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Television

Legends of Tomorrow Give Hell A Touch of Reality

After spending time with the Robo-Legends, we return to our Legends. Having escaped in the time machine, the Legends find themselves, not in 2022 but in the mansion dimension in Hell. The co-captains take stock of the team, making sure everyone made it. Except they didn’t all make it. Bishop died to let them escape. Gwyn, clearly not okay with leaving someone behind after his trauma from the war, tries to convince them to go back but Sara knows they can’t. Gwyn steps away to have a moment to himself.

The mansion dimension got cut off from their world when they last left, so currently, it has no connection to Earth. They realize something must have gone wrong with Gideon’s calculations. They asked to go home and she must have thought of the mansion as home. Zari feels Gideon is running a bit of a fever and the team thinks that must have thrown off her calculations. They decide they won’t time jump until they’re sure Gideon is better and they have a plan to deal with Evil Gideon. They’re stuck in the mansion for now, but at least they’re safe.

Gwyn goes into a room to be by himself when he hears a voice that sounds like Alun. Since it seems no one explained to Gwyn that they’re in literal Hell, he opens a door.

Meanwhile, Ava’s gotten a murder board going, trying to link all the known pieces. The team regroups for a strategy meeting, but Gary notices Gideon isn’t there and goes to find her. She’s in the kitchen, sulking that she failed. And while it’s subtle at first, there is a shift in the filming style around this point. Gary reassures Gideon that she still helped them get to safety. He fills her in on what happened at the meeting, about the team theorizing about Evil Gideon. Gideon gives some candid insight into Evil Gideon probably wanting the team eradicated because of their chaotic nature.

Gary’s a little spooked at her frank mention of the Legend’s eradication and gives her an apple to change the topic. Gideon takes a bite and Gary makes a very unsubtle suggestion to have sex, which Gideon readily agrees to, the two of them disappearing upstairs.

Behrad meanwhile has some important news to share with Zari and Nate. He wants to ask Astra out. They both encourage him to go for it. After Behrad heads up, bolstered and excited, Nate comments on how he’s come to think of Behrad as a little brother. Especially because he and Flannel Zari are getting serious, he thinks of Behrad as his future brother-in-law. Zari points out that would make them in-laws as well, in some strange way. Nate calls Zari his time bro-ette, which Zari finds endearing, but also never wants to be called that again.

Astra and Spooner notice the mansion has been getting warmer. When they investigate, they find Gwyn passed out next to an open doorway to Hell. They get the doors closed, but it might be too late already. It seems like something got into the house. Most of the Legends splits up to search for their demon intruders.

While searching some of the unused rooms in the house, paint magically falls on Nate and Zari. They both take off their shirts, not trusting anything in a mansion that used to belong to John Constantine to be safe for skin contact. There’s an awkward moment where they see each other shirtless and shyly fumble to look for something else to wear. Nate finds a shirt that used to belong to John and Zari finds a flannel shirt. Seeing each other dressed like that inexplicably draws them together and just when it seems they’re going to kiss, Zari realizes what’s happening. They’re being manipulated, likely by whatever got into the house.

Sara and Ava hear suspicious bangs from upstairs and they go to check it out. Meanwhile, Astra is searching alone when Behrad comes up behind her, startling her. At that moment, they seem drawn to each other, not unlike Nate and Zari had been.

Sara and Ava
It’s coming from inside the house.

Sara and Ava kick open the door to the room they heard the sounds from, ready for a fight. But the sight waiting for them is so horrific, they both let out bloodcurdling screams. It’s a naked Gary in bed, with all three of nipples hanging out for all the world to see. Gary wants to know why the captains are attacking them. Sara and Ava note the use of plural pronouns and get another shock when Gideon’s head pops up above the sheets.

The rest of the team barge in, draw in by the screams and are all equally horrified to find Gary and Gideon in their compromising position. Particularly Astra who’s ready to castrate Gary until Gideon assures everything was very consensual. Sara thinks this explains why Gideon brought them to the mansion because Gary said it felt like home to him.

The Legends of Tomorrow
No single image and truly capture the chaos of this episode.

Zari points out this all feels very reality TV and Astra realizes who slipped inside while the doors were opened. She uses her magic to allow everyone to see an invisible camera crew recording them. She explains they were a TV crew that sold their souls to a demon, Harris Ledes, in exchange for a hit show. Their deal was they’d work for Harris until they filmed something real, something genuine.

