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Recap / Legends of Tomorrow S1E14 "River of Time"

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As Vandal Savage is locked up in the brig, tensions begin to rise.


Tropes:

  • All for Nothing: Since the Time Masters (or at least, its council) and Savage are in cahoots all along, everything that The Team has gone through are rendered meaningless.
  • Arc Number: Rip mentions a Time Master policy called "General Order 52."
  • Arc Symbol: There is a significant amount of focus given to prisons in this episode; Rip's in Ancient Egypt, both Savage's and Hawkman's in the Waverider, Nyssa's during Sara's flashback, technically Jax in the Jumpship when Stein forces him to go home, and once again Rip but in the Vanishing Point. The episode also focuses on some members of The Team being stranded and stagnant with their respective issues.
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  • Arc Words: The word "prison" itself, for the exact same reason as the Arc Symbol above.
  • Badass Boast: Two in quick succession.
    Savage: Who are you to stand up against me, Vandal Savage, destroyer of empires?!
    Snart: Leonard Snart, robber of ATMs!
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Savage and the Time Masters (or at least its council) are working together, and The Team sans Jax are arrested.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Savage tells Rip off for misquoting Tacitus. Savage, of course, remembers what Tacitus said personally.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Ray beats Savage down with his bare hands after one too many remarks about his relationship with Kendra. It ends with Savage getting the upper hand and escaping, but it's still not a move you'd expect from Ray.
  • Big "NO!": Rip screams three of these in succession after Savage taunts him yet again about murdering Rip's family, with the difference that this time, there's nothing Rip can do to stop him.
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  • Blunt "Yes": Mick utters one in responds to Kendra asking "So what, we just kill Savage and leave Carter a brainless drone?". Considering how difficult catching Vandal was and dangerous he is, Mick might have a point.
  • Book-Ends: The episode begins with Savage talking to an imprisoned Rip in Ancient Egypt. The episode ends with Savage talking to an imprisoned Rip in the Vanishing Point.
  • Bottle Episode: The entire episode takes place aboard the Waverider (except for the flashbacks and the final scene), with very few special effects. Oliver Sava of the AV Club speculates that this is due to the show's budget being overrun in the previous episode.
  • Broken Pedestal: For all his issues with their ways, Rip believed the Council was at least noble, just stubborn in refusing to help him against Savage. The discovery that the organization he dedicated his life to has been aiding the murderer of his family the entire time leaves Rip completely rocked.
  • Call-Back:
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    • Once again, Stein roofies Jax to force him to travel through time. This time, to save him.
    • Savage plays on Ray's unfortunate love life which indirectly becomes crucial to his escape.
  • Cassandra Truth: Rip ignores several warnings from Snart and Mick that bringing Savage on-board the Waverider is a bad idea and that he's still dangerous locked up in a cell. Not a hard guess how things turned out.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Continuity Snarl: Nyssa was visited by Sara while she was imprisoned in Nanda Parbat, where she saw firsthand that Sara was herself again. Yet in a later conversation with Laurel after she escaped, she seemed oblivious of Sara's condition up to that point.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Carter gets his memories and powers back and starts fighting Savage... for all of a minute, before he's stabbed and dumped to the floor.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Gideon is very cheerful in explaining Jax's deteriorating condition and how even she can't fix it.
  • Divided We Fall: Savage manipulates The Team on turning on each other.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Rip showed the Time Masters a recording of Savage admitting that he can time travel, impressing the members of the Council. Unfortunately, it didn't matter since Savage has the Time Masters on his side.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Snart and Mick are appalled that Rip sent Jax to repair the Time Drive despite the risk.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Savage seems to honestly believe that Ray might be willing to let Carter die in order to have Kendra all to himself.
  • Flashback: There's one to what each of the team members (except Rip, Snart, and Rory) did the last day before leaving on the Waverider.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Gideon insists that the timeline hasn't changed when it comes to the continued lives of Rip's family.
    • Sara taking command of the ship with Rip preoccupied alludes to her replacing him as leader in the following season.
  • Genre Blindness: Everyone thinks talking to the megalomaniac locked up in the brig is a good idea. Justified with Stein, he was trying to ask a favor of Savage, but figured out a way around it. Sara was asked to check in on him, but talking is her own idea. Ray has no excuse.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Despite being locked up in the brig, Savage manages to unnerve nearly everyone in this episode by just talking to them.
  • He’s Back: Hawkman finally breaks out of Savage's brainwashing.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Rip grabs it when he pushes the damaged Waverider too hard causing it to breakdown.
    • Sara and Ray grab it by talking to Savage even though they know he's just trying to get inside their heads.
    • Ray firmly grabs it with both hands when he fights Savage in his cell which is how he escapes.
  • If My Calculations Are Correct: Stein's calculations of counteracting the time radiation side effect is sending Jax back to 2016.
  • It's All About Me: Rip's selfishness is brought-up by many characters in this episode.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • When Sara comes to see Nyssa before she left on the Waverider, she told Nyssa that she would break her out of the League's prison. However, Nyssa told Sara to live the life she wanted and to move on from her past instead.
