Legends of Tomorrow recap: 'Daddy Darhkest'
Constantine stops by the Waverider, proving magic and time travel a potent mix
Hooray, the Legends are back from hiatus! And so’s John Constantine! And Mallus! Look, everyone’s here! (Except Firestorm. Sorry.)
Since his last appearance in the Arrowverse, John’s kept himself busy doing warlock-ian, magical things. His latest exorcism in Star City is a girl named Emily
Rose, who’s been taken by a demon who tells John he’ll have Sara Lance soon. We know this demon’s Mallus, but John doesn’t, so off to the Central City he goes, where he catches up with Sara and the rest of the time-traveling team aboard the Waverider.
Sara reveals that she did visit the spirit world, which is how Mallus knows her name, and suggests that if John needs some help taking down Mallus, why not have the Legends tag along on another exorcism attempt? Ray and Zari, who were working on building a nanite pistol, hang back as the rest of the team goes into the asylum where Emily/Mallus waits.
There, they grab Emily/Mallus and take her to room 237 (I see what you did there, Legends writers), but not before Kuasa makes her way in and threatens the team again. Amaya, torn as ever over whether to harm her own family, tries to hold her off, but in the end, it’s Nate — along with Leo’s gun — who freezes Kuasa just in time.
Too bad the rest of the team don’t have it as easy. In room 237, Emily/Mallus reveals that her real name is Nora Darhk, and that she changed her name after going into Child Services when the Arrow murdered her villainous father. The Legends realize that if they exorcise Mallus, that might help Nora go down a much lighter path than the one that eventually causes her to save her father in the future, creating this worse timeline.
And so, John tries to create a trap to handle Mallus’ might, but as soon as he begins, Nora greets Sara as Mallus, laughs, and steps outside the circle John drew. He has Nora draw a symbol on the ground, chants an incantation, and causes it to glow and suck Sara, Leo, and John in. By the time the doctors rush in to save Nora, the trio of Legends are gone…
…and apparently in 1969. Mallus sent them back in time — a twist the show has never pulled off before. (When has the Waverider stayed this stagnant through an entire episode?) Noticing how the same painting in Nora’s room hangs on the wall, the team decides to stick a note in the back in order to communicate with the Legends in the present. Unluckily for them, Mallus knows they’re trapped, and he calls out to Sara in her mind, tormenting her with visions as they wander the asylum’s halls.
Leo sets out to write the message, but as soon as he slips a note into the back of the painting, doctors — including the one who treats Nora in the future — capture him and take him away to be processed as a patient in the asylum. John and Sara run from Mallus, and as Sara beins to falter, John tries to help her, giving her a small token to remind her she’s a survivor — after all, he’s the one who saved her soul — and that she’s strong enough to keep any demon at bay. And at that, the two grow closer, and Sara — forgetting all about her flirtations with Agent Sharpe, it seems — decides they might as well make out (and more…) in the middle of a mission.
Poor Leo. He’s off in a room about to be lobotomized by the time Sara and John finally finish their business and find him. The two of them knock the doctors aside, save Leo, and decide that the only way they make it back to the present now is to cast the same spell Mallus did through Nora. And to do so, they’ll have to summon him into Sara and hope Sara can fight him off if he tries to take her over then and there. It’s foolproof! (Next: Bad Nora)
Back in the present, the rest of the team aboard the Waverider wonders what happened to their captain, their tourist from an alternate universe, and their favorite warlock ally. Mick, frustrated over having to hear everyone bicker while he watches football, tells the rest of his teammates to go figure themselves out. (Ray’s right: Mick would make a great manager. If he cared.)
And so, Ray and Zari decide to investigate the asylum themselves. There, they see the wreckage left behind after the attempted exorcism, and they find Nora, who tells them she doesn’t know what happened to Sara, John, and Leo. She’s too scared of Mallus to do anything about it now, and Zari, recognizing how painful it must be to be trapped somewhere so gloomy, offers to take the girl out, bringing Nora to Jitters, where they bond over some coffee and sweets.
