This week on Legends of Tomorrow, the Waverider crew – now with Constantine in tow – headed to 1692 Salem, Massachusetts, where they discovered Prudence, a young girl whose mother had been accused of being a witch, being helped by a fugitive to unleash vengeance on the town. Nate stayed behind though to help Sharpe stop the government from shutting down the Time Bureau – unfortunately, he discovered his dad was the one holding the cards at the table.
1. Disney Hell
I really wish I knew how to watch this show unencumbered with any foreknowledge, as I feel like the reveal that Prudence’s benefactor was a freaking fairy tale godmother would’ve been more jawdropping. As it is, it’s still a barmy and brilliant decision like last week’s bloodthirsty unicorn – I thought Jane Carr was an absolute hoot as the Fairy Godmother, and her song as she was tying up the Legends was a predictable but wonderfully surreal moment. (Wasn’t as catchy as Ray seemed to think.) It was also really unique to hear her perspective on granting young girls wishes: I imagine there’s likely some modern fantasy novel or short story exploring that archetype from their point-of-view, but I haven’t come across any, and it is still unique regardless.
It’s a little sad to think about how relevant this episode felt following last week’s horrific events in the States. You realize watching it that Salem was basically a terrorist state, terrorizing inhabitants to uphold the patriarchal order, and that Zari’s right as she admits at the end, that things haven’t changed much since. I totally got why the Fairy Godmother was helping Prudence get her revenge on those fundamentalist loons in Salem, and as the episode went on, I wondered, should the Legends really be allowing the trials to take place? It’s a good thing Zari’s whole storyline reminded us that as horrible as religious nuts are, they have loved ones who care about them – even if that makes them complicit – and that attacking them back merely reinforces their persecution complex.
I would’ve liked to see how Sara would’ve engaged with the Fairy Godmother, because she could have been a useful ally, as vengeful as she was. Other than Zari, she only debates with Constantine, who’s hardly diplomatic (he never even concedes the Puritans are awful) and is so hellbent (no pun intended) on sending her back to Mallus’s dimension that there was no chance of her receiving forgiveness. I suppose it’s just as well, given she’s a bit too powerful to become Sara’s guardian angel. All in all this visit to Salem proved surprisingly heavy, but I suppose you don’t want to make it too goofy, lest you wind up trivializing those tragic events.
3. Cute Little Piglets
Most of the comic relief this week came with Sharpe and Nate working together to convince the Department of Defense to keep funding them. Nate does a runner when he discovers his dad is representing the government at this meeting – boy, is he a dummy for not deducing (as I did last week) that Hank’s new job at the Pentagon would likely mean he’d be involved with the Time Bureau. When Ava needs more proof of the new threat than Gary’s missing nipple (what a great callback), Nate decides to grab something from the Waverider, and discovers the Fairy Godmother turned Ray and Mick into pigs.
It is strange to consider that the Fairy Godmother turns Ray and Mick turned into adorable little piglets when Prudence calls them “swine” – I’m guessing she just isn’t for one for conjuring stonking great big beasts. Anyway, it leads to a couple of absolutely amazing scenes: first, Nate is still somehow able to understand the oinking little Ray (let’s chalk that to the Fairy Godmother’s magic). Then he brings him as proof to his dad, and when the spell wears off, a naked Ray greets Hank while in Nate’s arms. Nate turns into Steel from – embarrassment, pride, I dunno, but it’s a memorable way to reveal your secret at least. (I look forward to father and son talking about grandpa’s adventures now.)
When Constantine joins the Waverider, he requests pay with two weeks vacation, immediately offending Mick, and marking the beginning of a beautiful friendship this week – the two appeared to bicker for hours over things like the toilet, and seating arrangements, while everyone else popped to Salem for 15 minutes. It’s an interesting topic that the show hasn’t had to delve into before because the Legends rely on their ship’s replicator for a living: certainly, when we saw them briefly retired at the start of season 3, we didn’t get much insight into how Mick and Nate were making a living. (It makes a bit more sense now last week that Mick was willing to return to robbery.) Hopefully now with the Time Bureau being guaranteed funding, they can pay the Legends for their work, and Nate doesn’t have to pay for his dad’s dinner with Ancient Greek gold.Continued below
5. Desk Job
The episode ends on a rather ambiguous note between (a fully dressed) Ray and Nate, who surprises his bro by not wanting to go back to the Waverider immediately, preferring to hang around the Bureau’s offices for a while longer. It’s surprising they’re already potentially foreshadowing Nate’s departure from the field, which is understandable, his father is finally getting his deal, and I imagine he may want to enjoy a more stable position in Washington. As always, we’ll have to wait and find out how Nate’s arc progresses this season…
– Aswangs. You’re welcome.
– Oh, and a soul cake, if you were wondering.
– I looked up if Prudence Hawthorne and her mother Jane were real: the answer is no.
– Aside from brief lip service, Sara’s previous visit to Salem at the start of season 2 isn’t made relevant to the episode at all.
Next week: another ABBA title reference.