It occurred to me while writing my last post that Rip’s method of recruiting the team is really kind of interesting.
Because, he did lie to do it, of course. He told them he was working for the Time Masters and he told them that they would become famous, when the truth is that he’s a renegade and he’d chosen them because they were insignificant in history (and going by Legendary, Sara at least would be dead soon. Possibly the others as well.)
And of course he lies by omitting that his primary motivation isn’t just saving the world, but saving/avenging his family.
But see, that part’s really interesting to me. Because Rip is fairly desperate. He knows he can’t do this alone. He is completely without the support of the Time Masters. He needs the crew and is willing to try to deceive them to get their help.
At the same time, he omits the one truthful fact about his motivation that might have been even more effective at getting their cooperation, or at least their sympathy.
He really has nothing to lose by being honest with them. Yes, he’s got a “selfish” reason to go alongside the altruistic one. But it’s not like he’s asking them to sacrifice the world in the process of saving/avenging his family. His goal, ideally, would accomplish both.
And the honesty might have done a lot of good. It would have humanized him for the more altruistic and empathetic characters like Ray, Sara, Martin and Jax. It would have given him common ground with Kendra and Carter, who have also suffered at Savage’s hands. And even though Mick and Snart haven’t had their heroic development yet, they absolutely understand the lengths that someone will go for family.
If anything, that reveal might have made them more likely to sign on faster. But he hides it until they all but corner him. He doesn’t disclose the loss of his family, he confesses it.
And I think that says so much about the Time Masters and the environment in which he was raised.
Of course, we’ve seen a lot of other evidence toward the fact that the Time Masters are fucked up: they recruit traumatized ten year olds and change their names to avoid attachments, they humiliate and ostracize members who fall in love with each other, they send assassins after grief stricken renegades when a therapist would be a wiser option, and so on.
So it fits. But it’s also sad. Because at no point during the season does Rip actually reach out to any of the others to deal with his grief. They’ve reached out to him a few times, and he’s reached out to Sara during her grief, but we don’t see Rip reach out for help to deal with his own. Instead, we see him hiding, in his office or the cargo bay, utterly alone.
I think the Time Masters have a lot to answer for.