“Legends of Tomorrow” Episode 703 Recap: Past is Prologue

Blue Gideon has Human Gideon cornered, trapped, but Human Gideon doesn’t want to give up her memories, her love of the Legends, the things they’ve taught her. Blue Gideon asks about Behrad and at first Human Gideon smiles warmly; Behrad is her buddy! He fixes her wires, she gives him snacks. But then Blue Gideon asks about the day Behrad died. She asks about the sound he made when he thumped to the floor, lifeless. Human Gideon doesn’t want to relive this, but Blue Gideon is making her.

Human Gideon holds her head as if in pain

Me during the ten seconds it takes between pausing Spotify and pressing play on my podcast app.

And the thing is, it’s not even really Behrad’s death that gets her. I imagine it’s hard to mourn someone fully when you don’t experience time in a linear way. There are more Behrads in more timelines. But what really affected Gideon, what really hurt her, was watching Zari find out. Watching Zari see her baby brother’s body on the ground and watching her mourn him. Watching her freeze in grief, watching her become her grief. Not knowing how to help.

Seeing that this method is effective, Blue Gideon then floods Human Gideon with all the Legends’ darkest moments. All the pain, all the loss, every injury, every heartache, every death. And it’s all…too much.

Human Gideon sits face to face with Blue Gideon

I forgot Gideon used to be a floating Zordon head and I’m glad the technology (and/or budget) has improved since Season 1.

Blue Gideon offers to take that pain away, all they would need to do is take the Legends out of her memories. Human Gideon is still hesitant; it’s tempting, to be sure, but the Legends gave her humanity, she’s not so sure she’s ready to lose it.

So Blue Gideon shows her one last memory. An old memory. Rip Hunter has just let a band of misfits onto the Waverider, and Gideon is concerned. So Rip changed her programming. Her protocols. Her main priority would no longer be exclusively protecting the timeline. It would be to protect the Legends, to learn from them. Blue Gideon uses this as evidence that Human Gideon was corrupted, but I see it as proof that what she’s feeling is real. She was programmed to learn from the Legends, but she could have become hardened, or made to believe humanity wasn’t worth saving. She could have learned aggression or apathy. But instead she learned love.

Astra and Spooner head into Gideon’s subconscious to try to save their AI friend and start running into Legends hell-bent on stopping them. First it’s Fancy Zari and Behrad, but they quickly dispatch the Wind-er Twins. Flannel Zari and Nate are next, but Spooner zaps their personalities back.

Next up they have to fight their captains, Blue Gideon seemingly mocking them by having them say “babe” a lot, but whatever I’m into it. (It’s slightly reminiscent of the speed simulation in Person of Interest when the Machine had Root say “overt come-on.”)

Sara and Ava stand side by side, ready to fight

Would love to be tag teamed by these Captains. (IN A FIGHT, CALM DOWN.)

What’s funny is, in this joint Gideon subconscious, even a possessed version of Sara and Ava chooses love over logic. Ava gets zapped and Sara runs to her side, opening herself to zappage herself.

Sara gets down on the ground to hold Ava in her arms

Even Blue Gideon couldn’t deny their love for each other.

Spooner and Astra make it to the lab and they see Human Gideon slowly reaching out to Blue Gideon, so close to accepting Blue Gideon’s offer. She made a good point about all that pain. Wouldn’t it be nice to not feel anything at all?

Spooner and Astra beg her to snap out of it, but Gideon doesn’t even know if she’s real anymore. Astra begs Jax to jump them so he does, and they end up in a new, safer memory. Gideon says she doesn’t want to be human anymore, but Spooner and Astra reassure her that what she’s feeling is actually extremely human. They tell her that it doesn’t matter what her programming says, or if her wiring was manipulated by forces out of her control, it was the combination of her experiences and what she made herself that make her who she is.

And they show her that all those bad feelings, all the sadness and the pain, they’re a fair price to pay for the good feelings.

Astra and Spooner rush to Human Gideon's side reassuringly

“Are we sure the price is fair? Can we get it appraised? A second opinion?”

They visit the Legends’ holiday party, where they celebrate a year’s worth of holidays and birthdays at once, since they live out of time. Gideon remembers thinking the food was a bit excessive, but she can’t deny the palpable joy on the Waverider that night.

Human Gideon, Spooner and Astra smile at the Legends

Me watching my friends have hilarious conversations on Twitter; just watching, enjoying, proud to know them.

Jax sends them to another memory, Gideon at the Book Club they used to have, sharing gossip about Constantine going to see Harry Potter’s midnight screening.

Zari, Nora, and Ava smile and laugh and gasp

I’d watch a whole hour of the Ladies of Legends dunking on Constantine. (PS. OMG HI NORA.)

They go to a karaoke night where Sara is singing so poorly she has to ask Gideon to help her.

Sara wails into the karaoke mike while Human Gideon, Spooner and Astra laugh in the background

I would pay real American dollars to stream a CWDCTV musical revue. Melissa Benoist, Victor Garber, Jesse L. Martin… Just saying. Free idea.

Despite everything they’ve been through, the Legends still found a way to take time to enjoy the pleasure through the pain. Astra says being human is hard, and sometimes it’s terrible, but it’s moments like this that make it all worth it. And even though she wasn’t in human form yet at the time, Gideon was always a crucial part of all of these memories. All of this joy.

