Thursday, July 15, 2021

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 6, Episode 9 - This Is Gus

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


When the Legends forget Behard's birthday and their next mission takes them to 2023 and the set of his favorite sitcom, Nate and Zari are forced to keep the "surprise" party going, as everyone else tracks the alien. Meanwhile, Rory gets some unexpected news from his daughter Lita, leading Sara and Gary to investigate why he's been acting so strangely.


This Is Us
(title) and various sitcoms and series which change format in the middle of their runs. There are a number of meta-jokes regarding previous seasons of Legends of Tomorrow, with Gus-Gus being a parody of Beebo (as well as Baby Yoda and Gizmo from the Gremlins movies) and a few nods to Alf and Mork and Mindy - two sitcoms based around aliens.


The official episode synopsis described the team traveling to 2024. They actually travel to 2023.


The whole ensemble is on fire, but Shayan Sobhian deserves special distinction for how well he plays the two Behrads and the transition between them.


The script for this episode is very smart but also touches upon important ideas of representation without being preachy.

Trivia Of Tomorrow

Lita mentions donating all of the money Mick lett her to "AOC's future presidential run." This is a reference to American Congressional Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is commonly known as AOC. At the time the episode aired, AOC was too young to run for President of the United States, but was highly hoped to do so given her fighting attitude and strong progressive beliefs.

When discussing Sara and Ava's engagement, Zari 1.0 refers to them as "Avalance." in a pun on Avalanche. This is a reference to a fan nickname given to the romance between Ava and Sara.


Spooner has improved her favorite gun, which she calls her little friend, and it is now powerful enough to knock a pod off of its landing trajectory. 

Astra has a spell that can conjure up a coffee cart.

Gary identifies the baby alien as a Gusarax - a species that bond to their parents during the development phase. They literally become attached to their parents at the hip, as that's where the teat is located. 

The butterfly effect causes Behrad to change more and more as the timeline is changed as Bud Stuy changes more and more from its original concept. At first this manifests with Behrad feeling an urge to slick his hair back and suddenly having a coffee mug for Wharton - the college he told his parents he was going to before joining the Legends. As time goes on, he becomes more and more of a different person before vanishing completely.

Astra knows a spell that lets her summon her keys to her hand.

The Tarazi family ancestors think that Zari 1.0 can safely leave the Totem world, provided Zari 2.0 stays behind in her place. This seems to be confirmed by the end of the episode.

Female Necrians lay their fertilized eggs in the heads of their partners during sex.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Mick opens a time coordior. Lita enters and is visibly pregnant.)
How long was I in that totem?

Kamran: Well, this animatronic alien is adorable. And the audience ate it up. So if we're ever gonna be more than a cult show we need a gag that's a little less foreign.
Imran: Less foreign? It's a freakin' alien, man.
Kamran: I want broader appeal.
Imran: You want less Muslim.
Kamran: You don't know what religion the alien is.

(Spooner, upon seeing Gus for the first time.)
I think I'm going to need a smaller gun.

(Lita is struggling to open a jar after Mick offered to help her.)
Lita: Okay. I am rational enough to accept defeat, hangry enough to accept your help.
Mick: You know, uh, some jars are like old, stubborn bastards. They, uh, eventually open up.
(Mick struggles with the jar a moment and it pops open. He offers it to Lita.)
Tell me about Niko. 

(After the alien screams and drives off the Legends trying to pick him up, Kamran comes and sees what the noise is.)
Kamran: There you are. (clearing his throat upon seeing the Legends) I'm going to talk to props about leaving things lying around. Somebody could get hurt.
(Kamran walks off with the alien. The Legends have clearly not heard anything he's said.)
Legends: WHAT?!?

(Nate gets cast in Bud Stuy instead of Zari.)
Zari: (sarcastic) Finally, a win for straight, white men.
Behrad: Well, if I was rebooting a show with a flop first season, you'd be my pick. 

Behrad: (To Imran) You can't sell out, man! Growing up, my mom and dad looked at me and saw a future business school graduate. The world saw a weird, Muslim kid they couldn't bother to figure out. But seeing you on TV, Imran, was the first time I saw me. 

Zari: Listen, I know you worked your ass off for this moment. And our hard work is rarely celebrated. So I get how badly you wanna be seen, but... you know this isn't right.
Kamran: Have you ever seen the show? My brother wasn't exactly making television that we could be proud of.
Zari: Well, you know what, he doesn't have to be a torch-bearer for all of us. That expectation is, honestly, unrealistic and, frankly, annoying. Your brother inspired people, not by trying to inspire people, but... just by being himself.


As the episode opens, Behrad has just turned 25 years old.

Gideon is capable of playing Mortal Kombat and apparently kicks Behrad's butt at it quite often.

Behrad believes in astrology.

Astra had a bet with Zari that Behrad would be late to the team meeting, arrive wearing the same clothes he had on the day before but would still take the time to make himself breakfast.  This results in Zari having to handle her bathroom-cleaning shifts on the chores rotation. 

Kayla's scanner tracks the latest lost alien to Vancouver in 2023.

Lita calls Mick after the time-jump to 2023. He opens a time corridor for her to come to the ship only to discover that she is pregnant and that she hadn't heard from him in over a year.

