Since the 100th episode of DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow revealed that this season’s primary big bad/stylish annoyance for the Legends would be Bishop, the big bad/stylish annoyance of Legends’ sixth season, it’s been hard to shake that feeling of “been there, cloned that.”
“Deus Ex Latrina,” so-titled for reasons that become abundantly clear in the episode’s final moments, seems to be perfectly aware that Bishop’s nefarious return might not be the most exciting plot development for this series. So, couched in the center of this week’s installment, the narrative flips on Bishop and Bishop, imbued with a new purpose now that his Gideon AI has gone rogue, flips the script on his would-be artificial oppressor.
Take a moment and savor some of the irony that comes from Bishop’s revelations this week: the man responsible for the AVA Corporation, the man who bent artificial lifeforms to his will for untold amounts of time, finally met his match in the form of a sentient program. Naturally, his new position as a Time Master wasn’t originally on his temporal to-do list, so Bishop did to this mean version of Gideon what he did to the Legends at the end of last season: he disrupted everyone’s best-laid plans. Then, out of desperation and a newfound appreciation for the Legends, he bid farewell to his green-drink-chuggin’ future with a last-minute escape from the rogue Waverider via a strange parachute-toilet apparatus. Legends!
Following Bishop and mean-Gideon this week was, by design, a game of catch-up for DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow. The mystery surrounding the captain who piloted the rogue Waverider that destroyed Sara’s original-recipe Waverider at the end of season six was finally nipped in the bud (as if there was any doubt after the 100th episode), as were the origins of killer robots J. Edgar Hoover-1000 and Thomas Edison-1000. (Yeah, I’ve committed to “-1000” over the show’s “-bot,” what can I say.)
We kind of already had a good idea who was behind the Legends’ getting stranded in 1925, but “Deus Ex Latrina” decides to go out of its way and make things abundantly clear. (Let’s now take a moment and observe the cruel fate of Bishop’s trustworthy Assistant AVA, who was gifted the title of Time Mistress only to later be blown out an airlock by mean-Gideon, prompted to destroy AVA either by purpose or jealousy or a perverse mixture of both.)
Bishop isn’t the only character who enjoyed a bit of catch-up. As the Legends finally escaped the socially-backwards year of 1925 last week with a new (albeit reluctant) recruit, we come to better understand the agonies and ecstasies of Dr. Gwyn Davies, the bearded creator of time travel who comes packing the face of John Constantine and a killer Russian vocabulary. We learn quite a bit about Gwyn this week, about how his time as a Welsh soldier in France back in 1916 gave him such a pessimistic outlook on fate and purpose, and thus are given a better idea of how he might end up functioning as a bonafide Legend should destiny favor the bespectacled scientist.
“There’s no fighting God’s will, my boy,” Davies tells Behrad, whose primary function this week is to help cheer Dr. Gwyn up (and, perhaps, score some essential parts to repair Davies’ broken time machine). Also tasked with getting to the bottom of Davies’ peculiarities is Zari Tomaz (Zari Tarazi is still chilling out inside her family totem), who spends some much-needed time away from her beau Nate to help Davies get a grip on his current predicament by confronting his past.
Gwyn’s reaction to Sara’s relationship with Ava last week was a solid indicator that the person he believes he’s meant to rescue in the timeline is also a person that he loves, who turns out to be a former fellow soldier of Davies’ named Alun Thomas. (Alun’s tags are kept on a chain around Gwyn’s neck, which he grips in moments of great doubt and fear, further underscoring the love that once existed between these two men.) Alun fell in the Great War during a mission with Gwyn: tasked with delivering a crucial message to their general they found the enemy instead.
Alun’s death, not to mention the death of their entire regiment, is the galvanizing force behind Gwyn’s fundamental belief in time travel. Without Alun’s smile, or his poetry, the Legends not only wouldn’t have a prayer of getting back to the present, they might never have existed in the first place—not as this motley crew and certainly not as this weirdo family unit.
It’s a staggering character reveal from a series regular who now operates under a new identity because of the story that’s being told. It’s another fascinating way to be surprised (and wowed!) by Legends Of Tomorrow, which has slowly constructed a mighty character-focused narrative amid all its yuks and spun wheels.
But that’s not all that happens this week, dear god, no: Nate weighs the pros and cons of shacking up with Zari inside her totem and decides he loves her too much not to make the move (how this will affect the rest of the crew remains to be seen); Sara and Ava take some time apart to get their bearings (and round up some squirrel carcasses for dinner); and Gary and Gideon, both new at this whole “being human” thing, decide to have a roll around the gooseberry bushes just to try it on for size. Turns out they like it, which is the most obvious and surprising turn of events that this week’s episode could possibly cook up, and it’s treated like a subplot. Is Gary and Gideon Legends’ latest It-Couple? Why do I feel so squirmy?
- Episode’s MVP: Dr. Gwyn Davies. Matt Ryan continues to impress in this post-Constantine era (loathe as I am to see such days) by tossing pathos and a killer Russian elocution into the fray this week. Matt is the most.
- Best Line: *Ava, concerning Gary and Gideon* “I think they got in a fight with a gooseberry bush and lost.”
- Gary: “Maybe we’ll see dinosaurs!” Astra, to Gary: “You better hope we don’t see dinosaurs, Gary.”
- Nate, to Astra and Spooner: “Hey, you two! Come here, shut up.”
- Gary, to Nate: “Sorry, the more handsome the face, the harder it is for me to get a read.”
- Um, where was Bishop thinking he was taking Assistant AVA when he suggested it was time to hit the hay?
- I appreciated how Zari, who understands that Davies is from “the old times”, figures out that she has to explain to him the concept of opening up. That was a nice touch and a subtle character flourish.
- Gary has a superfluous third nipple. Legends!
- Spotted: Spooner, who helps Astra with her campfire dinner on a stick this week. Let the shippers commence with their shipping!
- Gideon’s sensors indicate Zari rode out that ‘86 manual transmission. Clutches are tough to figure.
- Speaking of Gideon: her mean-version’s logic, where changing the timeline so close to a cataclysmic event such as Chernobyl doesn’t have any serious ramifications because of the chaos involved, feels like it was plucked from Marvel’s time-travel show, Loki.
- An aside: how is Sara going to receive Bishop next week, provided he survives the Legends’ latest timewarp? Those two have... baggage.
- So what did you think of “Deus Ex Latrina”, group? Do you think mean-Gideon is going to be cloning herself a mean-Gideon body in the very-near future? Is the continuing Bishop kerfuffle getting to be too much... or not enough? Are we on our way towards an in-show totem visit or is Nate getting downgraded? Let’s chomp some gooseberries in the comments below.