Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Flash Season 5, Episode 3: The Death Of Vibe

This week on The Flash, we get a peek into the future of STAR Labs, find out a bit more of Cicada's backstory and see the return of a familiar face. Oh, and despite the title, no one dies in this episode.

If you've been wondering when Team Flash would get a new Wells, then this is your lucky episode. Having a different version of Harrison Wells each season has been a tradition since the series started, but sadly the gag's starting to wear thin.

Over the past four years, Tom Cavanagh did an amazing job playing Harrison, Harry and HR Wells, giving each of them their own distinct personality.

But then there's the matter of the various lesser Wellseses he's portrayed, which seem to be nothing more than an excuse for him to dress up and do funny accents. These throwaway versions are played so broadly they're downright cartoonish they're caricatures rather than characters. 

Plus the series seems to think they're much funnier than they really are. I'm sure it's a hoot for Cavanagh to play all these different versions of the same character, but it's starting to become a bit grating for the audience. 

Based on this initial appearance, Sherloque Wells feels like one of these lesser cartoonish versions of Wells. Surely Cavanagh's not gonna talk in that unconvincing French accent all season, is he? It's too early to panic yet though, so I'll reserve my judgement of the character for now.

Like father, like daughter! This week we find out that even though Nora's only been in the present for a month or less, she's already screwed up the timeline to the point where Cicada's turned into a completely different person! Way to keep it in the family, I guess.

By the way, does it seem odd for Nora to worry that she's changed the timeline too much, but then suggest they change it even further by bringing in a new Wells to fix it? That's some twisted logic there.

We learn a little more about Cicada this week, as he has the standard "dying child fueling a hatred of metahumans" revenge motivation. Yawn.

Also, I'm puzzled by Cicada's sudden interest in Vibe. It literally came out of nowhere, and needed more time to breathe in order to work. As is, this subplot felt like it was just wedged into the episode.


The Plot:
We begin with a flashforward to 2032, as a young Nora West-Allen wanders through the Flash Museum in Central City, looking at the various displays.

In the present, Nora explains to Barry and the others that of all the Flash's many villains, Cicada was the most dangerous because no one ever found out his secret identity, and he was never caught. Even worse, she worries that by coming back in time she's already altered history, as Cicada's appeared long before he's supposed to.

Nora comes up with a plan. She says in her timeline Team Flash didn't have a version of Harrison Wells, so if they bring in one now, he might be able to help them catch Cicada. Barry agrees, and tells Cisco to contact Herr Harrison Wolfgang Wells of Earth-12. Cisco says that's a bad idea, as that particular Wells is an asshat, but calls him up anyway.

Herr Wells says he's way to busy to help, but gives them the name and Earth of a different Wells, who's the greatest detective in the Multiverse. Cisco receives the coordinates, opens a breach, and Harrison Sherloque Wells steps through.

Meanwhile, an unmasked Cicada sits in the Central City Library (!), looking through online crime reports. For some reason he's decided to target Vibe, who's possibly the least prominent superhero in Central City. Personally I'd eliminate the Flash first, but what do I know. Unfortunately for Cicada, he can't act against Vibe until he discovers his secret identity. He sees Joe West in the background of one of the photos, and squints meaningfully.

Back at STAR Labs, Sherloque demonstrates his formidable abilities by deducing highly personal truths about each member of Team Flash. Suitably impressed, they agree to take him in. He tells them he doesn't work for free though, and charges them an enormous amount for his services. Barry's forced to accept his terms.

Sherloque studies their info and says he's deduced that Cicada is a man named David Hersch, and knows where to find him. Barry and Nora head out to capture him.

Caitlin asks Ralph to go with her to pay a visit to her mom, Dr. Carla Tannhauser, to ask if she knows anything about her father's fake death certificate. Tannhauser says she has no idea what she's talking about, and assures Caitlin that her father is not only merely dead, he's really most sincerely dead. She tells to drop the notion that her father's still alive, which isn't suspicious at all.

Barry and Nora show up atDavid Hersch's secret hideout. They disable a series of booby traps at super speed and capture him.

That night, Joe's at home reading when Cicada enters his house. He demands he summon Vibe, but Joe refuses. Cicada knocks him out.

Meanwhile, Ralph tells Caitlin that her mom is obviously lying about the death certificate, so they somehow sneak into Tannhauser Industries after hours. They rifle through Dr; Tannhauser's papers, and Caitlin finds a periodic table containing fanciful elements that she made with her dad. She also finds a suicide note from him.

At STAR Labs, the Gang discovers that David Hersch isn't Cicada after all, and they all turn to Sherloque for an explanation. He admits that he's identified Cicada on thirty seven other Earths in the Multiverse, and each time he was David Hersch. Nora says her actions must have somehow changed who Cicada is on this Earth (?).