The site of the next alien pod landing turns out to be near a studio where a taping of Bud Stuy, a stoner comedy sitcom with a Muslim protagonist, is about to begin.

Bud Stuy was Behrad's favorite show growing up and he becomes convinced the "mission" was just an excuse to get him to the taping as a surprise gift.

Nate and Zari run with this idea and go to the taping, dragging Astra along, leaving Sara and Spooner to deal with the alien.

Imran Saeed is the star and co-creator of Bud Stuy. His brother Kamran is the producer of the show.

Bud Stuy only lasted two seasons but had a cult following.

The episode makes mention of the "Dragon Girl" song Zari recorded as a tween pop star.

Spooner shoots the pod out of its original trajectory, causing it to crash into the studio where Bud Stuy is filming.

The alien is revealed to be a cute, little and adorable creature.

Kamran wants to work the alien into the show, after seeing how much the audience loved the twist of bringing an alien into the story after Imran improvised around the crash and pretended it was part of the episode. Imnran begrudgingly agrees to give it a try.

Lita is still in college in 2023 and is taking classes in intersectionality and feminist activism. It is here that she met her boyfriend Niko.

Lita has become a Vegan and claims she is over Black Sabbath and is now more into Fiona Apple. She also says she's donating all the money Mick gave her to AOC's presidential campaign.

Lita says she and Niko are living together but have no plans to marry, as the institution is too inherently patriarchal. 

Mick starts asking Lita for details about Niko, seemingly as a father would ask a daughter about her boyfriend.

Zari asks about Zari 1.0 and asks what she's doing in the Totem. Nate says mostly she plays poker with her ancestors, but that when they were together she mostly wanted to know about Behrad and how he was doing.

Zari 1.0 remembered Behrad's birthday was coming up.

Behrad poses as the new Personal Assistant on the set of Bud Stuy to get close to the Saeed brothers.

The alien does not like being picked up except by certain people and unleashes a high pitched scream when it is unhappy. It causes intense pain and temporary deafness in others and causes Spooner to develop a nosebleed.

After the team regroups at the Waverider, Behrad emerges from the bathroom cleaned-up, with his hair slicked back, having borrowed Nate's special pomade. 

Gideon reports that a new episode of Bud Stuy titled "First Contact High" has been scripted.

Zari and Nate both audition for the role of a noisy landlord being introduced into Bud Stuy. Nate gets it, despite Zari being a trained actor.

Behrad talks to Imran and argues the show can't be changed because it meant so much to him, being the first time he saw a funny Muslim guy on TV.

Imran decides to quit rather than eliminate the reality of his life he tried to bring out in the show.

Sara returns to the Waverider to find Ava wrapping Behrad's birthday present.

Lita says Mick asked him a lot of questions about where he grew up, his class schedule and his cross-country training, which he is hoping will let him compete in the Olympics.

Sara realizes that Mick wasn't asking these questions to be polite - he was getting information he could use to kill Niko. 

Niko is shown wearing a hat with an HU logo. This is a nod to Hudson University, which Lita decided to go to after touring the campus with Mick in 512.

Behrad changes into a sharp suit.

Astra sems to be attracted to Behrad's new look.

Astra and Zari pose as members of the Puppeteers Union and confront Kamran over whether or not the alien is being brought to life by union members.

According to Kamran, the baby alien is the first alien TV star in history.

Behrad becomes more and more of a corporate shill, talking to Kamran about how to market "Baby Gus-Gus." This disturbs Zari, as he sounds like a male version of her.

Sara, Gary and Lita find Mick hugging Niko.

Mick was planning to kill Niko, but was persuaded it would be bad if a prominent author of post-feminist empowerment literature was known to have killed his daughter's boyfriend.

Mick says he just wanted to make sure his grandson had what he didn't and what he failed to be to Lita - one of two loving parents under one roof.

Mick told Niko about Kayla and how he knew what it was to get caught up in a romantic moment. This is how Sara and Gary find out about Kayla and Mick having sex.

Mick starts crying when Kayla is mentioned.

Behrad completely changes into a business bro, has no idea who the Legends are, and his totem is replaced with a Rolex watch. This results in Zari's totem disappearing as well, since Behrad 1.0 stole the original one.

Gary asks Mick if tentacles were involved in what he and Kayla did. He confirms that she did stick a tentacle into his ear.

Zari tries to talk to Kamran about remaining true to his brother's vision.

Astra chases after Imran and gets him back to the set.

Nate is able to disappear with Baby Gus-Gus, as the alien is now known.

Behrad is restored to normal, with the show restored to its original state.

Behrad's gifts include a photo album Zari put together, a chef's hat and apron, a new recipe book and coupons for free hugs (from Nate.)

Zari 2.0 goes into the totem and shows the pictures of the party to Zari 1.0 and tells her about everything.

Zari 2.0 offers to stay inside the totem and let Zari 1.0 out for a bit, as the Ancestors think as long as one of them stays inside the Totem World, Behrad should be safe.

Gary knocks a beer out of Mick's hand revealing that Kayla laid eggs in his head when they had sex and that he confirmed Mick is pregnant. 


Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - 2023
Hudson University - 2023
The Totem World

The Bottom Line

Sweet and funny in equal measure, while making a few pointed stabs at itself and television culture in general. Not the funniest episode of Legends in terms of laugh-out-loud moments, but probably one of the most cleverly written.

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