John Constantine’s back everyone, and he’s recruiting the Legends to help him save a girl possessed by none other than Mallus – a girl who turns out to be Nora Darhk no less. Kuasa shows up to stop them, only to get captured by Amaya and Nate. And if that wasn’t enough, Mick just wants to watch his damn football game. Let’s tuck in:
1. The Hellblazer himself
I’ve never picked up a “Hellblazer” book due to my squeamishness (said “The Sandman” fan), but I have seen the Keanu Reeves film, the first two episodes of the NBC series, and Justice League Dark, so I was keen to see Constantine mingle with the Waverider team. I like Matt Ryan – whom I’ve been fond of since he played Edward Kenway in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – and think he’s terrific as the character, and that it’s great he’s still able to play the part after his show was canceled.
What’s cool about the episode is that Constantine doesn’t feel like he’s been crowbarred into Legends, rather, that this is one of his creepy adventures, which happens to be the Legends’ story the way his other escapades are technically those of anyone else he meets. This is Sara’s story in particular, and it was great to realize how much the show is built on that Arrow crossover all those years ago, and how far the characters have come since.
As I said, I didn’t get far enough into NBC’s Constantine, but I understand the show avoided any references to his bisexuality. Here the CW just absolutely revelled in it, with him flirting with Leo almost straight away, and then hooking up with Sara (that’s one way to thank the bloke who resurrected you, I guess). Similarly they had much fun with the show’s censorship of him smoking, by implying the universe simply often denies him the chance to light a cigarette.
If Constantine is definitely the strongest part of the episode, then Kuasa’s certainly the weakest. This episode finally had a decent amount of time to explore the idea of a grandmother trying to save her granddaughter, but it still wasn’t enough, and felt very out-of-place. Nate, who has been incredibly irritating this season, somehow thinks it’s a great idea to capture Kuasa but that Amaya can’t talk to her. (Piss off with your white savior bullshit Nate, it’ll save you the humiliation of having water fingers up your nose next time.) This episode is so clearly about Constantine and Sara, so the writers naturally struggled with Nate and Amaya after giving Ray and Zari the interesting subplot.
Constantine namedrops King Solomon when drawing the geometric pattern needed to exorcise Mallus. There are lot of great apocryphal and Rabbinical stories about the Biblical king that depict him as basically a wizard who mastered control over genies, demons and even angels. I’m just saying to the good people on the show, that it wouldn’t be a bad starting point for an episode. (You could even write a joke about how Maisie Richardson-Sellers played David’s wife Michal on Of Kings and Prophets.)
By the end, everything is completely in shambles: Zari and Ray’s attempt to change history by befriending Nora backfires, as does Amaya’s attempt to bring Kuasa back to the light. We realize there was no way Nora was ever not going to become Mallus’s conduit, as we learn there’s a whole Order orchestrating Damien Darhk’s resurrection. Still, Sara’s decision to reach out to Nora in Mallus’s realm, instead of doing the logical thing and assuming it was Mallus himself trying to lure her, wound up saving Ray and Zari’s life. I think it was great to show that as irredeemable as some people may be, it’s always best to be kind, because you never know what consequences that may have. Especially as we’re getting to the season finale now…
5. Already leaving?
Leo was so much fun in this episode playing third wheel to Sara and Constantine, I’m so bitterly disappointed he’s already gone back to Earth-X. I have no doubt he and the Ray will return in the season finale with Constantine, but it’s a shame between this and the busy finale that we won’t see this empathetic, observant Snart engage with the rest of the crew. I’m sure he has plenty to say about Ray and Zari, or Nate and Amaya, and now we’ll never know. Boy does the team feel small now.Continued below
– “I’m gay but not blind.”
– What kind of news channel plays footage of Green Arrow killing Darhk?
– More singing please if you don’t mind, Mr. Routh.
Next week: I swear I’ve already seen this Star Trek episode?