“Legends of Tomorrow” heads to the Old West in the Thursday, April 14 episode, “The Magnificent Eight.” There, they meet Jonah Hex, find out more about Rip’s past (in the past) and encounter the Time Masters’ latest threat. Plus, Kendra’s in for a surprise when she bumps into a woman in a saloon.
Time travel can be tricky. Very tricky. And “Legends of Tomorrow” of addresses a few of its problems with Jonah pointing out that they’re thinking more of the immediate future than what will happen the day they leave and Stein refusing to see the bad in saving a boy’s life using medication that won’t be around for 70 years. The latter also comes into play in Rip’s explanation for why he doesn’t want to leave the Waverider and why he had to leave when he did the last time he encountered something similar to what Salvation’s going through with the Stillwater gang: it’s too easy to use what they know and have to be a hero.
With the Hunters after them, Rip chooses to hide out in 1871 in Salvation, a temporal blind spot that should keep them hidden from the Time Masters. While everyone enjoys the Old West clothes, Ray is basically a kid in a candy shop (which isn’t anything new) and goes so far as to introduce himself as John Wayne before being named the new sheriff. See, as tends to happen with this group, them taking a look around leads to trouble, in this case when Stein gets into it with a friend of the gang’s leader over a hand of poker and Snart shoots him to save his teammate’s life. Jonah Hex only intervenes to put an end to the fighting that ensues, and he knows pretty much immediately that they’re not just out-of-towners but out-of-timers as well. Oh, and he knows Rip Hunter. (But Rip doesn’t want to talk about last time.)
When the Stillwater gang rides into town, Ray stands up to them (with help from Snart set up as his sharpshooter) and manages to drive them away, but as Jonah points out, what about tomorrow? What about when they leave? That’s when Salvation will end up like the town Rip previously visited. Rip admits that he grew attached to the time period and had to tear himself away, but it’s not until after the team manages to capture Stillwater and his gang takes Jax in return that the truth comes out about his past in the past.
Leaving this era was one of the hardest things Rip ever had to do because Time Masters are trained to do their work without interfering, without helping or being a hero. And this era offers many opportunities to do just that. He knew what was going to happen, but he had to leave because he felt that pull of heroism. If he had stayed, he could no longer have been a Time Master. And since he’s not one anymore, that means he can participate in the high noon shootout against Stillwater to get Jax back. (Sure, Ray wants to, but let’s be real here: could he have really won?) Rip does win, and they do get Jax back, but that’s when the Hunters attack.
Fortunately, the team is armed, but one of them warns Rory that the Pilgrim is coming. And as for all the future tech the townspeople saw during the battle? Well, Rip may not have a tool that can erase memories, but skepticism and disbelief are just as effective. If anyone talks, no one will believe them.
Meanwhile, Stein meets a mother and her son who has tuberculosis and has maybe a day to live. Refusing to let him die, he has Gideon whip up medication, which leads to Rip reminding him of what happened when Ray accidentally left a piece of his suit behind (a.k.a. he nearly destroyed Central City). He doesn’t know what the boy’s survival may do to the timeline, the former Time Master argues, but Stein doesn’t care. He gives the medication to the boy, making his mother promise to burn everything that’s left once the illness is gone. Before he leaves the town, Stein finds out that he just saved H.G. Wells.
Elsewhere, with Sara along as her partner, Kendra follows memory flashes to the Old West version of herself. Savage killed that version of Carter as well, and while Kendra tries to focus on the hope of finding a bracelet from their first lives that Old West her used to have, Old West Kendra instead chooses to give her some words of advice about her life and her love life: Don’t fight destiny and don’t bother trying to be with anyone but Carter. He’s her soulmate, and with anyone else, it’s going to be like fate’s trying to break them apart. It never ends well when they love other men; it only ends in tragedy or heartbreak. Well, that’s depressing.
However, Sara doesn’t think she should listen to previous life her. After all, she didn’t know or love Ray Palmer. But while Kendra does seem to be following that advice – telling Ray she loves him, only mentioning that she learned some things about Savage and everything else being what another woman thought – is Old West Kendra right? Can this relationship only end in tragedy or heartbreak? (Probably.)
Finally, the team may have taken care of the Hunters, but they have a new problem: the Pilgrim, the Time Masters’ most deadly assassin who will stop at nothing until everyone is dead. And the worst part? She won’t be going after the present-day versions of them, but rather their younger selves to erase them from the timeline – and she’s already started.
“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 11 “The Magnificent Eight”?