We gave up on doing episode-by-episode write-ups of this show after episode 7. Honestly, it was unclear if this show was going to get it’s act together and stop just fumbling through a bunch of overly convenient set-ups, let alone get another season. Even so, here’s some thoughts on the back half of season 1. This covers episodes 13-16:
14: River of Time
The Legends head to the year 2166, where Savage is at his most powerful. It’s also a few days before Savage kills Rip’s family. When they arrive, they find one of Savage’s henchmen is wearing one of the relics that can be used to kill Savage, a bracelet that belonged to Kendra. Rip sends Snart and Mick to steal the bracelet and leaves Sarah on the ship with Kendra to prepare while he, Ray and Firestorm meet up with the remaining rebellion fighters who are opposing Savage. Things get a little more interesting for the team, when Mick and Snart return to the Waverider with the bracelet and Savage’s daughter, Cassandra (Jessica Sipos), who was wearing it.
When Savage finds out his daughter has been kidnapped, he sends his big guns. Literally, a giant robot that seems to be based on Ray’s ATOM technology. The robot attacks the ship, and knocks them out of the sky. Conveniently, Stein is injured in the crash, which takes Firestorm out of the equation. While the ship is down, Snart takes Cassandra on a tour of her father’s handiwork. The grand finale is a video of her father ordering the release of the Armageddon virus that killed millions of people, including Cassandra’s mother. It’s enough to convince her to help the Legends take her father down.
Ray makes some modifications to the suit to allow him to become gigantic so that he can take on Savage’s giant robot. Meanwhile, Cassandra leads the rest of the team (minus Firestorm) to Savage. Using Carter’s mace, coated in the metal of the bracelet, Kendra tries to take out Savage on her own. She’s quickly able to gain the upper hand on him and is about to strike the final blow when a soldier interrupts them. When Kendra knocks the mask off of the soldier, she discovers it’s Carter. Savage had discovered Carter un-awakened and locked his mind away so that he would never know who he is. Kendra can’t kill Savage if it means locking Carter’s mind away, so Rip takes him back to the Waverider.
After examining the remains of Savage’s robot, the Legends discover that the technology inside the robot is actually from the future. That means that Savage has learned how to travel through time. It also means that he has committed the same kind of crime that the Time Masters are meant to stop. When he questions Savage to confirm this, Savage tells Rip that it was Rip himself who’s constant interference in his life opened his eyes to the possibility of time travel. Realizing that they have a possible way to get the Time Masters to undo everything that Savage has done, Rip pushes the ship past it’s limits to try to get to the “Vanishing Point”, the point in time where the Time Master’s reside. When the ship breaks down, Rip puts Jax in danger to try to fix it and he ends up getting caught in an explosion that causes his body to start aging rapidly. Rip’s behavior raises questions between Rip and Sarah about whether or not Rip values his family’s lives over his crew’s.
This questioning is all part of mind games that are being played by Savage. He also drives a wedge between Kendra and Ray by pointing out to Ray that he will always fall behind Carter. Ray knows it’s a trick but he sees Kendra reciting her vow of love to Carter. It’s too much for Ray and he ends things with Kendra. Snart and Mick are also ready to end their participation with the team because they feel like not killing Savage is putting them all in danger. Unfortunately, for them Stein figures out that he can cure Jax’s radiation poisoning by using the ship’s escape pod to send him back to 2016. Even more unfortunate for everyone, Ray decides to go take his aggression out on Savage. Savage baits Ray into beating on him, turns the tables on him, and escapes.
Savage disables Gideon and frees Carter, leaving the Legends scrambling to make their way to the Vanishing Point with no navigation. Savage and Carter are able to gain the upper hand on the Legends. Rip goes to face Savage on his own, not wanting anyone else to be hurt but that just ends with him getting shot. When Savage tries to kill Kendra, Carter’s mind unlocks and he attacks Savage. Savage ends up stabbing Carter, but Kendra is able to put him down. Sarah, who Rip left in charge of the ship, is able to pilot them to the Vanishing Point, where he presents Vandal Savage to the Time Masters. However, when Rip presents the evidence of what Savage has done, the Time Masters free him and arrest Rip. The Time Masters have known about Savage all along.
The Time Masters send troops in to capture the rest of the team, but Snart senses something’s off and hides with Sarah. Mick is taken to be put back through the conditioning that turned him into Chronos. Kendra and Carter are given to Savage, who takes them back to 2166, where he kills Rip’s family. After being sent through time, Jax finds himself working with the older version of Dr. Stein back in 2016 in order to try to get back to his friends.
When Rip speaks to the leader of the Time Masters he is told that they have left Savage in charge of the Earth in order to protect it. Apparently, 10 years after Savage takes over the Earth it is attacked by Thanigarians. Under Savage’s leadership, the Earth is able to fight back. Without him, all projections show that the Earth will be destroyed. They also reveal to Rip their most powerful device, the Oculus. Using the Oculus, the Time Masters have been giving Savage the ability to move through time. They have also been using the Oculus to manipulate Rip’s actions through time, causing their actions to fit into history as required. It’s also why the Time Masters ordered Vandal Savage to kill Rip’s family, to set him on this path of vengeance.
Sarah and Snart launch a two-pronged attack to rescue their friends. Snart frees everyone from the cells while Sarah fires on the Time Master’s base. The Time Master’s try to use Chronos to stop them, but Mick reveals that the conditioning didn’t take. He turns on them, which allows the Legends to escape. Back on the Waverider, they decide that the next thing they need to do is to destroy the Oculus in order to stop the Time Master’s from controlling them.
