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Fail-Safe Recap

At STAR Labs, Martin is talking with Cisco and says that he's discovered the exact formula for the thermocore needed to build a new Firestorm. Cisco says that the Firestorm matrix is unstable, and Martin points out that Harrison developed the quantum splicer to render it stable. He tells Cisco that he's happy to see him taking an interest in his work, and is surprised when Cisco calls him "sir." Martin realizes that Cisco is neat and well-dressed, and that "Cisco" is an imposter. He refuses to give Cisco the formula, and the fake Cisco sarcastically applauds and then turns into Valentina.

Martin realizes that he's in a Russian lab, and Valentina explains that she wants to open his mind. He insists that he will never give up the Firestorm formula, and demands a hot shower and a change of clothes. Vandal comes in and reminds Martin that they met eleven years ago in Norway when Martin and his friends tried to kill him. He points out that neither one of them has aged since then, and warns Martin that he learned how to torture from Joseph Stalin. Vandal shows Martin the axe that Stalin gave him as a gift, and says that he has an infinite amount of time to break Martin. When Martin still refuses, Vandal says that breaking him will be fun.

On Waverider, Kendra checks on Jax in the medbay. He's tells her that he can feel Martin his mind, and they're threatening to torture him. Kendra insists that they will get him back along with Mick and ray.

On the bridge, Sara, Len, and Hunter are reviewing Gideon's blueprints of Labor Camp 54, where their teammates are being held in what is now called the Koshmar Gulag. The AI warns that the camp is impenetrable, but Len insists that he can break into any building. Rip warns that Vandal may find out that Martin is Firestorm, but Len points out that Rip let their friends be captured. The Time Master insists that he had no choice, and Sara points out that suggests that they talk to the Bratva: the Russian mob. Len figures that they secretly control the prisoners in the labor camp.

Later, Rip is in a steam bath when a man named Yuri the Bear comes in, his Bratva tattoo displayed on his back. Rip translates it and Len speaks up to say that they need to break into Koshmar with Yuri's help. Yuri knows of Vandal and says that he doesn't respect the Bratva, but points out that Rip and Len don't have tattoos. He calls out to several other mobsters, and White Canary attacks them outside of the steam bath. Yuri says that he fights for himself, and Len tells Rip that Yuri is all his. The mobster tackles Rip and they go to the floor.

White Canary takes out her opponents. Meanwhile, Len closes the steam bath door and watches as Rip and Yuri fight. Rip promises to destroy Vandal's operation if Yuri helps them, just as Sara knocks on the door. She comes in and explains that she didn't kill Yuri's men. Impressed, he says that the Bratva run black-market goods into Koshmar. He figures that if Rip has friends there then they're insane, ruthless animals.

The guards take Ray and Mick to their cells. Ray tries to talk to the prisoners they pass, and Mick warns him that he'd better worry about surviving the night.

Back aboard Waverider, the team reviews the plans of Koshmar that Yuri gave them. Rip tells Kendra and Jax to stay on the ship so that he doesn't give up the two people that Vandal wants. As they head out, Rip asks Sara to come to his chambers for something that will help her out with the mission. Once they're alone, Gideon runs a projection of 2016 if their mission fails. Vandal's squad of Firestorms attacks Star City, and Rip explains that if Vandal succeeds then then entire 21st century will suffer. In case Valentina breaks Martin, Rip says that they need a contingency plan: Sara is to kill Martin if he's compromised.

Later, Sara joins Len and equips herself. Len pockets a case holding the miniaturized Atom suit, and Len figures that Rip gave Sara a side mission. He figures that he wants Sara to take out Martin, and Sara explains that if they can't save Martin then they have to kill him. Len points out that he's never killed a teammate on a heist, and warns Sara that they're all just pawns to Rip. Sara insists that she'll do what has to be done to save the future.

The prisoners can go through the mess line and Ray approaches an older prisoner. He offers his hand but Mick tells Ray to shut up and eat. The prisoner says that there is one place that they send prisoners who never come back, just as two other prisoners come over. One of them takes the old prisoner's food away, and Ray objects. The bigger man, Boris, punches Ray, and Ray punches him back. As they fight, Mick borrows a cigarette lighter from a prisoner and studies the lame.

