When Mallus takes control of Sara and she takes up The Death Totem, Mick will have to overcome his dark side to save the rest of The Legends. Meanwhile, Ava recruits John Constantine to free Sara from Mallus' influence once and for all.
The Constantine: The Hellblazer comics series (John Constantine living in New York City, performing odd-jobs involving magic to make ends meet.), Swamp Thing #37 (John's line about being a nasty piece of work) and Hellblazer #41 (John's line about walking his path alone.)
Nice as it is for Wally to finally get a scene where his relationship with Jesse Quick isn't treated like an afterthought relative to everything else on The Flash, the whole scene where Wally makes his peace when confronted by a hallucination of Jesse that he knows is a hallucination is just lazy writing that serves no purpose other than taking Wally out of play so he can't tie up the possessed Sara in two seconds.
It is worth noting that most D&D players do not dress up in costume to play the game.
Caity Lotz does a great job playing against her self, as she is tempted by the Death Totem.
Matt Ryan is once again amazing as John Constantine.
Jes Macallan does a fantastic job playing off of both Matt Ryan and Caity Lotz in this episode as Ava Sharpe.
The production team did a great job establishing a spooky atmosphere on the Waverider set.
Trivia Of Tomorrow
The title of the episode is a riff on the 1984 action/romance/comedy Romancing The Stone.
Wally and Nate are sent on a mission to rescue a dog named Laika and return her to the Soviet Space Program. This is a reference to Laika - the first animal to orbit the Earth and prove that it was safe and possible for life to survive while traveling at the speeds necessary to achieve orbit.
When Zari and Amaya return from recovering The Mona Lisa, they say that they confirmed that The Mona Lisa was a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci in drag. This is an actual theory proposed by real world art historians.
Ava's profile of John Constantine fits firmly in-line with John's background in the comics. John does have an older sister named Cheryl. Both of his parents are dead - his mother having died in childbirth and his father having been killed by a serial killer called The Family Man. Reference is also made to The Newcastle Crew and John's accidentally condemning a girl named Astra to Hell, as depicted in the Constantine TV series.
It is unclear if the DCTVU version of John Constantine's sister is named Cheryl or if his parents died in the same ways as in the comics.
When Ava tracks down John, he is living in an apartment in New York City which he claims to have won in a duel and helping a woman perform a ritual to find her son a wife. This seems similar to the setup of the comic Constantine, The Hellblazer, where John briefly lived in New York City and performed freelance works of magic to help people when he wasn't busy tending to more vital work.
John makes reference to being heavily under the influence of Ayahuasca. Also known as iowaska or yagé, Ayahuasca is an potent drink used as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies among the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon jungle basin. Those who partake of it often report spiritual revelations regarding their purpose on earth, the true nature of the universe as well as deep insight into how to be the best person they possibly can. (Perhaps not coincidentally, John's first published adventure in the comics involved him taking a trip to the Amazon Jungle with Swamp Thing.)
John using psychedelic substances as part of his magic is a frequent occurrence in the comics.
The episode does make several references to the more recent editions of Dungeons and Dragons. These include referring to Constantine as a Warlock, which - in D&D - are magicians who work their magic by bargaining with mystical beings.There are also references to Wally West being a monk (warrior built around fast strikes and movement), Amaya being a druid (warrior/wizard who draws power from a bond with nature), Mick being a half-orc thief (half orcs are known for being crude and slow witted but powerful and quick to anger), Nate being a bard (warrior/wizard whose strength comes from their knowledge of history and lore) and Ray being a cheerful gnome who is also a mighty wizard. Zari is referred to as a sorceress - a magic user with a natural talent who typically draws power from their birthright.
Gary refers to his D&D campaign being centered around the search for six artifacts called The Swords of Sorrow. Perhaps not coincidentally, this was the name of a mini-series edited by writer Gail Simone (whose take on Black Canary informed most of Sara Lance's personality) and written by a number of female comic writers that saw various pulp heroines whose rights were held by Dynamite Comics (including Red Sonja, Dejah Thoris, Vampirella and many more) teaming up to recover the titular swords and fight an evil prince who drew power from the submission of strong women.
