[Review] Legends of Tomorrow Episode 5×05: “Mortal Khanbat”

written by Kate Danvers


At no point in this episode do they lure Genghis Khan back to the Waverider with a Twinkie, and frankly, that’s a missed opportunity.

Constantine is rushed to the Waverider, where Gideon breaks the news that he has a very aggressive form of terminal lung cancer. John Constantine being John Constantine, he tries to light up a cigarette because fuck it. Ava takes it from him and Gideon knocks him out with a sedative. I love all of Constantine’s failed attempts at smoking as a nod to his chain-smoking comic counterpart and as a clever way to skirt around actually showing a main character smoke on the show.

Charlie tries to run off in the jump ship again, but voices in her head addressing her as “Clotho” tell her she can’t escape them. She runs around the corner and bumps into Behrad and Zari. Ava calls a meeting where she debuts the Prognosticator – a program to track Encores. Nate debuts his new electric scooter, which kind of upstages the Prognosticator. The program points them to Hong Kong, 1997 where a new gangster is opposing a gang called the Triad.

Constantine attempts to leave the ship, knowing that his sudden health turn is supernatural in nature. He wants to find out who’s doing this to him. Silk Cut would be my guess. When he can’t be deterred, Ray and Gary accompany him back to his mansion.

Ava, Charlie, Behrad, and Nate are staking out a teahouse owned by the Triad when Genghis Khan rolls up on a motorcycle. Nate explains that away as Khan using horses in combat and a motorcycle is just a modern-day horse. Yeah, sure, we’ll go with that.

This is a dude who, 700 years ago, totally ravaged China. And who, we were told, two hours ago, totally ravaged Oshman’s Sporting Goods.

Mr. Khan has stolen drugs and a guy’s ear from the Triad in a bid to intimidate them and take them over. The Legends can’t get close to Khan and when a Triad notices Behrad’s earpiece, a gunfight breaks out between the Triad, some undercover cops, and the Legends. As the screenshot above suggests, it’s all very John Woo. Khan escapes with one of the Triad bosses.

Gary and Ray help Constantine prepare a summoning spell, but Constantine’s heart stops and he and briefly goes to purgatory, where not only does he see he has four hours left to live, but he’s visited by Astra. He offers to change her fate by changing her mother’s. She tells him he doesn’t have the time, and then he’s revived by Ray.

The Legends track Genghis Khan and plan their next move. Ava wants to send Charlie in undercover.

ZARI: “You’re a shapeshifter?”
CHARLIE: “Yeah, I am, actually. I can shift into anyone you like.”
ZARI: “Anyone?”
CHARLIE: “Yeah, anyone.”

Legends of “Fuck Subtext.” Speaking of subtext, something’s going on with Charlie and Behrad. When both of them leave the bridge, Nate says it’s obvious they slept together. Then in either the most brilliant or most terrible cut I’ve ever seen, as Nate does a “having sex” gesture to a motorcycle revving noise, it cuts to Khan and his gang riding up to their hideout.

The Legends knock out one of the gangsters and send Charlie in to take his place while Nate and Behrad keep watch outside. After admitting that he and Charlie had sex after Heyworld, Behrad mopes that Charlie left without saying goodbye. Nate (and their prisoner) tells him he can’t really know why Charlie left, and it may not have been about him so he should talk to her. Also their prisoner escapes.

Khan has a prisoner of his own: one of the cops from the teahouse. After he threatens her son, she gives him Prince Charles’ motorcade route as the prince is in Hong Kong to hand it over to China. Ava guesses that Khan wants Prince Charles to hand Hong Kong over to him instead, saying “An authoritarian power wants to control Hong Kong. That sounds familiar.”

Ava Sharpe said liberate Hong Kong!

With the information he needs, Khan kills the cop with a Hellsword that disintegrates her. Khan asks Charlie about the status of his fleet, and since she has no idea what he’s talking about, she wanders off to totally check on that thing that he just mentioned. Outside, the voices haunt her again and Behrad saves her after she walks in front of a truck.

At Constantine’s Sanctum Wanktorum, all attempts to cure him (including both a child’s wish to Fairy Godmother Nora, as well as the Pucca’s healing abilities) fail. Constantine looks for other solutions, but Gary encourages him to get his affairs in order – say goodbyes, work on a bucket list, etc. Constantine lashes out at Ray and Gary, telling them to fuck off.

