Friday, July 19, 2024

Legends of Tomorrow Delivers an Episode Bursting with Surprises

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Babies are on the mind in an episode of Legends of Tomorrow that’s gravid with twists and turns. ‘This is Gus’ offers up the Tarazi siblings heavy episode I’ve been craving since Behrad was first introduced with the bonus surprise that Zari 1.0 gets to play a part too. And the delightful surprises don’t end there.

The episode opens with some cute Gideon/Behrad banter where she reveals it’s his 25th birthday. The rest of the Legends missed the memo and, despite Behrad’s vague hints to surprises and the day being an important one, they power ahead with the mission. Gideon tracks a pod going to land in Vancouver, 2023.  

Zari and Behrad have a brief debate about disturbing Nate but decide having him out here is better than wondering what he’s up to in their totems. They pull him out of the totem and he’s mildly put off his time with Zari 1.0 was cut short. Meanwhile, Mick calls Lita who looks worried. She hasn’t heard from him in a while and needs to see him right away. He’s misplaced his own time courier so he looks for Ava to borrow hers. By ‘borrow’ I mean ‘takes without explaining why he needs it’ and opens a portal to Lita.

It seems like it’s been a much longer time for Lita than it’s been for Mick since they last saw each other because she’s very pregnant when she steps onto the Waverider. While Mick is processing, Ava steps up to cover the awkwardness, congratulating her. Mick goes into angry dad mode pretty quickly, but Lita calls him out on his hypocrisy considering how she was conceived. Ava works to calm the tensions between the two while the others continue with the mission.

The pod is set to land near a film lot in Vancouver. When Behrad sees his favorite actor Imran Saeed, he thinks the mission was a cover to get him to a taping of his favorite sitcom from when he was a teenager, Bud-Stuy, for his birthday. The others hide the fact that they all forgot, going along with the story. Everyone but Spooner and Sara attend the taping. The captain and the newest Legend head out to complete the mission. But they pull a classic Legends when Spooner knocks the pod off course by trying to shoot it down before it can land.

She’s always so excited about shooting aliens.

At the Bud-Stuy taping, it’s clear the jokes are only landing with Behrad, which is around the same time the alien pod comes crashing into the set. In the pod is an adorable baby alien. The actors roll with it, thinking it’s part of the show they hadn’t been told about. Behrad realizes the mission is real and the team forgot about his birthday. The producer, who’s also Imran’s brother, Kamran, gets to the alien before the Legends can. He thinks it’s the mass appeal hook they need to draw a bigger audience in.

Back on the Waverider, there’s still friction between Mick and Lita but he’s calm down enough to talk to Lita rationally. As a peace offering, her opens a jar of pickles and asks about her boyfriend, Nico. Meanwhile, Zari and Nate are looking for the baby alien. Nate’s also got hellos to share from one Zari to another. Zari 2.0 asks how she’s doing and Nate reveals she mainly wants to know how Behrad is doing. And they realize she remembered his birthday even being in the totem.

Behrad and Astra are searching another part of the studio, having a debate about the show. Astra sees the benefits of using the cute alien to drum up mass appeal, but Behrad thinks the show should remain true itself by keeping its original ascetic even if that means it never becomes wildly popular. They stumble on the writer’s room where Imran and the other writers are figuring out how to work the baby alien into the plot. Behrad takes the moment to talk with his hero, but Astra keeps them on mission, asking about the baby alien, but Imran didn’t know where it is.

Sara and Spooner are the ones to find the alien, but when they pick it up it starts screaming loud enough to deafen the team temporarily. Kamran collects the alien again and the Legends are forced to regroup for the day. At the next team meeting, Behrad shows up on time and with a new look and a bit of a shift in personality. The Legends realize if Bud-Stuy changes then Behrad fundamentally changes. He’s already shifted from the easy-going goofball to calculating and business savvy. Astra’s kind of into Behrad’s new attitude but Sara, who’s been through this before, knows these changes could massively alter the timeline and the team if they don’t fix it soon.

Gary recognizes the alien as a Gusarux, which they immediately give the nickname Gus-Gus. Gary info-drops that this species bonds with a parental figure, which in this case is Kamran. If they want to get the alien one of them will need to bond with it. Gideon pulls up a casting call for a new role on the show, ‘nosy neighbor’. It seems like the perfect role for Zari to do. She heads to the audition with Nate tagging along. Meanwhile, Astra and Behrad are tasked with keeping the show on track so Behrad can stay himself.

Zari, much to her chagrin, doesn’t get the part. She’s ‘not right’ for the role. But the casting director takes one look at Nate and they’re pulling him in for hair and make-up. As some of his new timeline personality leaks out, Behrad is horrified by this other version of himself. He goes to Imran, imploring he fight for the version of the show he wants. Behrad knows that even if Imran’s show doesn’t have mass appeal, that it’s all the more important for the few people it does resonate with, like himself. Encouraged, Imran speaks with his brother, but their conversation goes south and Imran quits instead.

Ava Sharpe
Aunt Ava is my favorite part of the Lita storyline.

On the ship Ava’s wrapping Behrad’s gifts, or trying to, when Lita checks in. She’s looking for her dad to say goodbye. Ava’s happy to hear they’ve mended things, but Sara overhears that Mick was very interested in Nico’s schedule and knows he’s planning to kill the guy. Lita, Sara, and Gary hurry to Lita’s campus to stop him. But instead, they find them hugging. Mick was going to kill him, but then they got to talking and opened up to one another. Mick even told Nico about Kayla. Lita’s surprised to hear her dad mention someone who’s not her mom. Gary’s surprised to hear it was Kayla. And he looks a little nervous too.

