With Vandal Savage captured and three more episodes left, you had to know we were going to be in for a fair amount of foolish and outright dumb behavior from our heroes this week. And with the main villain safely imprisoned, it was up to the Legends to once again be their own worst enemy to screw things up again.
River of Time dutifully continued the season’s trend. Since last week’s show, Leviathan, was one of the stronger outings this season, a letdown was expected. In fairness, most of the episode’s weak spots came from the team having to act silly to drag the Savage story along.
I’m starting to think some of the issues with the show isn’t Vandal Savage, but more Rip Hunter. For a Time Master, Rip is astonishingly slow and frequently makes boneheaded decisions that derail missions. It’d be one thing if he was portrayed so obsessed and consumed with saving his family to help explain away his poor strategy. That could be interesting and make Rip more relatable. Instead his decisions solely seem based around putting the team in another crazy scenario. Rip’s incompetence greatly undercuts his status as the guy who should know better as the only one experienced with time travel.
I’m not sure who I dislike more on the show between Rip, Kendra and Stein. At least Rip can be somewhat emotional and the writers clearly have no clue what to do with Kendra. But Stein is an arrogant hypocrite who scolds his team members for their reckless actions and clutches his pearls at the notion of killing Vandal Savage — like their actual mission — then sedates Jax so he can send him off via the escape pod back to 2016. That was a one way only trip so you’d think the least Stein could do was check to see if anyone else wanted to hitch a ride. Rory and Snart, who’d already made up their mind to leave, should have sedated Stein the old fashioned way.
For consecutive weeks, Savage actually came off like a credible main villain. Stuck in a prison cell, he resorted to mind games in an attempt to undermine the team’s trust, which led to the expected clueless decisions.
I’m not sure this episode provided the necessary setup to have the team wistfully thinking of those they left behind, but it was neat to see Felicity and Nyssa in brief cameos. Poor Ray got suckered into a fight with Savage, which didn’t end well allowing Savage to escape the cage and cause some temporary mischief.
The Rogues were easily the best part of the episode. Legends can’t survive without them, but I’d love to see Snart and Rory tangle with Flash again at some point.
Hardly shocking for anyone who’s been following the series, easily the worst part was the Kendra/Ray/Carter love triangle. Kendra has been so poorly developed and the writers took the weakest approach possible with regards to her reincarnations and eternal love bond to Carter. As a result, her relationship with Ray never felt like it had any depth or purpose besides giving both characters something to do. And with Carter remembering his past lives and back in the fold, Kendra looks like a real jerk for biding time with Ray and emotionally checking out of the relationship the second Carter returns. For all the talk of Kendra controlling her life, she did nothing but get dragged along from one relationship to the next.
Finally able to take Savage to The Vanishing Point, Rip is dumbfounded to learn what most astute viewers have long since realized. The Time Masters are in league with Savage. Why else did Rip think the Time Masters were so doggedly pursuing him to prevent him from stopping someone they should perceive as a threat. Oh, Rip. At least Snart had the foresight to hide once the Time Masters goons came aboard and with Sara with him, a rescue should be pretty easy.
Savage’s gloat to Rip was a good moment, but he immediately needs to explain why he’s not killing Carter and Kendra beyond the need to stretch out the story for two more episodes.