- For other episodes of the same name, see Pilot.
- "I know it's difficult for you to fathom, but where... when I'm from, the year 2166, you and everyone on this roof aren't just considered heroes... You're legends."
- —Rip Hunter to his team
It is the first half of the two-part pilot.
|In the year 2166, the immortal villain Vandal Savage is on the verge of his final victory – total chaos and the utter destruction of humanity. As the world crumbles, Time Master Rip Hunter takes matters into his own hands; he travels 150 years into the past to assemble a carefully selected team of heroes and rogues to stop him. Hunter has chosen what seems like an ill-matched group: billionaire inventor Ray Palmer, who has created an exo-suit with the power to shrink him to minuscule size, as the Atom; Sara Lance, the White Canary, a trained assassin; Professor Martin Stein and Jefferson "Jax" Jackson, who together form the meta-human Firestorm; Leonard Snart, known as Captain Cold, and his partner Mick Rory, AKA Heat Wave, a pair of career criminals; and Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall AKA Hawkgirl and Hawkman. Together this unlikely group will attempt to stop one of the most formidable villains of all time, while they must learn how to not only be a team, but heroes as well.|
In the year 2166, Vandal Savage is on the verge of his final victory, and he personally killed the wife and son of Rip Hunter. Rip speaks to the council of Time Masters, requesting a permission to travel to the past to stop Savage's rise to power. However, the Time Masters refuse, claiming it is not the purpose of the Time Masters to alter time, but protect it from those who would alter it. Disobeying the council, Rip boards his timeship, the Waverider, and orders the ship's artificial A.I., Gideon, to plot course to Star City in 2016, in order for him to recruit a team to help him in stopping Savage.
Rip recruits the following members:
- Ray Palmer, aka The Atom, is assisting Oliver Queen against H.I.V.E. inside a computer. He comes out and knocks down several H.I.V.E. soldiers, until Rip blinds him.
- Sara Lance, former member of the League of Assassins, is in a bar in Tibet, and she beats a thug who made inappropriate advances to another woman. Rip greets her and blinds her.
- Firestorm, the merged form of professor Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson, are dealing with crooks around an oil refinery. After dealing with them, the two argue about their different approaches, until Rip blinds them both.
- Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall, the current incarnations of Hawkgirl and Hawkman, are dealing with trouble, and Kendra has trouble adapting in the life of being a hero, as she was just a waitress before. Rip appears and blinds them both
- The last two are criminals Leonard Snart and Mick Rory, known also as Captain Cold and Heat Wave. They just pulled off a robbery in Central City, but were extracted by Rip before they could escape.
Rip Hunter brings all the members of his team to Star City and shows them what the world will be like 150 years in the future. He also tells them that by then, all eight of them are legends. He gives them 36 hours to decide. All members ponder the choice in their own way.
- Ray goes to see Oliver Queen/Green Arrow. He is skeptical over Rip, but he allows Ray to go, if he so desires.
- Sara trains with Laurel in the Arrowcave and asks what she thinks she should do. Laurel says she should go in order to find redemption, and dubs her sister "White Canary". She also gives her a new outfit made by Cisco Ramon.
- Jax and Martin argue about the choice. Jax doesn't want to go, but Martin, who wants to go, knowing that he can't be too far away without him, drugs Jax and takes him along.
- Kendra and Carter argue, as Kendra wants to flee, but Carter thinks this is an opportunity to defeat Savage for good. Carter suggests to settle this with duel: the victor will decide. Eventually, Kendra loses.
- Rory is not thrilled to join as he is not willing to be a hero, but Snart suggests that with time travel they could pull off heists only one could dream of. They decide to come along.
All eight join at the address Rip gave them, and Rip shows them his ship, the Waverider. As they board the ship and leave, Chronos, a time-traveling bounty hunter, sees them leave. Inside the ship, Rip orders the destination to St. Roch in the year 1975, in order to talk with professor Aldus Boardman, an expert on Vandal Savage.
At the destination, Rip orders Sara, Snart and Rory to remain behind, as their skills are not needed yet (Snart commenting Rip doesn't need anyone killed, maimed or robbed). Jax also stays behind. The rest head to St. Roch University. They meet Boardman, and he is awed to see Kendra and Carter and starts to explain about Chay-Ara, Khufu and Savage. Meanwhile, in the Waverider, Sara decides to go for a drink. Snart and Rory join her, but Jax is not allowed to come along.
Boardman explains how Kendra and Carter's cycle of reincarnation and Savage's quest to kill them began, when he discovered that Kendra and Carter, as Chay-Ara and Khufu, were secretly in love, just as Savage was with Chay-Ara. He killed them during a meteor strike, and prayed to Horus to curse objects with his hate. But Chay-Ara made a prayer of her own, beginning the cycle. He then shows Kendra and Carter a picture of him and his parents from the 1920s, which indicates that Boardman is actually Kendra's and Carter's son from their earlier incarnations. He even calls Kendra "mother". He explains, how Kendra and Carter were murdered then. He also shows them pictures, which indicates that Savage was instrumental in causing many of mankind's greatest conflicts, such as World War I. Rip asks him about Savage's whereabouts.
