“Fail-Safe” picks up after the events of “White Knights” with Stein, Ray and Rory being sent to the Koshmar Gulag, or the Nightmare Gulag. Vostok (Stephanie Corneliussen) tries to trick Stein into giving up the means to recreate Firestorm. One attempt involves Stein (Victor Garber) thinking he is back at S.T.A.R. Labs, talking to Cisco (Carlos Valdes). When Stein sees through this charade, Vandal Savage steps in with threats of torture. Meanwhile, Ray (Brandon Routh) and Rory (Dominic Purcell) are thrown into the general lock-up. Rory knows the routine: stay quiet, stay to himself and to stay out of everyone’s way. Ray on the other hand seems way too peppy about the prison experience and he also draws way too much attention for his own good. When he tries to befriend an old man (Frank C. Turner), Ray gets a savage beat down by the prison Alpha male, Boris (Andre Tricoteux) as Rory just stands back and watches. As half his team gets used to prison life, Rip (Arthur Darvill) arranges the means to get Sara (Caity Lotz) and Snart (Wentworth Miller) into the Gulag with the assistance of a Russian mobster, Yuri the Bear (Nick Gracer), who runs the underground at the prison. The objective is to get their teammates out, but Sara has a side mission. Rip orders her to kill Stein, if it becomes necessary, to keep the secret of Firestorm from falling into the hands of the Soviets. Kendra (Ciara Renée) and Jefferson (Franz Drameh) are both upset that they are sidelined for this mission. Rip deems them too important to send in since Jefferson is the other half of Firestorm and Kendra is the only person who can kill Savage. Jefferson though is getting empathic feelings from Stein and he senses that the Professor thinks he is being abandoned. To bolster his partner, Jefferson uses their link to send him a message, “We’re coming,” by carving it into his own arm, knowing it will appear on Stein’s arm too. This is just what Stein needs to stay strong, anticipating torture at the hands of Savage. Instead though, Savage has Stein watch as he prepares to have Ray and Rory tortured. The guard assigned to the task, Arkadin (Voytek Skrzeta) is particularly eager to have at it with Rory for threatening to go Rocky IV on him in the previous episode, but Ray takes the hits intended for Heat Wave after insulting the guard even further. He really gets under Arkadin’s skin with some comments about his mother and her mouth (I was impressed by this scene actually; I didn’t know the Boy Scout had those kind of comments in him). Stein breaks and tells Savage and Vostok that he will give them the formula they want. Back on the Waverider, Kendra and Jefferson confront Rip and he decides that they do indeed need to be sent into action. Back at the gulag, Snart finds Rory and Ray in their cell. Ray is passed out from his beating at the hands of the guard and Snart is prepared to leave him there, once he has slipped him his Atom suit. Rory insists that they take Ray with him, explaining to Snart that he took a beating for him. Meanwhile, Stein has given Vostok the formula for Firestorm, but she senses this means to stabilize the Nuclear Man is too simple. She then notices the message cut into Stein’s arm and she realizes that he is one-half of the Firestorm. She orders the reactor to be brought online and tells Stein that she will merge with him. Sara is in position, ready to take Stein out, but the arrival of Rip, Kendra and Jefferson keeps her front making the hit. Rip tells her that they are going to do what they should have planned to do all along, rescue Stein. He tells Sara to let Jefferson do his thing, which is dashing across the prison compound and shutting off a circuit breaker. The loss of power is just what Rory needs to get Ray out as Snart goes to talk Sara out of killing Stein. Once the Vostok-Stein Firestorm hits the prison yard, Jefferson confronts the threat and is able to get through to the Professor, who holds Vostok back from killing his partner. When his and Vostok’s union is severed, Stein is freed and Vostok goes critical just as the team makes good their escape. While we never get to see Vostok’s final fate, I can’t help but wonder if we saw the origin of her alter-ego, Negative Woman, in this episode. Back on the Waverider, the team celebrates a successful mission. The festivities don’t last long as Chronos has tracked them down again and forces them to make a crash-landing in time. The Legends find themselves in an apocalyptic Star City of 2046 and facing an Arrow who claims he doesn’t know Sara, Ray or any Legends. What happens next? We’ll all have to tune-in to find out! All in all, “Fail-Safe” is a satisfying conclusion to the Legends adventure behind the Iron Curtain for a number of reasons. Top of the list has to be the amount of character development that is shown throughout the episode. First off, we have Sara, a woman trained by the League of Assassins, who is actually showing hesitation about killing Stein, even after she has been shown a Star City of 2016 that has been devastated by Soviet Firestorms. The human side Rip has asked her to explore and embrace in previous episodes is coming through more and more. Caity Lotz really shines this time around as she wrestles with the demon within and finally, with some prodding by Snart, gives into her better angel. Speaking of better angels, it was good to see Dominic Purcell get some screen time in this episode and watch as Mick Rory changes from someone who really can’t seem to stand Ray Palmer to someone willing to risk his life to help the man who took a beating for him. At the same time, it would appear that Ray’s opinion of Snart and Rory is changing as well. Next, it would seem that Jefferson and Stein have reached a meeting of the minds. Stein has shown a deep caring for the younger half of the Nuclear Man and Jefferson realizes Stein is a lot more daring than he originally thought, and a lot tougher to boot. Victor Garber and Franz Drameh make a great team on screen, but it is good to see them shine in their scenes apart from one another in this episode. Once again, I maintain that Wentworth Miller is stealing this show (and he gets handed one of the best in-joke lines as he comments about breaking into the Gulag: “This isn’t my first prison break.”) His discussions with Sara about not taking out Stein, one of their own, shows Snart is a man with a code of honor. He demonstrates it yet again when he is willing to do whatever it takes to get his fellow Rogue, Rory, out of the gulag. At the same time, Snart seems to be developing the idea that he and everyone else is merely a pawn to Rip Hunter. Could he be correct? Only time will tell. But in the end, I get the sense that if this is the case, Snart will prove to be the fiercest protector of his teammates. Finally, in the WTH!? Moment of the evening, we got to see an extended look at the next episode, the highly anticipated “Star City 2046” and we got our first look at the Connor Hawke Arrow (Joseph David-Jones). This is the episode I am most excited to see and I can’t wait to check it out. I have no doubts it will keep Legends of Tomorrow’s streak of successful episodes alive. As it is, “Fail-Safe” ranks up there pretty high. I give it 4 Stars. Legends of Tomorrow 1.05 “Fail-Safe”Dan's Rating4.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.