This review brought to you with the sound of Iron Maiden’s 5th Single – “Purgatory”
THE EGGPLANT, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE – Minor spoilers ahead.
With darkness on the rise in 2019, the team realizes that a new host of problems have risen as they have been cleaning up history. Sara (Caity Lotz) tries to save Ava (Jes Macallan) from a fate worse than death while battling her own demons. Nora (Courtney Ford) and Constantine (Matt Ryan), work together to take down the demon, Neron. Meanwhile, Zari (Tala Ashe) gets unsolicited advice from Mona (Ramona Young), Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) and even Rory (Dominic Purcell). Brandon Routh also stars. Mairzee Almas directed the episode written by Morgan Faust & Daphne Mile.
As the title of this episode suggests, this is a play on The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
While the arc of this season relates to the demon Neron, the main issues that this story serves up are that of Sara and Ava. Arriving at her home, Sara, Constantine and Nora realise that she has gone missing, in what looks to have been a struggle. Neron has kidnapped her, in the hope that she will become a vessel for the mysterious Tabitha. Ava is left in purgatory, so it’s up to Sara to join her there and do what she can to bring Ava back from the edge. What follows is something that makes Legends of Tomorrow great.
We all know that Sara and Ava’s relationship has been a little rocky, especially when it was noted that the Time Bureau were giving the magical creatures that they held some torturous treatment. It is quite obvious now that Ava’s offhanded attitude towards this was not her real feelings.
Anyway, purgatory – a department store. Probably not quite what mine would be, but for Sara and Ava it is very apt. With an escape room feel, they have to undertake a number of domestic tasks in order that they may escape. This includes building a wardrobe, choosing a bed and other tasks that need to be carried out in an everyday “normal” life (whatever that may be). It’s a struggle for Sara and the couple fight as they go along.
Thoughts – It’s quite a ride for both of these characters and how they come to the realisation that they want to spend the rest of their lives together is done in a way that only Legends of Tomorrow can. Seeing them as their older selves is done so well, if only for a number of seconds and you can imagine that this is how these characters may look 50 years down the line. This is fun, emotional and put Legends. I loved this part of this week’s episode, not only because of the above but also because of the performances of Caity Lotz and Jes Macallan. These two knocked it out of the park.
WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK
Spoiler alert – Neron is captured by the team but before that, we see the affect that his being has on those around him. Wherever he goes, there are fights and the like that break out and this is something that once captured he tries on the team who are keeping their eye on him.
It’s easy to say that Constantine here is a bit of a d*ck but this could be the fact that Neron is playing with their minds. We see a flashback of his failure to save a young girl, Nora, who he then calls a liability during their bickering session. They do overcome any differences that they have and come up with a plan to stop Neron for good. I’ll be honest, in the lead up to the plan coming to fruition, I really did think that Nora would be easily swayed back to evil. Thankfully, it’s all a ruse and Nora and John work together well, looking like they might just defeat the demon. That is until the love-struck Ray barges in, believing Nora to be in big trouble and spoils the whole thing. What happens next took me by surprise.
Great section of the story, twice ensuring that I had no idea that the twists that transpired would happen. The interaction between Nora and John was great, overcoming their differences being so difficult, for Nora in particular, but to see them then work together (despite the interruption) was a fitting part of this story.
Ray, being Ray and madly in love with Nora and spoiling what Nora and JC were trying to do, seems to always act first without thinking about the possible consequences.
HEADING FOR THE FAIR
The final part of the episode, the C story if you will, is all about Nate and Zari and the romance that may or may not blossom between them, coinciding with Nate coming to terms with the death of his father.
Nate decides to visit the site of Heyworld with Ray. It was such a treat to see that all of Nate’s childhood drawings were starting to come to life. While amazed at what is happening, Nate then goes on to stop construction of the site, blaming himself (thanks to Neron) for the death of his father. He ultimately comes to see otherwise, knowing that he wasn’t the reason he dies but the reason that Hank did the right thing.
A sub-plot to this is all about Zari’s feelings for Nate and Charlie and Mona egging her on to contact him, asking him out. She does, but for reasons it doesn’t go as planned.
Again, a nice part of the episode and one that gives us more on the bromance between Ray and Nate, well despite one smack in the eye. It was also great to see Nate’s reaction to the work that was being carried out to bring Heyworld to life and the fact that his childhood drawings were Hank’s inspiration. A lovely way to give Nate a little bit of closure on what has come before.
As for the Zari part of this, I am not convinced that the character would find herself in this sort of position, almost love-struck and being egged on to contact Nate. It did feel a little school yard-ish and not something I’d have expected. However, I do like the fact that they have feelings for each other, just not like this.
Overall, this is a cracking episode of Legends of Tomorrow. I still don’t think we have got near anything as good as the Tagumo Attacks episode, but that is just my own opinion, I’m sure others may think differently.
This felt like an episode all about relationships but not just romantic ones. Ava and Sara / Zari and Nate / Ray and Nora – obviously they all have a romantic connection to them but we also have the tension between Nora and Constantine, Constantine and Dez, Mona and Charlie bonding with Zari, Nate and Ray’s bromance and also despite his passing, Nate and Hank. I really enjoyed this aspect of the episode, the performances from all were great and it makes a change for me to say that other performances surpassed those that we have had from Matt Ryan.
Spoiler – It was nice to see Nate “Steel Up” albeit briefly, the twist at the end totally caught me off guard and it was great to see Ava back (Now, where can I get me one of those dolls?).
Going forward, this is going to be interesting, and I can’t wait to see Heyworld be completed.
Apart from my issues over Zari and her being love-struck, the only other negative here is that, yet again, Mick is much underused, in fact not really used at all but to sit and eat. I know there is a large cast to fit in to each episode but Mick has hardly been used since the show came back from its break; I’d like to see him in action a bit more.
Anyway, for me, the best episode since it returned (I think I may have said that last time) and a good 9/10.
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