DC's Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 Episode 4 Review/Recap: Phone Home

Legends of Tomorrow has started off its third season pretty strong, though its third episode was definitely a bit of a drop off in quality from the first two.

We've been hoping the series would escape the curse of the third season that befell Arrow and The Flash and the latest episode goes a long ways towards proving they will indeed avoid that with the Halloween themed Phone Home.

As we saw at the end of last week, the episode this week takes place in Ivy Town in 1988 where a young Ray Palmer lives.

We saw him befriend some sort of creature inside a drain pipe as he was hiding from bullies.

We pick up this episode a little while later from that where young Ray is running around some sort of facility, where he ends up being killed by government agents as he tries to steal their keys to open a door.

We then cut to the Waverider where new team member Zari is saying how she has a read on everybody already. Ray tries to disprove one notion she has by showing that Mick trusts him by doing a trust exercise.

However, when Mick goes back to fall, Ray disappears, leading to a funny moment with Mick hitting the ground.

Sara is quick to ask Gideon what happens, when leads to the discovery that Ray ended up dying back in 1988, which definitely means they have an anachronism on their hands.

Ray dies right around Halloween in 1988 from an unknown reason, so they head back a day before his death, which leads to adult Ray popping back up on the Waverider due to the change in time. They start off by finding Ray at school, where various parts of the team are placed in different positions to follow him.

Young Ray ends up at a newstand, where he steals candybars, which adult Ray says he would never do and Mick absolutely loves.

They end up following him home, where he ends up getting bullied by some neighborhood kids, even though adult Ray remembers them fondly as friends, showing how much of an optimist he was.

After kid Ray heads inside, adult Ray walks around the house to look into the bedroom, where he sees his younger self getting candy out while talking to something under his bed.

This then leads to the reveal of what is under the bed that he found in the sewer pipe the week before, a baby Dominator.

As we saw in the crossover last year, Dominators are a very dangerous race of alien creatures, which leads adult Ray and the team to assume its the reason he ends up dead. As a result, they concoct a plan to sneak into the house when young Ray is in school and take him.

Ray in his Atom suit and Zari are the ones that actually go in the house, where Ray gets a nostalgia overload, with a nice mention of The Legend of Zelda here and how Zari's time only had military like simulators for games.

When they get into the bedroom, they hear a microwave timer go off, as young Ray skipped school to stay home with the Dominator, leading to adult Ray and Zari having to hide.

This leads to an absolutely adorable scene where young Ray and the baby Dominator he has named Gumball watch the classic musical "Singing in the Rain" while eating popcorn together and bobbing their heads. There's also a nice part with shrunken Ray bobbing his head in unison too.

Soon after, Ray's mom bursts in saying that the school called about him skipping.

This leads to Nate and Amaya to have to come to the door posing as animal control, which has Nate giving a hilarious line of "are there any cougars on the premises," since he thinks Ray's mom is very attractive.

Ray's mom ends up talking about how hard it is with Ray as he is so smart and yet alone, which both kid Ray and adult Ray here, which is really heartbreaking.

This leads kid Ray to leave with Gumball in his backpack into the woods, as well as taking shrunken Ray for Gumball, as he previously thought it was a toy. Zari has to leave and follow them, where she finds him in the wood.

Her tough exterior starts to break as she plays along with his fantasy world that he has in his secret "base" in the woods, which is nice to see.

Zari was only okay in her debut last week, but she was incredibly likeable in this episode.

As soon as she manages to get young Ray to come out, the government officials we saw in the opening show up and take all of them captive. We see the government people experimenting on Gumball, with the horribly unlikeable government guy from the crossover last year showing up again as well. Adult Ray ends up saving his younger self and Zari, but young Ray won't leave without Gumball.

They go to try and save him, with adult Ray still believing Gumball is evil and would hurt people, especially when he uses mind control on the bad guys.

However, he instead makes them sing and reenact in dance the scene from "Singing in the Rain," which is absolutely hilarious. Gumball was so cute this episode and the relationship between him and Ray is fantastic.

While this is all going on, Sara and the others on the Waverider notice a time signature, which ends up being Gumball's mother that is coming to try and find her. Sara gets in a standoff with her, which ends up with her trapped and the mother reading her mind.

They then realize that the place she's going to go is Ray's house, and his mother is there.

Nate goes and his mother seemingly tries to seduce him. However, Sara comes across a coccooned up Ray's mom, meaning the person Nate is seeing and ends up kissing is actually the Dominator using mind control on him.

Amaya comes in and stops the Dominator, leading to them going outside, where the Rays, Zari, and Gumball are on their way to his house.

We even get a straight up homage of ET here with Zari using his powers to make their bikes fly and we get a shot of them over the moon.

After this, Gumball is reunited with his mom, which is another really touching scene.

This is followed up by them erasing Ray's mom's memory and explaining that it was a stray animal that messed up her house. Zari is talking to Ray in his room and he asks her if she would watch the musical with him, but she has to go.

She says she'll have to watch it with him next time.

When she gets back on board the Waverider, adult Ray and her have a nice moment where they play two truths and a lie, which ends with Ray getting them to watch "Singing in the Rain," which fulfills that earlier promise.

I loved this little nod that many may not even catch.

Also happening is that Jax is getting suspicious of Stein, which Mick twists him into thinking that Stein is reporting to the time bureau about them, thus betraying the team. They see that he has taken the jumpship and cleared the travel logs, so Mick rips out something that allows the jumpship to work. When confronted, Stein can't believe they would think he would betray them.

Instead, he created a communication device to talk with his daughter that was about to have her baby, which he had to take back to her. He erased the logs so that Jax wouldn't think his mind was elsewhere.

The whole time aspect here makes no sense when Stein could always go back to the birth of the child, but we see them do so anyways, which is really sweet, especially with the baby being named Ronnie.

Jax realizes that Stein would really rather be at home though, which leads to the end of the episode having him tell Ray he wants his help to breakup Firestorm.

Legends of Tomorrow has had some stellar episodes, especially in season two, but Phone Home is one of my favorites of the series, perhaps my very favorite. It hit just those right nostalgia notes and was able to pull at your heart strings as well.

I really like the character of Zari after this episode and look forward to see where she grows from here. Also, we absolutely have to have an episode now where an adult Gumball ends up saving the Legends and Ray.

Wanna read more on this? Check these out: DC's Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 Episode 1 Review: 'The Virgin Gary' (more); DC Universe Streaming App Trailer Teases Ultimate DC Experience (more); DC's Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 Episode 18 (Finale) Review: The Good, The Bad, and the Cuddly (more); DC's Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 Episode 17 Review: Guest Starring John Noble (more).

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