If you dream about time travel, there’s always a thought that comes to your mind, “what if I went back in time and changed “X” from happening, wouldn’t that make life better?” Whether large or small, we’ve thought of that. For the Legends team, they dealt with that question, and struggled to answer the question between what is right and what is just.
What really set “Progeny” apart form previous episodes was the true moral quandry that was posed to them. They found a younger version of a dictator who was instrumental in Savage’s rise to power. If they were to kill him, it would likely lead to a massive delay in Savage’s reign, and thus allow Rip Hunter’s wife and son to live. But if they did that, wouldn’t be just as bad as Savage?
I really liked how divided the team was about this. As it was not a simple question, and yet the results seemed to speak for themselves. Billions could potentially live if this one future dictator died before he could kill them all. But again, at what cost? So began the struggle. Rip first giving in to his better judgement and deciding to just try and kidnap the kid, then realizing it wasn’t working and thus trying to go full-stop with his plan to remove him from the equation, and then the return of his better angels and releasing him. Rip is a different character than Ollie or Barry, he has a much more internal struggle than the two. Yes, even more than Ollie. So seeing him show mercy and compassion, even in the face of the death of his family, showed what kind of man he was.
Not that the future dictator truly deserved such mercy. Though seeing the future was amazing, you could see how it was falling apart at the seems, and the brat, trained by Savage no less, wasn’t someone you wanted to see live. Him calling out Rip for “not looking like a killer” was very poignant. And then when Rip found out that he helped accelerate the endgame of Savage by not killing his “Progeny” you could see the torment in his face as he truly wondered whether he should’ve done away with him.
There were other stories in this episode, quite a few to be honest. The Ray and Kendra relationship took an interesting turn, as Kendra remembered one of her past lives with Carter (great to see him back!), and Ray seemed to have met one of his descendants. These revelations really put a focus on things for them, and it was good to see their struggles. Ray thinking he had an offspring that would use the Atom technology to create the robot army Savage would use to rule the world (a new detail that adds impact). And Kendra thinking that maybe she should still be with Carter and not Ray. Thankfully, this got resolved in a true and beautiful way, as their bond was only grown, and their revelations had less impact than you might think (seriously, Ray has a twin?).
But let’s not forget Rory, who is locked up on the Waverunner. Seeing Rip, Sara, then Snart all go talk to him was cool, and we got to see some great moments from Rory himself, all the while giving us a new threat to the mission. He might not be on the team again, but it’s clear he’s not going to kill them given the chance…for now…
“Progeny” truly explored one of the biggest questions when it comes to time travel. “Is killing a future murderer what’s best for the future?” That’s what they’re trying to do with Savage, sure. But this was different, and the impact was felt. This was Rip’s “ace-in-the-hole”, and now it’s gone. So…what next? Run.