After the “Invasion” 4-ight crossover, everyone in the Arrowverse went back to their own perspective corners. Although they were having their post-saving-the-world bliss, they still had their own problems. On The Flash, Barry still has to deal with Doctor Alchemy and Savitar. On Arrow, Oliver still has to deal with Prometheus as he continues to stalk him (and he has a new ally who’s a part of Team Arrow). On Legends of Tomorrow, Stein has to figure out how to deal with an aberration that he created: his own daughter. Unfortunately, there was no Supergirl this week as we will have to wait until January 16th when it returns back from the midseason break.
Let’s take a look at this week’s episodes:
The Flash: “The Present”
Before the invasion, we learned that Barry’s nemesis in civilian life Julian is Doctor Alchemy. This week we learn a little bit more about Julian’s tragic past and how he came to be the dreaded villain. The make matters even worse, he doesn’t realize that he is, in fact, Doctor Alchemy. More on that later.
Barry knows that he needs to beat Savitar, but he can’t do it alone. Barry travels to Earth-3 so that he can recruit Earth-3’s Jay Garrick. As soon as Barry arrives, Jay is dealing with Earth-3’s Trickster and we are treated to yet another cameo by the great Mark Hamill, who manages to barely say a few more words than he did in The Force Awakens before both Barry and Jay subdue him and leave him for the cops. Barry then tells Jay about his problem with Savitar. Jay is actually amazed that Barry is able to see Savitar, as he only knows of Savitar as some sort of speedster legend. Jay tells Barry a little bit about the Legend of Savitar and how he lures people to be his acolytes through showing them their deal loved ones. Jay agrees to come to Earth-1 to help him fight the speed God.
Meanwhile, Cisco is about to have his first Christmas without his brother, thanks to Flashpoint. This causes him to have the holiday blues for a little bit. Thanks to Savitar he starts to see visions of his brother, luring Cisco to the dark side.
The team discovers that the source of power is actually the smallest of things, a small stone. If the stone is safely held in its protective case, then Savitar can do no harm. During the battle with Savitar, Jay is able to see him and they engage in battle. Just like he did with Barry, Savitar beats Jay all over the city, while Barry takes on Doctor Alchemy (who he doesn’t know is actually Julian). Once Barry subdues Alchemy, he now has the stone, which saves Garrick from getting further beat up. After Barry defeats Alchemy, he discovers who the man behind the mask is and locks Julian up at STAR Labs.
To Barry’s surprise, Julian is as much a victim as anyone else. Julian isn’t some dastardly villain. Turns out after he touched the stone when he discovered it way back when he was exploring the legend of Savitar to help get over the grief of his sister, he came under Savitar’s control. Every time he dons the mask, he loses time and Alchemy appears to be in complete control of him. While Julian is telling him this, Barry reveals to him that he is in fact, the flash (Barry seems to tell everyone). While they are discussing Savitar, the speed God starts to show Cisco visions of his dead brother to lure him to take the stone out of its case. When Cisco does that, Savitar helps release him in a state of confusion and as a result, Barry and Wally start getting beat down. It was only Caitlin show managed to bring Cisco back to reality and he closes the box, trapping Savitar again.
Barry comes up with the idea of using Julian as a conduit to speak with Savitar where the God of speed proceeds to tell Barry the reason for him attacking The Flash. Once again “future” Barry is making problems for past Barry as Savitar will be his enemy in the future. Savitar also drops a few bombshells on the team. One of them will betray, one will die, and one will suffer a fate worse than death. It looks like the second half of the season will be about seeing if his prophecies will come true. Barry and Jay realize the safest thing to do would be to throw the amulet into the Speed Force, there no one would be able to get it and release Savitar. After they manage to run fast enough to do it, Barry is propelled 6 months into the future. Not only is Savitar out of the Speed Force, but Barry witnesses him kill Iris.
