A tip-off to Vandal Savage's whereabouts leads the team to try going undercover as arms dealers in 1975 Norway. Things go south quickly and a piece of Ray Palmer's ATOM suit winds up in the wrong hands. To prevent a paradox will require the help of an unlikely source - Professor Martin Stein's younger self!
Meanwhile, Carter and Kendra discover that one of the weapons that can kill Vandal Savage has recently reappeared. As they try to remember the incantation needed to work the dagger's magic, Snart and Rory head out to steal it... with a suspicious Ray Palmer along for the ride.
The Hawkman comics of Geoff Johns (Carter and Kendra's odd relationship) and Back To The Future (the theme of accidentally causing a relationship not happen due to Time Travel, the fading effects used to show Martin Stein's wedding ring fading in and out of existence.)
Caity Lotz shines bright in this episode. She said in a recent interview that she was looking forward to playing a more hopeful, fun-loving Sara and it's clear that she's enjoying herself immensely. Indeed, her portrayal of the Canary here is probably the truest any actress has come to capturing Gail Simone's take on the character.
The scene where Ray Palmer and Len Snart bond while disabling a security system is a nice scene for both Brandon Routh and Wentworth Miller.
The fight scene at the arms deal equals - and in some ways surpasses - the famous long-shot fight scene from the first Avengers movie. The blending of special effects and fight choreography is flawless.
Sara's solo-fight scene vs. Savage's men in the lab is a nice bit of stunt work for Caity Lotz.
Trivia Of Tomorrow
When meeting his past self, Professor Stein uses the alias Elon Musk. Musk is a famous inventor, explorer and investor.
Martin Stein's younger self brags about being a five-time winner of The Carlin Award. This may be a nod to DC Comics longtime executive editor Mike Carlin.
Stein's line - "It's deja vu all over again." is a saying frequently attributed to Yogi Berra.
Rip Hunter explains that they cannot go back and change events in which they've already participated, saying that time would fold in on itself, creating a temporal vortex.
The Waverider has a special fabrication room that can fashion temporally-indigenous clothing.
Savage is selling a variable-yield nuclear warhead capable of producing a blast equivalent to one megaton of TNT.
The medical bay of The Waverider has a cryogenic storage facility for holding human remains.
Ray's ATOM suit shrinks because it is made of an alloy that mimics the intra-molecular compression of a dwarf star, thus emitting alpha particles. This allows them to track the missing part of Ray's suit to Vandal Savage's lab.
Lapidary hieratic - the language used to inscribe the incantation on The Amon Dagger - is an ancient language lost to the ages. Only the clergy of Ancient Egypt knew it.
The piece of Ray's armor which Savage recovered contains a miniaturized missile-guidance system capable of delivering high-explosive ordnance.
Among the equipment on The Waverider is a tachyon manifold.
Gideon describes Kendra's injuries as a sharp force injury resulting in rupture of several major blood vessels.
Rip Hunter (opening narraton) In 2166 an immortal tyrant named Vandal Savage conquered the world and murdered my wife and child. I assembled an elite team to hunt him throughout time and stop his rise to power. Unfortunately, my plan is opposed by the body I'd sworn allegiance to: The Time Masters. In the future my friends may not be heroes, but if we succeed, they will be remembered as legends!
Snart: Arms dealers and terrorists aren't exactly our kind of people. (smirking as he looks at Sara) But they're the next best thing.
Palmer: First thing we need to do is work up a plan.
Snart: Got a lot of experience infiltrating criminal gatherings? Didn't think so. I'm calling the shots.
Hunter: Actually, I'm in charge, in case any of you have forgotten.
Snart: No, I remember. I just don't care.
Guard: You don't look like an Amhad Ahmed Izz-Al-Din.
Snart: I'm Arab. On my mother's side.
Stein: (angrily) Is there a problem? I don't like delays. Do you know who we are? My associates and I are the operational arm of "Scimitar". The Lombardo Square Bombing, 1963. Murder of Henri Terron, Canada, 1970. Koenig Airport Massacre, 1971. Bottom line: you don't want to doubt me
(The guard nods and waves them through)
Rory: (whispering to Stein) You're a special kind of crazy. I like it!
Snart: We're just going to get our nuclear warhead and be on our way.
Auctioneer: Not without paying first.
