It has all led up to this moment—the final confrontation between the Legends of Tomorrow and the time-shattering demon, “Mallus”!
Legends of Tomorrow – “The Good, the Bad, and the Cuddly”, Season 3, Episode 18
Airdate: April 9th, 2018
Director: Dermott Downs
Writer: Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim
Based on the Characters of DC Comics
What You Should Know:
All season long, the threat of “Mallus” has been hanging in the air, from early omens to the possessions of Sarah and Nora Darhk. Last episode, the Legends finally came into possession of the last of the six legendary totems that could be the key to killing the demon and allowed him to be set free in order to do so.
What You’ll Find Out:
“Mallus” is free and he promptly points out that his name is Malice. For 99% of the rest of the episode, everybody continues to call him Mallus, though. I couldn’t tell you, dear reader, why this fact bothered me as much as it did, but it was like nails on a chalkboard for the rest of the episode. Predictably, the Legends were horribly outmatched as MALICE ripped through them like a hot knife through butter.
Rip responds by destabilizing the Waverider’s time core and going on a suicide mission to weaken Malice enough for the team to escape and prompting the second thing that I found unreasonably irritating this season. I realize it is extremely petty, but I suppose the inconsistency of this season has finally worn me down. Rip tells everybody that will listen that he will miss them. You’ll be dead, Rip. They’ll be the ones missing you.
So, RIP Rip, you’ll be missed. The team escapes to Salvation, the home of Jonah Hex, which has been previously been established as a sort of time travel blackout zone, to hide and plan their next moves. Zari, Mick, Sarah, and Wally head into town to meet with the locals, while Ray and Damien embark on an unauthorized side mission. Ray and Darhk decide to travel back to the moments before Malice manifests in Nora and essentially trade her out for Damien, saving Nora and damning Damien.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team sets about the mission of figuring out how they can be better prepared for the next. Two theories arise: either they aren’t the right totem bearers, or they’re bearing the totems the wrong. Amaya and Nate go on a vision quest to see how the original bearers used them, while Zari sends out a distress call looking for allies who may be better bearers. Meanwhile, the town of Salvation prepares for an invasion by Blackbeard, Leif Erikson’s sister, and Caesar, all newly minted heralds of Malice (so much for hiding out in the blackout zone).
Amaya’s vision quest reveals that the original totem bearers worked together as a team, rather than individuals (seems like, if you have the ability to go check that out, it might have been smart to have already done it before you get your butts kicked), and the team decides to embrace their totems, working together to create a “perfect being of light” to destroy Malice. Reinforcements do arrive in the form of Helen of Troy (who has been training on Themyscrira), Jefferson Jackson (who has now been retired from the Legends for five years and is a father), Kuasa (who has now led a happy, well-adjusted life as a superhero thanks to the alterations to the timeline from last episode), and of course, Ava.
The first attempt to create a being of light fails, but the second attempt, skewed by Nate and his blessed Ray Stantz brain, manifests a gigantic Beebo, who proceeds to finally defeat Malice. With the battle against Malice over, Amaya decides it is finally time to embrace her destiny and return home, but in a twist, she opts not to be mindwiped, leaving the door open for her return.
Naturally, the team jet sets off to Aruba for some R&R, when they are confronted by Gary and John Constantine, informing the Legends that Malice wasn’t the only being to escape when the cage was opened. The CW has already optioned a season 4, so when we return, the Legends seem like they’ll be in the monster hunting business.
What Just Happened?
The obvious broad strokes are that Rip Hunter, Damien Darhk, and Malice are all dead. Meanwhile, Nora Darhk and Kuasa have both been given new leases on life, and Amaya is off living the life she’s supposed to live. All of those developments are relatively major, and will certainly have ramifications on next season, but let’s take a quick look at some of the smaller (and charming) developments that occurred in this episode.
Jax’s return was a refreshing sight since the loss of Jax and Martin seems to be about the point where the season began to falter. While it certainly does not appear that he’ll be rejoining the team any time soon, seeing Jax living life as a happy father was certainly heartwarming, to say the least.
Zari, upon meeting Jonah Hex, developed an immediate, and honestly believable, on-screen sexual chemistry. If nothing else, the development gives me hope that Hex could become a semi-regular fixture, and that would be just fine with me.
Helen of Troy has been training with the Amazons. In no way does that herald an appearance by Wonder Woman, but perhaps we could expect to see some of the other Amazons appearing, or even joining the team, in the future.
Beebo has been something of a running joke this season, and as silly as its appearance was as the final being of light, it felt oddly appropriate. To paraphrase Nate, the Legends used a Care Bear Stare to create an analog of the Staypuft Marshmellow man to save the day. Well played.
The saga of Sarah and Ava seems to be trending upward, as Ava returned with reinforcements and asked Sarah if she really loved her. While the development seemed a bit abrupt given where the two left off last episode, I wish them nothing but the best. Nothing. But. The. Best. Greg and Marc, I hope you’re paying attention.
And that, friends, is all she wrote. The proverbial bow tied on a chaotic season. I’ll see you all next season, where hopefully our favorite band of rag-tag misfits can manage to get their groove back!
Final Thought: I hate to say it, but I’m really glad that season is behind us. There were some major bright spots, but all in all, the season felt aimless for the most part. Hopefully with so many shake-ups this season, next season will settle down into something more calculated.
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