With Amaya dead, Snart alive, Stein having forgotten who he is and The Spear of Destiny destroyed, all of reality is in risk of falling apart under the weight of too many paradoxes. In order to save everything that is, The remaining Legends must break the cardinal rule of time travel and risk an encounter with their past selves in order to destroy The Spear of Destiny before The Legion of Doom creates Doomworld.
The film Back To The Future 2 (heroes fighting to recover an artifact to prevent a dark alternate timeline from coming into being), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (time-travelers have to help their past selves while avoiding being spotted), The Wizard of Oz (the movie is playing the "There's no place like home...." line during the vision Sara has about resurrecting Laurel, the whole idea of a heroine having her power taken away so she can return to a normal life, Amaya's Ruby Slippers), Men In Black (the memory-erasing light guns return) and countless Doctor Who episodes, particularly the writings of Steve Moffat, where the usual rules regarding time travel are broken to a create a farcical atmosphere.
Why is Damien Darhk hanging around STAR Labs? Thawne should be just as likely to kill him as The Legends if pushed, given Darhk and the rest of The Legion of Doom betrayed him.
The prop heart that Thawne rips out of Ray Palmer's chest looks incredibly fake and plastic.
Why do the time quakes not start until the two Rip Hunters see each other? All the other time duplicates were already in the room together.
Why don't the dozens of Thawnes bull-rush Past Sara before she can activate The Spear? Why do they waste time picking off everyone else first?
When did Past Sara learn the phrase to activate The Spear of Destiny? (Presumably Future Nate taught it to everyone before they tried to escape the Past Waverider?)
Katie Cassidy still cannot emote worth a damn.
The CGI for Thawne's death is incredibly cheap looking.
Once again, Caity Lotz is the episode MVP. Most of the episode's power moments require her to do most of the heavy lifting, including a magical little scene where Sara has a long talk with herself. It almost makes the sudden revival of the "Sara is dark and broken" subplot from Season 3 of Arrow tolerable. Almost. Still, the fact that the material works half as well as it does is a credit to Lotz's talent as an actress. It only falls apart when Lotz is forced to act for two opposite the Botox-faced Katie Cassidy.
The effects work to have the various past and future incarnations of The Legends interact is rather brilliant.
Trivia Of Tomorrow
Instead of the usual opening narration, the episode opens with a montage of Season Two highlights, set to the song Time Has Come Today by The Chambers Brothers.
Ray and Jax assumed that The Waverider was broadcasting using a quantum frequency. That would only be possible if the quad band antenna array was in alignment.
The current team of Legends - Jax, Mick, Sara, Rip, Ray and Nate - will cease to exist once The Spear of Destiny is destroyed, since they never would have existed if The Legion of Doom hadn't have stolen The Spear and created Doomworld.
A time quake is the result of two versions of an individual from different times interacting with one another.
A time storm is a paradox, much stronger than a time quake, which results when two versions of an individual attempt to time travel together,
The memory-erasing guns are used to erase Merlyn, Snart and Darhk's memories of what happened.
(Rip looks out the pilot's window of The Waverider at a dome-like object from which light pours from the bottom.)
Rip: Gideon? What is that? Is that another ship?
Gideon: Negative. It appears to be... a desk lamp.
(Comprehension dawns on Rip's face as he realizes what's happened. We see a long shot of the shrunken Waverider hovering above the main desk in the middle of STAR Labs.)
Rip: (quietly) Oh, bollocks. (regular voice) Right! Engage our cloak and plot a course!
Gideon: Heading, Captain?
Rip: The nearest open window.
(The Legends have just made radio contact with Rip.)
Rip: Yes, Doctor Palmer. I've homed in on your location.
Jax: Well, haul ass over here and come pick us up!
Rip: There may be one small problem with that.
(The shrunken Waverider hovers into the rest of the team's view.)
(Darhk is strangling both Jax and Ray with his magic telekinesis as the shrunken Waverider flies into the room and circles around to face him.)
