[Review] Legends of Tomorrow Episode 6×10: “Bad Blood”

written by Kate Danvers

*Taylor Swift song intensifies*

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

Constantine interrogates the living painting Aleister Crowley for the location of his map to the Fountain of Imperium. Under threat of desecration, Crowley tells him he gave it to a banker for safekeeping. The banker turns out to be a vampire by the name of Noelle. He tricks her into giving up the painting for free, but she also offers some sort of magic-boosting potion.

Constantine recruits Spooner for her ability to read and speak alien languages. He knows the map points to Spain, but Spooner is able to narrow it down to Albacete in 1939, at the tail end of the Spanish Civil War. They hit the local tavern looking for more information and are initially taken for fascist spies, but Constantine knows enough history to convince the locals that he’s a Republic soldier. John, did you do proper research before the mission? Are you sure you’re a Legend?

They ask about El Gato, a man who has reportedly survived attacks that should have killed him. They’re told a bogus story about the milk from a donkey giving him supernatural durability, so they leave. Assuming the man they spoke to was El Gato and noticing how shifty people in the tavern were acting, they check out the cellar underneath and find a mute boy named Fernando, who’s giving off a strong alien signal. He’s been drinking from the fountain.

Above, they hear Nationalist soldiers entering the tavern, led by Captain Noriega. He’s looking for the fountain on behalf of Adolf Hitler. He also mentions the Spear of Destiny and the Loom of Fate as two objects he’s done research on. So yeah, the Fountain of Imperium is on that level. When El Gato reveals himself, Noriega shoots him. Fernando runs in and revives El Gato with magic. Noriega has everyone in the tavern arrested – including Spooner – while Constantine escapes.

El Gato’s downfall was direct capture….sorry, I’m a fucking nerd. See, Elgato is a brand that makes hardware and software used in streaming video games to sites like Twitch and a direct capture is–hang on, I’m being forcibly dragged from the keyboard.

Back on the Waverider, the other Legends (minus Sara and Ava) are babysitting Gus-Gus, but they run into a problem when he rapidly ages to adulthood and becomes a terror. Mick and Lita are trapped in the mess hall, but Mick starts to have bad headaches. Fearing this is it, she wants to get him to the med bay, but he refuses. He thinks he deserves to die for his past and for abandoning Kayla. Lita suddenly goes into labor. Mick pushes her through the corridor on an office chair while the other Legends distract Gus-Gus. A combination of two wind totems and Mick’s flamethrower push Gus-Gus through an open time portal into a forested area.

Z: “Tarazi siblings…”
BEHRAD: “…Activate!”

Did they just…? This goddamn show is always stealing my jokes!

Noriega tortures El Gato and learns that Fernando is El Gato’s nephew. Noriega threatens to kill Spooner if Fernando doesn’t tell him where the fountain is. Constantine arrives, posing as a priest from the Vatican. He claims the Vatican is also looking for the fountain and performs a ceremony to “telepathically link the minds” of Fernando and Spooner. Spooner uses her powers to ask Fernando about the fountain. Fernando explains that he found a cave when he was trying to find a way to help his uncle, who was injured in an explosion. An angel in the cave told him to drink from the fountain, and when he did, he gained the ability to heal his uncle. He says he can lead Spooner and Constantine to the fountain.

I gave up my religion years ago, and I wasn’t even Catholic, but John Constantine posing as a priest feels very sacrilegious.

Constantine asks the bartender for water, allowing her to get a rifle hidden behind the bar and turn the tables on Noriega and his men long enough for Spooner, Fernando, and Constantine to escape. Spooner wants to go back, but Constantine reminds her that history already decided who won this war. Spooner asks him to give her a reason to stay there and risk her life to get his magic back.

