The Legends of Tomorrow have been going through more changes than usual lately. Between people coming and going, characters going through assorted changes, and shifting goals for the season, the status quo has been bending a lot. They do more of that, but also go to great lengths to undo at least one change in “This is Gus.”
The show opens with Behrad rummaging through the wreckage of his room looking for various things. He chats with Gideon about gaming and then gets a reminder that today is his birthday. Considering the ship travels in time, and is often outside time itself, I’m not sure how that works. I guess Gideon tracks everyone’s individual time stream from when they come on board? That seems cumbersome and an odd use of resources. I know, I know, don’t think about this particular show that much. Sara is leading a meeting on the bridge, where Spooner talks about upgrades to her gun after their trip out West, and Mick gets an urgent call from Lita, his daughter.
After the meeting, the team goes about their various tasks. Behrad drops hints about his birthday, which everyone misses. Zari summons Nate from the totem where he’s been enjoying some time with the original Zari, and Sara is amused when she sees him come out in his bathrobe (I guess he has a wardrobe in there?). Mick, unable to find his own portal device, takes Ava’s and brings Lita aboard. Everyone is surprised when they see she’s very pregnant. Most of the team are excited, and Mick handles it with his usual calm and aplomb. There’s also an odd mention of his being out of touch for over a year, which is one of many things Lita is upset about. Ava tries to step in to help smooth things over and figure out how the communications got snagged so badly.
Using some new techniques they are trying out, the team gets to Vancouver in 2023 ahead of the projected crash of yet another alien pod. By bizarre coincidence, this brings them to the set of Behrad’s favorite show, which he assumes is a birthday surprise for him. The rest of the team clearly had no idea and is doing their best to roll with it. Zari gives Astra a rundown on the show, Bud Stuy, being so little known but important to her brother.
Most of the team go in to the taping to be with Behrad, but Spooner and Sara head for the woods to try and intercept the pod before it lands. Spooner gets a great idea that doesn’t work so well and causes them more problems. Behrad is thrilled to be in the audience, saying the lines along with the actors, although the other attendees are clearly less than interested. Coincidence rears its ugly head, there’s an unexpected arrival, and things go off the rails for the show, the mission, and trying to convince Behrad they knew it was his birthday. The director, Kamran, realizes the newest arrival could save the show, but his brother and star of the show, Imran, has reservations about this.
While the team gets shooed off set and Spooner quips about a smaller gun, Ava is trying to make progress with Mick. Gary wanders in to throw out a couple of non-sequiturs, and Lita rants at Mick, listing off everything she’s doing with her life she doesn’t think he’ll approve of. Later, bonding over some kitchen issues, Mick asks Lita some questions about Nico, the man in her life. Because nothing ever goes smoothly for the team, the alien they’re looking for has managed to escape, and they split up to search. Astra ends up with Behrad, and they talk about people’s tastes in general, and money. The two run into Imran in the writer’s room, and go undercover, with some help from Astra’s magic. The writers’ room is an odd place and they hear a lot of weird ideas. The team closes in on their quarry at craft services, but it unleashes a defense they didn’t expect and Kamran shows up and whisks it away before they can regroup.
Back on the Waverider, the team tries to plan out what to do next. Behrad shows up less late than usual, with a few other differences about him. Gary, as their resident alien expert, identifies what the critter is, and they start calling it “Gus,” hence the title of the episode. Sara gives assignments and the team splits up to try and save the show and capture the alien. Zari has a good plan that doesn’t work, and Behrad finds Imran and makes an emotional appeal about the show. Fortunately, Imran smokes as much as Behrad does, or he might have realized the things Behrad is describing aren’t possible. Later, the brothers argue about the direction of the show and Behrad is stunned to see Imran quit.
Ava is a very talented woman with a lot of skills, but it seems wrapping presents isn’t among them. Lita chats with her, and Sara overhears, as Lita tells them about her talk with Mick. Sara gets very worried about what Mick is up to, and the next shot makes it look like Sara is right to be concerned. In the offices for the show, a very different Behrad shows up, provoking amusing reactions in both Astra and Zari. They go in to talk to Kamran, but the attempt to change things gets derailed by the new Behrad. Astra and Zari drag him away but have no idea what to do now.
Sara inexplicably brings Gary and Lita along on her rescue mission, but then finds out it’s not necessary after all. Things have taken a very unexpected turn, and Mick makes a nice, warm little speech, which weirds out Lita and Sara both. This is when the others find out about Mick and Kayla, and Gary starts looking concerned. Nate, Zari, and Astra try and stage an intervention with the new Behrad, but he’s not interested in what they have to say. As things go on, changes start to ripple in, showing that the timeline has been altered, but not in a way any of them want. Nate and Zari are both very worried about what might happen next.
Lita and Gary both have questions about Kayla, and Lita is vastly amused when she finds out more about the alien. Gary’s questions sound like his usual insecurity at first, but something doesn’t seem right. Zari makes a desperate appeal to the director about changing the show back, but he says he can’t help her. Astra finds Imran and ends up in a low-speed chase that really seems a bit like pointless filler, no matter how entertaining it was. Things get truly chaotic with a Legend taking on a new role, some improvised lines, and a change of heart from one of the people involved in the show. Eventually, things are set back the way they were and the team has a new mascot.
After talking to herself for a while, Zari comes to a decision, and the birthday party for Behrad gets an unexpected guest. It was a really nice gesture on Zari’s part. Behrad and Astra chat and flirt, and then the team spends some time helping the new arrival catch up on events. To end things on a really unexpected note, Gary does something really brave and then makes a shocking announcement.
What I liked: This was more Legends goofiness in its usually entertaining vein. Spooner wildly erred in what her new toy could do. Zari got some great lines, as she often does. I can’t put my finger on why, but I really enjoy it when Lita comes to visit. I applaud Gary’s bravery.
What I didn’t: It felt like they both dropped things and padded the episode. The whole bit about Mick being out of touch with Lita sounded important to start, and then just got lost in the shuffle. The chase was weird. I’m not sure I like the pairing they’ve been hinting at for a while. The last announcement just seems like the excuse they’re going to use to get rid of a character. I miss Constantine, and am very annoyed they’re writing him off, too. Honestly, a good bit of this episode felt like things we’ve seen before slightly reshuffled.
I usually enjoy this show a lot and this was just kind of ok. I’ll give this a low 3 out of 5.