What’s worse than an impromptu road trip because you kidnapped the President? When you can’t lie on said road trip because of an Egyptian cockroach that’s a servant of Maat, the goddess of truth.
In ‘The Getaway’, the Legends head to 1973 because U.S. President Nixon is suddenly pulling an Honest Abe act, with disastrous consequences to the timeline. In spite of the team being on the outs with the Time Bureau, the fact they’re harboring Mona and that Sara and Ava aren’t speaking, Sara decides a mission is exactly what they need. Disguised as medical personnel Sara and Ray sedate Nixon, leaving Charlie to take his place (her powers have been slowly returning, but their consistency is less than reliable).
Meanwhile, Zari joined the Bureau under the guise of dating Nate. In actuality, she’s there to help Nate uncover what Hank is up to. With Ava taking a sabbatical, Hank is acting Director and his first order of business is arresting the Legends for the Kaupe incident. They rush to the Waverider to warn the rest of the team, allowing Constantine, Mick and Mona to escape before the Bureau arrives.
With the Waverider out of the picture, the team steals an RV with the kidnapped and drugged Nixon in tow. On the road, Constantine uses a spell to get the magical truth roach out of Nixon. It doesn’t take long before the little bug is causing trouble for the Legends. First when pulled over by a state trooper where Ray hilariously reveals they’re time travelers. Mona becomes increasingly worried that the bug will make her spill her secret. She tries to tell Sara before that can happen but keeps getting rebuffed. Then the bug flits between the Legends, forcing them to speak their truths. For Ray, it’s his mild apprehension towards Constantine (and his belief that Han didn’t shoot first, aw Ray-Ray). Mick’s is the want for Fabio-like hair. It culminates in a truth-bugged Sara exploding at Mona, blaming her for everything that’s happened.
Nate and Hank head to 1973, Hank to catch the Legends, Nate to run interference. Zari helps from the Waverider, using the FM radio to keep the Legends ahead of the Bureau. Meanwhile, Gary was recruited by Zari to sift through the information from Hank’s phone. When he hits a wall, he goes to Nora Darhk for help. Together they get into Hank’s email, getting past the security questions courtesy of Nate subtlety prodding his father for the information. This has the added effect of some genuine bonding between father and son as Hank opens up more than he ever has.
Gary and Nora learn from his emails that Hank has been embezzling money from across time. Their sleuthing is interrupted by someone. Hiding under the desk, they don’t see Neron walk into the room, but Nora certainly senses him.
Back in 1973, Hank gets a call from Neron, warning him about his account being tampered with. Hank realises that’s why Nate was asking about his childhood. Realizing Nate and Zari have been helping the Legends he redirects all the Time Bureau agents towards the Legends.
Meanwhile, Mona ran away after Sara exploded at her. Sara and Constantine follow her. Along the way Constantine get the captain to open up. She admits it’s hard being the one who has to reassure everyone else when she doesn’t know if it is going to be okay. He reminds Sara that this team will always be there for each other, even if he claims he doesn’t believe it himself.
They walk to a diner, expecting to find Mona there. They do find her. Wolfed out and attacking Bureau agents. Sara apologises for not listening, promising to be a shoulder to lean on when Mona needs one. Mona calm down enough to revert back.
Ray and Mick, meanwhile, are stopped by the Bureau. But, thanks to the truth roach, Nate spills everything to his dad. Not just him helping the Legends, but how he loves Hank, even if his actions make it hard to trust him. Hank swears his actions are all for Nate’s sake. Wanting to earn his son’s trust, he lets the Legends go. Back together again, Mona now part of the team, the Legends head off. Right after Sara and Ray remember they’d left Charlie playing Nixon. The real Nixon is returned to his proper place, now able to lie freely again.
Back the Bureau, Hank finds Neron in his office. Hank ends their deal to keep his word to Nate. With Hank no longer compliant, Neron doesn’t have a reason to keep him around so he sucks his soul out. Nora, back in her cell, senses this happening. It affects her so much she breaks out of containment going to Hank’s office. But it’s too late, the elder Haywood is on the floor, for all rights dead.
Nate finds her there, standing over his dad’s body. He assumes Nora was the one who did it. She doesn’t try to defend herself. No one would believe her anyway. Instead, she blasts her way out of the Time Bureau, vanishing.
Legends usually runs with the insanity on a seven out of five. It’s easy to forget that it can tone back the spectacle for something more grounded and focused on the emotions of the characters. ‘Here I Go Again’ is the perfect example of this, as one of the best episodes of Legends. There, the focus on Zari who was still working on where she fit In with the rest of the team. Especially locked in with the Legends, she learnt about them and solidified her place with the team.
While ‘The Gateway’ doesn’t achieve what ‘Here I Go Again’ did, the fact I’m talking about the two episodes together is a testament to the quality of its character work. Stranding the Legends together and forcing them to tell the truth was the perfect cocktail for humour and emotional drama. Both of which are the groundwork for a great episode of Legends.
The Haywoods’ steal the episode, with Nate and Hank coming to understand each other better, even as they worked for different things. It’s tragic that as this happens, Hank has to seemingly die. Fingers crossed he’s not dead-dead. If Sara Lance can die once a season, surely this can be a temporary setback in Hank’s life. Even the next episode seems uncertain about the state of Hank’s life.
Mona’s story didn’t have the same impact in comparison. That doesn’t mean it didn’t pull at the heartstrings. Family and friendship is a core part of what makes Legends. A family of misfits making a place for each other. And now another misfit joins the tangle of this imperfect family.
Mona’s an interesting character, if only for the budding dynamic between her and Mick. Mick has been a character with a surprising layer of sensitivity and compassion. It’s a side to him that hasn’t been brought as much since Amaya had to say goodbye.
On the other side of things, I got my wish and Neron played a bigger part of this episode. Plus it came with the addition of Nora being brought back into the fold. Nora Darhk, and all her layers, has been a slow burn of a story this season. Now that she’s out again I can’t wait to see how she’ll come into play with the Legends, and with Neron.
Only Legends could
- Anyone who knows Mick Rory knows he does nothing he doesn’t want to do. His motivations for helping the team at any given time can range from him deciding to listen to Sara that morning or wanting to get rid of some boredom. His reasoning for getting on board with this mission? He didn’t want indie film and ‘artful nudity’ to suffer if ‘All the President’s Men’ was never made.
- Gary failing to murder-board is peak comedy.
- Also, one of his note cards had ‘Hank buys a garden gnome’. I suspect this to be the same gnome that kills Hank and Nate in one of the alternate timelines from the mid-season finale.
- Nora was reading another Rebecca Silver book. Just how many books has Mick written?
- There were not one, but two Home Alone references with Sara and Ray screaming ‘We forgot Charlie!’
- So many great this lines this episode – “Let’s put Dick in a box,” by Constantine,
Sara and Mick’s exchange of “We’re going to Disney World!” “Haven’t we been tortured enough?!”
Sara’s “Maybe that’s what family is, the people you don’t mind being annoyed by.”
Everything that came out Ray, Constantine’s and Mick’s mouths when they had the truth roach.
It’s so hard to pick just one for the best line.
- Speaking of the truth roach, someone should really do a ranking of fugitives when this season is over.