Now that’s more like it. This week’s Legends balanced its trademark silliness with affecting character work around a central theme of doomed romances — John and Desmond, Mona and Konane, Mick and Garima — and then wrapped it all up with a reality-bending cliffhanger. Plus, there was no Hank Heywood griping about the Time Bureau’s budget. What a gift!
Sort of — this episode was still mostly about John Constantine sending the love of his life to hell. He’s plagued with memories of Desmond, the man he had a vision of a few episodes back, and he’s jolted awake from his latest Des-related dream by Charlie, who’s eager to have him reverse his spell on her. She’s begun to be able to shapeshift parts of herself again; he tells her no, but she assures him that one of these days, he’ll need her for something — and that’s when they’ll be able to make a trade.
They’re not the only ones squabbling aboard the Waverider, though. Sara’s fine with Mick continuing to conjure up Garima via the Book of Brigid, but Ava’s not, so she confiscates it. Before they can settle their score, Ray notices that the cereal they’re eating has a quiz about serial killers (why? who cares!) that lists Marie Laveau (lookin’ at you, American Horror Story fans) as the most high-profile criminal in New Orleans in the 1800s. Ava, who studies serial killers on the side — I bet she listens to a lot of podcasts — questions the fact. She’s right to do so: As it turns out, there’s a monster loose in New Orleans murdering wealthy blonde ladies from inside locked rooms, the MO of a killer named Mike the Spike, Ava says.
And so, the team separates and heads to 1856 Big Easy. There, Charlie and Zari lose John, who wanders off to Royal Street, where he had lived with Desmond before Des’s demise. A man called John by name before knocking him out with a purple powder and bringing him to Marie Laveau herself, who interrogates John about his medallion — a relic of her family imbued with protective magic that Desmond had given John months ago. (Desmond is Marie’s great-great-grandson and, she points out, “must have loved” John very much to give it up.)
Because Sara had placed trackers in all of Constantine’s underwear — a very Legends joke — Charlie and Zari find John just as he finishes explaining what happened to Desmond to Marie. She tells him he must save her kin, then informs the team that she’s sensed the spirit of a dead person around New Orleans…
…which is how the B-Team ends up joining the A-Team, at a party hosted by the first would-be victim. There, Ray follows a suspicious man upstairs, where he overhears a girl crying as she clutches her doll. “This doll is going to kill my mama,” she sobs, as Ray pries her doll from her hands. But as he examines it, another doll approaches from behind — and knocks him out with a shovel. Just another Monday for the Legends!
Good thing Sara, Mick, and Ava are there, too. Sara finds Ray unconscious and fights the doll when it goes full Chucky at her face, and Mick arrives just in time to torch the thing. Ava, though, says they’ll have to keep a close eye on it — they need to find out if the doll’s spirit really is Mike the Spike.
New Orleans isn’t done with the Legends yet, however. John has concocted a plan to fix everything he’s being tormented with: He decides to recruit Charlie into posing as Amaya to distract John six months ago so he never meets Desmond, falls in love, and ruins his life — which means he’ll never join the Legends and take away Charlie’s superpower. Charlie’s in; after all, it sounds like a win-win. For now.
Back at the Time Bureau, Nate also thinks he has a win on his hands. After watching Gary fail epically at flirting with Mona, he offers him a little dating advice and agrees to help Gary out. Mona, though, has eyes for someone else: the kaupe, a caveman-esque creature she’s caring for in the Time Bureau’s cells. (They connect in a Tarzan-esque scene that was… weird, to say the least.) So, when Mona runs into Nate and confesses that she has a crush, Nate thinks she’s talking about Gary. He encourages her to tell him her feelings, and she happily runs off to do so in another classic case of Legends hijinks.
Speaking of which, the team has finally brought the doll into the lab, and Gideon reports that New Orleans’ history has gone back to normal, even if Mick robbed the party they attended. Sara convinces Ava to stick around for dinner, but as they leave the room, the doll’s hand begins to curl its fingers…
NEXT: Return of the Stein puppet
So about that win-win John thinks he and Charlie carried out? Turns out it failed. Changing his personal history with Desmond didn’t affect much — his past self only ended up meeting Desmond a few days later than before. John’s eager to go back and try again, but Zari stops him and Charlie and orders Gideon to bring the jump ship home.
Cornered, John finally explains what’s going on: He fell in love with Desmond, moved in with him, then became the target of a demon named Neron, who will own Constantine’s soul when he dies. The demon used Desmond and took him to hell. John joined the Legends because, as he puts it, he was trying to “outrun my guilt.”
Zari sympathizes with John’s need to change the past — she and Sara are the two Legends who understand this the most — so she tells him she’ll work on finding a loophole because sometimes, history can’t change because certain things are meant to happen. John, though, isn’t about to wait around; instead, he and Charlie concoct a new mission, this time to a point later in his relationship with Desmond. (If he can’t change their meeting, maybe he can change their ending, he figures.) Charlie shapeshifts half her body aboard the Waverider to fool Zari, but Zari sees through it immediately and the women chase after John. If he changes something pivotal, the results could be cataclysmic.
John, though, is already too far ahead. He’s managed to slink back into his old apartment and break Desmond’s heart. After he finishes White Fang-ing Desmond and watching him walk away, John holds his medallion up and sees it slowly disappear, having now changed history.
The effects of changing that history, though, are about to be felt in chaotic ways. At the Time Bureau, Mona’s visiting her new crush, whose name turns out to be Konane, when he shoves her out of his cell to protect her from two men who chain him up and attempt to take him away. Mona intervenes but ends up wounded herself when Konane lashes out and attacks her while escaping.
Aboard the Waverider, Mike the Spike — it turned out to be his spirit after all — has found a new host, that of the Professor Stein puppet Snart once used to try to help the Legends move on after Martin’s death. He grabs a knife from Sara’s carefully (read: Gideon-made) dinner for her, Ava, and Mick, traipses through the ship, then attacks Ava when she and Sara realize what’s happened and try to hunt him down.
Just as the puppet fights Mick, Ava, Sara, and Ray — and just as Mona’s trying to catch her breath after the attack — John’s medallion completely disappears and reality changes. Suddenly, Charlie’s able to shapeshift again and celebrates in the jump ship until she realizes that Zari is now a cat (!!!). And according to the teaser for next week’s episode, more insanity’s going to go down, with some more team members now in puppet form. The Legends know how to change time, but reality? We’ll have to see.
- Ray has Gideon give him a mustache because Nora likes men with facial hair. She didn’t say she liked you with facial hair, Ray.
- John in a relationship seems so happy, so buoyant. Remember that scene of former him skipping out to buy eggs? He’s a ray of sunshine!
- There’s a well-done one-shot at the would-be victim’s party, with the camera tracking Sara around the room, then panning over to Ray as he heads out. Nicely done, even if it helped establish a location we saw for only a short scene.
- “High school” is triggering for Gary. Hmm, could we be headed for a version of teenage Gary down the line…?
- Mick and Ava’s argument turns nasty when he calls her a clone. “Why do you get to a have a fake girlfriend, and I don’t?” he sneers at Sara. Way harsh, Mick, but saving Ava from the puppet may have won you back a few much-needed points.
- The final Matrix shot of everyone frozen in the air was epic. I loved that we got to see Sara in action first, then Ray and Mick both looking mildly ridiculous, especially with Ray’s now half-mustache.
- Mona’s shtick remains grating for me, but I’m… getting used to her. This romance, though, between her and a man-eating caveman needs more than the already abnormal amount of disbelief-suspending this show requires. Where is all this going?