Legends of Tomorrow: 3.10 Daddy Darkhest
Yay! The Legends have returned after their mid season break and CONSTANTINE IS BACK!
I love Constantine and this was great episode for me. I think it’s a testament to Matt Ryan that his performance has endured after the failure of the Constantine TV show. Constantine is a character that works well dropping in and popping up in other shows as and when needed; this worked especially well in Legends of Tomorrow, which is a show that allows him to be a bit more weird and a bit more extreme, than perhaps even his own show did at times.
So Constantine has sought the Legends out because he’s dealing with a possessed girl who, while under the demon's control, mentioned Sara’s name. This girl, kept in an archaic mental institution, turns out to be the young Nora Darhk so there is some good stuff to be had from the team wanting to help her and perhaps even change her future a little so she won’t want to kill them as much as she does. I find adult Nora pretty boring but the child version is far more interesting.
The main progression of the story splits off in the usual Legends of Tomorrow style, a few of the team stay on the ship, a few tackle the main story point and a few tackle the B-story point. This is a tried and tested format and works well for the show, with a large selection of characters to chose from they can move around pretty well doing this.
I’m enjoying the dynamic between Zari and Ray – Zari has grown on me a lot in a short time, she felt too similar to other characters at first but I’m finding her very likable and Ray’s cool girl crush on her is more interesting than his crush on, well, everyone else.
I am fed up with Amya, she’s so dull and portentous about everything as well as judgmental. I also think the character flip flops too much. I find it especially annoying because I sometimes feels myself siding with Nate in their ongoing, uninteresting romantic struggles and I don’t want to side with him because he’s a douche. I feel like the two characters have entered a narrative cul de sac. She has some stuff with her granddaughter this week but its sort of culminates in nothing much.
The main story, of course, revolves around Sara, Constantine and Snart trying to save Nora and vanquish Mallus. During an attempted exorcism a possessed Nora sends the three back in time to 1969 because of course she does that instead of killing them, so they have to try and contact the Waverider by leaving a note on the back of a picture? Not the best plan (it doesn’t work and they other Legends find them anyway). During this drop back in time Sara is getting haunted buy the Mallus – which includes some good old fashioned A Nightmare on Elm Street style hands stretching against walls stuff – and she and Constantine hook up which is especially funny when Snart, who gets kidnapped and almost lobotomised, realised they were doing this while he was strapped to a table with an ice pick at his temple.
I great and unexpected touch right off the bat with this episode, they address Constamitine's bisexuality, just subtly, with him flirting with Snart when they meet. The Berlanti shows have been great at addressing sexuality. I’m not sure, had it continued, that Constantine’s own show would ever have got round to looking at this side of the character? I also feel that Matt Ryan’s accent is bedding in a bit more, he does a passable if generic Scouse accent which, I’m sure, has been tempered down a little for a US audience but it feels like he’s putting a little more of a Liverpool twang into it now. Obviously he uses all the American TV British buzzwords; bollocks, bloody, luv etc but he does so with a level of authenticity.
There is a great scene where Mick, who laterally spends the episode on the ship watching a football game, shouts at everyone like an annoyed dad when Sara has gone missing and inadvertently steps up as a leader while simply trying to be left alone with his game. I miss Stein and Jax a lot but there is a good, messy, childish dynamic to the show at the moment with a lot of irrelevant bickering that I quite like.
This episode is a bit messy directorially; there are some really good flairs of horror directing and some very well paced comedy moments but also some really odd editing at times with very choppy cuts and character placing. Also, this episodes feels like a waste of Snart. It’s great to have him back on the team and his involvement with the mission here is solid but he’s very much in support character mode and considering he’s off again, it feels a waste to have not had him a bit more front and centre.
Of course despite everyone’s best efforts, Damian turns up and takes Nora off to be evil but we now know a lot more about Mallus now, Sara having allowed home to possess her in order to help everyone travel back from the past. It was great having Constantine part of the team this week – I look forward to his return – and I’m loving that Legends of Tomorrow allows him to really flourish and embrace the magic side of DC. Let's just hope he gets to meet Rip so they can compare coats…