Monday, February 12, 2018

Legends Of Tomorrow: Season 3, Episode 10 - Daddy Darhkest

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.



Plot

Exorcist and Demonoligist John Constantine approaches The Legends about help with his current client - one who has an odd connection to their team. As John, Sara and Leo wind up someplace else, it will fall to Ray and Zari to care for John's client as Nate and Amaya have another encounter with Kuasa.


Influences

The Swamp Thing comics of Alan Moore and the Hellblazer comics of Jaime Delano (asylum setting, presence of John Constantine, references to The Newcastle Incident) and the movie The Exorcist (the opening shot of John approaching the hospital is a visual nod to the movie poster, general theme of a young woman being demonically possessed, Nora does the head-spinning around trick from the same movie).


Goofs

Given her training as an assassin and infiltration specialist, it's hard to believe that Sara wouldn't have an alias picked out on the off chance she was stopped by a guard in the asylum.


Performances

Matt Ryan is so delightful as John Constantine it's bloody sinful. His chemistry with Caity Lotz is particularly impressive and it's a damn shame we couldn't keep him around for more than one episode.

On that note, Wentworth Miller, while not quite being given the chance to steal the show, does get a nice turn as "Fake Snart". Hopefully this won't be the last we see of him, though he's said he's done with the Arrowverse for a while.


Artistry

The direction is incredibly effective at establishing the appropriate creepy aura the episode requires.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

The doctor treating "Emily" is credited as Ellen Moore. This seems to be an audio pun on the name of Alan Moore - the legendary comic writer who created John Constantine.

Mallus makes reference to a girl named Astra whom John Constantine failed to save. This is a nod to the Constantine series and the original Hellblazer comics, where John botched a magical ritual while trying to save a girl named Astra from a demon named Negral and the mistake cost John his soul and caused Astra to be dragged to Hell.

Instead of the usual Legends of Tomorrow logo, the title card for this episodefeatures the Legends logo over the burning mandala used to open the Constantine TV series.

John Constantine claims to be a Taurus. In the classic Hellblazer comics, John's birthday was May 10, 1953. This would indeed make him a Taurus in Western Astrology.

John Constantine is depicted as openly flirting with Leo Snart. In the comics, John Constantine is bisexual - a fact that was not overtly portrayed in the Constantine TV series.

The hospital where Emily is being held is called Sumner Asylum. This may be a nod to musician Gordon Sumner a.k.a. Sting, who famous offered the visual inspiration for John Constantine in the original Swamp Thing comics.

John Constantine says "Allons-y, Alonso" at one point when the team needs to hurry. Allons-y was the catch-phrase of The Tenth Doctor from Doctor Who - another long-coat wearing Englishman. The Tenth Doctor once said his biggest wish was to meet someone named Alonso so he could say "Allons-y, Alonso!" He got his wish in the episode Voyage of The Damned.

Amusingly enough, the Alonso The Tenth Doctor got to say this to - Midshipman Alonso Frame - was played by actor Russell Tovey - who played The Ray in Crisis on Earth X. Alonso Frame would also go on to hook up with Captain Jack Harkness in the Doctor Who episode The End of Time. Captain Jack, of course, was played by John Barrowman, who also played Malcolm Merlyn on Arrow.

The running gag about John being unable to find a way to light his cigarette until the very end of the episode is a nod to how, due to the standards and practices of NBC, John was unable to be depicted lighting a cigarette and then smoking it on Constantine. The show found ways around this, depicting John's smoking habit by either showing John putting his cigarette out or drawing one and cutting away before he lit it.


Technobabble/Arcana

John uses a spell to confuse the nurse who challenges his entering the hospital after visiting hours.

John's exorcism ritual appears to be based on the Catholic exorcism tradition, requiring a Latin chant, a brandished cross and holy water.

John was able to find Sara by using a dowsing dagger that he attuned to her specific energy.

Ray and Zari work on creating a nanite pistol that can emulate the properties of both Heatwave's flamethrower and Captain Cold's cold gun crossing streams using nanotech.

The true names of demons can be used by a magician to command them.

Thiopental - the drug prescribed to Emily - is a barbiturate that is administered intravenously for the induction of general anesthesia. It can be counteracted by a shot of adrenaline.

Demons prey on the most vulnerable souls.

A victim of possession must be awake and alert for an exorcism to be performed.

John Constantine's custom-designed demon trap incorporates the Triangle of Solomon with some elder runes and Enochian script. It was first mentioned in C101.

