Sara, Kendra and Ray are left stranded in 1958 after Chronos attacks and commandeers The Waverider. When they realize their teammates aren't coming back for them, Ray and Kendra pursue a relationship while Sara wanders off to find another place to belong.
Two years later - from Ray and Kendra's perspective - Rip Hunter, Martin Stein and Jax Jefferson return, having regained control of The Waverider but having lost Snart in the process. They theorize Sara has returned to her old life as a member of The League of Assassins, some 50 years before she originally joined.
The Geoff Johns run of JSA (Chronos' motivation here - to see his enemies suffer and die - is similar to that of the time-traveling villain Per Degaton, who took pleasure in watching the current deaths of his enemies when he could not work to bring them about by his own hand), The Terminator (Snart refers to Chronos as this, ironically foreshadowing who he is; the plot of the movie details a circular time-loop, where the effort to prevent a disaster winds up creating it), the comics of Dennis O'Neil (the presence of Ra's Al Ghul), the comic series The Kingdom (a time traveling villain plans to go backward through time, killing one person repeatedly as part of a revenge scheme), Moby Dick (Chronos' desire for revenge mirrors that of Captain Ahab) and the film Somewhere In Time (a romance facilitated by time-travel, starring an actor who played Superman)
How did Sara earn the same code-name with the League of Assassins in 1958 that she originally earned in 2008, given the circumstances regarding how she was dubbed The Canary (i.e. her musical laugh)?
If Heatwave is Chronos, why did he attempt to attack The Legends at points BEFORE he would have been abandoned by Snart? (Presumably, The Time Masters have some way of subverting the paradox.)
The romance between Kendra and Ray seemed fairly forced until this point. Somehow, despite the script fast-forwarding through the relationship, Ciara Renee and Brandon Routh do a good job selling the romance after two years pass. They also do a great job portraying the conflict between the two afterward when Kendra is anxious to get back to her former life and Ray fearing that she was just settling for him when she thought they were trapped forever.
Caity Lotz has a hard role this time, selling Sara's complete disillusion with the mission and her falling so readily into her old role as an assassin. Time Drift aside, it does make an odd sense given that Sara became the heart of the team because she needed something to focus her energies on so badly and a chance at honest heroism was just what she needed. With that gone, her falling back into something - anything - comfortable makes sense. And Lotz nails that confusion, as well as playing a truly scary Sara who has given herself over to the League of Assassins heart and soul.
The fight scenes for this episode are great, particuarly the duel between Sara and Kendra and the battle between Chronos and the rest of the legends.
There's some very effective direction and editing during the Sara/Kendra duel and Snart's escape, alternating between the two scenes.
Trivia Of Tomorrow
After fleeing Harmony Falls, Kenra, Ray and Sara relocate to Hub City. In the DC Comics universe, Hub City is a fictional metropolis that was home to the vigilante The Question. It was said to be located in southern Illinois and has been alternatively said to have been based on East St. Louis and Chicago. Hub City is notorious as one of the most corrupt cities in the DC's USA - even worse than Gotham City!
Ray Palmer's takes on a job as a college physics professor in 1958. In the original DC Comics, Ray Palmer was a college physics professor rather than the CEO of a technologies firm.
Ray Palmer wears fake glasses as part of his disguise in 1958. This may be a nod to Brandon Routh's performance as Clark Kent/Superman in the film Superman Returns.
Matt Nable reprises his role as Ra's Al Ghul from Season Three of Arrow.
Ra's Al Ghul points to Sara as a fine example to his young daughter, Talia. Talia Al Ghul, is, of course, a daughter of Ra's Al Ghul from the original comics who became a love interest of Bruce Wayne a.k.a. The Batman and the mother of his son, Damien Wayne.
It is worth noting that, in the original comics, Nyssa was the older sister of Talia. In the DCTVU, Talia would be the older sister and Nyssa the younger.
Nanda Parbat is the base of The League of Assassins in the DCTVU. In the original comics, Nanda Parbat was a mythical city (much like Shangri-La) that was home to a mystic order of do-gooding monks.
Chronos tells Snart of his intent to go back in time and kill Lisa Snart, over and over, and making Len watch as his sister dies horribly over and over. This is similar to what the villain Gog did in the comic series The Kingdom, where Gog went back in time, killed Superman, went back one day, killed Superman again, etc.
During the fight between the Legends and Chronos in Nanda Parbat, Ray gleefully picks up a sword and is ready to use it before Sara tosses him the container with the Atom suit. This may be a clever nod to the comic Sword Of The Atom, which focused upon the adventures of Ray Palmer as he became trapped in his shrunken size while on a trip to the Amazon rain forest and became the champion of a fantasy kingdom of miniature people living deep in the forest. The comics were adapted into a series of shorts for Cartoon Network's DC Nation.
Chronos is able to use superior (yet undefined) technology to breach the hull of The Waverider and override Gideon's control of the ship.
Jax is uncertain if The Jump Ship is capable of traveling through The Temporal Zone. Presumably Rip is certain it's safe, she he was trying to get there after The Waverider time-jumped.
Undoing the damage Chronos does to the navigation system of The Waverider requires rebooting Gideon. While this occurs, The Waverider is left freefalling through time.
Ray creates a time beacon - a transponder which matches the Waverider's quantum signature, basically creating a radio-wave firewall that only their team will be able to see.
Ray's lecture after the two-year time-change between scenes involves mesosopic polymer and bio-molecular simulations. This involves the softening of matter and means that, theoretically, one could miniaturize an atom.
Rip reminds Ray that they cannot travel back to events they participated in without time folding in on itself.
Time does not function in the Time Master's base Vanishing Point the way it does in the regular universe. Mick Rory was able to spend several lifetimes training before becoming Chronos.
Time Drift is a psychological condition that occurs when a time-traveler spends too long in an alien time-line. The victim lose ties with their former self and former identity. It is responsible for Sara being easily brainwashed by the League of Assasins conditioning as well as Kendra forgetting about her past lives and losing the ability to make her wings emerge.
Rip: He's time-jumping the ship!
Snart: The ladies will be left in 1958!
Jax: What about Ray?
Snart: Like I said.
Jax: I don't know if the jump-ship will even fly through The Temporal Zone...
(Stein and Jax hear gunfire and shouting in the distance)
Stein: It doesn't matter. We're not leaving our team.
Jax: What happened to "we could destroy the whole ship"?
Stein: A preferable alternative to losing our friends. Don't you agree?
(The shouting continues)
(The two grip hands and change into Firestorm.)
Ray: Look. as a former Eagle Scout with over 100 merit badges - no big deal - the first rule of getting lost is stay in the same place. That way you can be found.
Sara: And as a former member of the League of Assassins, the first rule when you've been attacked is to keep moving.
Kendra: I sort of think League wisdom trumps the Eagle Scouts here.
Ray: You know, I never thought that I could build a life with anybody but Anna. But, um, that's exactly what we've done. In the most unlikely time and place imaginable. (chuckles)And I know it may sound strange but I'm glad we're stranded here.
Kendra: Me too.
Snart: So, uh.. what's so special about me? I mean, aside from my sparkling personality? Back on The Waverider, you could have taken your boy, Rip. But you took me instead. Why?!
(Chronos says nothing)
Snart: Hey. If you're going to kill me, you could at least tell me what's going on.
Chronos: You should have figured it out by now.
(Chronos takes off his helmet to reveal that he is Mick Rory.)
Chronos: After all, I am supposed to be the dumb one.
Snart: How? I think I deserve to know what the hell is going on here!
Chronos: You deserve nothing.
Snart: Says the man who sold us out to the pirates! When I dropped you off in that forest, I meant to kill you! That was the plan!
Chronos: You should have stuck with the plan and done me a favor.
Chronos: I used to think the most beautiful thing on the Earth was fire. Now I know - it's vengeance.
(Stein and Jax join hands to change into Firestorm. Ra's Al Ghul merely looks at Firestorm, barely raising an eyebrow in response.)
Firestorm: It's a long story, pal.
Sara: When I came to your doorstep, for the second time in my life, I thought that I could find a home here. That this was where I really belonged...
Ra's: But your soul is divided. By your ability to kill and your desire to show mercy.
Ra's: There is no place for one so conflicted in The League. (pauses) Ta-er al-Sahfer? I release you. You can reclaim your previous name and your past life.
Sara: Thank you.
(Sara turns around to leave, and then stops, and turns around.)
Sara: In October 2008, please see that your daughter is off the coast of an island in the North China Sea. Lian Yu.
Ra's: Why would I send Talia on such a journey?
Sara: Not Talia. Your daughter yet to be born. I'm pretty sure you'll call her Nyssa.
Chronos: You think this is all over?! I will kill every single one of you! I will watch you all burn! (To Snart) You! You should have killed me while you had the cha-
(Rip hits a button which mutes the microphone on the cell. He then turns to Snart.)
Rip: You owe us an explanation.
Stein: Yes. It's quite remarkable Mr. Rory is working for The Time Masters considering you killed him.
Snart: If you think back, I never actually said I killed him.
Jax: No, you just let us think you did.
Snart: I didn't have to try too hard, did I? Well, maybe I should have. And at least he wouldn't have wound up a chew toy for The Time Masters.
Rip: But if you did, we wouldn't have this opportunity.
Ray: An opportunity? To do what?
Rip: To reform Mr. Rory.
Kendra: He killed Aldus!
Rip: Under the influence of The Time Masters.
Stein: Chronos killed Aldus. Mr. Rory was fighting on our side that day.
Sara: I know what it's like to be trained by an organization for one purpose - to kill - and the kind of loyalty that can inspire. I need to know that we can reach Rory. For my own sake.
Stein: The Time Masters took one of our own and turned him against us. I say we undo their handy-work.
Ray: Rory saved my life, back in the gulag. He's more than just a criminal and an arsonist.
Jax: (nodding) He's a member of our team.
Snart: He's a lost cause!
Rip: Oh, I wouldn't be too sure about that. You will see that miracles abound on this old timeship.
(Cut to The Medical Bay. Snart's arm with the severed hand is tied down to a bench.)
Rip: Gideon. Start the regeneration process.
Snart: What do you mean "regeneration"?
Rip: I took genetic samples from each of you at the start of our voyage for this exact eventuality.
Snart: Why am I only hearing about this now?!
Rip: Because none of you had lost a limb yet.
(Snart shrugs, seeming to concede the point.)
Ray earned over 100 merit badges as an Eagle Scout.
Sara dated a log of juvenile delinquents as a teenager. One of them taught her how to hot-wire a car.
One of Ray Palmer's students in 1960 is the father of technology magnate Bill Gates.
During their two years in Hub City, Ray Palmer works as a college physics professor whereas Kendra works as a librarian.
Ray was planning to propose to Kendra just before The Waverider arrived to rescue them.
Two more side-effects of time-jumping are revealed: linguistic disorientation (i.e. mixed up speech) and deafness.
Ray and Kendra have a lucky water vase. Exactly what is so lucky about it is not explained.
Sara rejoins The League of Assassins with the same name she earned in 2008 - Ta-er al-Sahfer. Literally "yellow bird" in Arabic.
Ra's Al Ghul is seen for the first time since A323.
Sara is able to overcome her blood lust through meditation and herbs provided by Ra's Al Ghul.
Snart refers to the events of 107, Heatwave's betrayal and Snart knocking him out but leaving him alive.
Heatwave was nearly insane and forced to strangle rats to eat by the time he was found by The Time Masters and taken to The Vanishing Point. He was trained by them for several lifetimes and reborn as Chronos.
The Shadow Record is an list of every member of The League of Assassins dating back to 3200 BC. It is written on papyrus in invisible ink.
Rip Hunter wrote his graduate thesis on the history and lore of The League of Assassins.
Ray Palmer knows about the existence of The Lazarus Pit, describing it as a life-extending Jacuzzi.
Ray refers to the events of A322 and how he was a prisoner of the League of Assassins.
Rip Hunter can speak fluent Arabic.
Rip Hunter plans to win their freedom by demanding a trial by combat. The trial allows both the challenged and challenger to name a champion. In this case, Ra's chooses Sara and Rip chooses Kendra.
Ra's is able to figure out that Rip and Sara were from the future on his own, based upon Sara's advanced skills when she first came to Nanda Parbat and Rip's knowledge of League Law.
Ra's releases Sara from her vows to The League, due to her heart being divided. This would make Sara the first person to be allowed to leave The League in the revised timeline - the original first one being Malcolm Merlyn.
Chronos/Rory is a captive in The Waverider's brig as the episode ends.
Kendra refers to Chronos killing Aldus in 101.
Ray refers to Rory saving his life in the Russian prison in 105.
Rip is able to regrow Snart's lost hand.
At the episode's end, Kendra and Ray are now sharing quarters and are officially a couple. Ray still has the engagement ring he bought in 1960, but has not proposed.
As the episode closes, Rip is plotting a course to the Kasnian Congolerate in the year 2147.
Harmony Falls, Oregon - 1958
Hub City - 1958
Hub City - 1960
Nanda Parbat - 1960
Two years pass in which Sara rejoins The League of Assassins and Kendra and Ray live together.
Mick Rory spends an unspecified amount of time being trained by The Time Masters before becoming Chronos.
The Crisis Factor
The whole team entering into Nanda Parbat when Rip doesn't return is incredibly foolish.
Rip forgetting about Time Drift until after he's been captured by Sara seems even more foolish.
The Bottom Line
A solid episode that develops a lot of the character's personal subplots and drops a hell of a twist in the middle of the episode, for once. There's not as much witty dialogue as usual but the action is solid and this show continues to impress and amaze on every front.