Barry's upset that Sherloque didn't even try to figure out Cicada's identity here, and just "copied his own work." He demands he refund their money, but Sherloque conveniently says it's already been spent (?). Team Flash then says Sherloque's going to stay on Earth 1 until he works off the money he owes them, thus setting up his reason for being on the show this season.

Joe wakes up and sees he's tied to a chair. Cicada demands to know Vibe's identity again, and shocks Joe with his lightning bolt dagger. Joe still refuses to tell. Cicada picks up a photo of Barry & Iris and says he has a lovely family, implying he'll harm them if Joe doesn't cooperate.

Ralph apologizes to Caitlin for pushing her to investigate her dad's death, which caused her to find out he committed suicide. She says she's not upset, as at least now she has closure. And thus the writers set up a Caitlin/Ralph romance. Hey, they gotta give Ralph some reason for being on the show, now that they just brought in a second detective.

Back at STAR, Nora discovers Sherloque's hat sitting on top of a pile of ash, and says he was apparently vaporized when a faulty fuel cell in the pipeline exploded next to him. Cisco examines the remains and says the ash is actually tea leaves, and Sherloque is trying to fake his death to get out of paying them back. Barry searches the building at superspeed and returns with Sherloque, who sheepishly admits he was trying to skip out on them. Don't worry, this scene actually has a point that'll become apparent later.

Cecile wakes up and realizes her powers haven't completely faded, as she "hears" Joe's distress in her mind. She sneaks downstairs and sees him being menaced by Cicada. She pushes the Flash Alert app on her phone. Cicada hears her and moves to grab her.

Cisco sees the alert and grabs his Vibe gear. Just as Cicada's about to kill Cecile, Cisco breaches to the scene. Cicada tackles him and the two fly through the breach just before it closes. Barry arrives a split second later, and Cecile tells him he's too late.

Cisco radios the Gang and says he came out of the breach into a forest, but isn't sure where it is. He tries to open another breach, but his powers have been negated. Just then Cicada throws his metal bolt at him. It narrowly misses him and Cisco takes off running. Sherloque asks him to describe the forest, and narrows it down to Kolins Woods. Barry speeds off.

Cicada throws his bolt and it lodges in Cisco's back (!). Cicada recalls the bolt, and it pulls Cisco to him. He hurls him against a tree. Just then Barry arrives, but Cicada cancels out his powers as well. Barry tries punching Cicada the normal way, but he's no match for him.

Nora revs up and begins thinking at superspeed, and actually comes up with a way to defeat Cicada and save the others. She grabs a fuel cell from the pipeline (told you it'd become important later) and speeds to Kolins woods. She tosses the fuel cell to Cisco, who throws it at Cicada. Unfortunately he bats it away with his bolt.

The cell flies toward Cisco and explodes in a huge blast of blue energy. Cicada somehow forms a forcefield to protect himself. In the aftermath of the blast, he sees Cisco's been obliterated, as the only thing left of him are his glasses and gauntlets. He crushes them beneath his boot.

Cicada then turns to Barry, intending to kill him. Cicada stops when he realizes he's bleeding. He makes a hasty exit by flying straight up into the air (?).

Barry looks forlornly at Cisco's gear, lying broken at the bottom of a crater. Suddenly a breach opens, and Cisco steps out of it. Barry's puzzled (as is the audience), so Cisco explains that when Nora arrived in the forest, she slipped him a handheld breaching device at superspeed. Since Cicada can't nullify mechanical devices, Cisco used the breacher to escape a second before the fuel cell exploded. Nora says they seemingly gave Cicada just what he wanted the death of Vibe.

In the wrap up, Iris invites Nora to live in their house, hoping to connect with her future daughter. Caitlin pores through the files she took from her mom's office. She looks at the fake periodic table, and realizes there's a code embedded in it. She works out the code and it spells out, "CAITLIN COME FIND ME."

Joe tells Iris about how Cicada was staring at his family photos, and says he thinks he's a father.

Cut to an unmasked Cicada visiting a hospital, where his young daughter lies in a coma. A nurse enters and says, "Hello, Orlin." She tells him there's no change in his daughter's condition, and says he has to stop what he's doing. He says he can't until it's finished.

At STAR, Sherloque chats with Nora. He mentions how she could have come to the past at any time, but chose to appear at the moment that DeVoe's satellite was falling to Earth and help Barry punch it. He wonders if that was all her idea, or if someone else influenced her? She looks troubled and walks off.

• The episode begins with our first ever look at the Flash Museum! As you might expect, this 
scene is jam packed with items and artifacts from previous episodes. I'll list all the ones I saw, but I'm not gonna try and figure out what episodes they appeared in. I just ain't got that kind of time. Plus I can't remember!

Oddly enough, it appears the Museum's inside a converted STAR Labs! Does that mean Team Flash will find a new HQ sometime in the next fourteen years?

And amazingly, it looks like by 2032 they've FINALLY fixed the damaged pylon!

As Nora enters the Museum, she walks past two displays featuring the Reverse Flash on the left, and The Thinker on the right.

