written by Kate Spencer
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
We’re back! Not sure what possessed them to move the show to Monday after an extra long break, but it’s time for me to exorcise my recapping muscles.
You missed these jokes.
In 2017, John Constantine visits an asylum and uses a little magic to get past the staff to the room of a girl named Emily. He attempts to perform an exorcism, but Emily begins speaking with Mallus’ voice and saying the name “Sara Lance”. A few things I love right off the bat – Matt Ryan’s performance as Constantine, the use of the Constantine theme as a leitmotif, the extremely spooky exorcism scene, and Legends once again modifying the title graphic for the episode (this time adding more red and occult symbols).
We then jump back to the present on the Waverider after Jax’s departure and Constantine’s arrival. Mick confuses him for Rip since, y’know, Englishman in a coat. He introduces himself as a warlock, exorcist, and a “tourist” with a wink to Leo.
For those not in the know, Constantine is bisexual in the comics, something that NBC shied away from for the short-lived Constantine series using the excuse that he’s rarely shown with men in the comics and they didn’t feel his sexuality was important so they said that maybe years down the road they’d show it. So seeing it referenced right at the start here is nice. And in case “tourist” was too subtle for you, he then calls Leo “handsome” and looks disappointed when Leo says he’s spoken for.
Ray and Zari are working on an anti-magic gun…fine, okay, whatever.
Sara gives Constantine the demon’s name and convinces him to let the Legends help because he’s clearly not familiar with their work. Speaking of unnecessary dragging of the Legends, Agent Sharpe calls Sara and Gideon implies that Sharpe and Sara are on a first name basis now. Sharpe says that she’s been barred from visiting Rip and the Time Bureau doesn’t believe Mallus is actually involved. After a bit of awkward flirting, the call ends and Leo, who was eavesdropping, notes the chemistry between Sara and Sharpe. Leo notes they’re both strong women, both trying to repair time, and they’re both super hot – he’s “gay, not blind.” Oh god, this is the queerest episode yet and we’re not even ten minutes in. Be still my heart.
Infiltrating the asylum, the Legends find Emily and take her to the asylum’s chapel for an exorcism. Kuasa tries to stop them but Amaya holds her off and Nate uses Leo’s cold gun to freeze her water form. Plot twist everyone saw coming: “Emily” is actually a young Nora Darhk. The Legends reason that a successful exorcism may rewrite history and prevent Nora from resurrecting Damien Darhk.
Before you can say “when has this ever worked?”, things go south and a Mallus-possessed Nora sends Sara, Leo, and Constantine back in time to 1969. Nice.
The other Legends bicker like usual. Nate doesn’t want Amaya to talk to the captive Kuasa, Ray is concerned that the rest of the team suddenly vanished, Zari steals a few bites of junk food, and Mick is trying to watch the first live football game he’s gotten the chance to see in three years. (Hey Mick, if it’s the Browns, don’t bother.) To get the others off his back, Mick sends Nate and Amaya to separate rooms, and Zari and Ray go back to the asylum to find the others. Zari and Ray find the symbol Mallus used to send the others back in time.
NATE: “What’s it look like?”
RAY: “Well, it looks like a circle with a line above the circle then it looks like a U-shape coming off the circle.”
NATE: “…a duck?”
ZARI: *snaps a photo with her phone* “Welcome back to the 21st century, you luddites.”
Did the guys who fly around on a timeship full of advanced technology, one of whom is a genius inventor himself, forget that cameras existed? They then try to talk to Nora and Zari relates her own experience in a place like the asylum. Zari wants to bust Nora out and take her somewhere more peaceful.
Sara, Leo, and Constantine get the idea to leave a message behind a painting which has fallen off the wall in the present. Leo takes care of the note because Mallus is getting in Sara’s head. While Constantine helps sort Sara out, Leo is drugged by an orderly and his note about being stuck in the past is read by the doctor. She orders him taken to the operating room. This is why I find asylums far creepier than haunted houses. The reality of barbaric practices like transorbital lobotomies and other older mental “healthcare” practices of old is far more disturbing than anything supernatural.
Constantine casts Mallus out for a little while, but Sara worries about her soul. Constantine tells her about a woman named Astra whom he failed to save. Things get flirty in the laundry room, and Constantine says it’s not the worst place to be. Sara incredulously asks if they’re really that damaged. Constantine hopes so. Then they bang.