Several of John's lines in his conversation with Sara are taken directly from the comics. in Swamp Thing #37, he described himself as "a nasty piece of work" and in Hellblazer #41 he talked about walking his path alone.
The final scene of John playing D&D with Gary and his friends may be a nod to The Dresden Files - a series of novels based around a wizard/detective in much the same mold as John Constantine, who is also a old-school RPG gamer when he isn't busy fighting wicked faeries, vampires and demons.
Ray suffered a collapsed lung, three broken ribs and a shattered femur among other injuries after being attacked by Sara.
The Nostromo Sequence is a command programmed into Gideon and The Waverider which seals it off from the outside world and locks all the doors within it.
When Gary and Ava find John, he is chasing a live chicken around his apartment. This was apparently part of a ritual to help a woman find a wife for her son.
Zari can decouple the Jumpship from Gideon's mainframe so they can use it to escape The Waverider.
Normally when John Constantine draws a demon out of a possessed person, he has to use himself as a receptacle. Thankfully, John already has a direct spiritual connection to Sara's soul since they were lovers. This allows John to perform a ritual that calls upon Aken, the Ancient Egyptian ferryman of the dead, to take him to Sara in Mallus' realm. Ava is also able to make the journey since she and Sara are lovers.
John is able to track The Death Totem through time and space using a spell that requires a severed foot, a vile full of mothers' tears and his ruination stones.
Amaya: With all these new anachronisms, the time tears are getting worse.
Zari: Yeah, I thought we were calling them "time cracks"?
Wally: What happens if we don't repair history?
Ray: Working theory? Time is frapped together like a smoothie. So instead of just dealing with Julius Ceasar in Aruba, we have to fight off Genghis Khan, a herd of woolly mammoths and a swarm of locusts from The Old Testament.
Nate: And Mallus is freed from Time Jail so he can rule over this giant mess.
Wally: Huh. So... worse than Flashpoint?
Ray: Is that what we're calling that thing that Barry did?
Ray: Uh - I think it's something similar.
(Sara hands out everyone's assignments.)
Sara: (tired) All right. That's it. No snazzy send-off. Mama's got a headache.
(Everyone leaves. Zari gives Sara a reassuring pat on the shoulder as she walks past. Nate does the same.)
Nate: Even when you don't try, you've still got it.
(Sara opens the lock box containing The Death Totem.)
Canary: It calls to you, doesn't it? The Death Totem chose you.
(Sara looks up at the voice. She sees herself in her costume as The Canary.)
Canary: You. After you died.
Sara: ...This is the Death Totem.
Canary: It yearns for a new bearer. Imagine all you could do with dominion over the dead. You could banish that little girl from your dreams.... bring back your sister.
(Sara looks down into the box but shakes her head.)
Sara: I'm no totem barer.
(Suddenly, The Canary is standing by Sara's side.)
Canary: You've conquered your demons. You're strong enough to wield it. Pick up the totem, Sara. It's the only way to defeat Mallus. The six totems need six totem bearers. Who else on your team was born to wield Death?
(Sara looks at The Death Totem in the open box... her hand slowly moving towards it...)
(The Legends have been locked in the med-bay by the possessed Sara.)
Mick: I'm going to kill that witch!
Amaya: If you kill her, then Sara dies too.
Mick: Better her than me!
Nate: Dude! How can you say that?
Mick: By moving my lips!
John: Are you guys from the housing co-op? Because it's perfectly legal to win an apartment in a duel.
Ava: We're here about Sara Lance.
John: Ah. (John takes the chicken from Gary and hands it to the woman) Right. Well, ah, Mrs. Veras, we will have to continue the ritual tomorrow, but not to worry, love. We'll have your son married in no time!
Mrs. Veras: Gracias, Senor Constantine!
(John closes the door and chuckles in a somewhat embarrassed manner to Ava.)
John: It's a gig economy. I have to take the work where I can find it, you know?
Ava: What do you mean you already have a link to Sara's soul?