We then see a shot of several more villain exhibits. From Left to right, that's Doctor Light's suit, the Trickster's costume (the Axel Walker version), Zoom's black outfit and Amunet Black's ensemble.

Next up is a display of various helmets, suits and weapons used by the Flash's enemies. From Right to left is Savitar's suit (even though it was blown up real good in his final appearance), Captain Cold's barely visible cold gun, what appears to be Geomancer's gauntlets and the helmet General Eiling wore when he was under the mind control of Grodd. 

In the middle of the display is a silver helmet, and I can't quite tell for sure who's it is. It may be the "Man In The Iron Mask" helmet worn by Jay Garrick when he was held captive by Zoom (don't ask me how the Museum got ahold of THAT!), or it could possibly be Atom Smasher's headgear. I'm honestly not sure which.

Next are the sonic gauntlets used by Pied Piper and finally the Acid Water Pistol used by the Axel Walker Trickster.

On the table at the bottom of the frame is Captain Boomerang's, er, boomerang.

Next there's a nicely framed beauty shot of Cisco's Weather Wand, which was used by Weather Wizard. I still think that thing's based on the Eleventh Doctor's sonic screwdriver! Next to the wand, but not pictured here are the Samuroid's katanas.

• Nora tells Team Flash about Cicada, and says he was never caught. She says, "Supergirl, The Legends, even The League tried, but no one was successful.

Interesting! Obviously "The League" refers to The Justice League. Does that mean they're eventually going to make an appearance on the show? If so, let's hope it's an Arrowverse version of the team, and not the one that appeared in the incredibly mediocre 2017 movie.

So who would be in an Arrowverse version of The League? Obviously they'd fill the team with characters with their own shows, so Supergirl, the Flash and Arrow would be there. Maybe even Superman as well. Probably Martian Manhunter too. Maybe Atom? He was often a member in the comics. There's no Aquaman or Wonder Woman in the Arrowverse yet, so they're out. That'd be five members, and six if they bring in Superman. I guess that'd be enough.

It'd be nice if they brought Green Lantern to the Arrowverse at some point.

• Nora worries that she's already changed her past/our present, because Cicada's appeared much earlier than he was meant to. She also says he never killed Gridlock and Block in her timeline, as his first victim was a meta named Floyd Belkin.

Believe it or not, there was a Floyd Belkin in DC Comics. He was secretly Arm-Fall-Off Boy, a member of the Legion Of Super Heroes. And yeah, his power allowed him to detach his own limbs and use them as clubs. Because comic books are amazing.

• So Nora decides the best way to change history and capture Cicada is to bring in a new Wells. Team Flash summons Harrison Sherloque Wells, a French (I guess) version who's allegedly the Multiverse's greatest detective.

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, THE FLASH WRITERS?!!?? You already have a detective on your show Ralph Dibney. 

You guys pull this same trick every goddamned season. It's obvious you're already having trouble finding things for your large cast to do every week, and now you just made Ralph's job redundant. How long before you end up writing him off the show the way you did poor Wally? 

• After Sherloque lists his credentials, Team Flash agrees to take him on. They're shocked though when he mentions he expects to be paid for his services, and even more stunned when they see his asking price. 

When Iris wonders how they're going to come up with that much cash, Barry says, "I mean, we could sell off some of STAR Labs stock."

Wha...? What... what stock? How the hell would STAR Labs have any stock to sell? Are we really supposed to believe it's a publicly traded company? Do they really have a board of directors and regular shareholder meetings?

Doesn't a company generally need to manufacture a product, sell it and generate a profit before it can be listed on the stock exchange? Does STAR Labs do any of that? As far as I can see they produce nothing. Heck, the place only has two actual employees that we know of Cisco and Caitlin. Everyone else that hangs out there already has another job.

I'm pretty sure the writers are having some fun with the audience here. For years now, fans have wondered just how what STAR Labs does and how they manage to keep the lights on. The "selling stock" line was obviously meant to lampshade all that.

• For many decades, movies and TV shows would often feature the main character physically trudging to the library to research a plot point. These scenes would usually show them poring through a large stack or books, or scrolling through endless microfiche files.

Thanks to the internet, those forms of data storage are now obsolete. Today we all carry around a hand-held device that can access the knowledge of the entire world! But for some reason, characters STILL insist on going to the library for research. 

Which brings us to this episode. At one point we see Cicada sitting in the Central City Library, searching for info on Vibe. Why? Why can't he just look it up on his phone? Why's he have to leave his house and do his research in a goddamned library, like it's 1965?

I suppose we could be generous and say Cicada's trying to keep a low profile, and the public library computers are fairly anonymous. I suppose we could say that, but it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

• Sherloque tells us that all through the Multiverse, Cicada's secret identity is that of David Hersch. But thanks to Nora and her altering of the timeline, Cicada is now a completely different person named Orlin.

