NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Legends of Tomorrow” are present in this review
Legends of Tomorrow has taken its time returning, that’s for sure! Fortunately, it can afford to arrive fashionably late, since the series currently stands as arguably the best of The CW’s five current DC dramas (it’s one of the network’s best shows overall at this point, in fact!), so it’s doubtful that the fans will be fussed about it kicking off its new season late, and moving to a radically different timeslot to boot! Now headlining The CW’s Monday night lineup, and serving as the lead-in series to Arrow, which was already settling into its own brand new Monday night timeslot last week, Legends of Tomorrow is getting its biggest push yet with the start of Season Four. DC fans have even more reason to be excited with the announcement that the fan-favourite John Constantine will also be joining the Legends this season too! The show certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to setting up a new batch of magical threats that will make Constantine feel right at home among his eccentric new crew either!
Legends of Tomorrow has lost none of its, ahem, magic with the start of Season Four. This week’s Season Four premiere, “The Virgin Gary” is another slam dunk for the show, providing a start to the season that is fresh, funny and memorable in pretty much every respect! It even begins with something of a curveball as well, since, after Constantine made a big show of dropping a dragon head at the feet of the Legends during the cliffhanger ending of last season, the Legends have apparently spent five months scouring the timeline for monsters off-screen, and have found… Nothing. Apparently, Constantine’s warning was a false alarm, since no monsters are active, and it appears that the Legends’ plan to defeat Mallus actually went off without a hitch. The team is even given a bunch of medals for fixing history at a Time Bureau party not long after announcing their lack of monster findings as well!
This presents an interesting way to move along the still-thriving romantic relationship between Sara and Ava, with Ava acknowledging that Sara’s job fixing history appears to be done, and she can now think about possibly moving in with Ava, and beginning the next step in her personal life. This show has always done such a good job of keeping the Legends constantly moving and fixated on new threats and obstacles throughout history, ever since their awkward early days of battling Vandal Savage, so it’s smart to ask the question of what happens now that all of history’s boogeymen have apparently been neutralized. There’s nothing left to do. Nate also faces a similar dilemma when he takes Mick to ‘meet’ (read: steal from) his family, particularly when his dismissive father (played by Back to the Future alum, Thomas F. Wilson as a cute in-joke), is shown to have a lot of contempt for Nate, and Nate is forced to admit aloud that being a Legend was the only thing he was ever good at.
It wouldn’t be too much fun to mull over these existential questions for too long though, and fortunately, Legends of Tomorrow manages to keep the fun and humour going, even during these handful of character introspection moments. A bunch of meta jokes about ratings and Wally’s shrug of a departure from the team provide some good laughs (Zari even directly comments that Wally is lazily doing the same ‘finding himself’ schtick that he already did the year before, as the same lame excuse to write him out of the Arrowverse), but this all eventually leads to Sara, Nate, Zari, Mick and Ray all separately being tipped off about the, “Woodstock Massacre” of 1969. Obviously, that’s not supposed to have happened at one of the most peaceful and loving historical events in recent history, so the Legends take their own respective routes and eventually meet up in 1969, where they discover that a unicorn is wandering around the festival!
This initially presents an over-the-top awe-inspiring moment, but it sadly turns out that unicorns are actually very dangerous in the Arrowverse, being carnivorous man-eaters, as displayed when this unicorn begins goring festival-goers and eating their hearts! The hilarious contrast between ridiculously cheeky happiness and unbelievably terrifying murder is perfectly on-point in terms of both laughs and horror, and this obviously motivates the Legends to get in touch with Constantine really fast! Constantine happens to have the means to expel the unicorn from the world, but it involves a convoluted and amusing hunt for spell ingredients that involve the Legends briefly meeting historical figures like Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin, before enlisting Gary to serve as a virgin ‘sacrifice’ to lure the beast before it can cause more harm. It’s as ridiculous as it is entertaining, and this seems to set the stage for Legends of Tomorrow pretty much fully embracing its destiny as an absurdist comedy throughout this season. That direction truly seems to work best for this show though, especially considering the increasing spottiness with which Arrow and The Flash have started to execute their own dramatic storylines.
Things ultimately end with the unicorn being sent to Hell, Gary losing a nipple (it sort of makes sense in context), and Sara finally confessing to Ava that monsters are apparently invading history. Surprisingly though, Ava immediately understands and forgives Sara for the latest negative development to history (it turns out that Gary already blabbed the monster problem to the entire Time Bureau anyway), which is sweet to say the least, especially when Sara confesses that she’s not ready to move in with Ava yet, though not due to a lack of desire. Less successful however is Sara meeting with Constantine to try and get him to join the Legends, since he’s their best chance at combating the new monster threat that has started to permeate history. Constantine bluntly refuses however, turning Sara away, only to soon after be confronted by a mysterious occult threat that tosses him around a bit, before it writes on the mirror in bloody letters that it’s coming for him. The fact that the demon refers to Constantine as, “Johnny” seemingly also suggests familiarity, and Constantine’s cursing aloud at the bloody writing confirms that he knows exactly who this monster is. It would be awesome if this was a tease for Chantinelle/Ellie, a succubus frenemy of Constantine’s in DC Comics lore, but I suppose that would depend on just how willing Legends of Tomorrow will ultimately be to embrace Vertigo/DC’s Hellblazer comics’ lore. Either way, I’m very interested in what this presence turns out to be!
Whatever that mysterious evil ends up being, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Constantine will find his way to the Legends, despite his adamant initial refusal to Sara, as the showrunners and the network liberally promised Constantine joining the team throughout the promotion for this season. The show’s title card, credits and commercial prompts have even been redone in the style of pentagrams and hellfire, suggesting that Constantine is being presented front and center for the fourth season of Legends of Tomorrow, as he should be! Even beyond the expected joy of seeing Constantine properly inducted into this show’s lead ensemble however, “The Virgin Gary” served as a virtually flawless kick-off to Legends of Tomorrow’s new season, perfectly balancing frightening monsters, twisted magic, impactful history and no shortage of proudly insane humour. Legends of Tomorrow has come to fully embrace the fact that it’s the silliest, and yet most clever show that the Arrowverse currently has to offer, to the point where it’s even starting to beat one of its mother shows, namely The Flash, at its own game there! Even amid some other very strong season premieres from Supergirl and Arrow most notably for the 2018-2019 season, Legends of Tomorrow continues to stand head-and-shoulders above The CW’s other current DC programming, and I’m beyond stoked to see where this crazy new direction for Season Four will take viewers next!
- Sara and Nate having to face their consumption by their work as Legends
- Hilarious unicorn mayhem at Woodstock
- Constantine's amusingly convoluted solution to the unicorn problem