Rip: Gideon, fire! Fire everything!
(The Waverider begins firing its lasers into Darhk's chest. Unfortunately, at this size, it is less than effective.)
Darhk: Awww... isn't that adorable? Is that the best you've got?
(Mick enters the room from behind an oblivious Darhk.)
Mick: How about this?
(Mick pistol-whips Darhk across the back of the head with his flame gun, knocking him out cold.)
(Ray picks up the vial holding Christ's blood.)
Ray: Well... that was easier the second time around.
(There is a streak of red-lighting as Thawne appears, vial in hand.)
Thawne: I knew you idiots would come back from 2017. Apart from being incredibly stupid, you are just -so- predictable!
Ray: (powering up his lasers): Give me back the vial!
(Thawne squeezes his hand and the vial breaks.)
Thawne: (deadpan) What vial?
Sara: (over radio) Ray! Ray, get out of there, now!
Thawne: You know, my allies keep giving me the same, simple piece of advice?
(Another streak of red-lightning and one metallic clang later, Ray Palmer is standing there with a hole in his chest plate. Thawne is standing where he was.. clutching a still beating heart. Without a word, Ray falls backwards as Thawne lets the heart fall to the ground. He looks down at Ray's corpse.)
Thawne: They were right. I should have done that ages ago.
Mick: Never stolen anything from myself before. Could be interesting.
Mick: Not for nothing, but Aruba would have been a better option.
(Thawne runs into the tent where Darhk and Snart are talking. With him is a confused-looking Merlyn, who glances around, momentarily terrified as he finds himself somewhere else.)
Merlyn: What the hell is going on here?!
Darhk: That's what I was going to ask. Aren't you supposed to be searching for The Kalabros Manuscript?
Merlyn: (testily) I was.
Thawne: And I found him. And I brought him here. We no longer need The Manuscript. We have a different problem. The Legends are here.
Snart: We know. I just punched Mick.
Thawne: Not -those- Legends. And I'm not your Eobard. I'm from the future.
Darhk: (bored) Yeah, what else is new?
Thawne: (sighs in annoyance) Okay. I mean -your- future. One where have The Spear of Destiny and The Legends from -that- future are here now too.
Merlyn: Wait - there's two sets of Legends?
Snart: (annoyed) When do I get to rob a bank?
Thawne: Just deal with them!
(Thawne turns and takes a step to the tent exit.)
Darhk: Where do you think you're going?!
Thawne: To get backup.
(Thawne disappears in a streak of red lightning. The sudden rush of wind hits Darkh like a punch to the gut, forcing him to spit-take his drink.)
Darhk: I hate it when he does that.
(Past Sara has just ordered Past Ray to deal with her "fake" self over the radio.)
Past Ray: Sorry, Sara.
Future Sara; For what?
Past Ray: Listening to you.
(Past Ray punches Future Sara and throws her to Past Rip as Past Mick tries to punch Future Jax.)
Future Jax: Woah! Big dude! Chill out, bro! We're not impostors!
Tolkien: This is madness! What has come over you people?!
Future Sara; If you would -
(Future Sara ducks under Past Ray's punch, which hits Past Rip.)
Future Sara: - just -
(Futura Sara grabs Past Ray's arm and punches him in the stomach.)
Future Sara: - let me-
(Future Sara punches Ray in the face, knocking him down.)
Future Sara: - explain!
Past Sara: (over radio) If fake me is anything like real me, Ray's going to need some help.
Future Rip: We are not The Legion. Believe it or not, we are actually future iterations of yourselves who have traveled back in time to prevent some form of calamity.
Past Sara: I don't believe it! Why would Rip Hunter violate the First Rule of Time Travel?
Future Rip: I'm asking myself the very same question.
(The door at the far end of the room opens as Past Rip enters the room. He looks at his future self as they both speak in unison.)
Both Rips: Oh bollocks.
(There is a great rumbling that shakes the ship.)