I'm struggling to understand just how that works. So Nora changes the past and a completely different person decides to adopt the exact same Cicada costume and MO that David Hersch was meant to. 

See what I mean? It doesn't make any sense. It'd be like someone stepping on a butterfly in 1970, and causing me to become the Son Of Sam instead of David Berkowitz.

• So in this episode, Sherloque incorrectly deduces that Cicada is a man named David Hersch, because that's his secret identity on thirty seven other worlds in the Multiverse.

Turns out that in the comics, Cicada actually is David Hersch. It would take 50,000 words to adequately explain his origin, so I'll try and boil it down as much as possible.

David Hersch was an architect and preacher who was born in 1890. During a violent outburst he murdered his wife, and was so distraught he tried to kill himself as well. Suddenly he was struck by a bolt of lightning (!) and found he could absorb the life force of others, extending his own life span.

He spent the next century trying to resurrect his wife. He also believed that he and the Flash were linked, because they both got their powers from a bolt of lightning. He formed a cult, and for some reason they decided to murder everyone the Flash ever saved, killing them with lightning bolt-shaped daggers. There's a lot more, but that's good enough for now.

It looks like the TV version of Cicada is trying to revive his comatose daughter, instead of bringing a wife back from the dead. Does this mean he caused his daughter's coma?

• When Elongated Man accidentally becomes an internet meme, Ralph worries that no one in Central City takes him seriously. Caitlin says, "Oh, there's 14 million people in this city. Only 500,000 have reposted this."

WOW! Are there really 14 MILLION people in Central City? Jesus Christ! That's more than the populations of New York City and Los Angeles combined! It's bigger than Tokyo, and the 
SEVENTH most populous city in the world! Somehow I don't think that's true.

I was gonna say the 14 million amount was probably just a figure of speech, like when a person says they have a "zillion" things to do. But Caitlin's the one who utters this line. You know, Caitlin— the no-nonsense, highly precise doctor/scientist of the group, who's not really prone to exaggeration and hyperbole.

Somebody on the writing staff needs to look at the latest census data, and fast!

• For the past three weeks now, Jesse L. Martin, who plays Joe West, has spent every episode sitting in a chair. He looks tired and weary as well, lacking that old spark he used to have. And this week his speech even sounded slurred. Something's definitely going on with him. It's not just me imagining things, as I've seen others around the internet noticing his condition as well.

Is he recovering from some kind of accident? Is he ill? I certainly hope not. Whatever the problem is, I hope he makes a full recovery soon.

UPDATE: Right before I hit the publish button, I found out that Marin suffered a back injury during the summer hiatus, which explains why he's been sitting down all season. As for the lack of energy, I'm guessing he's probably on some heavy duty pain meds.

According to a CW rep, Martin will be taking a medical leave from the show for a few weeks until he's back to speed (no pun intended).

• When Cicada invades the West home and threatens Joe, Cecile hears him and activates the "Distress App" on her phone. Cisco gets the alert on his phone, giving us a really good look at the app. He immediately grabs his gear and breaches to her house.

Um... how does he know the alert came from Cecile? The app just says "DISTRESS BROADCAST." It doesn't display anyone's name. It could have come from anyone. Did he just assume it was from Cecile because she's not at STAR Labs at the moment?

Even if he somehow intuited that it's from Cecile, how the hell does he know to go to her house? What if she's out shopping or driving on the freeway?

 At one point Sherloque tries to fake his own death by making it look like he's been vaporized by STAR Labs tech. Cisco calls shenanigans and says, "Barry, be a dear and check the building for a weasel in a pork pie hat, about yay tall, smells vaguely of poutine."

I was all set to mock Cisco, as I was dead certain that THIS is a pork pie hat. I was sure the one Sherloque left behind was just your basic fedora.

Welp, it turns out I was wrong. Sherloque's hat is indeed called a pork pie. The one I thought was a pork pie hat is actually called a flat cap. My entire life has been a lie!

By the way, when Barry finds Sherloque and drags him back to the pipeline, he's wearing his trademark pork pie, even though there's another sitting on top of the pile of ash. So did he bring TWO hats with him from his Earth? Or does STAR Labs also contain a haberdashery we've not seen before?

• After finding out that Sherloque bamboozled them, Team Flash demands he refund their cash. Unfortunately he tells them that money's "long gone," as he's already spent it on his considerable alimony. Jesus Christ! They just paid him an hour or two ago! Did he really contact his home Earth that quickly? And how does one go about transferring funds from one parallel Earth to another? Western Union? PayPal? Bitcoin?

In addition, Sherloque says he's had seven marriages and five wives. A bit later he mentions his fourth and sixth wives were the same woman, indicating he married her twice. That would still add up to six. That means he must have married one of his other wives twice as well!

• Cisco vibes to Joe's house to save Cecile. The instant he arrives, Cicada tackles him and the two fly backwards through the breach he just opened. When Team Flash finds out what happened, Nora says, "But a breach could take them anywhere."

