[Review] Legends of Tomorrow Episode 5×09: “The Great British Fake-Off”

written by Kate Danvers


When I think of things Constantine’s house could have been in the past, “boarding house” is the most tame of them all.

Charlie tells the Legends that sometime back in ancient Egypt, she gave the last piece of the Loom of Fate to Enchantress. Oh shit, is this going to be like a shorter version of Suicide Squad but with better editing and a coherent plot? Nah, Enchantress agreed to hide the piece where Charlie and her sisters could never find it. Zari wants Constantine to find the piece of the Loom since Enchantress is magic and he’s magic.

It’s kind of weird that everyone is on board with using the Loom to resurrect Behrad seeing as how in the past, the Legends have been strictly against using things such as time travel and the Spear of Destiny to resurrect someone. Don’t get me wrong, I want stoner superbro back. I just expected more debate about it, especially from the ship’s captain who has been tempted to bring friends and her own family back to life.

Speaking of Sara, she’s having weird precognitive flashes. Even without knowing this, Charlie is worried she might experience side effects of seeing Atropos’ true form. This comes to a head when, during a ritual to locate the ring/Loom piece, Sara sees a vision of Ava running to her moments before she collapses. Constantine and Zari fall into a portal as the ritual ends.

Zari and Constantine end up in Constantine’s house in the past, where the ring is now anchored. The house is a boarding house where the owner, Mrs. Hughes, is happy to give the “engaged” couple a room. Also staying there is a “Dr. White.” A locator spell shows the ring is in the doctor’s room, so Zari distracts him elsewhere while Constantine searches the room. Dr. White is giving off a real serial killer vibe, and when Constantine saves Zari from him by snapping his neck, he reveals Dr. White is really Mr. the Ripper, first name Jack. Jack doesn’t stay down, though – he’s an Encore!

The best part about this scene is that the real Ripper isn’t Aaron Kosminski’s nurse, so the Thinker was wrong in The Flash Season Four. God, the Thinker sucked so much.

Sara is in a coma on the Waverider. Scans say she’s got unusual activity in her striatum, a part of the brain that processes time. Pfft, I’ve got that even without all of the time travel and mystical crap. What day is it again? Also, the Prognosticator detects that the Encores are all moving through time, converging on one point, but can’t pinpoint where that is. Left in charge with a Legend dead, two more missing, and her girlfriend in a coma, Ava is going to charge into Hell to confront Astra. She’s taking Mick for added muscle (and because his daughter told him to go to Hell), and Gary accompanies them because he’s doing the spell.

After tying up Jack and putting him in a closet, Zari and Constantine bicker until they hear new arrivals downstairs: Bonnie and Clyde, Brutus, Black Caesar, and Henry VIII. I’ve got like eight jokes off of these names. I’ll do my best to hold back, though I’m sure I won’t. Constantine tells Zari to stay put while he goes to dinner in Jack the Ripper’s clothes to infiltrate the group of Encores.

Mick kinda digs Hell’s aesthetic (no surprise there). He threatens a demon for Astra’s location, and once Gary draws her out of the club she’s in, Ava threatens her with the Hellsword. Astra denies sending the Encores to Earth, saying she hasn’t sent one since she and Constantine made a deal.

At dinner, the Encores all make it clear that they’re there for the ring, but not exactly working together. The one who finds the ring gets to party on Earth as long as they want. Oh gods, a second reign of King “Ain’t My Fault All My Wives Miscarried” would be the perfect cap to 2020. He’d be an MRA inside of a week. Clyde takes care of that really quick by blasting Henry VIII with a hellfire shotgun. Shit, now I have to thank Clyde Barrow. Constantine pulls a hellfire scalpel on Bonnie, who aims a hellfire revolver at Black Caesar, who points a hellfire flintlock pistol at Clyde, who aims his shotgun at Brutus, who levels a hellfire dagger at Constantine’s back. I would have had Black Caesar and Brutus draw on each other immediately for the lulz.

Just then, Zari walks in, introducing herself as Cleopatra.

Yes. Yes you are. O_O

“Cleopatra” walks in like she owns the damn place (showing up the guy who actually owns the place) and talks everyone into lowering their weapons and working together to find the ring. Afterward, they can use it as leverage to get whatever they want. Dinner resumes as civilly as a dinner can be with two bank robbers, a literal backstabbing traitor, a pirate, and John Constantine at the table.

