Bettina Strauss/The CW
Shirley Li
November 21, 2017 AT 10:58 PM EST

DC's Legends of Tomorrow

type
TV Show
genre
Action, Sci-fi
run date
01/21/16
performer
Victor Garber, Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, Arthur Darvill, Dominic Purcell
broadcaster
The CW
seasons
2
Current Status
In Season

We gave it a B+

The Arrowverse sure loves Gorilla Grodd. For a villain that takes some extra work thanks to his CGI form, he sure pops up a lot in these shows ever since his debut on The Flash.

But then again, Grodd’s just a ball of fun, an allegory for the importance of environmental conservation and humane treatment of animals that also happens to make his brainwashed followers say things like, “One nation, under Grodd!” And in this episode, he also happens to cause chaos in one of the most chaotic moments in recent history: the Vietnam War at its peak, in 1967.

With Sara out of commission since her last fight against Damien Darhk, the rest of the team decides to take care of an anachronism on their own, landing on the level 8 Grodd-tacular taking place in Vietnam. Ray, Amaya, and Zari pose as AP journalists looking for the scoop on the front and learn of a “new god” the Vietnamese and stranded American soldiers have begun to worship. Their liaison, a young woman named Anh Ly, takes them to meet Grodd himself, and he welcomes them to his “kingdom” with open arms, promising to once and for all create world peace.

Of course, Grodd‘s version of world peace involves destroying humanity so he can have the planet for himself. Amaya figures this out when she tries to use the shrink ray on him, only to have him lecture her on how humans have been causing destruction ever since they began walking the Earth. After Ray and Zari fix the comms at the campsite where Grodd’s based, Zari finds files outlining Grodd’s plan to have his people murder President Johnson, who happens to be visiting Vietnam that day.

LBJ, though, isn’t the only unexpected visitor. In the jungle, Nate and Mick investigate the carnage left from Grodd’s last attack, only to get surrounded by an infantry led by a Green Beret — a decorated member of the special forces honored for their bravery — who just happens to be…Mick’s dad, Dick. Oof. The elder and younger Rory are mirror images of each other, and as much as Nate tries to convince Mick to open up and dig through his daddy issues — it’s “Operation Tough Love,” he calls it — Mick’s not so inclined. After all, he gleefully reveals to Nate, he was the one who burned his (by then alcoholic) father to death after a lifetime of being mistreated.

But just as Nate tries to speak to Mick again about his past, a man arrives at their location with several other armed former soldiers, speaking about how they’ve become enlightened (by Grodd, obviously) and would like to enlighten this infantry, too. Both sides stand their ground, but when the bullets start flying, Dick pushes Mick out of harm’s way — a move that leaves Mick thoroughly confused about how he feels toward his old man.

In fact, that night, Mick even has a conversation with Dick. Dick reveals that he keeps a list of all the men who died under his watch (it’s a way to remind himself of all he’s lost), writing it on the back of a picture of his partner, Mick’s mother. Dominic Purcell plays Mick’s bewilderment and softening beautifully in the scene, as he finds himself too speechless to do anything other than stare at the photo of his young mother printed on the same paper that sports the names of the men his father regrets losing in war. Of course, he stares a little too long, and Dick, being Dick, snatches his prized possession back.

Nate, meanwhile, notices all of this happening, and begins getting worried that Mick has gotten too distracted to continue with the mission. But just as the team finally get back on the comms and on the same page about Grodd as their threat, the threat level of the anachronism jumps from an 8 to a 10. It turns out Grodd’s plan to use the Vietnam War as a way to ignite World War III is going to become a reality if the Legends don’t stop him soon. (Next: Gorilla business)

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