    • Ray ends it with Kendra since he believes that it was destiny to be with Carter.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Rip's eagerness to deal with Savage ends up impairing his judgement, though he ends up coming back in the end.
  • Kick the Dog: Vandal Savage cruelly mocks some of the Legends who interrogate him.
    • He mocks Sara for a family tragedy she has yet to discover.
      Vandal Savage: Have you spoken to your sister Laurel lately?
    • He mocks Ray for his unlucky streak on finding a Second Love after Anna's tragic death, specifically being a Romantic Runner-Up to both Kendra and Felicity.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: He mocks an imprisoned Rip that he'll kill his family in 2166.
    Vandal Savage: Now, if you'll excuse me. I'll better get back to 2166. I've been waiting so very long to meet your family. Wouldn't miss it for the world.
  • Lack of Empathy: From (surprise, surprise) Savage. This episode makes it clear, if it hadn't been before, that for all his claims to love Kendra, he sees her as something he's entitled to, and believes that Ray has a similar view.
  • Long Game: Zaman chides Rip for not taking the "long view of history".
  • Mundane Solution: When Rip reveals how he escaped his jail cell in Ancient Egypt — he bribed a guard with one of those novelty pens with the picture of a woman who loses her top when its turned upside down. Later, Savage reveals that he already knew that and produces said pen... implying that it somehow survived for 4000 years, and hints that the guard was tortured and killed for letting Rip escape.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Savage invokes this to Ray, saying he should let Carter die. Ray's not having it.
  • Mythology Gag: Savage describes Rip telling him about time travel as showing fire to a caveman, which is what Savage originally was in the comics.
  • Necessarily Evil: The Time Masters seem to consider Savage's rule over Earth a long-term necessity, which is why they are working with him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Ray lets Savage into his head and fights him inside the cage, giving Savage the opportunity to escape.
    • Rip delivers Savage to the Time Masters. Only to find out that he's in league with them and he's put his entire team in danger.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Savage trying to kill Kendra is what ends up reversing his brainwashing on Carter.
  • Noodle Incident: The "Alexa job" that Snart and Rory pulled, which the former compares to the bad feeling he's getting just before things go to hell.
  • Not So Different: Savage invokes this twice. First with Rip, for witnessing their children die. Then with Ray, for being a Romantic Runner-Up to Kendra. Both times failed.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Ray catches Kendra reciting the Egyptian love poem to Carter. She explains to Ray that she only did it to restore his memories but it would have been more convincing if she wasn't touching his face.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Over his long life, Savage has apparently had children that he watched die from old age. Not that this gives him any empathy for other people who have lost children; at the end of the episode, he takes a moment to cruelly taunt Rip over his impending return to 2166, where Savage intends to murder Rip's family.
  • The Place: Referring to the Time Stream, which most of the episode takes place in.
  • Plot Armor: The only reason Ray is alive after his fight with Savage.
  • Plot-Induced Stupidity: If only Kendra knew that the brainwashed Carter is always capable of reincarnation, Vandal Savage could easily have died last episode and ending the show.
  • Put on a Bus: Martin sends Jax on the Jumpship in hopes that it'll reverse his cellular degeneration.
  • Rapid Aging: Jax is infected with cellular degeneration thanks to radiation exposure from the time drive.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Both Snart and Mick decide they've had enough and attempt to leave only to find out that Martin already sent Jax away in the Jumpship.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Savage tells Ray that, in her first reincarnation, Kendra fell in love with him before Carter "poisoned" her against him. Since Savage remembered his previous encounters with Chay-ara and she didn't, his actions border on rape by deception, yet in Savage's mind, Carter is the villain getting between him and the true love he's entitled to. Ray calls him out on it, referring to Savage's actions as "perverse", but Savage is unfazed.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Bringing Savage to the Vanishing Point to face justice turns out to have been not only pointless, but the worst possible move: the Time Masters are in league with Savage, and right after their arrival, the Time Masters free Savage and arrest the team.
  • Tempting Fate: Tons.
    • Rip tells Sara that the Waverider will hold together. It immediately begins malfunctioning badly afterwards.
    • Everyone is telling Rip that bringing Savage on-board is a bad idea and... they're right.
  • Tractor Beam: The Time Master space station pulls the Waverider in with one of these, when the ship gets close.
  • Trash the Set: The Waverider is already wrecked from the last episode. It gets even more trashed here.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Savage refers to watching his children die of old age.
  • Wham Episode: The Time Masters are revealed to be in league with Savage this entire time.
  • Wham Line: The Reveal that the Time Masters work with Savage.
    Zaman: Vandal Savage, by the power of this chamber, it is my duty to return you to Earth immediately.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Everyone calls out Rip for putting Jax in harm's way.
  • What You Are in the Dark: When discussing why they haven't killed Savage yet, Stein points out that killing Savage, even if he doesn't deserve to live, wouldn't be very heroic.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Both Cold and Heat Wave advocate Kendra killing Savage since keeping him alive is a very bad idea.
  • You're Insane!: Ray calls Savage this when he rejects his Not So Different speech.

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