This week’s opening narration brought to you by Mick Rory:
“Seriously, you idiots haven’t figured this out by now? It all started when we blew up the Time Masters. Now history’s all screwed up and it’s up to us to unscrew it up. But, half the time we screw it up even worse. So don’t call us heroes. We’re something else. We’re legends. Who writes this crap, anyway?”
Sometimes I wonder that myself.
Christmas Day, 1776. Rip Hunter has killed George Washington, and is now supplying the British army with modern weapons. This is a set up to attract the Legends so that Rip can kill his former teammates and acquire their piece of the Spear of Destiny. Rip tells Eobard that he’s looking forward to having fun with the plan.
Gideon is using the information she received from the medallion in the previous episode to search for the rest of the Spear of Destiny, but the search is going too slowly for Sara. Gideon tells Sara that she should try processing 1.2 zettabytes of data, which my computer programmer husband helpfully tells me is a lot of data. Wiki says that 1 zettabyte = 1 trillion gigabytes, which does sound like a lot. Always ask an expert.
Gideon misses Rip and is willing to cut off life support to give herself extra processing power so that she can find him. The others are a little more patient. Ray scolds Mick for being a slob and encouraging rats on the ship. Nate and Amaya reminisce about life outside of the temporal zone, where you can see the stars and you know what day it is. There’s a sudden time quake, and Amaya is thrown into Nate’s arms. Guess the Nate vs Ray question has been decided. Ray always loses out to the rotating cast members.
Gideon tells the crew about George Washington’s untimely death. They realize that it’s a trap, but they still need to save him, and American history. They go back to the night before Christmas, 1776 to prevent the murder.
Washington is hosting a Christmas Eve party, so all of the Legends, except Jax and Stein, attend. Rip’s men attack, then Rip sets off an EMP, which disables all of the modern technology in the area. Ray is stuck in his miniaturized suit. All of the Waverider’s systems go offline. None of the modern weapons work. Rip stops Sara and Mick as they’re escaping with Washington. He shoots Sara in the stomach and leaves her there to die. Mick and Washington are captured.
Jax and Stein get Sara back to the ship. They can go Firestorm and use that energy to get Gideon back online. Except the EMP has burned out their quantum splicer, too. Jax will work on getting Gideon back online some other way. Sara puts him in charge.
Jax sends Nate and Amaya back out to look for Washington, Mick, and Rip, to try to save all three. Rip is still important to them, no matter what the Legion’s done to him.
Nate and Amaya chat as they follow the trail toward Washington and Mick. Amaya loved the Wizard of Oz but missed the end when Hitler attacked Poland. She’s never heard of casual dating, which did, in fact, exist in the 1930s, if my grandmothers are to be believed. Nate tells Amaya the pop culture version of the sexual revolution and 21st century dating. I’m going to grit my teeth and try to stop correcting every factual inaccuracy that this show comes out with. Even when it’s the historian. Or someone who’s supposed to be from that era. I probably won’t stop making the occasional snarky comment, because I’m only human.
Jax and Ray figure out a plan for Ray to make his way through the ducts and flip the breaker switch to get the power back on in the Waverider. Sara’s condition is deteriorating and the bullet needs to be removed. Rip and his soldiers arrive to force the Waverider’s door open so that Rip can find the Spear fragment. Captain Jax sends Stein off to operate on Sara and Ray off to restore power to the ship. Jax makes plans to defend the ship against Rip, which is a sad sentence to have to write.
Nate and Amaya are attacked. Nate gets pushed over a cliff into the Delaware River. Good thing he’s made of steel. Amaya calls on seal energy and jumps in to save him. By the time she pulls him out, Nate has hypothermia. Amaya was protected from the cold by the seal energy. As we all know, the best way to help someone with hypothermia is to get naked and have total skin to skin contact. Good thing the Hessians conveniently left an empty tent and roaring campfire nearby. Once Nate’s warmed up, they figure what the heck, they’re two modern people. Might as well take advantage of their nakedness and the convenience of modern birth control.
