Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Legends Of Tomorrow Season 4, Episode 12: The Eggplant, The Witch & The Wardrobe

I'm playing catch up this month, so please excuse this dreadfully late review. I'm determined to finish the season even if it kills me.

After three mediocre duds in a row, this week we finally get a halfway decent episode. Good thing too, because I'll be honest with you guys— I was coming dangerously close to giving up on this show. 

That said, even though I kind of liked this episode, I gotta admit it wasn't particularly great. As seems to be the norm this year, we get endless scenes of thrilling relationship drama instead of superhero action. Heck, a large chunk of the episode is devoted to Zari struggling to come up with the perfect text to send to Steel! Awesome! Take that, Infinity War & Endgame!

To be fair, there are a couple of scenes in which Constantine and Nora Darhk actually use their magical powers against Neron. Unfortunately they're all too brief.

Once again, I assume this continual lack of action is due that ol' devil The Budget. It's much cheaper to show two women talking about their relationship while mattress shopping than it is to film a team of superheroes battling a giant horned demon.

I'm not sure if The CW ordered massive budget cuts to Legends Of Tomorrow, or the show's expanded the cast so much there's no cash left for superhero stunts. Either way, the audience is the loser here.


The Plot:

There's a crap-ton of storylines in this episode, so I'll do my best to be brief (HAW!). White Canary goes to Sharpe's apartment and asks if they can talk. When there's no answer, she unlocks the door and finds the place deserted, along with signs of a scuffle.

On the Waverider, Constantine discovers that Atom's brought Nora Darhk onboard. Nora says she didn't kill Hank Heywood, but Constantine already knows, stating that Neron did it. Canary enters and tells them that Sharpe's missing. Constantine says it's a sure bet that Neron took her. 

Nora asks Canary to take her to Ava's apartment so she can use her powers to find her. Constantine says that's not a good idea, as Nora's vulnerable to Neron's power and is a liability. Nora assures him she's fine, and Canary agrees to take her.

They go back to Sharpe's apartment, and Nora sees a cracked and bloody mirror on the wall. She touches it and sees a vision of Neron smashing Sharpe against it. She also senses a motel room, and says she knows where to find Sharpe.

Meanwhile, Steel and Gary are going through Hank's files, destroying anything pertaining to the magical theme park he was building (since he was using illegal funding to pay for it). Atom enters and says Director Sharpe's missing. Gary screams and runs off to help find her. Atom convinces Steel that Nora didn't kill Hank. Just then there hear a phone ring from inside a file box (wha...?). Steel answers and it's Mikey T, the foreman who's constructing Hank's park in Buckwood Downs. Steel and Atom head there.

Canary, Constantine and Nora arrive at a seedy motel and find Sharpe inside one of the rooms, sitting in the middle of the floor. They take her back to the Waverider, where Constantine says Neron was likely preparing her as a new host for his spirit. He says Sharpe's soul is now in purgatory, and it's impossible to get her back. 

Canary demands he send her to Purgatory to rescue Sharpe. Constantine warns her that the place is designed to drive souls insane, and he won't be able to protect her there. She lies on a bed next to Sharpe, and Constantine casts a spell to send her down.

Canary wakes up inside the impossibly vast Megastör, which is an obvious riff on IKEA. She spots Sharpe waiting in a checkout line and runs over to her. She says if she checks out she'll die (?) and says they need to find the exit.

Back on the Waverider, there's a completely superfluous subplot in which Zari tries to text Steel about going on a date, and Charlie and Mona (especially Mona) stick their noses in and try to help. Gary arrives on the ship and sees Sharpe laid out on a bed in the Medbay, and does his best to make her comfortable. Constantine takes Charlie and Nora with him to figure out what Neron wants.

Elsewhere, Steel and Atom arrive at the construction site, and see them building a massive arch for a dragon sanctuary. Mikey T recognizes Steel from Hank's descriptions. Steel tells him that Hank's dead, and to tear down the entire park.

