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"I'm a changed man, Sara."
"The only change I want to see you go through is from alive to dead."
Damien Darhk and Sara Lance

"Guest Starring John Noble" is the seventeenth episode of the third season of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, and the fiftieth episode overall. It aired on April 2, 2018.

Synopsis

With the timeline barely stable, the Legends must tackle two anachronisms at the same time to try and keep Mallus at bay. Sara and Rip team up to stop Grodd from going after a particular target leaving Nate and Wally to stop Amaya from changing her future. Meanwhile, the Legends think they have found a way to destroy Mallus, but they will have to create an uneasy alliance with one of their enemies.[src]

Cast

Starring

Special appearance by

Special guest star

Guest starring

Co-starring

Plot

On the Waverider Nate has urgently summoned all the crew to the bridge to tell them that someone has stolen the jump ship. They notice that Amaya is missing and they can see from the ship's log that she's travelled to Zambesi in 1992 and realise that she has gone there to try and save her family. Sara tells Gideon to plot a course to go after her but before they can Rip contacts the Waverider requesting backup because Grodd is going after "Barry". Wally remarks that Barry Allen is always in trouble, but Rip says that it isn't that Barry he's talking about. We cut to Grodd kicking down the door of a college dorm room to kill it's occupant – future US President Barack Obama.

On the Waverider the ship is being rocked by turbulence in the Temporal Zone being caused by all of the anachronisms. Sara tells the team that they have to stop both of them. She tells Nate and Wally to go to Zambesi to try and prevent Amaya changing history. Nate points out that doing so would mean her village being destroyed by warlords and her family torn apart, so Zari offers to use her time simulation program to try and find some loophole that would allow Amaya's family to survive without disrupting time. In the meantime the rest of the Legends will go and rescue Obama.

Occidental College, 1979: A young Barack Obama is running from Grodd. He gets cornered in a quad and tries to talk to the gorilla to see if there is a way to resolve his grievances. Grodd picks Obama up by the neck. In their headquarters, a possessed Nora Darhk is able to feel time breaking and that Mallus is close to being freed. Damien Darhk looks on, concerned for his daughter, as she changes into a winged demon. Back at the college Mick is able to shoot Grodd with his heat gun, making him drop the captive Obama, who is able to escape. Ray is able to shrink Grodd using his shrink ray. Back at the Darhk's headquarters the demon Mallus turns back into the possessed Nora. Whilst Mallus/Nora is upset that Grodd's mission failed, Damien is relieved, as he has realised that when Mallus is freed there will be no more Nora. He pretends that that is what he has always wanted and tells Mallus/Nora that he is going to go and see what happened to Grodd. As he leaves he tells Nora goodbye.

In Zambesi, Amaya demands to know why Nate and Wally are there. Wally tells her that they are there to prevent her changing history, but Amaya is determined to stop the warlords who are coming to wipe out her village.

At the college the Legends take the miniaturised Grodd back to the ship and wipe Obama's memory. As Rip and Sara leave, Damien Darhk appears. Sara tells him that he can't have Obama. Damien tells them he isn't there for him, he's there for his daughter – and he needs their help. On the Waverider they are trying to contain him inside a magical circle given to them by John Constantine, although it doesn't appear to be working. Damien offers them a gesture of good faith and gives them the water totem, and then fixes the magic circle so he's imprisoned inside it. He tells them that now that they have all 6 Zambesi totems they might stand a chance at killing Mallus. Ava points out that freeing Mallus was the reason Darhk was creating anachronisms in the first place, and Damien explains that he was doing that before he knew that freeing Mallus would mean the death of his daughter. Like it or not, Damien's interests and that of the Legends are aligned – stopping Mallus will allow him to save Nora. Sara tells him that they won't help him and orders Mick to kill him. Rip and Ava suggest instead imprisoning him at the Time Bureau and Sara reluctantly tells Mick to stand down.

In Zambesi the villagers have gathered. An old Amaya comes out to greet them. Nate realises that this means that Amaya returns to her village and that they don't grow old together. The old Amaya tells the villagers that she is passing the Anansi totem to her daughter, and introduces Esi. However instead a young girl carrying a baby enters. Amaya asks the girl, a young Kuasa, where her mother is, and the girl tells her that her mother isn't coming. Amaya tells the villagers that her daughter has chosen to reject her destiny and her duty, and she leaves with Kuasa. Unseen by the villagers the younger Amaya also leaves. Nate and Wally go after her. They notice that Amaya seems happy and ask her why. Amaya explains that Esi didn't bond with the totem. That means that if she can persuade Esi to bear the totem then when the warlords come she will be able to protect the village and her family won't die. Wally tries to warn her that they can't change history, citing his experience of Flashpoint, when Barry Allen changed history to save his family. He looks to Nate for support, but Nate says that for once they should screw history. Young Amaya goes to talk to Esi to convince her to take the totem, whilst Nate says he will go and talk to the older Amaya.

