When Hank commandeers the Waverider in 1973 in a bid to capture the Legends, the team is forced to go on the run in an RV, with President Richard Nixon as a hostage and a strange magical creature that makes them unable to lie. Meanwhile, Zari and Nate continue their investigation into Hank's true plans for the Time Bureau, recruiting Gary to help them.
The movie Liar Liar (comedy about a man magically compelled to stop lying), the Let's Kill Hitler episode of Doctor Who (running gag of the heroes abusing one of history's most notorious bad guys and stuffing him into cramped quarters) and 70's highway chase movies, particularly Smokey and the Bandit.
While Mick's line about saving the Sundance film festival and Robert Redford's career is funny, it's highly unlikely that All The President's Men never being made would have hurt him. By the time that movie was made in 1976, Redford had already earned one Best Actor nomination for The Sting and become a bankable star thanks to Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, The Great Gatsby and The Great Waldo Pepper.
While Hank is undoubtedly a bad guy at this point (even if he is doing everything for the son he never connected with) the scene of him and Nate finally bonding over a Coke is a touching one and well-played by Nick Zano and Tom Wilson.
The episode's use of mood music is fantastic.
Trivia of Tomorrow
The car which John, Mona and Sara drive back to the police barricade at the end of the episode is a black Pontiac Trans Am. This was the same model car driven by Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit.
There are many buttons on the futuristic toilet of the Waverider. Mick and Sara both say you should not push the red one, but do not explain why.
John knows a spell that can super-heat metal. He uses this to heat the door handle in the hospital to delay the Time Agents chasing the Legends.
John traces Nixon's inability to lie to an agent of Ma'at - the Ancient Egyptian goddess of truth. Taking the form of an insect, it feeds on lies and will hide inside the body of a dishonest person in order to feast, leaving that person unable to speak anything that is not the complete truth.
John uses a Latin chant and a jar to draw the agent of Ma'at out of people. The Latin chant - vi veri universum vivus vici - translates as "By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe." This is a line from the journal of famous occultist Aleister Crowley,
Zari gives Nate an ear-piece tuned to a frequency Hank can't read.on his radio.
John knows a spell that can create an illusionary duplicate of a moving vehicle, sending a mirror image of the RV up the road for Hank and Nate to chase.
Zari reaches out to the team as DJ Z, sending them messages across an FM radio band.
John confirms that the scratch of a Kaupe can transform the victim into a were-beast similar to a Kaupe.
John knows a binding spell that is not quite strong enough to restrain a were-Kaupe.
(The team is running through all the things that changed because of Richard Nixon being forced from office before Watergate.)
Ray: Without the release of All The President's Men, Robert Redford's career floundered.
Mick: (enraged) What?! No Redford?! No Sundance?! No indie film?! No artful nudity?! We've got to fix this!
(Zari entrusts Gary with going through Hank's phone.)
Gary: I've always wanted to untangle a conspiracy. (dramatically) I'll need a bulletin board, index cards - I already have yarn. I've been getting into crochet!
Zari: (with uncharacteristic enthusiasm)Yeah, me too!
Gary: We should start a club!
Zari: We'll talk.
(Ray, John, Mona, Sara and Mick are escaping the hospital with a doped-up Richard Nixon.)
Ray: How are we going to make distance with five of us and a kidnapped Nixon?
Mick: (pointing) There! There's our getaway!
(Cut to an RV, whose side proclaims that it is named "The Getaway".)
John: That's a bit on the nose, no?
Sara: We left subtlety back in Mexico.
(Hank sets up an old-fashioned police dragnet to catch the Legends)
Hank: If the Legends so much as forget to signal, we'll hear about it. They'll slip up eventually!
Nate: Eh, that's probably accurate.
(Nixon starts to stir.)
John: Hey guys? Looks like Nixon here is finally winning the War on Drugs.
(Nixon looks up to see John, Sara and Mona.)
Nixon: Good God, I've been kidnapped by hippies!
Nixon: (looking at the agent of Ma'at John retrieved from his mouth) I've been bugged!
John (struggling to stuff Nixon into a closet) Let's put Dick in a box.
Ray: I think this is a very needed chance for us to talk about how we feel.
