Sara tries to build some common ground between a warring Ava and Mick, as Ray grows a mustache and Constantine is forced to confront his past when The Legends travel to pre-Civil War New Orleans in search of a ghostly serial killer that is using dolls as hosts. Back in the present at Time Bureau HQ, Mona has a crush and turns to Nate for advice. The problem is that the crush isn't Gary, as Nate thinks, but the Kaupe in the Time Bureau's prison!
Every horror movie based around killer dolls (particularly Child's Play, which is specifically referenced by Sara), The Shape of Water (woman employed in a lab falls for a beast-man), Doctor Who (the concept of fixed points in time) and the comic series Constantine The Hellblazer (Neron vs. John Constantine, character of Desmond resembles John's boyfriend, Oliver.)
Cheesy as it may be to say, Matt Ryan is utterly magical as John Constantine and there's a special place in Hell for the NBC Executives who canceled Constantine.
The practical effects for the various killer dolls are nicely done. The direction for making them menacing is also nicely handled.
Trivia Of Tomorrow
Marie Laveau.- the famous Voodoo Queen of New Orleans - is a notable and controversial figure in American history. Ignoring the question of whether or not she had true magical powers, she was still a woman of power and influence at a time when women of African and Native ancestry had little influence on the society of the time.
The dark force that is after John is revealed to be a demon named Neron. Neron is one of the major players in the Hell of the DC Comics Universe. First appearing in Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995) Neron was a Lord of Hell who delighted in Faustian bargains, granting mortals when they wished for in exchange for their souls, but usually with an ironic consequence. For instance, he granted the super-villain Copperhead's wish to be transformed into a true man-snake hybrid, but also gave him a debilitating weakness to cold temperatures that limited his effectiveness.
Neron and John Constantine crossed paths in "The Art of the Deal" - the second volume of the Constantine the Hellblazer comic book. Here, Neron tried to buy John's help in securing the soul of every human in New York City. Much as in this episode, Neron tried to get at John through his boyfriend, a bartender and father of two named Oliver.
Actor Paul Rubens - best known for creating and playing the character of Pee Wee Herman - provides the voice of the Dybbuk.
John makes reference to a triumvirate that rules Hell and how Neron wanted his help in overthrowing it. The concept of a triumvirate of demons ruling the Hell of the DC Comics universe was first revealed in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman.
Ray is able to grow a mustache overnight thanks to Gideon stimulating his hair follicles.
Saint Marron is the patron saint of runaway slaves.
Desmond had a medallion of Saint Marron with a protection spell on it, which he gave to John. The medallion is revealed to have been blessed by Marie Lavaeu herself, who was Desmond's great-great-grandmother.
Marie Laveau casts a spell of clairvoyance to reveal how John acquired her medallion and learns all about his relationship with Desmond.
Marie Laveau seems to cast some kind of spell of command on John, forcing him to save Desmond.
According to Hebrew mythology (and Charlie) a Dybbuk is a hostile spirit with no body - usually the ghost of a wicked person who refused to rest after death.
Charlie's shapeshifting powers make her effectively immortal, as her cells are reborn every time she changes shape.
(John is walking down a street, somehow blending in despite his lack of appropriate costume. He is approached by a man in a white suit.)
Man: Monsieur Constantine? Would you come with me, please?
John: (chuckling) Yeah, I'm not really in the habit of going home with strangers, mate. At least not receltly.
(The man suddenly steps to one side to block John's path and blows some kind of purple dust into his face.)
John: Ugh. Not again.
(John passes out.)
(Marie Laveau discovers that John possess a protective amulet of Saint Marron - the patron of runaway slaves - which she made.)
Marie Laveau: (angrily) Now what do you know about bondage, mon cher?
John: Buy me a pint at the local pub and I'll tell you all about it, love.
(Nate is trying to determine if Mona likes Gary. Mona is talking about the Kaupe.)
Mona: I'm afraid people would think it was weird. I mean... that hair.
Nate: Well, he just needs the right product.
Mona: (biting her lip) What about the man meat?
Nate: (taken aback) Well, uh- what about it?
Mona: I think he's, you know - (whispering) had some?
Nate: It wouldn't surprise me. I mean, it's 2018. I don't judge.
John: (To Zari and Charlie) Here's one thing you need to understand, is that I don't go in for all that love crap. Romance is for little girls crying into their pillows, not for a devious tosser like me who knows the score. But then six months ago, I met him. Desmond. And that first night was like a second line had marched into my useless heart and breathed some life into it again. Desmond knew who I was. Exactly what I'd done. And he didn't care. So I was all in.
