REVIEW: Legends of Tomorrow, S3E9 – Beebo the God of War

Legends of Tomorrow got back to its Mallus storyline in “Beebo the God of War,” though not as much as an impatient viewer such as myself might like. In the meantime, we were treated to an extended visit from younger Martin Stein and the tale of how his search for a Hannukah gift landed him in the middle of a Nordic invasion. Who knew that the only thing Leif Eriksson needed to reject Christianity and stay in North America was a Beebo doll’s say so?

Leo Snart (Wentworth Miller) is also extending his visit, using his valuable time to try out grief therapy in the form of a Stein puppet. In one of the classic Legends of Tomorrow sequences that combines humor and pathos, each member of the Waverider rider expresses their pain is unique ways. While Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) politely declines to participate, Ray (Brandon Routh) immediately launches into difficult physics questions and Nate (Nick Zano) tries to give some acting tips. But the people on board with the deepest emotional wounds are Mick (Dominic Purcell), who still hasn’t healed from his Snart’s death, and Jax (Franz Drameh).

Darhk as Odin is a laugh a minute.

Their pain must take a backseat to the adventure at hand, or locked in a box and put away as Sara (Caity Lotz) says. The younger Stein’s Beebo doll winding up in Viking hands created a Level 12 – apparently Gideon did not think the first 10 covered it – anachronism, as North America is now called New Valhalla and everyone there celebrates Beebo Day. This plot was mostly delicious fun, even if it stretched my suspension of disbelief just a tad. In order to sneak in and steal “Beebo the God of War” back from Leif and his people, all of whom look like they just walked straight off the set of History’s Vikings, Sara and her team decide to go undercover as a fellow tribe. But first they receive unexpected help from Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan), who throws away the rules of the Time Bureau a few times to be by Sara’s side. The romantic tension between the two women has never been thicker, but for now it’s nice that Sara has a new friend watching her back when going up against her toughest and most confusing foe yet.

But we haven’t reached Mallus yet. First, a humorous battle for Beebo emerges until Mick destroys the stuffed animal, which somehow makes it super easy for Leif to just want to turn tail and head home. Thankfully that’s not the end of the story, as Damian Darhk shows up just in time calling himself Odin. The best part about this is that Ray suggested dressing up as Norse Gods earlier in the episode, and no one saw the brilliance of his plan. Who’s laughing now? The humor continues all the way through the big confrontation with Darhk, which is prefaced by a series of thought experiments for how such a battle might go down. All boil down to one inevitable conclusion: the Legends of Tomorrow are a family and never face anything alone.

While the actual fight doesn’t go as smoothly as they envisioned it, a newly restored Beebo (manipulated by puppet master Ray!) manages to sway Erik once more to the commercially-sound Christianity and convinces the Vikings to return to Greenland. When Darhk is about to escape with his daughter, Sara grabs onto him and is whisked away to the land of Mallus. This is where the climax would normally occur, but we barely get a glimpse of the realm before Ava pulls Sara out. In lieu of more concrete information, Sara explains that Mallus’ dimension is an absence of feeling, with nothing filling the void but Mallus himself. Sounds creepy enough, but having to wait another month or more is a bummer.

The best parts of “Beebo the God of War” came from the heartfelt interactions between Jax and the younger Stein.  Drameh perfectly conveys how lost he feels without his other half, and his dilemma over whether or not to try to prevent Stein’s death is justified. Zari (Tala Ashe) offers her two cents as well, pushing for Jax to find a loophole and save his friend. Her rebelliousness feels like a character trait that’s going to lead to a lot of head-butting later on, but it’s hard to argue with her logic. The only man who can argue is Stein himself, and in a gut-wrenching scene he tells Jax to live his own life and accept that 67 years of adventure is enough. Their conversation gets right to the heart of both their relationship and the show itself, paving the way for a disappointing but understandable exit.

To old friends and doppelgangers.

As upsetting as Stein’s death was, it felt like a culmination of his season-long arc. But Jax wanting a “different kind of adventure” feels a little abrupt, even if his choice makes sense in a moment of grief. Sara gathers the family and surprises Jax with a farewell party despite his protests, allowing for some sweet friendship moments before the final goodbye. It would have been nice to see what kind of life Jax wants outside of the Waverider, but otherwise it was a decent send-off.

Another gem in “Beebo the God of War” is the scenes between Leo and Mick. The two of them clash like nobody’s business, but they both needed to heal from the loss of their respective best friends. It’s almost a relief when Leo admits that he is here to deal with the loss of his own Mick, and by the end of the episode it seems that there is a new friendship on the horizon for both.

While “Beebo the God of War” didn’t answer many of the Mallus questions that have been brewing, it did go out with a bang. In the final moments of Legends of Tomorrow, Constantine steps out of the showers to ask Sara for help with a demonic possession. Might this tie back to the larger story when the show returns? Either way, it’s always a pleasure to welcome John Constantine back to DCTV.