Monday 9:00 PM on The CW (Returning October 22, 2018)
It's not about the destination, it's about the journey.

And that's sort of what DC's Legends is these days. Let's face it: Mallus was thinner than paper. Yes, he's what passes for a screen villain in many comic book productions these days. CGI villain, voice actor with distinctive tones, vague "I'm going to destroy the world" motivation. Does anyone know or care what Mallus' motivation is? Where he came from? How he became a demon trapped in a time cell or whatever they called it? What the name of his childhood dog was? Anything?

The most distinctive thing about Mallus was his allies: Damien, Grodd, Kuasa. Even if Grodd was kind of a non-starter: what happened to him after Nate tossed him away last episode?

Let's recap "The Good, The Bad, and The Cuddly" before we go any further. Mallus sticks around and the Legends hit him with their Totem elemental blasts. It doesn't do anything, and so Rip grabs Waverider's time-drive core and uses it to blow himself up and delay Mallus long enough for the Legends to get away in the timeship. This manages to be touching despite the fact that Rip has been pretty much a dick most of this season. This is a guy who pretty much turned the Legends into jokes, remember? Yes, they kind of are. But presumably Rip had a hand in the Time Bureau "How not to alter time" training missions. Then there was the Ava-cloning thing. So basically the ending was sad because Arthur Darvill was a decent actor, we got some decent flashbacks, and the relationship between Rip and Gideon was pretty touching.

Sara decides that the Legends should hide out in Salvation in the 19th century Old West. To no one's surprise, they meet Jonah Hex. He and Zari bond for no particular reason. Meanwhile, Ray decides to free Damien and risk a major temporal implosion or whatever and going back to Zambesi and stopping Nora. Despite the fact that Ray mentions once or twice that this is a big risk, it... isn't. Damien takes on the role of Mallus host body so that Nora is freed. She and Ray take off as Damien gets all black and veiny. and not in a Big Jim Slade! kinda way.

In the Old West, Blackbeard, Freydis, and a younger-looking Julius Caesar (because he's played by Jason Merrells, the younger brother of Simon Merrells who played Caesar back in "Aruba-Con") ride into Salvation. They're working for Mallus and tell the Legends to hand over the Totems or they'll march their pirate, Viking, and Roman armies in. Which raises an interesting question: does Mallus care about Anachronisms now that he has escaped his cage? If not... why not just fugue himself and create an army of Malluses? Clearly Mallus can travel through time unassisted, since he goes from 1982 Zambesi to Old West salvation.

Zari sends out a temporal beacon, and some of tonight's guest stars show up: Ava, Jax, Helen of Troy, and a pre-evil Kuasa. It turns out one of the Legends' strengths is making friends. Which... I suppose. Barry over on The Flash seems to make a lot buddies, too.

Amaya goes on a vision quest to learn how her ancestors beat Mallus the first time. Although they didn't. She learned that they have to work together and unite the power of the Totems into one uber-beam. Ad I guess create a manifestation of goodness and power, although I couldn't make out if there was one in the vision.

When she snaps out of the vision, Amaya tells the others what they saw. For some reason, Wally is now using the water totem instead of Ray. They try to create an avatar and end up with some pathetic John Carpenter-esque creature which Mick puts out of its misery with his flame gun set to vaporize. Last season he used his fire gun to stun Snart. When Nate said a few episodes ago that Mick doesn't know how fire works, I think he was talking about the creative team: they seem to have “fire gun” confused with “phaser”.

Plus, why is Mick using a fire gun at this point, when he has a Totem that gives him control over flame? Yeah, he gives the Fire Totem up later, but for a guy who is supposedly drawn to flame and embodies it, he sure doesn’t seem to use his fire powers much.

Everyone, Legend and ally alike, decide not to let Mallus' army get the Totems. So they fight, and there are little bits like Blackbeard fighting Amaya. Team Legends (presumably) knock out all of the enemy soldiers, but Mallus reanimates their bodies and they attack again. The six Totem wielders try the whole Avatar thing again, but in a bit they rip off from Ghostbusters, Nate can't help thinking of his own vision of goodness and power. Which means... the six totem bearers turn into a giant-sized Beebo. They kick the stuffing out of Mallus and themselves, by the simple expedient of slamming him into the ground until Beebo and Mallus explodes. So all it takes to beat Mallus is a lot of physical force.

At the end, the Time Bureau memory-wipes the soldiers and takes them back to their own times. somewhere in all of this, Ava and Sara have declared their love for each other. Jax and Helen go back to their own times: it's been five years for Jax and he has a wife and child. Helen has become a pseudo-Wonder Woman.