On the Waverider, Ava comes to see if Sara is alright. Sara explains that the hardest thing she ever had to do was let Damien Darhk live (after their encounter with the Spear of Destiny), and that it is taking every bit of strength she has to stop herself killing him now. Ava tells her that she needs to let Darhk live for the good of the mission, and admits that Rip sent her to check on Sara. Sara is amazed that Ava would do anything Rip asked, seeing that he was the one that implanted false memories in her and hired actors to pretend to be her parents. Sara tells Ava that she needs to confront Rip, but Ava decides not to, choosing to put the mission over her own feelings. Rip comes in and asks if they are ready to transport Damien Darhk to the Time Bureau. Sara tells him they're not, and that she needs to go and talk to someone who can make sense of all that is going on. She travels back to Occidental College to talk to Obama. Having explained to him all that has been going on, Obama tells Sara that the Time Bureau are probably not the best people to deal with a demon, and suggests that a more unorthodox approach is in order. Sara thanks him, and wipes his memory again. Back on the Waverider Sara confronts Damien and tells him that whilst she doesn't believe for one second that he has changed, she will work with him in order to defeat Mallus under one condition – that once it is all over that she will put him back in the ground where he belongs. Damien agrees.

On the bridge, the Legends and Damien are trying to come up with a plan about how to deal with Mallus. Ray proposes he talks to Nora, seeing they had a connection in Berlin, but Damien tells her that she only listens to Mallus now. Ray suggests that he shrinks down, flies into Nora's ear and pretends to be Mallus. At that point they overhear Mick watching The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and realises that one of the actors sounds exactly like Mallus. They travel to New Zealand in 1999, to the set of The Lord of the Rings. Ray, pretending to be one of the crew, knocks on the door of actor John Noble's trailer, and hands him a script, pretending that it's a rewrite, and gets him to read the lines.

In Zambesi young Amaya has gone to talk to Esi. Esi tells her that she is not sure she wants the Anansi totem, thinking that she won't be able to live up to her mother's legacy. Amaya tells her that she has her mother's strength, and the strength of all of the totem bearers who came before her, but also that there is danger coming and her village will need her. She offers Esi her hand, and Esi takes it. In another part of the village, Nate and Wally are outside the older Amaya's home. Nate suggests that Wally speed in there to go and get the totem so that they can give it to Esi but Wally refuses, as he is worried that if they change the timeline and save the village, that Mallus will be released. Nate says that he has to help Amaya. Wally warns him that if he goes too far, that he will stop him. Nate enters Amaya's hut. The older Amaya is asleep. Nate tries to take the spirit totem but Amaya awakes and throws him to the floor. Nate tries to tell Amaya it's him, but she doesn't remember him. Nate is able to show he pictures of the two of them together. Amaya asks why he is there. Nate tells her that he is there to fulfil a promise he made to her to make sure that Esi gets the spirit totem. Amaya says that her daughter didn't show up for the ceremony, and that she has doubts. Nate comments that she was the same at that age, and tells Amaya that if she tells Esi she believes in her, that Esi will bear the totem and be unstoppable.

At Darhk HQ Damien has returned to his daughter. Nora wants to know why Mallus is not free and tells Damien that he has failed them. Damien tells her that the Legends have captured Grodd, and suggests they ask Mallus what they should do next. Unseen by Nora, a miniaturised Ray has flown into Nora's ear and plays the recording they have made of John Noble, which tell Nora to go to the Waverider with her father. Nora believes the recording and tells Damien to take her there. They use the time stone to transport on to the ship. On the Waverider Damien traps Mallus/Nora inside the magic circle. He tries to reach Nora, telling her that he was a terrible father and that he turned her into a monster long before Mallus possessed her. He tells Nora to fight Mallus, but Mallus tells him that Nora gave herself willingly to him and that she is gone. He says that one more alteration to the timeline is all it will take for him to be freed. On the bridge Ava and Rip have been watching the encounter. Ava says that she can't believe the plan worked, but Rip says that Sara knows what she's doing and that he always picks the right people for the job. Ava asks why he picked her. Rip tells her that it was because she has strength, a brilliant mind, a calm demeanour, and she knows how to follow the rules. Ava reveals to him that she knows she's a clone and asks why he picked her. Rip tells her she's special and critical to the mission, but Ava realises that she wasn't the first clone Rip had. Rip admits that there were 11 clones before her. Rip tries to explain, but Ava leaves. In the corridor outside where Nora is being held, Damien tells Sara that Nora is gone, and it is only Mallus now. He asks if she is enjoying seeing him with a broken heart. Sara asks where that heart was the night he killed her sister. Damien tells her that back then he hadn't loved anyone enough to know the pain he caused, and that if he could take it back now he would. Sara tells him that neither of them can undo the things that they've done. But Damien points out that she has managed to go from League of Assassins killer to Legends captain, and that even though she tried to kill her team while she was wearing the death totem she didn't. He tells her that she has love, and without that people like them are left alone in the darkness.

