Legends of Tomorrow: 3.07 Welcome to the Jungle
The Legends go all Vietnam in this week’s episode and, great fun as it is, I have to say it wasn't quite what I'd hoped for...
This is another great episode of Legends of Tomorrow and uses the extended TV universe really nicely to create its story and there is lots of fun to be had. However, after some previous episodes dealing with the more sensitive areas of US history, I'd hoped for something a little deeper and perhaps more emotionally charged.
Sara is still in a coma from last week and so, after a little squabbling, the team decide to tackle an anachronism in the Vietnam War. No one seems especially concerned about Sara's coma but neither am I. Death, it seems, is nothing in the DC universe, especially for the Legends.
The team split up with Amaya, Zari and Ray posing at photojournalists in order to get close to the mysterious leader who has somewhere united soldiers from both sides of the fight. Rory and Nate head off dressed as soldiers to do something else and end up bumping into Rory's Dad. Rory has had one of the strongest arcs across the Arrowverse and it's good to see more layers being added to his engagingly flawed character.
We eventually find out that Grodd has somehow ended up in the past and is attempting to escalate the Vietnam War in order to trigger World War 3 and set the way for a Planet of the Apes. Amaya is convinced she can reason with Grodd and a scheme is set up to send him to back in time to before mankind existed – though I’m pretty sure sending an intellectually advanced gorilla with telekinetic powers back in time to before man existed is probably a great way to kick start a Planet of the Apes from the ground up? The Legends don’t really tend to think these things through and it doesn’t matter anyway because it all goes wrong and Grodd goes… erm… ape.
It’s a few years now since Grodd first turned up on The Flash. At the time the visual effects were solid for a fledgling TV show budget – no one would expect an Andy Serkis level effect in a TV show – and I was mostly just glad to see a live action Grodd at all. Each time he pops back up, the visuals look a little better and in this episode, especially when rendered in full daylight, he looks better than ever.
Rory gets some good stuff with his dad, after confessing that he never regretted accidentally killing his father in the house blaze he caused, because his Dad wasn’t a good guy. Of course there are plenty of comic moments with Rory and Rory Sr. and we get to see that perhaps Rory’s Dad was as much a victim of his circumstances as Rory. I like the fact Mick actively embraces the idea of a near therapy level kind of catharsis and opens up to Nate about his Daddy Issues.
Amaya is really annoying this week, she's so self-righteous and condescending in what ever situation they arrive in, she’s just irritating to watch. We almost struck an interesting theme of her having a black and white attitude to the Vietnam War, comparing it to WWII but that only briefly gets touched on, which was my overreaching feeling this episode. I’d hoped for some real depth of insight into the Vietnam War but it was all fairly light, a shame since they’ve shown themselves capable of insightful story telling in the past.
Jax and Stein don’t get a whole lot to do this week Jax saves The President of the United States) and at the very end Sara just wakes up from her coma because plot. One interested, almost throw away line, is about how incredibly unlikely it is that Rory should bump into his Dad in the middle of the jungle – as well as the coincidence of Stein meeting his ancestor and Amaya’s watery granddaughter turning up. So looks like all these coincidences aren’t just the usual Legend of Tomorrow’s daffy story telling but may actually be connected to the big bad? Damien also puts in a very brief appearance, rescuing Grodd from being lost in time…
Over all, a really fun episode with some good Grodd stuff and nice character work for Rory, if surprisingly low key.