Stein: Once we've validated that the warhead is operational. Personally, I find it highly unlikely that you were able to accumulate enough fissionable material is this era to fashion a workable nuclear device.
Savage: "This era?"
Stein: Figure of speech.
Rory: Can I burn some stuff now?
Snart: I wish you would
(The guard from before grabs Stein)
Stein: Now would be a good time!
Guard: Yeah! To kill you!
Stein: I wasn't talking to you!
(Ray Palmer, in his ATOM suit, flies out of Stein's pocket and cold-cocks the guard)
Jackson: Okay. What now?
Stein: We wait for the warhead to go off, at which point you're going to have .06 seconds to absorb the massive release of atomic energy.
Jackson: Your plan sucks! You know that, right?!
Palmer: (sarcastically, to Snart) Well, I'm really glad you were the one calling the shots.
Snart: I had it under control until the Professor started picking fights with the PLO.
Hawkman: (to Stein) You let your ego endanger our mission.
Stein: No, Mr. Rory's temper got completely out of control.
Rory: I thought we were friends, Professor?
Hawkgirl: At least there's one less nuclear bomb on the planet,.
(Rip Hunter slow-claps sarcastically as he enters the room)
(showing a hologram of modern Central City in flames as a result of Savage stealing Palmer's technology)
Hunter: This is Central City in 2016. At least it WAS. I'm not sure what the neo-fascists who took control of it are calling it these days!
Hunter: Now, as for the dagger...
Palmer: You need someone to steal it.
Snart: (deadpan as he snatches the article regarding the dagger) Okay. Fine. Whatever. I'll do it.
Jefferson: (looking around at the students ) People actually wore this crap?
Stein: People smoked a lot of pot in the '70s. It clearly had a deleterious effect on the fashion of the era.
(Kendra gasps as she wakes up from a vision of herself and Carter in the past, getting intimate)
Kendra: We were together. Like, together-together.
Carter: Well, I have been telling you that you and I should be destined...
(Carter leans in to kiss Kendra but she pushes him away)
Kendra: What are you doing?!
Carter: What part of "destiny" do you not understand?
Kendra: The part where I have to stop thinking for myself.
Minion: The group that disrupted the arms auction. Any idea who they were?
Savage: A man in a robotic suit, weapons that shoot ice and fire? Suffice it to say, they're not from around here. I would assume the future.
Minion: That's impossible.
Savage: So is immortality.
(As Stein's younger self leaves the room)
Sara: I cannot believe that that is you!
Jackson: Seriously, I had no idea you were ever cool.
Stein: I wasn't cool. I was an arrogant little snot!
(Stein begins digging around in the lab drawers.)
Sara: What are you doing?
Stein: Looking for my younger self's particle tracker. Keep an eye on the door, and when I get back, stop flirting with me.
Sara: You were the one flirting with me!
Jackson: Look, what's the big deal? I mean, younger you isn't married yet, so technically it's not cheating.
Stein: October 1975. This is right when I meet my future wife, Clarissa. So obviously we wouldn't want my former self tempted by a sexy assassin from the future.
Sara: Awwww, you think I'm sex-
Stein: Do not finish that sentence!
Sara's silently grabbing the joints as she, Stein and Jackson flee the younger Stein's lab.
(As Snart finds a secret panel and begins working on the electronics inside)
Palmer: How did you know how to do that?
Snart: When I was a kid, my dad brought me along on jobs. I had little hands. I could get into tiny spaces, do whatever he needed me to do, like... rewiring a security system.
Palmer: In another life, you could've been an electrical engineer.
Snart: Guess I dodged a bullet. You think I want to be like you?
Palmer: You make being a tech billionaire sound like a bad thing.
Snart: You spend all your time and money inventing a super-suit,and what do you do with it? Fly around like some incredible shrinking schmuck trying to save the world.
Palmer: And robbing banks for a living... I suppose that's more important?
Snart: It's sure as hell more satisfying.
Palmer: Thinking like that is what makes you a criminal.
Snart: No, it makes me a survivor. And there's gonna come a day when you wish you were too.
(Snart looks at the panel in annoyance as Ray looks over his shoulder)
Palmer: Here. (he takes the tool from Snart and points at a section of the panel) You flip the solenoid, saves you the trouble of rewiring it.
Snart: I take it back, Raymond. You're not completely useless after all.
Carter: Look, 4,000 years is a long time, and maybe I've been taking us for granted, expecting you to fall in love with me because that's what you've done the last 206 lifetimes, but you're right. Does not make us destiny.
