During this episode, we learn that Rip has always had problems keeping it in his pants.
Rip is spending his time mulling over data and old family movies, but has no way of getting new information about Savage. Because he’s a rogue Time Master, he has no way of connecting to their database and getting new information. Fortunately, he gets a distress call from a Time Master ship belonging to Eve Baxter. Getting to the ship would allow them to get the database update they need. The episode also reveals more of the back story behind Rip’s relationship with his late wife. They were in the academy when their relationship started. Since the Time Masters frown on relationship, having two of them involved is doubly bad. She ends up resigning her position in order to allow Rip to continue his career as a Time Master.
Rip takes Stein, Jax, and Rory to the ship to investigate the distress call, while leaving Ray in charge of the ship along with Kendra, Sara and Snart. When they get to this ship, they find that it’s been taken over by space pirates, who promptly take the boarding party hostage. Well, the entire boarding party except for Dr. Stein, whom seems to inexplicably keep getting himself separated from Jax, so that they can’t just turn into Firestorm and fix this type of situation. When the pirates call in to the ship, Rip uses his voice overrides to instruct Gideon to take countermeasures. With the entire team spouting Star Trek / Star Wars references, a brief space-dog-fight ensues. It ends when Stein disables the ship’s targeting mechanisms, but not before the Waverider is damaged and flees. Through an inconvenient series of events, Sara and Snart end up getting locked in a freezing chamber. In order to get them out, Ray has to take the ATOM suit out into space to fix the hull. After some shots that appeared to be an homage to the film Gravity, he fixes the ship while just barely avoiding asphyxiation. On the bright side, he and Kendra kind of have their first date.
The captured team members are thrown in the brig, where Rip and Eve reunite. After more flashbacks of Rip’s past and Eve and Rip being pissed at each other over Rip’s choices, Rory makes a move of his own. He agrees to get the pirates onto the ship so that he can be taken home. Rory’s been pouting the entire episode because Snart wouldn’t let him stay in the criminal wonderland of Star City 2046. Rory also gets his feeling hurt when Rip tells him that the only reason he brought him along is that he was a package deal with Snart. Rory leads the pirates back onto the ship, where they attempt to take it over. The pirates are no match for the other people on the ship and Stein manages to free the others, allowing Hunter to take care of the other pirates. In return for his help, Even gives Rip the information he needs to track Savage. Even though the threat has been dealt with, they can’t have Rory running around like a rabid dog and Snart takes him off the ship in order to put him down. The episode ends with Snart firing his cold gun at Rory, but there’s no confirmed kill.
There were lots of, “wait, what?” moments in this episode. For instance, the elderly Dr. Stein beating up a pirate all on his own or the Waverider having a safety feature that conveniently waited until Capt. Cold sealed the ship to lock he and Sara in a death trap. There was also the back story of Rory and Snart. The thing that was confusing is that it was almost the exact same scenario that Rory and Ray found themselves in while they were in Savage’s prison. However, in that situation Rory made it clear that he didn’t believe in helping people who were getting jumped in prison, so what made Snart any different? Of course, the biggest question to me is why we keep doing this dance where Jax and Stein don’t just become Firestorm to get themselves out of trouble. A perfect example of that was when Rip used them as bait to suck the space pirates out of the ship. I mean, they could’ve just transformed and taken them down on their own, without risking being sucked into space.
As a whole, the show continues to feel like one long string of contrived situations and overly convenient happenings. Most of the moments that should be fun, like Stein emerging in his “space ranger” get-up just end up feeling forced or out of continuity with what we’ve already seen. Because of that there’s just no solid foundation for the emotional scenes, which were actually pretty well done in this episode, to stand on top of. No amount of Sci-Fi references is going to fix that. In fact, it almost makes these kinds of references (which work in shows like The Flash) work against the show. For a couple of weeks, it felt like Legends of Tomorrow was getting away from these kinds of issues but that was clearly not the case. I have a feeling that Cold threatening to shoot Rory isn’t going to be the plot line that ends up helping fix or cover up these issues either.