Monday, April 9, 2018

Legends Of Tomorrow Season 3, Episode 15: Necromancing The Stone

This week on a so-so Legends Of Tomorrow, we get the old "Hero Turns Evil And Their Crewmates Have To Fight 'Em" plot, as the series treads water while waiting for the season finale to arrive.

In addition to treading some well-worn plot ground, Necromancing The Stone felt like yet another money saving bottle episode, as much of the action was confined to the ship. Hey, they paid for those sets! Might as well get their money's worth out of 'em!

It also turned into an ALIEN riff, as the Legends searched the Waverider's very Nostromo-like corridors for Canary, who picked them off one by one!

On the plus side, John Constantine makes a welcome return to the show this week. His interactions with a very jealous and disapproving Agent Sharpe were easily the highlight of the episode. And in even more good news, The CW just announced that Constantine will become a regular in Season 4! Huzzah!

SPOILERS!

The Plot:
Onboard the Waverider, White Canary has a nightmare. She's wandering through 
an otherworldly landscape— one that looks a lot like Mallus' evil realm— and sees a little girl running around. Suddenly she wakes up in bed with Agent Sharpe. She asks why Canary kept saying the name "John" in her sleep. She admits she slept with demonologist John Constantine a few episodes back, and assures her it was nothing serious. Sharpe isn't convinced, until Canary says she considers Sharpe her girlfriend.

Just then they're called to the bridge, where Gideon alerts them to several large anachronisms, which are tearing apart the fabric of time. The Legends suspect the Darhks and Mallus are behind the anachronisms, so Canary orders the team to split up and take care of them. Vixen and Wally go to recover the Mona Lisa, while Steel and Wally rescue Laika, the Russian space dog. Atom and Heat Wave stay on the ship to repair the Fire Totem. Agent Sharpe returns to the Time Bureau, while Canary says she'll rescue Einstein in the Ice Age by herself.

As she prepares to leave, she hears a voice calling to her. It's the Death Totem
— the one Legends recovered from Elvis last week. Canary finds the high-tech lock box that houses the Totem and gazes at it. Suddenly she sees a vision of her former self, before she died and was resurrected in the Lazarus Pit. Past Canary tells her she could use the Death Totem to rid her dreams of the little girl, as well as resurrect her sister. She opens the box and looks inside.

Meanwhile, Atom attempts to reforge the Fire Totem, while Heat Wave stands by, uselessly watching. He becomes bored and wanders off.

A bit later, Vixen and Zari return from their mission. They find the lab trashed and Atom lying on the floor, near death. They take him to the med bay, where Gideon begins repairing him. They then find Heat Wave sleeping off another bender and wake him. They wonder how they can contact Canary in the Ice Age, but Gideon reports that she never left the ship!

Heat Wave and Vixen search for Canary, fearing she's been attacked too. They find her in the mess hall, where they see she's apparently been given a pale, evil makeover
— courtesy of the Death Totem. They attack Canary, but she easily incapacitates them. She bends over Heat Wave, and raises her knife to stab him. Just then Wally zooms in and whisks Heat Wave and Vixen to safety.

A hologram of Agent Sharpe then appears on the ship, and sees that Canary looks a bit... different. Canary completely ignores her and stalks off. Sharpe contacts the Legends, who fill her in. They tell her the only person who can help is John Constantine, but they have no idea where to find him. Just then, Canary activates the Waverider's lockdown mode, sealing the Legends inside the med bay and preventing them from leaving the ship.

Wally phases through the med bay door and makes it to the bridge. There he's confronted by what appears to be Jesse Quick, his ex girlfriend. Wally realizes she can't possibly be there, and Mallus/Canary is trying to trick him. Despite this, he still allows Jesse to get close enough to knock him out.

Agent Sharpe and her underling Gary then manage to track down Constantine and tell him what's happened. Sharpe's less than cordial to him, knowing that he recently slept with Canary. He agrees to help, and begins performing a ritual to transport himself into Mallus' realm. Sharpe insists on going with him.

On the Waverider, the Legends break out of the med bay. Zari searches the ship, and encounters her dead little brother Behrad. She realizes it's Mallus messing with her, and Behrad transforms back into Canary. The two fight, and Canary beats Zari.

Constantine and Zari appear in Mallus' realm. They spot Canary there, but they're ejected before they can save her. Gary has an idea how to find the Waverider, which is stuck in the time stream. He recounts a lengthy Dungeons & Dragons session he once played, and eventually comes to the point— all they have to do is scan for the Death Totem and they'll find the Waverider. Constantine tells Gary he's a genius.

Vixen tells Steel he may need to use the Earth Totem to stop Mallus/Canary. Steel reminds her that Blackbeard's girlfriend was turned into a zombie simply by touching the Totem. Vixen says that's because it reflected her true nature, and a "righteous warrior has nothing to fear." Steel goes into the lab, finds the Earth Totem and grabs it. Just like Vixen said, it doesn't harm him.