Maybe I just don't understand the mechanics of breaches, but... wouldn't it take them right back to STAR Labs? Stay with me here a breach is basically a portal in space which connects two distant locations, right? Cisco opened a breach that led from STAR Labs into Joe's house and stepped through it, just as if he walked through a doorway. So when he and Cicada fell backward through the breach, they should have emerged right back in STAR Labs!

It shouldn't matter which way you walk through a breach it should always connect the same two locations.

• I loved the scene in which Nora figured out how to beat Cicada by taking a moment to think at super speed. I don't think we've ever seen a speedster use their power that way before on the show, and it was awesome!

• Team Flash decides the best way to defeat Cicada is to let him think he's killed Vibe. To that end, Cisco decides to lay low for a while and let the city think he's dead. We then a shot of Iris' blog, whose latest entry is titled "A World Without Vibe." It goes on to say, "Central City has lost one of its guardians."

Has it really? Sure, the average Central Citian is well aware of the Flash, but do they even know who Vibe is? From what I've seen he tends to avoid the spotlight, operating mostly behind the scenes.

This Week's Best Lines:
(Cicada demands Joe summon Vibe to his house)

Joe: "Yes, I mean, he helps CCPD, but it's not like I have a Vibe phone so I can just call him up. He's just a masked do-gooder that shows up at crime scenes."
Cicada: (threateningly) "This could be a crime scene."

Joe: "I'm not luring Vibe into a death trap. You can threaten me all you want. I'm not afraid."

Cicada: "I believe you. But you should be."

Cisco: (to Sherloque) "You make me miss Herr Wells."

R.I.P. James Karen

Damn it, not another celebrity obit! I'm gettin' real tired of seeing the stars I grew up with shuffling off this mortal coil. This time it's James Karen, who died last week at 94.

You may not recognize the name, but you definitely know his face. Karen starred in over 200 movies and TV shows over the years, beginning with 1965's Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster. He's probably best known though for his VERY memorable performance in The Return Of The Living Dead. He was also mean old Mr. Teague, the one who built the housing development over the cemetery in Poltergeist, and mean old land baron Nathan Lassiter, who bought up Walnut Grove in the final episode of Little House On the Prairie.

Karen was working right up until the end too, as his final film appearance was a small role in low budget 2018 release Cynthia.

I was lucky enough to meet James Karen back in 2010, and he was as nice and accommodating as can be. I talked with him for quite a while, and he seemed just as interested in me as I was in him. Best of all he wasn't charging for autographs or photos! He said he wouldn't be where he was without his fans, so that was his way of saying thanks.

Sad to hear of his passing, but I guess 94's a pretty good run. R.I.P. James Karen.

Here's another look at my original post on James Karen:

This past weekend I went to Wonderfest 2010 in Louisville and got to meet James Karen, star of one of my all-time favorite movies, Return of the Living Dead.

If you've not seen the movie, stop reading right now and go seek it out. It's an awesome horror/comedy from the 1980s, and the precursor of movies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. I highly recommend it.

Mr. Karen gives an amazing and memorable performance in the movie. He's been in a ton of films over the years and has guest starred on just about every TV show you can think of. Among other things, he was the evil contractor who moved the tombstones (but not the bodies!) in Poltergeist, and he was the mean old land baron who bought up Walnut Grove and forced out the residents in the final episode of Little House on the Prairie.

By the way, I asked him if he ever got hate mail from people for causing Walnut Grove to be blown up. He said he did and still does to this day!

He was extremely nice to me and all the other fans, asking everyone their name and where they were from and how long they'd driven to be there. He graciously listened to me and everyone else tell him the same story about how much they loved him in Return of the Living Dead. His actress wife Alba Francesca was with him, and she was very nice as well, dutifully taking photos of everyone who wanted a picture.

In fact, he was so nice that he didn't charge to sign autographs or take a photo with him. He said he wouldn't be where he is today without his fans, and this is his way of giving something back. Now that's a rare and refreshing attitude!

He also participated in a Return of the Living Dead panel, answering questions and entertaining the audience with behind the scenes stories and anecdotes about the filming of the movie.

Believe it or not, James Karen is 87 years old! He certainly didn't look it or act it. I'd have guessed 70 at the most. He's still working too, starring in upcoming movies and doing voice over work. In fact right after WonderFest was over he was leaving for New York to record the narration for a documentary. I'm happy I got a chance to meet and talk with him.

Here're a few screen caps of Mr. Karen in action as Frank in Return of the Living Dead.

And as mean old land developer Mr. Teague in Poltergeist.

And here he is as mean old land developer Nathan Lassiter in Little House On The Prairie.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Legends Of Tomorrow Season 4, Episode 1: The Virgin Gary

It's the Season 4 premiere of Legends Of Tomorrow!

