Both shows give decent episodes this week. Legends Of Tomorrow gears up for the season finale and Arrow explores more team drama. Here's what happened:
Legends Of Tomorrow 3x17 "Guest Starring John Noble"
In this episode of Legends, several problems come to a head, and in typical Legends style, it's done mostly well, though it is a bit busy and rushed. Sara splits up the team to handle the tasks. Nate and Wally head to 1992 Zambesi to find Amaya while Sara, Ray, Zari, Ava, Mick, and Rip go to save a young Barak Obama from Grodd, though Mick would prefer to stay on the Waverider and read Lord Of The Rings. Look, Mick isn't my favourite team member here, but what's the point of keeping him on the show if he's gonna do literally nothing all the time?
In Zambesi, Nate and Wally find Amaya, who is determined to save her village. They attend a village meeting where old Amaya is to pass on the totem to her daughter Esi, but Esi doesn't show up. When they find Young Amaya, she is optimistic about this, but Wally is not too sure since he's seen the havoc that can arise from a tampered with timeline (thanks, Barry). So young Amaya then goes to talk to Esi and convinces her to take the totem. She agrees, so Nate sneaks into old Amaya's hut to quietly take the totem, but he ends up waking up old Amaya. She doesn't remember him, so he shows her pictures of the two of them.
If you'll remember, Gorilla Grodd is under the command of Damien Darhk, and therefore Mallus. His target is young Barack Obama, and I have to commend the actor who plays the future president because he does it very, very well. Just as Grodd has Obama in his grasp, the Legends show up, and Ray uses his shrink gun to shrink down Grodd so he can fit in a jar. But then Damien shows up, though he doesn't stop the Legends from capturing Grodd. Instead he asks for their help. As we saw last week, Damien is very worried about Nora and her new power from Mallus, and this gets worse as he's realized that since Mallus is soon to be free, it means Nora will die. So Damien goes to the Legends for help, knowing that they want to take down Mallus as well. He even offers them the water totem to prove he's serious. Believe it or not, Sara is willing to work with him, but Ava and Rip disagree, which bothers Sara so much that she goes and tracks down young Obama so she can ask his wise opinion before wiping his memory. But Sara is the captain, so she makes the choice to work with Damien if he agrees to let her kill him when they're done saving Nora. He gives her his word. So they put a plan in action. While Mick watches the Lord Of The Rings, they realize that actor John Noble sounds like Mallus (which is very meta because John Noble does actually voice Mallus) so they go back in time to filming and Ray poses as a crew member who brings a new 'script' to John. He has him rehearse these lines, which are just instructions directed at Nora, and Ray records them so he can later shrink down and play them in Nora's ear. This is a wild and slightly silly plan, but it's very Legends and it works. When Nora hears the voice tell her to go to the Waverider, Damien takes her, but they trap her in a magical power-dampening cell. Mallus is angered and says that Nora is already dead.
And this is where the two parts come together. Sara realizes that they won't be able to properly be able to fight Mallus because they can't see him. She suggests they make an anachronism to free him so they can fight him. The Legends have all the totems, and Damien even offers to wield the Death totem. Though Ava and Rip disagreed with working with Damien, Ava flat out refuses to go along with this new plan. Ava leaves for the Bureau, but before she does, Sara kisses Ava and says she loves her, but Ava is kind of dealing with herself because earlier, after some prodding from Sara, she confronted Rip about the whole cloning thing, and Rip explained that he did it because he needed good agents, and Ava was the best. But the real kicker is that the Ava we know and love is actually the 12th Ava that Rip recruited. The others died. So, yeah, that's kind of a big thing, so it's kind of understandable (though sad) that Ava rejects Sara's declaration of love. So the Legends all claim a totem (which seems risky since the totems react negatively to people who aren't worthy--remember that pirate lady?) and they go to Zambesi, where they plan to make the anachronism to save the village. But back on the Waverider, Rip breaks the news that the timeline is not changed because the village is still destroyed...by Grodd. Yes, ever the villain, Damien let out Grodd and betrays the Legends by letting Nora escape because he wants to save Nora before she dies. He attacks the Legends, and though Sara kind of stabs him, it's too late. The anachronism is complete and Mallus is freed and takes his true form: a giant winged demon.
And that's the end of the episode. The next one is the season finale, so the big fight against Mallus is on. This episode was good as it set up the finale well, but it wasn't perfect. The Obama part ended too quickly if you ask me. And part of me kind of liked the change in Damien and having him work with the Legends, but the other part of me really hated it since I hate him and feel no pity for him considering he was the one who essentially forced Nora to Mallus so long ago anyway. And the fact that the Legends, Sara especially, agreed so fast to work with him when they've been trying to kill him for years is a little odd. They should have seen the betrayal coming, honestly.
