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Legends of Tomorrow – S1E5 – Fail-Safe

Previously on Legends of Tomorrow, ‘White Knights’

Broken record here: This show gets better every week.

Valentina is holding Dr. Stein, torturing him with hallucinogens that make him think he’s at S.T.A.R. Labs with a dapper Cisco. Since Cisco doesn’t really do dapper and doesn’t call Stein “sir,” he resists the drugs’ effect and refuses to help Valentina complete the Firestorm project. Stein doesn’t break when she brings in Vandal, even though it pains him to see Ray and Mick tortured right in front of him.

Images: The CW

Images: The CW

Back on the ship, Jax works with Kendra and remembers the old “carve a message on your arm so your other half can see it” trick. His message of “We’re Coming” gives Stein the strength to hold on.

The episode’s biggest conflict wasn’t withstanding torture, though. Rip tasks Sara with the unenviable job of killing Stein if it looks like he’ll be forced to give the Russians Firestorm. With it, they’ll win the Cold War and then we’re all pretty much fucked.

Oddly enough, it’s Cold who helps Sara choose to rely on the team they’re building rather than put a bullet in Stein’s head. Cold’s hotter half realizes being a part of the team means more than just looking out for Cold and himself. Mick watches as Ray (hilariously) antagonizes their torturer so that he’d receive the beating and give Mick a break. This earns Mick’s respect as he now sees Ray as more than a dorky pretty boy.

Legends of Tomorrow S1E5 - Mick and Ray

Once Valentina discovers Jax’s flesh note, she forces Stein to merge with her, despite his warnings of how dangerous it will be. Thankfully, the remainder of the team arrives for the rescue soon after, and Jax is able to reach Stein and talk him through resisting and rejecting Valentina. The Waverider only barely makes it away as Valentina explodes, taking the entire Russian prison with her.

And because our crew just can’t catch a break, Kronos is once again on their ass, forcing them to crash land outside of the timeline. They arrive at Star City, 30 years in the future, and they’re greeted by an African-American Green Arrow.

This has been the best Black History Month ever.

Legends of Tomorrow S1E5
  • 9/10
    Plot - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Action - 9/10
  • 8.5/10
    Dialogue - 8.5/10
  • 9.5/10
    Performances - 9.5/10


I love how this show manages to be a nice blend of The Flash’s humor and the darkness of Arrow. The torture scenes were hard to watch (shout-out to Victor Garber for relaying Stein’s inner-struggle so well), but Ray’s dirty “your mama” jokes delivered an unexpected laugh-out-loud moment.

The effects for Valentina-Firestorm were great, as was the explosion which took out Vandal in the end. And speaking of Vandal, it’s been 11 years since he last saw Rip, and he takes great pleasure in describing to Rip how he’s spent every day memorizing his wife’s and son’s faces. So messed up.

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About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

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