Spoiler Warning for ‘The Magnificent Eight’
In an attempt to hide from the Hunters, whom Rory had informed the team was after them, they travel to 1871, Salvation in the Dakota Territory. Ray told the team this era is a Time Fragmentation, which more or less means it’ll be harder for the time masters to track them here. Interestingly, it was Mick who explained that to the team. While very much the same character I like those moments where he is able to show his knowledge of things that the others don’t understand. Having him leave and come back, in what for him had been years, was a pretty clever way of fast tracking some development for him, and it seems to have worked well.
The team goes out to explore and ends up spending time in a saloon, where we see Martin play poker (I got the impression he wasn’t exactly playing by the rules) and Kendra drinks Mick under the table. Kendra bumped into a woman, causing a memory flash. Clearly this woman knows Kendra from a past life. After Martin won one to many hands of poker, one of the other players was about to shoot him when Leonard stepped in, shooting the other player. They end up in a massive bar fight that had me laughing the entire time. It was a great touch that the “old western” soundtrack was actually being played by someone in the bar, even as the combatants crashed into his piano. The fight ends when a stranger fires his gun into the ceiling. He turns out to be Jonah Hex, a character from the comics who always finds himself having adventures with people from his future.
Outside the saloon, Jonah asks the team “when” they are from, and where Rip is. Surprising the team, Jonah and Rip have a history together. They take him to the Waverider where he explains that the man Leonard shot was a member of the Stillwater gang, a local gang that has been terrorizing Salvation for the last few months. He also casually mentions to Rip that his coat looks good on him. Ignoring the potential damage to the timeline, Ray insists on not leaving the town at the Stillwater’s mercy, prompting Jonah to delcare:
“For a bunch of time travelers, you don’t seem to understand the future much.”
Despite both Rip and Jonah’s warnings, the team agrees to help the town, minus Kendra and Sara. They decided to go off in search of the woman that Kendra had bumped into, to see if they could learn anything about her past lives.
Back in the saloon, Martin pays off the barkeep for information on the Stillwaters. But while the barkeep goes in back to draw him a map, Martin comes across a woman who is upset over her son, who is dying from what in the future would relatively to cure. Before he can help them, shots are fired outside and the Stillwaters show up. He seemed to have forgotten about the info the barkeep went to get him, but I guess it was moot at this point anyway.
Ray confronts them, and is able to run them out of town, checking off an item on his bucket list in the process. Jonah is concerned though that they will just come back, after the team leaves, just like what happened in Calvert. We aren’t shown what that was exactly, but Rip is haunted at hearing the word.
Martin has Gideon fashion some medicine for the young boy, but Rip lectures him on the dangers of time travel. Mentioning Calvert, Martin tries to explain he can’t live with himself knowing he could help this local family and not doing so. Rip explains that Calvert was a town in Oklahoma, which was leveled by a gang (not the Stillwaters) shortly after he left. Rip loved it there, and had to tear himself away. The town was destroyed the day after he left. Martin ignores Rip’s warnings, and goes to help the boy. Before leaving he told Rip:
“I refuse to live with the regret I see on your face right now.”
The medicine worked, and later Martin was delighted to find out the boy was actually H.G. Wells. I have to wonder what Rip would say about that, since obviously he is a famous historical figure, but I don’t see it being an issue that’s addressed again.
Checking in on Sara and Kendra, they were able to find the woman, led by Kendra’s visions of her. She mentioned it’s as if she’s being drawn to her. A few minutes into their conversation, Kendra realizes this woman wasn’t her friend in a past life, rather she was her in a past life. I’ve long wondered what some of the rules of their reincarnations are. I had initially anticipated not caring for this side plot but I found it to be incredibly engaging. Her older self warns Kendra against trying to have relationships with anyone other than Carter. She says that throughout their history they have tried many times, with each ending in heartbreak or tragedy. Sara tries to tell Kendra to ignore these warnings, that the previous version had never met Ray Palmer before. It’s clear though that this will be weighing heavily on Kendra’s mind.
Ray and company find the Stillwaters, and manage to capture their leader, but not before Jax is also captured. Not willing to do an even trade, resulting in them being back at square one, the team decides to offer a duel, with the winner getting their man back. Rip volunteers for the duel and easily comes out victorious. I have to wonder how many duels such as this he participated in last time he was in this era. Clearly he is comfortable with the weaponry, as even his futuristic gun is modeled after these old-time revolvers.
Following the duel, the Hunters from the Time Masters arrive. Their arrival did seem to come out of nowhere, but I guess with time travel that’s to be expected. The team defeats them (utilizing their full powers and technology). Before dying, one of the hunters told Mick that the Omega Protocol was activated, and the Pilgrim is coming for them. Rip explains that the Pilgrim isn’t coming after them, but rather their past selves, and the scene cuts to a woman, presumably the Pilgrim, as she is about to shoot a young Mick Rory watching his house burn.
- I’m not usually a fan of westerns but I would definitely be interested to see more of the past adventures Rip and Jonah had.
- While this is his first real appearance, we did get a glimpse of Jonah Hex on The Flash a few episodes back when Flash traveled between dimensions.
- A few times this episode the team was shown using money. Did the waverider produce this money as it does their clothes? If so, I’m kind of surprised Leonard hasn’t tried to make some for himself.
- During the battle with The Hunters, did I see Atom, while shrunken, fly through the chest of one of the hunters? If so, pretty vicious for Ray.