If you want to avoid spoilers, then please do not read on. Thank ya very much!
“Previously on Legends of Tomorrow…”
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE IN THE 1950’S
A young man walks in to a shop, a pawn shop maybe looking for a guitar to call his own. It’ll be his first guitar. The owner tells him that he doesn’t pick the guitar, the guitar picks him. Sure enough, a guitar takes the eye of the young dude (or should that be the other way around?). The shop owner tells the young fella that he shouldn’t be taken with that particular guitar as he believes it to be cursed. The young lad is determined to have the guitar and takes it off the hook and starts to play it in the shop. It soon becomes apparent why the owner of the shop was wary because, as the young bloke is playing, we see lights burn brightly and, well, more of that soon. The shop owner is seriously freaked out and tells the young one to just take the guitar, which he does, along with telling the owner of the shop that, soon, he will hear his voice on the radio. Interest piqued, the shop owner asks the young guy his name – the response? Presley, sir, Elvis Presley. – Loved this opening and the, not so surprising, surprise of the young ‘un being Elvis Presley. The fact that the guitar had powers; I also knew that this was gonna be a cracking episode with some great Elvis music. A musical episode, but not in the way we have seen before. I was so up for what was coming, even though I had no idea.
ALL SHOOK UP
That’s right, on the Waverider, as well as in Memphis which becomes a literal ghost town (you’ll see), things are different. An anachronism occurs which, not only concerns Memphis, but on the Waverider too. No Rock N’ Roll is having a massive effect on things, from Mick Rory’s rat having a name change from Axl (nice Guns N’ Roses nod, my favourite band of all time – John) to Josh Groban (Sorry, no idea. Anyone help? – John). We also see Zaris Guitar Hero video game become Trombone Here (that I’d love to see) and Nate’s hair become as flat as a pancake, something he is visually distraught about (No volume). It becomes apparent to them that the world of Rock N’ Roll has gone sour and they make their way to 1950’s Memphis to straighten things out, including volumezing Nate’s hair, and saving RnR. – Was everyone aware that Mick had a pet rat, Nate volumized his hair and that Zari was a Guitar Hero, or any video game, expert? Nice that we find out more about the characters, even though in a comedic way.
(YOU’RE THE) DEVIL IN DISGUISE
The team arrive in Memphis and make their way to the church, the church where the uncle of Mr Presley is the preacher. They sit at the back and they listen to the preacher talking about Rock N’ Roll and how this is nothing but the Devil’s music. He is very passionate about it as well. He calls his nephew up to play some hymns for the congregation, with young girls getting all giggly at the front. Elvis starts to play and, at the same time, the Totem worn by Zari comes in to action, lifting her off her seat in to the air, and in full view of the congregation. They make their way out as onlookers look shocked at what they’ve seen. The team realise that, not only is Elvis a demon on the guitar but that it contains a Totem. – Awesome, Elvis is a Totem bearer. What a twist. Mick complaining that the “bread” given in church is not bread, hilarious and he seems really intent on having a good sandwich this episode (?).
RETURN TO SENDER
Being new to the Legends, Wally has no idea how things work and thinks that he can just use his speed to sort things for the better, including using that speed to take the guitar from Elvis, ensuring that the team gain control of the Totem. This has been an ongoing thing with Wally since he joined the team and is something that has annoyed Zari more than once as not only has he done that but has beaten all her scores on Pac-Man because of his speed. Anyway, Nate realises that taking the guitar from Elvis is not the answer to the problems as this will mean that Elvis doesn’t make his first record, meaning that Rock N’ Roll will never be a thing. It also means flat hair for the rest of his life. Therefore, the Legends come up with the idea of switching the guitar with the Totem for a Totem-Less one. – Ok, so Nate here is becoming a bit cliché with the talk of Rock N’ Roll needing to become a thing etc. but I’m on his side. I think that it’s great that we are getting to know about him a little more and his love for music.
