What a sticky situation the gang finds themselves in this time! With Rip, Stein, Snart, and Jackson under attack by Chronos, they’re forced to give chase when he captures Captain Cold, unfortunately leaving the rest of their crew in 1958. That’s right, Ray, Kendra, and Sara must now become accustomed to their new routine with some taking it better than others. Ray and Kendra set up shop, following Ray’s “time beacon malfunctioning”, in the suburbs while Sara rejoins the League of Assassins for the second time, but prior to the first time she joined. (Time travel!) On a picnic date between Ray and Kendra, who are knee deep in a serious relationship, Palmer urges Hawkgirl to break the time beacon before he pops the question. His hopes are dashed, unfortunately, when the Waverider returns.
The Ray/Kendra romance continues to be present but doesn’t offer anything that really pops in the series. When this episode decides to lean more toward the melodramatic with their back and forth about whether they should remain in the time period and whether or not their relationship will hold, it’s a tad yawn-inducing. Don’t get me wrong, the two have some chemistry, but it feels a tad shoehorned in to check a box on a list of CW prerequisites. To be fair, this is a pairing that had never appeared in the comics before, or any other medium for that matter, so at least it offers up some originality in that it keeps you guessing, even if the result lands with a thud instead of a splash.
Rip and the reassembled team now attempt to bring Sara back on board, but unfortunately she had been once again indoctrinated under the thrall of Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins. White Canary rejoining the League makes some sense, but I feel as if it was a part of her past that she had been trying to escape. You could make the argument that she was using it as a way to get close to Ra’s in order to deliver the message she drops later on in the episode, only to have everything go awry, but it still was a tad head-scratching. Surely there must have been a more peaceful place for Sara to land but I digress. It at least gives us the opportunity to revisit the League and have an excuse to bring in the charming Matthew Nable back into the fold with his Ra’s al Ghul.
Back on the ship that Chronos swiped, with Captain Cold as Chronos’ prisoner, the bounty hunter reveals his true identity: Heat Wave! (Over 700 of you voted correctly in our poll!) This one really threw me for a loop and is one of the strongest parts of the show, their willingness to go bonkers with their plots and reveals. We’re shown that Snart never actually killed Mick in the past, because of course we never saw a body, and Rory was picked up by none other than the Time Masters themselves! Whisking him away to the Vanishing Point (a staple in DC Universe time traveling lore), Heat Wave is regenerated and trained over several lifetimes, eventually returning as the villain who has been a thorn in the team’s side since the very start of the series. To be honest, I thought Chronos would always just be a faceless goon, appearing here and there to move the plot along so throwing in the amazing twist that it was actually Heat Wave made for a welcome surprise, and a welcome return for Dominic Purcell to the cast.
With the team attempting to break into Nanda Parbat, the HQ of the League of Assassins, they muck things up and are captured. Rip decides to appeal to Ghul’s sense of tradition, offering Kendra as their representative for a trial by combat against none other than Sara Lance! As the two begin their death match, it is quickly interrupted by the blazing Chronos, blasting everything in his path. It’s here that we get one of the best action sequences of the series to date. To be fair, and as I’ve mentioned numerous times, it is certainly an overall weird cast of characters so when you get a story beat that allows all of their powers to be put on display, it looks fantastic. Each member from Hawkgirl to the Atom to Firestorm delivers some fantastic looking punches to the face of Chronos, spinning around him and working in unison with one another.
Back to Snart, in order to escape his bonds and reach the team, he freezes his own hand and shatters it against the ground to break free. OUCH! Once returning, the truth about Chronos is revealed and the team locks Rory in the brig, promising to try to undo what brainwashing the Time Masters had performed on him. To complete the win, Rip even reveals that the ship has the ability to regenerate body parts, creating a neat effect in giving Leonard his hand back. Wins all around! Sara even manages to slip a message to Ra’s about what to do with his yet to be born daughter Nyssa to put her on the right track. With everything wrapped up in a nice bow, Rip decides that its time to take the fight to Savage in the future year of 2147 as we smash to credits.
Another solid episode from the Legends of Tomorrow, but I long for the quality of the earlier episodes where personalities were more on display rather than melodrama. To be fair, the Chronos reveal was a huge plus, but the Ray and Kendra romance slowed things down a bit and Sara’s journey back to the League felt like a retread. The show is at its best when its providing the unexpected and throwing audiences a curveball and I hope there are plenty more surprises down the road of this first season.
Grade: ★★★ Good
Notes of Tomorrow:
-That Chronos reveal! Can’t overstate how cool that was.
-Okay so wait, how big is the explosion that’s created by Firestorm merging? Jackson is at one point worried it will blow up the ship and it manages to knock a heavy steel door across the room early on in the episode, but later on, the pair forms Firestorm right next to everyone and nothing happens.
-I think a real strength of The CW is that they are able to take all of these DC properties and create stories that are entirely new for the characters. Nearly everything in Legends is completely new territory with relationships being made and surprises being dropped that never happened in the comics. It’s some great stuff when they go into the deep end, they just need to do it more often.
-Little Talia al Ghul! As more and more Bat characters are introduced, I’m hoping one day WB lets some of the biggest toys out of the box.
-Not nearly enough was given for Ra’s to do here aside from stand around like a statue. Still, good to see him back into the mix if only for an episode.
-Sara: “I miss Netflix.”
-Stein: “Lucky water vase?”
-Rory: “I used to think the most beautiful thing in the world was fire, now I know….it’s vengeance.” (What a great line with great delivery)
-Rip: “Peace with the League of Assassins? That must be the first time that sentence has ever been uttered.”