The crew can also twist emotions to create conflict. Astra has a plan to talk with Harris, use her influence to get the crew to leave. Until then the Legends have to try to not tear each other apart. Behrad is worried about Astra going to Hell alone, but she assures him she’ll be fine. This reminds Zari of KUWTT, Keeping Up With the Tarazis, the reality show of her family from when she was younger. A show that Behrad was recast on because he was too much of a bummer.

In spite of Astra telling the Legends to keep their cool, she’s gone all of two minutes before the team begins to fall prey to the influence of the crew’s demonic magic. Sara goes from the solutions-oriented captain to a vacation-obsessed housewife in the space of time it takes her to put on the clichéd chunky earrings. Nate and Zari think they’ve figured out the crew was trying to foist the friends to lovers trope on them and that they’re too wise to fall into the trap. They don’t seem to realize when the crew switches tactics and makes them bitter rivals instead.

Nate gets cast as the Jersey Shore-ques dude-bro stereotype, with his accent and fake tanner getting heavier as the episode goes on. Zari takes it as an insult when he says he’d never be interested in her like that. Meanwhile, Gwyn decides now is the best time to press Sara about their deal to save Alun. Sara, too busy planning a vacation writes out a promise to help him save one person and sends him on his way. Spooner has gone full naked survivor, walking around in her birthday suit and making alliances she fully intends to betray.  

Meanwhile, at a TV studio in Hell, Astra is all in her Queen of Hell glory. She pulls the receptionist right over his desk to get to see the boss, Harris. Harris remembers her fondly, and when she claims the Legends as ‘her souls’ he’s all too happy to pull back his crew, not wanting to get in her way. And she’s real to strut out of there, a job well done. But this is Legends of Tomorrow which means something is about to screw this up.

Astra Logue
Bow down.

In this case, it’s Behrad, who followed Astra because he was worried about her. When Harris’s thugs find him, Harris is delighted to get the chance for some tag team torture with Astra. But it’s clear Astra can’t do it and Harris realizes she isn’t the cold-hearted tormentor she used to be. He takes back his deal, sending Astra and Behrad back to the mansion to be a part of the show.

Astra’s furious that Behrad ruined her plan, even more so because he couldn’t trust her to not backslide into a monster after how far she’s come. Behrad doesn’t want to have a conversation while the cameras are there, but it’s not a choice they get because he screwed up the plan.

Meanwhile, Gideon’s begun to have second thoughts about her and Gary. She wonders if the others are right and her judgment has been clouded. Gary tries to dismiss her concerns, but he drops the ‘L’ bomb far too soon and Gideon spooks, all but running away. She ends up in a confessional-style room, where Harris starts talking to her directly, convincing her to give up those pesky human emotions. Now nothing more than an unfeeling robot, her attitude (and wardrobe) shift and she has one goal in mind. Seeding as much chaos and destruction among the Legends as possible.

The first order of business is breaking up with Gary. Next, she stokes the flames between Zari and Nate. She makes Zari think Nate doesn’t want to move in with Flannel Zari while making Nate believe Formal Zari thinks she’s better than Flannel Zari. She riles up Gwyn next, making him believe they could stop the Great War. It doesn’t even take Gideon’s interference for Ava to realize she’s turned into her fake mother.

Gideon
She might be bad, but she looks good.

Meanwhile, Astra and Behrad are still trapped in the room Harris sent to them too. Behrad keeps trying to get Astra about the trauma of her time in Hell. Astra points out that her time in Hell sucked, but she didn’t run or hid from it, like Behrad’s been trying to do. She uses her magic to open the door, leaving him alone.

Just in time too, because dinner is ready and everyone’s tensions are at a boiling point. Which means, naturally, Gwyn decides now is the time to announce his plan. Per his deal with Sara to save one person, he wants to save Archduke Franz Ferdinand (aka the man whose assassination was the inciting incident that lead to World War I). Sara goes full white woman yelling at the cat meme on him. Ava finally snaps, walking from the table. Gideon uses the opportunity to stoke the flames between Nate and Zari again, this time while they’re both there.

Sara Lance
If the Gambit had never gone down, would this be close to the person Sara became, spending her 20s party hopping with Oliver and Tommy instead of learning to kill with the League?

They get into a full-blown argument that results in Zari summoning Zari 1.0 from the totem. She listens to all of thirty seconds of their arguing and figures out they’re in Hell. Astra supplies the added information of being on a reality show run by demons. That’s all Zari 1.0 needs to explain why she wants to toss drinks in Nate’s and Fancy Zari’s faces. Which she does.

Astra hits her breaking point. She decides time traveling and doing an exorcism on earth would be better than continuing to stay here. She grabs Gideon, pulling her to the time machine. But Gary notices the dark glint in Gideon’s eye and doesn’t trust her to time jump them somewhere safe. He grabs the interface they need for Gideon to calculate the jump and eats it.

