You know how everyone on this show used to work on different shows, I think I finally figured out the formula for what makes this show good. Copious amounts of bizarre fan service, and thank god that manages to work out pretty well for the series. “White Knights” finally managed to take us out of the 70’s only to drop us behind enemy lines in the 80’s and no matter how many times we mange to get the point across, many of the same mistakes keep happening. I mean the team has a knack for screwing things up in the past, but at this point we have well grown past the point of it being a coincidence and are moving into it being a fixed point in time. I mean they manage to screw things up pretty badly in this show on a pretty consistent basis, it’s not like we can call everything a heroic act guys.
So, let’s break down the teams this week starting with the one given the most material, Ray and Snart. It is nice to see the two of them still have a minority antagonistic relationship with each other and that they are always seeking to somehow one up each other. I especially enjoyed that during this entire storyline Ray’s hubris is what is making him screw up. Whether it is his failed attempts to hit on Valentina Vostok, or his plan to save Snart from getting shot in the head Ray truly believes at the end of the day he will be able to think his way out of any situation. This is a side of Ray that has been sorely missing due to his previous inferiority complex in the face of knowing he adds absolutely nothing to the timeline, but now that it is back we will hopefully be able to see Ray stop screwing up so royally all the time.
Snart on the other hand, despite having way more to do this week really lacked in a driving his motivation home. I mean it was great to watch Snart be super smooth and pick up Vostok as well as pickpocket her wallet, but it just felt like some small amount of material was missing to wrap everything up. We only got a small peak at Vostok and her motivations in working with Savage, but I want to hear more backstory as to why she so desperately wants to create a Russian Firestorm. Is it simply to prove she can, or is it because she is as power-hungry and controlling as Savage is. At the same time Snart sends of mixed messages as to whether the team or the mission should have come first. Snart is still following the Rogues’ code, but at the same time for some reason he is willing to go for the score rather than protect his team. It felt like mixed messages, but luckily snart is back on track as a strong member of the team.
Similarly, we had Jax and Stein who finally had the big blowout about their “partnership” not really being a solid one. I loved that Stein’s reasoning for being so overbearing was that he still harbors a sense of guilt about Ronnie dying. We haven’t really heard much about the previous Firestorm, but now that we know the reason why I am hoping that Stein will open up and have a real heart to hear about why he is protecting Jax. As for Jax I can understand why he is frustrated with Stein not listening to his opinions on how they should approach battles, but he proved tonight that his way isn’t the best way. I mean he nearly got himself killed and still bitched out Stein for not caring about how he wanted to go about attacking Chronos. The two need to settle this soon or else this is going to come back and bite them all in the ass before we know it.
My favorite team up of the night was the surprising pair of Mick and Rip as they went and confronted Druce, Rip’s old mentor. Mick has mostly been used as comic relief in the series, but to see him actually take initiative and challenge Rip on what he actually hopes to get from the team was a beautiful note. Mick puts the team above anything else including his own safety as evidence of him willingly giving himself up to the soviets. I love the fact that Mick is willing to confront Rip and call him on his bullshit, it shows that he cares more about the people on this mission than we have been led to believe he does. I also like that Rip is finally willing to fight back against the Time Masters, as up to this point he has been dancing around the fact that he has been in exile. If these characters are to somehow stand a chance against Savage they need to take the initiative, you can’t just play defense all the time.
The weakest storyline this week was the murderous rage bro bonding that happened with Kendra and Sara. Since Kendra’s murderous rage has just appeared out of the blue, it doesn’t quite have the same emotional impact as Sara. On the flip side, Sara has been killing a ton of people. so shouldn’t her bloodlust be slightly under control? it feels like there is a disconnect in this story and although I enjoy the fact that the two are bonding, I keep waiting for something for Kendra to actually add something to the plot line like everyone else has. Up to this point she just feels like a really lazy mcguffin waiting to kill Savage.
It was a very strong episode for character development, but now it’s time for a good ol’ fashioned prison break.
Final Grade B+
+Ray and Snart team up
+Stein coming clean and his remorse
+Mick and Rip teaming up
-Kendra and Sara material fell flat
-Jax kind of a dick
-Lack of Savage
-Hey, if we are getting Russian Firestorm, AKA Pozhar, I formally request a Red Star cameo. Dude is one of the best.
-I guess Firestorm can do other things besides shoot fireballs as he create a small EMP to block the Pentagon’s systems. Next step transmutation.
-Next week is a prison break episode. What is the over/under on the amount of Prison Break jokes they will make? I am betting five.