written by Kate Danvers
It’s been so long since we’ve seen the Legends botch a mission on this scale, I’m not even going to complain about the number of ways the timeline would still be screwed up even after they “fixed” everything.
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
Cuba, October 16, 1962. An alien pod crash lands in the Sierra Maestra Mountains and is mistaken for an ICBM. The military thinks the U.S. invasion has begun.
Mick sounds the alarm to call the Legends to the bridge – sans Constantine, Astra, and Behrad, the latter of whom is in a deep sleep thanks to some edibles Gideon synthesized to help him sleep. A cleaned-up and sober Mick has been tracking down Kayla. He and Gideon found an old photo in some KGB files on an alien encounter that was redacted until Putin was “ousted from power in 2044.” I’d say this show is going to be banned in Russia for that, but they’ve had too many same-sex kisses to have made it this long. Also, 2044? Damn, I hope it’s sooner than that.
The plan is to intercept the pod on its way to its next destination and Mick has already set the coordinates and laid out maps. He is frighteningly competent when he’s sober. He’s in a hurry though, so Constantine and Astra are “Sir and Miss Not-Appearing-In-This-Episode.” As the ship jumps, Spooner asks why they don’t just jump to an hour earlier so the Legends have time to change out of their PJs. Zari tells her “We don’t ask those questions.”
Do the writers read my recaps? For real, if y’all are reading this, please do another Beebo episode. Better yet, sell official Beebo plushies. [UPDATE: Just a few hours after I wrote that last part, The CW announced that a one-hour animated special called Beebo Saves Christmas is coming later this year. It’s a Beebo Day miracle!]
The mission gets pretty Legends-y right away. Mick leads a frontal assault on the convoy, Spooner fires on the Cuban military with one of their own assault rifles, Nate steels up, the driver of the truck Wilhelm Screams when Mick throws him out, and the Legends drive off with the truck. When they check the cargo, they find a Soviet warhead instead of an alien pod. And that’s when they all find out Mick has taken them to the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis where they, a bunch of Americans, have just stolen a fucking nuke.
I’d call that a new record for fucking up the mission, but that’s actually on par.
Bonus fuck-up: Mick forgot to cloak the Waverider, so President Kennedy is briefed on the “new Soviet bomber.” Nate and Zari get some period-appropriate clothes and head for D.C. Spooner locates the pod by listening to the CB radio. It’s on the way to Fidel Castro’s secret bunker. Mick and Spooner try to get the warhead back to the Soviets, but they’re stopped and escorted to Castro instead.
Nate infiltrates the Oval Office, where he’s brought into Kennedy’s advisor circle immediately. I guess they didn’t ask for ID during the Cold War. He learns about the photo of the Waverider and uses a football analogy to talk Kennedy out of some mutually assured destruction. General Kilgore, who wants to upgrade nuclear readiness to DEFCON 3, is unimpressed.
Ava and Behrad find the alien by posing as an alien specialist and a Cuban soldier, respectively. Kayla has already been prepped, anesthetized, and prepared for vivisection…which Ava has to pretend to perform. As she cuts into the alien, Behrad gets squeamish at the sight of the blood and runs from the room while Ava uses the distraction to leak the anesthetic gas.
Behrad regains his composure in the hallway and finds a beret to wear. A soldier spots him, “recognizes” him, and excitedly offers to take him into Castro’s bunker. Wait, why would–oh my fucking god. The soldier presents Behrad to Fidel Castro as Che Guevara. When Behrad says he’s not Che, Castro asks who he is. He replies that he’s Che’s cousin Jay, of course.
We stan a functional stoner.
Castro thinks “Jay” is here to help him defeat the mutants that America sent. Behrad asks if he means the alien. Castro’s like, “Sure, squid aliens from outer space sent by the Americans! It’s just like the Bay of Pigs!” …You know, I’m not 100% up on my Cold War history, but I don’t think the Bay of Pigs involved alien pigs. Or actual pigs, for that matter. Maybe I’m wrong, but as Castro himself notes, the CIA once floated the idea of assassinating him with an exploding cigar. The Cold War was weird.
In the Oval Office, Kennedy receives a phone call from the Russian ambassador, accusing the United States of using a steel soldier to steal a missile. Oh good, they have pics of Nate, too. Nate suggests the photo is fake, but General Blood-n-Guts knows of a secret DARPA program to give soldiers steel skin and says one of the test subjects may have gone rogue. Nate urges caution while General McMurderdeath urges a pre-emptive strike on Cuba. Kennedy moves to DEFCON 3.
