In the next set of episodes, the Legends have to start making decisions about what they want to be. Will they be heroes, saviors, assassins, or just people who seem incapable of not messing up history. This write-up cover episodes 10-12:
11: The Magnificent Eight
12: Last Refuge
After recovering the team, Rip takes them to the year 2147. It’s the last place he knows to look for Savage, but it’s also the time that Savage is at the height of his powers. Their plan is to take out Savage’s “son”. Honestly, I’m not really clear if he’s actually his legal/biological son or just a kid that Savage is taking care of. Either way, the kid is a dick. Not just when they meet him, but in the future as well. They know that this kid will grow up to be like a future Hitler, as Rip describes him. The general conflict in the video is the Minority Report dilemma of whether or not they should kill this kid in order to prevent him from ruining the future and preventing the death of Rip’s family. On one side, we have the more pragmatic/villainous characters of Snart and Sarah who are willing to do evil for the greater good. On the other side, we have characters like Firestorm (I’m just going to refer to Dr. Stein and Jax as one person here) and Ray, who are very opposed to killing a child for something they haven’t done yet. They kidnap the child before Rip steals him away to kill the kid by himself but, in the end, he can’t do it. Rip lets the kid go, choosing the heroic choice over the practical one.
While all of this is going on, Ray goes through his own personal dilemma after seeing that future versions of his ATOM suit would be used by Savage’s forces. He also finds out that he had a kid that he didn’t know about. He blames himself for creating the technology that would be used for evil and for not being there to raise his kid. Eventually, he finds out that all of this stuff is actually the fault of a relative of his, but not before he spends the entire episode in a funk. Kendra notices and it opens the door to them discussing some relationship doubts that both of them are having.
The other issue in the episode is what to do with Mick. Throughout the episode different people come in to talk to him while their debating what to do with the boy. It’s not lost on the crew that the idea of rehabilitating Mick is analogous to believing that the boy has a chance to not become evil. In the end, Snart is the last one who comes to speak to him. The two old friends and former partners come to an agreement, they’re going to punch their problems out. The two fight it out and end up leaving each other beaten on the floor, but it does start a dialogue between them. After the fight, Mick tells them that his failure to kill them will cause the Time Masters will send a more dangerous assassin after them (and him). This assassin is known as “The Pilgrim”.
In order to hide from the Pilgrim, Rip takes the team back to the Wild West: Salvation, Texas 1978. He believes that the Time Masters won’t be able to follow them there because of timey-wimey reasons. He doesn’t want to leave the ship, but sends the rest of the team out to stretch their legs. He foolishly believes that the team will be able to hide among the townspeople without wrecking anything. That lasts for about 30 minutes, until they get into a bar room brawl. The brawl was started when Snart kills a guy to protect the naive Dr. Stein. The commotion gets the attention of a man named Jonah Hex , who knows they’re time travelers. Jonah’s met Rip before. If you couldn’t already guess from his attire, Rip spent a bit of time in the Wild West. He became addicted to being a hero there, but he couldn’t be a hero and continue his work as a Time Master. So, he left the Wild West, knowing that a town called Calvert was about to be destroyed.
During this episode, Kendra also meets one of her past incarnations, who’s now an old woman. They talk about a few things but, the most pressing is the idea that Kendra can’t have a relationship with anyone who’s not Connor. If she does, that relationship is bound to end in disaster because she and Connor are fated to be together. Kendra doesn’t want to believe her, but her memories of her past lives with Connor are starting to resurface. When she tells Ray about it, she says that it feels, to her, like she’s cheating on Connor with Ray. Even so, with Connor no longer in the picture, they press on with their relationship.
With their weapons and knowledge, the Legends find themselves in a similar position. They can help the people of the town fight against bandits and disease. However, as Jonah points out, these aren’t permanent solutions and, in some cases they could make things worse if they don’t deal with the bandits permanently. The Legends decide that, to them, it’s more important to help people than to follow the rules. So, Rip comes out of hiding and helps them dispose of the bandits. After a showdown with some bandits, the town is freed from present day tyranny. However, the Legends are immediately beset upon by agents of the Time Masters. They are forced to break out their powers to defend themselves and are able to beat the assassins. Before they die, one of the assassins tells Mick that the time masters have issued “Omega Protocols” on all of them and have sent someone called the Pilgrim after them. According to Rip and Mick, the Pilgrim is a temporal bounty hunter that specialize in killing people by killing their younger selves.
The Legends start a race to stop the Pilgrim from killing their younger selves. They start by saving younger versions of Mick and Sarah and locking them in ship for protection. They lose track of her for a little while before she attacks Ray in the past, sending him into shock in the present. Rip and Firestorm are able to go to the past and save him, but just barely. Rip figures that the best way to keep them safe from the Pilgrim is to go back in time and abduct all of themselves as babies. The only two people immune to the Pilgrim’s tactics are Kendra (because of reincarnation) and Rip (because of his role as a Time Master). This “convenience” for Rip leads Snart to continually point out how little they know about Rip’s past. That changes when Rip takes the babies to the “Refuge”.
Before Ray was attacked, he was prepared to finally pop the question to Kendra. After he recovers from the attack on his past self, she finds the ring on the ground, and he finally proposes. Kendra says yes, but immediately has second thoughts about it. She briefly talks to Sarah about her uncertainty and Ray overhears them. While the team is at the Refuge, they finally get a chance to talk about what’s happening. Kendra explains to Ray that a former version (the one from back in the old west) had warned her that any relationship with someone besides Carter.
