“Legends of Tomorrow” hops around in time a bit in the Thursday, April 21 episode, “Last Refuge,” all in order to save their own lives when the Time Masters send the Pilgrim to kill their younger selves. What will it take to stop the assassin? And what will what they have to do in order to save themselves mean for the mission?
The best part of this “Legends of Tomorrow” episode is easily Paul Blackthorne’s guest appearance and seeing Sara (past and present) with her father again, but at the same time, it’s bittersweet because in the actual present on “Arrow,” Laurel is dead and Quentin has lost Sara (twice!), something that makes her assuring her younger self that he won’t lose her all the more poignant. Bringing their younger selves in for protection also means a conversation between Rory and his younger self that helps explain why he is the way he is. Plus, Jax gets to spend time with his father, something he never got because his father was deployed the night of his birth and was killed in action two weeks later, and even warn him in hopes that maybe he can change the past. The experience even ends up meaning good things for Kendra and Ray’s future – or at least immediate future because let’s face it, Old West Kendra was probably right. And hey, there’s even a young Rip!
The team takes trips to Central City 1990, 1972 and 1993, Starling City 2007 and 2014 and Ivy Town 1950 to pick up the team’s younger selves. Since Kendra is reincarnated when she dies and Rip’s a Time Master, they’re safe (for the moment). Young Rory and Sara are put in the cargo hold, while the (slightly) younger Ray recovers from his injuries against the Pilgrim in a hospital, and Snart, Jax and Stein are just babies when they grab them because kidnapping babies is better than having no idea when the Pilgrim is going to attack since they lose the ability to track her. (Seriously, Stein’s parents just let some random strangers, one wearing a white coat and looking like he’s more apt to kidnap their baby than care for it, take him from the side of the road. Maybe it’s Rip’s accent.)
Rip brings their younger selves to a safe harbor run by his adoptive mother, and here, they get to learn a bit more about the Time Masters. They fill their ranks with children, orphans pulled from throughout the course of history, and this place exists in a secret place in history, so they’re good. Here, Rip gets a chance to have a moment to wonder if he’s being selfish, but his mother assures him that he’s not, that he won’t accomplish anything by wallowing, so get to it. She sends them on their way, but the Pilgrim sends a message: she’ll go after their loved ones if she can’t have them: Lisa Snart, Quentin Lance, Clarissa Stein, Anna Loring (Ray’s fiancée) and Jackson’s father. Rip offers up an alternative: his younger self. Eliminate him and the team will never have been.
Of course there’s a plan, and while the Pilgrim is able to control time in her immediate vicinity and essentially freeze everyone in place as they try to attack her, she forgets about young Rip, who stabs her, leaving her vulnerable for the others to finish her off. But with the omega protocol still in effect, their younger selves must stay at the refuge. Before leaving Rory tells his younger self who he is and admits that he spent his whole life blaming him for what happened to his family, for being scared after he let a flame get out of control and running out without waking them.
Back on the ship, the others have a chance to see their loved ones before they get amnesia pills to protect the timeline. Quentin tells his daughter he always knew she’d end up caring for and protecting people; she learned from her father, she says. Jax gets to hear his father praise him for the man he’s become, something he’s wanted his entire life. However, Clarissa can’t quite place Stein, which is worrisome and a sign that the history from which their younger selves were removed is beginning to set. That means they have to stop Savage now, so they’re heading to the one place in time they know he is, a time that is too dangerous to strike because he’s at the height of his power: 2166 when he conquered the world.
Also in the episode, while Ray is suffering the effects of his younger self’s fight against the Pilgrim, Kendra says she wants to spend however long they have with him, there’s talk of the rest of their lives and there’s a ring on the floor, so hey, they’re engaged. (That proposal makes about as much sense as this relationship ever lasting given Carter, but why not?) Kendra expresses her doubts to Sara, and Ray just so happens to overhear. When he tells her as much, she confesses that she ran into herself in the Old West and she said it would end in heartbreak if she tried to be with someone other than Carter. If being with him makes her happy, she can be happy, he says, or she can listen to a former version of herself who believes in curses. It’s her decision. And when better for her to decide that she wants to marry him than when his fiancée, snatched out of the timeline, is hanging out in their room?
“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 12 “Last Refuge”?