But then again, a coffee shop isn’t the best place for a chat with a possessed girl. Mallus soon takes over Nora again, and this time, he’s eager to display his power. He slams Nora’s head into the table over and over again, and then begins causing things to fly all around them. (Mick and Nate fail to hear Ray and Zari’s pleas for backup because they’re too distracted by football, natch.)
At the same time in 1969, John summons Mallus into Sara by having her drink a disgusting potion that includes his saliva, and she begins to succeed in drawing the symbol they need to return to the present. But before she can finish it, Sara hears Nora crying in the spirit world and abandons her art project. She finds the real Nora upset over what Mallus is doing to Ray and Zari in the present, and Sara, thinking back to what John told her, encourages Nora to fight back. Nora listens, gathers her strength, and in the present, stops Mallus from hurting the Legends further. In fact, he was about to slice Zari apart with shards of ice; it looks like Zari, thanks to her totem, can hurt the demon with a single touch.
After Nora’s triumph, Sara continues drawing, and finally, it glows. The three of them are transported back to the present in one piece, and Sara even laughs as she wakes back up in John’s arms.
In Jitters, however, Ray and Zari aren’t able to celebrate at all. Nora apologizes for the mess, but before the Legends can truly help Nora, Damien shows up to retrieve his daughter. Nora, stunned to find her father alive, doesn’t think twice: She joins his side, gives him a tight hug, and leaves with him, embracing her fate as someone who will allow Mallus to transform her into a villain just like her father.
Still, maybe the Legends will stop Mallus some other way. Aboard the Waverider, Amaya has thawed Kuasa, hoping that instead of fighting against her, she can properly bond with her granddaughter. Kuasa, though, is too bitter to have a proper conversation, telling Amaya how she’ll never forgive her mother for abandoning her in her war-torn village — Amaya points out that her daughter thought Kuasa was dead — and that she’s happy to be working with Damien Darhk. Amaya says that all she wants to do is help Kuasa, but then Nate, having heard that Amaya’s having a chat with Kuasa, steps in.
This time, Kuasa’s ready for him, knocking him aside, then grabbing his head and sticking her watery fingers up his nose. (Gross but neat drowning method, Kuasa!) Amaya threatens Kuasa, but then stops herself…and gives in. Kuasa smiles, stops torturing Nate, and tells Amaya not to disappoint her.
Amaya will have to, though. With everyone back on board, she points out how Zari’s trinket worked, which means the other totems must also threaten Mallus. John promises to do more digging about what might bring the demon down, and as he prepares to leave the ship, Sara stops him to thank him for helping out. John, being John, takes this to be a euphemism for their, uhh, asylum sex, but Sara just playfully toys with him. Attagirl.
As John leaves, Ray talks about the nanite gun, which he and Zari are trying to make sure will be an effective anti-magic tool. John tells him to finish making it and make sure he keeps it close; after all, Mallus’ power will take over Sara soon enough. It’s inevitable, whether the Legends like it or not.
With that, the Legends have completed another adventure, all without the help of Mick, who’s still watching football. Leo, who’s learned he’s ready to leave the ship and return to his universe and get settled with Ray (his Ray) as his husband, says goodbye to his partner from another world(er). They say a warm goodbye — Mick’s eyes still fixed to the TV, of course — and Leo bids Sara a fond farewell, too.
But the Legends will have to go on the move soon: When Sara checks in on Agent Sharpe — sorry, Ava — Ava explains that she finally got through the red tape surrounding what’s going on with Rip, and it looks like Rip’s escaped. The Time Bureau has no idea where Rip is, so it’s time (heh) for the Waverider and the Legends to go on a manhunt for their dear old captain. Or in other, cheesier words, they’re about to hunt for Hunter! Please clap! I’m here all week!