In a more laid-back fashion, Legends of Tomorrow takes a breather as we finally get some explanation as to why the seemingly almighty Reverse Flash even needs partners to begin with. Additionally, we have some very much needed time between Martin Stein and his newfound daughter, Lily.
The differences begin when the prelude narration before the “Previously…” is uncharacteristically done by Damian Darhk, which was very surprising by itself. The episode then starts in May 2016, Star City. We see Malcolm Merlyn watching the newscast as images of Damian being killed in Arrow are shown on the television. He is interrupted, however, by Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash and Damian Darhk in the flesh, coming straight from the past and serving as a continuity from an earlier episode of Legends of Tomorrow. They talk, and it doesn’t take a lot to convince Malcolm that, together, they can rewrite history.
The thing is, back in the present, apart from Eobard being a dick to both Malcolm and Damian, those two are also being dicks to one another. It’s cat fight after cat fight, compounded by the fact that they are not able to extract information from Rip Hunter. It’s hard to get information from a guy who just doesn’t have his memories. Malcolm suggests he tries hypnotizing Rip, but it also fails, so Damian takes charge and decides to exact torture by teeth pulling. Unbeknownst to the Legion of Doom, is that there was a sort of futuristic QR code in Rip’s tooth which, according to Darhk’s research, leads to a security vault in Zurich, 2025.
The Legends, meanwhile, are striking out on trying to make the recovered amulet work. Martin decides to call upon his aberrational daughter, Lily, to help out. Being the lovely genius that she is, it doesn’t even take 30 seconds before she manages to crack open the device. Martin takes Lily back to the Waverider so she can help plug the amulet into Gideon and asks everyone not to tell her about her “aberration situation.”
Malcolm decides to use Rip to open the vault, contradicting Damian’s more “murderous” approach. This leads to a series of jump cuts as both the Legends on their own and Merlyn and Darhk try to figure out why would a speedster need the Spear of Destiny given their time travel abilities. Now, this was particularly helpful to address because we’ve all been asking ourselves this question. Eobard is never in the same place for long and he literally time travels as he pleases. Rip fails to open the vault as he doesn’t know the password. Security is called, but Malcolm and Damian take the opportunity to murder some guards willy-nilly and run away.
As one would predict, Mick and his elephant-esque subtlety end up telling Lily that she is an aberration. She talks to her father, and they argue about how she was never meant to be born, whether she even would qualify as “real,” the truth on their memories, and so on. It doesn’t end well as Lily storms out pretty hurt.
The episode treats us to yet ANOTHER one of Malcolm’s and Damian’s dick measuring competitions. They start off with “words hurt” progressing in a slow but steadily increasing fashion right towards a full on League of Assassin’s sword duel. Thankfully for us, Rip asks them to stop fighting and uses his words to turn both of team against the Reverse Flash.
Jax figures out via his telepathic connection to Stein that he is in an emotional state and talks to him. He asks Martin to tell Lily how he feels: he never wanted kids because he feared he would end up repeating the cycle of abuse he suffered from his own father.
Our sidelined Legends end up figuring out that, given how Gideon has no record of a speedster that could be the one they are dealing with, it could be someone who was erased from history and wants to rewrite it. Martin suggests that it’s Eobard as Eddie Thawne killed himself back in The Flash’s first season. They also figure out that the Reverse Flash is running against time as it takes time some time (HA!) to solidify itself, prompting him to never stay in the same place for long.
Malcolm and Damian make their way back to the vault and, through the torture of a banker, open it up. They see Rip’s possession wasn’t the spear, as they hoped for, but some futuristic circuit-like circle. The Reverse Flash arrives just in time and explains that the circle is a mnemonic archive designed to store memories.
Tired of being lackeys to Eobard, Malcolm, and Damian lock all three of them inside the vault as they attempt to renegotiate their partnership. Eobard, clearly distraught by being locked down, explains that ever since coming back from Flashpoint, he has been chased down by something that is attracted to the speed force. However, it’s not the usual Time Wraith: it’s the Black Flash, the form Zoom took after he was defeated by the Flash in season 2.
As soon as Malcolm and Damian get the respect they want, they suggest to Thawne to simply not use the speed force and stop running. They come up with a strategy to lock the Black Flash in the vault, and it succeeds.
At the Waverider, Martin takes Jax’s advice and makes a heartfelt apology. They end up on good terms after Lily has had success in connecting the amulet to Gideon. She then leaves at Central City to go back to her folding proteins.
Nearing its conclusion, we see Eobard using the mnemonic archive to, not only look for the other pieces of the Spear of Destiny, but apparently to tinker with Rip Hunter’s memory. We are shown that, apparently, one of these modifications is Rip being taken to 1776 New Jersey to murder George Washington, but that’s the story for the next week.