The team has captured Vandal Savage but the question of what to do with him remains. Rip's plan to turn him into The Time Masters doesn't sit well with Snart and Rory, who consider jumping ship and returning to their old lives in 2016. And Kendra is reluctant to kill or incarcerate Savage until she finds a way to restore the memories of a resurrected Carter Hall - a desire that has put tension on her relationship with Ray. It is a tension that Savage exploits, as he tries to turn the crew against one another in a bid for escape...
The Silence of The Lambs (a sociopath in a glass cell manipulates the people who speak to him) and the comics of Dan Jurgens.
Again, Caity Lotz is the episode's MVP. Sara's the only one of the crew whose interaction with Savage yields a believable shift in considering another teammate's motivations. Of course it helps that Rip has freely admitted that saving his family is priority one and that Sara does call Rip upon this point.
Casper Crump hasn't been given much chance to be truly menacing in the series so far. This episode, however, gives him a chance to play Savage as the master manipulator and force of nature he should be.
The flashbacks detailing some of the crew's final encounters with a loved one before leaving to join The Waverider crew - while seeming like non-sequiturs - do offer some quick insight into the characters. In particular, it's nice to see where Nyssa and Sara stood in the wake of Sara's recovering her soul and Nyssa being jailed by The League of Assassins.
Trivia Of Tomorrow
Vandal Savage compares showing time-travel technology to him in the 1970s to being like showing a caveman fire. This is a nod to the original DC Comics, where Vandal Savage was a prehistoric man whose intelligence was enhanced by exposure to a radioactive meteor.
In the flashback, Ray suggest that Felicity consider "Hot Wheels" as her hero codename. Hot Wheels was one of the many aliases used by the hacker heroine Oracle.
When looking at Rip's maps of the time-stream, Sara sees a point called "Jurgens' Ridge." This is likely a nod to Dan Jurgens - a comic book writer/artist who wrote and drew many classic stories involving time-traveling superheroes. Among them are Zero Hour, Booster Gold and Waverider.
The telemetry data from Ray's suit included a comparative scan of the Leviathan robot's technology. It proved that Savage was using technology at least 100 years more advanced than what was available in 2166. Stein comments that the neuromorphic profile is astonishingly futuristic even by the standards of 2166.
Rip asks Jax to reroute power from the secondary manifold of the time drive.
Jax is exposed to a lethal amount of temporal radiation. The side-effects of this include internal organs aging at an accelerated rate (i.e. intracellular degeneration). The rest of the body follows shortly after. He also develops early-stage osteoarthritis.
Through some adjustments based on quantum retro-causality, Stein figures out a way to use the jump-ship to cure Jax's exposure to temporal radiation. Unfortunately, this also sends Jax back to 2016 alone.
General Order 52 calls a full assembly of The Time Council for a trial.
Savage: I have lived long enough to watch civilizations rise and fall. You weep for your son. I have held dozens of my children, as they perished from old age. You might be a Time Master but I am the master of Time. And I play a far deeper game than you could ever hope to comprehend.
Sara: (to Savage) I'd tell you to go to Hell but you'd probably just feel at home there.
(As Rip asks Gideon to check the time stream for changes one more time.)
Sara: Are you expecting something different?
Rip: Hope springs eternal, Ms. Lance. If it didn't, I would have surrendered to despair a long time ago.
(Ray enters the brig.)
Savage: Dr. Palmer. To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?
Ray: You're going to tell me how to free Carter's mind.
Savage: (chuckling) Well, all you had to do was ask.
Savage: Who are you to stand up against me? Vandal Savage, Destroyer of Empires!
Snart: Leonard Snart, Robber of ATMs!
Rip Hunter's liquor cabinet contains a bottle of Scotch that was given to him by Rob Roy MacGregor in 1689.
Savage claims he first figured out that Rip Hunter and his allies were time-travelers back in the 1970s, after the events of 103.
Savage claims that he knew the Roman historian/senator Tacitus and that they were good friends.
Savage also asks Rip not to misquote Tacitus. Rip says "You would create a wasteland and call it peace." The quote is "To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."
The Waverider has been Rip's ship for 13 years.
The Waverider's jump-ship is pre-programmed to make one trip to 2016.
Savage asks if Sara has spoken to a sister lately - a hint that he knows about Laurel's final fate.
Savage notes that he has had 191 years to study the crew of The Waverider.
Before he left to say goodbye to Professor Stein and was shanghaied onto The Waverider, Jax was given a gift by his mother - a watch she'd bought him as a birthday present that she was never able to give him.
Alexa was a security deposit box job that Snart and Rory pulled once, where Snart had a premonition just before things went bad. He has the same premonition here and begins plotting to steal the jump ship.
Kendra shows Carter a picture of Professor Aldus from 101 in the hopes of jogging his memory.
Savage claims, in a conversation with Ray, that Kendra's first reincarnation after her death fell in love with him and they were happy for a time, until she met the reborn Carter.
Ray spoke with Felicity before he left to join the crew of The Waverider.
Kendra reads Carter the poem he wrote for her in 102.
Ray ends his engagement with Kendra.
Sara journeyed to Nanda Parbat to speak with Nyssa before she left to join The Waverider crew.
Nyssa refers to the events of A403 and her destroying the Lazarus Pit. She is also surprised to see that Sara has gotten her soul back, following the events of A405.
Nyssa asks Sara to forget about her and live a life unburdened by her past.
Stein refers to the events of 103 and Savage using Carter Hall's blood in a ritual that allowed him to share his immortality with his followers.
Stein roofies Jax, as in 101. Ironically, Stein does it this time to forcibly remove Jax from The Waverider when before he did it to force Jax to come with him.
Rip takes a laser blast for Kendra.
Carter recovers his memories but is stabbed by Savage. He is finally brought down by Kendra.
Rip escaped from his prison in Ancient Egypt by bribing the guard with a novelty pen with a half-naked woman that he won from a drunk GI in a bar in 1944. It turns out that Savage already knew this and had been keeping the pen all these years as a trophy.
It is revealed that The Time Masters have been working with Savage since the beginning. They order Rip arrested along with the rest of his team. Only Snart and Sara are able hide.
Ancient Egypt - 1700 BC
The Time Stream
Central City - 2016
Star City - 2016
Nanda Parbat - 2016
The Fridge Factor
As always, Kendra's entire character is defined by which man she's hooked up with.
The Crisis Factor
Honestly, Ray should have known better than to unlock Savage's cell to try and beat him up for MANY reasons.
Rip's suddenly deciding to turn Savage in for his crimes rather than killing him seems really out of character.
Kendra's suddenly choosing Carter over Ray despite her repeated desire to fight fate also doesn't ring true.
The revelation that Savage has been working with The Time Masters this whole time is hardly a surprise. Why else would they be so hell-bent on stopping Rip from stopping him?
The Bottom Line
Another weakly-written and witless episode that requires the cast lose a collective 500 IQ points between them for Savage to be turned into a credible threat. It is only the strong performances of the ensemble cast that manage to salvage any of this nonsense. At least the Kendra/Ray romance is finally over and done with.