After last week’s reveal that Ava was secretly a clone, most of us thought there wasn’t anything Legends of Tomorrow could do to top that. We were wrong. With only two episodes left in the season, this show is leaving nothing on the table. This is an episode that includes Gorilla Grodd and Barack Obama, and neither of those characters are the most memorable part of the episode. But we’ll get to that. For now, this penultimate hour picks up right where we left off last week.Amaya hijacked a jump ship to save Zambesi from the warlords who destroyed it. After a whole season of fighting anachronisms, one of their own is about to cause a real bad one. Not only would that mean no Mari McCabe as Vixen, but that level of damage to the timeline would release Mallus. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Legends get a message from Rip Hunter about a second anachronism. Good news! Grodd’s back! Bad news! He’s out to kill former president Barack Obama. He goes back in time to Obama’s college days when he went by Barry. The show has some fun with the confusion between Barry Allen and Barry Obama, but they have a psychic ape to stop.Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom, Nick Zano as Nate Heywood/Steel, Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West, and Tala Ashe as Zari (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)Unfortunately, we don’t get all that much time with Gorilla Grodd. The Legends have defeated him once before, and they’re pretty efficient at it now. A quick blast of fire, a shrink ray, and he’s trapped in a jar. Barry Obama is saved, and Sara suggests he start going by Barack. (Which, come on. It’s cute, but we all know it was Michelle who made that happen. It’s a sweet story, don’t take that away from her, Legends of Tomorrow.) The guy they get to play young Obama is fine. He’s no Jay Pharoah, but he mimics Obama’s cadence pretty well.The story turns out to be much more about Damien Darhk. This late half of the season has done a really good job of building up the conflict in Damien Darhk. At first, he and his daughter were working together to unleash a demon. Then, slowly, he realized his daughter was becoming a person he didn’t recognize. Mallus would completely take over her body, and he’d lose his daughter right after getting her back. Neal McDonough plays this really well, slowly showing more emotion in each episode. His tearful goodbye to Nora might be some of his best Arrowverse work.Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave (Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW)He tells her that he’s going off to make sure Grodd kills the future president, when he’s actually seeking out the Legends for help. He wants to defeat Mallus, and even brings them the water totem for help. As you might imagine, Sara isn’t too keen on this idea. Someone killing your sister isn’t something you just get over. It takes some convincing, and a chat with young Obama (Sara’s “I miss you” is the realest line of the episode), she agrees to work with him. If she can kill him again when this is all over.With Darhk on the team, Legends of Tomorrow does the best, funniest thing we’ve ever seen from this show. Ray floats the idea of shrinking down small, flying in Nora’s ear, and impersonating Mallus. His impression is bad, but Rory just happens to be watching The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. And he’s on a scene with Denethor. Who’s played by John Noble? Who voices Mallus this season? The show rarely gets this self-referential, but god I love it so much. It’s the hardest this show has ever made me laugh. It gets even better when they go back in time and have John Noble, playing himself, record some Mallus lines that Ray wrote. His Denethor wig is so bad too; it has to be on purpose. Legends of Tomorrow obviously has a lower budget than Lord of the Rings, but that’s a low-end Halloween store wig. It looks so little like Denethor’s hair, it has to be a joke. If it is, it’s hilarious.John Noble as himself and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)The plan works though. Ray flies into Nora’s ear, and leads her back to the Waverider. Once there, Damien traps her in a pentagram, and the Legends try to figure out what to do. They have Nora contained, but still no way to defeat Mallus. We get some actually good heartfelt dialog scenes between Sara and Damien. Things aren’t all the way OK between them, but Sara does recognize some commonalities they share. And for better or for worse, they find themselves on the same side of this particular battle. Legends of Tomorrow even does the can-I-talk-to-you hallway better than The Flash.Though I’m sad about the lack of Grodd, this episode does a terrific job of setting up for next week’s season finale. (Nooo! This is the best Arrowverse show, I’m not ready to say goodbye!) While all this Darhk sentiment and John Noble hilarity is going on, Nate and Wally go to Zambesi to convince Amaya to let her village be destroyed. It doesn’t take long before Nate isn’t so on board with that plan, though. Amaya witnesses her future totem passing ceremony, and figures out why Zambesi was destroyed. Her daughter didn’t accept the totem. With no one to guard Zambesi, the warlords were able to destroy it. She and Nate team up to convince old Amaya and her daughter to understand each other. It works. The totem is passed on, and it looks like Zambesi will be saved.Maisie Richardson- Sellers as Amaya Jiwe/Vixe and Nick Zano as Nate Heywood/Steel (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)That massive anachronism turns out to be the key to defeating Mallus. Now that the Legends have all six totems, they’re prepared to face the demon. Only they can’t fight it as long as it’s locked inside Nora. The Legends, along with a Death Totem-bearing Damien, team up to fight a free Mallus. The final scenes of this episode are some of the season’s most exciting. Darhks all ready to join the fight, until the death totem gives him a vision of a scared Nora. Suddenly, he’s not so on board with letting Mallus take his daughter’s body. As villain motivations go, it might be the most understandable one the Arrowverse has given us.The big battle that ends this episode is exciting. Darhk releases Grodd to make sure Zambesi is destroyed, and Mallus never takes over his daughter. So at least the episode gave us one decent Grodd fight. He uses his psychic powers to control Amaya’s daughter and everything. She gets a decent fight scene before Grodd knocks her out of the way. He almost kills old Amaya before Nate steps in with the Earth Totem to save the day. The fact that he still loves Amaya as an old woman is sweet. That he’s still physically attracted to her despite the age difference is maybe a little creepy. But hey, I guess there have been worse time travel almost-hookups. Plus, the way Nate uses the Earth to send Grodd flying into the distance is awesome. What makes this scene better is that at the same time, the rest of the Legends are all running at Damien Darhk and he’s swatting them away with scary ease. It takes Sara literally stabbing him in the back to defeat him and get the totem back.Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)With that, the stage is set for what should be a fun, bonkers finale next week. Grodd is defeated (for now… he’d better come back next week, or I’m going to be so disappointed), the Legends have all the totems, and Mallus is free. Nora’s transformation into the demon was legitimately scary too. The way her body morphed into the winged creature was the kind of disturbing visual you normally expect from Constantine. Even with the underutilized Grodd, and the sadly brief Obama scenes, Legends of Tomorrow was in top form here. I can’t remember the last time a set-up episode of any show was this much fun. And I can’t stress enough how good that John Noble cameo was. I still can’t believe they pulled that off. It makes me sad there’s only one episode left, but if this one is any indication, we’re in for something real weird. DC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC NewsOur Favorite TV Superheroes Ranked Stay on target Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.