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TV Review: Legends of Tomorrow - Season 1 Episode 15 "Destiny"

05.13.2016

EPISODE 15: "Destiny"

SYNOPSIS: Being in the vicinity of the Time Masters leaves Rip (Arthur Darvill) and Rory (Dominic Purcell) incredibly disturbed for very different reasons.  Meanwhile, Sara (Caity Lotz) takes over the Waverider, Kendra (Ciara Renée) is reunited with Carter (guest star Falk Hentschel) and Snart (Wentworth Miller) decides he might be a hero after all.  Olatunde Osunsanmi directed the episode with story by Marc Guggenheim and teleplay by Phil Klemmer & Chris Fedak (#115). 

REVIEW:

Hot damn, my friends! Tonight's episode of DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW was certainly one of this season's best and I'm here to tell you why it worked so well for me, personally.

The first thing I'll mention is the pacing of tonight's episode. Yes, it's true that we got a flashback sequence or two, but at the very least, each moment we returned to was followed up with an informative twist on the original material. In general though, I felt the transitions from scene-to-scene flowed better in this episode. By this I mean that I felt as if there was very little padding or fluff going on. For real, even the smaller conversations felt as if they served to bring characters closer to one another, or perhaps make the sting of a plot reveal all the more biting. For me, this episode carried with it a sense of urgency, and it's when our legends have their backs against the wall that they're at their best.

I'm going to kind of bop around a little bit for this week's review, so bear with me as I jump from moment to moment. For one, Time Master Druce. What a pill this guy is. Martin Donovan sure can play an asshole, huh? There's something about his steely eyes and dour expressions that make me both love and hate him at the same time. I mean, I knew that the time masters were not to be trusted, but the fact that they've been manipulating time to the extent that they have is a bit of a shock. Okay, so maybe I wasn't blown away by the reveal, but conceptually, it's pretty damn cool. Think about it for a moment, yeah? Not only can they view time, but they can also manipulate people within the time stream to do their bidding? That's insanity! It brings about a series of questions concerning free will, not to mention the existence of God or what have you. I'm sort of glad the show didn't take this subject matter any father than they did, because the last thing I want is for the writers to try getting all philosophical on us with only one episode left in the season.

Another aspect of tonight's episode that I enjoyed was watching the team cooperate with one another to get the job done. When I think back to the beginning of this season, and remember just how argumentative and reluctant everyone was to work with each other, it makes me cringe. Now, after witnessing the manner in which the team worked together in the destruction of the Vanishing Point, I can't help but smile. After all, I've spent a lot of time with these characters over these past few months, and there's always been a part of me that's wanted to see them all become better heroes. I think that with this episode that moment had finally arrived. Some might say that it's too little too late, but I don't feel as if that's the case.

Case in point, the way in which not one or two, but three of our heroes stepped up to sacrifice themselves in an effort to help destroy the Vanishing Point. Oh sure, it's no surprise that Ray would want to play hero to the bitter end, but Snart and Rory stepping up to the plate? There was nothing in either of their characters that at the start of this season would have lead us to believe that they would make a move like this. And no, Snart's tendency to compromise occasionally when appearing as a guest on THE FLASH is not going to change my mind. If you remember, there was always an ulterior motive to Snart playing along with Barry. Here, Leonard is willing to give his life for the sake of his friends, not to mention the rest of the world – remember, all of those people he hates back home would also survive as a result of his actions.

Normally, reviewing this show requires me to take the piss out of at least one character (if not several) per episode. In the case of “Destiny”, I honestly can't find anything to complain about in terms of the performances. I even thought Arthur Darvill (who I know is capable of great things) delivered a moment with Rip tonight that was packed with emotion. Of course I'm talking about the scene in which Rip discovers that the time masters sent Savage to murder his family. The despair in his voice, the quivering rage and his heart sank like a stone. I felt it, and although this makes me sound like a terrible person, I'm happy that Rip's family remained dead so that we could watch him fall to pieces. I'm not saying that all is forgiven, he irritated me a lot throughout the season, but at the very least this was an earned moment for his character – and Darvill stuck the landing.

That's pretty much all I've got for this episode. In addition to some solid character moments, I also enjoyed the CGI implemented here as well. I'm fairly certain that the biggest thing we're going to see this season was that giant robot battle, but it's nice to know that there was money left in the budget to render some cool outerspace sequences as well. By this I mean the goings on outside of the Vanishing Point. While I admit it would have been cool to see the time masters get involved in a dogfight with the Wave Rider, I totally understand why there wasn't any time (or money) for that.

Oh, and just one more thing. The kiss between Snart and Sara was great. I think a lot of us have been hoping to see something like that for most of the season. I know that in past reviews I've complained a lot about the Ray, Carter, and Kendra love triangle– but it's not because I don't think a relationship sub-plot can work on this show, it's that there has never been any chemistry between those characters/actors. In the case of Sara and Snart though, yeah, they're a pairs of chemists. Now, we all know that Sara prefers the company of women, but she did date Oliver Queen. Who's to say that something couldn't work out between her and Snart if all the pieces were to fall into place?

