Had Legends not cried wolf so often concerning character deaths tonight’s twist would have really been shocking. But with so many available cheating death options on the table it’s hard to see this third instance sticking. Especially since this time it temporarily killed off one of the show’s most enjoyable characters.
So for the moment, Snart is dead — sacrificing himself to let his teammates escape. Destiny was heavy on Star Wars references from Snart and Sara hiding New Hope style in the Waverider ‘smuggling bays’ to Snart and Sara’s Empire Strikes Back-esque kiss before his sacrifice. Sure the costumes haven’t changed, but Snart was rocking the blue jacket ala Han Solo and Sara was in an all-white outfit like Princess Leia. Or perhaps I’m reading too much into it?
The team was at their worst point. Stein was dying due to being separated from Jax, which was something that would have been nice to have mentioned before this episode so it didn’t seem like it happened for extra drama. Rory was being reprogrammed to resume his Chronos identity, but resisted thanks to focusing on his connection with the team.
But in the season’s big twist Zaman Druce reveals to Rip that the Time Masters have been engineering all of his actions — including having Savage kill his family — to set in motion events to save the distant future from a Thanagarian invasion thanks to an Oculus Device that lets them see across time. Time travel/choice vs. fate discussions can be tricky and the episode came close to getting overly complicated, but it recovered nicely. Random note: without his regular trench coat, Arthur Darvill looked much more the part of Rip Hunter. Darvill also had one of his stronger performances tonight as well. Rip was shaken by this revelation and was broken. His entire renegade mission was all part of a plan — one he was always destined to fail.
Ray finally was presented much more like the classic hero instead of the bumbling do-gooder stuck in a going nowhere romantic subplot with Kendra. When Rip and Stein gave in to despair it was Ray who refused to give up and despite Rip’s vision, he was willing to sacrifice himself for the team. The season has kind of underplayed Ray questioning his legacy with his death having so little impact. It could have taken him down some really interesting paths this season, but he was played more for laughs. This episode’s Ray was one I hope we see a lot more of next season.
After Snart and Sara helped free the team, they had to make a decision. Were they just stuck on destiny’s path or were they the ones that controlled their fate? Not surprisingly, the team rallied and decided to take out the Oculus.
It was surprising to see Jax return so quickly to reunite with the team and save them from Druce’s forces. In a cool time trippy moment, we watched five months ago as Rip first proposed the group help him stop Vandal Savage and Jax blow off Stein’s interest in signing up. Moments later, future Jax — with his aging side effects erased — immediately showed up asking Stein to help him get Back to the Future. If only Cisco popped up to make that very appropriate reference.
Vandal Savage took Kendra and Carter with him to 2166. Carter was ‘knocked out’ so he didn’t make an appearance this week. It was very odd that Savage felt the need to keep them around in the first place since his end goal has always been to kill them.
To destroy the Oculus, one of the team had to stay behind to trigger the device. Rip foresaw Ray sacrificing himself, but Rory knocked him out so he could take one for the team. As soon as he learned what his pal was doing, Snart (with Sara in tow) finally came to grips with what he’d been all season — the reluctant hero. Snart knocked out Rory and died, taking out the Oculus and crippling Savage’s advantage. Don’t worry, Snart won’t be gone for too long as he will be back on The Flash, Legends and potentially other DC shows.
Now with their destiny fully in their hands, the team prepares to defeat Vandal Savage once and for all. This final confrontation has been rough to get to at times, but it’s been built up well in the last 4 to 5 episodes. I’m very interested in seeing how this season finale plays out and optimistic it could actually be the season’s best one yet.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Strong character moments, a clear objective and actual real stakes helped make the penultimate episode a winner.
Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW