Friday, April 22, 2016

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1, Episode 12 - Last Refuge

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


The Time Masters' best assassin - a woman called The Pilgrim - has been dispatched to kill all of The Legends before they joined the crew of The Waverider.. A race begins as our heroes move to save their past selves, with Rip offering the young counterparts safety in the Time Master orphanage where he grew up - The Refuge.


Geoff Johns's runs on The Flash (Mick Rory's background in this episode) and JSA (Kendra's storyline here mirrors the conflict of Hawkgirl in the comics had regarding her own romantic life, one storyline focused on several JSA members, led by Rip Hunter, traveling in time to save their past selves and their teammates from a time-traveling assassin),  Superman: The Movie (the opening trial of the time pirate resembles Zod's trial before the High Council of Krypton stylistically) and the movie The Terminator (base concept of an cybernetic assassin being sent from the future to alter a future timeline, Ray quotes the movie when saving a young Rory)


We're told that The Omega Protocal requires a certain degree of precision and subtlety. Given that, how does storming a police station in broad daylight and killing several police officers - as the Orphan does in her attempt to kill a teenage Sarah Lance - qualify as precise and subtle?

Granting that Rip probably did have Gideon check to make sure that Martin Stein's mother would be okay first, it still seems incredibly foolish for Rip and Rory to snatch baby Martin as he is literally fresh out of the womb and leave his mother behind without seeing her safely to a hospital after she gave birth in the backseat of a car with only her husband assisting her with the birth.

Jefferson Jackson's birthday is said to be sometime in 1993. However, he was a high-school football star when the Particle Accelerator Explosion occurred in Central City on December 11, 2013. While it isn't impossible for Jax to have been held back a few years, it still seems unlikely.that he was still in high school at the age of twenty. Particularly since he's been depicted as being too young to drink legally in 2016. (21 being the drinking age in the USA).

Again, regarding the precision required of The Omega Protocol - how does kidnapping and threatening to kill six innocent people in order to bring about the deaths of six other people count as precise?

If The Omega Protocol can't be applied to Time Masters, how can the The Pilgrim agree to killing a young Rip Hunter instead of her targets? I had thought it was going to be a trick but it turns out she really did capture all those loved ones and was ready to bargain in good faith.

How can The Orphan shrug off bullets but be incapacitated by a knife slash administered by a ten year old street kid?

Considering that Ray lost his fiancee to violence, you'd expect him to be a little more conflicted than he seems to be here about seeing her alive and well again, regardless of his feelings for Kendra.


Ciara Renee gets a nice moment of non-verbal acting in her reaction to Ray's proposal. She's smiling but her eyes betray her fear that the universe really IS trying to stop her from being with a man besides Carter Hall/Prince Khufu given how Ray's proposal attempts have been thwarted twice now.

Caity Lotz does a fantastic job playing the younger Sara Lance. For a while I wasn't certain if it was her in a wig or just a very well cast younger actress.

It's always nice to see Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance, however briefly. His scene at the end with Sara is a sweet one.

Franz Drameh hasn't been given a lot of moments to show his dramatic chops The scene where Jax meets his father, for the first time, however, is a great scene that shows he should be given the center stage more often.

Dominic Purcell has often been relegated to being the comic relief or the heavy on this show. And while he does get a number of funny moments in this episode, he also gets two wonderful dramatic scenes trying to scare his past self straight.


The team's combined attack on The Pilgrim - while probably the show's cheapest use of CGI to date - is very well shot.

Trivia Of Tomorrow

In the opening sequence, we find out that Mick Rory's parents died in a house fire. In the origin for Heatwave written by Geoff Johns during his run on The Flash, Mick Rory's entire family died in a fire he started as a child.

It is revealed in this episode that Rip Hunter's birth-name was Michael. In the comics, Rip Hunter is the son of the superhero Booster Gold, whose real name was Michael Jon Carter.


The Omega Protocol calls for a certain degree of precision. This means that if the assassin carrying out the hit fails, they cannot go back and try it again a week earlier for fear of damaging the timeline.

Gideon is able to track The Pilgrim by monitoring the temporal wake of her ship.

Under normal circumstances, it is impossible for a time ship to hide its temporal wake. The Time Masters, however, have ways of hiding a time ship's passage under extreme duress.