In Purgatory, a vision of Gary appears as a Megastör employee and tells Sharpe he's there to help her. An announcement says the store's closing in one hour, putting a ticking clock on their situation. Canary and Sharpe follow the arrows on the floor, but end up right where they started. Canary asks Gary how to get out of the store, but he says he can't answer that question. He does tell them the Ergrik Wardrobe has the answers they seek, and hands them a hex key. They find the proper department and see the wardrobe in pieces. Canary begins putting it together without the instructions. 

Meanwhile, Neron walks to the motel, whistling Pop Goes The Weasel as he goes. He enters a room and sees what appears to be Sharpe, still sitting on the floor. Suddenly "Sharpe" punches him in the face, revealing she's actually Charlie. Nora enters and fires off some mystical blasts at the demon, while Constantine knocks him out with a spell.

Neron wakes in a cell inside the Time Bureau. He begins taunting Constantine, as he's still wearing the form of his beloved Dez. He then tells Nora he's inside her mind and senses she's weak. Nora shoves Constantine out the door, and says that Neron's trying to get to them both. She says between the two of them, they should be able to figure a way to defeat him. 

Back in the Megastör, Canary finishes building the wardrobe, but it instantly falls apart. Sharpe says Canary didn't follow the directions, which is symbolic of her entire life. This leads to a big argument, and Canary agrees to build it again with Sharpe's help. They finish, and the wardrobe opens. They step through, thinking they've found the way out. Superheroics!

Instead they're just transported to the mattress department. Gary appears again and warns them to choose their mattress carefully, as it's the most important decision of their lives. Another salesman enters and tells Gary they need to leave before "Tabitha" arrives. Gary pales and the two salesmen run out. I'm assuming we'll find out who Tabitha is in the season finale. 

Anyway, Canary and Sharpe begin testing mattresses. Canary picks out a cheap one with a five year warranty. This appalls Sharpe, who says they need to get one for the long haul. They choose one with a fifteen year warranty, and eventually a fifty year one. This causes them to age into old women, as they realize mattress shopping's a metaphor for staying together. They then discuss their long-term relationship goals, which is exactly what everyone wants in their superhero shows. Canary says originally she wanted to keep things loose and casual, but now realizes it'd be nice to have someone to grow old with. This causes them to move on to the next phase.

Steel and Atom return to the Time Bureau. Steel sees Neron in the Magic Jail and freaks out. Constantine and Nora tell him to stay out, but he bursts into the Jail and smashes the lock behind him. He confronts Neron, demanding to know why he killed Hank. Neron says Hank betrayed him by siding with Steel, and would still be alive if not for him. He then whistles Pop Goes The Weasel again, to make sure the mouth breathers in the audience know it's his signature tune. Atom manages to open the door and drag Steel out before he does something too stupid.

Neron then gets into Nora's head, causing her to start an argument with Constantine. She storms off, and secretly goes to the Magic Jail to talk with Neron. He asks if the Legends have any idea what she's capable of, and wonders why she's hanging out with Constantine after he failed her. She says Constantine did everything he could to save her as a child. Neron says that "Tabitha" (there's that name again) will be here soon, and will take care of Constantine for good. Nora realizes Neron meant to use Sharpe as a host for Tabitha, whoever she is.

Meanwhile, Canary and Sharpe find themselves back in their apartment. Suddenly the sink fills with dirty dishes, the garbage can begins overflowing and the light fixtures explode. As they deal with these incidents, a huge pile of mail appears. Canary eventually has enough and tells Sharpe to deal with the rapidly deteriorating apartment herself. This leads to another argument, as Sharpe accuses Canary of not wanting to move in with her and deal with everyday domestic problems.

Suddenly Canary finds herself back in the Megastör, in a vast showroom filled with hundreds of different life-sized Sharpe action figures. Gary appears again, saying there's a Sharpe model for everyone, and she has to choose one. Suddenly an announcement says the store's closing in five minutes, when Tabitha will arrive. Gary runs for his life again, as the lights begin going out. Canary starts running, barely keeping up with the dimming lights.

At the Time Bureau, Steel's still in a funk over his father's death. Atom says it sounds like his love actually saved Hank, and they should remember him as a Legend. Steel then changes his mind about the magic theme park, and rushes to the construction site to stop the demolition. Mikey T's just about to obliterate the dragon arch with a wrecking ball. Steel transforms into his metal form (for the first time in... months?) and stops it. 

