While it may not have been obvious, it appears that Legends of Tomorrow might be aiming for a different kind of format with its episodes. By that, I mean a focus on one time period for more than one episode. This is actually brilliant, as it allows for ramifications to be built upon, as well as showing the team adapting to situations they truly created without a rushed feeling.
“White Knights” truly took this to heart, as a jump to 1986, the height of the Cold War as Professor Stein noted, brought out not only new and old conflicts, but showed that the previous 3 episodes worth of events didn’t mean nothing.
First off, the beautifully botched Pentagon break-in showed just what this show can offer, as each team member more or less got to show their skills to obtain an objective…only for things to fall apart hilarious and cause numerous character moments later on. For me, the best one featured Stein and Jax as they continue to try and forge a serviceable relationship. This may seem like TV drama in two teammates bickering all the time, but this is the heart of the Firestorm character. Rarely, if ever, do they truly work cohesively at first, or at all. The personalities are often so radically different that it causes numerous conflicts both internally and externally.
However, to make this something truly noteworthy, they revealed why Stein is so hard on Jax, and it was very compelling. Lest we forget, Stein almost died when his first partner, Ronnie Raymond, “died” at the beginning of Flash Season 02. The idea of not only losing his partner because of recklessness, but himself and the future in the process, is almost too much for Stein to bear. And the ending, with Stein risking everything cause he didn’t want Jax to do it, showed just how much he cared for his new partner.
That’s not to say the others didn’t have their own fun. Rip got a surprise visit by via Time Lord…I mean Master!, Druce, which proved that the Time Master’s aren’t above getting their own hands dirty in order to stop Rip and his crusade. I will admit, I didn’t like that Rip was still questioning whether he was doing the right thing, but, at least this time he noted the pros and cons of both with most of the team before making a decision.
On a side note, I’m so happy that Mick Rory is getting more dialogue, as he noted to Rip that Druce was going to kill him, all the while noting logically why. He’s shown in Legends of Tomorrow something he hasn’t in Flash, that he does have brains, he just prefers to burn things rather than use them all the time.
The subplot with Sara and Kendra was both interesting and confusing. On one hand, Kendra giving into her inner hawk is very intriguing, and will no doubt play into the future of the season, and her role in the CWVerse. However, her scenes with Sara were a bit conflicting, and repetitive. True, it could turn easily, and I’ll hope for that, but that was easily the downside of the episode.
The main plot though was very much the upside, as Ray and Snart teamed up to find out what a Soviet scientist was doing with Savage. Snart was epic, Ray was funny, and the reveal that Savage is trying to recreate Firestorm in 1986 shows just how drastic things can and will change based on what the team does in the past. Savage would never have tried this if he didn’t see Firestorm with his own eyes.
And now, he has literally half the team under lock and key in the USSR. Snart’s scene with Rip at the end showed the kind of man he was, one with a code…even in the face of villainy. I’m very intrigued to see how they pull this off.