LEGENDS OF TOMORROW S3x18 – THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE CUDDLY

Legends of Tomorrow is the best superhero show on television.

How did this happen? How did a show take a cast of side characters, let them travel through time and make one of the most insane and enjoyable programs out there? The pure audacity and sheer joy I got out of this season was near-boundless. Every time I thought there was no way it could get better; the cast and crew exceeded my expectations. And the season finale is the perfect cap to it all.

From the opening minutes, this episode doesn’t pull any punches. As the now-free Mallus threatened the Legends, Rip detonates a time drive near the demon, killing himself and sucking Mallus into a vortex. Though he was more of a guest character this year, Rip is the root of Legends of Tomorrow. Arthur Darvill got a strong finale scene, with him looking forward to seeing his family again. Godspeed, Captain Hunter.

Intentionally messing up history to unleash Mallus certainly follows the team’s motto of screwing things up for the better, but the loss of Rip hits them pretty hard. Demoralized, the team heads to Salvation, North Dakota in 1874, to hide out for a bit. While the crew runs into an old friend, Jonah Hex, they also meet an army of Romans, Vikings and Pirates, under Mallus’ control. If the Legends don’t surrender the totems by noon tomorrow, the army will kill everyone.

Elsewhere, Amaya and Ray both try to find their own ways to stop the demon. Amaya goes on a vision quest to see how the original totem bearers stopped Mallus. Good plan! Ray decides to…break Damien Darhk out of his cell and travel back in time stop the Legends from letting Mallus escape. Terrible plan! However, in a wonderful summation of his arc for this season, Damien forces Mallus to use his body as a vessel instead. He may not find redemption., but he does prove his love for his daughter.

Amaya sees her ancestors form a perfect being of light with their totem to fight Mallus. But when the Legends try it, they are unable to clear their minds and instead create a horribly mutated creature that looks like it came from a David Cronenberg film. When all feels hopeless though, Ava Sharpe returns. And she’s got friends! Not only is she accompanied by a revived-and-not-evil Kuasa and an Amazon-trained Helen of Troy, but also by Jax! It’s great to have Franz Drameh back on the show, even if for a few scenes.

At high noon, all hell breaks loose, with the Legends and their allies fighting side-by-side to take out the three armies. But Mallus resurrects them instantly. There’s no play left except to create the being of light needed to destroy Mallus. This time, they succeed. But in a hysterical and Ghostbusters type of move, Nate inadvertently thinks of something light…and fluffy…and the Legends create a giant Beebo to fight Mallus. I can’t even believe I typed that. The season finale is a battle between an ancient time demon and a giant stuffed bear. The acid-trip levels of absurdity on this show make it as endlessly enjoyable and loveable as Beebo, who defeats Mallus with a body-slam hug. I laughed so hard I was crying at the ridiculousness of it all.

To close, the Time Bureau cleans up the mess, with Sara and Ava promising to see each other soon. In a tearful goodbye, Amaya returns to 1942 Zambesi to live her life, but chooses to keep her memories. And Nate lets her go. The rest of the team heads to Aruba for some R&R. But fun in the sun is interrupted by John Constantine with a dead demon’s head. It looks like the Legends let out more than just Mallus.

With a no-limits attitude that fully filters the contradictions of time travel through the best and strangest that DC has to offer, Legends of Tomorrow has become the Arrowverse’s crown jewel. It raises the stakes without needlessly raising the drama. Every episode is infused with humor, strong action, great acting and pure fun. With the addition of John Constantine, we can expect that streak to continue next year. I can’t wait to see where the Legends go next.

Show Notes:

  • Mick makes a reference to Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall, a throwback to season 1. Though he calls them the “stupid hawk-flying, chicken people.” He also refers to Mallus as Phallus, which is pretty funny.
  • Another fantastic moment: Nate joins Amaya on her vision quest, but drinks too much of the psychedelic root. Meaning he’s high as fuck and it’s glorious, even before he references Voltron.
  • We learn that while Jax has only been gone for a couple of months for the Legends, it’s been five years for him. He’s got a wife and a kid now. His daughter’s name is Martina, after the late Professor Stein.
  • Sara to Jonah: “Who died and made you sheriff?” Jonah: “That would be the old sheriff.”
  • Also, there seems to be some sparks flying between Zari and Jonah!
  • Ray gives Nora her father’s time stone, giving her a chance to escape and earn a second chance at life. Here’s hoping we see her again in some capacity.