Legends of Tomorrow: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad Scientist

If the Waverider and the TARDIS had a baby…

The Legends have found themselves marooned in 1925, and the first part of season seven has been dedicated to getting to New York City. They’ve learned of a scientist named Gwyn Davies who is the father of time travel, and they hope to use his genius to get themselves back to their own time. Split in two, part of the team races to find the scientist, and the others to stop them, having learned of an impending cataclysm. All roads lead to the Big Apple in “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Scientist.” The title is a nod to the classic movie “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” Ok, maybe more of a rip-off than a nod.

Despite some grave misgivings about their choice to do their traveling (at least on my part), the team arrives safely in New York, and the ones who spent the trip hiding in the weird manor house/pocket dimension get freed. At least some of them do. Zari and Nate stay behind to work on the captured Hoover-bot, while Gary, Sara, Ava, and Behrad go stretch their legs. Their attempt to grab some of New York’s more famous snacks goes awry as their self-made legend of the Bullet Blondes catches up with them badly. While Nate and Zari tinker, Sara and Gary go in search of the titular mad scientist. Ava’s cautions about “small footprints” get trickier and trickier to heed, as they find out that Davies is working for the world’s most famous inventor, at least at that time, Thomas Edison. As Sara commits petit larceny, Astra, Gideon, and Spooner are trying to catch up with the others, armed with Gideon’s foreknowledge of events. Astra does something to try and change their luck, and Spooner latches on to the concept desperately.

Behrad goes over the file Sara stole, and, while he can do what they need, it’s not in a time scale that’s going to help a lot. Ava sends Sara off on a mission to do some damage control, and Sara finds something unexpected that seems like a break for the time-lost team, finally. Meeting up again, Sara tells them what she found, Behrad points out a problem, and Zari leaps to a wrong, but understandable, conclusion. Ava is still being cautious about affecting the timeline, but Sara is desperate to get back home. It’s a bit odd she’s the one pushing so hard; with the modifications Bishop made to her, she probably has the most time of all of them. The other part of the team discusses speed, travel time, luck, and magic rocks as they manage to get another, and better, ride, and I think a nod to a movie from the 80’s

Continuing to display bad judgement, Sara goes back to keep their mad scientist distracted while she sends Gary to get something important. Really, why would you pick him for  such a crucial mission? Sara is successful, Gary less so, as he does something foolish and makes things much, much worse. Really, considering how long he was lying to people who are good at spotting the truth, you’d think Gary would be a better liar. Zari, poking around in Hoover-bot’s programming, makes a surprising discovery that leaves her, Nate, and Ava worried and confused.

Gary’s foolishness spins events rapidly out of control, and Davies ends up in a lot of trouble. Team Astra runs into a roadblock (literally), and they have to do some fast talking to keep going on their mission. Astra does one thing here that makes no sense in light of later revelations. Prompted by his recent talk with Gary, Nate has an important discussion with Zari, where he shares an idea he had that sounds like a good one to me. After he leaves to get something for her, the Hoover-bot makes a few comments that are a bit ominous.

Gathered in Davies’ office, Behrad, Sara, Ava, and Gary find a few things that worry them. Sara is still all for pushing on, and when they do, she gets a very unpleasant surprise. Rattled and very worried now, Sara goes into leader mode, rapping out assignments and getting the team moving. Sara has what should be the easiest mission given her skill set, but hits some unexpected complications as things don’t go the way she thought. In fairness, I was surprised by this turn of events as well. Finally realizing she’s not handling things well, Sara starts telling the truth to Davies. While he does one bit of very out of character acceptance about something, he’s clearly touched by her story and starts cooperating. He hints at a similar concern to hers as they start getting ready to go.

Nate and Zari have their own mission, and nothing goes well. Zari did some improvising to prepare, and there are some very mixed results. They’ve also created an odd situation, and Edison inconveniently lives up to his reputation for being a genius. Everything spins out of control and they end up with a much bigger problem than the one they came to solve. Sara and Davies end up on the run, and he gets in a version of a classic Star Trek line. Nate and Zari have a more serious discussion, and she shares how she feels about his offer, although I really question the time and place of this conversation. They finally realize this, too, and then are forced to hide when they hear a familiar sound that’s not welcome in these circumstances. They hide and get even more surprises as Astra and Spooner suffer another setback in their race to prevent disaster.

Some of the team reunites in Davies’ office, and they try and start putting things back together on a few levels. They continue a running joke about Davies’ appearance, and things start looking up. Gary continues to misread social cues (that whole thing makes more sense now that we know he’s an alien) while Astra makes a confession to Spooner. Spooner is shocked, but recovers well, and has an idea about how they can still save their friends. Gideon, now on her own, has a run-in with a small-time criminal and takes matters into her own hands, very effectively. She’s learned a bit from the Legends over time.

There’s a very tense series of cuts back and forth as most of the team tries to do something they’ve been working towards for a while, Spooner and Astra try something to save the day, and Gideon takes a more direct approach. Finally, the team is together again, and Davies is surprised at how many of them there are. There are discussions about what happened, plans on where to go when, and some salvaging to make things work. They hear something that presages their mysterious enemy closing in on them again, and try their next step in getting home. It works partially, but not the way they hoped.

What I liked: I’m always intrigued by how the show chooses to portray historical figures, and I’ve been interested in Edison for a while. I’m glad we finally get to meet Gwyn Davies, instead of the “credit only” status he’s been on for the season so far. Davies has already shown he can be a good addition to the group. Zari got in the best line of the episode, and I liked her and Nate’s talk about their relationship. They did a good job of finally driving home the consequences of messing around with the timeline. I’m interested in their new enemy.

What I didn’t: Sara made some really bad choices that seemed out of character, or at least, out of character for the leader she’s become. They seemed more like season one Sara choices a few times. Astra, as I mentioned, did something that contradicted her own story just a bit. Davies seems like a nice enough guy, but he was very accepting of something that should have at least shocked him deeply.

It was another fun bit of Legends silliness. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5. Whatever happens next should be fascinating.