I wasn’t totally convinced last week’s show needed to be stretched into a two-part installment, but tonight’s conclusion was a strong follow-up that suggested switching up the usual formula isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Heat Wave, Ray and Professor Stein were in the Russian gulag while Valentina Vostok attempted to finalize the equation to create an army of Firestorms. The complete randomness of Cisco making an appearance via a Stein hallucination was a fun touch that served as a reminder that with Legends no character cameo is off the table.
Since he’s gotten a lot of time bonding with Captain Cold, Ray spent most of the episode being a Gulag punching bag in a weird attempt to gain Rory’s respect. I understand Ray is the shining light, pure throwback hero, but he came across pretty goofy trying to make pals in prison. Ray doesn’t have to be Green Arrow all of a sudden, but toning down his exuberance would go a long way for a character who too often is the writers’ punching bag for comedic moments.
The future being overrun by an army of Firestorms seemed far-fetched. Is it too much to expect that scientists who can create Firestorm armies can’t in turn come up with souped-up fire retardant weapons or hi-tech water guns to stop them? Cue my weekly plug for evolving Firestorm’s power to transmutation, which would be a far deadlier global threat.
Rip didn’t want to risk Kendra getting killed by Savage or Jax getting caught allowing the Russians to have both halves of Firestorm. I’m appreciating that Rip doesn’t always have the best plan and his strategies oftentimes need a lot of work. He’s not used to working with a team so it makes sense he’s not a brilliant tactician in maneuvering his forces.
Jax pulling the Looper trick to send a message to Stein by carving We’re Coming on his arm seemed extreme, especially when Hold On would be shorter. Does Rip’s ship have a device to heal that kind of scarring?
Rip does opt to send Snart and White Canary to rescue the others with Sara getting the added objective to kill Stein to save the future if rescue isn’t an option. Granted, he could have just as easily done that last week, but that’s in the past. No pun intended. In a fun nod to Wentworth Miller’s previous big role, Snart gets a cute line about there not being a prison he couldn’t break out of in reference to Prison Break.
Surprisingly, it’s Snart who exhibits the most loyalty even if it’s mostly focused on Rory, but he reminds Sara that Stein is part of the team and she’s not a killer anymore. This is the version of Captain Cold I’d wanted to see on The Flash. They’ve been great on Legends, but I’m kinda hoping Snart and Rory return to The Flash and add a few more Rogues to become Season 3’s overarching threat.
In the end, Rip realizes the team has to stand together and he can’t keep beating himself up over Carter’s death. Still, it was odd that when Kendra and Rip had Vandal Savage dead to rights, Rip had her continue setting charges to blow up the base instead of killing Savage right then and there. We know the series main villain can’t get killed in Episode 5, but the writers need to avoid those direct confrontations with Kendra and Savage in the future.
Vostok momentarily bonded with Stein to become Firestorm and preceded to use the power to throw fireballs and punch people. Jax arrived in time to help spring Stein and reclaim their Firestorm bond with both parties having a greater appreciation for the other.
The final sequence was exactly what I’m hoping to see more of from the show. Chronos, the galaxy’s most ineffective and easily avoided bounty hunter, attacks the crew in hyperspace and knocks them out of the time stream. The team emerges in a war torn Star City in 2046 and Sara is ecstatic to see Green Arrow. But this is not the Oliver Queen version and instead it’s a black man (Diggle’s son?) now filling out the familiar archer attire. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this plays out next week.