[Review] Legends of Tomorrow Episode 5×06: “Mr. Parker’s Cul-De-Sac”

written by Kate Danvers


It’s a beautiful day in the reviewerhood,
A beautiful day for a reader.
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

Any episode that starts with a flashback to the Beebo vs. Mallus fight is a good one.

Constantine fails to convince Sara, Ava, and Charlie to track down the Loom of Fate. Sara doesn’t think anyone should have the power to rewrite time without consequence, and she knows because she’s been here before with the Spear of Destiny. She’s going to solve the Encore problem the old-fashioned way: with a demonic sword. The Prognosticator detects a new Encore in Salvation, Dakota Territories in 1874. Undaunted, Constantine hits the Waverider’s library to search for a lead on the Loom. Charlie poses as Nate and tricks Constantine into searching the South Pole.

Ray prepares for a romantic dinner with Nora, where he plans to propose. And since only one of the Legends is a homeowner and the production team has that really cool fancy house to use, they’re having it at Constantine’s Sanctum Wanktorum with Gary as their butler. Also, Nora has to bring her current charge, Pippa. What could possibli go–ah, you know the drill by now. Suddenly, Gary starts blinking out of existence. Oh, someone is trying to kill him in the past. Yeah, that tracks.

See, this is how you do villain clichés. Points off for the perpetrator not having a mustache to twirl, though.

So two years ago in Gary’s personal timeline, he was abducted in 1874 while cleaning up the Beebo crater. Onscreen location titles – so helpful. Ava and Sara save Gary from the tracks and find out what year he’s from, along with who did this and who stole his time courier.

The newest Encore, Damien Darhk (remember, he was Mallus’ host when Beebo tackle-hugged him into oblivion) shows up at the mansion in 2020 to see his daughter. Not wanting to tell her dad she’s a fairy godmother or that she’s dating Ray Palmer because, y’know, Dad’s all murder-happy, she sends Ray to the Waverider with Pippa. They pass the time watching a show from Ray’s childhood called Mr. Parker’s Cul-De-Sac.

Mick is being trolled by someone online leaving bad reviews of his Rebecca Silver books. Zari helps him track down the troll to a house in Central City. They find the teenage girl who’s been doing the trolling…along with her mother, Ali, Mick’s old girlfriend from “Slay Anything.” You know, the one he hooked up with at the reunion in 2004. Sixteen years ago in her timeline. Yup. Ali introduces him to Lita, their daughter. Mick faints.

Damien is impressed by Nora’s life of supposed dark sorcery. When Sara and Ava try to sneak in to kill Damien, Nora asks them to let her handle this her way. “Her way” being more lies, passing off the Legends as her henchmen, and attempting to brew a potion that will make Damien a normal non-magical human. He’s been powerless before, you know. He was still a dick. Also he killed Sara’s sister.

Meanwhile, the appearance of the real Nate stops Constantine from traipsing off into the Antarctic (underdressed at that) and he angrily storms off the ship to find the Loom his own way. Seriously, who plans for an Antarctic expedition wearing a thin parka, some gloves, and a pair of slacks?

Make the plan, execute the plan, expect a shapeshifter to fuck with the plan, brood until you come up with a new plan.

Constantine goes back to his mansion, spars with Damien, and when Nora breaks it up she passes Constantine off as her boyfriend. Yep, this is going well. Trouble in paradise, though – not for Nora and Ray or any of the nonsense going on at the table, but from Ava intercepting a call from Wild Dog (Rene Ramirez) about a permanent job he offered Sara. Ava is upset that Sara didn’t tell her. Ray arrives in time for dessert, trying to warn everyone about the engagement ring hidden in the chocolate mousse.

Don’t do that, by the way. Jewelry has little tiny crevices that shit will get in and it sucks to make your fiancée clean their engagement ring before they even wear it.

Before Damien takes a bite of his dessert containing the depowering potion, Ava nearly chokes on the ring. Damien guesses right that it’s for Nora, and Constantine has to fake a proposal. Nora refuses and comes clean to her dad about everything. Damien flips out, starts telekinetically choking everyone, takes the hell sword from Sara, and interrupts Constantine’s Latin spellcasting by throwing him across the room with an incantation of his own.


When Behrad, Nate, and Charlie try to come to the rescue, Pippa wishes she could go too, then wishes all of them were on Mr. Parker’s Cul-De-Sac. Ray, now Mr. Parker, has Nora and Damien on the show to help them work through their problems. He does this by taking us all to the Land of Make-‘Em-Ups with the help of Gary, the Unspeakable Train Abomination.

