather, Leonard’s hand, which he sacrifices when he blasts a cold gun on it to free himself from Mick’s ship. Mick, off to pursue the rest of the team at Nanda Parbat, doesn’t know his kidnappee has escaped. Before either of them reach the shadowy organization’s headquarters, Rip carries out a simple, foolproof (to him, anyway) plan to rescue Sara: He’ll sneak into her bedroom, shake her awake, and bring her back on board the ship.
Naturally, the plan fails spectacularly. Sara, now a respected pupil of Ra’s al-Ghul who, because of “time drift,” has lost a sense of what she had been doing before she got left behind in the ’50s, has Rip and the rest of the “legends” gathered to be tortured and executed for trespassing. She still retains enough knowledge of her former team to make sure Stein and Jax are separated and Ray’s suit is taken, making her the best villain yet in this episode. (She’s not too concerned about Kendra, whose Hawk powers have since faded. Maybe Sara just innately knows that Kendra’s not up for a fight, at least not at that point?)
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In a last-ditch attempt to save himself and the others, Rip demands a trial by combat in a speech that’s nowhere near as epic as Tyrion Lannister’s but leads to a far more satisfying result: His champion, Kendra, manages to convince Ra’s al Ghul’s champion, Sara, to have mercy on the team. Remember: Sara had helped Kendra find her warrior, so naturally, Kendra can help Sara find her humanity! Or something like that. Mostly there was a lot of fun sword fighting and then Kendra figured out how to sprout wings again. Good going, “legends”!
NEXT: More like Chron-UH OHs
Before the team can congratulate themselves on a trial by combat well fought and peace well made, Mick enters in full Chronos mode, blasting every assassin out of the way and forcing Ra’s to free his prisoners and have them help him. Just as the “legends” prepare to kill Chronos, Leonard enters to stop them and reveals that Chronos is the definitely-not-dead Mick Rory.
With the League now safe and Sara hoping to leave, Ra’s willingly grants her permission to be released, and the team finally reunites on board the Waverider. Mick yells about the injustices committed against him, but Rip, brooding about the situation, realizes they can help turn the man reshaped by the Time Masters into their beloved hotheaded teammate again. Even better: Gideon manages to heal Leonard’s limb, because, well, technology rules on the Waverider. Kendra and Ray even get things going again after their fallout, because she admits she fell in love with him, and that was all she needed from what they had. And as for everyone’s mission? Rip reveals their last place to look is far in the future, in 2147, a “period of history in peril” where they can definitely locate Vandal Savage. Buckle up, “legends!”
Cheesiest Line of the Night: “I used to think the most beautiful thing on Earth was fire. Now I know it’s vengeance.” WOW. Welcome back, Mick!
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: Brandon Routh. For the angst. For the earnestness. For this image:
Team MVP: Leonard. Yeah, he really screwed up with the whole “Mick isn’t dead and is actually Chronos” thing, but you gotta give him a hand for tonight, right? Sorry.
Time for timey-wimey notes!
- I know it’s useless to wish this, but the whole “two years gone” idea for Kendra and Ray would have landed far better if they had begun that story in the last episode, and then went on this hiatus before airing tonight’s. Seeing their apartment slowly get furnished was a cool effect, but as much as the characters say that they created ties to 1960, all we saw was that they got a cool new wardrobe. Nothing else really changed. Maybe even a longer time jump would have been more effective, with more screen time.
- I was just wondering why no one did anything to cloak the appearance of the Waverider in 1960 when Mick-as-Chronos mentioned a UFO sighting from that year. I guess that’s one way to save money on VFX!
- Ray and Kendra had a “lucky water vase.” Somewhere and some-when, Carter continues to roll over in his grave.
- Hey look, it’s Talia al-Ghul! Hey look, Sara mentioned Nyssa, by telling Ra’s he’ll have another daughter! Hey look, she also mentioned Lian Yu! If you don’t watch Arrow, all of this is gobbledygook!
- “It’s a long story, pal.” Jax tells the truth.
- “Oh my God.” “There is no God.” MICK.
- “Rory is more than a criminal.” “He’s a good man.” “He’s a lost cause.” Man, the “legends” are starting to sound like the nuns in The Sound of Music. How do you solve a problem like Mick Rory?!
- Wentworth Miller’s nonchalant delivery of the line, “ow” during his hand regeneration scene was so glib. The perfect Captain Cold reaction.
- Oh, Arthur Darvill. For the umpteenth week in a row: When will they ever let you smile?!?!?!
Oh well, I guess Rip’s only mode when he’s not out fighting or pursuing Vandal Savage is… brooding. ‘Til next week, fellow non-legends!