CONSTANTINE: “You know, where I’m from, being normal is being crushed under the boot of capitalism and then blaming it on anyone with brown skin. It’s being told that only degenerates can fancy men and women. It’s your old man coming home drunk every night and beating you to a pulp because that’s what his old man done to him. But magic, Spooner – the ability to break the rules, to stick it to the rich and the powerful – that’s who I am. And I’m nothing without it, Spooner. I’m nothing.”

Fuck. That got a little too real. I know he’s describing the U.K., but that easily applies to the U.S. This is one of those episodes where we really get to see a lot of what makes John Constantine who he is – something that Legends doesn’t indulge in too often because the character in his natural comic environment sometimes gets fucking bleak.

Spooner agrees to help and they find the cave with the fountain, but it’s dried up. Constantine then tries to convince Spooner to use her connection to Fernando to transfer the boy’s magic to him. He claims it’s to give Fernando a normal life, but Spooner sees through John’s bullshit. He doesn’t care about Fernando; he just wants his magic. She attempts to transfer the power anyway, and it seems to be working, but the power goes back to the fountain and disappears. Spooner recalls the prophecy from the map: Only the worthy can drink from the fountain.

Noriega and his men arrive, so Constantine tells Spooner and Fernando to hide while he deals with them. He takes out the magic potion from earlier, drinks it, and then kills all of the soldiers. The effects, the camera angles, the sound effects, and the music make it very clear that this isn’t a hero moment. This isn’t a triumph. This is horrifying. Constantine passes out.

Though I’m sure if Twitter sees this scene, there will be screencaps and gifs saying “EHRMAHGRD, BISEXUAL LIGHTING!”

On the Waverider, it turns out that Lita faked her labor to get Mick to the med bay, because she thought he was in real labor. Gideon does a scan and assures them he isn’t, and the headaches are normal for someone with forty-eight Necrian eggs in their skull. Gideon brings up the scan showing the eggs, and Lita tells Mick that those little ones need their dad to survive, just like she does. Gary, Ava, and Sara walk in just in time to gush over the first ultrasound. Guys, Mick has a fucking egg clutch in his skull. Like, I know, baby cute, but much as we joke about Mick being brainless, the human skull isn’t meant to contain forty-eight of anything.

Constantine, Spooner, and Fernando make it back to the tavern to find everyone alive. Fernando reunites with his uncle. Constantine and Spooner return to Constantine’s house in the present. He’s worried that he’s damned himself all over again by killing the soldiers like that. They have a heart-to-heart chat where Spooner says she regrets giving up on her mother. Constantine tells her that she still has time – she’s got a timeship. While Spooner is distracted by the snoring Crowley painting, Constantine drinks the last few drops of the potion, giving him just enough magic to hypnotize Spooner into believing that he drank from the Fountain of Imperium and got his magic back.

As Spooner goes upstairs to sleep, Noelle brings Constantine more of the potion in exchange for Crowley.

This is going to come back to bite him! …Sorry, I’ve been off for a few weeks.

Goddamnit, John. Obviously the liquid magic is some dangerous and probably addictive stuff. And Constantine just went off on Astra about taking shortcuts to learn magic faster. Really, that’s just Constantine in a nutshell. When brought to his lowest, he will find a way to go lower and hit some really dark places before he allows himself to rise up again. He’s a terribly flawed character, and that’s what I like about him.

That said, I hope Spooner figures out what he did and kicks him in the dick.

I think the thing that bothered me most about this episode was the side plot. There was a lot going on in the main plot, I know, but the side plot with Gus-Gus growing up and rampaging through the ship could honestly have been told in about five minutes. Cutting from the main plot every few scenes to do fifteen to twenty seconds of the ship plot stretched it out way too much.

Next time: The Legends are abducted by aliens and trapped in a bowling alley floating in space, which is about the most Douglas Adams this show has ever gotten.

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Legends of Tomorrow airs Sundays on the CW at 8 ET/7 CT. Kate prefers her vampires to be a bit taller with a very wide brim hat and yes, she’s still on about the goddamn 9’6″ vampire lady. Her thirst tweets can be found on Twitter @WearyKatie.

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