‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Season 4 Premiere Review : “The Virgin Gary”

All shows go through change. It’s just a fact. When you have a show on TV (no matter the genre), the tone and style of the show changes. Sometimes just little changes, or in the case of Legends of Tomorrow for the past couple seasons — big wide swings.

It’s tough to pinpoint when exactly Legends made this tonal changethat was on full display in the Season 4 premiere “The Virgin Gary.” After all, season 1 didn’t have: killer unicorns, magical bones, trippy drug sequences and nowhere close to the humor Legends displays now.

For better or worse, Legends of Tomorrow is the show that not only jumps over the shark every episode, but does backflips and 360s over that shark weekly.

MAGICAL UNICORNS….WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO SAY?

Courtesy of http://amunetblack.tumblr.com/post/179121381275/legends-s4-extended-trailer

So, the Legends have become complacent after 5 months of missions like,”Save Beatlemania from being ruined by Paul Revere.” Then one of those magical baddies Constantine warned about shows up at Woodstock 1969.  Now it would be lovely if the magical monster was some evil wizard or sorcerer, but instead it’s the most evil thing in the universe: a unicorn.

(I’m sorry, but what is a unicorn but just a upper-class horse? OH YOU HAVE A HORN ON YOUR HEAD! That don’t make you better than regular horses pal!!)

The magical unicorn is not only a killing machine but also spews a musk that’s like a a drug. It gives most of our team visions. Each one is deeply personal to them, so we’ll touch on them each separately and the episode in general for them. (No worries, we’ll be talking AvaLance and John Constantine in a moment)

https://dailyflarrowgifs.tumblr.com/post/179344597513

Courtesy of  http://dailyflarrowgifs.tumblr.com/

NATE – Throughout most of the episode, Nate deals with some long-standing family problems. Mick convinces him to do some very light robbery (Or is the other way around?),  so they go to a very nice looking place to steal some booze and other assorted trinkets. Instead, they are caught by the homeowners – who are none other than Nate’s mom and dad. Mom is a lovely person, but Dad is the typical dad trope you see in movies/TV all the time: A hardass who thinks his son is throwing away his life doing stupid stuff like “studying history.” Their visit is cut short when Nate’s dad starts talking about the Woodstock Massacre.

Which sends Nate and Mick to Woodstock in time to get sprayed with unicorn musk!

The unicorn’s magic has Nate hallucinate his father onto Mick.  After telling him the usual “Why don’t you love me Papa?!” stuff, we get the hug seen above. By the end of the episode, Nate and his dad start the road back to healing with the alpha male tradition of sharing a few cold ones. Now, father/son stories are fine but this felt so by the book and that is something Legends just doesn’t do. I know we’ll see more of this in the future but just add a twist to it. Any kind of twist please.

MICK – Mick sees his former pet rat Axl and tells him he loves him. Anyone who has loved and lost a pet of any kind can relate to Mick at this moment. Other than that, nothing much really happened with Mick.

RAY – In “The Virgin Gary,” Ray’s #1 focus through the episode is finding Nora Darhk. See, Ray has that dreaded combination of guilt and love for Nora that so many of us have had for someone we care about who is also sometimes a murderer. Ray and Zari see the Woodstock anomaly and decide to check it out to see if it’s Nora. Alas, Nora only appears in Ray’s unicorn drug vision as a fair maiden to rescue.

I’m interested when Nora actually does show back up again. Will she be on the side of the angels or the demons?

ZARI – Zari’s drug vision ended up being of a beautiful land, but instead I want to talk about her last scene in the episode. While Ray is feeling down about not finding Nora, Zari takes him to go see someone. That someone ends up being her younger self, playing with her mother in a park. As Zari tears up about how hard it is not to go over there and warn them, we remember that through all the sarcasm and the jokes, she still is hurting from the death of her family. How difficult it is not to try to change your life, and how much of a hero Zari is by leading this life — helping others while being completely unable to help save the ones closest to you.

THREE’S COMPANY

Courtesy of  http://swanqueendaughter.tumblr.com/

So in “The Virgin Gary” AvaLance is in full domestic mode, with lots of shared kisses and talks of moving in together. While it is wonderful to see Sara Lance in a healthy relationship, I just wish we got to see more of it play out onscreen. A lot of shows lately have done the “Time Jump blank amount of time in the future” thing and sometimes it works like here for the most part. And then sometimes it fails miserably…..*cough THE 100….BELLAMY AND ECHO suddenly being in a relationship and care for each other? Ok.* cough sorry had something in my throat. Ok so back to relationships that actually make sense– Ava and Sara’s.

Ava asks Sara to move in with her, and you can see Sara so badly wants to do that but the panic wheel inside her head starts to turn. Not because she doesn’t want to (I think Sara is ready to settle down with someone) but because of the fear she has of letting her guard down. It’s not helped later when Constantine shows up with new warnings of magical creatures.  However by the end of the episode, Sara does let her guard down and we get a very nice couple moment between Sara and Ava. It’s not anything out of the ordinary but that’s what makes it work.  They are just a couple who care about each other who want to be honest with each other. AvaLance is not perfect by any means, but that is what makes it one of the better DC couples out there. It is just a regular relationship that everyone has all the way down to the ex that one is friendly with and the other can’t stand the person’s guts.

Speaking of the devil (figuratively for right now but with Legends of Tomorrow..) John Constantine is back and back full-time. John ends up teaming up with Sara through the unicorn adventure and ends up defeating the monster with help from Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin and said virgin Gary. I must say, even though a relationship is out of the question between them, I really enjoyed the back and forth between Sara and John. Sara’s pitches to join the team go on deaf ears as Constantine continues to explain why being on a team is not good. Being on a team means losing people you care about. People that you love. The worst part is John is partly right. That has happened to the team and especially to Sara.

But…Sara Lance is never going to stop. We don’t talk enough about how strong she is but she lost her sister, father, Captain Cold, Prof. Stein (I know I’m missing some probably) and she has never given up. She has remained strong, hopeful and willing to still love and be loved. Maybe John Constantine can follow her example and join the Legends to remember that being with people you care about isn’t a burden. It’s a blessing.

So this season looks to be one of magic and finding one’s family. Legends of Tomorrow may be a silly show sometimes (a lot of times) but it can still hit those emotional beats when it needs to. Welcome back to the crew of the Waverider.

OTHER THOUGHTS:

  • Gary is still the most annoying character on the show and I will never forgive the Legends for saving him. Dude loses a nipple though so I’ll take my victories where I can get them. But Gary is such over the top comic relief for a show that already has it in Nate, Ray and Mick.
  •  At the end of the episode, Constantine is attacked by a mystery force who leaves a simple message for John Boy ” I’m coming for you, Johnny.” Very nice spooky moment to end a episode with a killer unicorn.
  • Sara asks Zari which member of the Beatles she would like to have sex with. The answer is the best Beatle: George Harrison.
  • Legends makes a lot of jokes about it’s low ratings but somehow it was only the 13th best part of the episode.
  • “I like my fuzzy pink slippers!” Same Sara same.
  • When the Time Bureau threw a party for the Legends, my first thought was “Who’s paying for this?!?!” That’s when I realized I’m a old man.

 

Legends of Tomorrow airs on the CW on Monday Nights at 9 pm.




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