[Review] Legends of Tomorrow Episode 5×04: “A Head of Her Time”

written by Kate Danvers


This week the Legends will beheading to the French Revolution!

…I’ve waited weeks to make that joke.

At Constantine’s house, he’s still in the room with the ghost of Astra’s mother and it sounds like it isn’t a fun time. Gary panics and uses some kind of spell to attempt to open the door, but only succeeds in knocking one of the doorknobs off, freeing the ghost.

Sara is going to Star City for a few days. She doesn’t say why, but it may be for Oliver’s funeral or visiting her dad who’s alive again following the reboot of the universe (Oliver went on a resurrection spree). She’s leaving Ava in charge while she’s gone.

In Hell, a demon isn’t happy with Astra for losing so many Encores. Astra decides it’s time for the gloves to come off and removes a soul token from around her neck – John Constantine’s. Being familiar with both the TV and comic versions of John Constantine, I’m not at all surprised his soul token is in Hell.

I’d joke that he lost it in a card game, but he probably traded it for a shag and a pint.

Astra’s mom was named Natalie, and Constantine says that when she died in a crash caused by a drunk driver, her husband begged Constantine to bring her back. He alludes to this being part of the Newcastle incident where Astra was lost, but the ghost calls him a liar. In truth, John summoned a demon to bring Natalie back, but he lost control of it and it took Astra to Hell. A distraught Natalie then committed suicide. Natalie starts haunting Constantine with visions of his past.

Zari gets a tour of the Waverider and is tempted by knowledge of future events for personal gain. Ava says no and tells her to stay out of the way. Ray finishes a call with Nora by exchanging their first “I love you”s. Awww. Mick feels off after his run-in with his old girlfriend, so he has Gideon run some tests in the medbay. Both Gideon and Ray diagnose him with being in love.

Ava calls a team meeting. She has three-ring binders and team-building exercises and the Legends are having none of that. At Behrad’s suggestion of getting some “Austrian” Toast, Ava checks the timeline. Yup. Trouble in Paris, 1793.

AVA: “Looks like we have a mission, so everybody stop looking so Les Misérables, because we are going to France!”

Somewhere in Star City, Sara feels extra proud of her girlfriend.

Astra takes the token to the woman who made it and inquires about killing Constantine. She may not get the chance, because Natalie’s ghost is out for vengeance. She shows Constantine, Charlie, and Gary the night that Constantine proposed resurrecting her to her husband.

The France team attends a rather celebratory execution. Napoleon is there partying, as is Marie Antoinette who should be, shall we say…abbreviated at the neck by now. Also she looks like Nora, and the boys are all acting a little strange. A guillotine is wheeled in to cut a cake and the partygoers (including Ray, Nate, and Behrad) dig in. Others are dropping dead from exhaustion at the party. Yeah, I’m not great with French history, but I would have remembered this bit. Zari and Ava appear to be the only ones unaffected and Ava theorizes that because Marie Antoinette was executed for partying while France starved, she’s now killing the revolution with non-stop partying.

Legends of Tomorrow found a way to turn the French Revolution into a house party. An odd choice, but the execution is fantastic.

In 2020, a radio in the haunted house starts playing a song by Mucous Membrane, Constantine’s band. Natalie’s ghost reveals that the two of them were lovers. Constantine is fed up and when Charlie tries to get him to tell the truth, he demands the truth from her – what was she really doing in his house? Gary is dragged off by creepy mask-wearing ghost children and Natalie possesses Charlie. Natalie asks Constantine why he brought her back. He says he loved her, but also to prove to her he was right for choosing magic over their relationship. She wants him to save Astra for Astra’s sake, not his ego. Then suggests she might be able to help.

Zari schools Ava on how to navigate the party to get close to Marie. They convince Marie that she’s going to miss out on the afterparty if she doesn’t come with them to the Waverider right now. Marie follows, but so does her entire party. In the chase, Marie’s head falls off because she didn’t come back from Hell entirely intact. The still-animated head and body are taken to the Waverider.

