The Legends faced two Cold Wars in their latest outing. The first threatened U.S.-Soviet relations in 1987, while the second threatened to break the team apart.
Presumably, you know the history of the latter, so let’s talk the former. When Damien Darhk causes a time aberration that’ll lead to a time quake — Nate’s cobbled together a newfangled “time seismograph” to detect epicenters — the team travels to 1987 the day before the INF Treaty is signed, only to discover the source of the aberration is Damien Darhk. Darhk is, as you’ll recall, the man Sara would very much like to kill to avenge her sister. But if she does, she goes against exactly what she told Jax not to do: to change history in any way, shape, or form, no matter how much your conscience interferes.
And what’s Darhk up to anyway? It turns out he’s been working on collecting precious relics (anything related to the genesis of fascism is a plus), along with trying to end the world and build H.I.V.E. and the Ark and all the shenanigans Team Arrow eventually dismantles in season 4. But because we’re not there yet, Double D is still up to his nefarious ways. When Eobard Thawne gets him out of a tight spot in 1987, he agrees to help the time-traveling speedster with his latest plot: to ruin the end of the Cold War by destroying the White House and stopping the INF Treaty from ever being signed. That way, they’d be able to stockpile missiles, not destroy them. Hooray for nuclear warfare!
Once the Legends stop bickering among themselves — Ray’s not so great with the Cold gun, so Mick’s on him to rebel a little like Snart would have; Jax and Stein still can’t see eye-to-eye about this butterfly-effect thing — they manage to travel to D.C. in 1987 to stop Darhk. There, Nate accompanies Vixen to reach out to the JSA and see if they can help, but when they arrive at what’s supposed to be the most elite training facility ever, they discover the place coated in dust and cobwebs. Nate, distraught he won’t learn much more about his grandfather, freaks out when a much older Obsidian — or rather, Todd Rice, a.k.a. the son of the first Green Lantern, Alan Scott! — appears and confronts Vixen about her abandoning the team back in 1942. He knocks out poor Todd, but the old man isn’t an invalid; he just needed a breather and gets back up quickly enough to explain what happened to the JSA.
Apparently, after Rex’s death and World War II, the team continued its work, but Eastern Europe grew very shaky under the U.S.S.R. and the Iron Curtain. So at one point, Eisenhower sent them to Leipzig, Germany, from where no one ever returned. Todd stayed behind, because in the 1950s, there wasn’t much respect for a gay man like him. Hearing all this, Amaya apologizes to Todd for leaving and promises to use time travel to perhaps fix what’s happened. But first, they’ll need Todd’s help with getting inside 1600 Penn.
That’s right: The rest of the team is at the White House, and things haven’t gone over very well. Stein was super excited to be visiting the White House in the 1980s, until he realized his younger self had also managed to make it inside, thanks to — again! — the butterfly effect. Mick and Ray come upon President Reagan’s jelly beans (here’s the full story, in case you’re curious) and Ray tries on his new Snart persona by stealing some and eating them by the mouthful. Sara, hearing from Mick and Ray that Darhk is behind the aberration and is mere feet away inside the White House, abandons the mission and immediately tries to kill him. She gets caught by the Secret Service and, well, you can probably guess what happens next. In short, all hell breaks loose; Ray and Mick’s guns cross streams, causing an explosion; and Firestorm helps all of them run away and get back onto the ship.
NEXT: White House (almost) down