Past Jax: What the hell was that?!
Future Rip: It's a time quake.
Past Rip: The result of us interacting with ourselves.
Future Nate: Well, that wasn't so bad.
Future Rip: Yeah. Give it time.
Past Sara: Whose bright idea was it to do the one thing that could jeopardize all of time?!
Futura Sara: Yours.
Future Mick: (To his past self) What the hell are you starring at?
Past Mick: Just imagining what you'd look like without teeth.
Both Saras: Knock if off, Rory!
Past Stein: I can't believe that even we would do anything so foolish, unless something went terribly wrong the first time we were here.
Past Ray: Uh - I can't help but notice...
Past Amaya: ... not all of us came back with you.
Past Nate: What happens to us in the future?
(There is a long pause as the future Legends just look at each other.)
Future Mick: (chuckling) Well... (points to Ray) Dead. (points to Amaya) Dead. (points to Stein) Good as dead.
Past Sara: In the future you're from, The Legion gets The Spear?
Future Sara: ... yes.
Past Sara: So this is my fault?
Future Sara: It was more of a... team effort, really.
Past Sara: Can I ask you a question? Do you wish you would have used it?
Future Sara: (without hesitating) No.
Past Sara: But you could have stopped all of this! I mean, you could have erased The Legion of Doom from existence. You could have kept your team alive!
Future Sara: You know why I... we... can't use it. The Spear... it draws on our desires. Our weaknesses. Our hatred...
Past Sara: Our darkness. We're not strong enough to wield it.
Future Sara: The Spear is a weapon. And you know what we do with weapons.
Future Nate: (To Past Nate) I want you to do the things I wish I would have done instead of the things I wish I would have said. You want to know why? Because there's nothing - nothing worse than looking back at your life with regret.
Future Sara: Everybody clear on the plan?
Past Sara: Run like hell. Try not to die.
Future Sara: (To the Future Legends) What about you guys? You ready?
Future Jax: Other than the fact that I can't Firestorm and Nate can't Steel?
Future Nate: You bet your sweet ass we're ready.
(Darhk and Merlyn are firing at The Legends with their futuristic guns. Suddenly, they both seem to run out of power.)
Darhk: Damn it.
Merlyn: Damien, I think we should go back to basics.
Darhk: Yeah, you're right. Killing's gotten so gosh darn impersonal lately.
(Merlyn draws his bow as Darhk draws his sword.)
(Future Mick overpowers Darkh and pins him over a barricade. He puts his heat gun to Darhk's chest as we hear the familiar sound of Snart's cold gun powering up.)
Snart: Let him go, Mick.
Future Mick: I'm not listening to you anymore.
Snart: C'mon! Is that any way to talk to your old partner?
Future Mick: I don't have a partner. I have a team.
Past Ray: I can't believe we made it.
Future Sara: Don't jinx it.
(Suddenly, red lightning appears on the horizon and surrounds them.)
Past Jax: Awww! He jinxed it!
Past Mick: I hate that guy.
(Suddenly, Future Rip goes flying, falling to the ground, apparently punched dead.)
Thawne: Not that guy. These guys!
(Thawne stands before The Legends but the red lightning continues to dance around them, as more and more Reverse Flashes stop until there's a few dozen surrounding them.)
Thawne: You traveled back in time to help yourselves? I figured I could do the same. You know, it's true what they say - if you want something done right, you really have to do it yourself.
Future Sara: You did it.
Past Sara: You would have done the same.
(Future Sara looks down as her body begins to fade into smoke. She looks up at Past Sara and smiles.)
Future Sara: Remember - Legends never die.
(There is a moment of quiet as the team gather themselves up.)
Nate: Really? Goonies?
Amaya: What's a Goonie?
(Snart and Mick walk into a warehouse.)
Snart: Should have done this in France, Mick. Could've saved us both a lot of time.
Mick: I didn't bring you here to kill you, Leonard.
Snart: So what are we doing here?