Ava wheels Kayla out of the operating room, but she wakes up and attacks. Spooner and Mick arrive with the missile. Not much they can do about that now, but they arrive in time to save Ava.
Behrad tries to sneak one of Gideon’s pot gummies, but Castro sees them and asks to try some. I wonder how many historical figures Behrad has gotten high with at this point. Behrad sees a guitar and asks if he can play a song for Castro. He plays “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens and a stoned Castro is feeling the peace and love. He wants to call Kennedy immediately, but when he opens the door he comes face to face with Kayla. Behrad air-blasts the door closed, but Castro has had enough of alien squid assassination attempts and orders the missile prepared for launch.
Kennedy gets word about the imminent launch. General KillBloodKill thinks the Soviets want America to attack Cuba so they’re distracted when the Soviets attack America. Yeah, that makes sense. Kennedy orders the general to take them to DEFCON 2. Zari offers to help type up the orders since she types 120 words per minute. Hilariously, she only types with her thumbs. I get it!
Castro gets a call from Che Guevara, and Behrad’s deception is up. He runs out the door with Castro screaming at him to tell the CIA to recall their squids or he’ll launch the missile.
Hearing this, Ava orders Mick back into the field to kill Kayla. Mick doesn’t want to do that because she’s their best lead for finding Sara. Ava doesn’t need Mick to be a clever strategist; she needs him to be a cold-blooded, murdering brute. I really hate how harsh Ava is being toward Mick here. He’s making an effort – one that is leading to World War III, but an effort nonetheless. She basically tells him to stop acting like a human being and act like a monster because a monster is more useful to her right now.
Spooner seems to agree. She tells Mick that Ava shouldn’t have put this all on him and tries to stop him from taking a drink while they’re hunting down Kayla. They find the alien looking at the missile and realize that she believes it’s a ship and wants to use it to get back to her ship. Mick offers to take Kayla to her ship using the Waverider if she helps him find his friend, and surprisingly, she agrees to that. Unfortunately, at that moment Castro launches the missile.
General MortalKombat receives word about the nuke and that Zari sent orders over the wire for everyone to take a three-day weekend. The General pulls a gun on Nate and Zari, forcing Nate to reveal himself to be the steel man. General Fluffykins has the nuclear football brought in to order the Navy to fire on Moscow. Nate, Kennedy, and Kennedy’s cabinet then face off against the military guys, playing actual football with the nuclear football.
This goes back and forth for a while, but Nate ends up with the football in the end and hands it over to Kennedy. He stresses that the missile launch was probably a mistake, but a retaliation would lead to war. They’re going to die, but the whole world doesn’t have to die with them. Kennedy deactivates the football. Y’all know that’s just a briefcase full of codes to be called in, right? Not an actual launch device? Whatever, it made for a good dramatic scene.
General Kilgore isn’t going out without a fight. He runs out on the White House lawn and fires his handgun at the missile as it approaches…and then crashes on top of him without exploding. Turns out, Mick and Kayla stole the plutonium out of the warhead before launch. Now Mick and Kayla are going to take the Waverider to find Sara – alone. Ava apologizes to Mick for what she said and shows confidence in his ability to get Sara back. Awww.
That leaves Ava and the other Legends in Cuba without a ship. They still have a time courier, Constantine’s house, and Behrad’s edibles. Ava confiscates the edibles.
AVA: “Nobody wants your drugs!”
BEHRAD [sighing]: “Mom!”
Mick lays out the rules for Kayla: no touching his beer. She just screeches and growls at him. To eliminate the language barrier, she puts on a ring that functions like Gary’s glasses and takes a form that Mick seems to find more pleasant. She asks if he has anything stronger than beer, then chugs the rest of his.
This was good, stupid fun. Just how I like my Legends. It was weird having an episode without Sara – something I think is a first for the series, because even when she was injured or incapacitated, she had some presence in the episode.
Spooner is growing on me when she’s not talking about her Second Amendment right to carry an assault rifle. Fucking yikes, guys. She’s playing off of the other Legends well and it helps to have someone a little closer to Mick on the chaos spectrum.
Behrad is quickly becoming my favorite Legend. The way he was introduced, he could have easily been a Poochie, but I think retconning him in through a timeline change smoothed out the rough transition period that a new Legend normally has. It takes a special kind of Legend to get stoned with Fidel Castro.
Next time: Astra’s out of Hell but now she has to deal with real Hell: a mortal life on Earth.
Legends of Tomorrow airs Sundays on the CW at 8 ET/7 CT. Kate has never done any drugs in her entire life but would totally eat pot gummies with Behrad while tweeting from @WearyKatie