As I've pointed out before, Legends had a rocky start, as its first season was pretty dire. Fortunately the producers learned from their mistakes and jettisoned everything that didn't work. Season 2 was a vast improvement, and Season 3 was even better, as Legends quickly became my favorite TV show. It gleefully embraced its Silver Age comic book roots, along with all the insanity that implies. So far it looks like Season 4 is continuing that trend.

After the departure of both Vixen, Jackson and the late, lamented Professor Stein last season, the Legends are definitely a much leaner team this year. That could actually work to the show's advantage, as it was often difficult to find something for each cast member to do each week.

Unfortunately, I've read online rumors that Vixen is supposedly returning to the show. Ugh. I liked the character OK when she first appeared, and she had a pretty cool power. But once she hooked up with Steel and began constantly whining about the fate of herself and her village, she became absolutely insufferable. I'd be perfectly happy if she stayed back in the past.

I'm also not sure about the Atom/Nora Darhk relationship that's foreshadowed this week. I get why they're eager to pair them up— Brandon Routh (who plays Atom) and Courtney Ford (who plays Nora) are married in real life. As you might imagine, the two of them share an easy onscreen chemistry, but I dunno... Somehow it seems wrong to write a romantic subplot about an evil, psychotic witch who's murdered dozens of people.

his week also features the return of John Constantine, and sets up his eventual joining of the team. I like Matt Ryan's portrayal of Constantine quite a bit, and I think he'll fit in pretty well.


The Plot:
In 1964, the Legends protect the Beatles as they arrive for their first American concert tour. Suddenly Paul Revere appears on horseback, shouting, "The British are coming, the British are coming!" Com-O-Dee! Heat Wave punches him out and they fix the anachronism by taking him back to 1775.

Back on the Waverider, the Legends are bored now that they've cleaned up the final anachronism. In addition, Steel and Heat Wave are disappointed they've not seen any dragons after John Constantine hinted they'd unleashed them in the Season 3 finale.

Just then the Legends are summoned to the Time Bureau in Washington, DC. Thinking they're in trouble again, they're stunned when they arrive and Agent Sharpe throws them a surprise party. She congratulates them on fixing after breaking it in Season 2.

During the party, Zari tells Atom she somehow knows he helped Nora Darhk escape in the previous episode. That night, Agent Sharpe invites White Canary to move in with her. Canary hesitates at first, but ultimately agrees, saying it's time they advanced to the next step in their relationship.

Canary enters the kitchen for a drink, and is surprised to see Constantine waiting for her. He warns her that the magic forces they unleashed are still loose, and she and her team had better be ready for the battle that's coming.

Meanwhile, Heat Wave and Steel are still at the party (how many hours has it been going on at this point?). Heat Wave says he feels like stealing something and leaves. Steel goes along with him to keep him out of trouble. Steel suggests they break into a particular mansion, and once inside, we see it's actually his parent's house.

Shaken by Constantine's doomsaying, Canary returns to the party (?), and with Time Agent Gary Green's help, discovers there's possible magical activity in Woodstock in 1969. She uses Gary's time courier to jump there and check it out.

Elsewhere, Atom detects the trouble at Woodstock as well, and believes it's being caused by Nora. He and Zari use the jump ship to travel to Woodstock as well. Once there, they find a dead hippie in a tree, with his heart ripped out of his chest.

Meanwhile, Steel has an awkward reunion with his parents. During their strained conversation, Steel's dad, Hank Heywood, just happens to mention "The Woodstock Massacre." Steel and Heat Wave realize something's gone wrong with history, and excuse themselves. They travel to 1969 as well.

Everyone meets up at the festival, and Heat Wave sees the source of the problem a magnificently dazzling unicorn. They're stunned by its ethereal beauty, until it charges at a hippie and stabs her through the chest with its horn. It then throws her to the ground and eats her heart right out of her chest.

Heat Wave blasts it with his flame gun, but it has no effect. It then fires a wave of rainbow-colored spores at the Legends, which disorient them long enough for it to escape. Canary somehow dodges the spores and goes to find Constantine for help.

Canary returns to the present, finds Constantine and tells him what's happening in 1969. He says he'll help, and asks if any of the Legends were "musked" by the unicorn. She says yes, and he tells her they're in for one hell of a ride.

Back at Woodstock, the Legends begin hallucinating. Steel sees Heat Wave as his emotionally distant father. Heat Wave in turn sees Steel as his dead rat Axl, who's seemingly now six feet tall and able to speak. Atom and Zari begin seeing things as well.

Canary returns with Constantine, and they spot the Legends in a field, rolling around in the grass, still under the influence of the unicorn's musk. Eventually it wears off, and the groggy Legends return to the Waverider. Constantine says he can defeat the unicorn, but will need several items to create the spell.

First up is the saliva from a nine-fingered man. Steel says Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia was missing the middle finger of his right hand. He finds Garcia hanging out at the festival and steals a joint from him to obtain his saliva. Next they need the "protection stone" from a powerful shaman. Heat Wave bumps into Jimi Hendrix and palms the turquoise medallion from around his neck.