Valentina brings Martin food and he suggests that she build another thermocore. She brings in the second one she had built and says that all she needs to know is how to stabilize it so she can create a nuclear Firestorm. Martin points out that American will escalate with their own superhumans, but Valentina is confident that the Americans are weak. The professor warns Valentina that Vandal is just using him, and she slaps him for daring to insult Vandal.

Jax tells Kendra that he can sense through his mental connection to Martin that Martin believes that they've abandoned him. He doesn't want to tell rip since he's benching them, and wishes that there was something he could do. Kendra suggests that Jax uses his connection to Martin to send him a signal. Jax tells Kendra to get a knife and cut him.

Martin refuses to give Valentina the secret of Firestorm, and she prepares to give him a torture injection.

Kendra cuts Jax's arm and Martin flinches in pain. He looks at his arm and sees the cuts forming a message: "We're coming." A guard restrains him, and Martin tells Valentina to do her worse.

A beaten Ray lies in the prison yard. The guards escort him back inside to where Mick is in his cell staring at the cigarette lighter flame. Ray wonders why Mick didn't help him, and Mick says that it was none of his business. He says that the only team he's on is his and Len's, and Ray deserved the beating for interfering. Mikhail and two soldiers arrive, and Mikhail says that they're the ones he wants.

Rip, Len, and Sara drive a truck into the prison. Rip flashes the guard at the gate a wad of money and says that Yuri sent him. As the guard lets them in, Len and Sara drop off the best. Len tells Sara to kill Martin with her bare hands, looking into his eyes, to make sure she doesn't forget who they're talking about.

When Valentina fails to make Martin talk, Vandal comes in and says that it's his turn. Mikhail turns on a light to reveal Mick and Ray chained from the ceiling. He shocks them, and Mick assures Mikhail that he won't survive when he's done with him. Unimpressed, Mikhail continues his torture and they spot Martin through the window. Ray tells Martin not to say anything, and Marin tells Vandal that he doesn't have any emotional attachment to Ray and Mick.

Mick continues to defy Mikhail. When the Russian prepares to beat Mick, Ray asks for some food and water for his last meal. Mick wonders what he's doing, and Mikhail echoes his question. Ray continues taunting Mikhail until the Russian starts beating him. Martin asks Vandal to spare his friends and he'll tell them about the Firestorm matrix.

Len, posting as a Russian officer, takes a cloth-covered Sara on a gurney. A guard comes over and Len warns that Valentina used the supposed corpse for her smallpox trials. The other guards bring Ray and Mick out, and Mick spots Len. Once they're in the clear, Len gets to a duct and Sara figures that it should take them to martin. Len says that he's not going and his priority is rescuing Mick. Disgusted, Sara takes off.

Back in their cell, Mick tells Ray that he didn't prove anything. Ray insists that there are some things more important than survival. He wonders if there's something Mick is willing to die for, and Mick says the perfect score. Ray figures that the only difference between them is how they define "score."

Gideon informs Rip that the probability of the U.S. losing the Cold War has risen to 90%.

Sara makes her way through the duct. Valentina and Martin go by, and Rip tells Sara that she has to eliminate Martin before he enters the lab. She kills all of Valentina's guards except one, and the other one provides cover fire as Valentina gets Martin into the lab. She tells Rip what has happened, and says that she knows what she has to do.

In the lab, Martin works on the formula to stabilize Firestorm. He tells Valentin that as a youth he was obsessed with her culture, and in the future it collapses. Martin says that Valentin that she's on the wrong side of history, and she says that soon they will change history.

As Rip has Gideon monitor rip's life signs, Jax and Kendra come in. Jax says that they won't fail and insists that he doesn't have to be Firestorm to part of the time. Kendra tells Rip that Carter's death wasn't his fault, and suggests that Rip create a distraction while she flies Jax in to touch Martin and become Firestorm. Rip admits that they might be right.

Len gets to his teammate's cell and gives Mick a spare costume. Ray has passed out, and Mick refuses to abandon him after what he did. Len reminds him that it's just the two of them.