And yeah, I don't believe for a moment that Snart is dead. I guarantee you that the blast from the oculus transported him away from the carnage, or something. I could be wrong, but I have a hard time believing they'd let go of one of the show's most celebrated characters. Unless Wentworth Miller has something else going on, I think we'll be seeing Leonard Snart again real soon.

RECAP:

Tonight's episode kicked off by taking us back to Star City cira 2016 – the night our legendary adventure began! We join the team just as Rip is done buttering each of his future teammates up with words about Savage's evil plans, heroism, and destiny. A moment or two later and we find Stein speaking with a relutant-to-participate Jax Jackson. As the younger half of Team Firestorm walks off in a pout, the Jax that traveled back to 2016 aboard the jump ship (last episode), shows up. Jax quickly explains to Stein that he needs the professor's help in repairing the ship.

Next, we're greeted by a scene of Ray, Kendra, Professor Stein, and Mick discussing the circumstances of their incarceration and what might be waiting for them once the guards return. As Stein explains that he's feeling ill - due to he and Jax being apart for so long - Mick says that he's got a pretty good idea of what's about to happen to them. With a gruff and methodical cadence, Mick explains that the time masters will more than likely put each of them through the “induction process”. Um, okay, what the hell is that? Hmm, well, have you ever seen A CLOCKWORK ORANGE? Remember the brainwashing? It's a lot like that, only the time master's gear looks like a futuristic dentist's chair and there are no violent movie clips for the victims to enjoy. Just then, a batch of goons arrive and take both Mick and Kendra away from the group.

After that, we see the dollar store version of Stormtroopers leading Rip to a room where Time Master Druce is waiting. As Rip and Druce sneer at one another from across the room, Rip inquires as to why the time masters have yet to end his existence. To that, Druce explains that he still needs to know where the rest of Rip's team are hidden, and that he's got a knowledge bomb to drop on Captain Hunter as well. Druce then explains to his former pupil that the reason he and the other time masters have facilitated Savage's rise to power is because humanity needs him in order to survive. What? Sniff … sniff. Hmmm … Do you smell that? It smells an awful lot like shit to me, folks.

The way Druce tells it, humanity requires Savage because he's the only one who can shield what remains of the human race from a Thanagarian attack. The who now? They're a race of hawk-like peoples whose home planet is rich in a rare material called Nth Metal. Rip takes several “I'm astonished” steps back as he examines the evidence of Druce's claims. The good captain simply cannot fathom a world where Savage is needed.

As we make our way back aboard the Wave Rider, we discover that Snart and Sara have taken refuge from the time masters while hiding in one of the ship's storage compartments. Snart, fed up with the way things are going wants to take the ship and sail off into parts unknown, but Sara isn't down for that. No, she wants to stay behind and figure out a rescue plan. To this, Snart raises his cold gun at Sara, but she doesn't budge. A stand-off later and suddenly a phone rings. As Sara confusingly answers the call, she finds that Gideon is functioning, once again. Thrilled to hear the voice of the ship's on-board navigation system, once again, Sara asks Gideon about the location of their teammates. Gideon then shares that the group is being held in the cell block of The Vanishing Point – home base of the Time Masters. Right after this, there's a scene of Vandal Savage speaking to a incapacitated and disoriented Kendra. The time tyrant shares with his captive that her beloved Carter is in his possession, and alive to boot!

Shortly thereafter, we find Mick talking to the time master in charge of his rehabilitation. With an expressionless puss on his face, the dude activates the brainwashing process before Mick has an opportunity to escape.

A transition later and we're back with Rip and Time Master Druce. Only now, Druce has brought Captain Hunter to a special room called the Oculus Viewing Chamber. While there, Druce reveals to Rip that with the oculus, not only can the time masters view time, they can also manipulate it. Huh? Didn't we know that already? Well, yes, but not quite to this extent. You see, it appears as if Druce and the other time masters have been shaping the fates of Rip and his team since the very beginning. When Rip refuses to accept the truth of Druce's words, the steely-eyed asshole invites Rip to place his hand in the center of the room and see for himself. As Rip complies, he experiences everything that was and will be in a matter of seconds. Suddenly, Captain Hunter knows that he's nothing but a puppet, a slave to the time master's will and whim.

Next, we return to Central City in the year 2016. While there, we are treated to a scene of Jax and Stein working very quickly to repair Jax's jump ship. They bicker just like old times, and we move on. To where, you ask? Back to the Induction Chamber where Mick is undergoing the brainwashing process. After a few good zaps, Mick presumably falls back into his Chronos persona, and is then ordered to seek and destroy the lives of Sara Lance and Leonard Snart. Ah, but where are they? Heh, I'll tell you where. It seems that they've already arrived at the Vanishing Point, where they can be found skulking around the hangar - sabotaging the Time Master's fleet or warships.

BWOMP BWOMP BWOMP! What the hell is that? Why that's the sound of shit hitting the fan in the Vanishing Point. Yup, Gideon is back online and has executed Sara's orders to perform a time jump. Of course, old man Druce is none too happy about this, and orders his men to go after them. What this craggy butt munch doesn't know, is that his fleet has been compromised. Ha ha ha! Your attack vessels are grounded, Drucey! Suck it!