Kendra: More like... probability.
Carter: Look, Kendra. You don't have to love me in this lifetime. As many lifetimes as it takes. I know you're worth the wait.
Chay-ara: "And though my soul departs the Earth, I count my days till my rebirth.
I will wait across eternity for my love to come back to me"
Firestorm: It's all good. Savage is down.
Hawkman: Savage is not defeated by earthly means.
Firestorm: Well, I hit him with a nuclear blast, so, you know, not that earthly.
(As the two walk the Ivy Town Univeristy campus)
Stein: Apparently it's true that the guilty return to the scene of the crime.
Hunter: Oh, don't be so maudlin. Look at your hand.
(Stein looks down at his hand, where his wedding ring has solidified)
Hunter: I contacted your younger self and encouraged him to attend the faculty mixer. Turns out one of the professors brought along his niece.
Stein: You risked the timeline for me.
Hunter: Hardly seemed fair for you to sacrifice your wife in order to save mine from Savage's future. One thing that time travel teaches you is that time changes, people don't.
Stein: A painful realization I've recently come to.
Hunter: I have traveled countless ages into the future. We're still asking ourselves the same question: Why are we here? I believe that we're here to learn, Martin. Be glad that you still can.
Stein: Thank you, Mr. Hunter.
Stein: How's Kendra?
Sara: The same.
Jackson: So what now?
Hunter: Now? Now it's up to you.
Snart: To do what, Rip? Last I checked, every time we try to do anything, it all goes to crap.
Hunter: Oh, once again I must disagree with you. Thanks to Miss Lance, Dr. Palmer's future technology is no longer in the hands of Vandal Savage's black market weapons designers.
Stein: But it didn't do anything to change the fate of your world.
Hunter: No. Vandal Savage will still rise to power in the year 2166.
Jackson: And your family will still die?
Snart: So what you're really asking is, do we want to fish or cut bait? Return to 2016 and live out the rest of our lives as insignificant losers or...
Palmer: Make another play at becoming legends. Figure out how to end Savage and save the world.
Stein: Preferably, without causing any more nuclear explosions.
Rory: Savage has my attention.
Snart: Look, we didn't know Carter from Adam, but if you take out one of my crew, you better pay the price.
Stein: Surely Captain Hunter has a sound plan. (looking at Jackson) What about you?
Jackson: You're asking me?
Stein: I didn't give you much of a choice the first time, did I?
Jackson: Well, I say we kick Savage's ass. For Carter.
Sara: For Carter.
All: For Carter.
Stein: So, Captain. Where are we going next?
Mick Rory hates flying.
Len Snart is a capable pickpocket.
Damien Darhk - the main villain of Arrow Season 4 - is among the many terrorists at the arms sale.
Vandal Savage has a sixth sense that allows him to sense the nearby presence of Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders through their mystic connection.
The dagger which killed Carter and Kendra in their first life - The Amon Dagger - can be used to kill Vandal Savage, in conjunction with an incantation that is inscribed upon the dagger. Kendra and carter learned that these objects could be used to kill Savage in F208.
Sasha Mahnovski is the alias Vandal Savage uses in 1975. He pretends to be Russian.
Professor Stein was a casual marijuana smoker when he was a young professor. At age 25 he had two PhDs and was working on his third.
Young Stein brags about winning The Carlin Award five times. In F113, his older self was similarly snobby about winning The Conway Prize three times.
Len Snart's father taught him how to rewire a security system when he was a child.
Vandal Savage has learned every hold and pressure point imaginable after 4,000 years of life.
The inscription on The Amon Dagger is a love poem. In order to kill Savage, the dagger must be wielded by Chay-ara and the poem must be recited.
Carter Hall is killed by Vandal Savage.
As the episode ends, the team is stranded in 1975 until Kendra can heal.
Norway - October 19, 1975
Ivy Town - October 1975
The Fridge Factor
Kendra's sudden declaration of love for Carter and belief in their destiny in the wake of his death comes off as sort of creepy given Carter's own behavior earlier in the episode, despite his apology and assurances that he can keep his distance and
The Bottom Line
Somehow, the second-half of the pilot improves upon the first. The action sequences are of cinematic quality in terms of special effects and blocking and the ensemble cast are playing off of each other beautifully. Damn near perfect.