Washington and Mick are brought to British General Cornwallis. Cornwallis plans to hang Washington in the morning. Washington intends to follow the historical rules of war and die like a gentleman. Mick makes a speech about breaking the rules, fighting dirty, and never, ever giving up. It’s the American way, according to Mick. He inspires Washington to find a way to survive.
Rip and his henchmen make it inside the Waverider. Jax takes down the henchmen easily, but Rip knows the ship and Jax too well to be easily beaten. They play a cat and mouse game around the ship while Ray tries to avoid a rat in the ducts. Rip finds Stein and Sara in the med bay just as Sara is waking up from her successful surgery. Rip threatens to kill Sara unless Jax gives him the Spear fragment. Jax tries to get Rip to remember feeling something for Sara, but it’s all gone, so Jax tells him where the Spear is. Rip kills Sara anyway before he leaves to collect the Spear.
Rip had knocked Stein unconscious when he entered the med bay. Stein wakes up when Rip leaves. Jax tells him Sara is dead. Stein yells to Ray to get the power back on in a hurry so Gideon can save Sara. Ray jumps out of the ceiling and pulls the breaker switch. Gideon brings Sara back to life.
In the morning, Washington and Mick fight their way out of the British camp with the help of Nate and Amaya. Jax follows Rip so that he can kill Rip in revenge for Sara. Rip tells Jax that life and history are meaningless. Rip thinks his old self was weak, and Jax is, too. Sara arrives and talks Jax out of killing Rip. She doesn’t want Jax to do something he’ll regret later. That doesn’t explain why the two of them let Rip, who is unarmed, walk away with the Spear fragment. They could have easily winged him with a bullet, or tackled him, and taken the Spear fragment away.
Washington and Mick hug goodbye. Washington was impressed with Mick and tells him he represents the best of what the new nation can be. Gideon tells the team that though history has been restored, there is now a statue of Mick in Washington, DC.
The Legends have their own Christmas celebration, complete with gifts. Ray gives Mick a pet rat. Nate had the fabrication room make Amaya a pair of ruby slippers. But Amaya doesn’t want to repeat their night together. Nate was a little too convincing with his description of how chill 21st century dating is.
Sara makes an inspiring speech about stopping the Legion, saving Rip, and being a family. Nobody fights like family, and they’re going to fight to win.
As a feminist, I have to note that the sexual revolution allowed women to have casual sex without worrying about getting pregnant, because better, more reliable birth control methods became available. This allowed married and single women to have children only when they wanted, even if they were having intercourse regularly. Casual dating and sex outside of marriage existed long before the 60s. So did women having sex for pleasure. Freedom from unwanted pregnancies inspired women to look for more freedom in the rest of their lives, starting with casual sex and family planning, but continuing through the growth of the women’s movement with women entering politics and the workplace. The sexual revolution wasn’t about women going wild and having sex for pleasure with anyone and everyone. That’s what conservatives were afraid of when women became able to control their own fertility. That’s what they’re still afraid of today, and they still try to control access to effective birth control as a way to control not only our fertility, but also our lives. Reducing the sexual revolution to sex for pleasure was a misogynist, offensive statement.
Nate’s version of the sexual revolution and modern dating made him sound like a playboy right out of the 1960s. No wonder Amaya wasn’t interested in anything more.
I don’t know if Amaya was in America for such a short time that she didn’t pick up on our customs, or if the showrunners have never watched an old movie, read an old book, or talked to their relatives, but people were definitely having fun without worrying about marriage in the 1930s and 40s.
I want credit for not fact checking them on anything having to do with the Revolutionary War part of the story. I’m going to walk away now, before the urge to do so overwhelms me. Leaving a campfire unattended two feet from a tent is bad enough.
Nate: Saving a nation, a president, and Christmas. Amaya: And Rory. Nate: That was implied.
Nate: Hitler ruins everything.
Stein: Damn it, Jefferson, I’m a physicist, not a doctor! [Yes, they went there.]
Stein: Raymond, if you can hear me, you must get the main power online. Without Gideon, I can’t save her! Ray: This is why we have a chore wheel!