Thursday, November 2, 2017

Legends of Tomorrow 3x04 Recap: "Phone Home" (A Very Special Halloween) [Contributor: Marilyn]

"Phone Home"
Original Airdate: October 31, 2017

We begin with a young boy, little Ray Palmer running from suited agents in 1988. It looks like he gets shot trying to escape, which is rather horrifying.

Flashforward to current/future Ray and we see him suggesting team-building exercises to everyone, for Zari’s benefit. She thinks she has everyone nailed already. He tries to demonstrate by doing a trust fall with Mick, but he disappears as Mick falls back. GIDEON reveals that Ray died in 1988, so the Legends leap into action, traveling back to October 30 of that year to try to save him.

Ray reappears and learns what happened to his past self. And the good news is that they still have time to save him. Zari is amazed at Ray’s positivity. They go to his elementary school and see him leaving. The team tracks him, keeping an eye in case he disappears. Mick and Jax see him shoplifting candy bars from a news stand and Ray is aghast; that’s so not like him! Mick, on the other hand, is impressed.

They see little Ray getting picked on by bullies, but apart from the stolen candy, they have no leads. They decide to go back to the ship to investigate further but Ray peeks in his bedroom window and sees his younger self feeding something candy. He calls the creature “Gumball.” It’s... a baby Dominator. Yes, that’s the same nasty alien race that gave all the heroes a hard time in last year’s crossover.

The team shows Zari all the information they have on Dominators back on the Waverider. The reason Ray doesn’t recall befriending a baby Dominator is because it’s an anachronism  something they need to fix. Jax confronts Stein about not wanting to be on the Waverider anymore but he deflects him. Mick has some ideas on what Stein’s thing might be though and offers to help.

Ray and Zari go to his childhood home while Nate and Amaya linger outside, ready to provide back-up. Ray locates the baby Dominator in his bedroom closet. Before they can do anything though, little Ray interrupts. Zari hides while Ray shrinks himself. They hang out while little Ray watches Singin’ in the Rain with Gumball. But Ray’s mom drives up at that moment, and little Ray gets busted for skipping school. While she’s yelling at little Ray, Gumball is getting mad. So adult Ray calls in for help distracting his mother. Nate and Amaya ring the doorbell, probably saving her life.

Little Ray (and adult Ray) overhear his mother complaining about Ray’s insulation to Nate and Amaya and it clearly bothers him. Little Ray believes no one cares about him so he decides to run away with the baby Dominator, taking shrunken Ray with them as a toy for Gumball. Zari calls at little Ray to stop, telling him she’s there to save his life. He gives her the slip  not trusting her  so she chases him into the woods. Back on the Waverider, Mick is talking to Jax about Stein, suggesting maybe he’s selling information to the Time Bureau. Apparently, someone has been taking the jumpship while everyone sleeps and erasing the log.

Amaya is upset with Nate for flirting with Ray’s mother. Then she tells him she wants them to be just friends. While they’re arguing, they come across the suited agents we saw at the start of the episode and see enough to know they’re tracking the Dominator... and little Ray. Sara gets jumped by an adult Dominator.

On the Waverider, Jax and Mick find Stein’s lab where it looks like he’s been inventing something.— potentially for the Time Bureau. In the woods, adult Ray coaches Zari on how to talk to his younger self to get him to trust her. Right about the time he’s ready to trust her, the agents appear. They take the Dominator, sedating him in a lab. And then begin torturing him. The agents have Zari and little Ray locked up and it seems they plan to kill them both. Adult Ray (who is shrunken) is flying around, incognito, trying to figure out what to do.

Meanwhile, Sara is being interrogated by the adult Dominator. He grabs her memories and leaves her tied to playground furniture. Jax accuses Stein of working with the Time Bureau, but he promises he would never do that. The communicator he has is to communicate with Lily. He used the jumpship to bring her the other communicator. He wants to be there for the birth of his grandchild, which is happening any minute now. Softened, Mick and Jax agree to bring him to 2017 so he can visit his daughter in the hospital.

Ray enlarges to protect Zari and his younger self from the agents. They need to escape, but little Ray doesn’t want to leave without Gumball. His older self tries to tell him that he needs to learn how to face reality. But Zari promises they’ll save Gumball. Sara wakes up and tries to free herself and contacts the rest of the team. They fill her in and she tells him that Gumball’s mother showed up and she’s probably headed to Ray’s house, where his mom is. Nate goes there to check on her and protect her if needed. Mrs. Palmer jumps him, however, and Nate doesn’t do much to dissuade her — leaving Amaya to investigate around the house. What she finds, however is Mrs. Palmer all tied up in a tree which means... Nate is with the Dominator Mama. YIKES!

Amaya rushes in to save Nate and he thinks she’s jealous. But then he realizes it’s the Dominator. Amaya fights her long enough for them to get away and they run through a neighborhood of trick or treating children with the Dominator chasing them. Sara goes to the ship to get it and bring it to them but she finds the ship is gone — Jax and company took it back to 2017.

At the lab, Gumball holds the agents off and adult Ray tries to get little Ray to turn the machine that controls the Dominator turned back on. Little Ray tries to insist that Gumball wouldn’t do that and when older Ray tries to argue, the Agents — controlled by Gumball — start to sing the song from Singin’ in the Rain. Gumball is on their side. They take him and leave on stolen bicycles. They plan with Sara and Nate and Amaya to all meet up at the same time so that they can hand off the baby to the mama.

Little Ray is reluctant but he brings Gumball to his mother. They share a tender goodbye. The team is all choked up as the Dominators are beamed back aboard their ship. Meanwhile, Stein arrives at the hospital in time to meet his new grandson, whose name is Ronnie. It’s a touching moment for him as well.

Back at Ray’s house, Nate erases Mrs. Palmer’s memory while Zari says goodbye to little Ray, telling him he did the right thing by letting Gumball go. She tells him that she’s found people that she fits with and he will too, someday. Before the Legends leave, they take little Ray trick or treating and back him up against the bullies from earlier in the episode. Mick steals their candy and they take it back on the Waverider. Zari and adult Ray talk and she admits that she rather likes being a part of the team. She even offers to do Ray’s team-building exercise: two truths and a lie. Then they agree to watch Singin’ in the Rain together. Aww, I kinda like that budding relationship!

Jax feels conflicted now about keeping Stein on the Waverider. He knows the old man belongs at home with his family. He wants Ray’s help to figure out how to break up Firestorm, so Jax can continue without Stein. Yikes!


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