NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Legends of Tomorrow” are present in this review
After spending far too much time bellyaching about solidifying the Constantine/Zari relationship that no one asked for last week, Legends of Tomorrow did the sensible thing this week, and completely neglected to mention it. Hell, Constantine wasn’t even present at all in this episode, giving the Legends a chance to distance themselves from Constantine and Astra for a change (Astra hasn’t even boarded the Waverider in earnest so far this season!), instead going back to a more recognizably ridiculous Legends mission. “Bay of Squids” hits the ground running with its all-encompassing comedy of errors-style storyline as well, as Mick takes it upon himself to lead the Legends’ latest objective, with predictably disastrous results!
After Kayla’s whereabouts in time are finally isolated to 1962, Mick immediately throws the Waverider into her supposedly, “Caribbean” location, at which point, the Legends quickly run afoul of Communist soldiers. Upon mistaking a nuclear missile for Kayla’s alien pod soon afterward, the team then realize the horrible implications of their new mission– They’ve landed smack in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis! With history now being changed at a point when Earth is on the brink of nuclear annihilation, the Legends thus split the task of both preventing an unscheduled nuclear holocaust in the timeline, while also locating and securing Kayla, before she gets to Fidel Castro, who is paranoid about a Capitalist attack by alien forces.
It’s great to see that, after another sub-par week beforehand, Legends of Tomorrow pulled itself back together wonderfully with, “Bay of Squids.” This episode was not only funny and intense in equal measure, but it also packed in some surprisingly gratifying story turns for both Mick and Nate, even if Nate pining over Zari 1.0 is usually pretty played out by now. Appropriately, Nate and Zari 2.0 also end up being paired on an undercover mission in the White House here, where they have to convince then-President John F. Kennedy not to listen to his hotheaded military staff that are desperate to attack the Soviet Union. This eventually culminates in a literal football play for the Nuclear Football, because of course it does.
Admittedly, there wasn’t really much of a catalyst behind Nate resolving his Zari-themed demons for the umpteenth time though, which may be one of the only sore spots in this episode. Instead, Nate and Zari successfully talk down Kennedy, and Nate says that Zari just reminds him of herself, and that’s the end of it. This is sweet, but it doesn’t feel fully earned. More effectively explored is Mick’s surprisingly emotional development this week, as he tries to move beyond his image and step up as a more competent Legend, only for Ava to tell him that he’s just a dumb thug, and that’s his use to the team. This episode was actually a really fun way to challenge Mick’s image, especially when Mick and Spooner end up being paired together to locate Kayla, something that I wish also got a bit more exploration. Then again, a Mick/Spooner team-up can always happen again later this season, and for what it’s worth, I did like the scenes that these two ended up sharing quite a lot.
Where this episode’s comedy often excelled most however is through the perspectives of Ava and Behrad. Surprisingly, Sara and Gary were also absent this week, meaning that we once again have no basis for the mystery person that Sara has stumbled into the company of within whatever planet she’s currently trapped on, but this also allowed Ava to loosen up a bit more here, when she goes undercover as a Russian scientist. Behrad, meanwhile, humourously gets mistaken for Castro’s best friend’s cousin, “Jay” Guevara (get it?), which is a bit of a throwaway storyline, but it does nonetheless present several of the funniest moments in this episode. At the very least, Behrad successfully keeps Castro distracted for a while through a combination of weed gummies and acoustic music, so that Mick and Spooner can make off with Kayla.
This episode also found a very inspired way to wrap everything up, perfectly tying together Mick’s latest screw-up. The way that Mick is allowed to effectively ‘redeem’ himself here is wonderfully clever, while also giving Ava and the team a humourous sort of comeuppance for not properly appreciating Mick’s new desire to grow and evolve. In the end, after successfully convincing Kayla to hitch a ride on the Waverider, so she can point Mick to Sara, Mick steals the Waverider and abandons the Legends in 2021, at which point they all decide to crash at Constantine’s house. This is a funny and appropriate ending that doubles as a great tease for events to come, especially considering that Constantine and Astra often see the Legends as an insufferable nuisance. On top of that, Mick riding solo with Kayla, and discovering that she can take on a human form, much like Gary, one that’s also attractive and loves beer, is a hugely exciting development. Who knows what kind of trouble these two thugs can get into before they make it to Sara?!
“Bay of Squids” found a really effective way to leverage Mick’s new character conflict for Legends of Tomorrow’s sixth season, while setting him on a fun new solo path with Kayla. This promises another big shakeup for the team over at least the next several weeks, considering that most of the Legends are now temporarily stranded without the Waverider, thanks to Mick’s efforts. Better still is that this standout episode allows Legends of Tomorrow to particularly excel before it takes next week off, with the series not being set to return until June, alongside Batwoman. Legends of Tomorrow’s innate sense of humour and wit was just wonderfully on point this week, and a big part of that was the show focusing exclusively on doing what it does best, not once again getting lost in juvenile romances that it doesn’t need.
Legends of Tomorrow returns to top form with a superb comedy of errors set within the Cuban Missile Crisis this week, as Mick taking point on the Waverider almost brings the world to nuclear annihilation.
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THE GOOD STUFF
Mick's unpredictable, gratifying lead arc
Very funny comedy of errors-style plot
The Legends temporarily being booted from the Waverider