This Legends of Tomorrow episode review contains spoilers.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 Episode 9
So Jax left.
About halfway through the episode, I wrote in my notes “Man, how are they going to make this emotionally poignant when it’s so goddamn funny?” So needless to say I didn’t see the end of “Beebo the God of War” coming, which is part of why Jax’s departure hit me that hard.
It makes perfect sense as to why. After last week and the death of Martin Stein, he’s powerless, alone and a bit of a loose appendage on the Legends. If he stuck around, we’d be constantly wondering when he would get his Firestorm powers back. That doesn’t make this hurt any less though.
This wasn’t the best episode of Legends, but in a way, it was the perfect episode. The show has completely shaken off the early season doldrums and is back to consistently treating the Legends like heroes. And yet, they still managed to make the first half of this episode almost entirely hilarious. A younger Martin Stein, after just getting his hands on 1992’s hottest Hannukah gift, a Cuddle Me Beebo, gets transported back to Newfoundland in the year 1000. Leif Erikson and his sister discover Stein and Beebo, and promptly set about worshiping a Tickle Me Elmo analogue.
At the same time, the crew (including a newly sympathetic Agent Sharpe) is processing their emotions after losing old Stein. They are doing this by talking with Earth-X’s Leo Snart, who has no shit a Martin Stein muppet for them to talk their guilt out to.
Legendshas always been funny, but this is some next level absurdity. I feel like the writers room just got really lit and said, “You know, we don’t do nearly enough with stuffed things.” And thus “Beebo the God of War” was born.
But a perfect episode of Legendsisn’t just jokes. In a way, losing Franz Drameh aches a little more than losing Victor Garber. At least we knew that was coming. Drameh did a wonderful job these last two weeks processing grief for us–last week, it was raw and harsh, and this week it was subdued, a low burn. He spends the episode trying to figure out a way to warn young Stein of his eventual fate. Stein knows what’s coming, and at the end of the episode makes a (mostly) convincing case for not heeding Jax’s warning. Jax comes to terms with Stein’s death by deciding to leave the ship to heal, and they send him off with a wonderful, fun Beeboday dinner and a speech about family.
Speeches about family often feel hollow. They’re routinely the parts where you see behind the curtain, because that family relationship is very difficult to replicate. Legends of Tomorrowhas spent two-plus seasons building that, and has assembled a cast that seems to genuinely enjoy each other. That lets them get away with ridiculous absurd comedy like Beebo or Puppet Stein or Mick’s alcoholism, but it also adds an emotional heft to the show that they couldn’t possibly make up.
DC UNIVERSE TIME BUBBLES
– It speaks to the quality of the show that the most significant plot development for the season arc is also the least important to the episode: Sara gets transported to Mallus’ “alternate dimension,” as she calls it, where we get a vision of a giant hand coming toward her before she’s pulled back to Vinland by Sharpe. This is going to be a long time bubble, but bear with me: this scene fuels an argument that the DoG staff is going to have for the next month and a half. Some of us think that Mallus is the Time Trapper, a Legion of Super-Heroes villain responsible for shitting up their entire continuity who creates pocket universes and feeds off of anachronisms. This makes a lot of sense, but the Legion is shaping up to be a Supergirlthing. I think Mallus might be Krona, the Oan scientist who created a machine that would let him see the dawn of time, and in doing so, created the fracture that caused the Multiverse to emerge. The birth of the universe has always been presented in DC as a giant hand closing, and that’s very much what I saw here. It could go either way, I think.
– Stein’s case is only mostly convincing because he says in 1992 that he dies at the age of 67 in 2017. That makes him 42 in this episode, and there is absolutely no way this guy is 42.
– Apparently young Marty Stein was quite the archer.
– Mick thinks two days is 42 hours.
– Line of the night: me yelling, “CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLED IT” at the TV when Agent Sharpe tells Viking Henchperson #2 that “I’m not really the husband kind.” A close second was “BEEBO IS A FALSE GOD FULL OF FALSE PROMISES.”
– Zari playing Mileena in MK2just makes me like her more.
– Next week: nothing! But in February, CONSTANTINE.