The Legends head to the Oculus, which looks oddly like something that belongs at Disney. They find themselves walking right into a trap. Fortunately, Jax shows up just in time to open fire on the Time Masters. With the team (minus Kendra and Carter) reassembled, they set to work trying to destroy the Oculus. When Ray starts to work on the Oculus, he discovers that someone has to stay with the Oculus in order to trigger the self destruction sequence. Rip warns Ray that he was shown a vision of Ray dying here. In order to save Ray, Mick knocks him out and convinces Rip to take him back to the ship. Snart then knocks Mick out and has Sarah take him back to the ship. Snart ends up sacrificing himself in order to destroy the Time Master’s ability to control them.
With the timeline unclear and Kendra and Carter in Savage’s possession, Rip decides that it’s best to leave the team back in 2016. However, all of the Legends feel like they have unfinished business. After a brief stint back in their own timeline they manage to contact Rip and insist that he take them with him to finish the job. The one exception being Sarah, who returned to find out that her sister was killed by Damien Darhk. After touching the Oculus, Rip knew about Laurel’s death. He also knew that trying to prevent it would result in not only Laurel’s death, but Sarah and her father’s as well.
Meanwhile, Savage has taken the Hawk people to 1944 France, where he hopes to recover the Thanigarian technology that was inside the meteors that gave them their powers. His plan is to use their blood to activate the technology and erase time back to 1700 BC so that he can live as a god. Kendra is able to escape long enough to plant a message that the Legends can find. The Legends follow the message, but they are only able to save Carter before they are forced to retreat. With Carter’s intel, Stein is able to figure out Savage’s plan. Savage is able to travel back into time in order to visit himself at 3 different time periods. His plan is to create 3 different major explosions with the meteorites that will mess up time so much that it resets. So, the Legends are left with the simple task of splitting up into 3 different groups to kill Savage 3 different times.
The legends revisit the sites of 2 of their past run-ins with Savage and the fighting begins. With Stein also having decoded how to disable Savage’s immortality, the Legends are actually able to dispatch him. Rory burns one version of Savage, while Sarah snaps another one’s neck. Kendra and Rip team up to strike the killing blow on the final version of Savage. That still leaves the issue of the exploding meteorites. Ray shrinks one. Firestorm is able to transmute another one, a skill he just discovered that he had earlier in the episode. However, neither of their tricks works on the final meteorite, which is too far along its detonation process. Rip makes the decision to take the meteor onto the Waverider and fly it into the sun, and himself along with it. Before they’re burned to death, Gideon and Rip figure out that they can time jump away after ejecting the meteor.
With Savage dead and the Earth saved (multiple times), Rip offers to return everyone to 2016. However, with the Time Masters powerless, Rip has decided to take it upon himself to continue to safeguard time in their stead. He extends an offer to join him to all members of the team. After several members of the team take some time to say some goodbye’s and tie up loose ends, they all return to the ship to head out. However, Kendra and Carter reveal that they’re not going to be joining. Instead, they want to try to live a life without Savage. Just as the remaining Legends are about to head to the Waverider, another Waverider appears and crashes into the ground. Rex Tyler aka Hourman (Patrick J. Adams), a member of the Justice Society of America, emerges from the ship and says that Mick sent him with a message warning them not to get on the ship.
- In Episode 13, Rip reveals to Ray that he had already tried to come to 2166 many times to try to save his family before he accepted that time wanted his family dead.
- “So, I am going to take on an immortal madman and you’re fighting a giant robot. I can’t believe this is our life.” – Kendra to Ray
- When the Waverider breaks down, Snart relates their current situation to a job they had done in the past, in Alexa, that he had a bad feeling about.
- In episode 14, Ray has a flashback to when he said goodbye to Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) before heading off with the Legends.
- “Leonard Snart, robber of ATMs” is a wonderful title and I believe Snart should always be referred to that way.
- Rip reveals the way that he escaped Savage’s prison back in the past. He bribed the guard with a novelty pen.
- Snart actually reveals to Sarah that he’s a little sweet on her, too bad he didn’t do it sooner.
- The show brings up the alien world Thanigar. Traditionally, the Hawkgirl and Hawkman are actually from that planet but, in this version, the planet is just the source of the materials that gave them their weird powers.
- After the Oculus is destroyed, Gideon no longer has access to the timeline. She can only read history from different times.
- At the beginning of episode 16, Rip mentions that he’s heading to the Refuge to return the younger versions of the Legends back to their timelines. I was kind of wondering if they forgot about that detail up to that point.
I’ll at least give the show credit for coming up with an ending arc that I wasn’t expecting. The trope of the Legends being under someone else’s control might not have been the most original idea, but the idea of controlling them through a time manipulating device felt like something out of Doctor Who. Even with the unexpected element, things didn’t turn out much different than I expected. Snart’s death was a little surprising but, much like with Connor, I’d be surprised if he ends up staying dead. Otherwise, everyone pretty much got their happily ever after. At the very least, for characters like Rip, they got to find some sense of peace.
I do think that this last set of episodes started to figure out some of the show’s issues with managing the larger cast. Of course, killing characters off is one way to deal with it but I’m referring to the fact that these episodes allowed the entire cast to work together more frequently instead of being constantly broken up into teams of two or three.
Overall, Legends has proven itself to be a very light compliment to the existing slate of DC television shows. It’s nowhere near the worst thing on TV, but it’s also not nearly as compelling as its siblings. Other DC/CW shows have had weak starts only to bolster themselves in later seasons. We can always hope that the same happens for Legends, but I don’t see myself tuning in every week to find out.