The search for the Fugitives leads The Legends to the punk scene in 1970s London. Soon the team is having to stop a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II in addition to hunting down the fugitive, who has a shockingly familiar face. Meanwhile, at Time Bureau HQ, Gary is attempting to show Nate the ropes on what turns out to be anything but a typical day at the office.
Jamie Delano's Hellblazer (the information on John's parent and history as a punk rocker come straight from this comic) and The Crimson Permanent Assurance sequence of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (turning an office into a swashbuckler's playground)
While Queen Elizabeth being committed would likely be a major blow to the morale of the British Empire, it would probably not inspire outright anarchy as The Queen's position is purely ceremonial.
Granting that it is possible Ray might not know that cars in England are driven on the left side of the road, wouldn't this have come up while he was driving The Legends to The Hole?
Tala Ashe is quickly becoming this season's MVP. The scenes of her and John interacting or magic, in comedic and dramatic terms. And good on them for managing a touching John Constantine scene that isn't sickeningly sweet.
Anjli Mohindra does a fantastic job making Charlie into a sympathetic character. It's sort of a shame she is only here to set up Maisie Richardson-Sellers return.
It's a simple editing trick, but the "Ball-Kick Paradox" scene is well blocked.
Trivia Of Tomorrow
In the original Hellblazer comics, John Constantine was the lead singer for a punk band called Mucous Membrane from 1977-1979. They released one single, Venus of the Hard Sell.
The Arrowverse version of John Constantine also was part of a punk band called Mucous Membrane.
John describes Mick's attitude toward him as Perfidious Albion. This is an Anglophobic term frequently applied to a reputation England has for not keeping their word when it comes to treaties and agreements and British people in general being dishonest. It was first coined by French playwright Augustin Louis de Ximénès in 1793, regarding England's early support of The French Revolution, before joining with the other monarchies in Europe against the new Revolutionary government.
In the original Hellblazer comics, John Constantine's mother (Mary Anne Quinn) died bring him and a still-born twin brother into the world. It was later revealed that John strangled his own twin (who was supposed to be the good one) in the womb with his own umbilical cord. John's father, Thomas Constantine, called him "Killer" as a result and was quite abusive toward John for having destroyed the best thing in his life, according to him. It was later revealed that the complications with John's mother giving birth were the result of a botched back-alley abortion that John's father forced her to have.
In the Arrowverse, John's mother died giving birth to him and his father called him "Killer". John doesn't specifically mention any abuse, but it is heavily implied by John's attitude that they did not have a loving relationship.
Though not named in the episode, the actress who plays John's mother is credited as Mary Anne and his father is credited as Thomas.
John makes reference to "clipping an angel's wings." being the way to deprive them of their power. In The Sandman, Morpehus took away something of Lucifer's power by cutting off his wings.
The bracelet that Ray made to hold the Zambesi Ar Totem gem also handles messaging and data, has a pedometer that counts steps, keeps accurate time in any era.
Leprechans are Irish faeries who are obsessed with riches and prone to mischief.
John casts a spell to set Mick's pant-leg on fire.
According to John, Leprechauns must count every piece of grain that is spilled in front of them. This can be used to reveal a leprechaun that is hiding its true nature. This is an actual bit of lore regarding leprechauns, though arithmomania (a specific form of obsessive-compulsive disorder where the patient is compelled to count things) is more frequently associated with vampires.
Gary and Nate travel to somewhere during the Pleistocene Period, which ran from about 2.6 million years ago to 11,700 years ago. They specifically travel to 768,000 BC - the time when a giant meteor was believed to have hit the Earth in Indo-China, kicking off a major evolutionary event.
The Ball-Kick Paradox prevents you from kicking your own father in the junk, because then you'd never be born, which means you'd never be there to kick your own father in the balls. Attempting it anyway results in an inverse of momentum (i.e. you fall on your arse trying it.)
Ray describes Charlie's shape-shifting as "rapid molecular transformation."
Ray programmed a command into the ATOM suit, keyed to his voice, to cause it to instantly disassemble itself. Presumably it can assemble itself as well, as this would explain how rapidly Ray can change into his costume.
John performs a "magical lobotomy" that takes away Charlie's shape-shifting powers, leaving her trapped in Amaya's form. He can't give the powers back or change her shape and describes the idea of doing so as being like "unclipping an angel's wings."
Zari: Doing bad things for good reasons is practically our mission statement.
