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Legends of Tomorrow's 100th episode finally finds the true heart of the team: Gideon
Turns out Gideon is the real OG on Legends of Tomorrow.
Over the course of 100 episodes, The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow has evolved into one of the most ambitious and consistently weird corners of the Arrowverse — featuring a revolving cast of stars who have redefined the series time and time again across seven seasons.
But as the show celebrated its 100th episodes on Wednesday, it turned the spotlight on one of the few players still remaining from the show’s initial mission all those episodes ago. No, not Caity Lotz’s Sara Lance — we’re talking about Gideon (Amy Louise Pemberton), the helpful AI that guides their time ship the Waverider.
**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for the 100th episode of Legends of Tomorrow!**
The series’ 100th episode found relatively new-ish Legends team members Astra (Olivia Swann) and Spooner (Lisseth Chavez) trying to help save Gideon after some rogue magic transforms her into human form. Though it’s not the first time we’ve seen Gideon in human form across the series’ run, this transformation seems to be at least semi-permanent, though a virus is threatening to turn her against the team and corrupt her memories.
So Astra and Spooner get pulled into Gideon’s AI mind, which manifests as (what else?) a version of the Waverider, where they’re dipping in and out of Gideon’s memories from across the series’ run. That means we get to pop into never-seen moments from the team’s earlier adventures, many of which feature entire line-ups Astra and Spooner never even knew had been part of the team in years past. The creative team went all-out pulling this off, with guest stars from prior years galore popping up in these moments from the past.
Fans got a chance to see Arthur Darvill (Rip Hunter), Victor Garber (Dr. Martin Stein/Firestorm), Franz Drameh (Jax/Firestorm), Falk Hentschel (Hawkman), Courtney Ford (Nora Darhk), and Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer/the Atom) all return to the Waverider in these newly-shot flashbacks, which served as a fitting tribute to where the story began and just how much it has grown and evolved along the way.
But through it all, one of the last remaining constants has been Gideon. She’s cared for the team and guided them, week in and week out. We learn via one of these new flashbacks exactly why Gideon cares so much about the Legends in the first place. Yes, she’s evolved, but we also learn that Rip reprogrammed Gideon to protect the Legends (as opposed to her baseline directive to protect the timeline). It’s this course correction that turned her into the character we know today, and we effectively get to see two Gideons vying for control — with this new human Gideon finally taking the reins of her life and joining the team as she embraces her humanity.
“It’s the spirit of Gideon, and it’s all the things that Gideon has been to the team, which is — Gideon has spent her entire existence, and certainly the entire show’s existence, being that source of ‘home’ — being that guide, being that mother, being the one that fed them and comforted them and instructed them and educated them and drove them around,” co-showrunner Keto Shimizu told SYFY WIRE earlier in the season. “She’s not used to being a human; she’s used to being a computer. So really, kicking off a journey for her about discovering what it means to be a human being and celebrating the human spirit, ultimately, is what we wanted to bring about in this season for her. “
The episode ends with human Gideon taking her first major step on that journey, as the assembled memories of most of the Legends who came before welcome her to the team. Using Gideon’s memories as a way into paying tribute to the 100th episode proved a clever twist that honors the show’s history without trying to manufacture a super-event to celebrate it. It doesn’t take a timey-wimey crossover to get all these characters back, or some sudden mega-threat. It’s just a literal walk down memory lane. Sure there are stakes, but it’s really just a peek behind the curtain at the zaniness we never got to see along the way, and a chance for these actors to get together and have a bit more fun one last time.
Which is arguably the most Legends way you could ever hope to do a 100th episode.