Legends of Tomorrow: 3.15 Necromancing the Stone
One of my favourite aspects of this show is its episode titles. They manage to be funny, cheesy, not always relevant to the plot and at times tonally inappropriate – much like the show as a whole. This week’s Necromancing the Stone is a one of its best titles to date (though it's no Helen Hunt). The episode itself... average but fun.
The ep opens with some very nice pillow talk between Sara and Ava which is very sweet, with Ava almost but not really getting a bit jealous of Sara’s tryst with John Constantine. I enjoyed that Sara was so casual about sleeping with Constantine and how recently it was, it nice to see her pursue a real relationship without the narrative getting bogged down in uncharacteristic melodrama.
The main body of the episode is a little underwhelming; Sara accidentally becomes the barer of the Death Totem. Because the totems heighten what is already inside you, this brings Mallus to the surface as he is still inside Sara. Cue Sara in funky make up and black contacts terrorizing the ship.
The Death Totem gives Sara the power to summon the images of people from the other Legends’ pasts. This is all fun enough and has a creepy haunted house, face your demons vibe except the Legends aren’t stupid and each one knows what Sara is doing. When dead brothers or ex girlfriends appear, characters state ‘you’re not real’ but they still allow themselves to be distracted, which is a bit daft.
While Possessed Sara torments her team mates on the ship, Ava goes off on a more interesting side mission; find John Constantine. Constantine is very much established as part of the Berlanti universe now and its great to be able to just drop him in a show or drop in on him. We find Constantine living in a quirky old apartment that he got through dubious means, doing some low level curses for a few bucks. Since this was little more than a single set and exterior establishing shot, I felt it was a wasted opportunity to expand his world a bit – with the right exterior stock footage, they could easily have established this as Liverpool or London and made Constantine feel more global. But this is a small gripe.
This episode gives us some great Constantine stuff as he and Ava attempt to enter the spirit world limbo and rescue Sara. We also have Rory trying to harness his own totem power – the fire totem (well, it wasn’t gonna be the water totem I guess). He spends the story coming to terms with totem powers, as well as his potential to be a hero. Rory has had the strongest and most expansive character arc of any Legend and he might be their narrative secret weapon!
The episode feels a little like monster of the week filler stuff in the run up to the finale but its still fun and has some witty performances, not to mention some genuinely creepy moments. Nate, seeing his dead grandfather, who berates him for being a poor superhero, has the biggest impact because of course we’ve seen him die on screen as part of the Legends story. It was also a reminder that Nate can have a bit of depth as a character.
It’s always great to see Constantine. I don’t think I’d want him as a regular team member and if he had his own show it would need some major reworking from the last attempt (made and set in the UK, produced by the BBC for post watershed viewing anyone?) but it's very effective when he pops up here now and again and he feels far more Constantiney!
The episodes ends with Sara breaking things off with Ava because she doesn’t think they can have a real relationship, though I’d put money on them reconciling by the finale (but maybe with Ava dying?). The absolute final moments of the episode are in fact Constantine joining Gary for Dungeons and Dragons, because why not.