In the warehouse, Canary stops running demands to know which Sharpe is the real one. She sees a sign reading "As Is" above a door. She goes through the door, and sees Sharpe sitting on the floor of the motel. Sharpe says she could have chosen any of the other, more exciting models, but Canary says she's the only one she wants. They kiss and wake up in the Waverider's medbay, finally escaping from Purgatory.

Elsewhere, Nora's still chatting with Neron. He tempts her by saying he can "bring people back," including her father Damien Darhk. But only if she lets him out, of course. Constantine enters the Jail and tells Nora to get away from Neron. She magically chokes him and hurls him across the room, knocking him out. 

Nora then breaks the containment circle and frees Neron. He reverts to his smoky demon form, exiting Dez's body. Constantine, who wasn't really knocked out, fires a mystic blast at Neron. Nora then reveals she was bluffing the whole time, and begins blasting Neron as well. Just then Atom bursts in and for some reason thinks Nora's under attack. He distracts her long enough for Neron to break free and throw Constantine and Atom across the room. He knocks out Nora and escapes. 

Constantine rushes over to the unconscious Dez. He wakes, wondering where the hell he is and how he got there. Atom goes to the comatose Nora's side.

Charlie and Mona convince Zari to send her text. She does so, and instantly regrets it. She rushes to the Time Bureau, intent on apologizing to Steel for the text. Fortunately for her, she sees that Steel's phone was crushed by the wrecking ball, so he never saw the text. Zari breathes a sigh of relief. 

Dez thanks Constantine for getting Neron out of him, but says he doesn't want anything to do with him (Constantine did damn him to Hell, after all). Constantine offers to wipe his memory of Hell, but Dez refuses and leaves. 

Constantine goes to the medbay, where Atom's sitting with the still-unconscious Nora. Atom's confident she'll be OK, and Constantine takes her hand and says he won't abandon her again.

Later Atom leaves the Time Bureau, whistling Pop Goes The Weasel

• Why do I get the impression that the writers spend an inordinate amount of time coming up with "witty" episode titles on this show? Jerry Seinfeld used to insist his show's episodes have simple names like "The Contest" and "The Pen," so his writers didn't waste precious time coming up with funny titles no one would ever see.

• As I mentioned a few weeks back, there are a ton of fans who absolutely loathe the character of Mona, and wish her a prolonged and agonizing death. I'm not one of them, as I think she's fun and quirky— in small doses.

That said, Mona was EXTREMELY annoying in this episode, as she constantly stuck her nose into Zari's love life and offered sketchy advice about her love life.

• Early on Steel & Gary are in Hank's secret office, destroying all the illegal documents pertaining to HeyWorld. Suddenly a ringing comes from one of the boxes, and they find Hank's cell phone inside.

Wha...? How long was that phone sitting inside that box? How the hell could it possibly still have power? Old school flip phones could hold a charge for up to a week if unused, but this is clearly a current smart phone. They can barely go an entire day without needing recharged!

• Sharpe's idea of Purgatory is an impossibly vast IKEA-like store, from which there's no escape.

Wow, an IKEA parody. Cutting edge! I haven't seen one of those since every day for the past 25 years!

 When Canary finds Sharpe inside the Megastör, she tells her that if she goes through the checkout line, she'll die. How the hell does Canary know THAT? Constantine cautioned her on the conditions she'd encounter in Purgatory, but he never mentioned anything specific like that!

Also, when Sharpe hears this news, she says, "Well that's kind of on the nose, isn't it?" Apparently this has become the new favorite phrase of someone on the writing staff, because this is the third time a character's said it this season.

Constantine said it in Lucha de Apuestas, he said it again in The Getaway and now Sharpe said it this week. Get a new catchphrase already!

 When Gary first steps across the magical boundary that Constantine drew around Canary and Sharpe, everyone acts like it's a really big deal as if he won't be able to get back out. Apparently that's not the case, as later we see he's covered Sharpe with a blanket and set up dozens of scented candles outside the barrier.

I suppose it's possible he talked someone else into shoving the blanket through the boundary and put up the candles around it, but it seems unlikely. He's obviously able to come and go through the circle as he pleases.

