Friday, April 19, 2019

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 4, Episode 11 - Séance and Sensibility

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


When Mona discovers that her favorite writer of all time, Jane Austen, is at the center of a potential magical catastrophe, she takes Sara, Zari and Charlie with her on a mission to 1809. Back in the present, Constantine and Mick look into the supernatural weirdness around Hank Heywood's wake, as Ray and Nora wind up in close quarters, when Ray decides to hide Nora in his room while trying to prove her innocence.


The novels of Jane Austen. The Incredible Hulk (Mona now has a seperate personality when she transforms who thinks Mona is weak) Bollywood musicals. Jurassic World (Hank's ill-advised plan for a monster theme park.)


Who knew Tala Ashe could sing so well?

It's hard to pick one great moment from this, but Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford's non-singing duet and dance was my favorite.


The script is full of a rare degree of wit, with some clever segues between the scenes and some truly amusing dialogue.

The whole musical number is beautiful. The lyrics. The dancing. The costumes. And it's funny to boot!

Trivia Of Tomorrow

When Ray realizes Sara is taking a call about a mission, he says :"Legends Assemble!"  This is a clear nod to the catch-phrase of Marvel Comics' Avengers.

Zari makes mention of the Bechdel Test as the other ladies on the team are giving her a hard time about Nate. The Bechdel Test is named for cartoonist Allison Bechdel, whose comic Dykes To Watch Out For first suggested that one could determine if a film was sexist or not based on three criteria - it must have at least two female characters, it must have a scene where these two characters talk to each other and this conversation must be about something besides men.


John notes that one of the prayers Nate's aunt is reciting is specifically meant to ward off evil spirits during a wake.

John also notes that Nate's family observes the custom of covering mirrors during a time of mourning. There are many superstitions in many cultures for why this is done, from denying entry to evil spirits to preventing the mirror from becoming cursed should it catch an image of the deceased once the body is moved. Practically, it is done so that the mourners will not be concerned about their appearance and preen when they should be thinking of the deceased.

Kamadeva (or simply Kama) is the Hindu God of Love. In this case, Love meaning lust or desire rather than chaste, romantic love.

As Mona notes, the Kama Sutra (an ancient Hindu text on finding love and maintaining a successful romantic life) is named after Kamadeva, though the book is better remembered today for its sexual instructions than for its spiritual instruction on achieving oneness with another soul through true love.

The ashes of Kamadeva have the power to inspire a person to act on their existing desire. If they are asleep, this will result in their having an erotic dream. Based on the fact that Sara dreams of Ava and Mona of the Kaupe, it seems these dreams are inclined to be based on whoever that person is most devoted to emotionally. Otherwise, they will dream of someone they are attracted to, as with Charlie's dream of David Bowie. If they are with the object of their affection (as in the case of Ray and Nora) they will act upon the impulse.

Sanjay speaks of having gathered up Kamadeva's ashes after he was immolated by Shiva. This is a reference to one of the key legends regarding Kamadeva, who it is said allowed himself to be consumed by Shiva's anger after awakening Shiva from his meditations. This is said to have spread love throughout all living things as Kamadeva's physical essence was destroyed and this, in turn, inspired Shiva to mate with the goddess Pravati, resulting in the birth of a prophecized god who was able to slay the demon Tarakasura, who it was said could only die at the hands of a son of Shiva. It is later said that Kamadeva was reincarnated as Pradyumna - another son of Shiva and one of the four avatars of Vishnu.

John knows a seance spell that allows him to summon a spirit into a living human body. In this case, he summons Hank Heywood into Mick Rory's body.

Dialogue Triumphs

John: You feel the energy in this room? It's like sitting on a keg of dynamite. You see, wakes are notorious soft spots where the supernatural meets the living world. See Nate's aunt? (gestures to a woman sitting by the casket) That particular prayer is to ward off evil spirits. And they've covered the mirrors, so the bad lads can't get in.
Ray: Well, that's creepy.
John: Yeah, well, creepy is my business.
(Suddenly, the lamp next to the covered mirror begins to flicker and an electric buzzing can be heard.)
John: (worried) And it looks like business is good.

(Nora contacts Ray through a mirror at the Heywood home during the wake.)
Ray: Nora? How how are you doing that?
Nora: It's a reflection spell. I can't hold it much longer.
Ray: (firmly) Well, good, because there's nothing you could possibly say that would make any difference. This time there will be no more second chances!
Nora: Ray! I didn't kill Nate's dad!
Ray: (breaking down instantly) Oh, thank God, you're innocent!
(Nora, despite herself, rolls her eyes.)

(Zari and Kamadeva are making out in the brig of the Waverider.  Suddenly, Nate is behind Zari, kissing the back of her neck as Kamadeva kisses the side of her face. Zari seems to enjoy it for a moment before looking up at the audience.)
Damn it. This is definitely a dream.

Zari: You shouldn't mess with people's dreams.
Sanjay: My powers don't create passion out of thin air. Whomever you dreamt about, you truly desire.
Zari: It doesn't mean I have to act on it. It's called impulse control.
Sanjay: You sound like a woman who has never let herself fall in love.
Zari: Where I'm from, love is a liability.
Sanjay: And yet a life without love is no life at all.