The Legends go to Aruba where Constantine and Gary (dressed as Constantine, complete with an orange-ish wig and for some reason Constantine's hair looks awfully orange, too) show up. Constantine dumps a dragon's head out of a sack and says that other things escaped with Mallus. And... end the finale and roll the credits.

First of all, the most admirable thing about Legends is that they will do pretty much anything for a laugh. I imagine for when the same people who work on Arrow and Flash work on Legends, they see it as a stress-reliever. “Hey, Oliver has lost his teammates, one of his oldest in-series friends, and is going to lose his wife and son in a few days. That’s kind of depressing: let’s have a giant blue furry on Legends!”

Last week we had John Noble playing a gleeful self-referential version of himself. This week we had a giant blue furry. And Gary cosplaying as Constantine because… why not?). And Blackbeard losing a sword fight, saying “Toodles”, and running off. And Damien making snarky remarks a mile a minute. Occasionally they’ll break out a Cisco- or Ralph-related laugh on Flash. But it’s nothing compared to the absurdities on Legends.

So Legends is basically a weird stream-of-consciousness sort of show. They’re the “everymen” of the Arrowverse at this point. Black Lightning (now airing on Sundays! according to TVCom) is social and family drama-ing a mile a minute.

Yes, I know it’s not technically part of the Arrowverse, but it might as well be, Supergirl and Flash are facing their Big Bads and dealing with their personal crises front-and-center, and Arrow is all-drama, all the time.

Yeah, Sara has a few personal issues, and the team squabbles among themselves. But an ensemble cast without a central character (it’s right there in the title, other Arrowverse shows) means we don’t have to get a half-season of Sara’s personal issues, or a schism within the team. It comes, it goes, it bubbles up, it subsides.

The problem with that is what I noted: the overall villains are pretty much paper thin. Folks complained about Vandal Savage, but at least he had a personality and a bit of background. And was played by an actor. This season we got Mallus, who was… a big CGI demon. Voiced by John Noble, which is a big bonus, but at the end of the day a big CGI demon who got stomped by an even bigger CGI creature.

Neal McDonough as Damien was probably the most interesting villain of the season. He was snarky, conflicted, loving toward his daughter, and had more of a character arc than many of the Legends and villains.

The Kuasa arc wasn’t too bad, but it came pretty easily. “Let’s get a version of her out of the timestream before she became evil”. Part of it was that it was the same arc she went through in the Vixen animated series. The whole Kuasa/Zambesi thing seemed kind of ill-defined if you weren’t familiar with the animated series. And repetitive if you were.

Here was the basic arc of the animated series. “Kuasa dislikes the current Totem bearer, steals a Totem of her own, spars with her relative a few times, and then has a change of heart and teams up with the Totem bearer and several of her allies, including Ray Palmer, to fight an even greater evil.” Sound familiar?

The one-off “villains”, pretty much nothing. Did anyone care that Blackbeard and Caesar came back? Or that Freydis got to meet her god? And those are the ones who came back for the season finale. Other than Victor Garber playing Lord Stein, does anyone even remember any of the other done-and-over villains the Legends faced during the year?

The two big character arcs of the season were Ava and Sara, and Amaya and Nate. The whole clone thing didn’t seem to go anywhere. Ava had an existential crisis for an episode, but then was back to pretty much normal by the finale.

Amaya and Nate, they broke up when Amaya went back to Zambesi to protect her village and have her daughter, so that she’d have granddaughters Mari and Kuasa, so that Mari would become the latest Vixen and Kuasa would become a villain but then a hero and then… what? Doesn’t her becoming a hero prevent her from joining Mallus’ side? Which badly alters the Legends personal timeline? I guess it’s timey-wimey stuff, and for all of those Crossbones fans to get one last Tracy Ifeachor fix. Because, let's face it: that stink is never going to wash off.

Anyhoo, it’s hard to feel too sad about Amaya leaving. At least to me, she never quite seemed to fit in. The Legends are a team of second-stringers and “losers”, Amaya/Vixen never really felt like either of those. She seemed to be a stand-in for her granddaughter Mari, because the actress wasn’t available. There was a certain “person out of time” element to her, but the creative team only seemed to toss that in when they remembered it and/or needed a few minutes to fill. Or wanted to expand on Nate’s characterization.

They seemed to have Amaya in mostly to mine the Vixen animated series for a plot point or two. I liked the animated series, but it wasn’t that great. And while Maisie Richardson-Sellers may or may not have been the worst actor on the show, she certainly had the worst old-age makeup.

That brings us to newcomer Tala Ashe as Zari. She never really got going until “Her I Go Again”, and I’m not really sure she ever lived up to her original premise of a computer hacker. Zari got the Air Totem and then we got the occasional Isis in-joke. Eventually Zari got some characterization in “Here I Go Again”, and her relationship with Jonah in the finale was touching.

