By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The fifth episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is all on Professor Stein. In “Fail-Safe,” he holds the key to unlocking project Firestorm, past and present. If Vandal Savage gets to unlock the secrets, the future is certainly doomed. Perhaps Stein will be involved in finding a way leading to this villain’s ultimate defeat, but until then, the ride is still thrilling. The series is doing great by showing it is not relying on the Chay-Ara / Khufu story-arc to carry the series. Until Hawkman rises again, perhaps in “Night of the Hawk” (due to broadcast March 10th), the adventures look at other ways to thwart this mad dictator.
In part two of the team’s time jaunt into the 80’s, a few details are known: the team has a space of 150 years to best alter the time-stream and Savage’s victory in the future depends on these super soldiers he’s trying to create.
The aftermath from the events of this episode suggests nothing has changed by much. Valentina Vostok has the knowledge too, and if she returns to the series, that’s a big question. The more people who knows about the Firestorm Matrix, the worse the future is going to get. There are only so many heroes who can fight back. To see Captain Atom make an appearance will be great. Some fans are still hopeful, namely me, wanting the Green Lantern Corps to appear, but that’s a story arc best planned for season two than one when considering most of season one is mapped out.
With this episode, Jax finally opens up in realizing what Stein was doing. Nobody has cared as much as this professor towards a student, encouraging him to face new dangers ahead of him. Ray’s boy scout attitude is getting a makeover, and Rory he finally taking a liking to him especially when he takes a hit. In what’s interesting is in the detail said between Rory and Snart. They have spent time in detention far longer than anyone else and have their own code of honour. To see them finally extend that to other members of the team show that they are willing to work with the team. To see that Rory finally develop as a character is happening!
In what’s unsettling, however, is in the future revealed to the Russian scientist. Vostok could take what’s revealed to prevent the U.S.S.R. from falling apart, but when considering her fate looks blown apart (literally), nothing about the future is affected, as revealed by Gideon, the artificial intelligence of the Waverider.
Ultimately, this episode is better than part one. It provides fine comic book styled entertainment that does not take itself too seriously. Even Sara finds herself challenged to looking back on her life of an assassin and comparing what she has become now. With Boba Fett (Chronos) not dead — apparently he crawled out of the previous time line without issue — and Waverider damaged by one of his smart missiles, did they fall out of the time vortex to a parallel Earth or is 2046 looking more damaged? In Flash, this DC universe has shown that alternate worlds exists. When considering getting knocked out of the time-stream is not a good thing, and the future is not what it should be, perhaps how the season may end sets up a different kind of Crisis on Infinite Earths.