GOOD LUCK CHARM
Nate and Amaya take the lead here and take the swapped guitar to Elvis as he is about to go on stage in a bar to play one of his songs. He strums and the noise that comes out from the guitar is out of tune. He tries to tune it, but every time he starts to play, the same thing happens. It becomes obvious to Nate and Amaya that, not having the Totem has affected his playing. It appears that the actual guitar he had, connected him with the spirit of his dead twin brother Jesse and that, without him, he is unable to play. Then comes the realisation – the Totem in the guitar is, in fact, the Death Totem. Nate calls the rest of the team on the Waverider to warn them. However, they are already aware, because the guitar has started to attack them on the ship and it wants off and wants to return to Elvis. Despite their best efforts, it is Sara who stops it in its tracks by calling out to Jesse. – Just when you think you have seen everything on Legends, they come up with the idea of a guitar attack, connected with the spirit of Elvis Presley’s dead brother. This show gets more and more crazy and I love it.
IT’S NOW OR NEVER
The team are now aware of the issues with the guitar that Elvis owns and Nate, being the music fan we have all just found out about, tries to convince the team to let Elvis use it one more time so that he can record his first single and Rock N’ Roll can be born. Sara, eventually, agrees and he takes the guitar to Elvis who, along with Nate and Amaya go along with Elvis to the studio to get that single recorded. Everything goes swimmingly and the record is cut, with the producer wanting to take the record to the radio station straight away as this is a hit. All looks to be going well, until in walks Elvis’ Uncle who confiscates the record and sends the three of them, Nate, Amaya and Elvis to jail because, as he’s said before, Rock N’ Roll is the Devil’s music. – Love hearing a bit of Elvis, bit of a fan thanks to listening to so much with my step-dad over many years. Still can’t believe that you could get locked up for listening to the Devils music. I know that it is, slightly, indicative of the time but it is something that I still struggle to digest.
DON’T BE CRUEL
Nate makes Wally and Zari aware of what is going on and them all being in a jail cell. He wants them to ensure that Elvis’ record makes its way to the radio station and is played for all to hear. As is usual, Wally wants to use his speed to take the record from the preacher and take it to the station. Zari tells him that, at times, speed is not always necessary but things can be talked through. Therefore, they go and talk to Elvis’ Uncle, Wally takes the lead and makes an impassioned speech to him. His stance softens and, thanks to Wally, the preacher hands over the record to them. Zari now tells him that speed is of the essence and off Wally goes to the radio station and, within seconds, the record is on the air and getting in to people’s heads. Wally returns and everyone dances in the aisles. – Ok, so the softened stance from the preacher is all well and good, but how easy was it for Wally and Zari to convince him? A little to easy for my liking but, hey ho, this is tv.
SWEET CHILD O’ MINE (Yes, I know it’s not an Elvis track, but you’ll soon see why)
Back on the Waverider, Axl the rat has escaped his cage and Mick has been searching for him. He soon comes across the rat, however, it has eaten something that it really shouldn’t have and is laid on the floor, dead. Ray realises that, because of Mick’s tough exterior, he is unlikely to mourn the dead rat, so he holds a funeral for it, and wants the Guns N’ Roses tack, Sweet Child O’ Mine (told ya), to be sang for Axl. Anyway, that’s not happening and, as Elvis comes over the speakers in the ship, things start to go a little, well, supernatural I guess as, thanks to the power of Rock N’ Roll, crossed with a Death Totem, Axl Rat arises from the dead, grows to a massive size, goes crazy and makes his way around the ship. Elsewhere, and again thanks to the music that Elvis playing, Axl isn’t the only thing that comes back. Yes, the music of Elvis, Rock N’ Roll, really does raise the dead and, back in the church, as Zari, Wally, the Reverend and the rest are about to leave, they come face to face with ghosts, all because Elvis’ track was recorded by the Totem. – Elvis raises the dead. In fact, this kinda brings back memories of my childhood, listening to Guns N’ Roses at maximum volume and my late mum would always tell me that that music would raise the dead. The funeral for Axl was funny, Ray setting that up for Mick. Mick, as much as it’s just a rat, was quite emotional about losing Axl. He does have feelings that man. Still enjoying how this is a departure from previous episodes in that it delves in to the supernatural.