I didn’t think they would get away from the party without everyone losing their heads. It was really neck and neck there.

Marie Antoinette’s head talks to Zari in the library, even though her head was probably severed right through her larynx and she has no connected lungs to provide air but here I am nitpicking the science of a living severed head that came back from Hell. Marie tries to manipulate Zari with the whole “we’re not so different” thing, and Zari has Gideon show her what’s in store for her future. Future news reports say her perfume is going to destroy its users’ sense of smell. As a result, Zari’s popularity will plummet.

Zari takes Marie’s perfume after figuring out that it’s magic, which is how she was getting everyone to party and like her. Zari goes to a party in her home timeline, where she’s launching her new perfume. Also her boyfriend, DJ S’more Money, is going to propose in a few months as a publicity thing? Celebrities are weird.

Zari the Snack Queen falling for this guy is the most believable heterosexual romance in any Arrowverse show, nobody @ me.

Ava figures out the perfume twist on the ship – she and Zari couldn’t smell Marie’s perfume because their senses were clogged by Zari’s perfume (Zari sprayed her while they were getting ready). The Legends go to stop Zari but also find that Marie’s body has escaped. Behrad, Nate, and Ava go to the party while Ray and Mick stay on the ship to stop Marie’s body, who gets her hands on Mick’s heat gun. At this point, I think the entire episode pitch was “Headless Marie Antoinette with a flamethrower.”

I’d make a French joke here, but even after two years of French in high school, the only sentence I know is “guillotine.”

The magic perfume works a bit too well. S’more Money proposes to Zari right there and upsets the perfume bottle, drenching Zari. The crowd at the party turns sort of like The Walking Dead, only celebrity chasers, not zombies…if there’s a difference. Behrad holds off the crowd, Zari and Ava jump into a fountain to wash off the perfume, and Nate sucker-punches DJ S’more Money just because. Mick and Ray tackle Marie and she’s locked up again.

Zari isn’t in too much trouble for using the perfume. Gideon fabricates some dry clothes for her that look like the outfit she had on in “Here I Go Again”. Behrad gives her a doughnut. As Zari bites into it she sees flashes of all of the times she’s snacked while on the Waverider in her past life, which is a lot. She ignores the memory flashes and then makes friends with Ava.

Turns out the soul tokens are also a link to how much time a person has left, and Astra convinces the token maker to speed up Constantine’s clock. He’s supposed to die of lung cancer in ten years. She wants to make that zero.

Natalie tells Constantine that what can help Astra is something called the Loom of Fate. He’s sure it’s a myth, but she knows it’s real, and she brought someone who knows where it is: Charlie. Once Natalie leaves Charlie, Charlie confesses she’s running from the Loom. She destroyed it and scattered the pieces across the multiverse. Oh, that’s not good. Even worse, Constantine collapses on the floor, coughing up blood.

This, uh…went places. The Marie Antoinette storyline was silly and exactly what I’ve come to expect from Legends in recent seasons. The Constantine subplot was something else entirely, and something I’d expect from, well…Constantine, the cancelled NBC show. I like how they’ve expanded on his past and the story of Astra being taken to Hell. This really felt like a story that the short-lived series didn’t get to tell, and I’m impressed with how well it fits together with the Encore plot this season.

We also got some hints about Charlie’s background. She’s very very old, she broke the Loom of Fate, and apparently she could travel the multiverse? Also, she remembers the multiverse, something I thought most Earth-Prime residents didn’t. I really hope we get more of her story.

As for the Loom, I’m kind of worried because this sounds like another Spear of Destiny: a powerful artifact that can rewrite fate, broken into several pieces and scattered across time and space. I hope they take it in a unique direction.

Next time: I was going to make a “Khaaaaaaaan!” joke but they did it right in the freakin’ promo for the episode so…fuck it, Genghis Khan next week. Ruining all my damn fun.


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

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