Legends of Tomorrow: 4.12 The Eggplant, the Witch & the Wardrobe
The Legends of Tomorrow go from crazy to crazier in this fun episode focused heavily on the crew relationships… and furniture.
Neron has kidnapped Ava and trapped her soul in purgatory so Sara has to enter purgatory to save her, you know, the usual stuff. Ava’s purgatory is appears to be being stuck in IKEA. This is a pretty old gag and I feel like the Americans can’t step inside an IKEA without arguing (I love IKEA!) but it’s a fun way to show Ava’s insecurities and frustrations with Sara and their relationship. Within this self assembly purgatory we get plenty of time for these characters to explore their relationship. I’ve been a big fan of the way this show tackles and treats its same sex relationships, most significantly that Sara and Ava’s relationship is treated exactly the same way a hetero relationship would be which is refreshing and encouraging to see especially in a family/kid friendly show.
The bigger team story this week involves Constantine and Nora working against Neron, who they now have trapped at the Time Bureau. I’ve actually really enjoyed Constantine and Nora working together; its been good to see some of the flashes of darkness we need with Constantine and Nora’s redemption narrative is suitably comic-booky. We’re reminded here as well that these two characters are connected after Constantine tried (and failed) to help child Nora when she was possessed.
Neron, who is shown here to affect people's mood – causing them to become aggressive and confrontational – just by being near them, is trying to get the Legends to run on each other, especially Constantine and Nora. Their apparent lack of trust of each other allows for a nice bait and switch towards the end of the episode where we’re lead to believe Nora is being tempted by the dark side, only to turn the tables on Neron allowing her and Constantine to extract Neron from Desmond’s body.
As an audience member you kind of know that Nora is bluffing but I wouldn’t have put it past the show to have her turn evil again. The Nora/Constantine subterfuge was enough to trick Neron and, meaning he almost ruined the plan and managed to get Nora put in a coma, Ray. Considering what was at risk, it seems a bit silly that Nora and Constantine didn’t let the rest of the team know what their plan was. Maybe they were worried that Neron might get to them and find out, though its never expressly explained why they didn’t let Ray know what they were doing, Legends of Tomorrow isn’t too bad when it comes to characters soing stupid things just to allow the plot to flow but this seems like a ball drop on Nora and Constantine’s (aka the writers) part and Ray isn’t really to blame for trying to save her/them.
With Nate dealing with his father’s death, we’re treated to a scene of him burning all the evidence that his dad was embezzling money from the government to build his secret magic theme park, which I thought was a great reaction. I love just how crazy, mental and very Legends of Tomorrow the Hank storyline has turned out to be. We ‘re treated to Nate visiting the site of the theme park, where some very patient construction workes are building a mutli-million dollar theme park using an eight year old's crayon drawings as blueprints. Its nice to see Nate go through the mix of emotions from telling them to pull it all down to, inevitably, stepping in front of a wrecking ball to save the park.
Zari and the rest of the team spend the episode trying to compose a text to Nate asking him on a date. That’s it. That’s literally what they do.
I love this shows ability to have characters check out for an episode. With so many characters sometimes there isn’t enough for them all to be involved and someone takes aback seat this week and is the main focus next week, it’s the way these shows work. The advantage Legends of Tomorrow has over many other similar shows, is its heightened level of self-awareness means it can literally have a character walk on at the start of an episode and say “I’m gonna read a book instead of take part in this adventure” and that’s all cool, we go with it. No awkward excuses about people being on fact finding missions or visiting other heroes to ask for help. As much as I’m enjoying where the show is, I do miss everyone coming together at the end of each story to fight the weekly bad guy and no one seems to suit up much these days.
An especially touching scene this week is Ava and Sara getting old together while in purgatory. During a sequence of mattress shopping – a metaphor for choosing to stay together – they gradually get older with each mattress they try, until they are actually portrayed by older actors. It was nice to see some of the tender moments of their reconciliation shared with other, older actors – especially after previous emotional breakthroughs in their relationship have been shared with younger actors when they were transformed in to pre-teens earlier in the season. I’ve enjoyed seeing their relationship traverse time, space and reality.
The final twist of this episode was a little predictable but hopefully Ray being possessed by Neron will provide us with an interesting show down as we head towards the back part and finale of the season. I do feel like characters being possessed has been maybe a little overused on the show of late, so hopefully we’ll get a good, Legends of Tomorrow twist on things.
(My money is on the season showdown taking place in Hank’s theme park… and a dragon. Definitely a dragon.)