Astra checks her safe and the soul coins are gone. Her accountant is confused, since she asked him to take them out and give them to her. At least she still has Constantine’s…nope, that one has been swapped out for Vandal Savage’s coin. Seems Lachesis has robbed her. Ava proposes that they go get the coins back together, just the two of them. Astra gives Ava her sob story about Lachesis taking her in and then betraying her, but when Ava drops her guard to relate, Astra betrays her, having her men take Ava back to her office while she deals with Lachesis.

After dinner, the Encores start searching for the ring and betraying each other right away. Bonnie shoots Brutus – you too, Brutus? Then Caesar falls when Clyde shoots him. Caesar was carrying a hell compass that he was using to track the ring. Constantine and Zari nab it after Caesar dies. The compass takes them in circles, so Constantine finally figures it out – the spell on the ring makes it impossible to find for whoever’s looking for it.

When Astra asks for her soul coins, Lachesis reveals who she and Atropos (who’s back from falling into the timestream, I guess) really are. They ask Astra to join them as the third Fate. She accepts in exchange for the return of Constantine’s soul coin.

This trio just screams “Season Finale Antagonists.”

Bonnie and Clyde find the real Jack the Ripper tied up in Constantine’s room. Meanwhile, Constantine chooses to relax and have a drink downstairs. Both he and Zari lament that there’s no getting the Loom of Fate out of their heads because of what it means to both of them – the chance to save Astra and Behrad. When the Encores come downstairs looking for Constantine, he sends Zari through a secret passage to the outside while he faces them alone.

Astra returns to her office and frees the Legends, putting her faith in them and Constantine to use the Loom to save her mother and change her fate. Ava convinces her to come with them, and when the spell ends, the four teleport out of Hell and back to the Waverider.

The Encores threaten Constantine with torture if he doesn’t tell them where the ring is. Zari comes back and starts shooting blasts of wind from the Air Totem, throwing Clyde onto Jack the Ripper’s scalpel. Constantine shoots Jack with the shotgun, then Zari redirects a shot from Bonnie’s own gun into a ricochet that hits Bonnie. The ring appears on a table after the fight, interrupting a very weird almost-kiss between Constantine and Zari. The other Legends arrive to save the day, but the day has already been saved, so they take the hell weapons and run…but not before Constantine makes it clear to Mrs. Hughes that he knows who she is. As the Legends leave, Mrs. Hughes turns into Enchantress.

Her design is already a glow-up, but not being ineffectually attacked by a bunch of gimmicky supervillains also improves the character.

Back on the ship, Nate congratulates Zari on using the totem and they hug while a jealous Constantine watches. Ava gets to work on fixing the Prognosticator since it broke trying to track time-traveling Encores. Nate says he and Zari are of no help because they’re not tech experts – okay, Zari gets a pass because her timeline was rewritten, but Nate built the timequake detector. Yes, that’s still weird. Sara is still in a coma, but Charlie is keeping an eye on her. Lastly, Constantine finds out about Astra, who is eager to start putting the Loom back together.

All right, where to start? Odd use of Encores, but I liked the idea of several of them competing against and killing each other. I also liked Constantine and Zari’s dynamic when they worked together this episode. They both doubted the other’s skills and abilities. I’m just disappointed it turned into a romance thing.

It seems like it’s in service to a love triangle between Zari, Constantine, and Nate. I didn’t mention it in the recap, but Zari and Nate had a little scene where Nate was clearly pining for the old Zari. This kind of bugs me because the new Zari isn’t anything like the old Zari. But I guess we don’t have any previous scenario like that to compare this to OH WAIT, WE DO. Charlie is walking around wearing Amaya’s face, but he’s not hung up on Charlie. In fact, they were minding the ship and drinking together like buds while the others were in Hell this episode. But Nate talks like he misses old Zari when he only has vague memory flashes of her. If he fully remembered old Zari, that would be one thing, but they don’t remember each other because their history was retconned.

Here’s an idea: Stop queerbaiting Zari and Charlie every ten episodes or so. Pull the trigger on that and work that into a love triangle. Plus, as intrigued as Zari was by the prospect of a shapeshifter, I’m interested to see who she would ask Charlie to become, whether for sex or something else.

Anyway, I’m calling an Astra betrayal in the next episode or two, followed by her becoming a Fate.

Next time: Sara is awake and wearing a blindfold, so either she’s trying to block out those visions or she’s recreating Bird Box. I will not be watching that before next week just to make references.


Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays on the CW at 9 ET/8 CT. Kate will gladly tell you all about her proposal for a Zari Tarazi monarchy on Twitter @WearyKatie.

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