Rip examines the blueprints and finds the circuit breaker for the prison's power. Jax will have to run 120 yards in less than 12 seconds to get to the breaker, and Kendra assures him that he can do it despite his injury.

Martin finishes the formula but Valentina realizes that something is missing. She pulls back his sleeve and sees Jax's message, and Martin claims that he cut himself. Valentina realizes that Martin is linked to the Burning Man and one half of Firestorm. Martin tries to warn her that the odds of a successful merge are astronomical without the splicer, but Valentina insists that the two of them will make a wonderful Firestorm.

Valentina sets up beneath a truck and prepares to shoot Martin. Hawkgirl flies Jax in, and Rip tells her over the radio that they are rescuing Martin.

Mick carries Ray out, much to Len's disgust.

Jax braces himself and then runs for the circuit breaker. The guards spot him and Sara takes them out, while Jax gets to the breaker and shuts down the power. The electromagnetic locks in the prison open, and Len and Mick run for it. Mikhail arrives and fires into the air, ordering everyone back into their cells. Mick knocks him out and locks him in a cell with Boris. Boris attacks Mikhail, who screams in terror. Meanwhile, Mick and Len get to the loading bay. Ray wakes up and Len takes off after saying that he has something to do.

As he heads for his escape helicopter, Vandal senses Hawkgirl in the vicinity and she senses him. He tells his escort to make sure that Martin enters the reactor, and then continues to the helicopter.

Valentina enters the core with Martin and tells the technicians to take it to full power.

As the guards escort Martin to the reactor, Sara spots him and warns Rip that Valentina is trying to merge with him. Jax sees Martin as well, while Sara tells rip that she has the shot. Len tells her not to do it, saying that she's not a killer anymore. Sara is unable to pull the trigger.

The guards push martin into the reactor and Valentina grabs him. They merge, but Martin mentally warns that she'll kill them both without the splicer.

Kendra is planting explosive charges when Vandal finds her. He asks Kendra to come with him and they can live together in eternity. She refuses, just as Rip puts a gun to Vandal's head. He tells Kendra to go, and then tells Vandal that he's there to make sure Vandal never completes the Firestorm project... and to get his watch that Vandal took from him in 1975. As Vandal hands it over, he says that he wants Rip alive so he can see the world burn. He promises that when he sees Miranda and Jonah, he will let them know that Rip and his team are responsible for their suffering. Rip walks out and triggers the explosive charges, killing Vandal temporarily. He makes contact with Sara and the others, and she says that they have to get out.

The Valentina Firestorm steps out into the prison yard and begins incinerating prisoners. Sara and Len cover Jax, who limps over to Valentina. She knocks him back and prepares to kill him, and Jax calls to Martin inside of the matrix. He tells Martin that his mind is stronger than Valentina, and she's unable to blast him. He grabs her hand and Martin is blasted free of Valentina's body. Sara and Len run over and they watch as Valentina goes critical. Rip lands Waverider outside of the main gate, and everyone boards. The timeship gets clear just as Valentina explodes, destroying herself and the camp.

Later, the team shares a toast to their successful mission. Ray thanks Mick for his help, and Mick would rather drink than talk about their feelings. Gideon confirms that the projections of the future are back to normal, and they toast Rip. Martin lectures Jax about drinking when he isn't 21, but then decides to let it slide because Jax saved his life. Sara privately tells Rip that Martin doesn't know she was going to kill him, and Rip reminds her that he advised her to kill Martin. She wonders if she's losing her edge, and Rip suggests that she may be gaining a new edge. He figures that it was her humanity that stayed her hand, but Sara points out that she had some help and looks over at Len.

The ship shakes and Gideon reports that Chronos is firing on them. They strap in and evade the bounty hunter, but his missiles lock on and strike Waverider. The impact knocks them out of the timestream, and they land in a ruined city. They emerge to check the terrain, and Ray notices a Palmer Tech building with the Smoak logo on it. Sara realizes that they're in Star City, and Rip confirms that they are in 2046. A green-clad archer appears and orders them not to move, and Sara and Ray identify themselves to who they assume is Oliver. However, they discover that the archer is a different man, and he says that he's never heard of them as he opens fire.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 23, 2019

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