Mick: This is where Thawne recruited you for The Legion. I'm going to wipe your memory and put you on the right path.
Snart: You mean the path where I join up with some Brit twit and die trying to save the world?
Mick: No. You die trying to save your friends.
Snart: Still a death sentence.
Mick: You know what your punishment is, Leonard? You end up being a better man. And so do I.
Snart: (scoffs) Better? You mean softer.
Mick: No. I mean better.
Sara: Stay out of trouble.
Rip: What? Without you lot? I think that will actually be quiet easy.
Sara: Guys? I think we broke Time.
(Everyone looks out the windshield of The Waverider. The skyline of 2017 Los Angeles is made up of varying styles of building. Perhaps more worryingly, a pack of raptors are converging on the crashed ship...)
The whole of the scene with Laurel and Sara when Sara uses The Spear.
Sara had no idea that Nate and Amaya had begun developing romantic feelings for each other.
Thawne used Ray Palmer's ATOM suit to shrink Rip Hunter and The Waverider.
Thawne kept Ray's suit in another lab in the Central City STAR Labs complex.
The team return to the setting of 215.
Future Ray dies after a confrontation with Thawne, where Thawne destroys the vial of Christ's blood before it was destroyed originally.
Future Jax dies taking an arrow shot by Merlyn to save Past Stein.
Jax has apparently been training with Sara, proving capable enough in a fight, to snatch an arrow from Merlyn's quiver, stab him in the leg with it, grab Merlyn's bow from him while he's stunned and smack him in the head with it.
Future Rory is killed after being shot in the back by Snart, impaled on an icicle.
Future Nate is killed by Darhk, stabbed from behind with a sword.
Future Rip is killed by one of the Reverse Flashes.
Future Sara fades out of existence after Past Sara uses The Spear of Destiny to depower itself.
Malcolm Merlyn is returned to his crummy Star City apartment in 2017 and has his memory erased.
Leonard Snart is returned to where he was pulled in 2014 Central City and has his memory erased.
Damien Darhk is returned to where Thawne first approached him in 1987 Miami and has his memory erased.
We see the ruby slippers that Nate gave Amaya in 211.
Amaya decides not to return back to 1942 yet, deciding that if she has a destiny, it will wait for her.
Amaya and Nate officially become a couple.
Rip decides to leave The Waverider, taking The Jumpship to go his own way. He tells Sara he has nothing left to teach her about being the Captain of a Time-ship.
Central City - 2017.
A battlefield near the Somme River in North-Central Framce - 1916
Central City - 2014.
Miami - 1987
Los Angels - 2017
The Fridge Factor
Sara's sudden crisis of faith in this episode regarding there being too much darkness inside of her to use The Spear of Destiny drudges up one of Arrow's most annoyingly stupid plot beats (i.e. the idea that Sara had a natural darkness inside her while Laurel had a light). Every bit of character development Sara had over the past season of this show, growing confident as a hero and a leader as she took over the team, is aborted so that Sara can fall back into the role of the emo whiner who isn't worthy of happiness or love that was forced upon her to justify her removal from Arrow at the end of Season Two.
What makes this even worse is that the universe (or whoever is speaking to Sara in Laurel's form) agrees with her assessment that there's no light in her and that she's a broken bird.
The crowning touch? Sara can't use the spear until a man tells her that he believes in her.
The Bottom Line
Ignore the fifth segment and it's a solid episode. One might have a spirited debate as to which is more painful - Katie Cassidy's under-acting or Matt Letscher's over-acting. I opt for the former since Matt Letscher is at least amusing when he goes over the top and when you're having to boss around the likes of John Barrowman, Neal McDonough and Wentworth Miller you have to go big or go home. As is, this episode would be perfect if it weren't for their need to tear down Sara Lance in Act 2 to make Act 3 work. Still, the matter seems to be settled once and for all and we can look forward to more of Captain Canary kicking ass and taking names in Season Three.