Legends of Tomorrow: 3.18 The Good, the Bad and the Cuddly
So here it is, finally, after all the build up, anticipation, world building, character development and careful story crafting, the six stones have finally come together and Thanos has… wait, sorry, wrong comic book universe…
Yes, it is of course the Legends of Tomorrow season finale and it (mostly) doesn’t disappoint.
Hot on the heels of last week's episode, the team have to deal Mallus, who much to the team's disgust, reveals that they’ve been pronouncing his name wrong this whole time. In order to wound him and buy the team some time, Rip says a sexy goodbye to Gideon then sacrifices himself so Team Legs can retreat and regroup. I felt that had Rip been around more and more part of the show this year, his sacrifice would have had bigger impact but the moment was trading a little on his importance to season one and lacked the emotional weight it could have had.
So, with Mallus (MALL-us, M’allus, Male-uss???) on the run to lick his wounds, the team go hang out with Jonah Hex. Soon, the Roman, Pirate and Viking antagonists from previous episodes are sent as messengers by Mallus, warning The Legends of his impending arrival and their approaching doom, etc etc etc basically setting us up for a big Cowboy, Pirate, Roman army, giant demon finale, which is all good with me.
A nice side plot is Ray, seeing the good in everyone, taking Damien back to just before his daughter transformed so he can save her. It doesn’t quite work in stopping Mallus but he does manage to get Mallus to leave Nora’s body and enter his, so he will transform, thus saving his daughter but not changing the timeline or the threat. This was a solid, emotional sacrifice from Damien which outdid Rip’s simply because we’ve been watching Damien develop a lot across this season and while he would never be able to be rehabilitated fully, this does provide at least some personal redemption.
Eventually all the Legends get back together and recruit a few familiar faces to help them fight Mallus (who conveniently gave them a day to get ready before he attacked) including Ava, Helen of Troy who has now gone full Amazonian and, Jax! Seeing Jax was a reminder of how much I miss Stein. The show has done a good job of picking up the slack since he left but the team still feels like its missing it heart.
The episode suffers a little bit from the casual approach to the danger. The team always seem to take their time about things, on weekly episode it works narratively pretty well; the team split, deal with different aspect of a threat and saunter up to the finale but here I felt the need for just a smidge more urgency perhaps. However, whenever you think things might be losing steam, they bring out a doozy of a scene to keep you on track.
With all the totems now in the position of the Legends, they attempt to summon a powerful god being to fight Mallus. Their first attempt goes horribly wrong and is not only funny but horrific and pleasantly dark. The whole episodes is filled with plenty of humour and fun action, though towards the end you feel as though they’ve maybe over stuffed things. Jax actually has nothing to do, other than let us know he’s got kids and had a happy ending. Helen of Troy and Ava get to do some cool fight stuff for a lttle while and Jonah Hex having a crush on Zari, who sort of returns his affections in her too cool for school way, is nice but about the extent of his involvement in the episode.
Of course what the episodes is leading toward is the showdown with Mallus and this is where the show goes full Legends of Tomorrow and doesn’t disappoint. While defeating Mallus’ mind controlled historical generals and their army (who turn into zombies after being killed because, you know, why not) Sara, Nate, Zari, Amaya, Rory and Wally finally manage to harness the totems to summon a great warrior being. In their desire to summon a pure being of goodness, Nate Ghostbusters it and they end up summoning a giant, Godzilla size Beebo.
I straight up was not expecting this, despite the slight give away of the title (but Legends of Tomorrow titles can be so abstract I didn’t catch on) but it has to be the most Legends of Tomorrow ending imaginable. Giant Beebo then fights and defeats Mallus. This whole sequence is fantastic, the way Beebo has been established in universe allowed for this great pay off and it just felt right that this show should save the day in such a stupid way.
After the (blue, fluffy) dust settles, the team get ready to go on their way and THANK GOODNESS Amya decides to return home, leaving the Legends and Nate. This character has jarred a little for me from the get go but in this season especially she has been terribly unlikable and narratively erratic, I’m glad we’ll be able to move on. A little epilogue scene shows the remaining Legends enjoying a well earned holiday on the beach and a fun cameo from everyone’s favourite master of the Dark Arts also sets up the over riding theme for season four. At this point, however, Gary needs to just to sod off. They’ve over milked the gag and now I find the character more annoying then the team do.
This maybe wasn’t the best episode of the show this season and not necessarily the most high stakes, dramatic finale they’ve had but it felt more in keeping with the show and its ethos than their other finales. I love this series’ ability to go in wild directions and exist slightly outside the normal realty of these shows, it allows a weird, creative freedom that makes it feel like watching an 80’s cartoon or reading 90’s comics. I cannot wait to see what happens next season on The Legends of Tomorrow…