Legends of Tomorrow: 4.15 Terms of Service
The Legends get ready for their season finale while Constantine heads to hell!
Last week saw John Constantine cast into Hell to try and save Ray; now he’s stuck wondering round a rotting New York-ish landscape searching for everyone’s favourite haircut. The Hell created here is a nice, recognisable place. Something that the Constantine film did really well was its depiction of Hell as a decayed shadow of our own world, pressed on top of ours. What it didn’t do so well was cast John Constantine (Sorry Keanu, we love you but...).
This doesn’t reach that level of sophistication but it dips in and has a flavour of that style. Hell being a place people can get forgotten or overlooked, where people can and do live and interact is a fun one. As always, I feel had this Constantine been afforded his own 18 certificate TV show he’d have be able to stretch these ideas but Legends of Tomorrow allows for some exploration and some fun images.
Constantine’s mission goes sour, of course, having tracked down the Satanic Triumvirate – Satan, Belial and Beelzebub, three old white guys in nasty suits - he convinced them they should let him go with Ray’s soul. They instead give him a choice; Ray or Astra, the little girl he lost who set him on his dark path. The trick, after Constantine picks Astra, is that she has grown up in Hell and is no longer a scared child but a bitter, resentful woman who aims to torture Constantine. I liked this and I wonder how much of what we’ve seen play out for Constantine in this show might’ve played out in his own, cancelled, series? We’re definitely leaning into aspects and concepts form the comics and its nice to see this show giving Constantine a fair crack.
We discover that Nemon, in his Ray disguise, is launching an App to track monsters. His devilish trick being the T&Cs of the App - which no one reads - contractually binds your soul to Nemon. A trick he’s hoping will allow him to make a play for the Throne of Hell. This is a wonderfully goofy, modern and very Legends of Tomorrow plot idea.
Gary has been hosted to the Fairy Godmother and she spends most of her time trying to persuade him to kill the Legends for being mean to him. This involves lot of silliness of Gary misunderstanding her intentions and wishing for stupid stuff such as joining Book Club with Sara and Eva or making himself captain of the Waverider and even Nate’s sidekick. Eventually Gary gives in to his anger and frustration at the Legends and wishes some mean things for them to teach them a lesson but nothing too mean, more slightly embarrassing (Nate gets bad hair and spots and Sara and Ava have to dance).
After he relents, the Legends apologise to Gary and realise that they have taken him for granted. I feel mixed about this, the Legends have been dicks to Gary from the get go and they have actively put him in harm's way for their own means but Gary is a bit of a creep and incredibly bad at his job. And there is still that whole get Mona drunk then wipe her mind plan back at Thanksgiving but I guess this plot has allowed for development of the core characters and hopefully Gary as well. What I did really like I this part of the story was the fact that Gary explains that he knew the fairy Godmother was trying to get him to hurt them so kept making silly wishes to keep them safe.
Zari and Nate crank up their relationship looking after their dragon egg while also visiting Zari’s childhood home. I always lose track of Zari’s timeline as her future seemed so dystopian but is only meant to be a few years from now? I always feel as if she’s from a hundred years from now.
The episode doesn’t really leave us on a big, dynamic cliff-hanger. There is a criss-cross of people trying to rescue each other, resulting in other people ending up trapped; Nemon-ray and the Fairy Godmother have captured and injured Mona, using her Wolfy persona to drum up fear and popularise their App, Nora attempt to save an injured Mona and gets tricked into becoming a fairy Godmother. This is a great gag, releasing the Fairy Godmother to use her powers freely and restricting Nora in using hers, as well as linking her to Gary. Charlie, in her attempt to rescue all the magical creatures so Nemon can’t exploit them, gets captures (but the magical creatures are safe on the Waverider). I think I’ve come to the conclusion that Maisie Richardson-Sellers actually isn’t very good. Initially I felt it was the writing and characterisation of her first character but her Cockney-Bird character is just awful, her accent is unconvincing and her delivery of British slang sounds forced and Americanised. I wish they’d just stuck with Anjli Mohindra in the role.
Gary, not realising his Fairy Godmother is now Nora, sends her to Hell to help Constantine save Ray, a poorly thought out if well meaning act that sends Nora swirling to Hell in a whirl of profanities directed at Gary. I’ve enjoyed so much about this series and this season but as we head towards the finale there is a little something missing. I’m not sure what it is, perhaps it’s the lack of Superhero suiting up or maybe the heavy lean in to Buffy the Vampire Slayer territory over sci-fi but I think it could be how heavily we’ve been in present day and The Time Bureau. The Bureau is just a bit boring. I’m in no way disappointed with the show but I need soothing BIG and weird and Legends of Tomorrow-y for the finale…