Review: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 3×07 – “Welcome to the Jungle”

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Director: Mairzee Almas

Writers: Ray Utarnachitt & Tyron B. Carter

Stars: Victor Garber, Brandon Routh & Caity Lotz

 

Summary

The Legends travel to Vietnam in 1967 where they are confronted by Gorilla Grodd.

Positives

This is the most interesting concept of the season so far in regards to the premise of anachronisms. These anachronisms being DC characters is a more fun idea than the usually lame portrayals of historical figures. Grodd being stuck in the 1960s is an inspired choice. The character first appeared in 1959 so it’s almost like taking him back to his roots; the show doesn’t take advantage of this at all but the concept got me excited.

The ending is fantastic. It looks like Damien Darhk is recruiting a new Legion of Doom and brings Grodd on board. I love this idea; a new Legion could be a lot of fun. I know Rip has been going on about some mysterious figure who is the big bad, but the Legion sounds way more fun.

 

Negatives

I cannot believe how seriously this episode takes itself and somehow still not at all. Quite a bit of the episode is focused on Heatwave running into his dad who was a soldier in Vietnam. The entire episode tries so hard to make Heatwave a tragic figure; the writers desperately want you to feel something and be emotionally invested in Mick’s tragic past. First of all, Heatwave is a lunatic who burned his own family alive. Constantly referring to him as a hero was bad enough but they legitimately try to make him sympathetic while Dominic Purcell is still giving his over the top performance. And the actor playing Heatwave’s dad is doing a terrible impression of Purcell’s performance; it is so obnoxious. It’s bizarre that Heatwave’s story is the worst part of the episode.

The episode takes no advantage of any of its ideas. It’s Gorilla Grood in 1967. Why isn’t this fun? How is it this boring? They have nothing to say about Vietnam; they make very simplistic observations about it that sound more like a high school student phoning in a research paper about the subject. The team has to operate without Sara which doesn’t affect the team or the show at all. It makes Sara feel pointless; they actually screwed up quite a bit less this episode and they were dealing with a bigger threat.

No one uses their powers and I have no idea why. Grodd could mind control anyone and decides to just use it on Sara for thirty seconds when he could easily control Stein. Zari and Amaya both have incredibly powerful amulets that they never use. Heatwave’s dad is trying to kill everyone and the two just sit there like assholes. Jax insists on going out on the mission by himself even though it would be way more effective to use Firestorm just to satisfy his own ego.

I hate this loophole idea; I figured it would just be a one time thing with Helen of Troy but they’re perfectly willing to do it again with Grodd. The writers have a built in “get out of jail free” card to use to attempt to cover up all the times the Legends clearly change history but the show pretends they don’t.

 

Verdict

This is a terrible episode. I don’t understand how an episode with Grodd could be this uninspired. The show that is supposed to be the dumb comedy spends an insane amount of time giving pathos to murderous super villains like Heatwave and Grodd than the heroes. But everything they do in the episode is overly simplistic and dull so it’s impossible to get invested and there’s nothing to laugh at or have fun with.

 

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Sean Blumenshine

I am currently a senior at Wichita State University studying communications. I started reading comics in 2013 because of how much I loved Man of Steel and season one of Arrow. My favorite hero is the Green Arrow and my favorite villain is the Joker.