This review contains spoilers
In this episode, Rip Hunter and Sara Lance try to damage Vandal Savage’s wealth while Ray Palmer and Martin Stein try to save Hawkgirl.
Previously on Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, Sara Lance was resurrected by the Lazarus Pit which left her with an intense desire to kill called the blood lust. Ray Palmer told Felicity that he wanted to become the Atom because one of Deathstroke’s soldiers killed his wife during the Siege. It was revealed that the father of Captain Cold and Golden Glider, Lewis Snart, was also a criminal and abused the two children. Vandal Savage murdered the wife and child of Rip Hunter which is why he formed the team to stop Savage from taking over the future. However, when the team attacked Savage in 1975, Hawkman was killed and Hawkgirl was severely injured.
The episode begins in Egypt in the year 1700 B.C. where Rip Hunter attempts to kill Savage.
In 1975, Hawkgirl’s condition is getting worse. Rip explains to the team that pieces of the dagger Savage stabbed her with broke off inside her and are slowly moving towards her heart. It is also discovered that the jump ship, a smaller vessel inside the Waverider, has been damaged so Rip asks Jax to repair it.
Sara decides to be the smart one due to everyone else acting like a moron and suggests to Rip that instead of trying to kill Savage, they should take away his fortune. A lack of resources would set him back several decades.
Sara is the best part of the episode. She is the only one actually thinking and formulating intelligent plans to stop Savage and I love her train of thought. Her quote from Ra’s is actually very consistent with what we saw in season three of Arrow when Ra’s took everything from Oliver in order to break him.
Ray Palmer decides to use the Atom suit to go inside Hawkgirl’s bloodstream and destroy the dagger fragments while Sara and Rip find out where Savage keeps his money. They find out that the money is being held by Brumberg Bank which is the oldest bank in the world. However, Rip wants to go on the mission alone without backup. Sara disagrees with this and decides to go with him but Hunter refuses to let Captain Cold and Heatwave go.
This makes no sense. The plan is to steal money. That is the purpose of having these two on the team and when an opportunity arises to use their skills, Rip puts them on the bench. That makes no sense.
The Atom is unable to destroy all of the fragments in Kendra’s blood and has to eject out while Sara and Rip arrive at the bank looking especially fly. They meet with the bank to infiltrate and figure where Savage’s money is. The only thing they can find in their computers is something called “the vessel.” Before Rip can learn more, Sara points out that she observed various threats in the bank and that everyone is coming to kill them. Again, Sara proves that she appears to be the only intelligent person on the show. While these skills of observation were never displayed on Arrow, she is still really bad ass. A fun fight breaks out which leads to Sara’s blood lust getting a little out of control but they are able to get the lead banker. Rip questions Sara and she tells him about the blood lust which he was unaware of.
I have a couple of different problems with this scene. The first is that it directly contradicts information revealed on Arrow literally the night before. Malcolm Merlyn told Oliver Queen that Sara will not suffer the consequences of the blood lust because Constantine made her whole and restored the balance. Sara suffering from blood lust directly goes against everything we are being told about it on Arrow and that is frustrating. The three shows in this continuity are incredibly inconsistent with each other and never follow the same rules. While Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger are wildly different movies, they never contradict each other. They have their own tones but build off each other as well as the Marvel films before them. This is just a poorly put together universe. Secondly, it is boring to watch Sara feeling sorry for herself again. Her main development in season two of Arrow was the transition from monster to hero in her own mind. This is a bad habit of these writers. When they run out of story for a character, they simply regress the character and have them go through the same arc again. It’s not interesting in the slightest because Sara should have already dealt with these issues.
Captain Cold and Heatwave convince Jax to take them to Central City so they can steal an emerald while Ray feels sorry for himself about his failure to save Hawkgirl.
Sara and Rip interrogate Mr. Blake, the lead banker, where he reveals that he knows Rip. He has become a legend among Savage’s followers after his failed attempt to kill Savage in Ancient Egypt. Rip also feels sorry for himself about his failure because the only thing the characters of this universe can do well is bitch and moan about themselves. Mr. Blake reveals that “the vessel” is the remains of Hawkman and tells the two where they can find his body.
Captain Cold and Heatwave steal the emerald and the former reveals that he wanted to steal it so that he could give it to his father. Lewis Snart went to jail for attempting to steal the item which led to him becoming a much darker man. He didn’t start to abuse his children until after his days in prison.
Martin Stein strokes Ray’s ego until he feels good enough about himself to save Hawkgirl. Captain Cold has a sweet scene with his younger self before giving his father the emerald. Sara and Rip infiltrate Savage’s followers where they find Hawkman’s body with Savage, Blake and the other followers waiting for them. The Atom is able to save Hawkgirl while Savage explains what they are doing with the body. Savage gives the blood of Hawkman to his followers which elongates their lives by about 100 years. Creating a cult around Savage is sufficiently creepy and also makes him an even bigger threat.
The rest of the team converges to save Rip and Sara. A fight naturally breaks out and Captain Cold and Heatwave are able to retrieve Hawkman’s body. Rip slits Savage’s throat but stupidly reveals the names of his wife and child to Savage. This presents an interesting idea that I will talk about later with Captain Cold. The big problem is that Rip just leaves Savage’s body. He could have easily taken Savage, with his throat slit, onto the Waverider and had Hawkgirl stab him in the face.
Captain Cold sees that his father was still arrested and the future is unchanged by his actions. This is the interesting idea I mentioned above. I think the writers are suggesting that we are in a similar situation to the Terminator series. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, it is revealed that the future is caused by the intervention of Kyle Reese and the T-800 in 1984. If they hadn’t traveled to the past, the future could not happen. It is a cyclical paradox. I really like the idea that Rip’s attempts to save the future is what caused it and this is supported by Captain Cold being the cause of both his own personality and his father’s eventual descent.
The group has a funeral for Hawkman which isn’t remotely emotional because he is going to be reincarnated so it doesn’t really matter. The episode ends with Gideon finding that Savage’s next known location is in the 1980s even though they could have easily ended him in 1975.
This is the best episode so far but that isn’t saying much. The characters are still making insanely stupid decision just to keep the show going longer even though there are obvious ways to complete the missions in an easier manner than what they are attempting. The characters still are not that likable for the most part and it doesn’t even try to be consistent with Arrow or The Flash. That being said, Sara actually shows some intelligence and is able to make a really good plan that unfortunately doesn’t really go anywhere. There is some fun action, an interesting idea that I hope is explored and a couple of the emotional beats work. While the episode itself isn’t too bad, the weakness of the premise and these characters hurt it severely.