All of time is at stake when Vandal Savage hatches his grand evil plan in the season finale

Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW

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?

Rip valiantly says goodbye to the team after they realize he’s gone to carry out his suicide mission. But as Rip approaches the sun, the Waverider starts to fall apart, and just as he’s about to enter it, he…sees his wife and son, the ones he failed to save after all this time. They hug, and the ship caves in around them.

Or…maybe not. After that vision/crossover to the afterlife/hallucination, Rip wakes to Gideon telling him she’s not ready to die. Instead, they’ll eject the meteor so it flies straight into the sun to be destroyed, and then they’ll use their final time jump to return to the rest of the team.

And so, Rip returns to gather the team together again and makes a new offer: Without the Time Masters, someone has to protect the timeline, and he figured his ragtag team with their low batting average should do the job with him. Just as in the pilot, he gives them some time to think it over, and each member goes about this in their own way. Sara visits Laurel’s grave in Star City with Quentin, talking about how proud Laurel would have been of the White Canary’s heroism and how even Quentin thinks Sara should keep going on her time-travel adventures. Stein and his wife play history trivia again, but when he says he’s not looking for another sabbatical, she invites in Jax and reveals that Jax told her all about their adventures. She tells him to go risk his life again. After all, her husband’s a superhero.

Finally, there’s Mick, whom Rip and Ray help bring to Central City in 2013, where Mick meets up with a slightly younger Leonard. Mick decides not to tell Leonard about what happens in the future, but touchingly offers his thoughts about his partner in crime: “You’re the best guy I ever knew. You may not think you’re a hero, but you’re a hero to me.” Aww.

When the group reunites in Star City 2016, they’ve all come to their decisions. The Hawkcouple decide that taking down Savage was all they needed to do, so they say their goodbyes (sorry, Ray) and literally fly off into the night. As for the rest — Mick, Sara, Jax, Stein, and Ray — they’re ready to board the Waverider and take off on their next time-travel adventure.

But first: a visitor! The group notices another Waverider approaching them, and out steps a man who asks if it’s May 2016 and then tells them not to get on their ship. “If you do, you’re all dead,” he says, adding that Mick told him to pass the message. So who is this mystery soothsayer? Mike Ross Rex Tyler, a.k.a. Hourman. And in Legends of Tomorrow, he’s a member of the Justice Society of America. Say it with me, folks: Ooooooooooooooh. JSA, you say? Bring it on, season 2.

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Cheesiest Line of the Night: “This is the craziest bad guy plan in the history of bad guy plans.” —Jax. You know, Savage’s ability to destroy time itself really puts the conflicts on Arrow and The Flash into perspective.

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: Franz Drameh. He got some great moments of levity tonight with his shock that Firestorm could transform material itself, but most of all, I just love this reaction from Drameh when the team learns about the entire Savage plot to use Thanagarian technology:

It’s exactly how I felt about the plan!

Team MVP: Kendra! Seriously — without her, the team wouldn’t have tracked down Savage again. And without her, they wouldn’t even have killed Savage. And after all that, she still had enough courage to say goodbye to the team and do it graciously, without shattering Ray’s definitely not atom-sized heart.

One final round of timey-wimey notes:

  • It’s a good thing Kendra has a good memory to go with her wings. I definitely did not remember a helmet like the one the soldier wore existed on the Waverider. Sending a message through time reverberations is smart, but how did Kendra know that would work?
  • So did Gideon or Rip somehow know that Norway in 1975 and Harmony Falls in 1958 would be significant in this final episode? Or maybe Gideon had detected some special reason beyond Savage’s presence that pointed the “legends” to those periods? Who knows? I’m just saying, the Oculus also showed the future before it was destroyed… Maybe this really is still just destiny working out for them.
  • I’m glad Kendra delivered the final blow and even more glad Rip got to gloat for just one second. Sure, he didn’t smile then, but he came full circle with destroying Savage and seeing his wife and son again.
  • This time, Caity Lotz gets to mourn the death of a Lance. Not that that’s a good thing; I’m just pointing it out because she knocked all of her post-finding-out-about-Laurel scenes out of the park:
  • “Oh my God, this is an intervention.” Stein may not get in on all the flashy action, but Victor Garber is a gem.
  • “Every time they do that, I get hungry for chicken.” Mick, they’re hawks! No frying hawks!
  • The JSA sounds like the perfect opportunity for more crossovers. For now, here’s hoping we see much more of this guy when the team comes back this fall:

And with that, the first season of Legends of Tomorrow is over. Liked the finale? Hated the finale? Kind of in the middle and would just like everyone to get along? Whatever your thoughts, feel free to tweet me at @shirklesxp, or leave them in the comments below. Until next time! Heh. Time.

Episode Recaps

Guest Starring John Noble

DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Led by White Canary, a band of superhero misfits defend the time stream with an assortment of wacky threats in the fourth Arrowverse series.

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