(John says an Irish punk singer is clearly a Leprechan)
Zari: S-sorry - are you being serious or racist?
John: Both, love.
Sara: We need to get close to that band. Which shouldn't be a problem, because everybody left on this ship is a punk.
Mick: Except for Haircut. He's never broken a rule in his life.
(Ray glances to one side, looking very guilty all of a sudden.)
Zari: (dryly) Yep. Not a single rule.
Charlie: I didn't catch your name.
Ray: Ray... ge.
Ray: Yep. Rage. That's what they call me. On account of all my various rages. Against, the uh... machine.
Sara: You're going to have to do this the old-fashioned way.
Mick: Gaining their trust and betraying them.
(Ray approaches the Royal Dog-Walker)
Ray: Ah, excuse me, sir. I don't know if this is royal etiquette, but, uh, if it may please the Crown, may I borrow one of those Corgis?
Dog Walker:(clearly nervous) Just take him!
Ray: Oh! There are those famous British manners I've heard of. Thank you.
(Ray takes one of the leases and walks off toward the camera. We then see that Sara was standing behind him, out of Ray's view, holding up the two unconscious bodyguards.)
Sara: (To the Dog Walker) Good choice.
(Zari has found John in a Liverpool pub, where a bartender is doting on him.)
Zari: That brooding, anti-hero crap must be a real panty dropper, huh? You tell her you have four roommates and sleep on the couch?
John: No, I didn't. She's my mum.
(The mother of all awkward pauses ensues.)
Zari: I'm really wishing I had not said "panty dropper."
The whole sequence of John trying to kick his own father in the nuts to stop himself form being born.
Charlie: So what? The bloke fancies a bit of disco! Gilly used to be a nun. Ian was a mime! I've done a stint in the lock-up! Declan's not even Irish!
(Ray suggest that Charlie isn't that bad and they don't need to send her to Hell.)
John: She's manipulating you! Don't fall for it, mate.
Mick: Too late. He's got a tattoo.
Zari: (quietly) Oh, please let it be a tramp stamp.
Sara: Squad. Save The Queen.
Nate: (brandishing the broken arm of a paper-cutter) Today, we ride!
Ava: Can you please just tell me how you keep five Legends on a leash at once?
Sara: Very loosely. Because sometimes we pull you in the right direction.
Zari: Hey, you got a minute? I just wanted to say, about the pub -
John:Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Listen, if you're here to have some weepy, heart-to-heart, end-of-the-mission hug fest where you tell me that my problems are your problems and that happiness is just one friend away and all that bollocks, don't bother, yeah?
(There is a pause as Zari ponders her words.)
Zari: Hey, you don't know me. I wouldn't do that. That would be lame.
John: Yeah, it would. So why are you here?
Zari: I wanted to give you this surveillance photo I took of you and your mom.
(Zari hands John a picture of his mothers smiling at him as he's sitting at the bar.)
John: Thank you. You know, for not doing any of that stuff.
Zari: Yeah. Anytime.
(Zari leaves John, as he finishes his drink and looks at the picture.)
(Mick is watching Charlie from behind glass, drinking a beer. Ray walks up.)
Mick: I hate cops.
Ray: (scoffs) I am well aware of that, Mick.
Mick: Well, today we nearly became cops.
Ray: Yeah, but we didn't.
Mick: No. Thanks to you, Rayge.
Ray: Aw. Thanks, Mick.
Charlie: All right, are you two plonkers just gonna stand there and stare at me, or is one of you gonna pour me a bloody pint?
Ray: She definitely isn't Amaya.
Mick: No. But I do like her.
In the divergent timeline, The Queen of England attended a punk rock show while wearing the Crown Jewels and flashed her knickers (or lack thereof) to the crowd. This led to her being committed for insanity, the British monarchy collapsing and - wait for it - Anarchy in the UK.
Nate shrugs out of joining the Legends on this mission, saying that Ava wanted him to stay in Washington DC to help establish the procedures, protocols and command structure of the Time Bureau in the wake of their new magic-fighting initiative.
The Zambesi Air-Totem gem is now contained in a more secure bracelet that Ray made for Zari.
Zari is still keeping Ray's secret about helping Nora Darhk escape and having a crush on her.
Ray and Nate used to watch Patrick Swayze movies together.
John claims to have heard of every rubbish punk band in London and he's never heard of The Smell. This is because they never existed in the original timeline.
