A gorilla tried to kill Barack Obama, history was forever changed because of one woman’s hypocrisy, and John Noble reprised his Lord of the Rings role in what might be the weirdest inside joke I’ve ever seen. Yup, it’s just another day on Legends of Tomorrow, folks.
If you’re not watching Legends of Tomorrow, you are officially out of excuses. I dare you to find another series that features a group of time travelers saving young Barack Obama from Gorilla Grodd, the giant, evil, telepathic gorilla, who announces he wants to “Make America Grodd Again”... and it’s barely the C-plot.
The latest episode, “Guest-Starring John Noble,” is mostly set-up for next week’s season finale, but it’s still strange and epic as all hell. It’s about the Legends deciding to free the demon Mallus from his time prison so they can use the six Infinity Stones—sorry, I mean totems—to defeat him once and for all. If you think this was some calculated plan, then you clearly haven’t been watching this show; it’s yet another spur-of-the-moment decision from the Legends so they can allow Amaya to change history and save her village. (Given how Amaya had already told Zari she couldn’t change the past to save her brother, this felt really cruel, and I really hope Zari ends up calling Amaya on her bullshit.)
Annoyingness aside, there were so many moments of televised perfection in this episode that I can’t help but feel cheery. For example, they got Noble—who voices Mallus on the series—to play himself while dressed as his character Denethor on set of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, gorgeously hideous wig and all. After deciding they should somehow trick the Mallus-possessed Nora to come aboard their timeship to trap her in a magical prison, they come up with the utterly ludicrous plan for Ray to use his Atom suit to shrink down and literally fly into Nora’s ear to emulate the voice of Mallus that’s in her head. But how to mimic the booming voice of the demon? That’s when the Legends happen to overhear John Noble’s performance as Denethor in Lord of the Rings (Rory’s watching it) and notice the actor and the demon sound uncannily similar.
So Ray travels to the 1999 New Zealand Rings set to have Noble recite some “new lines” from the film, all of which are designed to trick Nora into visiting the Waverider. Noble may have some questions about the new dialogue and the new character, who Ray insists was a studio mandate but dammit he’s still a professional! Now, all I want is to see a scene from the anachronized The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King where Aragorn wields the Death Totem in order to command the army of the dead.
The episode ends with Mallus having escaped his prison, seemingly killing Nora in the process, and the result is a weird CGI’d Balrog-looking dude—only with less fire, more wings, and a greater deal of silliness. I was secretly hoping for Mallus to look like a giant Beebo—mainly because Legends always could use a bit more Beebo. But who knows, maybe our eternal god of cuddles will emerge in the season finale to help save time itself from Mallus’ wrath. All praise to Beebo. He loves hugs.