We also got John Constantine, which gives us Matt Ryan in the role that DC doesn’t seem to want to let him out of even if NBC does (boo, hiss, Constantine cancellation). If only DC were as determined to give us the same Flash/Barry Allen across their projects that they do with Constantine. While Constantine isn’t a loser (and neither are the other Legends), he’s definitely second-string based on his power set. Minor hedge wizard, exorcist, and conman.

The real questions is, what will they do with him in season 4? The finale here suggests that at least the first part of season 4 will be about dealing with the other supernatural/demonic creatures that broke out when Mallus escaped. But… the team defeated Mallus. It’s hard to imagine that something more powerful than Mallus was trapped in a time cage, given how much they played Mallus up. And Constantine and Gary defeated the dragon at the end and decapitated it. So how much of a threat can the other creatures be, if Constantine could defeat one of them? And the Legends shut down Mallus?

But then again, season 2 ended on a cliffhanger that really didn’t lead into season 3, either. So it’s possible some big supernatural honcho like Mordru was in the cage with Mallus, and the other supernatural creatures escaping are just a prelude. Lord knows that Legends needs an actual physical actor to play the main bag guy, instead of CGIpalooza.

But that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
Comments (3)
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Apr 15, 2018
This is a fun silly show but now the silliness is beginning to undermine the enjoyment of the fun.
Apr 10, 2018
So many points - and I agree with almost all of them.

One point that wasn't mentioned, in the end, Nora is sent to the time masters but Ray gives her a time stone so that she could escape. Umm... First off, don't the time masters check things on prisoners?
Second, look, I don't mind if a bad guy like Dhark has a change of heart and they kill him anyway. But giving someone like Nora the ability to run free through time is really really stupid.

One thing though, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Kuasa was pre-evil, I think because they prevented Zambizi from being destroyed that she never turned evil in the first place?
(Which brings the question if Mari would even make it to the USA )

Beyond that, as I said, I agree with most of your points. Mallus was paper thin and his minions weren't that great either. I never understood why Mallus gave them a day to prepare for his attack, or why didn't he destroy the totems when he did. Though I still hated Savage more.

Note - hearing them argue over how to pronounce his name was actually pretty funny.

The legends made such a huge deal of Mick needing to practice his totem. Wally barely seen his own. And why give us an entire season where they try to find the perfect matches for the totems, including the possibility of finding the darker counterparts such as Nora with the spirit totem and then just randomly pass them around at the last second.
Also, in the end, they give Kuasa the totems so she'll give them to other people - but shouldn't they have returned the fire totem in piece to where they got it?

Wally could run around Mallus to "distract" him, but not capable of doing a reverse flash phased strike, shooting lightning or whatever else we've seen Barry doing in situations like this. Guys, it's bad enough that you are a time travel show, please don't add speedsters into the mix of absurd things that should solve everything in 5 seconds.

The adding of all the anachronism bad guys showing up reminded me of the first season, where they attacked Savage at all the spots they went with. We don't need the recaps.
Also bringing in random people to aid them was silly as well.

Why not bring Barry? Oliver? Supergirl for crying out loud? Heck, why didn't they bring the Hawks? or Constantine himself? You're fighting a demon and he might be helpful.

The beebo thing was really predictable. I kept wondering how he would show up in the finale. I thought that Mallus would be trapped inside it or something. But no, they went as you said the ghostbusters route. Which isn't bad, but that fight was waaaaaay too long. It stopped being funny.

I also don't get why Amaya needed to go back to Zambizi. They changed history anyway. I said this before, but Amaya went exactly into the spot that Hawkgirl was at - and it's kind of weird having 2 black actresses repeating the same plot. Is this Teen Wolf or what?

Sarah and Ava thing is just weird. I agree that I don't get why we needed to know that Ava is a clone. Was that something from the source material? It was just completely random and out of place.

Rip killing himself was idiotic. Why didn't Ray save him when he went back in time?

Mick was usually good for laughs during the season, but his grumpty attitude is starting to wear off. His highlight of the season for me was when he had a crush on Killer Frost.

Ray just feels so bland. I don't get how he turned from Mr.Perfect in Arrow to such carbon copy devote of any real personality. His only storyline was the Nora thing which really didn't end up as much.

Zari seems to just be a replacement for Jax as a random repair gal. Other than that she doesn't fit much.

Wally is far too powerful and they need to get rid of him.

Nate, much like Ray, doesn't do much. He was a minor plot on Amaya's story and nothing more.

I found myself more attached to Constantine and Gary than to any of the legends. They need to trim down the cast for next season.

Apr 10, 2018
Okay, I just read the other article posted on the main page about the show.

So Amaya isn't leaving and is a regular next season? /sigh

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