Sara: Ava, you are my love, and Mick, you are my family, and it would mean the world to me if both of you would try to get along. Please. So I was thinking maybe you two could find some common ground. For example Ava, you love to read. Mick here is an author.
Ava: Oh. Well, that's something. Though I would be shocked if his novel wasn't sexist and derivative.
Mick: It is.
Sara: Okay, well... Mick, you love to eat. Ava is a fantastic baker. She makes one mean snickerdoodle.
Mick: Fancy sugar cookies.
Ava: (haughtily) Snickerdoodles are actually completely different. It's a cream of tartar base, but-
Mick: Garbage cookies.
Ava: That's rich, coming from a man who's so lacking in personal hygiene that he had to resort to sleeping with a three-breasted alien sex toy.
Mick: Well, at least Garima isn't a clone.
(The mother of all uncomfortable silences settles upon the room.)
Ava: Only I get to use the C word.
Sara: Too far, Mick. Too far.
Mick: Why do you get to have a fake girlfriend and I don't?
(Mick nods to Ava and excuses himself.)
Zari: Let me get this straight. You helped John risk a catastrophic rupture to history because you're afraid of aging?! Okay. Maybe John succeeds and you go on your immortal, merry way. But if he fails? I will personally make sure you spend the rest of your short, dreary, human life in the deepest, darkest prison cell the bureau has to offer.
John started a relationship with a bartender named Desmomd in 2018 New Orleans.
Desmond worked at a bar on Royal Street.
Charlie can still shapeshift parts of her body, causing one side of her face to swell up grotesquely.
Charlie says that she survived in the prison dimension by trading favors with the other inmates.
Charlie tries to bargain with John to undo the spell he cast to trap her in one shape. John refuses.
Mick is still using Brigid's book from 405 to bring Garima to life. He apparently stole it from John's chest.
Garima can only speak one word - "beer."
Sara is allowing Mick to keep the book because having Garima around makes him happy.
Ray has grown a mustache because Nora said in one of her letters to him that she liked men with mustaches.
Zari is enjoying a cereal called Big Easy-Os. The pieces taste like tiny beignets. According to Ray, their sugar content is lethal.
The back of the Big Easy-O's box has a trivia question about the most prolific serial killer in American history. It says the answer is Marie Laveau.
Serial killer trivia is one of Ava's hobbies. She says that officially Ted Bundy had the highest kill count of any American serial killer, but she personally thinks John Wayne Gacy killed more people than he ever confessed to killing or was convicted of killing.
Mona is knocked off her bike by a Time Bureau employee opening his car door into her. He complains of her denting his door and says he expects her to pay for it.
Mona's official title at the Time Bureau is Assistant Coordinator of Creature Upkeep.
Gary attempts to flirt with Mona using the techniques he learned in a pick-up artist guide - extended eye-contact and negging. Nate tells him off for this and suggests he just ask her out directly. In the end, Nate refuses to ask her out for Gary, but does agree to try and confirm if she likes him or not.
Garry has PTSD flashbacks when the words "high-school" are said out-loud.
According to Gideon, all of Marie Lavveau's reported victims were wealthy blonde women who were stabbed to death inside their locked bedrooms.
Ava recognizes this as the MO of a serial killed dubbed "Mike The Spike."
Ava confiscates The Book of Brigid on behalf of The Time Bureau.
The killer's first victim was a woman name Didi Charbonnet.
John, Charlie and Zari go to interview Marie Laveau.
Sara, Mick, Ava and Ray go to protect Didi Charbonnet.
According to Charlie, New Orleans is the best city in the world after London.
John is abducted by one of Marie Laveau's followers because she sensed he possessed something that belonged to her.
The something is revealed to be a medallion of Saint Marron, the patron saint of runaway slaves, blessed with a spell of protection.
The medallion is revealed to have been passed down Marie Laveau's line, eventually coming to her great-great-grandson, Desmond, who gave the medallion to John in 2018.
John agreed to take the medallion from Desmond, but only if he agreed to get out of town while John faced a particularly nasty demon.
John refuses to wear his communications device in the field. However, knowing this, Sara had Gideon fabricate tracking devices into John's underwear.
John reveals that Desmond was collateral damage in his battle with a demon called Neron.
Desmond is the last of Marie Laveau's line in the future.
Marie Laveau says that she sensed a Dybbuk from another time in New Orleans, along with John.
