“Witch Hunt” may have been set during the titular Salem witch trials, but the hour belonged to a dotty fairy godmother, hijinks at the Time Bureau, and a pair of pigs. In other words: It’s just an average episode of Legends of Tomorrow.
Don’t point your 17th century crossbow in my direction just yet! I know there’s lots to love about the hour: the godmother’s couplet-fueled dialogue had me cracking up, the central mother-daughter conflict was heartfelt, and again, there was a pair of pigs. But Legends cut a major corner this week to make the plot work. Zari’s decision to disobey Sara’s orders tracked, but her subsequent outburst (and reveal of her powers to a room full of paranoid Puritans) at Jane’s trial was so uncharacteristic, even she paused to ask herself what the hell she was doing.
Look at this way: This ensemble show doesn’t really work when it’s having one Legend make a boneheaded decision just to raise the stakes.
Even Constantine’s come around on the idea of joining the Legends’ quest for now — but not the Legends as a team member, of course. (The idea that he won’t wear costumes and expects pay is a blurry line he’s drawing in the sand — do the Legends even have an HR department? Gideon? — but it’s a line all the same.) He’s arrived at just the right time: Ray has built a Time Seismograph that can track magical fugitives, and they’ve located their next target: Salem in 1692.
There, they quickly discover that while the humans accusing women of being witches are monstrous enough, there is something supernatural lurking about. Sara, Ray, and Zari — Constantine and Mick weren’t into the job, and end up bickering on the Waverider — observe a woman named Jane Hawthorne being dragged away for her “witchcraft” and her daughter Prudence begging for mercy, before a murder(!) of crows arrive to peck at those hurting Jane. When the team regroups on board the Waverider, Constantine helps them deduce that it’s Prudence who’s hosting a demon and using it to protect her mother.
And so, the five-some return to Salem and prepare themselves for a fight — only to find that Prudence’s demon is a Fairy Godmother straight out of, as Sara puts it, “Disney hell.” The bubbly Fairy Godmother (the… BFG? sorry) explains in song that she’s there to make Prudence’s dreams come true, but Constantine knows she’s not simply tossing around harmless glitter and singing really catchy songs.
See, she’s a demon who can’t be sent to Hell because Prudence would be, too, and she needs Prudence as a host to survive. And so she suggests, ever so sweetly, that Prudence should think about how nice it would be if these strangers went away, and the girl agrees. As the Fairy Godmother gleefully uses tree roots to trap the team and summons crows to peck at their faces, the quick-thinking Zari promises Prudence they’re there to help Jane, and Prudence stops her violent granny. Soon enough, the Legends bring Prudence to safety aboard the Waverider and even give her a Beebo(!!!!!)-related game to play while she waits.
Unfortunately, bringing Prudence on board means bringing the Fairy Godmother there, too. She laughs as Constantine tries to find a loophole around her connection to Prudence and finally reveals what she’s doing torturing people instead of creating pumpkin carriages and leaving things be: The Fairy Godmother was locked away for a thousand years by humans and wants revenge on them for shunning her. (It’s not clear what happened post-Cinderella in the show’s world… maybe the Legends should visit the Brothers Grimm soon. Or Charles Perrault.)
She disappears to carry out her plot, and manipulates Prudence into distrusting her new time-traveling friends by showing her a video of Sara telling Zari earlier about how Jane has to die during the witch trials to ensure history goes smoothly. At that, Prudence wishes to leave, and the Fairy Godmother gladly obliges, pausing during their escape to torture the Legends standing in their way: She turns Ray and Mick into pigs (so fairy tale of her, really) and casts a spell on Constantine so he’s unable to speak.
If only she’d also managed to stop Zari…
NEXT: Ugh, Time Bureau-cracy