Contributing editor Trent Moore tackles the latest happenings aboard the Waverider, and at the Vanishing Point. Spoilers ahead for “Destiny,” the latest episode of The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow!
The short version: The team finally realizes the Time Masters have been pulling all the strings, helping orchestrate Vandal Savage’s rise to power so humanity can eventually survive an alien invasion a bit further in the future. So Rip and the gang decide to battle fate itself, blowing up the Oculus McGuffin the Time Masters have been using to manipulate events. But, to pull it off, someone had to stay behind.
R.I.P. Leonard Snart, you died a hero (and will definitely be back)
In a move to be sure they fight the fate being predicted by the Time Masters, Rory knocks out Ray and takes his place in destroying the Oculus, in a move designed to ensure Ray doesn’t die (thus proving the fate designed by the Time Masters to be wrong). But, just as it seems Rory is being set up to make a grand gesture, Snart knocks him out and takes his place … and blows up. It was a shocking moment, especially since it meant axing a legit fan favorite in Wentworth Miller. But story-wise, it was a fantastic ending to his arc from villain to hero. Captain Cold literally helped save the world (and even managed to steal that kiss from the White Canary).
So does this mean Snart really is gone? Nah, not quite. As Snart seemingly bit the bullet on Legends, Deadline broke the story that Miller has signed a new contract to continue recurring across both The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow next season (since he’ll need some flexibility to also star in Fox’s Prison Break revival). Sadly, he will not be a regular cast member on either show, but he will apparently still have a key role in the universe. Producer Greg Berlanti tantalizingly noted Snart “won’t be part of the team of Legends on board of The Waverider next year,” though he will still have a “very active” role to play. So, yeah, don’t throw on your parka in mourning just yet.
Shifting the focus to the Time Masters was great, but should’ve come sooner
Pulling back the curtain to reveal the Time Masters were the ones really pulling the strings was a great bit of storytelling that managed to really up the stakes. The team isn’t just fighting an evil immortal bent on world domination, but the machinations of a time-meddling group literally working to ensure it will happen. This also helps explain away a bit of why Rip’s team has been so woefully ineffective in killing Savage this season (Blame the Time Masters!). Having them be the ones who manipulated the death of Rip’s family was also brutal.
Taking the battle to the Vanishing Point was a really fun change of pace, but the events just (once again) really seemed rushed. For a show that spent so much time in the first half of the season stringing stuff out into two-parters, you’d think they’d have saved some breathing room for the stories that really matter in the back half. Rip’s team managed to literally cripple this ultra-powerful group in the span of (essentially) one episode … while it took them two episodes to escape from Cold War-era Russia. C’mon, man. Though, the big faceoff where Jax flies in and saves the day against the Time Masters was absolutely breathtaking.
Savage still out there, and a hint at next season?
Savage was mostly sidelined this episode, flying off with Kendra and Carter in his own time ship to do … something? Though we do get a very exposition-heavy scene where the Time Masters tell him he’s pretty much on his own after Rip and the gang nuked the Oculus. Yes, the final faceoff with Savage should be epic, but it almost feels like a step down after seeing the team take out the Time Masters. Rory even says it himself in a way (Eh, he’ll do!), as the stakes are almost being taken back a notch. It just feels like an awkward narrative move.
The big twist about the Savage/Time Masters alliance also mentioned a name that should be familiar for comic fans: the Thanagarians, an alien race that will apparently attack Earth and be repelled by Savage’s forces in the future. As DC readers are likely aware, the hawk-like race of aliens from a planet that originates the Nth metal that gave Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Savage their powers. The aliens have often had a connection to Hawkman and Hawkgirl in the comics, and it seems the writers will follow that arc here. So might next season focus on a new team of heroes working to repel the alien attack, after Rip and the gang take out Savage (thus leaving the future mostly defenseless)? It’d certainly make sense and provide an opportunity to spin off a fresh story and focus while still being tied to the events of Season 1. What do you think?
Other good stuff: Having Jax work with pre-Legends Stein back in 2016 was a cool twist. Also: Did they literally just retcon a good reason for Stein drugging Jax in the pilot? That is friggin’ hilarious. Rory focusing on the team to keep from being brainwashed was also a sweet moment. His character growth has been all over the place, but that seems like a good place to bring him around.
Line of the night: “There are no strings on me.” -Snart
Up next: The season finale! Snart’s sacrifice means there’s literally no more timeline data, as the gang sets off to kill Savage once and for all.