The third item they need is a lock of hair from a doomed woman. Atom suits up, shrinks and grabs a few strands from the head of Janis Joplin, who died in 1970, just a year after Woodstock. 

Lastly Constantine says he needs a virgin to lure the unicorn to him. The Legends scoff and snort, saying there's no way in hell they'll ever be able to find a virgin at the biggest love-fest in history. Constantine says he thinks he knows where he can find one.

Cut to Gary standing in a secluded grove, holding an apple. Sure enough, the unicorn appears and begins roaring, gore dripping from its ghastly maw. Gary sees it and shrieks for help.

Constantine drinks the potion, recites a spell and an interdimentional portal opens up behind the unicorn. The unicorn's skin is burned off, revealing its horrific true nature as it's inexorably drawn toward the portal. 

As the unicorn's about to enter the portal, it bites down on Gary's hand, dragging him along with it. The Legends all grab onto Gary's other hand, and a mystic tug of war ensues. They finally free him from the unicorn's mouth, and it's sucked into the vortex.

We then get the obligatory wrap-up as Atom tells Zari he has feelings for Nora. You know, Nora Darhk, the evil, murderous daughter of the Legends' most powerful enemy. Steel shows up at his parents' house with a six pack of beer, in an attempt to bond with his dad. Canary tries to convince Constantine to join the team, but he tells her no thanks (except he says it much more rudely).

Later that night Constantine exits his shower and is suddenly tossed around the room by an invisible mystical force. He looks up and sees the words, "I'M COMING FOR YOU JOHNNY" written on his mirror in blood.


• At the beginning of the episode, the real Paul Revere appears in 1964 and of course starts shouting, "The British are coming!"  For some reason, Atom points out that Revere never actually said that. Wait, why is Atom telling us that? Isn't Steel supposed to be the resident historian? Why isn't this HIS line?

Also, for anyone out there under the age of fifty, Revere's line was a pretty funny bit, as it had a double meaning. The Beatles came to America in 1964 and became a huge sensation. Their massive success spawned a steady stream of similar bands (such as The Yardbirds, Herman's Hermits and The Zombies), who all hoped to hit it big as well. This influx of talent from across the pond was jokingly dubbed "The British Invasion."

Also also for anyone out there under the age of fifty, there was a popular American band in the early 1960s called Paul Revere And The Raiders. Was the appearance of the real Paul Revere in this scene a subtle nod to them?

• This week (and maybe all season?) the Legends Of Tomorrow title screen changes to resemble one of Constantine's visible spells.

• Meta humor alert! At the beginning of the episode, Zari says, "Yeah, I'm beginning to think Wally had the right idea. Taking time off, clearing his head, traveling the world. Speaking of the same old crap, isn't that what he did last year?

Of course she's pointing out that Wally left The Flash in Season 4 to "find himself."

A few seconds later, Canary and the Legends have the following conversation: 

Canary: "I'm confused. We are all happy that there was only one dragon, right? We don't want to be fighting werewolves in the Alamo!"

Steel: "Ehhhh..."
Atom: "Well, it would be good for our ratings."
Canary: "What ratings?"
Atom: "Oh, you don't know? The Time Bureau rates all their employees. But don't worry. We have a few dedicated fans!"

Two more reasons why I love this show!

• When Agent Sharpe summons the Legends to the Time Bureau, Canary says, "Gideon, set a course for Star City." Sharpe corrects her, saying, "I'm not talking about our field office, Miss Lance. I meant our Time Bureau Headquarters in D.C."

Is that new? I thought there was just one Time Bureau. Have they always had multiple offices in various cities?

• The Waverider exits the time stream and flies over Washington DC, fully visible.

It then flies under a bridge for some reason, in full view of the hundreds, maybe thousands of onlookers.

Only after it clears the bridge does the ship finally activate its cloaking device. Jesus, why bother with it at that point? 

Why the hell wouldn't they cloak the ship BEFORE it exited the portal? Why wait till it's out and flying over a heavily populated area, where millions would see it

Of course the real world answer is that the producers need for the audience to see the ship flying over DC to understand what's going on. That can't happen if it's invisible when it arrives. 

So what's the in-universe reason? I'm starting to come to the conclusion that there must be some reason why the Waverider can't use it's cloak inside the time stream, and has to wait till it's out to activate it.

• Once again, Legends Of Tomorrow continues the running gag in which the chain smoking John Constantine never quite gets to light up. In this episode he puts a cigarette in his mouth, and just as he's about to light it Canary yanks it away and asks him what the hell he thinks he's doing.

• There's something really wonky about this episode's timeline. First the Time Bureau throws the Legends a surprise party. Cut to what appears to be hours later, as Canary and Sharpe are home in bed, dressed in their jammies and discussing their future together.. We then cut to Steel and Heat Wave at the party, which is apparently still going strong. A bit later, Canary returns to the party in her street clothes and asks Gary for help.

