This week in Legends of Tomorrow, our heroes get a warm “Welcome To The Jungle” as the team visits a specific volatile piece of history.
It’s December 1967 and the Vietnam War is going strong. We meet some unlucky soldiers who get murdered pretty easily by a mysterious figure up in the trees, leaving just one alive to tell the story. At the Waverider, apparently Eleanor’s injury to Sara was much more serious, as she still hasn’t awoken from her coma. Meanwhile, Martin tells Jax he is very close to finding the way to separate Firestorm — if you have read up on a few chats online, you probably know what’s gonna go down. Amaya is still pretty shaken up about the revelation that Kuasa, who is apparently not dead, is her granddaughter.
Without a Captain, the Legends decide to take on a random anachronism to pass the time. Jax decides on a level 8, taking us to the Vietnam war, even despite Mick’s complaints. Zari, Amaya, and a Ray that looks like he’s dressed for Coachella, find the sole survivor from the earlier attack as they pose as journalists. The man doesn’t reveal much, but they find a better source: a local Vietnamese woman called Anh Ly who promises she can take the reporters to the entity/monster that is attacking both sides’ soldiers.
While Mick and Nate walk through the jungle, Mick finally reveals he is uneasy because of the off chance he meets his father, a soldier fighting in the war. Despite the low chances, the two end up meeting one Sergeant Dick Rory anyway. Coincidence? Apparently not as we are later on told. Nate tries to talk to Mick about his daddy issues and he reveals he doesn’t regret killing his father—he let him burn to death.
At the Waverider, Jax walks in on Martin consulting with Sir Isaac Newton, Galileo, and Madame Curie on how to separate Firestorm, since he isn’t able to do it on his own. Out there, Ahn Ly tells the reporters about the entity, Ong Troi Moi, a newfound god who has stopped the fight between the American and the Vietcong. They also notice that the comms have stopped working as they approach the New God’s area.
Back with the Rorys, Mick is going through his own hatred, but they get interrupted by a supposedly American soldier that has been brainwashed by Ong Troi Moi along with many other soldiers. The two teams end up attacking each other with the Rorys using their fire guns to destroy them.
The Legends finally arrive at Ong Troi Moi’s site and they see a bunch of the devices being used to jam their signals. Ahn Ly takes them to the entity…who is nothing less than Gorilla Grodd. Ugh. I’m just gonna go ahead and say this episode was not particularly tasty because of Grodd. I so dislike him. Honestly, I don’t think he’s a compelling villain and I’ve already had enough of him in Flash to have to endure him again in Legends of Tomorrow. I’m pissed.
All that being said, holy crap, the CGI looked amazing. Sure, we’re in a post-Planet-of-the-Apes franchise, but it’s still astounding to see the lengths that they have reached when animating monkeys: I mean, look at the Apes franchise, Grodd & Solomon from The Flash, and even George from the new Rampage movie trailer. A deserved standing ovation for the VFX workers who lent their talent to this episode and kept the quality throughout the whole thing.
After the earlier event, Mick and Dick bond over Dick’s wishes to go home after the war, marry his girlfriend, and maybe have kids. Zari is able to get the electric signals back on online. Nate catches Mick doing a self-harm burn on his skin as he is rethinking everything that has happened to him and his feelings towards his dad. Meanwhile, the anachronism has gone up from an 8 to a 10 as journals are reporting now that a World War III is on the records.
Amaya went to try to use the shrink ray on Grodd, but he uses his telepathic powers to stop her, laying out his plans to help mankind achieve peace through war. President Lyndon B. Johnson also arrives in Vietnam, conveniently. Zari is confronted by Ahn Ly with a gun, but she manages to defuse the situation. Sadly, Grodd takes control of the people at the camp, and Ahn Ly knocks Zari out.
Keeping up with the knocking out theme, Dick does so to Nate, as the Rorys want to attack the Vietnamese instead of backing down. Amaya tries to diffuse the situation with Grodd by showing her powers and establishing a connection with the metamonkey. Unfortunately, the Rorys attacks put Grodd in the mood for a rampage, aiming to take control of the planet now.
When the President landed, Jax went to save him from dying from Grodd; he wanted to be a hero on his own, without Firestorm given the chance of him ending up without powers if the separation goes wrong. Dick Rory goes too hard on jungle fever and tries to murder everyone at Grodd’s site, but Mick successfully takes him down a peg as the two have bonded and saved each other’s lives at least once at this point. Also, Jax does indeed save Johnson from a landmine by freezing it.
Despite Martin taking off with the Waverider to get away from Grodd, the gorilla does indeed reach the ship, planning on taking control of it (great CGI on this part, guys). Grodd also takes control of Sara’s body, but before she can kick the crap out of Martin, Isaac Newton knocks her down with a pan. To solve the situation, Martin takes advantage of a napalm US air strike taking place right now to get rid of Grodd. The ape falls to his death…or does he?
After one last meaningful conversation, Mick even thanks Nate for helping him deal with dad. Amaya also realizes that Kuasa wasn’t born a monster, which is development in a way that she was sort of feeling resentful towards her granddaughter after their meeting. The Legends have a Thanksgiving moment, enjoying President Johnson’s wife’s infamous pecan pie which is made better by Sara after she finally wakes up from her injuries.
Capping off, it is revealed that Damien Dahrk used his time traveling totem to save Grodd’s life (ugh…. Like, 100% ugh). Anywho, Dahrk enlists Grodd’s help to his side.
As I mentioned above, it’s important to notice that the Legends realized a pattern there: as they are dealing with anachronisms, they are conveniently running into people from their own lives like Ray’s own child-self, Dr. Stein’s ancestor, Mick’s dad, and even Kuasa. Something’s definitely fishy about this, and we should get more info about this soon.
Next week: it’s crossover time, baby! And let’s all get ready because it looks to be a big one for the Legends, and not only because of Zari’s new superhero outfit.