Legends of Tomorrow: 4.14 Nip/Suck
Well, this is one of the best, most Legendsy episodes this season. It’s just weird guys. Some weird stuff happens.
The set up involves the team being separated but unlike the usual, casual I’ll sit this one out way they separate the characters, the team is split up as part of Nemon’s plan. The Waverider turns up in the ice age to save Constantine from Nemon-Ray, who has taken him there as bait. Mick’s hot headedness ends up getting the team trapped on the ship under half a glacier and Constantine is whisked off by Nemon-Ray. What this does is allow Gary to run havoc at the time bureau with poor old Nora and Mona unable to get help from the main team. It also allows Nemon-Ray to take his time with Constantine, taking him to meet his first ancestor, a Pagan warlock king.
I’m enjoying bad Ray; Nemon, as a character, definitely feels a little more goofy now he’s inhabiting Ray but I think that’s less about Brandon Routh and more to do with the show being more comfortable leaning into the house style with the villain. Nemon had to be intense and frightening when we first see him, a slow evil following Constantine. If he’d had that silly, Legends of Tomorrow sassiness to him at the start we wouldn’t have found him as scary or as big a threat. Now he’s out in the open, he can afford to be a bit sillier. Though he’s still a malevolent force. Routh plays him with a nice, slow smugness. At times it reminds me of his performance in Chuck (if you’re not seen Chuck, watch Chuck).
I’m a huge Constantine fan and while i've often opinioned that this show doesn’t allow him to go as dark as he needs to, it does allow him to go weird and that’s the next best thing. Matt Ryan puts a lot of spit and oomph into his Constantine; he has a great way of moving and you get the feeling he cares about the character. I’d love to see him given an 18 cert project to really explore the charter and see what he can do with it.
With most of the team trapped on the Waverider we end up going through the usual arguing, make up, save the day plot steps but with a few nice touches along the way. Nate and Zari are now a full blown thing and I’m kind on of board with it. I found Zari a surplus character at first but I’m a big fan of hers now; there is something I find just a little more realistically relatable about her. Nate has managed to grow a lot, with the show embracing his vanilla bro-ness and turning it into a character trait. I also quite like how protective they’ve become of the dragon’s egg – here carrying it under their clothes to keep it warm.
There are some really nice moments when Sara and Mick reflect on being (with Ray lost to Nemon) the last two original Legends. It’s quite poignant and as a viewer I do really miss what the show was, while still loving what it is. Its nice to see that the characters and the show miss that as well, while still embracing where we are now.
The weird stuff takes place at the bureau…
Nora has been inducted in to the Time Bureau because they will literally hire anybody. Her first test is filling all her paperwork (hard to do as a time traveler from the future because the system thinks she’s a 13 year old girl in a mental institute). Gary is also back at the bureau and things start to get weird after Ava tells the whole team that Gary will be doing performance reviews of all staff. Its fun to see how much the rest of the bureau hates Gary (at first) and especially Mona, who really seems to think he’s a creep – which he is. When Mona was introduced she was a really irritating and unneeded character in the mix and I still stand by that but her progression and integration has worked far better than I expected, especially in the last few episodes. While I wouldn’t care if she left the show tomorrow I don’t cringe every time she is on screen anymore. Mona’s relationship with Nora, especially with Ava and Sara in Book Club, has been a strong way of integrating several characters at once.
They team up for most of this episode when Mona realises that people are becoming weird after their performance review. The Invasion of the Body Snatchers-esque plot, along with a Nora getting got and double crossing Mona twist is pretty standard stiff with some fun moments and gags along the way. But when Mona finally goes in for her reviews and confronts Gary she… well… I mean.. it turns out Gary is hypnotizing people with his demon eye nipple! In an unexpected but equally of course Legends of Tomorrow moment, Gary’s returned nipple has turned evil because its been to hell. And it has an eye in it. That hypnotises people. Mona’s reaction to seeing it is fantastic and she quickly turns into Wolfy and bites the nipple off. Its suggested that Gary was under the spell of the eveil nipple but Gary is a dick, even after everyone has told him he was possessed. As soon as he sees Nemon again, he asks him for help. You’re a dick, Gary.
It's actually Nemon’s girlfriend Gary asks for help. Constantine’s ancestor is a misguided warlock who is planning to banish an innocent magical creature to hell. Nemon has brought Constantine back to witness it because he knows Constantine will try and save the innocent from going to hell and in doing so, he’ll open the doorway so Nemon’s girlfriend-demon can come through. Simple. What this gives us is an opportunity for Constantine to soul search about what’s right or wrong and if he was always doomed to be a bastard. Of course he saves the innocent, even though it allows Nemon’s other half to come to earth but not before he declares his intention to save Ray’s soud and Constantine throws himself into hell. It’s a fun, bold and very Constantine moment and I’m looking forward to seeing some Constantine in hell stuff next week!
The big reveal/twist is that Nemon’s girlfriend is non-other than the fairy godmother from earlier in the season! This was a great gag and reveal as well as a nice call back to an earlier character. After smooching with Nemon-Ray, they kidnap Mona and head off with whimpering Gary in tow.
I always love the weirdness and no holds barred nature of this show and there have been some lovely call backs going into the season finale arc. The lightness of tone, self referential style and shorter season run really allow this show to keep energetic and fun and I’ll be disappointed when things finish up. But at least its looking to be a weird and wonderful last couple of episodes!