At the end of last episode, the Waverider took a nasty hit from the bounty hunter Kronos, sicced on Rip and friends by the Time Master Council. They managed to get away, but the ship was badly damaged, and they went in for a crash. The trick with a ship that moves in space and time is, when crashing, you don’t know where, or when, you’re going to land.
In this case, they end up in a very post-apocalyptic looking Star City in the year 2046. It’s the first time anyone but Rip has been to their future, and they don’t like what they see. The city is burning and mostly abandoned, looking like something out of Escape From New York. Looking around, the group is greeted by a man they’ve never met with a very familiar code name- Green Arrow. It’s not a friendly meeting, and they end up retreating to the Waverider. Ray is struck by the fact that his PalmerTech building is now called Smoak Technologies, as in Felicity Smoak, Team Arrow’s resident tech genius.
Back on the Waverider, Rip wants everyone to stay on board and not get involved. He’s worried about damaging the timeline, and doesn’t want everyone taking risks for a future that might not even happen. Sara is not happy about this idea and argues with him a lot. Mick really wants to see more of the damaged city, and, of course, Snart is going to go with him. When Rip is finally convinced they need resources to fix the ship, he goes with them. The others stay on board to try and repair as much as they can of the Waverider, and deal with some romantic entanglements and psychic complications from Jax and Stein’s link. There are some interesting rivalries, and we learn more about one of Kendra’s past lives.
Out in the ruins of Star City, they encounter Green Arrow again and a gang of what could be extras from the Road Warrior. They get split up, with Mick ending up as part of the gang, Snart reluctantly following, while Sara and Rip try to find out what’s going on with this version of Green Arrow. We learn who he is, and his ties to earlier heroes.
According to the new Arrow, Ravager, also known as Grant Wilson, invaded Star City with an army some fifteen years ago. Oliver Queen tried to organize a resistance, but most people ran, and Queen himself is now dead from what Connor Hawke, Green Arrow II, says. The device they need to fix the Waverider isn’t at Smoak Technologies anymore, but rather in a different location- Team Arrow’s abandoned lair, which is dust covered and has ominous empty costume mannequins. There’s another surprise waiting for them- an old, embittered, and one-armed Oliver Queen. This version of Oliver is familiar to many fans, bearing a lot of similarities to the character who turned up in Frank Miller’s classic Dark Knight Returns graphic novels. He directs them to where the gadget they want is, at yet another location, and tells them to get out.
In the comics, Ravager is a codename used several times. The original version was, indeed, Slade Wilson’s son. He got his powers through an unstable formula, which ended up costing his life in battle. His death also kicked off the years long feud between Deathstroke and the New Teen Titans. Several Ravagers later, the name was taken by Slade’s daughter, who ended up joining the Titans. Also, Connor Hawke is indeed the second Green Arrow, and has a parental link to earlier heroes, but not the same as on this show.
While Snart and Mick bicker over what to do next, Sara, Rip, and Green Arrow find their gadget. Unfortunately, Ravager and company find them, and Green Arrow gets captured. He’s due to be executed, and things are looking ugly. The execution of Green Arrow is interrupted by the arrival of, well, everyone. The rest of Rip’s team, plus Oliver with some new gadgets, show up to save Green Arrow and deal with the menace of Ravager and his army. There’s a new beginning for Star City, and the team is reunited on the repaired Waverider. One ominous note is that Mick and Snart’s relationship is now strained, with Mick bizarrely ending the episode seemingly closer to Ray Palmer then Len Snart, and a bit lost.
What I liked: The future Oliver and Connor Hawke were great. I like what they did with them. I’ve never been a huge fan of Grant Wilson, but then, in the comics, he was more or less a “death by origin” character who wasn’t around that long. This was a decent version of him, with some nice nods in his costume to Deathstroke’s. Connor’s real name and parentage made a lot of sense. I like that Sara’s appeals won out over Rip’s detachment. And Ray Palmer both had bruises from his time in Russian prison (nice touch) and is a nice guy even when competing with someone. It was nice seeing some friendship between Jax and Stein, too. Heat Wave wanting to stay in that screwed up city made perfect sense.
What I didn’t: I know it seems all the rage now, but does every future need to be dark and depressing? Does any future ever look good? Rip was being a dick about his choices, and his arguments to Sara were weak. I don’t like that the bond between Heat Wave and Captain Cold was damaged so much this episode. They make a good sub-team, and this might effect the larger team dynamic pretty badly.
It was a good episode with some glimpses at what might be. I liked the inclusion of Connor Hawke (although I would have liked an explanation about why he picked that name) and Ravager. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5.