Afterwards, Barry and Jay have a heart to heart about destiny and timelines. Garrick tells him that the future is not yet set, it’s a possible future. What he should focus on is the here and now. Surprisingly, Barry follows his father’s doppelganger’s advice and decided to spend as much time as he can with Iris. Everyone has a great Christmas party. Joes finally kissed the woman he’s been seeing, Cisco deals with his grief, Caitlin uses her powers to make snow, HR gets real drunk, and even Wally gets his Kid Flash costume as a Christmas present. Julian shows up and offers Barry his job back as he helped him get rid of Savitar. Everything’s a little too perfect. Barry deep down knows what might happen .in 6 months and decides to live life to the fullest. He gets himself and Iris an apartment to live in together and they tell each other that they love one another.
Arrow: “What We Leave Behind”
The mystery of Prometheus is beginning to pay off, and they are setting him up to be one of Arrow’s best villains. This episode also deals with the aftermath of the Dominators invasion, but this one is more personal as last week’s 100th episode of Arrow was a much more personal one. Thea is still reeling from the virtual reality the aliens put her Oliver, Diggle, and Sara through where they see the life they could have had and she’s still missing her long dead parents. However, we still have a madman serial killer on the loose. After saving the world, it’s off to once again saving Star City.
The episode kicks off at an office Christmas party hosted by Oliver. The part is a little amusing as it is the first time that Felicity introduces her new boyfriend to Oliver. Needless to say, she needs a little be of social lubrication to help ease what she thinks will be tense. Of course, the side effect of drinking too much champagne is a way to start babbling quickly. As Felicity talks with Curtis and his husband Paul, she doesn’t cover his vigilante tracks to well, and Paul can see that something’s up. This leads Paul and Curtis to leave the party early. Guess who’s outside waiting for Curtis, Prometheus. After taking a throwing star to the neck, Curtis engages in some hand to hand combat with Prometheus, surprising his husband (and the audience since we have yet to see him really fight). Unfortunately, as good as Oliver trained Curtis, he was no match for Prometheus and Curtis is left critically injured. Both Oliver, Felicity, and Curtis come to the conclusion, Prometheus knows who the members of Team Arrow are as civilians.
This week’s flashbacks did not have to do with Oliver infiltrating the Russian mob, but it was even more important for the episode. Instead of a time before he was Green arrow, the Flashback details an untold adventure from when he was “The Hood,” when he willingly killed all enemies he came across. In the flashback he and Diggle are debating the ethics of his quest to kill people who “failed this city” and Diggle reminds him that Oliver’s actions may have undesired consequences. In the flashback, Oliver was hunting Justin Claybourne, a ruthless businessman who was not only raising the cost of life-saving drugs, but was also using the profits for criminal purposes. We are reminded just how dark the show once was as Oliver easily dispatches many of Claybourne’s men before fatally shooting him with an arrow.
But Oliver’s actions have unforeseen consequences. Turns out Prometheus has been studying Oliver for quite some time, and is somehow connected to Claybourne. Prometheus leads Team Arrow on their first wild goose chase where they come to one of Claybourne’s old offices, and the breadcrumb left shows the picture of a little child that Claybourne never claimed (to cheat on his taxes and child support). Felicity deduces that the child would probably be in their 30s at this point and the child probably is Prometheus. Is the child Prometheus? That remains to be seen as he did not unmask, but he did set up Team Arrow in the most terrible way. When they confront him, Evelyn finally reveals herself and betrays the team. With her help, Prometheus escapes.
A bedridden Curtis finally tells his husband the truth: that he’s Mr. Perfect and at nights is a vigilante with The Green Arrow. Much like any spouse, his husband is not excited with the thought that one night Curtis might not come back and he gives Curtis an ultimatum. Curtis has to choose between being a vigilante, or being married. For Curtis, there isn’t a choice. Being a vigilante gives him a feeling of purpose, and he also feels “alive” when fighting crime. Later on in the episode, Paul packs his bags and leaves a heartbroken Curtis.