John: Well, I'm glad you're happy.
(The agent of Ma'at forces its way through the tape covering the hole in the jar and makes a beeline for John's mouth.)
John: No! Wait! I mean -
(John is cut off as the bug forces its way down his throat.)
John: I don't care if you're happy and I certainly don't trust you lot in helping me face Neron, no matter how many "go team" pep-talks you give.
Ray: Well, you can't keep me down!
(John vomits up the agent of Ma'at, who charges down Ray's throat.)
Ray: (intensely, looking right at John) Actually, ever since I've met you, I sometimes lie awake at night, starring into the dark, thinking that I am it. And it is me. Also, I don't think Han shot first.
(Sara orders the rest of the team to Florida while she chases after Mona.)
Sara: Mona is out there alone and we don't leave our people behind, no matter how much the bug the crap out of us. I'd say 'no pun intended' but that would be a lie.
Sara: Look - I just don't know how to... convince everybody that everything's okay when I'm not okay.
John: Well, you know, if we were in each other's shoes right now, then you'd be giving me some rubbish speech about how you don't have to shoulder the burden myself when I have friends around to help me carry it. Not that I'd believe you for a second. But that doesn't mean it's not true.
Sara: Thanks. Even if you are just lying to make me feel better.
John: Oh, I definitely am. Hope it worked though.
(Nixon is ranting to Hank about everything The Legends did to him.)
Nixon: They've besmirched my good name and I've done nothing to deserve it!
(The agent of Ma'at gets free and charges down Nixon's mouth.)
Nixon: Well, actually..., there is nothing good about my name. If you were born with the name Dick Millhouse, you'd grow up to be a bastard too.
(As Nixon swears he can turn over a new leaf and become a better man.)
Mick: Nah. History needs you crooked, Dick.
Sara: You know, maybe that's who family is? The people you don't mind being annoyed by.
As the episode opens, it is revealed that the timeline was altered in 1973 so that Richard Nixon somehow became unable to lie, resulting in global chaos as various trade agreement and peace talks faltered.
Since this resulted in the Watergate Scandal never happening, this also indirectly resulted in Robert Redford never becoming the Hollywood star he was destined to become after All The President's Men, resulting in the Sundance Film Festival never starting up, the independent film movement in America never taking off and none of the art films with tasteful nudity that Mick Rory loves.
Sara insists she is fine to run a mission despite her break-up with Ava, lying and saying they just had an argument.
Ray was more concerned about the team being on the outs with the Time Bureau.
Charlie was more worried about the fact that they still have Mona on-board the Waverider.
Ava has taken a leave of absence from the Time Bureau.
Hank is the acting director of the Time Bureau in Ava's absence.
Zari has officially become a Time Agent.
Zari and Nate are still pretending to be dating in front of Hank.
Hank's first mission as director is capturing the rest of the Legends.
Nate says the only person they can still trust in the Time Bureau is Gary.
Zari asks Gary to go through the cloned data from Hank's phone and gives him a secure tablet to do the job and contact her.
Gary and Zari have both gotten into crochet. They discuss starting a club.
Mona does not tell Sara that she is transforming into a were-creature.
Charlie's shape-shifting powers are still wonky, but she can manage a credible shift into Richard Nixon for a few seconds.
Zari and Nate arrive on the Waverider and warn John, Mona and Mick of the approaching Time Agents.
Hank calls the Waverider's computer Siri and Alexa before finally remembering her name is Gideon.
Zari shuts down all the systems on the Waverider, blaming it on the Legends bricking the system.
The RV that The Legends steal is named The Getaway.
Mona is claustrophobic.
It is only at this point that Sara and Ray remember Charlie is still at the hospital trying to impersonating Nixon.
Sara puts Mona in charge of watching the agent of Ma'at once John traps it in a jar.
Sara appears to be grossed out by large insects.
Gary asks Nora Darhk to help him with his conspiracy map. He says it will get her out of the cell for a night and her life may be in danger.
Mona drops the jar holding the Agent of Ma'at, which rolls forward and gets stuck under the break of the RV. This causes Ray to panic and speed up, which gets the attention of a sheriff.
