Star City – 2016
Rip shows his recruits an image of the future after Vandal has conquered the world, and hopes that they won't let him and the world down. He then gives them an address to meet him at if their answer is yes. Once the team is alone, Len says that he isn't interested in saving the world. He leaves with Mick, and Jax says that he's not going to sign on just to die in the future. Martin goes after him, and tells Jax that he has confidence that they can save the world. He asks Jax to come to his office tomorrow if he changes his mind, but Jax says that he won't. Once Jax walks off, Jax from the future comes in and tells Martin that he needs his help because the team is in trouble.
The Vanishing Point
In his cell, Martin is slowly dying because he can't merge with Jax. He wonders why the Time Masters are keeping them alive, and Mick says that they'll all be dead soon. As for Mick, they'll try to brainwash him into Chronos again, and he only kept his sanity the first time because he focused on how much he hated the team. Time Master guards come in and take Mick out. As they remove Kendra as well, she fights free momentarily but a guard stuns her and they drag her away.
Guards take Rip to Druse, who orders the guards away. Once they're alone, Rip asks his mentor why the Time Masters didn't kill the team when they had the chance. Druse asks where Sara and Len are, and Rip refuses to answer. The older Time Master explains that in 2175, Earth is attacked by a warlike race of aliens from Thanagar. Without Vandal to unite Earth under one rule, the Thanagars lay waste to the planet. Rip insists that Vandal isn't the world's only hope, and Druse tells him that they've checked the timeline and there is no other hope. He has one more thing to show Rip to convince him.
On Waverider, Sara and Len emerge from hiding. Len is ready to leave, but Sara refuses to abandon her friends. She points out that they're surrounded by timeships, and Len draws on his gun. Sara tells him not to act like the cold-hearted bastard who told her to kill Martin. Len says that she seemed to have a problem with being a killer, but she doesn't. Sara tells him to prove it and shoot her. An old-fashioned phone on Rip's desk, and Sara answers it as Len lowers his gun. It's Gideon, who says that she moved her operating system to a latency core when the Time Masters tried to wipe it. The AI tells Sara where the team is, and warns that they're only alive for the moment.
Kendra wakes up aboard a jumpship with Vandal. She's strapped to a chair, and Vandal explains that the time masters gave him the jumpship. Carter is in stasis in the cargo hold, and he's taking them to an appointment that he has with destiny.
Declan prepares to brainwash the strapped-down Mick, and explains that they've made some refinements. Once they're finished, Chronos will be feared throughout history. Declan begins the procedure.
Druse takes Rip to the Oculus viewing chamber, the Time Masters' source for all of their information on the timeline. The Oculus gives them ability to shape the timeline, and Druse explains that they've been helping Vandal gain time travel. Once they realized that only Vandal can save the world, they've been using the Oculus to manipulate Rip. Everything the team has done has benefited Vandal, providing the outcome that history requires. Druse shows Rip the timeline, past and future. The elder Time Master says that there is no free will except at the Vanishing Point. Rip steps back and Druse says that what Rip saw will happen, The Time Masters counted on Rip's anger and his going rogue, and they ordered Vandal to kill his family to provide the necessary impetus.
Later, the guards lock Rip up next to the others. He explains that the Time Masters showed him the truth, and everything they've done was orchestrated by his superiors. When Ray doesn't believe it, Rip says that he saw the timeline... and Ray's death.
Central City – 2016
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Jax tells Martin that the team is in some kind of trouble. He refuses to give Martin greater knowledge of the future, just as Martin burns out some equipment. Jax says that he forgot how arrogant Martin "was," and Martin wonders why he's referring to him in the past tense. Jax says that Martin doesn't die, and tells Martin to help him reroute the temporal buffer. Martin reluctantly goes back to work.
Declan apologizes to Mick for the pain of the induction procedure, and forces him to say his name: Chronos. The guards release Mick, and he dons the Chronos armor. Declan tells him to start his duties by hunting down Len and Sara.
In the hangar, Len and Sara follow Gideon's instructions and put devices on the other ships.
Martin points out to Ray that he's about to die and Mick is being brainwashed. Ray refuses to accept that their future is already written, and says that Rip and Martin are both quitters. He reminds them that Sara and Len are on the loose and they still have a chance.
On Waverider, Sara and Len wait for Gideon to finish bringing the time drive online. Sara notices that he's wearing a ring, and Len explains that it's from the first job that he pulled with Mick. It's a reminder that even the best-laid plans can go sideways. Gideon finishes its work and Sara time-jumps Waverider.
Druse gets word that Waverider is escaping and orders the other ships to pursue. The devices go out, overriding the ships' AIs and shutting down the timeships.
Druse confronts Rip and tells him that with the others gone, he's lost any reason to keep them alive. He tells the guards to kill the prisoners, starting with Rip. The guard says that Waverider is heading for the present, just as Sara opens fire on the Vanishing Point. Captain Cold enters the brig and takes out Druse, and Chronos arrives with Declan. Declan orders Chronos to fire, and Captain Cold tells his friend to put the gun down. After a moment, Chronos shoots Declan and removes his helmet. As Declan lies on the ground, Mick crushes his skull with his boot.
The team gets to Waverider and Len takes Martin to the medbay. Gideon tells Rip that they have a slight problem, just as the Time Masters lock onto the ship with a tractor beam. Sara orders Gideon to prepare to jump, while Rip and Ray try to override the tractor beam. Ray uses the operating system in the Chronos armor to send the override from an alternate source, and the tractor beam disengages.
