“Fail-Safe” – 2/18/2016 – *****stars
Written by Beth Schwartz & Grainee Godfree
Directed by Dermott Downs
*spoilers contained within*
In last week’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow entitled “White Knights”, Dr. Raymond Palmer/Atom (Brandon Routh), Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Mick Rory/Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) are captured and imprisoned in a 1986 Soviet gulag while trying to stop the beautiful but deadly Valentina Vostok (Stephanie Corneliussen) from creating a Russian version of Firestorm. This week’s episode, “Fail-Safe” opens with Dr. Stein discussing his Firestorm matrix with Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes), or at least we think he is. It turns out Valentina tricked him into giving out the matrix using an illusion. Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) appears behind her and vows he will torture Dr. Stein if he refuses to build a new Firestorm matrix. Back on the Waverider, Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) has Gideon (Amy Pemberton) blueprint the gulag but is rendered impossible to break into. Leonard Snart/Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Sarah Lance/White Canary (Caity Lotz) decide to go in anyway. Rip and Leonard make contact with the Bratva (Russian mafia), to get them to help break out their friends. The plan does not work as the Bratva members attack but are thwarted by White Canary. Jax Jackson/Firestorm (Franz Drameh) is discovered by Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee) shaking in the medbay. Jax is mentally linked to Dr. Stein so he and Kendra present a plan to Rip on how they can breach the walls and save the team. It seems like they may be too late as Valentina has forced Dr. Stein to merge with her. However, the merge fails because the splicer was not present, making her unstable. Jax talks Dr. Stein out of Valetina’s body and they merge as Firestorm.
This episode was so much fun to watch and there were a lot of references to other DC shows and even a reference to Wentworth Miller’s acting resume. It was nice to see Cisco and Barry Allen’s costume from The Flash make an appearance even if they were only an illusion. Star City, the setting of Arrow, is the subject of what would happen if everything went wrong in the timeline. The SMOAK building is featured prominently in that scene. The best line in the show is when Leonard replies to Rip about the gulag, “This isn’t my first prison break.” The writers outdid themselves on that one and granted some wishes of a Prison Break reference. One theme that resonated in tonight’s episode was honor. Dr. Palmer and Mick are tied and whipped by the Soviets so Dr. Stein would reveal his secrets to make Firestorm. As Mick is getting beaten, Dr. Palmer starts talking smart to the guard who stops beating Mick and starts beating him. When Leonard breaks them out, Mick refuses to leave Dr. Palmer out of thanks for what he did despite Leonard’s objection. Rip tells Sara that if Dr. Stein is taken and the plan fails, she is to shoot and kill him so the Soviets do not get his secrets. She has him lined up but when Jax breaches the wall, she shoots the guards instead.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is such an entertaining show and even though it is still fairly new, I wish it was put out there more. This show is excellent and should be getting much more attention. The episodes are funny and action-packed. Next week is an episode you will not want to miss. There will be some very familiar characters that I will not mention. You will have to watch it and find out firsthand. I love the direction the show is going in and it’s bound to be a surefire hit very soon.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8pm on The CW. Check your local listings.