Ray has never been pulled over while driving in his life.
The agent of Ma'at is able to escape through the air-hole Mona punched in its jar-lid, It jumps into Ray's mouth after he lies about having steering-wheel trouble, driving his family to see the largest chest of drawers in North Carolina and Sara being his wife, Claire, to the sheriff who pulls them over.
Hank and Nate commandeer the sheriff's car to chase after the Legends.
Nora is a fairly effective computer hacker and figures out a way to get into Hank's e-mail.
Gary hits upon the idea of resetting Hank's password rather than trying to guess it. He notes he has trouble remembering his passwords after accidentally erasing his own memory so many times. To do this, they need to know the name of Hank's dog as a child.
Hank was born in Hackensack, New Jersey.
Reference is made to how Hank grew up not knowing his father, who died a hero's death in 214.
Hank used to have a Labrador retriever named Silver, after the Lone Ranger's horse.
Hank made Nate watch the old Lone Ranger show when he was a kid.
Nora and Gary discoverer a property deed from 1912 in Hank's name and a shipment of dwarf star alloy from 1837.
Using time travel for personal gain is against the credo of the Time Bureau. Gary keeps a copy of it in his wallet.
Gary and Nora are almost discovered by Neron, who is still in Desmond's body.
Nora has some kind of reaction to Neron's presence. She tells Gary to get what they found to Zari but not to dig any further.
Neron calls Nate across time, through a pay phone, and tells him his password was compromised. This leads to him figuring out why Nate was asking about his dog.
Mick doesn't really think Ray is an idiot.
John doesn't trust the Legends to help him and hates Ray's pep-talks.
Ray honestly is brought down by John's attitude and has begun brooding in the darkness at night.
Ray doesn't think Han shot first, loves Gluten and used a strategy guide to beat the Water Temple in Legend of Zelda.
Ray likes John's "look" but thinks he is trying too hard with the fake loosened tie.
John actually does intentionally leave his tie loose and thinks superhero code names are stupid.
Mick does care what John thinks about him and wants to grow his hair out to look like Fabio.
Ray doesn't think Mick would look good with long hair.
Ray trusts Sara but thinks the current mission is a disaster and they are totally screwed.
Sara confesses that Ava dumped her and that she blames Mona for all her current problems.
Hank figures out that Zari is using the FM radio band to signal the Legends, warning them about his ambush in Richmond, Virginia.
Mona transforms again in the diner after several Time Bureau agents stop in and talk about getting back at the Legends for the incident in Mexico City and they trash-talk the Kaupe.
Hank is able to capture Ray and Mick and the RV.
Mona is able to speak in her beast form, albeit with great difficulty.
Nate admits that he's been lying to Hank but truthfully says that he loves his dad and never felt closer to him but he'd going crazy because of this secret project he's working on.
Hank is able to say that he's only doing all this for Nate without it setting off the truth bug.
Hank agrees to let the Legends go and to stop lying to Nate.
Sara talks Mona out of her rage and promises to be there if she needs someone to vent to.
Nate says that Zari is not his girlfriend but he's open to it.
Mona is welcomed into the Legends.
Ray erases Nixon's memory of his time with the Legends.
Zari says that Hank was embezzling Time Bureau funds for a black-ops site in Baltimore. She says that what the scientists there are doing to experiment on magical creatures are similar to the work done by ARGUS in her time to create metahuman super-soldiers under the government's control.
Hank tries to break his bargain with Neron. Neron responds by drawing the soul out of Hank.
Nora Darhk senses this from her cell and is somehow able to break free. She arrives at the director's office just in time for Nate to find her standing over Hank's dead body and jump to the wrong conclusions.
The episode ends with Nora unleashing a shockwave that knocks the Time Agents back as she makes her escape..
Disney's Contemporary Hotel - Orlando, Florida - November 17, 1973
Time Bureau HQ - Washington DC - 2018
Walter Reed Medical Center - Washington DC - November 16, 1973
The freeway between Washington DC and Walt Disney World.
The Bottom Line
A hilarious episode that manages its ensemble brilliantly, apart from them forgetting about Charlie. All kidding aside, the emotional beats all ring true and the plot is advanced smoothly.