Legends of Tomorrow: 4.07 Hell No, Dolly!
Legends of Tomorrow gives us a plot heavy episode that manages to give us a good glimpse into the darker side of Constantine, without losing the fun and silly shenanigans we’ve come to expect from the Legends.
Constantine is getting increasingly grumpy and frustrated with the ethos of the Legends and its clear he actually just wanted to join them so he could hide from something. When self professed serial killer nut Ava doesn’t recognize a turn of the century New Orleans female serial killer, the team set off to deal with the latest Mythtery. In tandem to this we discover that Constantine had recently been in love with a man from new Orleans, Desmond. Turns out the serial killer, who of course isn’t and is just being framed, is Desmond’s grandmother and the guilt of promising her he’ll keep Desmond safe sends Constantine on a dark path.
We find out that Desmond was dragged to hell when Constantine banished a demon who was out to get his soul; what is great about this, is we find out that Constantine knew Desmond would be dragged to hell before he banished the demon but did it anyway. It’s a darkness we’ve not quite seen before and it provides the kind of guilt and regret that fuels Constantine to do dangerous and crazy things. The visuals of Constantine sending the demon to hell, watching Desmond being dragged there too, are fantastic. Simple but painful and very comic-booky.
The goofy side of things involves the real serial killer – or at least his soul – which jumps around possessing dolls and puppets. This allows for some classic Legends of Tomorrow tomfoolery and genre spoofing, including some actually pretty creepy horror doll stuff near the outset. By the end of the episode the killer has possessed the Stein-Muppet from a couple of seasons ago in a suitably ridiculous sequence of grown adults fighting a puppet.
We also get some work done on Rory and Ava trying to build some kind of grudging friendship for the sake of Sara. I feel a bit like this is antagonism for antagonism’s sake, though it does ring true that these two wouldn’t like each other much.
We’re also treated to more of Mona at the Time Bureau. I can’t get my head around the Time Bureau. She is incompetent yet got a job, Gary is incompetent yet keeps his job, Mona is almost run over by a total douche who works there yet he has a job. It seems that Rip’s legacy is an organisation staffed by morons who rely on outside contractors, The legends, to do all the complicated work? Classic Rip. We’re treated to a bit of a love triangle misunderstanding fueled by Nate when Gary has a thing for Mona and Mona has a thing for one of the mythical creature in her care. Although its mean to be funny to show Gary’s ineptitude with women there is soothing creepy about the way he pursues and tries to neg Mona that, coupled with his willingness to Men in Black her memory after trying to trick her into a Thanksgiving date a couple of weeks back, makes him even more detestable. Time to retire Gary. You could kill Gary off cruelly and it could have quite an impact. Go on show-runners, do it.
There is lots going on this week and its perhaps the most plot heavy the show has been for a while, it just about holds it together and manages to stay fun and silly while packing a punch with Constantine’s narrative. Part of it’s ability to held these strands together is down to its sheer daftness and another show, say Supergirl or Arrow, probably couldn’t sustain so much going on like this.
By episode end, Mona has witnessed and tried to stop the douche bag who ran her over at the opening from kidnapping the mythical creature she has the hots for – this is clearly part of the dark scheme Hank has going on and is one of the few leanings into a Big Bad this season. I quite like the lack of focus on the big villain, something else this show does more confidently than the other Arrowverse shows.
Eventually, Constantine with some help from Charlie, manages to prevent himself from meeting (thus dooming) Desmond but this causes a ripple effect that fractures all time, resulting in a pretty impressive finale sequence. I always enjoy Legends of Tomorrow, this was a very busy episode that had a lot of work to do and a lot going on but just managed to do it while focusing on the interesting character stuff (Constantine) and main plot (kidnapped creatures).
Also, ray grows a moustache because Nora likes them. Classic Ray.