White Knights/Fail-Safe 1986
I have to say that Rip Hunter…not a very good Captain as we travel to the late 80’s in the hunt for Savage. According to Gabriel this is where the trail leads but to proceed they need to get a redacted document from the Pentagon, which I thought was a fantastic idea. How the group went about getting it left a little to be desired. You have the Atom, he can shrink, like super small shrink and instead of doing that they make him a janitor and partner him up with Cold. I know there has to be a bit of drama for the show and play it up a bit but shouldn’t you play to some of the strength of the characters. I don’t want this to appear as me picking on Ray Palmer The Atom but I don’t understand where they are trying to take the character. He is portrayed with a kidlike innocence to an almost stupid level. He is supposed to have one of the greatest minds on the team, similar to Professor Stein if not smarter but seems almost sabotaged at every turn. He tries his best but falls short of the mark through both episodes and story but does have a powerful message for Heatwave towards the end and maybe that’s the point. It’s one thing for Ray to get shown up by Cold (who is the voice of reason again for the story) and is just smooth in all of his actions no matter the situation. Ray just seems so far out of his league in every situation and perhaps that’s the point of his story; to see him become the hero that he is meant to be as he stands up for everything he believes in no matter what. From the guy in the yard getting picked on to taking a beating for Heatwave, the one thing that needs to happen for sure is someone better teach Ray how to fight soon.
It’s not only Ray that we see the focus on character development for these two episodes we get a look at two sides of the same coin in White Canary and Hawkgirl. One trying to find her humanity and the other one trying to find the warrior inside. With the loss of Carter (Hawkman) makes you wonder if it will have a lasting effect on the progress of Kendra becoming Hawkgirl and fully realizing her powers and memories. I think Rip has the same thoughts hence why pairing the two up and a way to balance one another out. After seeing Hawkgirl go full on warrior priestess at the Pentagon I am sure she will be fine and even reminded me a bit of the comics and even the cartoon with the bad temper with the only thing missing was her mace. After that Hawkgirl plays a smaller roll but we still have White Canary’s demons to deal with and what lines she is will to cross. Is she an assassin? Will she smoke one of their own to save the future? This is all called into question as the group goes to Russia needing to save Stein, Heatwave and Ray from a Gulag Savage has put them in. If there is a chance Canary is to take Stein out and the voice in her ear, persuading her to rethink it is Cold.
If there is one thing that will come out of this show its just what a bad ass Captain Cold really is and his less than good guy approach to things. The man will operate in the gray area and has his loyalties but there are lines that he will not cross. He won’t leave a man behind and he won’t kill if he doesn’t have to but there is always time to steal something. His loyalty and trust in Heatwave is commendable as he storms the cells solo looking for his partner, even during the fight that led to their capture he was calling Rip for reinforcements. Every call he has made is spot on and all of his strategies are solid it’s not till you put everyone else in the mix that things start to fall apart him and Heatwave best team ever and then you have Firestorm. The most powerful member on the team and Stein and Jefferson fight like an old married couple and you don’t know which one has the bigger ego. Truth be told his character has been the biggest disappointment so far in the story, the two separate haven’t been bad and the focus on Stein was rather eye-opening. Not wanting to lose another partner like he did Ronnie but not willing to give Jackson the chance to be a hero. Granted it’s his mistake that botches the job at the Pentagon and lands Stein in Russia with the chance to create and army of Firestorms but it was almost like time was trying to fix itself. Thanks to the team showing up 11 years earlier and giving Savage the idea of a nuclear man could have led to the destruction of the world much sooner. Stein is brave, got it, and one of the biggest adventures in the group but I don’t see him standing toe to toe with Savage and my only hope is they start to explore his powers a little further and pull more from the comic on him. We saw what happens when a Firestorm goes boom and what happens if he is on the wrong end of Savages sword?
So what has been accomplished? Mucking up the time line for sure and only because Rip is not the greatest leader. What keeps annoying me the most is the wishy washy, we are a team on a mission were not story. We are dealing with it every week and it’s getting tiresome. Everyone has said they are in and Rip for all of his bravado is just being a wimp. I love that Cold let him get beat up a little by the Russian mobster. It’s because of his botched efforts that Carter is dead and Savage almost created an army of nuclear men. He almost sacrificed the team and mission to the Time Masters if it was for Cold to reason with him. Rip had his one big chance to kill Savage and couldn’t do it and if he gets the drop on him I doubt he could do it even knowing that Savage is coming for his family. In the meanwhile the Time Masters will continue to hunt him and the team as next week we finally get to see what the future looks like as we go to the year 2046.