Episode Title: Blood Ties
Original Airdate: 2-4-16
Apologies for running behind on coverage for this show, I assure you that it has nothing to do with how much or how little I enjoy the show because I have been having a lot of fun with it. While the two-part pilot suffered a little bit from pilot-itis, it has a strong premise, great characters, and great moments of action. This is the first episode where the team really starts to gel together after their single unifying moment at the end of the pilot and gets a lot more out in the open than I might have expected.
This wraps up a few threads going on from the end of the pilot where Kendra is still in more or less critical condition while shards of the knife are still in her bloodstream and Gideon’s tech is still too primitive to get them out… I guess? And since they can’t go after Vandal Savage himself, Rip Hunter decides to try and go after at least one of his sources of power: his money. It does tend to fall on the tropes where every part of the team just so happens to fail during their first attempts so that they can come together and succeed when they work together.
I still enjoy the relationship between Dr. Stein and Atom, and I think this episode does a great job of bringing them together while not destroying what they’ve worked at creating thus far. While Stein finally admits to actually remembering Ray as a student, he merely does that to restore his confidence so that he can go back and save Kendra by going Innerspace on her. As someone who hasn’t watched Arrow, we also get a little bit of Ray’s backstory in what I imagine was something that happened in an earlier episode where he lost his fiancee. We also get a little bit of the touching side of Captain Cold as he goes to try and rescue a part of his childhood by saving his father from jail time where he grows bitter and abusive, but this was one aspect of the show that was ultimately fruitless as the timeline corrected itself and his father wasn’t jailed for trying to steal this giant emerald, but instead was jailed for trying to sell it.
The other character that we get to see a little more insight into is Sarah’s White Canary. And she is also still one of the best characters as far as the action scenes in this show go. But after her resurrection, she apparently has this mega bloodlust that is never fully sated. Long story short, all she really needed was a good talking to and now she seems to be more in control. I think the biggest asset to this episode is the reveal of the cult-like status that Vandal Savage has with his followers, as well as the little tidbit that not only does killing the Hawk-couple help him retain his immortality, it also bestows a mini-immortality to a select group of his followers. What I think this means for the show, and if you have seen the next two episodes already you may know if this already holds true, but I imagine that we’ll be seeing some of his more notable followers in several of the episodes to come, even at a greater shift in time than a ten year jump that will lead us into episode 4.