‘Legends of Tomorrow’ 4×03 Review: ‘Dancing Queen’

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If you spend enough time with someone, you feel like you know them. Their likes, dislikes, allergies and favorite colors. “Dancing Queen” enforces that through some of the men of the Waverider: Ray, Nate and Constantine. However, “Dancing Queen” also shows us more of what makes these Legends… well, Legends.

I don’t talk enough about it, but Legends of Tomorrow really does a magnificent job of having characters with heart — hitting the emotional beats while also being laugh out loud funny and silly at times.

Okay, silly a lot of the time.

But even with all the craziness – like fighting a shapeshifter that has taken the face of your old friend – Legends features characters as real as you or me. They’re just in bizarre situations.

Like Ray Palmer infiltrating a punk rock group to save Queen Elizabeth and her corgis.

AKA, typical Legends stuff.

Ray Or Rayge?

The Legends’ mission sends them to 1977 London, to catch a magical being hanging out with a punk group called “The Smell.” After some confusing action, Ray lands with the group at its hideout.

This is where we see the Ray Palmer we’ve always known and loved. His nerdiness while trying to be cool to get the band to trust him is hilarious. He gives them an alias of “Rayge,”and they give him an assignment to steal one of Queen Elizabeth’s corgis. With a little help from Sara and Mick, Rayge brings the confused puppy to the gang. One corgi tattoo later, Ray is bonding with them, especially with a woman named Charlie.

Now, if you have watched any TV ever, you knew in two minutes tops that Charlie was the magical creature the Legends were looking for.

Meet Charlie

I honestly loved Charlie from the start. She has the perfect personality to fit in with the team – a smartass with a kind heart beneath it all. That kind heart leads her to stick up for Rayge when the other members of The Smell confront Ray with evidence he’s a “DISCO NARC.”

(To that I say, people need to stop giving disco crap. It was good music for the time!)

What really sold me on Charlie, and this episode in general, was her talk with Ray. This was by far my favorite scene of the episode, as they get to know each other.  We learn she is a shapeshifter who had been imprisoned by fearful humans. She explains why she’s been impersonating the queen at The Smell’s concerts. Charlie bonds with Ray by telling him her fear of going back to prison and like Ray, I felt empathy for her plight.

 

Ray opens up to her about the changes on the ship. He says everyone is off doing different things except for him. He mentions how much he misses Amaya — how she was the moral compass of the team. While that is true, Ray is also the moral compass of the team as well. At the heart of everything, Ray Palmer is a person who believes the best of everyone. He sees the good in people even when they don’t see it in themselves. That’s why he didn’t turn Nora into the Time Bureau. And that’s why he saves Charlie from being sent to hell, even after she impersonated him and stole his ATOM suit. No matter what the team has gone through over the years, Ray will always stand up for what he believes is right.

The final twist of this story has Charlie is begging for her life. She shapeshifts into each team member, finally stopping at Amaya in her disco outfit. Constantine doesn’t send her to hell, but casts a spell to stop her shapeshifting. Now she looks like Amaya permanently.

A round of applause to the Legends writing staff for finding a creative way to bring back Maisie Richardson-Sellers. Now the team has to deal with someone who looks like a former friend, but acts like her polar opposite. It will be interesting to see how this affects each team member. Ray will mostly likely try to bring the good out of her, while Mick will try to bring the bad side out to play.

And this doesn’t even hit on the most important person who will be affected by this Amaya double…

NATE

“Dancing Queen’s” B story covers Nate’s first few days at his new job at the Time Bureau. Nate feels like a he’s in a rut and doing this might give him some purpose in life. Sadly, the Time Bureau is like any workplace at times – boring and full of paperwork. Gary tries his best to help Nate with this, sneaking a few tacos and adventures his way. As the newest Time Bros bond (kinda) during their office hijinks, Gary figures out Nate is doing all this because he’s still hurting over losing Amaya.

Nate is at his most relatable right now. So far this season, we’ve seen him deal with problems with his dad, and now with loneliness after losing Amaya – all while trying to find his place in the world. It looks like Nate enjoys his time at the Time Bureau when he has adventures in front of him. But most of his adventuring was aboard the Waverider. Sara shows up at the end of the episode to tell him about Charlie/Amaya but as Nate explains that he’s staying with the Bureau a little longer, she changes her mind and doesn’t tell him.

Eventually Nate will get tired of life at the Bureau, just like Ava and Gary do (they do, or they wouldn’t always be following the Legends around would they? Ava was way focused on them long before AvaLance was a twinkle in her eye). It will be very interesting to see Nate’s reaction to Charlie. He can’t be dumb enough to think that Charlie is going to automatically be Amaya, can he?

Maybe I shouldn’t have the answer to that after all.

So with a new person on the Waverider (can’t say team member just quite yet), the ship is getting crowded once again. While it’s always nice to see fresh faces, the addition of Charlie means that things are going to be different now. How will the team deal with all the combustible elements aboard the ship now? What is stalking Constantine? Will Nora ever show up again? A lot of questions are left unanswered but thankfully we still have a full season of Legends of Tomorrow to answer them.

Other Thoughts:

  • The C story sent Constantine to his mom’s pub back in the 1970s. While there, he tries to kick his dad in the balls to make sure he was never born, and learns about time travel paradoxes. Zari explains he can’t do it because if he did, then he would never be born, and so couldn’t kick his dad in the balls to keep himself from being born. (Now re-read that sentence and try not get a headache from time travel.) The main focus of this arc is how much John hates himself for the pain he has caused from the moment of his birth – a birth that killed his mother. John and Zari are a interesting pairing. I feel nothing for them in a romantic scale like I do for Ray/Zari, but I would like to see more of them interacting. Their scenes were heavily emotional but also nailed the few comedic bits such as this little bit here.

“So that must be a real panty-dropper huh?”
“That lady is my mum.”

“……oh god I’m so sorry.”

  • Gary is a taco thief and should be kicked out of the Time Bureau for it. Also I see that the $4.2 billion doesn’t really go to the food budget, judging by those cheap-ass sandwiches they were eating.
  • There wasn’t much AvaLance this time, except for a cute little moment at the end with Sara consoling Ava after the “Time Bros” made a complete mess of the offices. A gold star if you guess whose fault that was.
  • Ray’s tattoo of a corgi with a mohawk was adorable. I hope he keeps it.
  • MVP of the episode by far was Brandon Routh. I think we take for granted how good an actor he really is. With Ray, he has to play silly a lot, but when it comes time to hit those emotional moments Brandon always delivers.

Legends of Tomorrow airs on the CW on Monday nights at 9/8 Central.




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