We go through all the relevant eras of the team, with really delightful notes for so many returning characters. Brandon Routh is back as Ray Palmer, being friendlier than ever. Victor Garber returns as Dr. Stein, singing show tunes – in story because he just discovered he’s a grandfather, though it’s a nice nod to him departing the show for Broadway. Wentworth Miller is back as Captain Cold, devouring the scenery like he never left. Courtney Thorne and Arthur Darvill come back as their best selves – Nora Darhk being delighted to hang with the team, Rip Hunter actually inspiring Gideon rather than just hectoring the team. And Falk Hentschel returns as Hawkman, only this time he’s actually entertaining, and not just a growly wet blanket.
But the best surprise is Gideon herself. Pemberton is given so much to do – she’s a computer learning to express human emotions for the first time, and we’re allowed to see them rather than just hear them in the slight modifications of her voice. They’re all so good. Each memory we go to is a piece of what took her from a computer program to a full person. Seeing these moments again was wonderful, but seeing them through Gideon’s eyes was revelatory. Then watching her fight to integrate the good and the bad was a highlight performance, one of the best this show has ever seen. Pemberton picked a hell of an episode to stop being a hidden gem and start being a regular one.
To me, the best parts of the episode were the quieter ones, the scenes that weren’t attached to a season or a villain or an event in Legends history. Gideon drunk at book club diming out Constantine for going to see Harry Potter in theaters was hilarious. Pemberton and Lotz were terrific in their sorta-karaoke duet.
And the show veered hard back into its Parks & Rec-but-superheroes, nice people being nice to each other vibe with April Fools’ Day. As time travelers, they’re usually never actually anywhere for holidays. Literally – they miss holidays because they don’t visit those dates. So apparently they celebrate all of them together on April Fool’s Day. This is such a good Legends of Tomorrow character and worldbuilding moment, along with a truly wonderful time travel note that I don’t think I’ve ever seen anywhere else.
That said, there is one pretty big development tonight. Bishop is back. Somehow, in the show’s 100th episode, the Legends finally created a time paradox. Bishop’s flash didn’t take, and not only does he remember helping the Legends in 1925, but he also has a spare copy of Gideon’s hard drive. It’s now an even money bet that he’s behind the alternate Waverider.
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