DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Season 6 Episode 15
“The Fungus Amongus”
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow concludes another season with a wedding, a War and some goodbyes.
This has been a strange season for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The show is still endlessly watchable and entertaining but the vibe has been far different to previous seasons. It hasn’t lost the insanity that makes it so joyous but it has shifted in ways that are hard to describe. There are still laughs but there are less of them and darker storytelling has crept in. It’s still part of the same piece and doesn’t seem out of place but it’s different and that has taken some getting used to.
Characterisation remains on point and the ongoing family theme is stronger than ever as the team has had to rely on the connections they have made to each other to ground them throughout this season. The team dynamic has been shifting a great deal with characters saying goodbye last season meaning that some -such as Nate- are adrift as their core relationship has disappeared. This season has in many ways been about forging connections that let people cope with the ones they have lost. This doesn’t apply to Nate who remains adrift but there’s time for him to find a meaningful connection next season for instance.
Mick is one of two departing characters in this episode and his arc over the season has been a complex one. In the space of a single season he learned that he’s going to be a grandfather to Lita’s child as well as a father to a brood of alien eggs. His reluctance to accept his role as a father was well chronicled in earlier seasons and there was some great content surrounding his hostility around learning that he’s going to be a grandfather in this one. This came with the revelation that cavalier encounters with Kayla resulted in him becoming pregnant with the aforementioned alien eggs. It took him far less time to accept the reality of that situation because being a father was already something he came to terms with so part of his arc became about preparing for this shift in his life once he had the expected hostile reaction to what had happened to him.
I’ve said a lot about how the show dropped the ball on the Mick/Kayla relationship through failing to actually show it while constantly referencing the strong feelings Mick has for her. The opportunity to show this dynamic forming was squandered and viewers missed out on what would have almost certainly been a fun connection. Instead it was something that we were told about which made it harder to accept it at face value. Similarly when Kayla came back into the picture and part of the plot was centred on her softening because Mick had made an equally strong impression on her it didn’t land in the way that it needed to because the work hadn’t been put in to make that believable. Mick’s departure in this episode hinges on that and it doesn’t work as intended no matter how well the actors perform the material they’re presented with.
This makes Mick’s exit feel more rushed than he deserves and in the context of the episode it gets a bit lost in the abundance of other content which does one of the original characters a bit of a disservice. One thing that definitely works about it is his final conversation with Sara where they reminisce about the start of their journey, how far they’ve come and how the people they were back then had no idea what awaited them. It’s a strong sentiment that carries a lot of weight coming from the two remaining original members of the cast. Throughout the run of the show a lot has been made of their connection and how much trust has developed between them so Sara being the one to give him a send-off is poignant and takes advantage of that history while highlighting how their experiences over the years has changed them in profound ways. Mick talks about going onto the next job and focusing on his new family without forgetting the old one. Sara tells him he always has a place with the Legends and the parting is bittersweet. That part is perfect but having it among so many other shifts is unfortunate.
Another massive shift is the long awaited wedding between Sara and Ava. It has been alternating between the background and foreground all season with the culmination happening in this episode. It takes the form of a quickie ceremony taking place in the brief window before an all out alien invasion because if they’re going to die then Sara would rather die a married woman. It highlights the commitment to family and internal connections within the team that she wants to prioritise their wedding over preparing for the coming battle. As Nate points out they’re as ready for the coming fight as they’ll ever be so they might as well use the time to do something that will make them all happy.
This ends up tying into the Fountain of Imperium plot. The Earth is vulnerable to alien invasion because the fountain is dying. Added to that is its unwillingness to help Humanity after losing the will to protect them when John poisoned it. As reactions go it’s fair enough but that stance changes because of Sara and Ava’s wedding. It’s an act of love, an open declaration of that love and a clear example that there are things about the Human race worth saving. The wedding shows the fountain that John’s actions don’t define Humanity so it helps them win the battle at hand and restores that protection. This gives Sara and Ava’s union extra meaning and ties into earlier examples of their relationship being used to showcase how powerful given connections can be beyond what they mean on an individual level.