Temporal Micro Manipulation is the ability to control time in one's immediate vicinity. This includes slowing time's passage, stopping it completely and causing it to run in reverse.

When history is altered by a person's past-self being taken out of the normal flow of time for too long, that person's future self disappears from the minds of everyone who ever knew them.

The Refuge is a secret orphanage located at an unknown point and location in history. The Time Masters use it to raise children with no connections who can be trained as future Time Masters.

Dialogue Triumphs

Ray: (To a young Mick Rory) Come with me if you want to live! (aside) I always wanted to say that!

Sara: So it seems like you decided to ignore the advice from Old West you about not being with Ray.
Kendra: Ignoring her advice about Ray was your advice. Remember?
Sara: Don't listen to my advice. (putting her staff down to pick up a water bottle) So did you tell him what she said?
Kendra: Oh, sure! (mock-cheerful) "Hey, Ray, by the way? The woman I met in 1871 was me and she told me our love was doomed to fail because you're not Carter."
Sara: (deadpan) So is that a no?
Kendra: Look, Ray and I are happy together. We should be able to enjoy that before i have to drop the whole doomed love-affair thing on his head.
Sara: (sarcastically) Yeah, I mean who wants a relationship based on honesty and communication? (gags and pretends to vomit)
Kendra: Believe me - a relationship based on an ancient Egyptian curse doesn't work much better.

(Sara fights The Orphan as her younger self watches. Suddenly, Young Sara seems to recognize her older self.)
Young Sara: My God, she's-
Rory: - quite the badass!

Young Mick: She slapped me!
Young Sara: The little weirdo said that he liked the way I smelled!
Young Mick: I'm usually a lot smoother but I'm kinda freaking out right now.
Sara: (pointing to her younger self) You! Hands to yourself! (whispers) And the next time, hit him with a flat palm. (looking to Young Mick) And you... you're not her type.

(Rip explains that they run the risk or making their future selves be forgotten by the people they love by kidnapping themselves as infants.)
Jax: You mean my own mom won't even know me?
Stein: My wife...
Rory: Yeah, and my... my uh.... I don't have anyone.

Sara: All right. This is just like any other mission. The mark may be a newborn but it might as well be a diamond or a microchip.
Kendra: You know what? You're starting to sound like Snart.
(Sara makes a disgusted noise.)

Rory: You guys asked for a doctor, right?
Mr. Stein: (confused) How would we?
Rip: Ah - he means that we were on our way to the hospital and we saw your automobile.
Rory: Yeah! And this little munchkin needs a checkup.
(Rory takes the baby Martin away from Mr. Stein.)
Rory: Pre-natal care! It's very important.
Rip: (quietly and quickly) He means post-natal. We'll take him straight to the hospital. We'll meet you there.
(Rip and Rory walk off.)
Mr. Stein: What about my wife!?

Stein: It is somewhat disconcerting that my father would give me up so willingly to two complete strangers.
Ray: Well, the 1950s was a much more trusting time. Trust me - I lived then!

Jax: You were supposed to be shipping out.
James Jackson: How do you know that?
(Jax just nods to the kit bag on the ground.)
James Jackson: Ah! Right. My transport's been delayed. I told my CO my wife's giving birth. He gave me a pass. And a Jeep. And I made it. I saw him. (points to a baby through the glass) My boy. Which one's yours?
Jax: Oh, ah-no. I'm - I'm - I'm not a dad. I'm just... I'm here for my family.
James Jackson: Well, I hope you get to experience this for yourself one day. Imagining all the things my boy's gonna be when he grows up.
Jax: How do you know?
James Jackson: He's my son. Jefferson Jackson. Remember that name.
(Jax chuckles.) 
James Jackson: He's destined for great things. (glancing at his watch) I've got to go. Will you give the nurse a message for my wife?
Jax: You're leaving already?
James Jackson: I'm AWOL if I don't. I just want her to know that I saw my son. And that I couldn't be more proud and happy. And, uh tell her that I'll be home as soon as I can. Can you do that for me?
(Jax just nods as his dad picks up his bag and moves down the hall.)
(James Jackson turns around.)
Jax: I got to tell you something.
(Jax tries to speak and winds up chuckling again.)
Jax: Congratulations.
James Jackson: Thanks. Appreciate that.
(Jax just watches his dad walk off this time.) 