Canary wanders around Mallus' realm. Suddenly Nora Darhk appears, and tries to get Canary to join her and give herself over to Mallus. In an attempt to corrupt her, Nora shows Canary a vision of her former, ruthless assassin self.

Steel searches the ship for Canary. Instead he finds a vision of his late grandfather, Commander Steel. He morphs back into Canary, and the two begin fighting.

Vixen and Heat Wave enter the lab and find the Fire Totem that Atom was repairing. Vixen tells Heat Wave he's the perfect person to wield it, but he's reluctant to do so for some reason, claiming he's not a hero. Eventually he puts it on, and fire begins erupting from his hands
— a dream come true for a pyro like him.

Constantine, Sharpe and Gary teleport onto the Waverider, and see Steel fighting Canary. She knocks out Sharpe and Gary, and begins strangling Constantine. Just then Heat Wave enters and shoots a huge blast of fire at Canary, knocking her unconscious.

Sharpe wakes up and rushes to Canary's side. She gives her a big heartfelt speech, telling her how much she needs her and so on. In Mallus' realm, this gives Canary the strength to return to her body in the real world.

In the tag scene, Canary apologizes to everyone for trying to kill them while under the influence of Mallus. She then tells Agent Sharpe that she's afraid she'll lose control again and murder her, and it'd be for the best if they broke up. Sharpe teleports away in tears.

We then see Gary and his friends playing D&D— as Constantine joins them!

Thoughts:
• At the beginning of the episode, Agent Sharpe's jealous after she hears Canary muttering the name "John" in her sleep. Canary says she must have been dreaming about John Constantine. She explains he's a demonologist who "kinda looks like Sting."


This is a nod to the Hellblazer comic, in which Constantine really was modeled after The Police frontman Sting. Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben reportedly based the character on Sting's appearance in the movie Brimstone And Treacle.

According to nutsy cuckoo comic book writer Alan Moore, DC was terrified that Sting would find out about the character and sue them. Supposedly Sting saw Constantine and was greatly flattered to have a comic book character modeled after him.

This of course makes the casting of Keanu Reeves in the 2005 Constantine movie even more ridiculous. Why, just look at Reeves and Sting! They're practically twins!


• When everyone assembles on the bridge, they notice Heat Wave's missing. Wally zips off to Heat Wave's room and brings him back a split second later. A very confused Heat Wave looks down at his bathrobe and growls, "Who dressed me?" A sheepish Wally admits he did, and says, "FYI, Heat Wave sleeps in the nude."

I think if I were Wally and I burst into Heat Wave's room and saw him sprawled out on his bed au naturel, I'd have just left him there and told the gang he wouldn't be attending the briefing.

• Canary gives the Legends their orders, sending Vixen and Zari to 1997 Billings, Montana to recover The Mona Lisa, Steel and Wally to find Laika the Russian space dog, while she goes to the Ice Age to rescue Einstein.

Hmm. The Legends already encountered and rescued Einstein back in the Season 2 episode Out Of Time. I guess he just can't stay out of temporal trouble!

• The Death Totem shows Canary a glimpse of her black-clad former self, from back when she was called "The Canary." I dropped out of Arrow after Season 1, so I never got to see her in this particular getup. 

I like it! Even with the silly black mask-matching makeup around her eyes, that probably takes ten or fifteen minutes to apply. It looks very superhero-y, and I wish she'd wear something more like this on Legends.

• According to this episode, The Mona Lisa was a self portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci in drag. Got it.


• The Arrowverse has a long, long history of terrible wigs, and this episode is no exception. It almost looks like the Legends hairdresser sneaked over to the set of The Flash and stole borrowed Killer Frost's wig!

• Once Canary's possessed by the Death Totem/Mallus, she appears as loved ones from the various Legends' pasts. She appears as Jesse Quick to Wally...

Behrad to Zari...

And Commander Steel to, er, Steel.

Note that in every one of these cases, the Legends KNOW they're being duped and aren't really seeing their exes or dead relatives. And yet all three of them just stand there and let Canary/Mallus get close enough to knock them out! Dumb.

The only one Canary/Mallus isn't able to fool is Constantine. Canary uses the voice of Astra, the girl Constantine failed to save, and who now resides in Hell. He sees right through Canary's cheap trick, as he should.

By the way, in the Constantine series, Bailey Tippen played Astra. She reprises her role here— sort of— by providing Astra's voice in this episode. Cool!

• Agent Sharpe insists on being teleported to Mallus' realm along with Constantine. When he tells her they need to hold hands for the spell to work, Sharpe— who isn't impressed or enamored with Constantine— places the tiniest tip of one finger lightly in his palm. Funny!

• This week we find out that Gary wears Beebo socks! Nice callback! Beebo's been popping up all season, ever since he first appeared back in Beebo, The God Of War.