Struggling to regain control of the situation, Druce orders his men to kill Rip, Ray, and Stein where they stand. Buuuuuuuuut … Just before the men open fire, Snart makes an explosive entrance and charges into the chamber with his cold gun raised. It all goes pretty swimmingly, too. That is until Chronos and his time master torturer show up. It's then that the ugly torturer dude - who looks as if he buys his clothes from the Curtain Aisle at Target - orders Chronos to kill Snart. A stand-off later and we find out that the brainwashing didn't effect Mick at all. In fact, Mick is so in control that he opens fire on the time master, and then promptly crushes the man's spine beneath his boot. CRUNCH!

After this, we discover that back in 2016, Jax and Stein have fixed the jump ship. Jax then departs, but not before he and Stein exchange a few words about their unique partnership. A change of scenery later and we discover that Mick, Rip, Ray have made their way back to the Wave Rider - where Sara can found occupying pilot's seat. They need a plan, and the best one the can come up with is to turn the ship around and destroy the oculus wellspring. Basically, without the oculus, the time masters will no longer have access to a way to view the world's time line. Obviously, this will suit the legends just fine as it will help make their next move against their oppressors unpredictable.

A commercial break later, we join Mick and Ray as they're chowing down in the Wave Rider's mess hall. As Ray stuffs his face with a cupcake, he asks Mick about how he beat the brainwashing process. Mick reveals to him that it was thoughts about his teammates that kept him focused. The question now is, why is Ray acting wistful in theis particular moment? It's definitely because he thinks he's going to die. Ah, but why would he think that? It may or may not be because I forgot to mention that earlier, while sticking his hand in the time stream, Rip witnessed Palmer's untimely demise.

Back at Sara's sleeping quarters, we find Snart standing outside her door with a deck of playing cards. Sara then tells him that she's not in the mood for games. To this, Snart decides to chat about the concept of their lives being nothing more than a pre-determined song-and-dance routine orchestrated by the time masters. Sara then inquires as to why Snart hasn't skipped town yet. The captain of cold reveals responds by telling Sara that he's interested in her, romantically speaking. Unfortunately, Sara blows him off and walks away.

We then join Rip and an ailing Stein as they discuss the professor's latest strategy to help destroy the oculus. Shortly thereafter, Gideon announces that they ship has arrived at its destination – the far side of the Oculus Wellspring. Armed and ready to rock n' roll, Team Wave Rider rolls out in search of the entrance. Unfortunately for them, Time Master Druce and his chorus line of rent-a-thugs are there waiting. There's a bit of chit chat and dick measuring, when suddenly, a rain of laser fire begins falling from the sky. It's Jax! He's back, and after an enthusiastic high-five, is reunited with his Firestorm partner, Stein. With Druce and his men now scrambling for cover, the team have rushed the location of the oculus.

Next, we're back with Kendra and Savage in the year 2166. Why are we back here? So that Savage can kill Rip's family, of course. Kendra pleads with Vandal to reconsider, but to make a not-so-long story even shorter, he does it anyway. That's right, Captain Hunter's family still dies despite all of his efforts.

Back in the oculus chamber, and after a bit of sciencing, Ray discovers that the only way to destroy the device is to detonate it manually. Rip warns that doing this will be an act of suicide, but Ray's mind remains unchanged. To this, Mick decides that he's going to make the sacrifice play, knocks Palmer out cold, and takes his place. Rip then shrinks an unconscious Ray down to size and makes for the exit. When he returns to the rest of the team, and informs them that Mick stayed behind, Snart and Sara go back for their friend.

Upon meeting up with Mick, Snart cracks his long-time partner in the head and takes his place. Sara tries to reason with Leonard, but Snart explains that it's the only way to assure the destruction of the oculus. Without hesitation, Sara plants one on Snart, and it's one of the show's most satisfying moments to date.

As the show winds to a close, we find the group mourning the loss of their teammate. Ray tries to comfort Mick, but the hot-headed thief ain't listenin'. A little after that, we find one of the remaining time masters speaking with Vandal Savage about the destruction of oculus. As the rage inside of Savage begins to swell, the time master cuts ties with the tyrant, leaving him to his own nefarious devices. Heh heh heh, what's the matter Savage? Are your best laid plans coming undone? Just you wait, man, Mick and a group of angry legends are on their way to kick your pea coated ass from here till the end of time!

STINGER: "Legendary" airs May 19th After the numerous sacrifices the team has made since the beginning of this ride, Rip decides that it’s time they each decide their own destiny and returns them to Central City a few months after they first left. Returned to their normal lives, each team member must individually decide if they are willing to sacrifice everything in order to save the world. Meanwhile, Sara visits with her father (guest star Paul Blackthorne) who delivers some heartbreaking news about her sister. Dermott Downs directed the episode with story by Greg Berlanti & Chris Fedak and teleplay by Phil Klemmer & Marc Guggenheim.

Extra Tidbit: Funny how this episode was entitled "Destiny" and the chamber that housed the Oculus TOTALLY looked like a locale you'd find in Bungie's MMO first-person-shooter video game by the same name.

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