The trio is snapped back into the present (sort of; they’re still in Gideon’s brain) and Gideon takes Spooner’s laser gun and storms off; she knows what she has to do.

When Human Gideon comes face to face with Blue Gideon, she asserts her dominance.

Human Gideon points her laser gun at Blue Gideon

Me taking laser tag too seriously.

But then…she puts down her laser gun. She knows Blue Gideon isn’t her enemy, not really. And it’s not until Human Gideon says that Blue Gideon is part of her, but isn’t all of her that I realized what a beautiful metaphor for depression this is, at least the way I often experience it. Blue Gideon wanted to turn off all of the feelings, sacrificing the good feelings to get rid of the bad ones. And that’s how my depression most often presents itself; sick of emoting entirely, it dulls everything. No more tears, but also no more excitement. The pain is muted, but so is the joy. But just because something is part of your wiring, part of your code, doesn’t mean it has to define you. Gideon tells Blue Gideon that she’s in charge now, she’s in control, but she’s not going to defeat her, she knows that’s not really how this works. Instead they will co-exist, with Human Gideon helming the ship.

Human Gideon looks up at Blue Gideon, enlightened

“Day after day, give me clouds, and rain and gray. Give me pain, if that’s what’s real. It’s the price we pay to feel.”

She still doesn’t 100% know how to be human, but she’s learned so much from the Legends, so she’s willing to figure it out.

Gideon smiles at Blue Gideon

SURE, the Legends might be a clone, an alien/clone hybrid, a full alien, three totem bearers, a man of steel, a mind-reader, and the former queen of hell, but I bet they can still teach me how to be human!

Plus, she knows she won’t be doing it alone.

As Gideon walks through the halls of her mind’s Waverider one last time, the Legends past and present all give her unique advice on how to be human, how to be better. At the end, Sara and Ava welcome her to the team, officially.

Sara and Ava smile at Gideon

“On Wednesdays we wear tanks.”

And just like that, the task succeeded, Human Gideon, Spooner, and Astra wake up in the barn they passed out in. Human Gideon is grateful that Spatula saved her, and they tell her that that’s what Legends do. Gideon calls them “captains,” but they are just interim leaders until they can find Sara and Ava; their not ready to give up on Moms that easily. And so they head out, in search of their family…but first, in search of food.

While all this was happening, the version of Bishop that the Legends borrowed to stop Bishop is starting to regain some of his memories. And unfortunately, he had stolen a copy of Gideon when he was on the Waverider, which he now does a factory reset on. Meaning he has a Gideon of his own, but without any of the important lessons we just saw OUR Gideon learn and grow from. Which I’m sure is…fine.

Aside from the Bishop stuff that I know was important to keep the plot moving despite taking a break to stroll down memory lane, I loved this episode a lot. It was a nice reminder of how far the Legends have come, how far the show has come. And what has stayed the same; once it found its footing, firmly in the realm of silly and wacky with a touch of found family feels, it stayed there, for the most part. It tries new things every season but it always keeps the vibe, which is harder than it sounds. Plus, it was queer from day one, and only got queerer over the course of its 100 episodes. But as Emily Andras would say, “We can get gayer,” so here’s hoping to 100 more, each one queerer than the last.

Next week, more Bullet Blonde buffoonery! See you then.

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Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 558 articles for us.

10 Comments

  1. Gods, I bloody love this show! Missed MRS and would have loved to have seen Amaya/Charlie again, but seeing spydaddy, Ray & Nora, even Rip and Cold again (but not you hawkman, never you…) was just amazing.
    One of my fave running gags was English actor (and statuesque goddess) Olivia Swann complaining about all the English accents!
    And #Spatula, was there ever a cuter height difference ship??

  2. I only found Autostraddle and your recaps last season, but I’ve still absolutely loved reading them in that relatively short time. And it’s such an amazing accomplishment to have done this for the show’s entire run so far! I’ve gotta give you major props for making an already great show even better with your detailed and hilarious writing!

    Also, as far as the season 1 recaps, what happened with those being deleted? Was there something transphobic from that season I’m just not remembering, or was that due to a totally different factor?

    • Sorry I should have been clearer! What Brandi said was right; I used to write for a website that changed leadership then became a transphobic hellscape and deleted all the archives of the writers who wouldn’t come back… but luckily Autostraddle took me on by the time LoT S2 aired and I’ve been living my best life here ever since!

      • Gotcha. That really sucks, especially since they couldn’t be posted on Autostraddle later on, but it’s also good that you didn’t have to compromise on what you believe in. Thanks for clarifying!

  3. I loved everything about this episode except for Bishop ugh. Mission accomplished I suppose.

    Gary gave a pretty good tutorial on how to eat a cookie. Oh look, a Mick Rory cookie. Maybe it’s not a good gag but I thought it was a very good gag.

  4. I feel like Sara and Ava could have an entire conversation using just “babe”, tone, and body language.

    All-iday is a wonderful idea and especially appropriate for this pandemic era where all the days blur together anyway.

    The OG Legends playing camped up versions of themselves is just *chef finger kisses*. It reminds me of an episode of Buffy, “The Zeppo”, where we see the Scooby Gang from a different POV, so the melodrama is turned up to eleven. And it makes sense in canon. Humans are weird. To a computer, they must be downright incomprehensible.

    —-

    So… are we going to address the elephant in the room? If Bishop deviates to far from the sacred timeline, he’ll never introduce the Bossy Ava brand, and OUR Ava will have never existed.

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