Felicity’s boyfriend, Billy Malone has also been trying to track down Prometheus as well. Despite his girlfriend’s warning, he’s a cop, and cops catch bad guys. Unfortunately for him, he is quickly captured and becomes a part of Prometheus’s trap. As Oliver track the missing cop, he confronts Prometheus. As the two trade arrows, throwing stars, and punches and fight all over Claybourne’s old office complex, Prometheus enacts his plan. After the two are separated, Oliver has Prometheus in his sights and plugs a few arrows into him. Then he continues to hear Prometheus’ taunts. The person who was wearing the Prometheus costume was Billy who was gagged and had a sword taped to his arm. Prometheus managed to use Oliver to murder Billy, which will alienate him from Felicity.
Diggle receives a call from his wife, who he had stashed at a safe house saying she was under attack, and he runs to save her and his son. When he arrives, it’s not his wife there, but government agents who have been looking for him since Oliver broke him out of prison. The episode ends with Team Arrow in shambles. Curtis lost his husband, Diggle is arrested, Felicity lost her boyfriend, and Oliver is racked with guilt. Oliver heads to the Arrow cave where he sees a familiar face…. Laurel Lance!
Legends of Tomorrow: “The Chicago Way”
The Legends head to Chicago in the 1920s to stop the Legion of Doom from helping Al Capone seize power.
Up until now, the Legion of Doom was just Damien Darhk and Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash, as they have been time traveling and spreading mayhem. Now they have a third team member. Malcolm Merlyn, the former Ra's Al Ghul has joined them, and they are off to start some trouble. The Legends detected a new aberration in the time stream. This time, it’s local mob boss Al Capone who will become mayor with their help.
As the Legends try to undo the damage, Stein is distracted by his new memories from the creation of his daughter. As a result, Al Capone slips through their grasp early on. Stein tries to keep it a secret, but Jax knows that it’s a problem that is slowly affecting the team. Meanwhile, Ray didn’t know that half of the Chicago police in the 1920s are corrupt and lets Elliot Ness get kidnapped by Capone’s forces. History knows that Ness is the one who puts Capone away, and if he’s gone, we’re looking at a totally different timeline. The team manages to prevent his death, but not before his almost drowning by Capone leads to brain damage that only the Wave Rider’s systems can cure. Now someone has to pretend to be Ness. As Nate and Ray argue about who should replace him, Sara interrupts their competitiveness and assigns, Nate, to go undercover as the agent.
As the Legends go undercover to try and find Capone at one of his clubs, they are interrupted by the Reverse Flash. As powerful as they are, they are no match for a speedster. The Reverse Flash manages to kidnap Sara and Stein and head out. As they are interrogating the two, Stein holds strong. Malcolm Merlyn gives Sara an offer to undo all the damage done by creating another timeline where she never got on the boat with Oliver, and her sister was never killed. Sara declines but in doing so makes Stein feel some guilt about messing with the timeline with the result of his daughter. Afterwards, he tells her the truth and she’s upset as he’s the one who told her not to kill Damien Darhk to create another timeline. She exclaims to him that his daughter “isn’t real” and then he tells her that he now has new memories about her and her growing up. His daughter is, in fact, real.
Meanwhile, Mick is hallucinating about his long dead partner Captain Cold (a surprise cameo by Wentworth Miller) reminding him that he’s no hero but just a regular criminal. It was always Snart who was the one with a heart of gold under his icy exterior, and now the roles have been reversed. Mick’s hallucinations tell him to betray his team, but he’s starting to develop affection for them, especially Vixen. The two team up and deal with The Reverse Flash as he infiltrates the Wave Rider in search of the amulet they took from him. Lucky for them, Rip Hunter’s armory had an anti-speedster weapon that slows him down (just a little).
Sara managed to negotiate a deal with Eobard to exchange Stein’s life for the amulet. When the Legion reunites at the end of the episode, Eobard assembles the amulet with another device and reveals to the members of the Legion of Doom that it is a map to the Spear of Destiny, an artifact that causes the user to be able to manipulate reality. We now know what this season’s McGuffin will be.
Elsewhere, we got to 1967 to a Hollywood movie shoot that looks similar to the adventures the Legends have been going on and we see the director… Rip Hunter, and with an American Accent!