The Legends of Tomorrow
Again, no image does the chaos justice.

The Legends all snap, chasing him down, Gideon with a knife, fully ready to carve it out of him. Meanwhile, Behrad is still in his room where Harris tries tempting him with a bowl of edibles. Taunting him with the idea that without the high he’ll never be the chill Behrad everyone wants. Instead of taking one, he goes out and smashes the bowl to get everyone’s attention.

He vents about how they’ve been acting like fools and how he had to have cameras forced in his life when he was young, capturing all his insecurities. That’s why he became the ‘chill Behrad’ acting like nothing affected him, but really there’s a lot that scared him and haunts him. Like that time he died. He’s scared if he’s honest, that if he shows something over than his chill side, no one will like him. Especially Astra, who he just wanted to ask out.

Around them, the camera crew becomes visible again, their curse broken, because they filmed something genuine. No longer bound to the demon, the crew leaves and the Legends are freed of the reality show curse. Everyone returns to their normal selves.

While it may have been the show influencing them, there are still apologies that need to be passed around. Sara apologizes to Ava for leaving her to be the den mother alone. They’re co-captains for life, no matter what. Gwyn comes in, apologizing for his Franz Ferdinand stunt. He understands that they can’t change something that big. Sara still promised to help him save Alum and she’s going to honor that promise, in a way that will leave as little impact on the timeline as possible.

Nate and the Zaris make amends, understanding the confusion was caused by the reality show. Astra and Behrad admit they have a little bit of a crush on each other, but when Astra goes in for the kiss, Behrad isn’t ready yet. Astra says they can things slow. Spooner, still naked called them dorks from the doorway. And it’s delightful the way Astra covers Behrad’s eyes and tells her to put on some clothes.

Gary calls a house meeting because there is one last set of apologies to be had. It was the Legends’ judgment of him and Gideon that pushed her into turning emotionless. Gideon has watched the Legends find love and comfort in the unlikeliest of places and now that it’s the same for her, she’d like to be treated with the same respect they’d all received. The Legends have to agree and they offer their sincere apologies.

And now that everyone is back on the same page, Sara called for their navigator and time pilot to pick their next destination. Gideon has already calculated their next best course of action; stopping the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Everyone finds Gideon’s joke hilarious. Until they realize it’s not a joke.

Review

‘Lowest Common Demoninator’ is nothing short of a brilliant episode. Legends has borrowed different elements of film genre styles over the years (I’ll never forget when the Arrow musical theme began playing over a young Martin Stein drawing a toy bow). Heck, they had an animated episode to go with Astra learning to lean on her friends. In a similar vein, this episode shifts to a reality show once the cursed crew enters the house. The camera angles and the slight shake that comes being carried on a shoulder, the editing, the musical cues, it’s all ripped out the reality TV playbook. Down to everyone’s personalities being the embodiment of different personas from reality TV (i.e. Sara being a Real Housewife, Nate being Jersey Shore).

This is one of those episodes of Legends of Tomorrow that runs on pure chaos and manages to a narrative into it. There have been episodes that managed to handle a better balance of humor with the emotional pay of its climax, but that doesn’t detract from how entertaining ‘Lowest Common Demoninator’

The next episode takes us to one of the most critical moments of history, and in true Legends fashion, it’s going to find the humor in it.

Only Legends Could

  • Ava’s murder boards become more and more elaborate every time and its delightful.
  • I saw too much of Gary and his three nipples this episode.
  • I could devote this entire section to just the Legend’s reactions when they walked in on Gary and Gideon, but my favorites were Zari’s ‘Why? Why? Why? Why?’ and Behrad’s ‘Why are there three of them?’
  • Keeping Up With the Tarazis, low key, would watch it.
  • Fancy Zari: “Is it a crime to admit I’m, empirically speaking, very hot?” She’s right and she should say it.
  • The fact that Gwyn’s prayers are censored because this is a reality show in Hell is genius.
  •  “Oh no, I’m turning into the implanted memories of my mother.” – This line is the epitome of something only Legends of Tomorrow could get away with.
  • Tala Ashe got to go through hair, makeup and wardrobe for Flannel Zari this episode so she could throw a drink in her own face.  
  • But really Behrad, if you need to talk to someone about dying, Sara is right there.
  • The collective group ‘What?’ at the very, top notch comedic timing.
Images courtesy of the CW

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  • Proud Trinidadian. Writer, poet and game writer when she isn't busy dissecting fictional worlds or galavanting through the latest video game.

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