Review: ‘DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow’ S01E05 – “Fail-Safe”

By February 19, 2016

On this week’s episode of Legends Of Tomorrow, we learned that you should always keep your head down in a prison yard, bounty hunters from the future are relentless and it never pays to mess with nuclear reactions. Let’s take a closer look at “Fail-Safe,” shall we?

This weeks’ episode opens with a dream-sequence of sorts that involves the bad guys making Dr. Stein believe he is in STAR Labs in an attempt to get him to give them the formula. Martin figures it out before he can spill the beans, and advises Savage that he will not give up the formula. Martin discovers that they are actually closer to their goal than he could imagine. He tries to convince Vostock that Savage isn’t what he seems, but she’s having none of it. Ray and Mick are thrown into a cell in the general population. Ray tries to make the best of it, but only manages to get himself in trouble, and beaten to a pulp. When he comes to, he confronts Mick for not stepping in to help him, but Mick informs him, they’re not a team and he’s only interested in keeping himself and Snart safe.

In the meantime, when the threat of torture doesn’t work, Savage turns to torturing Mick and Ray in order to get Martin to talk. Martin brushes it off, claiming he doesn’t have any sort of sentimental attachment to either of them. Because he’s a good guy, Ray goads them into beating him instead of Mick. Martin finally relents and offers to show them how to stabilize the formula, as long as they’ll let the other live. Mick berates Ray for being so stupid, but Ray stands by his decision, saying what’s the point of having beliefs if you don’t stand behind them.

Back on the ship, Jax is feeling guilty and anxious about not keeping Martin safe. Leonard is still mighty pissed that Rip refused to send in reinforcements during the ambush, but is pretty confident that he can break into the prison. Sara, who seems to be the voice of reason these days, suggests that they get a little help from the Russian mob. This leads to a lovely locker room brawl, where, once again, she kicks some serious ass. The mobster eventually agrees to help them learn the layout of the prison. As the plan comes together, Rip takes Sara aside and shows her what 2016 will look like if they don’t get Stein back. It ain’t pretty! He also tells her that, if at any point it becomes apparent that they won’t be able to get him, she will have to assassinate Martin to prevent the Soviets from getting their hands on his formula. Kendra and Jax are left behind, because the team can’t afford to let Savage get his hands on them, but they manage to come up with a plan of their own.

Sara and Leonard mange to infiltrate the prison but quickly part ways before following through with the plan. Leonard tells Sara that his priority is Mick and he heads out, while she goes to rescue Martin. With the future looking bleaker by the moment, and Martin whisked away to the lab, Rip informs Sara that she has to resort to plan B. Kendra and Jax convince Rip that they are needed and they head to the prison. Leonard finds the cell that Mick and Ray are in and springs them. When Mick suggests they take an unconscious Ray with them, Leonard tries to talk him out of it. He takes Ray anyway. Vostock figures out that Martin is one half of Firestorm, because Jax carved up his body with the words we’re coming, and they appeared on his skin as well. I’ve gotta say, that’s a pretty neat party trick. She then reveals the plan for her to merge with Stein, instead of Jax.

As he’s taken to meet her at the reactor, Sara sets up her shot. In a bit of a twist, Leonard (see, that good heart of his always manages to shine through) talks her out of it, reminding her that she’s not a killer anymore. Vostock merges with Stein, even though he tells her that without the splicer, she’ll never be able to control the energy and they’ll both die. Jax refuses to give up on Martin and convinces him to fight against her control. Martin manages to break free, but Vostock isn’t so lucky. Her nuclear instability causes her to blow up all shiny like.

As the episode comes to an end, the team celebrates their victory and the fact that they managed to not screw up the timeline. In fact, they actually managed to set it back to what it was before. Just when they think all is good, they are attacked, once again, by Cronos. That guy will not give up! In an attempt to escape, the Wave Rider gets knocked out of the time stream and the team is forced to crash land, in place and time. They emerge in a bit of an apocalyptic nightmare, that turns out to be Star City, in 2046. They are confronted by the Green Arrow, but are surprised to see that he is not Oliver Queen, and he’s about to attack.

legends of tomorrow fail safe

Okay, so this was a pretty great episode. There was a lot of interesting character development, as well as some pretty amazing fight choreography. I always love it when Sara gets to kick some major ass. Apparently, my love for Caity Lotz knows no bounds. I also really like it when Wentworth Miller gets to be kind of warm and fuzzy. Snart has always been a man of ambiguous motivations, and I like the fact that showrunners have managed to keep it that way. One of the main concerns was how would Captain Cold and Heat Wave fit in with the good guys, given their somewhat villainous ways. It’s nice to see both characters have moments of goodness, even though they would never admit it. And how awesome was the Prison Break reference? Got to love a show that is that self-aware. Miller and Purcell have always have incredible chemistry, and I love the way they play off of one another. Beautiful bit of casting, there. Once again, it’s the characters and their interactions that seal the deal.

Overall, this was a solid outing. It kept the tension high, while moving the story forward. I like the fact that the things that happen do have a tendency to affect the future. While, with this formula, continuity has a tendency to be easily erasable, it does give the character’s decision a bit of gravitas. We’ll have to see if the showrunners are willing to actually make the stakes a bit higher as we go along, or if they’re going to continue to play it a bit safe. I get the desire for the latter, because it has a tendency to be less controversial. The former is usually more fun, however. Let’s see what they have in store for us in alternate dimension 2046 first, though, because that looks like it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun. This is the stuff I was hoping for when the series was announced. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint.

DC”s Legends of Tomorrow airs every Thursday night on the CW.

Make sure to check back for updates—right here on Geek Nation.

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Erin Parisien
Erin is a writer, a comic-book geek, a movie nerd and a pop culture junkie... all long before it was cool! She's the senior Editor and a writer over at and can always be found behind a keyboard, because it's all about the words. Follow her @erin_the_novel over on twitter.