Thursday, November 02, 2017

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow 3x04: "Phone Home"

Written by Matthew Maala
Directed by Kevin Mock

"Good morning, good morning. It’s great to stay up late.Good morning, good morning to you" - Singing In The Rain

Halloween was so two days ago but seeing as this episode aired on the night in question and was set during the event, my remaining spirit for the occasion can come out to play with this review. Last week ended on the cliffhanger with young Ray meeting a new friends, while this week opened up with being shot by a bunch of agents.

Even with a death hanging over his head, the current Ray can't shift his enthusiasm for wanting to help Zari to get to know her fellow teammates better by playing the trust fall/two truths and a lie game but both were pushed aside to stop Ray from actually dying in 1988 when the young lad befriended a baby Dominator and opened himself up to danger with that decision.

Shamelessly lifting from both ET and Stranger Things, this episode gave us a hell of an insight into Ray's childhood as he was a lonely nerdy kid who didn't really have any friends and was picked on for his smarts. However with an anachronism looming about, this little Ray was also stealing candy bars, playing truant and doing a little arson on the side too.

On paper this episode could've been a bit of a disaster area but the casting for younger Ray is one of the best I've seen for the show. Not only was the young actor a good match for Brandon Routh but you really got the sense that the kid would grow up to be the ever optimistic Ray Palmer that we've grown to love over the last three seasons in the Arrow universe.

The plotline with Gumball the baby Dominator was cheesy but it really did pull at the heartstrings. I got why younger Ray was so keen to protect the baby at all costs and I even found the reunion between Gumball and his mother rather sweet and that was despite the fact that the latter almost seduced and killed Nate during the episode. Again, Nate was a bit of a low point in another great episode. His attempts of making Amaya jealous were just annoying at times here.

Equally as important, the episode really threw Zari into the thick of things as the latest member of the Waverider. When she wasn't sussing everyone's motives out (except Sara's), she was the one who got through to Ray's younger self and her exasperation with him and getting used to actually being able to time travel was amusing to watch. Two episodes in and she's already a natural member of the gang.

As for Stein, he spent most of this episode being secretive, only for Mick and Jax to realise that he was just in a rush to see his grandchild being born. It was a nice enough subplot but it's also a stark reminder that we're losing Stein soon and it seems that they're also paving the way for Jax to continue to be Firestorm by himself as well.

- Seeing a bunch of agents dancing to Singing In The Rain (Ray's favourite movie) was hilarious. Also funny was Mick's declaration of love for Fiddler On The Roof as well. Musical episode anyone?
- Lily called her baby Ronnie, which was a nice touch. Ray's twin brother, Sidney was mentioned but we didn't actually see him in this one.
- Lovely moment with the whole gang going trick or treating with little Ray. We also got Sara's new White Canary costume and Zari's 80's looking outfit for good measure.
- Chronology: Halloween 1988 Ivy Town for this episode.

What an absolute joy of an episode. Yes, Phone Home was cheesy as hell, shamelessly ripping off what I mentioned earlier in the review and did nothing to advance the Mallus storyline but the episode made me smile from start to finish. I really do love this unashamedly cheesy show.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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