Friday, November 24, 2017

Legends of Tomorrow 3x07 Recap: "Welcome to the Jungle" (Giant Gorillas) [Contributor: Marilyn]

"Welcome to the Jungle"
Original Airdate: November 21, 2017

We begin this week's episode in 1967 Vietnam, right in the thick of war. Soldiers are patrolling through the jungle when they encounter something that tosses them around like rag dolls. Something large. Over on the Waverider, Sara is still in her coma and the team is waiting for her to wake up on her own. Stein tells Jax when he stops in to check on Sara that he knows how to separate them, once and for all.

Amaya is working out some aggression on a punching bag and Nate is having difficulty getting her to talk about what’s bugging her. Turns out, it is her granddaughter. She promises that she won’t hesitate to stop Kuwasa, even if she is her granddaughter. Zari admits to the team that she didn’t take Helen back to Troy. She tells them there’s no anachronism without Helen in her place in time so it’s all okay. They pick out another anachronism — one in Vietnam. There’s mixed feelings among the team about going there. Zari, Amaya, and Ray talk to the only remaining survivor of the last patrol that encountered the anachronism. The man is shaken up, and says what they encountered was pure evil and it had a message: stay out of the jungle. A local girl talks to Zari, Amaya, and Ray, telling them the jungle is dangerous. She offers to show them what’s doing the attacking.

Meanwhile, Nate and Mick go into the jungle to find some clues and they see where the patrol was attacked. It doesn’t look good. Mick is especially bothered about being there and reveals that he’s upset about the chance of running into his father. Nate tells him the chances of that extremely low. Of course, the pair gets surrounded by another patrol, this time including an elder Rory. Nate tells Mick’s dad (Dick, of course) that they’re there to investigate the disappearance of Alpha Team and the soldiers stand down. Mick is upset and Nate has to take him aside and tell him to buck up about his dad. This is when Mick reveals that he let his father burn to death — something Nate hadn’t known about before.

Amaya, Zari and Ray follow the girl into the jungle and she tells him she’s going to introduce to them “The New God.” Conveniently, their tech and gadgets stop working as they’re inside the “dead zone.” That’s a cheerful thought. The girl offers to introduce them to this god, and they find it’s a giant gorilla. It is, in fact, Grodd, the telepathic gorilla from The Flash. These guys aren’t familiar with him though. The girl warns them they’re only there to document what they see, not interfere. Amaya wants to take down Grodd while Zari and Ray take down the communications jammer and notify the Waverider.

Stein has apparently gathered scientists throughout history to help him figure out how to separate Firestorm. Jax admits to a comatose Sara that he’s scared; who is he if he’s not part of Firestorm?

Mick and Nate discover they can no longer contact Ray. Nate wants Mick to confront his father issues and work them out. But before anything more can happen, they find a soldier who walks dazedly out of the jungle. He claims to be enlightened and says that this country is no longer theirs; it belongs to their new god. He and his friend open fire on Mick, Nate, and the other soldiers and they take them out. After, they talk to Dick Rory about the soldiers he’s lost and it’s clear that he’s upset by it. He mentions wanting to marry his sweetheart and start a family. Mick starts to see his father in a different light. Later, Nate finds Mick holding a lighter to his own arm. He’s alarmed and finds out that Mick is having a hard time dealing with the reality of who his father is. And how he thinks he’s the sick one — that he should have burned in that house and not his father.

Ray has heard of Grodd, and reveals that he’s just another meta and belongs somewhere else. Zari picks up the signal from Nate and he tells her and Ray what’s going on with Mick. They need to get out of there as soon as possible. They also inform Nate about Grodd, and the Waverider picks up the transmission. Gideon reveals that Grodd will use Vietnam to start World War III. He’s suddenly a huge problem. Meanwhile, Amaya ventures into Grodd’s lair to take him down and he assaults her telepathically. He’s got a lot of anger about humans — what they’ve done to each other and him. He tells her that he wants to help humans find peace.

Zari finds some top secret documents before the girl pulls a gun on her. They learn Grodd and his “army” plan to kill the president. Zari tries to talk the girl down by relating to her — if she really wants peace, it’s going to start with her. Zari also tries to warn the team about the president’s convoy being targeted but Grodd gets into the girl’s head, and has her knock out Zari. On the Waverider, Jax and Stein argue about going in as Firestorm to help out. Jax says he’ll have to learn to do this without Stein sooner or later.

Dick Rory plans to take his soldiers into Grodd’s camp but Nate thinks that’s a terrible idea since these guys will shoot first and ask questions later, and their friends are there. Dick knocks out Nate, leaving Mick (who is reluctant to do anything to his father) alone. Amaya tries to reason with Grodd. She tells him she understands the world is cruel. She tells him they aren’t there to hurt him; they just want to bring him home. He realizes they’re time travelers and he doesn’t want anything to do with that. Amaya suggests taking him to a time before humans — a time in which he could live in peace. He wants to know why he should trust her and she shows him her powers. He allows her to touch him, which seems to calm him.

But then the soldiers attack the camp and Grodd is furious, believing that they’ve betrayed him. Grodd wants to take the Waverider and use it to alter history and get rid of humans altogether. The team needs to warn Stein. Mick saves his father from Grodd as he charges through on his way to the Waverider. Amaya, Zari, and Ray are among the “traitors” rounded up by Dick Rory and the soldiers. Mick has gone full “Colonel Kurtz” — a reference to Apocalypse Now. He’s frozen, unable to do much more than listen to his father’s orders. Mick’s finally able to shake his trance when he sees that his father is pretty much around the bend. He threatens to kill him, but instead gives him a warning. He knows the act he wants to commit will mess him up in the future. Then, he knocks him out.

Jax tries to intercept the president’s convoy by posing as an MP. But the soldiers guarding him set off landmines and he nearly sets one off too. Jax freezes the landmine and saves the president. He leads him and the rest of the convoy through the minefield while Stein pilots the Waverider. Before Jax can get clear, Grodd jumps onto the exterior. Sara shows up right then, awoken from her coma. Except not really. She’s being controlled by Grodd and fights Stein until Isaac Newton knocks her out. Stein shifts the Waverider, knocking Grodd into a napalm inferno.

Dick Rory thanks Mick for pulling him back from the edge. His issues with his father, for now, seem to be taken care of. Back on the Waverider and headed through the time vortex, Amaya goes to Ray to tell him he was right about Kawasa. She realizes now that her granddaughter was made into a monster, not born that way. It gives her peace and hope. Stein tells Jax that he’s going to be just fine without him. Jax shows him what LBJ gave him for saving his life: a pecan pie recipe from Lady Bird Johnson. Sara arrives, angry that no one was going to save her any pie. The team, reunited, is ready to chow on some Thanksgiving.

We see Grodd land in the present day... with Damien Darhk. He wants to work with him, of course. And offers him the magic of time travel without having to use the Waverider. That isn’t good. Mostly because it means we’ll see Grodd again.

This was the weakest episode of the season, so far. Legends of Tomorrow is best when it’s silly and fun and not taking itself very seriously. The problem with Gorilla Grodd is that he’s too serious. The characters take him too seriously. That was the problem when he was introduced on The Flash, back when I watched that show, and it was a problem in this episode. The Vietnam War is an interesting time and place to visit but, again, it’s almost a little too serious. It wasn’t an awful episode, but it wasn’t one of the best. I’m looking forward to seeing my favorite team return to the form I know and love in the crossover next week.


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