By the way, nice going, The CW Marketing Department! At one point Constantine says, "What have you got on your socks there, squire?" Gary proudly replies, "Oh, it's Beebo. My Aunt Stacy bought them for me."

Note that right when Gary says this, a large promo for Black Lightning appears and completely blocks out his sock. Wow, way to ruin a joke there, guys!

Fortunately this won't be an issue when this season comes to home video, but for now...

• At one point, Vixen, Steel and Heat Wave discuss how to beat Canary/Mallus. Vixen says, "The best way to defeat a Totem bearer is with another Totem. Seeing that I'm out of commission, one of you two needs to wield the Earth Totem."

Wha...? How is she out of commission? Earlier in the episode Canary gave Vixen a brutal beatdown, possibly even breaking her leg. Gideon fixed her up though, and she's not even limping in this scene.

Is Vixen referring to the fact that she lost her Spirit Totem a few episodes back? Is there some rule that says once someone bears a particular Totem, they can't use another? If so, the audience needs to be told these things now and then.

• So this week the Legends pick Heat Wave to wield the Fire Totem. I have to say, that's a pretty good idea. And a dream come true for the team's resident pyromaniac.

By using the Totem, Heat Wave actually has powers now, instead of being just a hothead with a flame thrower. It'd be great if he actually got to keep it, but I have a feeling he'll either give it back or it'll be taken from him in the season finale.

• My biggest gripe with this episode is the ending, in which Agent Sharpe is the one who talks Canary out of Mallus' realm and "back to the light." Seriously? Agent Sharpe? 

OK, I get that they're an item now, but Canary's known Sharpe for what... three months at the most? She's been with the Legends for THREE YEARS! What about all the talk of them being a family? Why don't any of them get to save her?

Making Sharpe the only one who can bring her back felt really hollow and unearned. It's way too soon for her to have that big of an emotional impact on Canary.

• At the end of the episode, Constantine joins Gary and his friends in a game of Dungeons & Dragons. I want to see an entire episode of nothing but this group playing the game!

This Week's Best Lines:

Canary: (discussing John Constantine) "Though we did sleep together, but... It was the 60s, and everybody was getting wild."
Sharpe: "The 60s, huh?"
Canary: "Mm-hmm."
Sharpe: "I thought I waited a long time between partners!"

Canary: (sending the Legends on their various missions) "All right, that's it. No snazzy send-off. Mama's got a headache."
Steel: "Even when you don't try, you still got it."
(This is a fun little callout to last week, when the Legends pointed out that Canary always sends them out in the field with a patented little zinger)

Canary: "Do me a favor, Gideon, get John Constantine on the line."
Gideon: "I'm afraid Mr. Constantine does not own a phone."
Canary: "Because God forbid he'd do anything normal."

Gary: (discussing Constantine) "He's a Warlock. You know, I happen to be a level nine Warlock."
Sharpe: "Dungeons & Dragons doesn't count, Gary."

Constantine: "Now let me guess. Sara has succumbed to the demon Mallus. I sensed his power growing, but not to worry, I gave Ray very specific instructions to kill her if that ever happened.
Sharpe: "What?"
Constantine: "Eggs and omelets, love."

Constantine: "Oh, bollocks."
Sharpe: "What does that mean?"
Gary: "Oh, it's a British expletive used to..."
Sharpe: "I know what bollocks means, Gary. What did you mean by it?"

Sharpe: "Sara and I also share a very, very strong metaphysical connection, so..."
Gary: "Wait. I can't believe... you both slept with Captain Lance?"
Sharpe: "Gary!"
Constantine: "Did we now? Well then, we both have excellent taste in damaged women."
Sharpe: "Sara's not damaged."
Constantine: "Yeah. And I'm the bloody Pope."

Constantine:
"What have you got on your socks there, squire?"
Gary: "Oh, it's Beebo. My Aunt Stacy bought them for me. You like Beebo?"
Constantine: "Once, when I was on a massive bender, I put a spell on that toy to make him talk. He told me things that'll make your toes curl."

Costantine: "My business card says, "Master of the Dark Arts," not "Doctor Ruddy What's-His-Face."
Sharpe: "Who?"
Gary: "Who."
Constantine: "Exactly."

Vixen: "This Totem wasn't meant for me. You have to use it."
Heat Wave: "Forget it."
Vixen: "You've spent your entire life obsessed with fire and heat. What if this is the reason why?"
Heat Wave: "How many times do I have to tell you I'm not a hero? Sara's a hero, and look what the Death Totem did to her."
Vixen: "That was the work of Mallus. Most people who've seen what you've seen would've succumbed to darkness, but you didn't. You chose to become a Legend. You may try and hide it, Mick, but you're a good man."
Heat Wave: "What if you're wrong?"
Vixen: "There's only one way to find out."

2 comments:

  1. on my Earth they have already finished season 3... i watched episode 18 on the CW app last night.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well on my Earth I'm a little behind on reviews.

    ReplyDelete

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