- "Don't trouble yourself. I'm not a damsel in distress."
"Good, because I'm not a white knight."
- —Valentina Vostok and Leonard Snart
|When Vandal Savage retreats behind the Iron Curtain in the early 1980s, a string of nuclear scientists begins to mysteriously disappear. The team follows Vandal's trail straight into the heart of the Soviet Union in an attempt to find his next target. Ray tries to bond with a beautiful Soviet scientist, Valentina Vostok, in the hopes of finding out Vandal's next move. When Valentina rejects him, it's Snart to the rescue. Stein pushes Jax to be better, which frustrates Jax and ultimately threatens the Firestorm matrix. Rip asks Sara to train Kendra.|
The episode starts with the team going to D.C. in 1986, where they break into the Pentagon for records that in the future are heavily redacted. Snart and Ray pose as janitors, and Snart manages to steal a female officer's security card (and her wallet). The card is given to Sara and Kendra, and Rory keeps personnel distracted through an arm-wrestling match. They obtain the files. However, things go awry, when Jax doesn't follow Stein's directions, and inadvertently causes an alarm go off. This prevents Sara and Kendra from leaving without inspection, and they are forced to battle their way out. During the escape, Kendra goes berserk, much like Sara does, and Firestorm grabs her, and everyone manages to escape in the chaos.
The files direct them to the U.S.S.R. and to a scientist named Valentina Vostok. As they arrive in the USSR, they are chased after Chronos again. After tricking the Russian's into shooting him down, the team splits up. Ray and Snart go to Moscow in order to get close to Valentina, in order to find out what she is building for Savage. Rip and Mick go after Chronos when Rip spots a time aberration. They learn that it is Zaman Druce who is following him to stop him. He gives Rip a deal: stop what he's doing, and all charges on him will be dropped, and his team will be returned to 2016. Rip considers the deal, but Rory tells him Druce is going to kill him; the only reason he didn't now, was because he wants to eliminate the team as well.
Sara approaches Rip and asks him how to help Kendra who had gone crazy on a guy outside of the Pentagon. It results in Rip telling Sara to train Kendra herself. As Sara goes to train Kendra, she is unwilling, forcing Sara to goad her for it. Eventually, the two spar, with Sara encouraging Kendra to let her rage loose, which she does. Kendra goes berserk, and kicks Sara with great force. This in turn causes Sara's bloodlust to emerge, and she starts strangling Kendra, but comes to her senses and runs off.
Ray attempts to approach Valentina, but his attempts are rejected. Snart jumps in and manages to charm her, much to Ray's chagrin. Rip tells the team about Druce's deal, but they all think it's a trap. After learning that Zaman was going to have Chronos kill him, Rip is saved by his team but an explosion causes Jax and Stein to be split. Jax is injured.
Snart escorts Valentina to her apartment, and managed to get her ID badge (and her wallet). They return to the ship, just in time to witness a heated argument between Jax and Stein, as Stein has had enough about Jax' ego, and Jax in turn has had enough about Stein's know-it-all attitude. Jax is taken into medical bay, and Ray is struck about what he just witnessed. Stein then tells Ray, that he finds this is the only way he can get through to Jax, and also reveals he lost his earlier half, Ronnie Raymond, and doesn't want to experience that again.
As the team looks the information about the laboratory Valentina works in, Stein intends to go there to find out what Operation Svarog is about. Rip sends Snart and Ray as backup. Kendra talks with Rip about Sara, thinking that she is not the right one to train her. However, Rip reveals she put Sara up to it, seeing that both women have a similar problem, and thought they could help each other. Sara can help with Kendra's warrior side, and Kendra can help with Sara's human side. Kendra goes to Sara, much the same way as Sara did before, and they duel again.
Stein manages to get inside the laboratory, and discovers Valentina is attempting to create a Soviet Firestorm for Savage. He finds a chamber containing a thermacore, which is similar to the F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. he created. Stein orders Ray to power down the core, so he can extract it. But when Ray sees Valentina, and thinks she ultimately is unaware what she is actually doing, has Snart go to distract her and get her to safety. However, Valentina manages to grab him, and despite Snart's objection, Ray turns the core power back on. Afterwards, Ray is knocked out. Stein thinks he can take the core even at full power, but Jax calls to him and tells him he is just a stubborn old man and urges him not to do it, but Stein manages to extract the core. But as soon as he exits the chamber, he is caught. With the timely arrival of Rory, Snart manages to escape and in the ensuing chaos, Rip tells Snart to escape with the thermacore. Snart is unwilling to leave Rory behind, but he escapes.
With half of the team captured, Snart is unhappy with Rip, since he didn't send anymore backup, but realizes it would have ended for all of them captured. Sara realizes that Rip wanted her and Kendra to train for their next mission: to rescue their comrades and stop the creation of Soviet Firestorm.
Preparation ran from October 6 until October 15, 2015. Shooting ran from October 16 until October 28, 2015.
- This episode marks the first time that a main cast member (Falk Hentschel (Carter Hall)) was not present for the episode. This leaves only nine cast members to appear in every episode: Caity Lotz (Sara Lance), Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer), Dominic Purcell (Mick Rory), Arthur Darvill (Rip Hunter), Amy Pemberton (Gideon), Wentworth Miller (Leonard Snart), Victor Garber (Martin Stein), Franz Drameh (Jefferson Jackson) and Ciara Renée (Kendra Saunders).
- This episode introduces the character Valentina Vostok. In the comics, Vostok was also a member of the intelligence community, but she is mostly known for her role as the superhero Negative Woman in the Doom Patrol.
- Time Master Zaman Druce mentions bringing Rip to “Vanishing Point". In the comics, Vanishing Point is the home of the Time Masters lead by Rip Hunter. It is the last moment at the end of the universe.
- The characters reference a deity called Svarog while talking about the possibility of a Soviet Firestorm. In the comics, there was a Soviet Firestorm, and his name was Mikhail Arkadin.
- Mick Rory threatens a Soviet by saying he will “get all Rocky 4 on your ass". This is a reference to the movie Rocky IV where American boxing champion Rocky Balboa defeats Russian boxing champion, Ivan Drago.
- Ray claims that he "always wanted to be a spy". This is possibly a reference to Brandon Routh's former role as the CIA agent-turned Ring agent, Daniel Shaw in the TV series Chuck.
- When Firestorm escapes the Pentagon, Rip demands that they pick up "the winged avenger" in regards to means Kendra, aka Hawkgirl. This could also be a reference to the Marvel Universe, namely The Avengers, which has Hawkeye (reference by name) and/or Falcon (reference by suit, since Falcon has wings).
- Ray exclaims when he sees the fighter jet, quoting the 1986 film Top Gun, which Snart takes note of.
- Jax refers to Chronos again as Boba Fett, an intergalactic bounty hunter from the Star Wars saga, a nickname that was used by Snart in "".
- Ray is called "Boy Scout" by Captain Cold, referencing a nickname for Superman, "the Big Blue Boy Scout." Routh previously played Superman in the 2006 film Superman Returns.
- In the Pentagon scenes, a number of military personnel are wearing their covers indoors. This is against protocol and they would have been required to remove them when going inside (with a few exceptions).
- Palmer says to Snart, "Be helpful to others. It's the scout motto." That is incorrect. In Boy Scouts, the Scout Motto is "Be Prepared."
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