John: Well, let's just say our souls have been one. Leaves a metaphysical connection, love.
Ava: Don't call me "love".
John: Oh, pardon me, pet.
Ava: Sara and I also share a very, very strong metaphysical connection, so...
(John ahs and nods silently.)
Gary: Wait... I can't believe.... you both slept with Captain Lance?!
John: (slyly) Did we now? Well then, we both have excellent taste in damaged women.
Ava: Sara's not damaged!
John: Yeah, and I'm the bloody Pope.
John: There isn't exactly a paint-by-numbers spell for locating a spaceship floating in a temporal stream. My business card says "Master Of The Dark Arts." Not "Doctor Ruddy What's His Face."
Ava: Okay, so you have a foot, but you don't have a phone?! I - I just ... I really don't understand how Sara could have...
John: What? Shagged me in a mental institution?
Ava: Oh my God!
John: Oh, you have nothing to be jealous about.
Ava: I am not jealous! I'm just...
(Ava makes a gesture like she wants to strangle John, growls then sits down.)
Ava: Okay. Maybe I'm a little bit jealous.
John: Oh, we were just trying to find some calm in the storm.
Ava: I don't understand! Who sleeps with a warlock and then turns around and starts calling me her girlfriend?
Gary: She called you her girlfriend?
Ava: Yeah. And I really want to believe her...
Gary: ... but?
Ava: But I don't really think that Sara is a one-woman woman.
John: Well, if the price of admission is looking like a fool or getting your heart broken, then... well, I'd say Ms. Lance is pretty well worth it.
Ava: ... huh.
Gary: The Legends remind me of my D&D group. Don't laugh.
John: Too late.
(Sara takes the repaired Fire Totem from the nuclear reactor chamber.)
Amaya: This totem wasn't meant for me. You have to use it.
Mick: Forget it.
Amaya: You spent your entire life obsessed with fire and heat. What if this is the reason why?
Mick: How many times do I have to tell you?! I'm not a hero! Sara's a hero. And look what The Death Totem did to her.
Amaya: That was the work of Mallus. Most people who have seen what you've seen would have succumbed to darkness, but you didn't. You chose to become a Legend. You may try to hide it, Mick, but you're a good man.
Mick: What if you're wrong?
Amaya: (offers him the Fire Totem) There's only one way to find out.
Sara: (To Ava) You saved me again.
Ava: (glancing back to John and Mick) I had a little help.
(John throws a glance to Mick, who is still holding a fireball in his hand, transfixed by the flame.)
John: Well, while we're here... (coughs) A light?
(John puts a cigarette into his mouth and leans over the fire to light it.)
Sara: If you thought Mallus really would have freed Astra, you would have traded me, wouldn't you?
John: In a heartbeat. (pauses) Well, what can I say? I'm a nasty piece of work.
Sara: So am I.
John: But you survived, love.
Sara: For now.
John: You know, there's a reason why I prefer to walk this path alone. It's uh.. so I don't have to share with anyone how lost I really am. But you're not alone, are you, Sara?
Sara: Maybe I should be.
John: She's a good one. Try not to hurt her.
Sara: (quietly) That's what I'm afraid of.
Gary: So the question is... are you prepared to join us on this mission most deadly?
(Gary reaches across the table and opens his hand to reveal a twenty-sided dice. We pull back to see John Constantine sitting across the table from Gary. He takes the twenty-sided dice.)
John: Well tonight, squire... I'm all yours.
Sara called out the name John in her sleep.
Sara tells Ava about how she slept with John Constantine but only sees him as a friend. This happened three weeks before she became serious about Ava.
Sara refers to Ava as her girlfriend.
The cracks/tears in the fabric of time in the temporal zone are getting worse.
Ray refers to the events of 301.
Wally refers to Barry Allen's alteration of the timeline, which resulted in the divergent dimension he called Flashipoint, in F301.
Mick sleeps in the nude.
Sara plans to go on a solo mission to save Einstein, who is stranded in The Ice Age.
For some reason, Mick refuses a mission to "rescue a Ruskie pooch."