Exorcism rituals can disrupt electronics.

Gideon identifies the symbol Nora Darhk drew as a rune used by dark magicians for temporal manipulation.

The touch of dark magic leaves the one touched vulnerable to further manipulation. In this case, Mallus is able to mess with Sara's head and scare her with visions of things that aren't real.

Demons attempt to weaken a person's resolve, priming them for possession by attacking them with visions that inspire negative emotions - usually fear and rage. John knows a ritual that can counter this sort of psychic attack, but it leaves both the magician and the victim feeling like they have the mother of all hangovers. A shot of pickle juice and a gin and tonic can cure that, however.

A magic circle made from the ashes of a slain phoenix can be used to hold even a demon as powerful as Mallus.

Extract of hawk week mixed with the saliva of a damned man can be used to make a potion that summons a demon into a person.


Dialogue Triumphs

John: You want to tag along for an exorcism?
Sara: Yep.
John: That's out of the bloody question, love.
Sara: Well, we gave you its name. So you owe us.
John: Well, I gave you your soul. So you owe me indefinitely.
Sara: (smugly) Hmmm. All the more reason for me to help you.

(Leo is trying to convince Sara that Ava Sharpe is clearly crushing on her.)
Sara: Even if it was - and it is not - we're completely different people.
Leo: I know. You're both strong women. You're both obsessed with repairing time. You're both super hot.
(Sara raises an eyebrow at that.)
Leo:
Gay. Not blind.
Sara: Look, Ava is the kind of girl that you take home to your parents and I... am the kind of girl you take to an exorcist.

(Seeing one of the nurses take a drag on her cigarette, John hungrily grabs for a cigarette from his coat and fumbles for a match. Sara just glares at him disapprovingly.)
John:
Well, we wouldn't want to stand out now, would we?
(John takes a match from a matchbox and tries to strike it. It breaks.)
John:
Bollocks!

(Everyone is arguing while Mick is trying to watch a football game.)
Ray: (into the radio) Sara? It's Ray. Do you copy?
Nate: Zee, would you please tell her talking to Kuasa is a bad idea?
Zari: No.
Amaya: Thank you! I refuse to accept that my granddaughter is pure evil.
Nate: (sarcastically) Okay. She's 89% evil.
Ray: Guys, I think Sara is in trouble!
Mick: QUIET!
(Mick stands up and turns around to look at the rest of the team.)
Mick: Haircut!  Take the New Girl. Find Blondie, Fake Snart and Trenchcoat. Amaya? The med-bay. Pretty? The library. Water Bitch stays in the freezer.
(Everybody blinks and turns around to leave the room. Ray stops and then comes back, putting on a cheerful smile.)
Ray: You know, Mick - you're really showing some management potential.
Mick: (growling, not looking away from the screen) Get. Out.
(Ray loses his smile and leaves.)

Ray: We can't take her out of here. We're dealing with a... D-E-M-O-N.
Nora: (giggling) I'm not five. I know how to spell demon.
Zari: Places like this just make people crazier - more vulnerable. Isn't it best we keep an eye on her?
Ray: We can't take her on the ship.
Zari: No. No the ship. We need somewhere... sunny and boring. (smiles faintly) Oh. That's your jam, right?
Ray: That- (stammers a bit) is my jam.

Sara: I thought this was all over. The blood lust. The fight for my soul. All the crap that I had to endure.
John: Well, there's always more crap to endure. Take it from one whose damned his own soul to Hell.
(Sara looks at John questioningly.)
John:
There was a... girl in Newcastle. Astra. I failed her.
Sara: Some might say you should forgive yourself..
John: (chuckles softly) Well, if I could, then perhaps I wouldn't have the need to save the likes of poor Nora. (looks at Sara) What about you? Have you forgiven yourself for your sins?
Sara: I don't deserve forgiveness.
(John sighs and stands up, offering Sara a hand up. Once she's standing he rubs his hands together, revealing a card. The design on the back shows two birds in flight - one black, one white.)
Sara: What is that?
John: It's a little reminder that you're a survivor. Strong enough even to keep the most powerful demons at bay.
(Sara moves to take the card from John's hand but her fingers play around the card a bit as she looks up at John, as if realizing how close they are standing to each other.)
John: A laundry room in a mental asylum in 1969. Might not be the worst place to be stuck.
(Sara smirks and looks to one side.) 
Sara: Are we really this damaged?
John: (returning the smirk) I certainly hope so.
(Sara kisses John furiously only to break the kiss. John looks at her and then kisses her, pressing her against the support beam they had been sitting against earlier. Sara breaks the kiss and looks at John hungrily as she spins him around and then pushes him into an alcove.)

