Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 Episode 1 Review: The Virgin Gary

Legends of Tomorrow is still hilarious as ever but it's the deeper moments that strike a chord.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 Episode 1 Review The Virgin Gary Matt Ryan as Constantine

This Legends of Tomorrow episode review contains spoilers.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 Episode 1

Watching Legends of Tomorrow is like hanging out with your best friend. You feel better not only about them but yourself. You feel reenergized, so at ease you’re able to relax from whatever’s ailing you. You’re able to get deep and crack a lot of amazing jokes.

In case it wasn’t obvious, Legends of Tomorrow is back in top form. This is the show we as a nation need right now. A show that isn’t caught up in darkness and is willing to have some fun while not shying away from the serious stuff when it really counts. I appreciate that while this season opener is mostly on the fun side it’s not a complete farce.

I know that last statement is incredibly subjective. For some viewers watching a unicorn eat people’s hearts while the characters steal stuff from the famous people at Woodstock will be too silly to take. I want to say I get it, but come on. People flying or running incredibly fast is totally fine but when they start cracking jokes or leaning into the silly that’s too much?

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Not every show needs to be SERIOUS. In fact I’d say Legends’ jubilant atmosphere is what helps its deeper moments land. The scene where Nate rants about his emotionally unavailable father to Mick is couched in a zany drug trip but there’s an incredible moment I hope the season builds on. As Nate moans Mick gets more and more furious. Let’s remember, Mick’s father regularly took his anger out on him. It was so bad Mick felt nothing for burning his father alive. So when he hears Nate complain about how his dad was just kinda mean? It strikes a chord. There’s a possible theme the season could run with, that being the various traumas people go through and the different ways it effects them. Is Mick’s trauma “worse” than Nate’s and does that invalidate what Nate’s gone through? Please come back to this, Legends.

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Another deep moment was when Zari took Ray to see her mother. After such a wacky episode I’m glad the episode addressed what’s really going on in the world. Zari is heartbroken she can’t save her mother from what’s about to happen to people like her in present day America. Legends of Tomorrow may not have the biggest audience ever (as they wonderfully poke fun at in some stunning 4th wall breaks) but it knows it still has a platform to talk about these issues. Like any good friend (to keep that analogy going), sometimes it’s gotta get real with you and remind you there are bigger issues in the world.

The plots may be silly on Legends, but the characters emotions are very grounded in reality.

Constantine is also back around full time! While he’s resisting joining the team properly, he still makes for a fun addition to shake up the dynamic of the team. I love Sara calls him out on his dark and tortured persona and actively resists his calls for her to be the same way. The interplay between these two is what really sells Constantine as a new main character. They’re two people on the same level with somewhat similar tragic backstories. They can relate and challenge one another, which leads to great TV. 

Also, and this can’t be understated, we’re seeing two characters who both can love men and women (or really anyone it seems) getting to share scenes together. That’s incredibly rare for TV, especially since many of those scenes have nothing to do with their sexualities. It’s certainly there, Sara considers moving in with Ava and Constantine gets time for a threesome, but it’s not what defines them. As a pansexual man myself that’s incredibly affirming to see and I salute Legends of Tomorrow for it.

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The only quibble I have with the episode is the whole “Virgin Gary” thing. I know Legends has a lot of fun dunking on Gary (and it’s usually great) but the “haha isn’t it wacky he’s a virgin” plot was mean spirted. For such a wonderfully inclusive show, pretty much everyone rolling their eyes at someone being a virgin is out of date. I know the series loves its old school references but this felt like an ’80s movie plot in a bad way.

Still, like hanging out with any friend you might disagree on a few things but when the good so far outweighs the bad? You’re still tight buddies. Legends of Tomorrow is so amazing I didn’t even mention all the little things that made me smile while watching. The intro with The Beatles and Paul Revere shouting, “The British are coming!” Nate and Ray are bronies! The amazingly on point Supernatural reference?! All comedic gold.

Legends of Tomorrow is back and we are all the better for it. Keep up with all our Legends of Tomorrow news and reviews here!

Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter! Read more articles by him here!

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Rating:

4.5 out of 5