In a bar, Sara, Snart and Rory get drinks and Sara and Snart flirt with each other, and Sara asks if he wants to dance. Snart politely refuses and Sara takes the dance floor. A thug attempts to make advances on her, but she refuses, and also says his girl is more of her type. The thug attempts to threaten her, but Sara breaks his arm. Sara tells the boys she got this. Many other thugs attack her, and a bar fight ensues, and Snart and Rory are impressed. As more thugs come, Sara asks Snart and Rory to help. In the Waverider, Jax attempts to get Gideon to take him home, but the computer refuses. Suddenly, the ship is attacked by Chronos. Rip receives a distress call and leaves for the ship. Kendra and Carter demand they take Aldus along, as he is destined to die within 24 hours. Rip reluctantly agrees.
They return to the ship and a firefight ensues. Martin and Ray attempt to run into the ship in order for Martin to merge with Jax and Ray to get his suit. Martin is hit but not badly, and he gets to the ship along with Ray, and merges with Jax. Ray takes his suit and flies to the fight. As things start to look bad, Sara, Snart and Rory tackle Chronos with a car, allowing the team to escape. Boardman has been wounded badly in the fight, and his survival is unlikely.
The team is angry towards Rip and demands answers. Rip finally admits he is a former Time Master, and that Chronos was sent by the Council of Time Masters to stop him. He reveals that Savage killed his family, which motivated him to stop him before his reign of terror begins. And he also reveals none of them are legends in the future: he chose them, because none of them has made their mark on history, they are essentially nobodies. But he also says that what he told them about the future wasn't a lie, nor was his need for help. The team realizes Rip has a personal reason to want Savage stopped: Savage murdered his wife and child, and he wants to prevent that, as well as deaths of others at Savage's hands. Rip offers the team to return to 2016. Everyone goes to ponder, what they should do.
Kendra looks after Aldus, who gives her a ring Kendra had left her in her previous life. He then passes away. She thanks Carter, and Kendra allows him to call her Chay-Ara. Martin apologizes to Jax, but Jax, having seen Martin run into the ship, inspired Jax to remain, as to him it was like a football team member taking a hit for him. Ray is fixing his suit as he, Sara, Snart and Rory ponder. They all agree, that they will decide their fates.
Everyone goes to Rip and agree to come along, Rip takes the controls and proceeds to the coordinates Aldus gave them. In Norway in 1975, Savage acquires a Soviet nuclear bomb.
- Victor Garber as Professor Martin Stein/Firestorm
- Brandon Routh as Dr. Ray Palmer/The Atom
- Arthur Darvill as Captain Rip Hunter
- Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary
- Franz Drameh as Jefferson "Jax" Jackson/Firestorm
- Ciara Renée as Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl and Priestess Chay-Ara
- Falk Hentschel as Carter Hall/Hawkman and Prince Khufu
- Amy Pemberton as Gideon
- Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave/Chronos
- Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold
Special guest star
- Keifer O'Reilly as Jonas
- Alex Duncan as Mother
- Mackenzie Gray as Council Member #1
- Simone Bailly as Council Member #2
- Christopher Logan as Council Member #3
- Vivian Full as Waitress
- Darryl Quon as Scary Drunk Guy
- Kory Grim as Terrorist
- Sarah Goodwill as Woman
- Robert Hayley as Cop
- Madison Smith as Frat Dude #1
- Braeden Clark as Frat Dude #2
- Alexandra Voice as Weirdo Chick
- Brad Kelly as Scary Biker
- Nicole Major as Sexy Girlfriend
Behind the scenes
- Rip Hunter mentions the time-traveling DC super-villain Per Degaton among legendary conquerors like Caesar and Hitler.
- Per Degaton would eventually appear in "".
- In the comics, Rip Hunter is the leader of the Time Masters.
- Rip's time-traveling vehicle is called the Waverider. In the comics, Waverider was a hero who worked alongside Rip in the Linear Men. Rip in the comics travels using a Time Sphere.
- Chronos is introduced in this episode. In the comics, Chronos is a long-time archenemy to the Atom.
- In the comics, Rip led the Forgotten Heroes, a team of heroes forgotten by history. In this episode, Rip reveals that the eight he recruited are not important to history.
- Jax and Stein have now started wearing a suit while merged as Firestorm, which resembles the outfit worn by the character in the comics.
- The episode takes place two months after the events of 's "" and "" and 's "".
- This is the last episode in which Laurel and Sara interact in person onscreen due to Laurel's death in """, though Sara wasn't made aware of this until "", which is set roughly a month after Laurel's death.
- Starting with this episode, Mick begins declaring his love or hate of something in every episode of . Mick's declaration of love/hate: I love the 70's.
- While in 1975, the team is seen to be watching an episode of the 70s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. DC Comics actually published a Welcome Back, Kotter comic book series in 1976-78.
- Rip tells Gideon to set a course for Star City, January, 2016. To this, Gideon responds, "Ah, the early second millennium A.D..." The year 2016 is actually a part of the third millennium A.D., since the first millennium was from the years 1-1000.
- Vandal Savage is seen stealing a nuclear warhead from Norwegian soldiers. Norway has never had nuclear weapons, nor has it allowed allied nations to store nuclear weapons on its soil.
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