Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 Episode 11 Review: Seance & Sensibility
Legends of Tomorrow goes Bollywood in one of its best episodes ever.
This Legends of Tomorrow review contains spoilers.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 Episode 10
When I say Legends of Tomorrow is in full DGAF mode, that is a high compliment. It’s not that they’ve given up on caring about their characters or plot and are just throwing crap on screen to fill space. DGAF Legends is more about a show that’s not held back by narrative or thematic conventions and is not bound by self-shaming worry about camp or silliness. DGAF Legends tells the stories it wants to tell about its characters in whatever way is the most fun for everyone involved, including hopefully the viewers.
Relatedly, this week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow has Zari in a threeway with Nate and the Hindu god of love and ends with a Jane Austen-themed Bollywood dance number.
This episode picks up where last week’s left off: a funeral at Casa Heywood for Hank, with everyone in varying degrees of mourning. Nate is mourning for his dad and still mad that Hank was kidnapping magical creatures. Zari is pretending to be Nate’s girlfriend and mourning (a little) the fact that it’s not real. Constantine is in general mope mode. Ray is mourning the fact that Nora is believed to be Hank’s killer. Sara is mourning her relationship with Ava. Mona, her dead wereboyfriend. Charlie’s helping her. Everything flies off the rails pretty quickly – Ray talks to Nora through a covered mirror at the wake, while Mona notices that all the Jane Austen character names are disappearing from her shirt. So Ray works with Nora to find the real killer, John and Mick stay with Nate, and the ladies head back to Georgian England to catch the supernatural being disrupting Jane Austen’s workflow.
The last grouping especially (Charlie, Zari, Sara and Mona) is unspeakably wonderful. It’s basically four friends dropped into an Austen novel with a mandate to shittalk each other relentlessly and they do it with aplomb. Mona is their guide, as an Austen superfan, while Zari meets a handsome coachman she wants to smash with. Meanwhile, everyone in town is irrationally horny because of a new arrival. This leads to some pretty substantial character development for three characters who haven’t seen a ton of it to this point.
Mona is a hopeless romantic whose sense of self is thrown by finding out that Jane Austen is kind of shitty. Austen calls her a fool to her face for her romanticism, but this is resolved over the course of the episode by Mona making a conscious choice to keep putting herself out there – she likes being a romantic, and she’s not going to change it because some ancient prude called her a mean name (she eventually gets affirmation from Austen after wolfing out in front of her).
Zari is the team’s repressed cynic. She’s always in control and keeps everyone at a distance because of the dystopian future she grew up in. In her current situation, that’s the source of no small amount of unhappiness for her because it’s keeping her from fully engaging with Nate when she clearly wants that. Thankfully, the handsome coachman she hit it off with is actually the fugitive – Kamadeva, the Hindu god of desire (and namesake of the Kama Sutra, as pointed out by Mona) – and he’s going to help her loosen up.
The team catches him and brings him back to the Waverider. He’s later revealed to be Sanjit, a boy present at Kamadeva’s death who gathered up the god’s ashes and kept them on him to become immortal. Sanjit blows some of Kamadeva’s ashes into the ship’s ventilation system, making everyone on the ship catch horny and have sex dreams. The aforementioned threeway dream and subsequent conversation Zari has with Sanjit convince her to let go, so she does a bump of bone ash and in a rush of corpse-licking-induced euphoric love, decides to marry Sanjit. Their wedding ceremony is from the start the Bollywood dance number that made this episode such a joy.
For most of the episode, Charlie acts as the audience stand-in, and about halfway through I realized how unfair I had been to Maisie Richardson-Sellers last season. I was, not to put too fine a point on it, very unhappy with Amaya. Her story, her character, her behavior were all drags on the show, and I may have placed some of that blame on the actor. I realize now that was completely unfair, because Richardson-Sellers playing a ’70s punk dirtbag is so much more fun and she’s so much more effective at it that the problem has to have been limited to Amaya’s role within the show. Charlie here is HILARIOUS. She’s coarse and sarcastic and over-the-top and a little gross, but man Richardson-Sellers’ comic timing is really sharp. And she’s the one who, walking into the wedding, yells out “Oh my god is this a Bollywood dance number?” then throws her arms in the air and cheers. I will admit, I was right there with her.
Ramona Wu doesn’t do too badly in the comedy timing department either. When she comes to grips with herself, she’s also the one to break the Kamadeva spell on Zari by crashing the wedding/dance. She initially finds herself singing, gets freaked out by that fact, calls it out (“Woah why am I breaking into song? Okay just going to roll with it…”) and then finishes off the rest of the story in song. It’s all great writing, excellent performances and a ridiculous amount of fun to watch.
DC Universe Time Bubbles
– Not many references tonight as there was almost no superhero stuff to speak of (aside from the, you know, magic and time travel and the lord of Hell).
– Is it me, or is this show pushing the boundaries a little more this year? Lots of talk of smashing, and Charlie asks Ray if he was “buffing the old bishop” in his quarters, which is EXTREMELY illustrative for a sentence uttered at 9:15 PM on a Monday on network tv.
– So..is Nate Jewish? Because I’ve only seen the covered mirrors thing at a shiva call, not at a wake.
– Efficiently revealing character moment on the Waverider: when Zari is agonizing over crushing on Nate, Charlie tells her to “smash” Nate; Sara tells her to smash someone else and see if she’s still thinking of Nate while she smashes the other person; Mona says “what if you just go talk to him?”
– Zari mentions that their conversation about Nate means they’re not passing the Bechdel Test, which means one thing: Dykes to Watch Out For is canon in the Berlantiverse. Never knew I wanted that but I am really excited nonetheless.
– Fresh nominee for line of the season: Mona, after getting tossed by Georgian-era horse traffic, screams “AAH MY BONNET!” There were really too many good lines tonight to pick just one, though.
– I’m not extremely well versed in Austen’s writing, but Zari’s plot – where she’s almost tricked into being the 1001st wife of a cheating jackass, and the wedding is blown up at the altar by someone shouting “I Object!” – is very Austen-ish, right?
– Next week! Expect a Turkish Delight joke or seven.
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