The Smell was apparently Queen Elizabeth's favorite punk band. The soared to stardom after the incident with The Queen at one of their shows. They were as famous for their music as they were for a series of improbable anti-establishment pranks, which all detect as being magical.
John believes the perpetrator of the odd business is a Leprechan, based on the look of The Smell's lead singer, who is Irish.
The Hole was the hottest punk club in London in 1977. John says he and his band, Mucous Membrane, used to play there.
The Smell wind up commandeering The Legends' van and having Ray drive them away after Mick's attacking John starts off a bar fight.
Ray endears himself to The Smell by driving on the wrong (i.e. right) side of the road for England.
Ray says that loud music makes his nose bleed.
Nate is put in charge of updating six-years worth of Time Bureau protocols.
According to Gary, The Time Bureau celebrates Taco Tuesday on Monday.
Gary flirts with a delivery person named Mona and accidentally reveals the name of The Time Bureau to her.
Ray attempts the grain test on the suspected leprechaun. It doesn't work and he's deeply hurt by the inference that he's a leprechaun because he's Irish and has red hair.
In order to prove his punk credentials to The Smell, Ray has to abduct one of Queen Elizabeth's pet Corgis. Mick and Sara help him out with this.
The Corgi, whose name is Sparky, is later found in a South London dog pound, with a pink punk haircut.
It is a tradition among The Smell to get a tattoo after your first prank as part of the group.
Ray's tattoo is of a Corgi with a Mohawk.
Zari installed a tracking device on John's communicator.
John Constantine's mother was a Liverpool barmaid in 1977.
Gary was dumped by John Constantine, who let him go easy with some talk about the balance of good and evil that even Gary realizes was total BS.
John's mother died delivering him. His father nicknamed him "Killer' because of this.
John tells Zari that his past is coming for him, but does not give any details beyond this.
As John recalls his psychic assault in 401, we see the face of a dark-skinned man with a beard.
The Smell see a news story detailing the events of 311 and the unseen adventure that required The Legends to go undercover as a disco band. Naturally, this includes a large picture of "Rage" in his disco duds.
According to Gary, the anachronism in The Pleistocene Era fixed itself.
Gary gets Nate an exotic plant for his desk.
Ray describes Amaya as the moral center of The Legends.
Charlie reveals herself to Ray as a shape-shifter. She based her current persona on a model she saw in a toothpaste ad because she liked her smile.
Charlie said that she was imprisoned by humans who were afraid of her and what she could do.
Charlie apparently stole the Crown Jewels and impersonates The Queen.
According to John, shapeshifters are some of the worst of all magical beings, having been responsible for killing sprees and world wars.
The Time Bureau pays for lunches - a fact that Gary uses to order extra large meals to save on his own food budget.
The fugitive from The Pleistocene is revealed to be the plant that Gary gave Nate.
Charlie steals The ATOM Suit and uses it to fight The Legends.
Ray and Zari are convinced to let Charlie live and not send her to Hell.
John knows a spell - a magical lobotomy - that can remove a shape-shifter's powers. He uses it on Charlie while she is in the form of Amaya in her disco costume.
Charlie is locked in a force-field on The Waverider.
Ray confesses to the rest of the team that he helped Nora Darhk escape.
Ray's favorite musical is Singin' In The Rain and is allergic to cats and Grodd.
Nate admits that the reason he wanted to get off The Waverider was because it had too many memories of Amaya and he needed some time away to get over their relationship ending.
Sara tells Nate to go ahead and stay with the Time Bureau, aborting her apparent plan to get Nate to help her with dealing with Charlie.
Zari gives John a picture she took of him while he was talking to his mother.
London - 1977
Washington DC - 2018
Liverpool - 1977
Somewhere During The Pleistocene Period- 768,000 BC/
A reference is made to The Legends disco adventure in 311, but we still don't see it.
We do not get to see the fight between Nate and Gary and the magic plant.
The Bottom Line
Fantastic. As a Hellblazer fan, I was worried about the show taking on the punk era given John's connection to that time in the original comics. They wound up exploring John's past in a whole other way and Matt Ryan plays it brilliantly. Honestly, the whole ensemble manage this episode wonderfully and every character gets a moment to shine. I think the reduced cast is really working to the show's benefit to this season, so far, though it seems they'll be expanding the line-up shortly. Still, this is the kind of fun episode that makes Legends my favorite Arrowverse show.