The Refuge is the place where Rip was raised by his adoptive mother. The Time Masters make a practice of taking orphans from throughout time to raise into future Time Masters. The Legends leave their younger selves with Rip’s mother as they head out to take care of the Pilgrim. Before they can find her, she contacts the team telling them that she will start targeting their loved ones instead of them. She proves her intention by showing that she’d taken Jax’s father. In exchange for his team’s loved ones, Rip offers to give the Pilgrim his younger self. What no one other than Rip knows, is that his younger self is a ne’er-do-well who would kill the Pilgrim before he let her hurt him. As the Pilgrim’s attention is focused on the Legends, young Rip sneaks up on her and stabs her.
With the Pilgrim defeated, the Legends each tend to the family members that were put in danger by the Pilgrim. They give some of them memory erasing pills, but others are given some new information. Mick tells his younger self that what happened with their parents isn’t his fault and tries to urge him to become a better person and Jax warns his father about his imminent death. Dr. Stein comes to find that his wife doesn’t have any memory of him. Rip recognizes this as a sign that the Legends (and their younger selves) have been removed from the timeline for too long. That means that they don’t have any more time to waste. If they are going to stop Vandal Savage, it means that they have to go to the one place they know he is: the future, when he’s at the height of his powers.
- The fight between Snart and Mick was an absolutely ridiculous way to get Mick back with the team. Sure, he went through lifetimes of torment after Snart left him for dead, but one good round of punching is enough to make him forgive Snart for it? I get that we don’t have a on of time for things on this show, but this couldn’t have felt more rushed.
- When Rip admits that he left, knowing that the town would be destroyed, Jonah Hex immediately punches him the face. This was a great scene where we got to see how Rip really struggled with the sense of duty vs being a hero.
- The saloon scene in episode 11 is a lot of fun and full of a ton of genre references.
- In episode 11, Dr. Stein uses modern medicine to save a young boy. That boy turns out to be H.G. Wells.
- The Pilgrim has an ability called “Temporal micro manipulation”, which lets her control time in a nearby space.
- While going back in time to get the baby Legends, Dr. Stein runs across Jax’s father and arranges for him to meet him.
- Rip’s given name is Michael.
- Before the Legends leave the Refuge, Mick confronts his younger self and warns him not to burn the place down while they’re gone.
- Episode 12 features a guest appearance by Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne)
Well, this was quite a swing of 3 episodes. They had the common thread of the Pilgrim tying them together, but that was about it. More than anything, the end result of these episodes is uniting the team and streamlining their focus on finally dealing with Vandal Savage.
The other major through line in this episode (and really over half the season), is Kendra and Ray still doing this on-off thing with their relationship. I suppose that it wouldn’t feel so redundant if I was watching in real time. Watching episodes back-to-back really amplifies the fact that their relationship seems to go through some pretty drastic ups and downs every, single week. At least they’re managing to continue to trend in a positive direction. That being said, I feel like this is just going to end in heartbreak. It just makes me wonder, “what’s the point of having them push forward with this doomed relationship when they both have such strong doubts?”
Episode 10 dealt mostly with the idea of rehabilitating Mick. There was also the idea of establishing how far our heroes would or wouldn’t go to accomplish their goals, but I don’t think that was ever really in doubt. I would’ve stood on my chair an applauded if Rip had actually killed that kid because it would’ve been completely unpredictable and a turn for his character. As it was, there was nothing that’s happened on this show that would make me believe that even the “worst” characters in that group would take out a kid.
Episode 11 was probably the most fun out of this group of episodes. Really, it was probably the most fun episodes of the season. It was also a bit of swing from the previous week because it focused so much on the Legends wanting to be heroes. One week they’re considering murdering a child, the next week they can’t turn their back on anyone who needs help. Again, maybe not so obvious if the episodes are spaced out over 7+ days. Even so, I enjoyed the romp into the old west and the revelation that Rip had actually gotten himself stuck in the past.
Episode 12 finally revealed this boogey-man character that had been alluded to in previous episodes. While the idea of the Pilgrim was interesting and, indeed a frightening proposition she was still dispatched fairly easily. Mostly because the cast has plot armor that allowed them to easily predict her movements throughout all of space and time. At least, with her out of the way, the Time Masters aren’t an imminent threat.
It was also interesting that, in episode 12, we see that Rip was willing to kill as a child. After episode 10 made such a big deal out of him being a “good guy”, the past two episodes seemed to almost go back on it. In the old west, he let an entire town die and in this episode he killed freely. From the standpoint of his character, it almost seems like these episodes should’ve run in reverse order.
I also found it strange that the rules on interfering with time seem to be getting very lax. Jax tells his father about his own death and the Legends have a full on future-tech fight in the old west. In both instances, Rip doesn’t really seem all too concerned about the repercussions of any of these actions. It seems like messing with time is oinly going to be an issue when it’s needed to move the characters from one point in time to another.
For the time being, it seems like the show and the Legends have their eyes firmly focused on Savage. With a handful of episodes left, it will be interesting to see if they actually spend the rest of the entire season trying to bring him down or if there’s another issue at hand.