Zari and Astra power duo their way into getting a meeting with Kamran, but in the moment Behrad steps away from them, more changes in the timeline happen. He shows up wearing a suit and a completely new attitude. Astra’s into it until his new attitude ruins their chances to get the alien.

Behrad Tarazi
No hair or suit, no matter how nice, is worth losing sweet Behrad.

It’s clear the timeline changes are close to fully setting in when Behrad doesn’t remember Nate or having his totem. Zari’s totem vanishes as well. The Legends grab Behrad, keeping him on the Waverider. Zari’s understanding just how dire the situation’s become, and it’s not made any easier by the fact she keeps comparing herself to Zari 1.0. She feels like she’s failed both Zari 1.0 and her brother.

Meanwhile, Lita asks about Kayla. Gary’s interested too, asking specifically if tentacles were involved. He looks very very nervous when Mick confirms there was. Zari goes to talk with the showrunner, but she can’t convince him to work with his brother again before the show starts rolling. Meanwhile, Astra goes to threaten Imran to take his show back. Imran doesn’t respond well to the threat and it turns into a golf cart chase sequence.

Zari Tarazi and Kamran
Pictured: Two Muslim characters having a conversation about Muslim representation.

As the show starts filming, Nate plays ‘Nick Hunter’ instead of ‘nosy neighbor’ trying to get the alien. Imran crashes onto the set at the same time, hitting the baby alien. Nate catches him and before he can scream again, he gives him a gummy bear to calm him. The gummy bear may or may not contain cannabis. Imran salvages the show with some quick improvisation and the Legends sneak out with the baby alien in hand. Imran and his brother reconcile and everything is back to normal, including Behrad who’s strolling through the Waverider in a printed shirt and eating a donut.

He walks into his surprise party. While we see him opening his gifts and celebrating with his friends, we hear Zari’s voiceover as she talks about him. About the day he was born, him helping in the kitchen on Eid. And then we see the voice-over is Zari talking to herself — her other-self in the totem — while she shares pictures of her brother with Zari 1.0. She offers to trade places with 1.0 for a few weeks, so she can get to spend some time with Behrad and the team.

Zari Tomaz
The flannel is back!

Zari 1.0 is back! Temporarily. But she’s back! As she’s catching up on all the new developments with the team Gary hits Mick’s beer from his hands. He reveals that the tentacle thing Kayla did implanted an egg sac in his head and now he’s growing a brood. Mick Rory is pregnant is certainly a sentence I never expected to write.


Only Legends of Tomorrow could have a conversation about the depiction of minorities in media and how it’s unfair and reductive to expect any one instance of it to represent the full experience of said group like it’s a monolith and in the same episode reveal Mick Rory is pregnant. Such is the dichotomy of Legends. On top of which ‘This is Gus’ provides some terrific Tazari siblings moments which is everything I’ve been asking for since Behrad arrived in this timeline.

There’s been a slow burn with Zari 2.0 this season about her feelings about 1.0. Previously it’s been mostly under surface, coming up when she’s had to work with Nate mostly. But that culminates here when she gets the smallest glimpse into the thing that drove Zari 1.0 as far as she did: losing her brother. And Zari, sweet 2.0 who still compartmentalizes herself as not ‘Nate’s Zari’ or not the ‘Legend’s OG Zari’, she’s been haunted by this figure of her alternate self who found an impossible loophole to get her family back and then sacrificed herself to keep them safe.   

She’s built this pedestal for her alternate self and then decided those were heights she couldn’t reach because she’s not ‘her’ never realizing that she shares all the same traits that made Zari 1.0 the person she looks up too. She’s smart and cunning and loves fiercely in all the same ways. While the circumstances of their lives gave them different skill sets, the core is still the same. They’re both the women who’d do anything to protect their baby brother.

Zari 1.0 gave so much to save Behrad and now she gets to spend time with him. The most tragic aspect of her sacrifice has always been the fact she got to spend so little time with Behrad. But she can and in a way that doesn’t cheapen the narrative weight of that sacrifice. And something else of note, when we first met Zari she was wearing the totem in memory of her brother but didn’t consider herself the true bearer. Now, both versions of herself are so in tune with it they can use it as their personal bed and breakfast/temporal loophole.

Mick’s family drama in the b-plot was mostly a vehicle to get to the egg-sac/pregnancy reveal. It’s exactly the kind of off-the-wall development that shouldn’t surprise me at this point, yet Legends still does.

I’m enjoying Lita being back in the fold. Her dynamic with Mick and ‘Aunt’ Ava was fun to watch develop and I’m looking forward to more of it here, with some pregnancy and alien pregnancy shenanigans thrown in.

And again, this happened in the same episode that had a poignant conversation about minority representation in media.

Only Legends Could

  • Mortal Kombat seems to be a Tarazi/Tomaz sibling favourite.
  • Astra has a mug with a demon on it.
  • AOC is a future candidate for President in the Legends timeline.
  • “I did get to peek behind the curtain in the writer’s room. Trust me, you do not want to know how the sausage gets made.” – Somehow not even close to the most meta line this episode.
  • “Is this for the CW?” – This might be the most meta line.
  • “Finally, a win for straight white men,” – Said with several layers of sarcasm by Zari Tarazi.
  • “If I were rebooting a show with a flop first season [Nate] would be my first pick.” – This might also be the most meta line.
  • Sara’s still snacking on cherries this episode.
  • The apartment number for Bud-Stuy is 420.
  • Gideon’s programmed laughter is a canned laugh track.

Images courtesy of the CW

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