The wedding itself once again highlights how positive the relationship is for each of them. They both approach the ceremony in an atypical way. Sara had her vows written long ago which counters her usual impulsive nature and Ava ends up winging hers after realising that she hasn’t prepared anything prior to this point. In effect they have taken traits from each other and applied them to their own evolving personalities. A strong relationship involves each party learning from the other and growing as a result which is exactly what has happened here. It’s a great showcase of how perfect they are for one another that they have internalised a major aspect of the other person and made it their own. Sara learning to be more considered while Ava learns to be more impulsive is excellent development and having this play into the point they commit to each other is note perfect.
Sara’s vows emphasise her devotion to Ava and contain a promise to always be her family. These are carefully chosen words as it reinforces that Ava has something real while still dealing with learning that her childhood was a fabrication. Sara says that because she knows how much Ava needs that reality and stability so promises to continue providing that for her. Ava’s vows are around the chaos that Sara represents and how that has enriched her life in significant ways. That chaos became her life and it’s something that she values greatly. Both sides of the vows are sincere, heartfelt and the perfect culmination of the development of this relationship. It also isn’t the end of their growth as a couple but it’s a significant milestone.
As mentioned, it’s their declaration of love that ends up saving the world but it extends further than that to the rest of the team. They are a family and a lot of what this show has been doing over the years is in service of the development of that familial connection. Sara is told by ethereal John that they are all connected and that manifests physically when powers are briefly transferred among the team as they fight the horde of aliens. It’s a literal showcase of how they take things from one another to improve themselves and are made better because of those around them. This makes for a fun action sequence but it’s also thematically meaningful. Spooner being the one to facilitate that cements her as an important part of the current family configuration. A lot of what this episode does is very sentimental but it earns it every time.
Spooner’s connection with her mother continues to be moving and powerful. They have a brief yet emotionally charged conversation about the importance of her mother leaving so that everything Spooner does will mean something. After briefly protesting because she’s connected to the home she built she sees that living is more important because it means she can have a relationship with her daughter so agrees to do that. It’s another example of the importance of familial connection and how that means more than anything. Spooner achieves closure on that missing part of her life and knowing her mother is out there for her to have a relationship with means everything to her.
One thing that doesn’t quite work is John’s resurrection, at least from a storytelling point of view. The explanation that he cheated death by promising his soul to a Demon again back-pedals a lot of what John has supposedly learned as one of the Legends. Accepting death and being at peace would have been a satisfying resolution to the ongoing struggles he has endured. John acting as a source of inspiration earlier in the episode and providing ethereal wisdom from Sara was a great use of him and allowed him to make amends for his behaviour when consumed by his addiction to an extent. Him exiting the show through helping Sara understand the solution to the problem at hand was meaningful by itself so bringing him back for a final conversation with Zari wasn’t necessary.
Zari comments that he hasn’t changed at all and John points out that people can change while not changing. The distinction he makes is that he’s aware of his shortcomings but also understands what he’s missing out on with those shortcomings. This gives some sort of meaning to his exit as it shows that some growth has been achieved but it’s unfortunate that so much of his growth is lost in order to achieve this. Despite the lesson that he has learned he is still reset to a massive degree and falling back on his old habits of going it alone. He does give Zari a key and encourages her to find out what that means but there’s discomfort to this resolution because of how much is undone.
It isn’t all in vain as Zari comes to realise that she deserves better than what John can give her. Their relationship was meaningful for her as it allowed her to be comfortable with being herself rather than presenting a fabricated image to the world. John living his life unapologetically allowed her to learn that doing the same was possible for her and she also learned to be more open about her feelings. Tala Ashe reflects that in her performance by playing Zari in a more dialled down way that is still massively different from how she portrayed Zari 1.0.