 Let's talk about Purgatory, shall we? Constantine states that Sharpe's been sent there, and can never come back. Canary then orders him to send her there too, so she can rescue Sharpe and bring her home. Constantine warns her though that once she's in Purgatory, he won't be able to protect her.

Why not? Why wouldn't he be able to help her? In fact, why can't he go with her? It doesn't look like it takes much effort to send her there, so why can't he tag along as well? Or if he can't send himself, send Nora with her. Hell, send the whole goddamned team to increase the odds of success!

This is one of those arbitrary "plot complication" rules that exists solely because the script says so.

 And another thing about Purgatory! Neron sends Sharpe there to weaken her spirit so she'll become a willing host for Tabitha. According to Constantine, she's been there too long and there's no way for her to escape. Canary goes to Purgatory to bring her back anyway. Suddenly everything changes, and the TWO OF THEM then have to pass a series of trials in order to get out.

Why the big change? Why do the rules change so they BOTH have to work together to escape? And why does Purgatory suddenly decide to test the strength of their relationship? By the time they get out, the obstacles they overcame together has made their love stronger than ever. Isn't that kind of the opposite of how Purgatory's supposed to work?

 What do you do when your TV series' budget has been severely slashed, but you need to depict a ridiculously vast department store? Why, you simply film it in a large warehouse and turn down the lights, hoping the darkness will hide what it really is!

Actually, even though they obviously filmed in a real warehouse, it wouldn't surprise me if they used a healthy dose of CGI to extend the sets to infinity.

 A major part of this episode's thrilling superhero action involves Canary and Sharpe discussing their relationship and growing old together. As they sit on an apparently magic mattress, they each see what they'll look like fifty years in the future.

The producers opted to go with older actresses in this scene, rather than use expensive (and likely unconvincing) prosthetic makeup. Note that they knocked it out of the park with Sharpe's old lady actress. She really does resemble an elderly Jes Macallan.

Canary's older replacement though... oy. Not even close. I guess there must not be a lot of actresses of a certain age in Vancouver, and they had to work with what they had.

 As part of their final test, Canary sees an aisle filled with thousands of life-sized AVA action figures, each with a different personality. There's an Artistic AVA, a Caring AVA, an Adventurous AVA, a Commando AVA and so on. Each with her own specific costume and accessories.

Somebody in the prop department is a big fan of Doctor Who! Right in the middle of all these different models is an "Exploring AVA," who's decked out in a white spacesuit and holding a helmet.

That particular model is a dead ringer for River Song from the Doctor Who two-parter The Silence In The Library / The Forest Of The Dead. It looks like they even gave Exploring AVA red hair, just like River Songs!

AVA's spacesuit is such a dead ringer for River's that I wonder if they just found a publicity photo of her and Photoshopped Jes Macallan's head onto Alex Kingston's body. Surely they didn't have the time or budget to painstakingly recreate the costume for a two second appearance. Or maybe someone on the production staff knows someone at the BBC, and borrowed the real suit? Who knows?

Wherever it came from, it was a fun little in-joke.

 Speaking of the AVA models, it looks like the prop department— and Jes Macallan— had a lot of fun shooting them all. They're pretty elaborate too, as it looks like the scene involved dozens and dozens of costumes and props. I bet they spent an entire day just shooting these boxes.

I wish I could see them all the AVAs close up, as they look pretty fun and interesting. Usually I can find production info like this online, but I searched high and low and came up with bupkiss. Pity.

• Apparently they must have been behind schedule when they filmed the scene of Canary walking past the endless AVA boxes, and cheated to save some time. If you look closely, the scene starts with Canary walking past Exploring AVA, Healthy AVA, Luscious AVA (I think?), Fun AVA, Commander AVA, Chef AVA and Ballerina AVA. We then cut to a reverse angle of her walking, as we supposedly see her from the other side.

In reality, instead of taking the time to move the lights and set up a new camera shot, they simply left everything as is and had Caity Lotz turn around and walk in the opposite direction. You can tell because she walks past the EXACT same AVA boxes, just in reverse order! Sneaky! But not quite sneaky enough.