Recognising that the Death Totem gives Elvis, and his music, control of the dead, the Legends need Nate, Amaya and Elvis out of jail. They do break out, with the help of a guard who lets them out and locks himself in the cell to protect himself from ghosts (someone should tell him right?). – Seriously, is the jail guard that dim?
AMAZING GRACE (OR AMA-YA-ZING GRACE? I’ll get my coat – John)
Anyway, they rush to the church, Elvis takes his guitar in his hands, Death Totem et al, and cracks in to Amazing Grace. Sounds great, and the ghosts that have surrounded the people in the church calm down, even though Zari has been using her own Totem to try and get rid of them herself. The ghosts do leave and, as he has been looking for all through the episode, finds the “musical moment” that he wants for himself and Amaya. They dance, they kiss and all is well between the two of them. – Yes, it’s cheesy but, to be fair, he does have a point. I know my wife and I had ours and I am sure many others have had the same. But, yes, cheesy on all accounts – there is nothing wrong with a bit of cheese now and again.
THAT’S ALL RIGHT
Back at the studio, Elvis makes the decision that he doesn’t want himself, his music, to rule the dead (good choice) and he gives the Death Totem to Nate as he knows he’s the man to take care of it. Thanks to The King, the Legends now have three of the six Totems that they need. They shake hands and part ways, Elvis getting back in the studio and doing what he always did best; Nate satisfied that Rock N’ Roll will live on. – Good choice from Elvis, although expected. Would have liked to have seen him do a bit on the Waverider for an episode or two as the Totem bearer, haha. Seriously though, how has Nate not been completely star struck meeting Elvis?
Back on the Waverider, the team rejoice and want to ensure that the Death Totem is kept safely locked away. Ray, being Ray, has concocted a lockbox, with encrypted security that the Totem can be placed in. It is then hidden away in the basement. – Ray, Ray, Ray, no surprise he had something ready for the Totem to go in. The geek of the ship.
THE WONDER OF YOU / ALWAYS ON MY MIND / BURNING LOVE / STUCK ON YOU / LOVE ME TENDER
Nate and Amaya are in the library and Nate is still overjoyed with the fact that Rock N’ Roll music has been saved and he tells Amaya of other music he wants her to listen to (The Smiths and Morrissey. Why, is that really Rock N’ Roll, not for me – John). Anyway, Amaya has other ideas and has asked Gideon to find music from her own country, Zambesi and has created a playlist. Nate listens and makes out that he is enjoying it although he quite clearly isn’t. Amaya tells Nathaniel (yes, just this once) that she loves him but, as he has headphones on he doesn’t hear and when he asks her what she said, she tells him something else. – Despite how this is played, I think that it is a beautiful, tender moment from Amaya. We know she really does love Nate and for her to say it was quite a breakthrough (or should have been) in their relationship. Because he didn’t hear it though and she didn’t repeat it, I almost get the feeling that their relationship could be doomed without her even having the chance to say it to him directly, so he knows how she feels. I hope I’m wrong but, we’ll see.
I WANT TO BE FREE
Down in the basement and the lockbox where they are keeping the Death Totem starts to shake. – Heartbreak Hotel is coming (???)
Well, I have no doubt that this will be an episode that divides opinion. Personally, I really enjoyed it as it was something different from what we have seen before from the Legends.
I loved that Nate was in the spotlight for the most part, however, it almost felt like the writers/producers or whoever, may not have been confident in the fact that Nate could lead the show, hence the need for bigger parts, this week, for most of the team.
Pretty much everyone had some great time in this episode, maybe with the exception of Ray.
As always, the settings were great, costumes on point, credit to all involved with that. Some great music throughout, expected with Elvis being who he is.
Nice touch in taking us back to the shop owner who realises that the young kid who had taken the cursed guitar, is now on the radio as he promised.
Where was the Colonel?
Like the development of Nate and Amaya’s relationship, you can see how much they really do care for each other.
No Ava?? Boooooo
No Gary??? Yayyyyyy
Little Constantine mention thrown in there.
All in all, a cracking episode but, like I said, it will be one you either love or don’t.
For me, a good 8/10.
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