In 2016, Jax and Martin finish repowering the jumpship. Martin says goodbye to the future version of his friend, and apologizes for being an insufferable know-it-all. Jax says that he understands that Martin is just looking out for him, and tells Martin that eventually he gets over Martin drugging his past self. He offers to tell Martin the future, and Martin says that he knows something must have gotten right on the adventure because of what Jax has become.
Len returns to the bridge and Rip explains about the Oculus and how the Time Masters manipulated them. He figures that Ray's death isn't part of their plan, but anything they do might be what the Time Masters want. Ray says that they need to destroy the Oculus, and Rip confirms that it doesn't work in the Vanishing Point. Everyone agrees and Rip has Gideon plot a course to the Oculus Wellspring.
Later, Ray grabs something to eat. Mick comes in and warns that Ray's future death may still happen. Ray wonders how Mick resisted the brainwashing the second time, and Mick says that he focused on the team this time and how screwed that they'd be without him. He tells Ray that he can survive anything the Time Masters throw at him, grabs some fast food, and leaves.
Len checks in on Sara and offers a game of cards. When she refuses, he offers to apologize for pulling a gun on her. Len wonders what she thinks of Rip's plan, and Sara points out that everything they've considered has been scripted for them. She still feels responsible for everything that she's done, and Len says that it's things he hasn't done that keep him up, and wonders about a future for the two of them. Sara tells him that if he wants to steal a kiss, he'd better be one hell of a thief, and walks out.
Martin visits Rip in Rip's office, and admits that learning that what he's done is predetermined is liberating. He's determined that they have a chance of destroying the Oculus. Waverider arrives at the Oculus Wellspring, and Martin explains that the scaled-down supernova that powers the Oculus is at the bottom of the Wellspring. Atom will destroy the contained supernova, causing an explosion. The timeship arrives and the team heads out. Druse and the guards are waiting, and the Time Master says that the team coming there is destiny. He orders his guards to kill the team, but Jax arrives in the jumpship and opens fire on the guards. Once they're down, Jax emerges and Martin assures him that he's right on time. They merge into Firestorm, and they head to the Wellspring.
The team enters the structure and Atom approaches the contained supernova. He works on activating the self-destruct, while the others guard the entrance to buy him the time.
London – 2167
Vandal's timeship arrives and he prepares to leave. Kendra begs him not to kill Rip's family, and Vandal says that it's already been done. He joins his men and looks for Rip's family.
Firestorm, Captain Cold, and White Canary fight the arriving reinforcements. Meanwhile, Atom rigs the self-destruct and says that once he's done, they have two minutes to escape. Ray removes his gauntlets and helmets for the fine work, and Rip realizes that his vision from the Oculus is coming true. He warns Ray that's how he dies, and Ray says that it doesn't matter because he's always wanted to make a difference. Creating a future for them without the Time Master's influence counts. The guards pour in and Heatwave and Rip open fire. A stray shot knocks Rip down, and Heatwave pulls him back from the edge and insists that he's not doing it because he likes Rip.
A failsafe activates within the core and Ray tells the others that he has to maintain contact with the failsafe to blow up the Oculus.
Vandal finds Rip's family and his men kill Miranda.
Rip refuses to abandon Ray, but Ray points out that Rip has already seen the future and he's dead. Realizing what he has to do, Heatwave knocks Ray out, holds down the failsafe, and tells Rip that he wants revenge on the Time Masters. Rip shrinks Ray down and reluctantly leaves.
Vandal asks Jonas if he's brave or foolish, and Jonas spits in his face.
Rip tells the others that they're leaving. When Captain Cold asks where Heatwave is, Rip explains what he's doing and Captain Cold and White Canary go to get him. They blast their way to the containment device and Heatwave tells them to get out. Captain Cold refuses to abandon his friend, and knocks Heatwave out. He tells White Canary to get Heatwave out, and she kisses Captain Cold before going.
Vandal tells Jonas that he's foolish and kills him.
Druse tells Captain Cold to shut down the failsafe. Captain Cold says that there are no strings on him... and the core explodes. Waverider soars clear as the Vanishing Point is consumed by the explosion.
As Waverider proceeds through the void, Ray says that Len was a hero. The others consider their teammates sacrifice, and a crying Sara that Len was a hero whether he wanted to be or not.
In the hold, Rip sits alone and asks Gideon for a report on the timeline. There's no data because of the Oculus' destruction, and the AI reviews news accounts from 2166. Gideon reports that Vandal has killed Miranda and Jonas.
As Mick looks at Len's ring, Ray joins him. Mick says that he wants to be alone, but Ray tells him that Gideon has confirmed that the Oculus is destroyed. They now have free will, and Len didn't die for nothing. Mick explains that Len put the ring on him, and he still feels like killing someone for his friend. Ray reminds him that Vandal still has Carter and Kendra, and Mick says that Vandal will do nicely.
Vandal returns to the jumpship and tries to contact Druse. The Council informs him that Druse is dead and they've lost the ability to manipulate time. They can't help Vandal any longer, and without the Oculus time will no longer unfold as they anticipated. Kendra laughs and tells Vandal that his friends have cut him loose, and wonders how long he can hold onto power without the Time Masters. Vandal says that with the jumpship, he now has the ability to change the world. With that, he pilots the ship into the timestream.
Written by Gadfly on May 13, 2016