By the way, I'm just guessing a lot of the AVA model's names. Sadly, they go by too fast to read.

• Neron tempts Nora by telling her he can raise the dead. He's talking about her father Damien Darhk of course, but could this power be used to bring back Hank in the season finale?

• Steel and Atom visit the site of the magical theme park that Hank was secretly building. While there, construction foreman Mikey T fills them in on what they're building, saying, "A unicorn rodeo! Can you imagine? Two unicorns jousting?" Atom laughs nervously and says, "I'd rather not." A couple things here:

First of all, a rodeo and a joust are two ENTIRELY different things. Mikey T sounds like he grew up in the heart of Brooklyn though, so I'll cut him some slack.

Secondly, Atom's unsettled reaction is a callback to the beginning of the season in The Virgin Gary, in which the Legends discovered that unicorns aren't the peaceful, loving creatures depicted in greeting cards and toy aisles.

• Late in the third act, Steel actually uses his superpower for the first time in... weeks? Months? All season? It's honestly been so long since he steeled up I can't remember.

Of course he doesn't use his power to punch a villain, laws no. That'd be silly in a superhero show. Instead he uses it to stop a wrecking ball. I guess it's something though.

• Last week I noted that Hank's attitude toward magical creatures didn't make any sense. Hank wanted to build a theme park full of magical creatures to honor his son Steel. Neron then appeared and offered him unlimited funds if he handed over the creatures so he could torture them. 

I said those two scenarios did not compute. Hank couldn't want to both preserve and torture magical creatures. It had to be one or the other.

Apparently the writers agreed with me, recognized their mistake and attempted to fix it this week. In this episode, Neron says "I gave Hank power and in return, he was to supply me with fear mongering magical creatures to terrorize people into giving up their souls. Instead, he went behind my back and built some deranged zoo."

Nice try, but it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Especially the part about people willingly giving up their souls to Neron just because they saw a real unicorn.

• Hard as it is to believe, a good chunk of this episode is devoted to Zari trying to compose a text to send to Steel, that's neither too romantic or too aloof. No, really! Eventually she sends out a text to him, and immediately regrets it. Later she breathes a sigh of relief when she discovers Steel's phone was crushed before he had a chance to read the message.

Wait, what? Just because his phone was destroyed doesn't mean the text was lost too. All he has to do is get a new phone, and he can retrieve all his old info with just a little bit of work. Who wrote this scene, my parents?

As a character who was described as a hacker when first introduced, Zari should know this. Unless they forgot about that already.

 This Week's Best Lines:
Constantine: (to Nora) "You're a liability."
Atom: "She's not a liability.She's a survivor. Unlike you, she's turned her dark experiences into a source of strength, not an excuse for alcoholism or chain smoking.She also saved your life. Sorry. Would you like to add anything?"
Nora: "No, that about covers it."

Canary: (to Zari, as she leaves on a mission) "Woman the ship!" 
(Oh, ham-fisted SJW humor, you are hiLARious!)

Atom: "Actually, Ava's missing."
Gary: "I knew it. I knew it, you know, I had a dream about her where she was driving and I was in a car seat in the back. We were headed to Schul."
("Schul" is a Yiddish word for a synagogue)

Atom: (asking Steel who was on the phone) "Who was it?"
Steel: "I don't know. He sounded like a Soprano, but apparently my dad started building this theme park."

Zari: (to Mona) "You know I'm a superhero, right? With a flick of my wrist I could blast you with my wind powers."
Charlie: "Being honest, wind powers, just not that scary."
Heat Wave: "Yeah, you're like a magical hair dryer."

Steel: "I just hope my dad knew I loved him."
Atom: "Oh, he knew. Look at this place."
Steel: "You know, I just wish he would have found a better way to, you know, tell me he loved me. One that didn't involve teaming up with a demon and embezzling money from the government."
Atom: "It's a bit much."

Canary: (as she and Sharpe are trapped inside the Megastör) "This is starting to feel like that escape room we did."


  1. I would like the pictures for the 15 year warranty scene.

  2. Not sure I understand your statement here. If you want any photos above, just click & download them. If you're wanting one that's not seen above, sorry, I can't help you with that.


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