I accidentally paused on this frame and noticed that Gary’s nipples are poking through his shirt. Obviously Crisis and the Earth merger caused his personal history to be altered, so I will now detail how it’s possible for the events of Season Four to play out when both of Gary’s nipples are intact. Let’s start by talking about parallel universes…

Whether through magic or Constantine’s delirium, the head of his cane (a bulldog) starts talking to him, suggesting he spend what time he has left with his friends. He apologizes to Ray and Gary, then sits down to dinner with them, reminiscing about moments from his life.

It’s weird seeing Constantine go through the stages of death like that. Denial, anger, depression… He even tries to call out the Archangel Gabriel to make a bargain at one point. In the end, he does something very unlike him: He doesn’t accept his mortality, but rather the help and comfort of his found family and embraces them in his final hours.

On the Waverider, Behrad asks Charlie what’s up, suggesting there’s something she’s running from. She tells him to get over her. He gives her a time courier and she leaves. Nate is assigned to check out a warehouse that Khan’s fleet guy owns. Without Charlie, Behrad is on his own, on the ground trying to protect the prince. With traffic gridlocked, the Legends don’t know how Khan and his men are getting around. But as Behrad hears motors, Nate discovers one of the “fleet” in the warehouse – an electric scooter. Nate looks to the heavens and shouts “KHAAAAAN!!!”

They see me rollin’. They hatin’.

I’d go on and on about how silly this is, but this is just par for the course at this point. The scooter gang attack the motorcade, forcing it to divert to a parking garage where they take the prince and Behrad (who tried to intervene) hostage. It turns out the prince is actually Charlie, and the real Prince Charles is safe on the Waverider. Remember when Charlie impersonated his mom and partied at a concert? Good times.

Things go poorly and Khan’s men try to execute Charlie, but Behrad uses his totem to stop the bullets in mid-air. Charlie then stabs Khan with his own sword, destroying him.

Back on the ship, Charlie tells the Legends about her past – she’s Clotho the Spinner, one of the Greek Fates. She destroyed the Loom of Fate thousands of years ago and scattered the pieces across the multiverse, but now that the multiverse is all mushed into one universe (more or less), the pieces are on one plane and Charlie’s sisters are regaining their power. Once they find her, they’ll kill her and anyone she’s with. She wants to run again, but the Legends convince her to stick around. Sara finally returns to the Waverider and asks what the heck happened while she was gone and why there are scooters everywhere.

Constantine shares his will with Ray and Gary. Gary gets the Pan-opticon (I’m tired of saying “Constantine’s house/mansion”). Ray is planning to ask Nora to marry him, but he’s nervous because he’s been engaged twice before. Constantine tells him to just go for it and then has one last drink with his friends. His drink was poison, though, and as he’s dying he confronts Astra both with the knowledge that he used the same poison her mother took, and to sing a song Natalie used to sing to both Astra and Constantine. Affected, Astra asks if Constantine can really bring her back. When he says yes, she turns the gear on his soul token back, restoring him to life. He celebrates briefly before stating his intention to follow through on his promise to find the Loom.

I wanted Charlie’s backstory, but I really wasn’t expecting that. Even knowing that she destroyed the Loom of Fate, I hadn’t considered that she was one of the Fates. I was actually expecting some motive for stealing and destroying the Loom to come up later. So yeah, the Legends have been traveling around with a goddess.

I already talked about Constantine’s stages of grief, but that subplot was really good. He was angry and desperate, which made him push Gary and Ray away, but then he let them in during his “final moments.” He gave Gary a house, gave Ray friendly advice, and in his final minute, lamented that he didn’t get to spend more time with them. His reaction to Astra’s change of heart made it pretty clear that his plan wasn’t some long-thought-out scheme, but a last-ditch Hail Mary, so the moments of him confronting his own mortality were genuine.

So Astra, the Encores, and Charlie’s sisters are our antagonists for the season? I’m excited to see where this is going.

Also, Caity Lotz (Sara Lance) directed this episode and I think she knocked it out of the park.

Next time: I’ll be back when the day is new. And I’ll have more ideas for you. And you’ll have things you’ll want to talk about. I will too.


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

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