written by Kate Danvers
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
I’m going to have “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” stuck in my head for a week now. Goddamnit, Legends!
In 2004, Freddy Meyers is executed for seven counts of murder from 1989. Later, as the coroner is transporting the body, the van crashes. The driver finds the body bag in the back empty, and then he’s killed.
Constantine is leaving the Waverider to find a more permanent solution to the Encores. Ray recognizes that the Legends aren’t even trying to preserve the timeline anymore, and suggests going back in time to before the Encores become bad and make them better people. Speaking of reformed baddies, Nora is back from her latest shift of fairy godmothering. She’s tired of granting wishes for kids because everyone wants a pony. Ray begins setting up a nice romantic evening, but Nora is all tuckered out.
Zari is unimpressed with the Waverider, so Behrad is ready to wipe her memory and send her on her way, but Nate stops him. Makes sense to not wipe her memory until they get this alternate timeline thing sorted, right? Also, for some reason, Zari can’t get a phone signal on the Waverider even though the Legends can no matter what era they’re in? Behrad locks Zari in a room until the Legends finish their current mission. Jeez, I hope they at least left some of Behrad’s stash for her.
Sara isn’t thrilled about going back to the hellscape that was the early 2000s. I’d argue that the modern day isn’t any better, but Earth-Prime’s president isn’t Trump. Ava is geeking out because she did a series on Freddy Meyers for her podcast “Stab Cast,” which none of the Legends actually listen to. Freddy put on a mask and used a kitchen knife to murder seven students at his senior prom in 1989, and 2004 is the fifteen-year reunion.
NATE (listening to the podcast): “And order one of these mattresses using the promo code LACERATION.”
Turns out the reunion is Mick’s reunion and someone named Allie recognizes him, but he pretends not to know her. Ava is geeking out over the high school where the famous murders took place and points out Tiffany, Freddy Meyers’ “final girl,” the one who got away. His “Nancy Strode,” if you will. Things don’t end well for her, though, because when she’s called to the stage to give a speech, the killer places her body there instead. When Ray and Nate try to go inside, the Prom Night Slasher telekinetically seals the doors, trapping Sara, Ava, Mick, and everyone at the reunion inside.
In 2020, Constantine goes to one of his old houses with Gary in tow. Inside they find the morning-after remnants of a party and…another John Constantine? No, it’s Charlie. She’s been partying here since the start of the season. Constantine tells her to get out and storms away in a huff.
Ray and Nate travel back to 1989 to set Freddy on a better path before he kills. They find a bullied teenage Freddy being asked to the prom by Tiffany. Oh no, Freddy, don’t fall for that. They’re all gonna laugh at you! Ray and Nate fail to talk to him as “cool teachers,” but they have another way in because Nora has been called to become Freddy’s fairy godmother. His first wish is…for a suit? Okay.
In 2004, Sara and Ava attempt to catch the killer and they’re being adorable dorks:
SARA: “Come out here, Freddy! We know you’re there!”
AVA: “Yeah, come on out! There are gaps in your psychological profile that you need to answer for.”
AVA: “And we’re gonna send you back to Hell!”
The slasher appears and telekinetically throws a girl into a locker, then crushes it in a gruesome but kind of awesome death. The killer gets away, leaving Sara and Ava alone in the hallway with a locker dribbling fresh-squeezed cheerleader juice.
…wait, that came out wrong.
At prom in ’89, Freddy arrives and dances with Tiffany, but the Legends spot a bag of trash suspended above the dance floor that the bullies are about to drop on him. Wow, I made the Carrie joke earlier, but they’re actually doing it. Tiffany dances them away from the drop zone after having a change of heart, but the bullies reveal her original part in the prank. Freddy runs out of the dance.
Nora catches up to Freddy in the hall and talks him out of giving into the anger and the hatred. She’s been there, and she knows that being herself, scars and all, sent the right people to her. Awww. She offers Freddy a chance to really show his fellow students what he’s made of with his last wish. And he wishes…to perform a musical number on stage? The students are into it, though, and everyone joins in.
Zari argues with Behrad about which of them is their parents’ favorite, then Zari escapes the Waverider by hacking Gideon’s systems after flashes of her old memories show her how. She’s unleashed upon 1989 where she mistakenly gets into Freddy’s limo with him and some other students, but plot twist! The real slasher is watching! Freddy was innocent all along.
In 2004, the slasher kills Allie, Mick’s former girlfriend, and now Mick is out for blood. He, Sara, and Ava find the killer, but when Mick attacks, the killer sends the flame back at him, burning Mick to death. The mask falls away and the killer is revealed to be Kathy Meyers, Freddy’s mother!
I love all of the names in this by the way, as well as all of the horror movie references.
After the killings in ’89, Freddy took the fall for his mother. Kathy died of a heart attack at Freddy’s execution and then stole his body from the coroner’s van. Sara and Ava fight for their lives with Ava gleefully saying “We’re final girls!”
At the prom, Zari escapes from Kathy by spraying perfume in her eyes and unmasking her. Freddy makes it clear he’s not going to let his mother get away with trying to kill everyone. Behrad shows up and K.O.s Kathy with the air totem. Kathy goes to jail and her future Encore-self disappears.
Knowing what her brother does now, Zari chooses to stick around for a while and the Legends all meet up at the reunion in 2004 to party. Kathy’s victims in both eras are alive again (including Mick), and Freddy has married Tiffany. Happy ending!
Charlie drags some information out of Constantine. He’s come home to talk to a powerful witch about how to stop Astra. What’s stopping him? The witch is the spirit of Astra’s dead mother. He finally opens the door to the spooky room she’s in, enters, and the door closes behind him.
I really had my doubts as soon as they showed 1989 Freddy. I was worried this was the story of another bullied kid who turns into a killer, but even before the timeline changed, Freddy was only covering for his mother because of a messed-up loyalty to her. The episode could have easily pulled a Joker, but instead it threw in lots of parallels to what Nora had been through. A corrupting parent, poor choices, letting anger get the better of them, etc. At the end, after Kathy has been taken away by the police, Nora comforts Freddy and tells him something a lot of us need to hear from time to time:
NORA: “My upbringing was only dysfunction. But dysfunction doesn’t get to choose who you are. You do.”
If it wasn’t clear, the entire episode is a love letter to old slasher flicks. Names and plot elements are references to classics like A Nightmare On Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Carrie,and probably some more that I missed. The title is a reference to Say Anything, and Nate name-drops both John Hughes and John Carpenter. In some ways, this episode is to slasher films what “Phone Home” and “Raiders of the Lost Art” were to E.T. and Star Wars. And it was so great to have Ava’s fascination with serial killers brought back.
Next time: Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A priest, a politician, and an engineer are going to be executed by guillotine during the French Revolution…
Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays on the CW at 9 ET/8 CT. Kate can be reached on Twitter @WearyKatie.