The Waverider arrives at its next destination in our little time traveling jaunt – Washington D.C. In 1986. Not only the seat of American government but at the height of the Cold War. Gideon pulls up a redacted file on Vandal Savage’s whereabouts so the plan is to steal the real file… from the pentagon. Superheroes breaking into the pentagon? Where have I heard that before? Anyway, the team works as an actual team this time and things seem to be going smoothly. Snart gets a card for Kendra and Sara to get the file while Rory distracts the security and Firestorm diverts power from the alarms. It works until Jax overloads the power and the alarm goes off, causing some rogue soldiers to spot Kendra and Sara, resulting in a brawl on the lawn. Though Sara is struggling with her own bloodlust, Kendra appears to have lost control as well. The team reconvenes on the ship and proceeds to yell at each other for not doing their job, but at least they got the file, and it points to Savage working with the USSR.
As the Waverider enters Soviet air space, their old friend Chronos catches wind of them. Hunter has a surprise in order to lose him, alerting the Soviet Air Force, who shoot down Chronos thanks to some fancy maneuvers, which include purposefully crashing the ship. Now that they’ve “landed,” the new mission continues with their target being Valentina Volstok, a Soviet scientist working for Savage on Project Svarog (a fire god, this is important). Ray volunteers to woo her to get the info they need, and when Snart points out she’ll quickly sniff out his American accent, Hunter conveniently whips out a set of indigestible translators. After swallowing the tiny Rosetta Stones, Ray and Snart head off to find her. Sara confronts Hunter about Kendra’s behavior and he offers a proposal, train her yourself.
Ray does his best suave moves for Ms. Volstok at the Russian ballet, but she’s not interested. Meanwhile, Sara tells Kendra she needs to learn to control her rage so they spar. Hunter sees an anomaly in the timeline, that Chronos crashed outside Moscow and they need to hunt him down. He enlists Rory to help him do this. Back at the ballet, Ray tries to play the investor card and asks about Project Svarog, which causes her to raise her eyebrows. Luckily Snart wanders in and sweeps her off her feet before she can become too suspicious. Rory and Hunter go looking for Chronos when the bad guy from Ant-Man, Time Master Druce emerges, revealing Chronos was killed in the crash and he is present to offer Hunter a deal – end this crusade and they won’t charge him with anything. Hunter agrees to talk it over with his comrades, but when he leaves Rory tells him that Druce is going to kill no matter what his answer is.
Sara and Kendra continue their sparring but despite Sara’s insistence that Kendra can control this, Sara herself loses control and begins knocking Kendra around. She even sits on top of her and begins to choke her before realizing she’s taken it too far. Once again, this bloodlust storyline shouldn’t exist because of the Constantine crossover, but I digress. Snart walks Volstok home and swipes her security badge after kissing her goodnight. Back on the ship, Rip goes over the deal with Jax and Dr. Stein but neither of them seem keen on quitting. Hunter returns to the woods where Druce is happy to see him, because Chronos wasn’t dead and now has a gun pointed at Rip’s head. Luckily Rip took Rory’s suggestion to heart and has the team ready. Firestorm and Rory leap in and let the fire loose. Chronos tosses a grenade at Firestorm before making his escape, but the blast forces both Stein and Jax to separate, critically injuring Jax in the process.
The team reassembles, but Dr. Stein and Jax butt heads once again. Jax reminds Stein that he kidnapped him and that he had a life and a family before he plucked him out of it. Stein tells him to grow up and plays the “dead dad” card. As Jax leaves, Stein confides in Ray that he has to lash out at him that way, it’s the only way to make him listen. He just doesn’t want to lose another partner the way he lost Ronnie Raymond. Hunter bumps into Kendra, who isn’t thrilled with her training with Sara. Rip reveals he thought it would be mutually beneficial since they have opposite problems. Kendra takes this to heart and goes back to training. Gideon finds the lab that Savage is using and Dr. Stein wants to tackle this assignment himself.
At the lab, Stein poses as an inspector and makes his way down to the basement where he finds Project Svarog, named so because Vandal Savage has a little obsession with Firestorm after seeing him eleven years earlier. He’s trying to make his own Firestorm, and based on the charred bodies behind him, it’s not working. Stein spots the thermal core and if he can get that out of there they won’t be able to make their own Firestorm anymore. Ray and Snart take out the guards and prepare to lower the energy on the core so Stein can handle it, but Vostak unexpectedly appears. Snart goes off to stall her, but naturally we find out she’s not what she appeared to be: she’s actually a willing participant for Savage and pretty handy with a gun. Holding Snart hostage she tells Ray to raise the levels on the core, playing on his sympathies, and he does. Stein thinks he can still move the core at full power, and despite Jax’s protests from the ship, manages to get it done.
Everyone in the lab is cornered now. Ray gets knocked out, guards catch Dr. Stein, and Vostak still has a gun on Snart. Luckily Rory arrives to spice things up. A true bro, he fends off the guards so Snart can leap down and snatch the case holding the core. Though he doesn’t want to leave his partner, Hunter convinces him to ditch. Rory and Ray are taken hostage by the soldiers to a truck, but the good news for them is they don’t need the core anymore, they’ve got Professor Stein. Snart confronts Hunter about the lack of backup on that mission, and he has no good answer for it. He simply asks, what would you have done? Snart is ready to go after them to get the team back together, and luckily so is Kendra, Sara and Jax. The bad news is that the three of them are being held in a Russian prison camp, and if Dr. Stein doens’t help them they’ll kill Rory and Ray.
You can watch a preview for next week’s episode, titled “Fail-Safe,” using the player below.