Not every show makes it to 100 episodes. The ones that do have taken to celebrating that milestone, and who can blame them? Arrow had a great 100, paying tribute to what had gone before and working it into the current storyline. So did Flash. Now Legends of Tomorrow follows suit, with a fun trip down memory lane that fits in well with the current plot for Gideon, one of the few remaining original characters (Sara being the other). They got a bit cute with the title in my opinion, and we see a villain I haven’t missed at all come back in “wvdr_error_100<oest-of-th3-gs.gid3on> not found.”
The episode opens with Astra, Spooner, and Gideon hitting the road to try and prevent the Legends’ untimely end that Gideon has become aware of. They run across a fairly simple moral quandary, but it’s something Gideon isn’t really equipped to handle, and she stresses herself out to the point that she faints. There are a lot of exasperated comments from Astra, who clearly still sees Gideon as a machine, and Spooner offering a counterpoint. Astra finally tries a spell and they are hurled into Gideon’s mind, with a lot of unexpected meetings. To commemorate the look back, the titles that roll by are all the different Legends logos they’ve used over the run of the show.
As Spooner and Astra meet a slightly different version of Jax, we drop in on Bishop. Apparently his mind-wipe didn’t quite take, and he’s having flashbacks to his time with the Legends. His “Assistant Ava” is growing increasingly worried as the visions come more often. We also see him studying some ominously familiar computer code. This bodes ill for everyone.
In Gideon’s mind, Jax explains why he’s different and gives a rough overview of the problem. Essentially, it’s just an excuse to visit old friends and see some small scenes that fit in with earlier periods of Legends history. The show really has had a remarkable rate of turnover and managed to keep going. Astra and Spooner argue about the need to fix Gideon at all before Jax sends them to the first of many visits to the past. They end up about when Spooner was first brought aboard the Waverider, and Gideon has an exchange with Ava that teaches the AI an important concept, which seems to be the recurring theme of most of these encounters.
After conferring with Jax; Spooner, Astra, and Gideon from the now go back to what must have been a grouping of the first season for the Legends. Among the familiar faces are Ray Palmer, Len Snart, Carter Hall, and Sara in her early White Canary costume. Suffice to say the early crew didn’t get on well, and Gideon had to take matters into her own hands. Thrilled to be regaining lost memories, Gideon wants to press on. They meet a very happy Martin Stein, a more traditional Jax, and another Ray. Martin is showing his glee in a way that plays to actor Victor Garber’s strengths, and Gideon ends up joining him when the others won’t. This is when things get even weirder, and we are visited by another adventure trope: the evil twin.
Spooner tries to call for help as the trio face this new threat. Gideon is lost at first, then draws on her memories of her assorted crew to fashion a solution, while Astra learns she and Ray Palmer have very different tastes. Eventually, they find their way back to Jax, who gives them a new tool but issues a dire warning about it. They return to another early incarnation of the team, Astra and Spooner see Rip Hunter for the first time, and Gideon gets led astray by a clever trap. As Gideon is threatened here, she comes under another attack as Bishop in his future lab begins trying to hack a version of her. This really isn’t Gideon’s episode on a lot of fronts.
The early Legends brawl and, distracted by this, it takes a bit for Astra and Spooner to realize Gideon is missing. Their situation takes a turn for the worse and Jax barely manages to rescue them, but they still don’t know where Gideon is. Gideon herself is dragged through a lot of bad memories of pain and loss in an effort to break her. When she manages to resist this, she’s brought to a scene with Rip Hunter, up to his old Machiavellian ways. He does something arguably horrible, and Gideon looks on in horror at her oldest, and first, friend. She is taunted, her foe trying to break her, as Jax shows up to help the others convert foes to friends in a way that seems to completely contradict his earlier warning. That or he modified the device in question ridiculously quickly, even for him.
Gideon is taunted by her foe, and Spooner and Astra finally manage to find her. They dispatch the foe and bring Gideon through a series of good memories, which Gideon draws strength from. After some fun scenes and entertaining gossip, they end with karaoke (which seems to be a favorite in the Arrowverse), and Gideon goes to confront her tormentor. Their contest comes to a surprising end, and Gideon is triumphant. As she leaves the past, she gets advice from the assembled Legends of past and present. Reunited and freed from the mental adventures, the trio set forth on their mission. In the future, Bishop makes some disturbing progress in setting up a new foe for the team to contend with.
What I liked: It was great seeing so many old friends back again. They made the various scenes work, and it was a nice recap of many of the past teams and individuals of the Legends. I enjoyed Astra’s and Spooner’s conflicting points of view on how to proceed with Gideon, and both were perfectly in character.
What I didn’t: I really wouldn’t mind never seeing Bishop again. This made me remember how much I miss Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold. I wonder about the Legends we didn’t see. Constantine’s absence, I suspect, had to do with preparation for his new role. I’m not sure what happened to Hawgirl, Mona, and whoever else I’m forgetting.
It was a fun collection of memories. I’ll give this a high 3.5 out of 5.
Happy 100th, Legends!