The Dybbuk is revealed to have taken possession of a doll in Didi Charbonnet's home. Mick Rory is able to defeat it by setting the doll on fire.
Mona has taken to venting about her problems to the Kaupe.
Mona notices that the Kaupe has a wound on his shoulders.
John and Charlie take the jump ship to five months earlier, the night John met Desmond. John reasons that if Charlie can stop his past self from meeting Desmond, that will stop John from joining the Legends (something he only did because of his guilt over Desmond's fate) and that will mean John won't have been there to cast the spell that removed Charlie's shape-shifting powers in 703.
Sara straps down the burned remains of the doll, being savvy enough in the ways of horror movies to know the dolls always come back.
Ava complains about Rory robbing the Charbonnet house after they destroyed the doll holding the Dybbuk.
John's memories change. He now remembers meeting Desmond a few days after they originally met at the bar Desmond worked at. They still started a relationship.
Zari catches Charlie and John in the act and brings them back to The Waverider to explain themselves.
John explains that he honestly fell in love with Desmond and they moved in together six months earlier.
John further explains that a demon called Neron came into possession of John's soul and attempted to use it to force John to help him to overthrow the Satanic Triumvirate that rules Hell. John refused.
John knew Neron would try to use Desmond against him and begged Desmond to get away from him. John says Desmond was dragged to Hell by Neron after giving John his protective medallion.
Zari says that some points are time are fixed and can't be altered. She thinks John and Desmond meeting might be one of those points.
Zari says she will use her program to try and find a loophole they can use to save Desmond's life without disrupting the timeline.
Mona tries to use a Hawaiian phrase book to speak to the Kaupe. It tells her his name is Konane.
The Kaupe tries to hide Mona when it senses someone coming to his cell and the alarms go off.
The Dybbuk escapes from the burned doll form and roams The Waverider, looking for something else it can take over.
John reasons that if his meeting Desmond if a fixed point in time, then he has to go back in time to after they met and break off their relationship before Neron took him.
The Dybbuk eventually takes over the doll of Martin Stein which Leo Snart made in 309. (Amusingly, the doll is kept in a container labeled 309)
Sara makes dinner for herself, Ava and Mick in a bid to find some common ground. It does not go well.
John goes back to 2018 using a spell.
Charlie told John about the trackers in his underwear so he is now going commando.
Charlie has a reason for wanting to get her shape-shifting powers back beyond missing them. She reveals to Zari that every time she shape-shifts, her cells refresh and she is essentially reborn. So long as she can keep changing, she doesn't really age. Locked in a regular human form, she can only live as long as an ordinary human.
The Kaupe is abducted by two agents in black clothing, one of whom is the man who insisted Mona pay for denting the car door he hit her with.
The Dybbuk cuts the power to Gideon.
Zari and Charlie go after John in the jump ship.
John reveals that Neron didn't send Desmond to Hell - John did when he did a spell to trap Neron in Hell. Unbeknownst to John, Desmond went behind his back and made a deal with Neron to sell him his soul in exchange for John's safety. When John banished Neron, Desmond went with him.
John says that Neron is out to gather more souls to gain power for his coup attempt and that he accidentally sacrificed the man he loved only to buy New Orleans a little more time.
Ava determines that the Dybbuk is Mike The Spike.
Mona attempts to stand up to the agents taking the Kaupe. It goes berserk when the men try to hurt Mona and slashes her stomach when she tries to stop it from eating one of the agents.
The Kaupe seems to show remorse when it sees it hurt Mona and flees the garage.
After John gets Desmond to leave him, the medallion of Saint Marron vanishes from his hand and a green time wave expands out from his apartment. Afterward, the light of New Orleans becomes tinged red.
While the power was out, Ray accidentally cut off half his mustache.
Mona, Ava, Sara, Ray, Mick and the puppet Stein all become frozen in time as the time-wave hits them.
After passing through the time wave, Charlie gets her shape-shifting powers back and Zari is transformed into a cat with her totem now on her collar.
New Orleans - 2018
New Orleans - 1856
Time Bureau HQ - Washington DC - 2018
The Bottom Line
Wonderful. Somehow, the killer doll manages to be the weakest subplot of the episode yet it's still well-handled. Somehow, the comedy and slapstick doesn't take away from the tragedy of John's failed romance and his efforts to try and save the only man he ever loved. All the elements that shouldn't work together somehow form a glorious gestalt. It will be interesting to see how this all pays off during next week's finale.