Ray refers to 313 and the events that led to him retrieving the secret of cold fusion to repair The Fire Totem.
John Constantine does not currently (i.e. Spring 2018) own a phone.
Gideon is incapable of feeling rage.
Zari is claustrophobic.
While possessed by Mallus, Sara has the powers of telekinesis and teleportation.
The possessed Sara takes out Wally using the anti-speedster gun, first seen in 208.
John Constantine is 36 years old. He has an older sister and both of his parents are listed as deceased. His profile with The Time Bureau lists him as part of "The Newcastle Crew" and describes how he accidentally summoned a demon that dragged a girl named Astra Logue into Hell.
John is described as a true Warlock.
Gary Green plays a Level 9 Warlock in Dungeons and Dragons.
John Constantine now has an apartment in New York City which he won in a duel.
John learned what happened to the sixth lost tribe of Zambesi while heavily under the influence of Ayahuasca. (This seems similar to the tea made of the Lyoga Root from 303 used to enter the Zambesi Ancestral Realm.)
According to John, the sixth "lost" tribe of Zambesi were charged with stewardship over the realm of Death. They allied themselves with Mallus as the other five tribes moved to imprison him.
While not totally certain on this point, John believes that the sixth tribe's betrayal may have caused The Death Totem to have been corrupted by Mallus. He confirms that The Death Totem is inextricably linked to the demon now.
Zari used to read to her younger brother. His favorite story was "The Prince of Timbuktu".
Gary has an aunt named Stacy.
Gary likes Beebo.
Doctor Who exists in The DCTVU.
John kisses Gary, who does not seem at all repulsed by it.
The girl from Sara's nightmares is revealed to be the daughter of a man she killed while she was part of The League of Assassins.
Nathaniel is tormented with a vision of his grandfather, who refers to the events of 214.
Zari loves cats.
Ray was successful in repairing the Fire Totem.
Mallus impersonates Astra's voice in a bit to make John back-off of his exorcism ritual.
Sara offers John a bed on The Waverider. He says he's tempted to take it but reminds her that he prefers to work alone.
Sara theorizes that Mallus can attack a person by making them see their worst fears. In this case, Sara was tormented with the idea that she could never move beyond being a killer, Wally was confronted with the loss of the strongest love he had ever known, Zari was tormented by the brother whose death drives her and Nate was called a disappointment by the grandfather who was his inspiration.
Wally says he liked Sara with silver hair.
Sara breaks up with Ava, saying she doesn't deserve her.
The final scene depicts John playing Dungeons and Dragons with Gary and his friends.
The Temporal Zone
New York City - 2018.
Zari and Amaya are sent on a mission to Billings, Montana in 1997 to recover The Mona Lisa before it winds up on an episode of Antique's Roadshow.
Wally and Nate go on a mission to rescue a dog named Laika and return her to the Soviet Space Program.
John learned the lost lore of Zambesi and the sixth tribe that was erased from oral legend while under the influence of Ayahuasca.
Once, while on a massive bender, John Constantine cast a spell on a Beebo toy to make it talk. The things it said made even his toes curl.
The Fridge Factor
Unfortunately, this episode brings back everyone's least favorite subplot - the idea that Sara has some kind of inherent darkness that has ruled her for her entire life - and runs with it to let Sara angst over how she doesn't deserve to be loved by a good person like Ava. While it is refreshing to see this sort of storyline with a female protagonist (usually only male superheroes are allowed to play the "I don't deserve you" card), it's still annoying that the writers can't think of any other way to develop Sara's character. At least we're spared hearing about how "Laurel had a light."
The Bottom Line
You know it's a great episode when they can bring back the idiotic idea of Sara having some inner darkness that can't be dispelled and it actually works. Chalk that up to some great acting from Caity Lotz, as Matt Ryan and Jess Macallan run riot over each other. The new Constantine series can't come fast enough and, a bonus, this episode came out the day it was confirmed that Legends of Tomorrow is getting a fourth season with Matt Ryan as a regular cast member. The only downside is that now I want to stat all the Legends characters for D&D.