Legends of Tomorrow: 3.17 Guest Starring John Noble
Guest Starring John Noble is one of the most Legends of Tomorrow episodes of Legends of Tomorrow, ever!
Amaya has run off to save her village from destruction, even though she knows it will mess up time and potentially release Mallus, but you know...Amaya. Ray has written a song about red alert codes. And Rip calls the team because Grodd has gone to kill Barack “Barry” Obama; such a big anomaly would allow Mallus to escape from Nora’s mortal form. Luckily the team turn up, save Obama, make some Trump jokes and shrink Grodd and put him in a jar, trapping Mallus. This all happens before the opening credits have even finished because the Legends do not hang about… I’m already exhausted!
The main thrust of this episode is Amaya deciding to save her village at all costs and the rest of the team trying to stop her or at least find a compromise, because it would cause an anachronism and Mallus needs time weakened more in order to break free. This is, for me, the final nail in the coffin for Amaya; its almost as if this season she’s gone through a kind of reverse character arc. Characters like Rory have gone from being purely selfish and reckless to noble, valued members of the team. Amaya has flipped this, becoming more selfish and less of a team player as the series has progressed. No matter her personal and understandable motivations for changing time, she knows its going to put all of time and reality at risk… but does it anyway. That’s a betrayal of the Legends.
The other key plot strand we have this week is Damien, realizing Mallus will destroy Nora if he’s allowed to manifest and absorb her form. So, as expected, he teams up with The Legends to try and stop Armageddon. This leads to a fun, shaky alliance. What’s nice is its never felt like Damien is softening, he’s losing his edge as a villain or turning to the good side. He’s still untrustworthy and evil, his love for his daughter overrides all other motivators in his life, so he joins up with Team Legs simply because it’s the best option to save her.
Which brings us to the title of the episodes… Rory spend the episode irritated because he wants to watch The Lord of the Rings (a gag about him reading the book doesn’t quite work because Rory, actually, has been shown to be a big reader and author of sci-fi/fantasy). While he’s watching it, the other Legends notice one of the actors, John Noble, sounds exactly like Mallus (he is, of course, the actor who provides Mallus’ voice). So Ray hatches a plan to travel back to the set of The Lord of the Rings, get John Noble to record some lines telling Nora not to do what they want and play them into her ear. In another show this might have been too self referential, too close to a fourth wall break or too darn stupid but not on Legends of Tomorrow and this is why I love the show so much!
The Amaya side of the story is a mixed bag, Nate actually gets some really good stuff as he comes to terms with the reality that he doesn’t get to be with Amaya but the selfishness of her actions sully what is obviously meant to be the tragic end to their epic romance. Also, her old lady make up is terrible.
The John Noble plan works and involves the Legends actively wanting to draw Mallus out so they can kill him – so they allow Amaya to save her village so time weakens and Mallus will manifest but inevitably Damien betrays them realising he can’t sacrifice his daughter. He releases Grodd to destroy the village and thus keep time anachronism free. But the legends stop this and Mallus is released and CLIFFHANGER.
This was a wonderfully mental penultimate episode with a lot of cheeky jokes and some genuinely strong character-arc work. I’ll miss the show after its done for this season but based on how impressively its been upping the crazy, I’ll be excited to see the direction it goes in when it returns!