Arrow 6x17 "Brothers In Arms"
I was ready to hate this episode. I saw the promo and saw Oliver and Diggle fighting each other, and I was ready to just eye roll the whole episode. But instead, I kind of enjoyed it. It was flawed, of course, but it was interesting and had a lot to unpack. As I just said, this episode focused on Oliver and Diggle fighting. Right away we're thrown into awkwardness between the two men because Diggle is salty about not being the Green Arrow. Oliver has apparently decided to keep the hood for himself. Felicity urges him to talk to Diggle. Meanwhile, Diggle's been chatting with Lyla (who really needs to show up more often because she's great) and she thinks he needs to talk to Oliver and be honest about his feelings. So later, in the Arrow bunker, Oliver and Diggle do chat. Oliver apologizes for keeping the hood and not giving back to Diggle, but he says that being the Green Arrow makes him feel like his best self. Diggle accepts this apology and understands Oliver's side. So you'd think they're good, right? Nah. While hunting down someone who has info on Diaz's Vertigo production, Diggle goes a little overboard and threatens the target aggressively, whereas Oliver wanted to coax answers out with less violence. In the end, because they were arguing, the target's female friend ended up pulling a gun, killing the target, and giving them no answers. Back at the bunker, Oliver is very pissed at Diggle for that, but Diggle is also pissed that Oliver didn't back his play. Again Diggle turns to Lyla for advice, and she comments that perhaps the broken state of Team Arrow is what's bothering him more than the title of Green Arrow.
Lyla's comment, though innocent and honestly accurate, must have sparked something because Diggle returns to the bunker to have a chat with Oliver alone. This chat turns into an argument quickly. Diggle starts by blaming the state of the city and Team Arrow on Oliver and the fact that he's stretched too thin. He goes on to say that Oliver has made awful calls in the past several years and these poor leadership choices have led to every team member they've had leaving. Oliver responds by pointing out that for the short time Diggle had the hood, he made bad calls too, like lying to the team about his drug problem. By now they're yelling and turning to rather low blows. Diggle blames a series of deaths, specifically William's mother's death on Oliver, so Oliver retaliates by saying that at least he isn't responsible for killing his own brother. It's all uncalled for, but it leads to a physical fight, only stopping when Felicity runs in and forces them to knock it off. But let's unpack this argument because it really was entertaining (kudos to the actors) and not too weird considering the characters' positions and feelings. Like, sure, Diggle's sudden issues with Oliver's leadership is weird. He's had six years of unwavering support, but he picks now to be angry and judgemental? It's out of character. And why isn't anyone mentioning that Diggle has a son too? But we all know that, yes, Oliver's decision making hasn't been the best ever, and his leadership can be overbearing, so those are somewhat valid points. But blaming everything, especially the deaths, on Oliver like that was way out of line and completely incorrect. Diggle has been Oliver's right-hand man since day one, so I can understand that there are some mixed feelings and some stress, but I think having these issues come up now in season six while Team Arrow is perhaps at its weakest and prompted by something as silly as wearing the hood is a bad call on the show's part. This whole season, Diggle has been slightly out of character, and I really hope they sort this out soon.
Meanwhile, Dinah is working with a handful of close cops she trusts to dig deeper into the Diaz's hold on the police force. They (along with Green Arrow and Spartan) manage to get Anatoly in custody and some good info, which she shares with Oliver. I like that she's trusting Oliver as the Mayor, even if she doesn't fully trust Oliver as the Green Arrow. One of the cops on Dinah's team is Curtis' new boyfriend who we met last week, and while I thought they'd reveal him to be evil, the drama with him is actually that he doesn't like vigilantes. Curtis tries to hide his role as one, but later, when he's in the field with Dinah and the cops, he gets hurt, and New Boyfriend (whose name I don't remember, and honestly, I care so little about Curtis and this new relationship that I can't be bothered to look it up) unzips his jacket to reveal the Mr. Terrific leather suit. Luckily for Curtis, New Boyfriend is understanding, and especially when she shows up later with news that all of the 'good' cops have been fired by Hill (who was also fired by Oliver, along with the DA because they admitted their involvement with Diaz - in their defense, Diaz blackmailed them into it, but still).
Though things aren't great between Oliver and Diggle, they do suit up for another mission: setting fire to the Vertigo plant. Diggle agrees to have Oliver's back, and they work well to complete the task. Though back at the bunker, Diggle says that he's sorry for what he said, but he stands by the comments on Oliver's leadership. He still thinks Oliver is stretched too thin and partly responsible for the city's status (yeah, like it's Oliver's fault that Star City is just a breeding ground for angry, villainous men) and no longer does he want to silently be a part of it. He leaves and Oliver doesn't try to stop him. Where does Diggle go? Once again to Lyla, who offers him a job at ARGUS. So now even OTA is down to just two.
The two last scenes are not optimistic ones. The first is of the fired DA and Hill on live TV claiming that Oliver fired them because he's the Green Arrow and didn't want people to know. So I guess we're back to the good old Is-Oliver-Queen-The-Green-Arrow? plot. The second scene is of Diaz and a single last vial of Vertigo breaking into Quentin's house to talk to Laurel. She's there reading our Laurel's old law books when he visits (not for the first time) and not only is it very clear that she's working for/with him, but the Arrow writers actually made me and my eyeballs watch the two of them kiss. I will never be able to unsee that nonsense.
As I said, this was a decent episode. I don't love what happened in any of the storylines, but it was entertaining for the most part. Though the Oliver/Diggle fight shouldn't have happened now amidst all the other things going on, Diggle rightly called out Oliver on some things and it's a lot better coming from him than Rene.
Neither shows were bad this week, which is good. I think out of the two, I'll say that Arrow was my favourite, but only marginally. Legends had a lot going on, and though the Oliver/Diggle fight on Arrow was unnecessary, it was interesting and Lyla came back and it didn't feel as messy. Do you agree?
P.S. Did you hear the news? The CW renewed all four Arrowverse shows and Black Lightning!