The Legends of Tomorrow are almost done with their season. Things are coming to a head with the battle against Mallus in “Guest Starring John Noble,” which actually is exactly what it sounds like for once. There are a lot of twists and turns and surprises along the way as the Legends have to deal with a cliffhanger from last episode, as well as the constantly looming threat of Mallus and the Darhks.
Nate calls the crew to the bridge for an emergency, which prompts Ray to start singing his weird little song about the various emergency codes. Getting past that annoyance, they realize that not only is the Jump Ship gone, which is why Nate called everyone, but so is Amaya. She has gone back to save her village and rewrite history, but Rip calls in from the Time Bureau and warns that Gorilla Grodd is going after Barrack Obama as a college student. While everyone else worries, Mick goes back to watching Lord of the Rings. The man has his priorities.
The ship is shaking from the force of two major anachronisms starting to form. Sara sends Wally and Nate after Amaya, Zari tries to find Amaya a loophole, while the rest of them are, in her words, “On Obama care.” There’s a lot of word play this week. I’m not quite clear on how they’re splitting up with no Jump Ship. Maybe Ava is letting them use her portal?
Lovell Adams-Gray does a fine job of playing young Obama as he runs from Grodd and more wordplay. Mallus almost breaks free, and what Damian Darhk sees as that happens makes him reconsider his priorities. Mick gets a rematch with Grodd, Ray borrows another show’s catchphrase, and then the team’s plan and tech actually work flawlessly for once. It made me wonder when the other shoe was about to drop. This leads to a weird scene between Damian and Nora, when the big bad guy realizes his plan might cost more than he’s willing to pay.
While Ray admires his trophy, Nate and Wally check out Amaya’s village in Zambesi (which as far as I know has never actually been given a name). They do find Amaya, but she’s in no mood to listen. She does at least tell Nate she doesn’t blame him for Kuasa’s death last episode. Rip and Sara make more jokes about names and then use the memory flash on Obama. Things seem to be going great, until Damian pops up on the Waverider, claiming he needs their help.
The team uses one of Constantine’s spells (where is he, anyway?) to make a warding circle around Damian. To prove he’s there to help and for more low comedy, Damian helps correct them when they get the circle wrong. In an effort to prove his sincerity, Damian brought them the Water Totem, giving the team a complete set. Sara is ready to have Rory just flat out kill him but as he raises his gun, Ray stops him to make a pitch for working with the evil wizard. Ray and his oversize heart is going to get them all killed yet. I’m also wondering why Mick is using the gun now that he has the totem, and when it was fixed. Rip and Ava suggest imprisoning the villain at the Time Bureau.
The Zambesi team sees Amaya as a grandmother, which triggers a lot of sad realizations for Nate. They watch a big ceremony where Amaya is set to pass her Totem on to her daughter Esi. The ceremony doesn’t go as planned, surprising everyone, and Amaya sneaks away, followed by Nate and Wally. Nate has a surprising change of heart, leading Wally to worry about another Flashpoint situation. Nate and Amaya come up with a plan and Wally is very not happy about it.
Ava and Sara have a scene talking about both of their pasts. Ava’s still dealing with what she learned in “I, Ava,” and Sara is wrestling with the temptation of killing Damian and avenging her sister. I wonder if she knows about Black Siren running around in Star City these days? Neither of them deal with their issues well, and Rip wanders in, interrupting and increasing the tension. Sara decides she’s not going to let the Time Bureau take Damian. Looking for advice, Sara visits a surprising person to sound all this out.
Back on the Waverider, after more of Damian’s trademark snark, Sara strikes a deal with the prisoner. Damian mocks some of the screens on the ship, and the others try and work out what to do. After several unintended double-entendres from Ray that have Damian glaring at him, they hash out a plan. The final piece falls into place when they overhear Mick watching his movie. This whole bit gets a bit meta, but it’s amusing. Ray runs an errand that explains the title of the episode.
Amaya visits her daughter, pretending to be a distant cousin, and gets in a good pep-talk. Nate and Wally sneak around, and a frustrated Wally can’t get Nate to see reason. Wally speeds off, not willing to be part of what comes next. Nate sneaks in to Grandmother Amya’s hut, and that plan goes poorly. They end up talking, and Nate gets several surprises. Eventually, Nate gets Grandmother Amaya to see his point.
Damian goes to see Nora, and there’s some serious over-acting as they put their plan in motion. It’s fun to watch. Eventually, they trick Nora into the same restraining circle Damian was in earlier. Damian tries to plead his case to Nora, but she’s too possessed to appreciate what he’s trying to say. Looking on, Ava talks to Rip and confronts him about her past. She gets a nasty shock that has her doubting everything about herself and making Rip look like even more of a jerk than usual.
Sara and Damian have a surprising scene. They don’t exactly become friends, but they find some common ground, which is more than I’d have expected from the evil wizard and the ex-assassin. Back in Zambesi, Esi gets her inheritance, and Nate offers to stay and help with tomorrow’s attack just in case.
Somehow or other, Wally has gotten back to the ship. Maybe he took back the Jump Ship Amaya took. He tells the team what’s going on back in 1992, and Sara gets a desperate idea. Sara reaches another momentous decision and does it casually, surprising Rip. Ava isn’t happy about any of this, but gets no support from anyone. Sara confesses something to Ava, but it’s not enough and Ava portals away.
Amaya and Nate watch Esi face off against the marauders, then get interrupted by Wally and Ray. There’s a lot of talking, disbelief, and snarking as everyone is brought up to date. The Totems are distributed among the team, with a lot of Ray science babbling, but then one of the players gets a visitation and starts reconsidering.
Everyone ends up back in Zambesi in 1992. Amaya is arguably overconfident about her daughter’s success as everyone else focuses on Mallus, with Rip back on the Waverider providing technical support and advice. They get a nasty betrayal as the history of the fight in the village changes, but not for the better. Esi is overmatched with her new problem, and Damian is true to himself. A chaotic, several-front battle rages, and it ends with what they’ve been trying to prevent finally happening. I don’t think anyone is happy about the way things spin out, leaving us a big cliffhanger for the season finale.
What I liked: I keep saying it, but I really enjoy Damian’s unique presence. I’d be ok with it if they finally manage to kill him, but I’d miss him. I get why Amaya and Nate did what they did, but Wally being so against it makes perfect sense given his history. I also understand Ava’s reactions, especially given what she learned from Rip. The final battle was ugly, but it seemed to go by too quickly with the Legends doing stupid things, and relying solely on Totems, not their various powers and skills. There were several surprising reveals that were tragic, but fitting.
What I didn’t: The more we learn about Rip, the more he seems a lot closer to villain than hero. The team fought really badly, and foolishly, in their last big battle. There was a bit too much travel to different eras without explanation. It’s a minor detail, but it bothered me. Amaya was really overconfident towards the end, and I really question some of her choices.
The show maintains its overall note of fun even as things get very serious. I’ll give this a 3 out of 5. It’ll be interesting to see the big wrap up/new cliffhanger for the season finale.