Amaya: I can't interfere with our fate!
Kuasa: Then you are a coward. (scoffs) But you were a wonderful grandmother. I adored you, Nana Baa. I wanted to be just like you. Then one night, the men came-
Amaya: Please! I can't know this!
Kuasa: I watched the men murder you. Then they burned our village to the ground. Mother ran with Mari. She abandoned me.
Amaya: No! She thought you were dead.
Kuasa: I was alone. In a country ravaged by war.
Amaya: I'm sorry, Kuasa.
Kuasa: I learned to embrace the pain, using it to strike bargains with powerful beings.
Amaya: Like Damien Darhk? What has he promised you?
Kuasa: Something you've refused. A chance to protect our village. A chance to save your life.

(Sara suggests using her as a power source to Mallus to cast the same time travel spell Nora used.)
John:
And what about when the demon is inside you, eh?
Sara: You said I was strong enough to hold my own self.
John: Yeah, well... I was trying to seduce you.
Sara: Oh please! I was seducing you!
Leo: I hope no one was trying to seduce anyone while I was about to be lobotomized!
John: You know - this is why I like to work alone!

Sara: Hey. Before you go, I ah... I just wanted to say thank you. For helping me with Mallus, that is.
John: (grinning slyly) Oh. Of course. Helping you with Mallus, was ah... good for me too. If you ever need me to... help you with Mallus again, just give us a call. I'll be right there. Although, ah, lots of people out there with... very weird demons and they all need my help.
Sara: Mmm. I understand.
John: Good.
Sara: And thanks for the shag too. That was great!
(Sara smiles and turns around, leaving a flabbergasted John who slowly smiles.)


Continuity

John Constantine is a Taurus.

John recognizes The Anansi Totem immediately upon seeing Amaya wearing it.

Leo Snart is in confirmed to be in a committed relationship with The Ray.

Ray refers to the events of 306 and the "Freaky Friday Firestorm".

Sara refers to the events of 309 and her encounter with Mallus, whom she calls a demon.

Sumner Asylum is a mental hospital in Star City.

Leo Snart confirms that he is gay, not bisexual.

"Emily" is confirmed to be a teenage Nora Darhk.

Nora Darhk was put into protective custody under the alias Emily after her father was killed by Green Arrow in A423 in May 2016.

The Cold Gun has an incredibly sensitive trigger.

Nora Darhk says the voices in her had kept talking about "The Six". John takes this to be a reference to The Devil (i.e. The Beast) as that is his number.

Mick has not watched a live football game in the three years since he joined the Waverider crew.

Mick's nickname for Zari is New Girl.

Mick's nickname for Leo is Fake Snart.

Mick's nickname for John Constantine is Trenchcoat.

Zari was once in a an insane asylum. Her roommate thought Zari was her pet cat Slinky.

The destruction of Amaya's village occurred in 1992.

Amaya tells Kuasa about her vision from 303 and that she believes that Kuasa is the heir to a totem necklace the ancestor spirits told her she must save.

Kuasa is strong enough to throw Nate around in his metal form.

Sara returns to Mallus' spirit realm, first seen in 309.

Zari's touch burns the possessed Nora Darhk.

Mallus identifies Zari as one of "The Six".

Dr. Moore is revealed to be part of The Order of The Shrouded Compass from 305. They take the teenage Nora back into their custody after Damien Darhk stops Ray and Zari from saving her.

Amaya says she only knows of five totems tied to Zambesi - Spirit, Water, Air, Fire and Earth. John says he'll look into the matter for them.

John warns Ray that despite his best efforts, Mallus will likely find a way to possess Sara again and he'll need to keep his anti-magic gun handy just in case.

Leo leaves The Waverider, saying that he's going to return to Earth X and propose to Ray.

Rip Hunter escaped The Time Bureau's custody


Location

Star City - 2017
Central City - 2017
Star City - January 16, 1969


Untelevised Adventures

John had a previous encounter with the possessed "Emily" before she was committed.

John Constantine apparently encountered Mari McCabe (the modern day Vixen) at some point, recognizing The Anansi Totem and telling Amaya that he charmed to meet another member of their family.


The Bottom Line

Flawless. Absolutely flawless. A strong return for the series and further proof of how tragic Constantine's cancellation was. This show needs John Constantine as a regular fixture if only for more flirty John/Sara interactions. 

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