- "I'd like to think it was your humanity that stayed your hand."
- —Rip assuring Sara that she hasn't lost her soul
"Fail-Safe" is the fifth episode of the first season of , and the fifth episode overall. It aired on February 18, 2016.
|After some of the Legends are captured and thrown into a Russian gulag during the height of the Cold War in 1986, Snart leads the team in an elaborate escape plan to free their comrades. However, Rip gives Sara a secret side mission that could prove not only to be a liability, but fatal to the team.|
- Victor Garber as Professor Martin Stein
- Brandon Routh as Dr. Ray Palmer
- Arthur Darvill as Captain Rip Hunter
- Caity Lotz as Sara Lance
- Franz Drameh as Jefferson “Jax” Jackson
- Ciara Renée as Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl
- Amy Pemberton as Gideon (voice)
- Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory
- Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart
Special guest star
- Casper Crump as Vandal Savage
- Stephanie Corneliussen as Dr. Valentina Vostok/Soviet Firestorm
- Joseph David-Jones as Green Arrow
- Nick Gracer as Yuri
- Voytek Skrzeta as Mikhail Arkadin
- Frank C. Turner as Ancient Prisoner
- Andre Tricoteux as Boris
- George Klimovich as Anatoly Knyazev
- Bojan Dulabic as Burly Guard
- Alexander Mandra as Tunnel Prison Guard
- Raresh Dimofte as Yard Guard
Stein hallucinates a conversation with Cisco until he realizes that he wasn't talking to the real Cisco. He then wakes up to learn that he was talking to Valentina the whole time. He is then approached by Vandal Savage who reveals that he was friends with Joseph Stalin. He threatens to torture him.
Rip, Sara, and Snart talk about how to break into the gulag to save the others. Sara suggests talking to someone in the Bratva.
Rip approaches a man along with the others and they talk to him. The man doesn't believe he could trust them due to them not having tattoos. Sara then fights the man's back up leaving Rip to fight the man himself as Snart watches.
In the prison, Ray is out of his element as Mick scoffs at his attitude.
Kendra and Jax learn that they have been benched. Rip tells Sara that if the mission fails, that 2016 will fall if they don't win. Rip tells her that if Martin is beyond their reach to kill Stein.
Snart approaches Sara as she got ready. He reveals that he realized what she would have to do. Snart tells her that they are all pawns to Rip. In the prison, Ray keeps talking to random prisoners. It causes him to get on the bad side of some of the men.
In another area, Valentina brings Stein food and reveals that they built more than one thermal core for Savage.
On the plane, Jax wants to save Stein and Kendra gives him an idea.
Stein is in with Valentina while Kendra cuts Jax to send a message to him.
Ray wakes up late at night having spent the day completely beat up. He is returned to his cell and gets pissed off with Mick for not helping him out. One of Savage's men approaches the cell.
Rip, Sara and Snart head to the prison to free their friends.
Stein learns that Mick and Ray are tied up to be tortured to get Stein to talk. Ray distracts one of the men from hurting Mick. It causes Stein to break.
Snart spots Mick and Ray as he and Sara sneak in. Sara and Snart split up with Sara going after Stein and Snart going to get Ray and Mick.
Rip is on the ship and learns that the probability has risen. Sara is told to stop them before Stein could enter the lab. However she is unsuccessful.
In the lab, Stein stalls Valentina by telling her about the future of Russia. She isn't happy with what she hears but she vows that he will help her change history.
Kendra and Jax approach Rip to talk him into letting them go to save Stein.
In their cell, Snart approaches Mick and Ray with their gear. Snart tries to talk Mick into leaving Ray behind. Valentina spots the mark on Stein's forearm and learns what is the missing piece of her research: Stein being one half of Firestorm. Valentina mentions them splicing together to make their own firestorm.
Outside Sara has a gun aimed at the building when Kendra and Jax show up. Mick and Snart carry Ray out of the building as Jax heads to save Stein. He is shot at and turns off the breaker.
With Mick and Snart dressed as guards and all the prisoner's let free, Mick and Snart have to rush out. Ray wakes up as this occurs.
Savage senses Kendra, so he goes after her.
Valentina has the core turned on so she can be affected. Jax spots Stein and Sara has lined up a shot. However Snart talks her out of it.
Valentina talks in Stein without the splicer. She's however very power hungry and doesn't care about what he has to say.
Savage approaches Kendra and Rip backs her up. He blows up Savage.
Valentina's firestorm emerges and she begins shooting people. Jax vows to get Stein back and tells him that they are firestorm, not Stein and Valentina. He splits from Valentina who then becomes unstable so they have to run before she blows.
Getting onto the ship, they make it away in time for Valentina to blow. Ray and Mick talk about being even as the team drink together for being successful.
Sara and Rip talk about her not following through on the hit. He tells her that she did well, and it was her humanity that stopped her.
The ship is shot at and Rip is confused on how they are being shot at. They learn that it is Chronos again. They miss the other ship but have been knocked out of the time stream and are now landing somewhere. They soon realize that it is Star City in the year 2046. They are approached by a hooded vigilante. Sara and Ray talk to the man and learn that he's not Oliver Queen.
- While discussing the rescue mission to retrieve Martin Stein, Mick Rory, and Ray Palmer from the Russian gulag, Leonard Snart mentions, "this isn't my first prison break". This is a reference to Wentworth Miller's former role as fugitive Michael Scofield in the TV series Prison Break, with the intention of breaking out his brother Lincoln Burrows, out (played by Dominic Purcell).
- Mick refers to Ray as "pretty" while being escorted to their cell, a common nickname that Robert Knepper's character Theodore Bagwell would call Michael Scofield by on the television series Prison Break.
- While in the Temporal Zone, Jax refers to Chronos having "impeccable timing". This is an homage to Kronos being the Lord of Time in Greek mythology.
- In the bloopers of Season 1, it was revealed that Brandon Routh actually fell asleep during the scene where Snart breaks Ray and Mick out of jail.
- This episode shares its title with the 1964 film (inspired by the book of the same title) Fail-Safe, about a near nuclear confrontation between the US and the USSR.
- Some of the Russian guards are carrying Yugoslavian M70 rifles instead of the correct Russian AK74 or AKM.
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