Considering the two parts of the pilot didn’t air consecutively, it seems odd for the two episodes to be paired together at all. The Legends remain in 1975 and pursue their only lead on Vandal Savage: and it goes about as well as you’d think a supposedly climactic battle would go in the second episode.
The team makes a plan to ambush Vandal Savage at an auction for his nuclear weapon (seeing Damien Darkh there was cute,) and rushing in without thinking to listen to the ex-Time Master’s considerations. Unsurprisingly, things go all wrong and time gets all wibbly-wobblied due to a small part of Ray’s Atom-suit being dislodged. Having access to technology that is advanced by 40+ years, Savage’s plans for global conquest kick into overdrive, and their old time is no more. Needing to find some way to track the Alpha particles from the part of his suit, but not being able to return to their own time to acquire the necessary tools, they decide to meet with 1975’s leading expert on Alpha particles: Martin Stein.
You can tell this show is making the most of its time bending capabilities, capitalizing on it with Professor Boardman last week and now stoner college-age Martin Stein. Because of course he was. His disapproval of his past self’s antics was tiresome considering he knew exactly what he was getting himself into. Coming to terms with this later on, that he is still the same man just in a different mindset wrapped that plotline up in a neat little bow for Martin, but as for the younger Marty? How the hell did Rip Hunter manage to explain away the time traveling UFO? Say it was the set of a Doctor Who episode? You’d think with having a deep knowledge of Alpha particles, Marty would connect the dots and realize: oh wait, time travel. Blah blah timestream blah blah, the man could handle it.
Splitting the Legends up again but in a different direction this time, were Ray and the Rogues infiltrating Vandal Savage’s home (unbeknownst to them) in order to acquire one of the artifacts present at the original murder in Egypt: the priestess dagger. And steal some stuff, of course. I understand that the men are thieves, but considering they have all of time at their disposal there are far easier ways to make a few bucks. Of course that is far less rewarding, which would seem to be Leonard’s motivations for crime. Their bonding over electrical engineering showed that Ray and he were foils of another in a way: both with the same capabilities, just sent into entirely different walks of life. Considering what we’ve seen of his father in The Flash, describing himself as a “survivor” through his crimes fits. Captain Cold makes an effective antihero for these interesting shades of gray. It’s not that he just needs the money, or doesn’t know any other way of living, but instead that he doesn’t see how any other way of living is worth the risks you put yourself at in them. He doesn’t want to lose what he’s worked so hard for just for someone else.
With the dagger in tow and a whole truckload of indispensable goons on the way, the stage was set for a climactic showdown between the Hawks and Vandal as well as a nice fireworks display courtesy of Atom and Firestorm. After a successful pep-talk about destiny and all that between Carter and Kendra, she recalled the magic words to kick the dagger into action and kill Savage… but it didn’t work because despite knowing all of that, they didn’t know it had to be Kendra to deal the blow. Wait, what? Because it was her knife? But they said that the Staff of Horus would have killed Vandal if it had been either of the Hawks weilding it, but that wasn’t either of theirs. Since when does this follow Harry Potter rules and it has to be your wand to actually kill people with them?
Regardless, Carter got stabbed in the goddamn heart and Vandal got away, which is an excellent wrench to throw into the mix for the team. Undoubtedly they will try and find Carter in one of his other lives, which will entail either traveling forward to the next generation or back to any period in history. With no lead on when else in time to go, Legends will need to pick up the momentum that it shed at the tail of this episode.
Check out my review of the first episode here.