Did these scenes get mixed up in editing? Or did the party really last long enough for Canary & Sharpe to go home, go to bed and then get up and come back again the next day?

• Thomas Wilson as Steel's no-nonsense dad Hank Heywood is perfect casting!

• Take a good look at this impressive CGI shot of Woodstock's 400,000 attendees. Once this scene's over, all we ever see are twenty or thirty of the same extras milling around in the background behind the mains.

• How did Steel and Heat Wave get to 1969? Canary used the time courier she stole from Gary to get there, while Atom and Zari used the Waverider's jump ship. Even though it's never mentioned in dialogue, I guess Steel and Heat Wave must have taken the Waverider there?

• I don't really have anything to say about this scene, but I had to post an image of Heat Wave hallucinating his beloved late rat Axl.

• I loved the montage in which the Legends had to collect the saliva from a nine-fingered man...

The protection stone from a powerful shaman...

And a lock of hair from a doomed woman.

• Why am I just now noticing the birthmark on Canary's arm?

• Not sure why Gary needed to be shirtless to attract the unicorn, but whatever. By the way, it looks like Gary's missing an appendix...

• When the unicorn's true nature is revealed, it looks a LOT like one of the thestrals from the Harry Potter films. I guess maybe there's only so many ways you can depict a skinless, skeletal horse.

• Constantine's magic spells look very similar to those of Doctor Strange over in the MCU. Wait, did I say similar? I meant IDENTICAL. They're even round and glow with the same yellow light!

• OK, I get that the unicorn's a magical creature that can't be killed by conventional means like fire. That said, I'm a bit fuzzy as to why the gang needed Constantine to get rid of it. He ends up opening a portal which sucks the unicorn back into Hell.

But earlier in the episode, Zari used a time courier to open a portal to 1775, in order to return Paul Revere to his proper time. Note that Steel actually rides a horse through this portal (which, now that I think about it, should have freaked out the poor animal). 

So why couldn't the Legends have used the courier to eliminate the unicorn themselves? Open up a portal to the year One Billion, and shove the unicorn through that. Or if they're afraid it could still wreak havoc in the far future, open a door into deepest, darkest space and force it through. Surely it couldn't survive the harsh vacuum of space, or cause trouble for anyone millions of light years away?

My point is, with the tools at hand a bit of creative thinking, the Legends could have dealt with the unicorn themselves, and wouldn't have had to hook up with a dangerous and dogdy wizard.

This Week's Best Lines:
Paul Revere: (as The Beatles arrive at the airport) "Who are you people? Where am I? Why are all those women screaming?"

Canary: (seeing Constantine's knuckle bones from the hand of a martyred saint wiggle and form into a shape on her kitchen counter) "Bollocks!"

Steel: "Um, Mick these are my parents."
Dot: "I'm Dorothy Heywood; you can call me Dot."
Heat Wave: "Hi."
Steel: "And uh, this is my dad, Hank "
Hank: "HENRY Heywood. (nodding to Heat Wave) And I believe one of my great grandmother's silver candlesticks has found its way into your coat."
(Heat Wave pulls a candlestick from under his coat)
Dot: "Oh, you have exquisite taste in silver, Mr..."
Heat Wave: "Rory. Mick Rory, of the Central City Rorys."

Dot: "You certainly can eat a lot of sandwiches, Mr. Rory. Where did you get those big muscles?"
Heat Wave: "Prison."
Dot: "What a hoot! Isn't he a hoot, Henry?"

Atom: (seeing the unicorn for the first time) "Is that what I think it is?"
Steel: "Twilight Sparkle come to life."
Atom: "You a brony?"
Steel: "Dude, we're brony bros."
Atom: "Mick, join the herd!"

Heat Wave: "What's the beef between you and your old man anyway? He hit you?"
Steel: "No."
Heat Wave: "Burn you?"
Steel: "Nope."
Heat Wave: "Did he dress up like a clown and scare the hell out of you?"
Steel: "What the hell, Mick? No. He was emotionally unavailable to me when I was growing up.:
Heat Wave: (flabbergasted) "Are you serious?"

Canary: (to Constantine) "You ever think that you cause misery not because of some romantic 'I was born to walk alone' crap, but because you're an ass who doesn't know how to trust people?"

Constantine: "This is King Solomon's original grimoire The oldest magical textbook in existence. Now, if there's a spell to quell our equine friend, it'll be in here.:
Canary: "Well, not to pressure you, but the entire fate of the sexual revolution is in the balance here."
Constantine: "It is my favorite revolution."

(Constantine and the Legends use Gary as bait to lure the unicorn)
Canary: "Admit it, this is fun working with a team."
Constantine: "Well if ol' Gary gets eaten alive, it only goes to prove my point: People who care about us die."
Gary: "What was that?"
Constantine: "Oh, nothing mate."
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