If all goes according to plan we'll only be here for a a few minutes and then presumably never remember.
Ray: When's the last time anything went according to plan?
Kendra: I don't think there was a last time.

(Rory rounds a corner and finds his younger self staring at a lit match.)
Rory: Where'd you find the match?
Young Mick: You can always fine one.
Rory: Beautiful, isn't it? Not as beautiful as a whole house going up in flames though...
Young Mick: It was an accident...
Rory: Sure it was.
Young Mick: You don't know me. You think I wanted to kill my family?!
Rory: I think you fell in love with your dad's lighter fluid. I think you fell in love with flames dancing around. But then you realized you couldn't control them and you ran without waking your family. The only thing you were concerned about was saving your own skin. (getting up in his younger self's face) Now, while I'm gone there better not be any accidents. If there is, I'm gonna come looking for you. And I'm gonna kill you!
Young Mick: You sound just like my dad.
(Rory turns around and walks away, looking somewhat disturbed at that thought.)

Young Rip: Thought you could snuff me out? You don't know me at all, Miss.

Rory: (to his younger self) You can't change the things you did. But you can change what you become. Don't be like me. Be better.


When a person's past self is murdered, their present self mirrors the damages they suffer in the past before dying. Their body then disintegrates into a pile of blue powder.

Mick Rory's parents died in a house fire in 1990. It is suggested that he started the fire by accident and watched it burn rather than try and save his family. It's also implied that his father was abusive.

Jax tells the young Rory that they're part of a secret group called ARGUS. ARGUS is, of course, the government espionage group run by Amanda Waller then Lyla Michaels on Arrow.

Sara refers to her and Kendra's encounter with Kendra's 1871 self in 111.

The Omega Protocol cannot be applied to rogue Time Masters, due to the potential side-effects on the time line. They also can't be applied to the continually reincarnated, like Kendra, because there's no real point to it.

Rip has a secret stash of vintage cereal on The Waverider.

Fruit Brute is Ray's favorite cereal.

The Pilgrim's powers include super-strength (throwing around fully-grown police officers with ease), super-endurance (She is able to survive blasts from both The ATOM suit and Mick Rory's flamethrower) and temporal micro-manipulation (slowing and then turning one of Firestorm's blasts back upon them).

Sara Lance made $5000 in one summer babysitting.

Ray proposes to Kendra. She accepts, but feels somewhat strange about it.

Jax's dad was a soldier, who died in Somalia two weeks after his Jax was born.

Jax was told that his dad was shipped out before his wife went into labor. The truth is that his father was granted a pass and a jeep to drive to the hospital to see his son before heading out.

Rip Hunter's birth name is Michael. He was raised in a Time-Master run orphanage called The Refuge.

The Time Masters pull orphans from around time and raise them in The Refuge to fill their ranks.

Rip was a cut-purse from the age of five onward. His ten year old self is a hardened enough youth to think nothing of stabbing a woman that tries to kill him.

Clarissa Stein no longer remembers her husband.

Quentin Lance recognizes his older daughter and says that he is proud of her.

Jax tells his father about the attack that takes his life in the hope that it might save him once he is returned to his proper place in time and space.


Vanishing Point
Central City - 1990
The Temporal Zone
Starling City - 2007
Starling City - December 9, 2014
Central City - 1972
Ivy Town - 1950
Central City - 1993
The Refuge
Abandoned Time Masters Outpost

The Fridge Factor

Every conversation Kendra and Sara have in this episode is about Kendra's relationship with Ray.

Honestly, Kendra's entire character arc in the past few episodes is based around who she is dating rather than anything about her as a person.

The Bottom Line

A problematic episode, to say the least. There's some good character defining moments for characters like Jax and Heatwave who haven't gotten a lot of moments to shine so far. But the Kendra/Ray romance feels horribly rushed, the rules regarding what The Pilgrim can and can't do are inconsistent and a lot of the characters written horribly out of character for the sake of a few jokes. (Shouldn't Rory be past being dumb muscle now after all his time as Chronos?) The cast make MOST of these scenes work but a lot of them don't. You know it's going to be a bad time when Rory has more witty lines than Snart.

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