The CW premiered the second installment of its most ambitious series yet, “Legends of Tomorrow.” After assembling the super-team during last week’s pilot episode, the team finally engaged their main target in 1975.
The episode opens where it left off last week, with the gang on its way to chase a lead on the villain Vandal Savage (Casper Crump). Thanks to the son of Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) and Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee), Aldus Boardman (Peter Francis James), they now know that the villain will be at some kind of arms deal for some of the world’s most dangerous criminals. The Hawks ask if it will be possible to go back in time and rescue Aldus, who died during last week’s episode. Sadly, the group’s resident Time Master, Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), warns them that it’s not a good idea to change the timeline.
Before he can get another word in, Ray (Brandon Routh), Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) and Martin Stein (Victor Garber) are already forming a plan to capture Savage. Hunter warns them that they need his help to accomplish the mission without disrupting too much of the timeline, but after he lied to and essentially kidnapped them to get their help, they’re reluctant to follow his orders.
With that, White Canary (Caity Lotz), Heat Wave, Captain Cold and Martin Stein get dressed in their best 1970s attire and sneak their way into the meeting. With the help of Stein’s incredible knowledge of historical terrorist attacks, they pose as buyers and come closer to Savage than they ever have before. Unfortunately, their intel wasn’t as good as they thought and they realize he's not trying to buy any weapons, but is instead selling a nuclear warhead. When Savage’s bond to the Hawks allows him to sense them in the area, he realizes something is amiss and starts to eye the team.
Hoping to avoid blowing their cover, they bid on the nuke and accidentally win. This upsets the other criminals, namely “Arrow” Season 4 villain Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), who was making a special guest appearance as the magical villain that’s been tormenting Star City in 2016. He takes exception to being outbid and confronts the team.
Heat Wave isn’t really in the polite mood and begins arguing, and that’s when Savage gets tipped off that they’re from the future and offers everyone in the room a 25 percent discount on the nuke if they kill the four heroes. Naturally, a fight breaks out and the team scatters. Hawkman and Hawkgirl swoop in to confront Savage, but he sets a timer off on the nuke and escapes. Atom, who was using his high-tech supersuit's shrinking capabilities to hide in Stein’s pocket, tries and fails to disarm the bomb. In the action, he manages to lose a very important-looking bit of his suit.
With seconds left to go on the bomb, Jefferson Jackson (Franz Drameh) joins with Stein to form Firestorm and they fly it to a safe distance and absorb the blast. Together, the group returns to Hunter’s ship having completely failed. The Time Master gives them a verbal takedown, lecturing them for not listening to him and disrupting the timeline beyond belief. He informs them that Palmer’s suit technology was discovered by Savage, accelerating his eventual takeover of the world. He shows them a hologram of “The Flash’s” Central City in 2016, and it’s completely in ruins. In order to save their home timeline, they have to recover the technology as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Hawkman has been trying desperately to get Hawkgirl to remember her past and the fact that they’re supposed to be together for eternity. With some concentration, she manages to remember a bit more about the day they initially died at Savage’s hand. It turns out there was a dagger there and if they read the incantation on its handle and use it on the seemingly-immortal villain, they believe they can kill him for good. However, they’ll need to track it down first. With that Hunter separates the group into two teams.
He sends Captain Cold, Heat Wave and Ray to find and steal the dagger from an unknown collector’s house. Meanwhile, Stein, White Canary and Jackson have to track down the missing technology before Savage can use it to end the future. They hope to do it by finding Stein’s younger self and using one of his inventions to track a specific particle in Ray’s suit. They find him on a college campus knee-deep in marijuana, but still as brilliant as ever. But Stein quickly realizes that they’ve arrived the same day that he’s supposed to meet his wife.
They try to steal the younger Stein’s tracker, but he catches them and starts to make a big fuss. White Canary is forced to knock him out so they can make a speedy getaway. Before they do, Stein sets an alarm clock near his head hoping that he’ll wake his younger self up in time to meet his future wife. With the help of the tracker and the White Canary’s super assassin skills, they quickly recover Ray’s technology and rescue their current timeline. But they’re not out of the woods yet.
When they return to the ship, Stein is shocked to see his wedding ring vanish off his finger. He turns around and realizes that his younger self didn’t go to the mixer to meet his future wife, but tracked down his technology instead. Realizing that he’ll never be able to return to the woman he loves in 2016, Stein convinces his younger self to quit asking questions and just go home.
Meanwhile, Ray, Captain Cold and Heat Wave are having trouble getting along during their caper for the dagger. After Ray screws up disarming the alarm, Captain Cold and Heat Wave rescue him and find the dagger. However, they quickly start to ransack the house and inform Ray that their plan is to go for a bigger heist than just the dagger. He tries to stop them and a fight breaks out, triggering the advanced security system. Heat Wave tries to find the fuse box to free Ray and Captain Cold from the cage that fell on them, when he’s stopped by the owner of the house. In perhaps the greatest stroke of bad luck in history, it turns out that the owner of the house that holds the only dagger capable of killing Savage, belongs to Savage.
He holds the trio at gunpoint and demands that they call the rest of the team in for backup so he can confront the Hawks and kill them to boost his power. They comply and Firestorm soon shows up to blast Savage through a wall. Hawkman and Hawkgirl enter the house while the villain is down to try and stick him with the blade while the rest of the team holds off his security forces outside.
Hawkman, who remembers his skills as a warrior, attacks and manages to stab Savage with the magical knife. Much to his dismay, he quickly realizes that it doesn’t have any effect on the villain. Savage pulls the knife out and turns it on Hawkman, revealing that Hawkgirl has to be the one to kill him with the blade in order for it to work. Just like that, the “Legends” team is down one member as Hawkman perishes in battle. Atom rushes in at the last second and saves Hawkgirl from getting killed as well before the entire team retreats back to the ship, minus the now deceased Hawk.
Rather than call the events of the past day a total failure, everyone on the team decides that it’s a good result given that they’re now armed with a way to kill Savage once and for all, even if the information did cost them one of their main members. Just when it seems the entire episode would end on a colossal bummer, Hunter pulls Stein aside and brings him back to the campus. As they’re walking, Stein realizes that his wedding ring has returned to his hand and Hunter informs him that he called his past self and encouraged him to go to the mixer, thus preserving his meeting with his wife.