In Zambesi Esi has embraced her destiny, and has taken on the Anansi totem. Amaya is confident that when the warlords attack the village tomorrow that she will protect them, and Nate says that if she doesn't that they will be there to fight alongside her. He tells Amaya that her older self doesn't remember him or the Legends. Amaya realises that she must have wiped her memory, so that when she returned to 1942 she was able to protect her village properly, without being torn remembering her love for Nate. On the Waverider Wally tells the team how Amaya and Nate plan to save the village. Sara asks Zari whether her simulation program has found any loophole, but Zari tells her no. For time to remain intact the village had to be destroyed, and if it isn't Mallus will be released. Sara suggests that perhaps they should allow Mallus to be freed. As they have the six totems they stand a chance of being able to beat him. Rip reminds her that the last time the bearers of the totems were defeated, but Sara says that was only because they were betrayed by the death totem – which won't happen this time. Rip asks how she can be so sure. Damien suggest that it won't happen because this time it would be him carrying the totem. Like Sara he has been raised from the dead, which also makes him eligible to carry the totem, and killing Mallus is the only way to save his daughter. Rip suggests that Sara would never give Damien such a powerful weapon – but Sara passes the totem to him and says it's all his. Ava says that the Time Bureau will not condone such an action, and tells Rip that they will return to the Bureau. Rip tells Ava that he is going to stay with the Legends, and Ava tells him that he is no longer a member of the Time Bureau, and leaves. Sara goes after her to try and convince her to stay. Sara tells Ava she loves her, but Ava tells her that there is "no me to love" and portals back to the Time Bureau.

In Zambezi the next day, Amaya, Esi, and Nate are preparing to fend off the warlords coming to destroy the village, when they hear a noise. Amaya fears that the warlords are early but it is Wally and Ray, who tell them their plan to save the village to create an anachronism so that Mallus can be released and they can kill him. On the Waverider they are deciding which of the other Legends will carry the other totems, to join Amaya, Zari, Mick, and Damien who already have one. Nate volunteers to carry the earth totem whilst Ray gets the water totem. In the cargo bay Damien is looking at a picture of his daughter when he sees an apparition of Nora, who begs him not to let Mallus take her.

In Zambesi the Legends have Mallus/Nora confined inside a magic circle in older Amaya's hut. They hear the warlords attacking the village, and Esi defeating them. Despite the village being safe, Mallus isn't released. They ask Rip to check the historical records. He tells them that even though the warlords have been defeated, the village still gets destroyed – by an angry gorilla. Rip notices that the container containing the shrunken Grodd is empty. Damien admits to releasing him – he needs history to run its course. Grodd attacks the village. Esi goes to face him. Young Amaya realises that she can't defeat him and goes to help her, but Damien stops her. Nate goes after Grodd instead. Wally tries to follow him, but Damien incapacitates him. When the other Legends try to stop him, he knocks them out as well. Out in the village Esi is fighting Grodd. Grodd is able to use his psychic ability to paralyse Esi but the older Amaya attacks him to protect her daughter. Grodd strikes her, sending her flying. Nate is able to use the power of the earth totem to defeat Grodd. He sees Amaya and runs to her thinking she has been killed, but she has survived. The older Amaya remembers him, and is surprised that he is a totem bearer. Back in Amaya's hut Damien frees Mallus/Nora and tells her to escape. Ray tries to fight him but cannot get his water totem to work. Damien starts to strangle him, but Sara stabs him allowing Ray to take the death totem from him.

Out in the village Mallus is finally released.

Trivia

  • The episode's title is a reference to John Noble's appearance as a fictionalized version of himself, the actor who voices Mallus.
  • Mick watches a scene from the 2003 film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, featuring John Noble as Denethor. Ray later goes to visit Noble on the set of the film series, the fictionalized Noble making reference to the film's director, Peter Jackson.
  • When Ray visits Noble with the fake script, Noble questions the "character" Nora, with Ray claiming she was a new female character created for the film. Noble protests, "You can't do that, mate! It's Tolkien, it's Lord of the Rings!" This may be a reference to Jackson actually adding a new character, Tauriel, to The Hobbit trilogy, a move that garnered much criticism.
  • Sara describes saving Barack Obama as being "on Obamacare", referencing the federal statute known under the same name enacted by the real-life former President of the United States.
  • Before he attempts to kill Obama, Grodd claims that he wishes to "make America Grodd again", referencing the campaign slogan "Make America Great Again" that was once used by Ronald Reagan in his 1980 presidential campaign before Donald Trump adopted it in his 2016 campaign.
  • Ray urges Obama to "Run, Barry, run", referencing the oft-repeated phrase used on The Flash to encourage speedster Barry Allen.
  • Nate created many codes for the Legends. They include: 1-1-1: "Mallus has escaped the time dungeon." 1-3-1: Either "Pancakes for breakfast." or "Someone stole the jumpship." 2-2-2: "We're screwed no matter what we do."
  • Sara tells Obama that he should hold on to this birth certificate. This is a reference to the conspiracy theories that Obama wasn't born in the United States and his birth certificate is a forgery.
  • The scene where Sara speaks to Obama about her predicament and what she should do about it was almost cut from the episode.[1]
  • Mick tells Grodd, "I should have fried your ass over in 'Nam", a reference to the episode "Welcome to the Jungle".

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