Having grown up with Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, I’m living my best life with this nonsense on my screen.

Back in Central City, Ali says she tried to contact Mick to tell him she was pregnant, but he was in jail…again. She didn’t tell Lita much about her father until she found out he was a romance novelist. Mick wipes both Ali’s and Lita’s memories, then leaves. Mick later says that Lita is better off without him.

Constantine and Charlie learn a valuable lesson about communication from Puppet Sara and Puppet Ava. Puppet Sara didn’t tell Puppet Ava about the job offer in Puppet Star City because she was only thinking about it, and thought Puppet Ava wanted to settle down in a normal life. Puppet Ava doesn’t want a normal life; she likes being on the Puppet Waverider. Puppet Sara is going to reject the puppet job in Puppet Star City the next time she talks to Puppet Wild Dog.

Puppet puppet puppet puppet. HERE. FOR. THIS.

Constantine is sad that Charlie nearly sent him to the South Pole, but Charlie only did that because the Loom is so dangerous and she wants everyone to be able to live their lives freely without having someone else control their fate. Constantine worries about Charlie’s sisters getting the Loom, so he promises to help her destroy it once he’s saved Astra. They make a deal.

Damien blames Ray for Nora being stuck as a fairy godmother, but Nora tells him she actually likes helping kids. It’s a path she chose, not one that she was forced into like her dad trying to drag her down a path of dark sorcery. Damien finally admits he’s wrong and tells Nora he’s proud of her. Pippa, who’s watching them on TV at the mansion, decides her family isn’t nearly as fucked up as this lot and releases Nora from her charge, bringing everyone out of the TV.

Nora accepts Ray’s proposal. Since the timing is convenient for everyone, they hold a ceremony right there in the mansion with all of the Legends in attendance. Sara officiates, Nate is the best man, and Damien even walks Nora in. After the ceremony, Damien gives Ray his approval since he’s making Nora so happy. But he tells him that Nora can’t do her job and have the life they deserve together on the Waverider. He wants Ray to do the right thing.

Damien dances with Nora and promises that he’s done with evil, but he’s not sticking around. He says goodbye and heads for the door, where he runs into Sara. The conditions of his encore-ing were that he cause pain and misery and send more souls to Hell, but he just wanted to make sure his daughter was okay. He knows Astra is going to recall him to Hell for more torment and he doesn’t want Nora to see that. He tries to reconcile with Sara, but knows she’ll never forgive him. As he steps outside, Sara notices the hell sword is missing. She walks out in time to see Damien stab himself with the sword, which obliterates him.

And that’s how the episode ends. We go from hijinks to a cute parody of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood to a happy wedding, and then an ending scene that left me feeling hollow. It’s hard to say why Damien did what he did. Maybe as a way to dodge Hell? To give his daughter a clean break from him? Fear that he couldn’t really keep his nose clean? Fear of Astra forcing him to do evil? Or a last act of penance? Whatever his reasons, it was a very Damien Darhk way of going out.

Let’s talk about the happy bits. First of all, I want to say they nailed the look and feel of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood while keeping everything conveniently in the realm of legal parody. Ray being the Mr. Rogers character fits so well, too. Like many, my childhood was partly shaped by Fred Rogers, so even seeing a parody being so faithful made me a little misty-eyed.

Character growth! Mick erasing the memory of his visit from Ali and Lita is definitely a dickish Mick Rory thing to do, but not the Mick Rory we first met. He tells Zari it’s a miracle that Lita hasn’t ended up in juvie already and that’s why he’s staying out of her life – to make sure she doesn’t become as bad as he is. Mick’s aware of his flaws, doesn’t see the good qualities, and hasn’t quite hit the stage of trying to better himself.

It was great seeing Nora stand up to her father and tell him that being a fairy godmother is her choice. She may not have intended to become stuck with the powers, but she’s choosing to stick with it. She’s come a long way from being her father’s pawn. She’s earned her own happily ever after.

And that’s what all of this is leading to. Nora and Ray are going to be leaving the Waverider next week and that means Courtney Ford and Brandon Routh will be leaving the show. It’s disappointing, and I’ll be sad to see them go, but as long as they don’t pull a last-minute tragedy on us like they did with Martin Stein, I think this will be a good exit for the characters. But more of that next week. Speaking of…

Next time: “Romeo and Juliet” has been erased from history! …What’s the problem here?


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

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