Bishop remains a problem. His contribution to the recent run of episodes has been to create jeopardy for the Legends to deal with while having little character by himself. The father figure angle where Ava was concerned worked well enough but it only served a particular purpose at that point and doesn’t become relevant afterwards. In this episode he’s relegated to an obstacle though recruiting an earlier version of himself to come up with an antidote to the poison he created was a fun touch. The pre-villain Bishop was used well and stuck to his particular purpose before being mind wiped and sent back where he came from. The villain version of Bishop is dispatched unceremoniously in a way that’s relegated to a joke which feels about right for him. Fortunately the focus was more on the surrounding situation and how solving that enhances the core characters so a weak villain doesn’t detract from that in any major way. It remains a misstep and stands out among other strong content.
The cliffhanger ending is striking and well deployed. It immediately creates a problem for the following season along with an open question around why another Waverider would appear to destroy the current one. Once again the team are stranded -assuming they don’t have a Time Courier on them- and have to figure out what future misdeeds they are being punished for. It isn’t the first time they’ve deployed this setup but it’s usually entertaining when they do. The next season is just over a month away so it won’t be long until we find out.
A good finale that makes great use of the theme of familial connection and delivers on emotional payoffs. Mick’s exit is the culmination of a very long arc around him softening to the idea of parenthood and finding purpose in his life. It’s unfortunate that it numbers among the abundance of content the episode provides but the work has been put in to build to this point and his final scene with Sara punctuates that journey by both of them reflecting on how it began. It’s meaningful and makes great use of the bond these two characters have forged. Sara and Ava’s wedding taking place in the brief window before an alien invasion makes perfect sense as they are as ready for the fight as they’ll ever be so might as well use the time to do something that will make them all happy. Sara having her vows prepared with Ava winging hers indicates how significant the relationship has been for each of them as they have learned to embrace defining traits of the other to grow as people. Their vows fit the relationship perfectly with Sara promising to always provide family to Ava and Ava talking about how she has come to embrace the chaos in her life that Sara represents. It highlights their growth and it’s a perfectly earned sentimental moment. The fountain witnessing the wedding and seeing beyond Humanity’s less desirable traits brings this event naturally into the overall plot and further demonstrates the importance of it. The strength of family is further showcased in the powers being transferred among the team as they fight showing that they take something from those around them to make them better. Spooner facilitating that cements her place in this family. It’s definitely overly sentimental but also perfectly earned.
Spooner’s connection with her mother continues to be poignant. After briefly insisting that she wants to stay in the home she built for them Spooner is able to convince her to leave so that she can survive and their relationship can continue. It’s a further reminder of the closure Spooner has achieved and knowing her mother is out there to have a relationship with means everything to her. John’s resurrection doesn’t quite work as it means he falls back on old habits and undoes a lot of the growth he achieved. He talks about knowing his shortcomings and knowing what he’s missing out of because of them but he goes back to wandering a lonely path apparently having learned very little. Earlier in the episode where he was able to give Sara the information that helps deal with that situation was a far better exit for him than reverting him to an older version of himself. It was meaningful for Zari who learns that she can do better than what John can provide while also learning through their relationship that she doesn’t have to present a fabricated image to the world. She has learned to live her life unapologetically and that is reflected in how Tala Ashe plays the character. Bishop remains a problem as he has very little character by himself though that doesn’t drag the episode down too much because of how strong the character work surrounding it is. His defeat being relegated to a joke is about right for him but the missteps around this villain stand out among the stronger content. The cliffhanger ending is a compelling setup for the next season and there isn’t long to wait for answers as it begins next month.
- Mick’s exit being the culmination of a long and fascinating arc
- the scene between Mick and Sara where they reflect on how far they’ve come
- Sara and Ava’s wedding dripping in earned sentimentality
- showcasing what each of them have learned from the other
- their meaningful vows
- the display of love being part of what saves the world
- power swapping during an action sequence showing how strong the family dynamic within the team is
- Spooner facilitating that cementing her place in the team
- the scene between Spooner and her mother
- Zari realising what her relationship with John has brought her
- Mick’s exit being slightly drowned among the abundance of content in the episode
- John’s resurrection being unnecessary and the disappointing regression of his character
- Bishop remaining a problem that stands out among such strong content
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