Since the Legends lost the Waverider at the start of the season (technically, the end of last season), they’ve been on the run in one way or another. Now the time-lost adventurers have come up with a new plan to try and get the evil version of Gideon off their collective backs. But, in order to make things work, they have to try and upset a major point in world history. Anyone from Dr. Who to the Voyagers to the gang at Timeless knows that’s a bad idea. What sounds like a straight-forward scheme goes off the rails almost immediately as the team ends up dealing with “The Fixed Point.”
The episode starts with Sara in period dress, trying to save Archduke Ferdinand, whose death set off the falling dominos that led to World War I. We quickly learn this is just the plan being explained as Gideon explains what’s actually a pretty good plan to lure her other self into a trap. After some reservations, the team ends up agreeing, and Sara is very enthusiastic about getting back where they belong. Davies’ time machine gets the job done, but it’s not exactly as spacious or well-equipped as the Waverider. Nate, as resident historian, gives them the fine details of the day, they come up with a plan, and the team is a lot more confident than they should be, given their experiences.
Nate and Sara do some recon for their plan, blending in with the crowd nicely. Which makes me a bit curious, as eventually the whole team is in clothes appropriate for the period, but they don’t have the Waveriders’ resources to do that kind of thing anymore. Their planning session hits an unexpected bump when a stranger pulls them aside, reveals he knows more than he should, and brings them to a special place. The rest of the team shortly joins them, and they learn more about where they are and how it works. It’s a very strange venue with some odd rules. Some of it doesn’t quite make sense, either, as there’s a process that involves waiting your turn but somehow the Legends end up going before a lot of the people that have been waiting a while. At any rate, there’s some entertainment offered and someone goes first to serve as the red shirt.
Back in the mansion/hideout, Ava is helping Dr. Davies with his own ongoing quest. Gary comes back and fills them in on what’s happening, and Davies is surprised to realize how many time travelers there are now (I really hope he gets to meet the Flash). Ava makes a few comments about how Davies should be proud, and the doctor reveals some details of his plan. Both his matter-of-fact delivery and the stunning conclusion he’s come to shock Ava, who ends up rarely at a complete loss for words. Gideon is at a loss as she learns more and more strange things about how the place they are in works, and handles it in a very human manner.
The Legends cast has always been a bit large, and grown since the early days, and that means there’s a good-sized crowd roaming the halls of the Waverider over time. This means the crew isn’t necessarily as close as they could be, and Zari and Spooner end up paired up and realize they’ve never really spent any time together one-on-one. Nate and Sara try and plan out the fine details of their timeline shenanigans, and run into unexpected difficulties and hecklers. Their fist plan doesn’t work out and that’s before they even try and do it, and then they suddenly (ironically given what both the show and the episode are about) run out of time. Sara is forced to take a stab at things with no real prep time, and gets a nasty surprise which leads to some embarrassment with the crowd they have to deal with. Davies and Ava continue their own planning, and Ava tries to get Davies in a better frame of mind. He makes a confession about where his unease comes from, and Ava has no idea what to do next. Not that I blame her, it’s a big surprise he drops on her.
Spooner and Zari finally find some things to talk about and end up bonding and sharing some surprising things with each other. Nate and Sara keep planning, although Nate is also spending a fair amount of time reassuring her about the earlier attempt. Nate has really gown into his role as the Waverider’s first officer, given Sara and Ava are co-captains. The team comes up with a new plan and Sara takes on the challenge again, more confident now. Of course, she has the edge that she’s virtually unkillable now, thanks to Bishop tinkering with her genetics. Sara gets into the groove, with some help from her team. The ones that were mocking her before start to feel some grudging admiration, and even the enigmatic man who runs this place is impressed.
Zari and Spooner’s conversation takes an unexpected turn, and Spooner learns something about herself, while Zari is very supportive and helps her with the new information. Their wide-ranging talk leads to an interesting observation, and the team gets a new lead to track down. There’s now a new mystery figure to identify and find, and they need to figure out a way to nullify what seems to be a very special ability. Gideon and Davies come up with something, but there are a lot of limitations and restrictions on what they can do. Ava takes another shot at changing the way Davies is thinking about some aspects of his life, and then it’s time for Sara to make another attempt at setting their original plan in motion. With some unexpected help, she gets things going, finds their new foe, and gets a big surprise when it turns out to be a familiar face. After a big fight, they end up talking instead. Sara is just as good with reasoning and persuading as with her fists and feet, or at least she is this time, and gets some unexpected cooperation.
Finally, Sara gets one last chance to make their plan work. Like many time-loop sort of experiences, she learns from earlier events and takes steps to get things rolling. Between the edge the repetitions have given her, some gifts from her team, and her own skill, Sara does what no one else has ever managed to do. Of course, all of this was more or less a distraction from the plan they started with, which finally starts to work as the show ends. The last thing we see is the set-up for what should be an interesting series of confrontations next episode.
What I liked: This was a fun spin on the time-loop concept, and it was interesting watching the team try and adapt. I’m enjoying the strange relationship between Gary and Gideon. Sara’s misadventures in time were fun to watch, if extremely improbable at times. The scenes with Ava and Davies were very well done, and the depths of Davies’ convictions are extremely impressive, if also depressing. I really had my doubts about the Spooner/Zari bit when it started, but it went someplace good and gave Spooner some depth she hasn’t really had before. The reveal near the end was certainly unexpected and a nice nod to the team’s history.
What I didn’t: As I said, some of the setup made no sense. People were waiting their turn for something, had been there longer than the Legends, but the Legends went ahead of them several times? How’d that work out? Just like Nate’s Steel powers are frequently forgotten, this time out Astra’s magic was nowhere to be seen.
This was a fun little bit of silliness and set up for the next episode really well. I’ll give this a high 3.5 out of 5.