[Review] Legends Of Tomorrow Episode 4×13: “Egg MacGuffin”

written by Kate Spencer

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

Gather around guys, gals, and non-binary pals, because I’m going to teach you about literary lessons in this recap. Aren’t you all lucky?

A MacGuffin is a breakfast sandwich made with a toasted English muffin topped with a fried egg, Canadian bacon, and American cheese. As its ingredients suggest, it has no singular country of origin nor any nutritional value.

…What? That’s an Egg McMuffin? Oh. Sorry, I meant that a MacGuffin is a plot device of great importance to the story but has little to no narrative explanation. Think the glowy briefcase in Pulp Fiction, the Infinity Stones in most MCU films, or Oliver Queen in Arrow.

I gotta be real with you, I’m operating on very little sleep.

Sara and Zari bring a fugitive mummy to the Time Bureau. Ava invites Sara to her book club. Zari and Nate suddenly forget how to talk to each other because once someone decides a show needs a new “power couple”, all prior history of either character acting like a functional adult is thrown out the window in favor of giving them a retroactive meet-cute. The two awkwardly exchanging bad jokes is so painful. Neron take us all.

Ray visits Nora, who is still comatose. Suddenly he loses control of his right hand, grabs a pillow, and starts smothering Nora. Luckily he’s able to stop himself, but he observes that this development is “not groovy”.

Awww, I wanted to make Evil Dead references! It’s no fun when they do it for me! Okay, I’ve got other jokes. Um…Ray, I know you just started dating but you’ve got to be less clingy. You’re smothering her!

…Nailed it.

Neron appears to Ray through his reflection and asks Ray to give himself over willingly or he’ll force Ray to kill one of his loved ones. The death of a loved one at Ray’s hands (evil hand or otherwise) would allow Neron to take full control anyway. Seems for the time being, he just has control of Ray’s hand. He returns to the ship to avoid everyone, but Nate walks in and Ray secretly – because Neron’s possession prevents him from saying that he’s possessed – tries to stop himself from killing him. Nate escapes with a hug and his life. He’s going on a mission/date with Zari that Sara set up!

The potential couple travels to 1930, where a member of the Adventurers’ Society has discovered a large golden egg. When Zari and Nate compare their undercover identities (Marion Ravenwood and Henry Jones Jr.), they both catch on to the obvious setup, and when they find a fake golden egg they just assume the whole thing is a sham, including the Nazis who kidnap them.

Ray calls Gary for help locating Constantine, but Gary takes this as an invitation to the Waverider, so now Ray has someone to kill! Ray stabs himself in the leg trying not to stab Gary, which effectively communicates that he’s possessed. Gary tries to help, but is a tad dismayed when Ray says he wouldn’t really count as a “loved one” for Neron to kill. Poor Gary. He realizes he’s the butt of the joke, the comic relief. Ray tries to cheer him up, but Neron just echoes Gary’s doubts. He offers to “make him whole again”.

No. They wouldn’t…they would. They totally would.

Nate and Zari get through to Sara and she tells them the Nazis are real, so they stop screwing around and actually use their powers to knock them out. Ava and Sara arrive to help search for the golden egg and they figure out pretty quickly that Vincent, Gordon Gilchrist’s assistant, is the one who stole the egg and replaced it with a fake. Vincent was the one who actually discovered it, and he wants the credit. They get the egg back from Vincent and stop the Nazis once more with some daring Indiana Jones-style fighting! …including Ava using a whip.

AVA: “Did you see them whip skills?”
SARA: “Yeah, it gave me an idea for date night.”

Didn’t I review this comic?

Constantine awakens Nora with a Phoenix Down (seriously). She warns him about Neron and they head to the Waverider, but it’s already too late. Nate arrives to ask Ray what’s been up with him lately and promptly gets beaten down by his demonically empowered best friend. I was seriously thinking they might kill Nate here. Instead, Ray gives in to Neron in a deal for Nate’s safety. Neron agrees and completely takes control of Ray.

On the bridge, Constantine manages to best Neron and lock him in place. Gary seems a little torn over who to help until Neron offers him a gift. A small container with a little piece of flesh inside…that starts crawling across the floor. Gary thinks back to all of the “shut up Gary”s and other times he’s been treated like a doormat. He slaps the nipple onto his chest, making him “whole” again. Then, after Neron knocks out Constantine, the demon and his new disciple use a time stone to leave, taking Constantine with them.

“Kate,” you might be asking, “was Gary’s nipple the MacGuffin?” No no, that was another writing convention. Chekhov’s Gun is a literary principle which states that if you have a unicorn bite a man’s nipple off and take it to Hell, then that nipple should become a demonic plot element later. In all seriousness, though, the principle is really about necessary and unnecessary elements within a narrative structure and how one shouldn’t introduce an element with no use. This is important because the genius writers of Legends of Tomorrow have taken something devoid of purpose in real life and subverted expectations by giving it importance in this episode. I’m not saying male nipples have no purpose without being sent to Hell first; no, Legends has done that for me.

How do I still have a job here?

Ava, Sara, and Zari arrive just as Nate stumbles in to fill them in on Ray’s possession. Recognizing the greater threat, Ava returns to the Time Bureau and recruits Nora as an agent. Nora gladly accepts.

Nate recovers in the med lab. He and Zari get all kissy-face and admit their feelings for each other, but they’re interrupted by the egg wiggling a bit. Gideon does a scan of the contents – it’s a dragon egg!

Okay, couple of things before we wrap up. Let’s talk about subplots! There are two minor ones in the episode. Mick and Charlie respond to a request for “Rebecca Silver” (Mick’s pen name) to reveal herself at Romanticon 2019 for $20,000. Is that a thing that happens? I need to start writing trashy romance novels under an alias. Charlie poses as Rebecca but botches a Q&A session, so Mick takes over, revealing himself to be the real Rebecca Silver to much fan adoration. Seriously, are romance novel cons actually a thing? [EDITOR’S NOTE: They are!]

In the other subplot, Sara gets bored trying to read the book for Ava and Mona’s book club, so she listens to it as an audiobook and finds she actually likes it. Mona ducks out of book club for Romanticon 2019 and Ava admits she didn’t read the book. Sara drops some major foreshadowing by suggesting the killer is actually the dog walker/doormat of the story.

I’m giving a quick summary of those two plots because really, you could take them out and miss absolutely nothing in this episode. The hunt for the dragon egg was fun and a little campy, so I kind of like it. The Ray plot should have had much more focus than it did. Brandon Routh is fantastic playing Neron and, as weird as it sounds, he plays opposite himself really well. I’m not kidding; the back and forth between Ray and his reflection was some creepy stuff. I could have used an episode with more horror focus.

It’s just kind of late in the season to have subplots about book conventions. The book club subplot served a purpose with the “doormat” getting fed up and doing a bad, but that could have easily been accomplished with more focus on the egg plot. Maybe the last three episodes of the season will have better focus.

Next time: It’s time to kill Evil Ray!

Legends Of Tomorrow airs Mondays on the CW at 9 ET/8 CT. Kate can be reached on Twitter @WearyKatie.

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