‘The Magnificent Eight’ is an episode that is simultaneously awful and awesome. If you look at it as a show about people trying to save the world then it isn’t a good episode, but if you look at it as a group of people trying to do the right thing and have a good time messing about with time travel, then this is one of the best episodes so far!
Here’s our recap and review!
Rip has decided to take the team to 1871, the Old West to hide from the Hunters. He and Mick (who appears to be back on the team) explain that Time is constantly in motion and there are certain places which can act as Temporal Blind Spots, making it difficult for the Time Masters to track them down.
Yet again Rip wants everyone to stay on the ship and lie low but the team has other plans, they want to explore the Old West. They assure Rip they won’t interfere and mess the time stream up (which they always do!) but Mick says he will keep an eye on them.
Now that he has extensive time travel experience he is pretty much the next best person to keep them in line to Rip!
They use the ships fabricator to kit themselves out in traditional Old West gear, complete with Stetsons, Duster Coats and Revolvers! The team heads in to town with one of my favourite shots of the episode as they make there way down the main street like a scene out of an old Western film.
Where would you go if you found yourself in the Old West? To the Saloon of course! Mick and Sara start having a drinking competition after he tells her he hasn’t drunk in years. It still isn’t clear how long Mick was abandoned or how long he was with the Time Masters, but it seems like a very long time.
Professor Stein and Snart sit down to a game of cards. Stein is doing very well and also defends a serving girl from the abuse of one of his opponents. The guy doesn’t take too kindly to this and pulls out his gun only to be shot dead by a quickdraw shot from Snart!
This inevitably erupts into a fully fledged bar fight, complete with classic western piano music until a man in the shadows comes forward and fires his gun in the air stopping everyone cold. He pulls the team aside and reveals he knows that they are time travellers and they aren’t the first ones he has seen, he knows Rip Hunter.
The team bring the guy back to the ship to see Rip, he guy reveals himself to be none other than Jonah Hex, a long standing DC comics hero. Rip had spent a while in this time period before and was friends with Jonah. In fact the coat Rip wears used to belong to Jonah!
Hex tells them all that Snart has started a war with the Stillwater gang by killing one of their men. Ray decides he wants to try and stop the gang so he goes to the town sheriff who passes the job over to him. He has pushed his luck enough and appoints Ray as the new Sheriff!
The Stillwater gang comes to town demanding payment, Ray confronts them and bluffs his way out of the situation, with a little help from a sharpshooting Snart. Hex warns that while they may have been scared off, the whole town is now at risk and will become the next ‘Calvert’ whenever they leave town.
Later, Rip explains that Calvert was the town that he lived in for a time and where he met Hex. He felt the pull to help people just as the team are doing but he had to tear himself away otherwise he could no longer be a Time Master. The day after he left, the town was destroyed.
While all this is going on Professor Stein has completely ignored Rip’s advice about messing with the time line. He is drawn to a crying woman in the bar and she tells him her son is dying of TB.
He offers to help, which means stealing some medicine from the Waverider. Rip gives him a “Don’t use future Tech in the past” lecture but Stein tells him that he refuses to live with the same regret that Rip has on his face.
It turns out this was another time paradox. Stein treats the boy and learns that he is called Herbert George Wells, better known in the future as the author H.G.Wells. If Stein hadn’t interfered the boy would have died!
Kendra has been experiencing flashes of a previous life she once had. It draws her to a secluded cabin out in the sticks where she and Sara are confronted by an old woman with a shotgun. After calming her down we discover that this woman is Kendra, or rather she was in one of her past lives.
The woman has grown cynical and tells Kendra that she may try to love other people but it will always come down to Carter. They are destined to be together so that’s how it should be, if she tries to love another it will always end in tragedy and heartbreak. She also says that trying to break the cycle of reincarnation is pointless. There is no way to stop it so they shouldn’t try.
Kendra does mange to pick up some useful information however, the old Kendra shows them a picture of her and Old Carter, in it she is wearing a bracelet that she originally had in Ancient Egypt. It is another object that could help defeat Savage as it was there at the time of their first death.
The team decide to go after the gang before they attack the town. They manage to surprise them and take a member captive but Jacks gets captured at the same time. Stein suggests they should make a trade but Ray says that even if they go through with the trade, the gang will still be a threat to the town.
Hex suggest they challenge the gang leader to a quick draw and if they win the gang leaves town. Rip confesses that he knew Calvert was going to be destroyed and because he was a sworn Time Master he couldn’t do anything about it. He plans to rectify that mistake now as he is no longer a Time Master and volunteers to be the one to challenge the gang!
The stand-off could be taken from any classic western film and it is equally awesome! Of course you know who is going to win straight away but it doesn’t make Rip’s super fast shot look any less brilliant! He was made to be a gun slinger!
Jacks is free but the team don’t have long to celebrate as the Hunters arrive and attack!
Rip gives Hex one of his spare laser revolvers and the team try to defend the town. Firestorm and Atom take the fight to the Hunters, with the latter while in miniature mode flying straight through the chest of one of the Hunter’s, killing him instantly!! Harsh Ray!
As Mick takes down another Hunter by stabbing him in the neck, the dying man tells him the Time Masters have activated the Mega Protocol, the Pilgrim is coming.
Mick later explains to the team that the Pilgrim is the Time Master’s deadliest assassin. It doesn’t matter how far they run as she will go after the younger versions of each character and erase them from the time line!
Here’s a few things that jumped out at me during the episode:
- Mick no longer suffers the effects of extended time travelling like the rest of the team.
- Rip is a fan of the Western era, hence his coat and revolver laser gun.
- Sara can out drink Mick!
- Ray calls himself John Wayne when he takes the Sheriff job and his impression is awful!
- Gideon grassed Stein up for stealing the medicine.
- Everything is telling Kendra to break up with Ray and follow her destiny but she ignores it all!
- Hex calls dibs on Rip’s gun if he dies.
- Rip named his son Jonas after Jonah Hex.
- One of the Hunters appears to be wearing Paintball gear!
- Snart has a small role in this episode but is awesome in every scene. He also references Men in Black!
The western setting was a good change of pace for the show. The future episodes have been interesting but they weren’t engaging. It does feel like they left the last time zone very, very quickly but I have a feeling they might re-visit Per Degaton at some point.
The team now seem to be trusting Mick completely, even though he tried to kill them all about two episodes prior. Is it just because he gave them a warning about the Hunters? Or does he have his own agenda? Double Agent perhaps?
Whatever the reason, I like Mick a lot more now that he isn’t just obsessed with burning things. He isn’t so cartoonish and it is clear he is troubled.
Again we got the Kendra/Ray love story rammed down our throats. We get it! She doesn’t want to be restricted by ‘Destiny’ and wants to make her own choices but there is no real chemistry with Ray.
It isn’t difficult to see that the relationship will have to end badly at some point. A version of Carter is sure to come back and mess it up, I predict Ray will decide to leave her so she can be with him. And maybe there will be a sacrifice, or maybe Carter will stand back and let her make her choice.
It was a fun episode, good to see Jonah Hex and a further development of Rip as a character. We see how dark his past has been and the things he has had to do as a Time Master. I’m starting to understand that his battle against Savage and the Time Masters is genuinely more than revenge. He wants to save as many people as he can.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below.