While the two bisexual disasters get it on, Kuasa gets thawed out by Amaya. Kuasa tries to convince her grandmother to change her past and Amaya’s future. In 1992, the village in Zambesi is invaded and Amaya is killed, leaving Kuasa to fend for herself. Kuasa is working with Darhk to change that. Amaya tells her about the vision she had in a previous episode where her ancestor told her to find and work with someone. Amaya thought that was Zari, but now she thinks it’s Kuasa. She opens the cell and Nate runs in to play hero but gets attacked. After a short standoff, Kuasa seems to trust Amaya and leaves.
In Star City, Zari and Ray take Nora to a coffee shop, and you’ll forgive me for initially thinking it’s the same Jitters that Team Flash frequents. Everything is all fun and games until Nora sees a news report about Oliver Queen being on trial for multiple murders – including Damien Darhk’s. Mallus takes over and starts wrecking the coffee house. How is the Jitters chain still in business? It’s like a magnet for supervillain attacks. Zari grabs Nora’s arm, which causes Mallus pain, and he identifies her as “one of the six”.
In 1969, the doctor is about to start a lobotomy on Leo when Sara and Constantine crash the party. The note plan didn’t work, so they need another way home. Sara suggests the rune that got them there, but Constantine doesn’t have that kind of power. Mallus, however, does. Wait…Sara, no. Constantine agrees with me, but Sara reminds him that he said she was strong enough to fight Mallus off. He says that was just to seduce her. She says she seduced him. Leo is rightly pissed that anyone was seducing anyone while he was about to be lobotomized. Can we keep this trio around forever? Please?
Constantine summons Mallus through Sara, and Sara finds herself back in the creepy dimension from the last episode. She starts drawing the rune in the sand, which makes it appear in the real world, but she stops when she hears Nora crying. She convinces Nora to fight off Mallus and the fight in the coffee shop stops. Sara continues drawing the rune and transports herself, Constantine, and Leo back to 2017.
Zari offers to help Nora find a home, but Damien Darhk walks in and manipulates Nora into coming with him, promising that Mallus isn’t a demon but a savior. But he can’t take her with him now, because she still has to grow up and resurrect him. So he leaves her in the care of the asylum and the doctor from before, who’s part of the cult.
Zari tells Constantine about Mallus’ fear of her and “the six”, which he confirms may be related to the totems. Amaya only knows of five – spirit, air, earth, fire, and water. Bet the sixth one is heart. Constantine starts to leave and Sara thanks him for everything. He says it was good, too, and slyly offers to “help” her whenever she needs it, although he also “helps” a lot of other people. Sara understands.
SARA: “And thanks for the shag too, that was great.”
That’s my perfect Canary.
Constantine asks Ray for help with the cargo door as a ruse to talk to him about the anti-magic gun. Ray doesn’t think it will work and plans to put it in storage, but Constantine thinks he should keep it on hand because Sara isn’t out of the woods yet with the whole possession thing.
Leo is leaving too. He says goodbye to Mick, who gives him a hug. Leo plans to return to his Earth and ask Ray to marry him. Yeah, Mick is confused too, so he reminds Mick and the audience he means his Ray, not Ray Palmer.
Sara calls Ava while Gideon gives her some privacy. Sara’s temporal booty call is shot down when Ava tells her that Rip Hunter has escaped the Time Bureau’s custody.
All right, I really liked this one. The occult stuff was creepy and moody as hell during every possession scene, aided by creepy music including the Constantine theme. Speaking of Constantine, I can’t say enough good things about Matt Ryan’s portrayal. He’s one of those actors who fits the comic book character he’s playing perfectly. He’s got the look, the presence, and the swagger to really sell the character. It was a shame that Constantine was canceled before it could really take off, so I hope we see more of John Constantine in the DCTV shows.
I’ve gone on and on about the importance of representation before, but I’d like to make special mention of the gay and bisexual representation in this episode. Bisexual characters aren’t a common occurrence on TV, and weirdly when they do appear they’re almost always female. A bisexual male character, and one brought over from the comics at that, is a pretty big deal. It’s also played so well, as just another facet of a character. It’s done pretty well with Sara’s bisexuality and Leo’s homosexuality too. Too often you hear naysayers claim that LGBTQ representation is all about one-note characters, but it’s not. In this episode, you have gay and bi relationships casually on display and the writing would be no different if they were straight relationships. This is what we’re asking for when we want more representation. Normalization, not characters saying “gay gay gay gay gay” over and over*.
Actually, hang on a second. Can I get a full episode of Sara Lance saying “lesbian” over and over?
Next time: time loop hijinks! Hey, I may get my wish.
(special thanks to K O’Shea for letting me steal their joke)
Legends Of Tomorrow airs (temporarily) Mondays on the CW at 8 ET/7 CT. Kate can be reached on Twitter @WearyKatie.
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*EDITOR’S NOTE: Dammit.