Tonight's explosive episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow was filled with a lot of winks and nods -- not so much to DC Comics, per se, as much as it was to popular culture in general.
After some of the Legends are captured and thrown into a Russian gulag during the height of the Cold War of 1986, Snart (Wentworth Miller) leads the team in an elaborate escape plan to free their comrades. However, Rip (Arthur Darvill) gives Sara (Caity Lotz) a secret side mission that could prove not only to be a liability, but fatal to the team.
So...yeah. Here's our look at the episode...
So...what did we see? What did we miss?
Read on, and comment below.
This episode shares a name with a 1962 novel, which inspired a 1964 film starring Henry Fonda, and a 2000 made-for-TV remake starring George Clooney.
The story centered on a Cold War-era conflict and a President of the United States trying to call back a bomber which had gone out of control due to automated threat assessment that overrode human judgment. Ultimately if the bomber can't be called back, it will bomb the Soviet Union and set off World War III.
Fail-Safe shares a lot of DNA with Doctor Strangelove, obviously...!prevnext
As promised earlier this week on Twitter, this week's episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow features a guest appearance by Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, his character from The Flash.
Obviously, the first time we saw the Hawks and Vandal Savage was in an episode of The Flash, at which point Cisco and Kendra Saunders were dating.
...Wow, a lot has happened in not a lot of time.
Not that it matters much. Not only was this Cisco not real, but he felt a bit more like Reverb than Vibe...!prevnext
A BEAUTIFUL MIND
When Valentina says she has no desire to hurt Stein's "beautiful mind," it could just be a coincidence that moments before he was hallucinating a friend...
...but probably not, given the very similar setup in Ron Howard's Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind, featuring a brilliant scientist who had imaginary friends.prevnext
"THIS ISN'T MY FIRST PRISON BREAK"
...Yeah, that came from Wentworth Miller.
I see what he did there.prevnext
This isn't the first time we've stumbled across the Bratva.
Among others, we've seen that Oliver Queen has a relationship with them -- as does Anatoli Knyazev, the KGBeast.
I'm a little disappointed we didn't get a KGBeast or any Rocket Reds...!prevnext
KILLING MARTIN STEIN
Yeah, we've never had the exact scenario of having to kill Martin Stein in order to save the future in the comics (that I can remember).
But the challenge presented by this episode is indicative of the hard decisions that the Time Masters and the Linear Men are routinely faced with in the comics. Do you kill baby Hitler? Save Superman from dying? Protect your friends from harm?
You do what you have to, which is what Rip was trying to do before humanity won him over.prevnext
YURI THE BEAR
While the giant Bratva agent they square off with isn't anyone we can think of from DC Comics or the Arrowverse, it's worth noting that there is a Yuri The Bear children's wall decal readily available for sale...
...Probably no relation. Probably.prevnext
SHIRTLESS HANGING TORTURE
When we interviewed Brandon Routh at New York Comic Con, we joked around about the "rule" that The CW required shirtless scenes.
We got one from him (and Dominic Purcell, who plays Heat Wave) tonight -- and because of the nature of it, it reminded me of the torture scene of Oliver in the first season of Arrow.prevnext
BARRY ALLEN WHO?
During the run to the circuit breaker, Jax is so excited to have made the run that he calls out "Barry Allen who?" or something similar.
Which, yeah. Obviously is a nod to The Flash, where the character of Jax first appeared.prevnext
SAVAGE VIBES, TOO
Vandal Savage could sense Hawkgirl as early as the Arrow/The Flash crossover.
But we didn't really "see" how he sensed her at the time. When we see it this week, it looks a lot like when Cisco "vibed" on her.prevnext
Oh, so now Stein is worried about Jax not being the legal drinking age.
...Not like in the pilot, when he used Jax's willingness to have a drink every so often to drug him and get him on board the Waverider against his will.prevnext
Star City, the seat of the resistance in the computer models when Vandal Savage creates the Soviet Firestorm project.
That's not uncommon, actually. In a lot of alternate timelines, a grizzled Oliver Queen is a revolutionary political figure.
We've seen it in The Dark Knight Returns, but we've also (more recently) seen it in at least one Booster Gold/Rip Hunter story -- Booster Gold: Blue and Gold.prevnext
When we get the friendly embrace between Stein and Jax at the end and the "Partners? Partners," it feels an awful lot like when we got that moment between Oliver and Barry at the end of the first Arrow/The Flash crossover.prevnext
While they don't actually say his name on camera, I'll be very surprised if the Green Arrow of color, with the costume that looks just like Connor Hawke's, right down to the big, square, gold belt buckle, is Connor.
In the comics, Connor is Oliver Queen's illegitimate son, who took over as Green Arrow after Oliver died.
It's comics, so Oliver got better.prev