This review contains spoilers.
3.10 Daddy Darhkest
What if Amaya just isn’t that interesting?
That’s the one hitch that’s kept me from enjoying an otherwise good episode of Legends Of Tomorrow. The first episode back from a needless hiatus wastes absolutely no time jumping back into the big story arc of the season, throwing Mallus at special guest John Constantine right out of the gate.
And that overarching story is great! It’s a really effective vehicle for a solid Sara Lance episode. Unfortunately, the other two story strands of this week’s episode never really weave together: the Sara story is a pretty straightforward horror tale, with imagery lifted from lots of other exorcism media, while most of the rest of the gang just hangs out being funny or trying to help exorcist-receiver (exorcisee? No, that sounds lewd) Nora Darhk. That’s a jarring tone shift, but something Legends has pulled off often in the past. The third story is Amaya and Kuasa trying to… talk? I guess?
The show uses this week to start telegraphing its endgame. Mallus has invaded the body of a young woman in a psychiatric hospital in present day Star City. Constantine comes to exorcise her, hears her saying Sara’s name, and decides to go chat with Captain Lance about what she might have to do with this person. So a team goes to help with the exorcism, while Zari and Ray keep working on an anti-magic nanite gun (so, if we’re being simple, an anti-magic tv magic gun) and Mick watches football live for the first time in three years. Kuasa shows up to defend the posessed girl, and Amaya and Nate freeze her and bring her back to the ship while Mallus controls the body of young Nora to send Sara, Leo Snart and Constantine back to 1969. While they try and fight their way back, Zari discovers Nora in the hospital and decides to take her out for a day on the town with Ray. They end up at CC Jitters, where Nora gets possessed by Mallus again, and we find out that Zari’s totem is one of “the six” that are a real problem for Mallus.
This is a problem.
We’re supposed to transfer this big happening’s importance over to Amaya too – her Tantu sorry Anansi Totem and Kuasa’s water totem are also part of “the six.” But it’s bad for Amaya that the biggest development in her portion of the plot this episode happens in someone else’s story. I honestly think it’s because people recognise how boring and bloodless her interactions with Kuasa are. They’re hollow melodrama, not entertaining or particularly well written or acted. Amaya goes from wanting to free Kuasa to wanting to refreeze her in the space of about 30 seconds, with no real explanation or natural progression.
It’s a shame, too, because otherwise this episode was a lot of fun. Sara and Constantine have meaningless, damaged person sex. Mick and Snart are an absolute riot. Ray and Zari continue to glow together on screen. Constantine is pretty handsome. Did I mention Constantine?
I’m only half kidding – Matt Ryan is a guest star, but the show luxuriates in his presence a bit, like everyone putting this episode together really misses Constantine and wanted to have a little fun with bringing him back. They used him as the centre of the episode and let Sara and the rest of the team circle him, and the parts that weren’t Amaya’s nonsense worked better for it.
It feels like I’m being harsh on Legends. This was a good episode, one I enjoyed watching a great deal. It’s just… this is the best DC show on television and I know it can do better. After two and a half seasons of generally stellar TV, I have faith that it will, too.