Jane Austen: (To Mona) May I offer you a bit of advice? My books advocate a partnership based on love and mutual respect, not on losing control.
(Cut To: Zari and Sanjay, spinning around in a courtyard, clearly losing control.)

Honestly, the whole musical number. But especially...

Nora: Ray, this music, - I think it's magical.
Ray: You're right. I want to express my feelings to you in verse.
Nora: Is that really necessary?
Ray: I had a dirty dream of you.
Nora: I'll bet mine was dirtier.
Nora: Why didn't you go and make a move?
Ray: I would have, if you'd been flirtier.
Ray: Okay. It's just complicated. If Nate knew, he'd be enraged.
Nora: I know, and I'm sorry, but my desire's been uncaged. Don't let this moment pass us by. It could be our only chance.
Ray: You're right. I need you now. Sorry, Nate and Captain Lance.

Dialogue Disasters

Wolfie: Mona is weak! Wolfie is strong!


Sara, Mick, John and Ray show up for Hank's funeral.

Zari says she can keep pretending to be Nate's girlfriend for however long it takes since Nate is afraid that the news of them fake-breaking up will upset his mother even more.

Ray feels strange about seeing Nate, since he and Nora were pen-pals and Nora has been blamed for Hank's death.

Nora contacts Ray through a mirror and tells her she is innocent.

Mona is now calling her beast-form Wolfie.

Charlie tries to trigger Mona's transformations using meat. She encourages Mona to embrace her new poer but Mona is trying to maintain her humanity.

Mona is still a vegetarian, despite her new power.

Mona and Charlie realize something happened to Jane Austen because the names of her heroines are disappearing from Mona's T-Shirt, which reads "Elinor & Elizabeth & Jane & Emma." By the time she calls Sara, everyone but Emma has disappeared.

Gideon confirms this means that some magical fugitive had gotten to Jane Austen while she was attending a wedding in Bath in 1802 and that as a result she never wrote Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice.

Ray, Zari and Sara leave the wake early.

Ray says he will quarterback the mission from his bedroom.

Mona has developed an enhanced sense of smell because of her new powers. She claims to be able to smell Nate on Zari as well as her arousal.

Sara tells Zari about how Nate confessed his love for her after swallowing the truth bug in 410.

Zari is saved from being run over by a horse trying to retrieve Mona's bonnet by a handsome coachman.

Zari, Sara, Mona and Charlie wind up seating behind Jane Austen at the wedding. To Mona's horror, Jane is cynical about love and declares that the groom is desirable because of his wealth.

The wedding breaks down after the bride confessed her love for a scullery maid and the groom confesses his love for the bride's mother. The entire party erupts into an orgy as various people begin kissing regardless of propriety, age or gender.

Ray sneaks Mona onto the Waverider and plots to hide her in his room.

Charlie determines that the wedding was the second of two lust-outbreaks in Bath in 1802.

Mona and Sara go to interview Jane Austen, figuring if anyone noticed a newcomer to town it would be here, as Zari goes to chat with the coachman and see if he or any servants have noticed anything amiss.

Jane Austen says that everyone in Bath has been acting strangely since the arrival of Lord Remmington a week earlier.

John has a vision of Hank's soul screaming after he touches a mirror.

Sara and Mona determine that Lord Remmington is a drunken lout and that the man all the young ladies are swooning over is his coachman.

The coachman claims to be Kamadeva - The Hindu God of Love.

Zari is the first woman to ever resist Kamadeva's advances, according to Kamadeva This makes him more enamored of her.

By the time "Kamadeva" is locked up on the ship, the name "Emma" has disappeared completely from Mona's T-shirt.

Ray has a miniature castle with toy knights in his bedroom.

Nora has no problem with stripping down in front of Ray.

Ray is scared to so much as touch Nora.

Ray apparently has the ability to sleep anywhere and snores.

Nate attends to use his toast to burn his father as the liar and thief that he apparently was.

John says that Hank's spirit is desperately trying to stay attached to the mortal realm and he wants Nate to help him hold a seance to see what he has to say.  Nate refuses, saying he has no interest in anything Hank has to say at this point.

"Kamadeva" is able to use his influence to influence to push Ray to try and seduce Nora.

Sara has an erotic dream of Ava.

Charlie has an erotic dream about David Bowie.

Mona dreams of the Kaupe, but her expression suggests nothing sexual happened.

Zari has a dream about Kamadeva and Nate at the same time.

Mona changes into Wolfie after she becomes upset when Zari says that romance isn't real and Mona takes it as another insult of her romantic nature.

Wolfie changes back to Mona when Jane Austen says she does believe in love - so much so that she refused the only proposal she ever got because the man was a simpleton who didn't read anything but sermons.

Kamadeva reveals himself to be Sanjay - a mortal man who gathered up the ashes of Kamadeva after he was immolated by Shiva. He says the ashes gave him powers beyond imagining apart from inspiring lust, including some degree of eternal youth and immortality.

Zari decides to give herself over completely to Sanjay's powers.

Nate doesn't quite unload on Hank in his toast but he does say he was a workaholic who never took a day off, so he could finally rest in peace.

Nate's mom tells a story about how they planned for a year to go to Disney World as a family when Nate was a kid, but now Nate had to go to the hospital because of his hemophilia. Hank responded to this by renting a Mickey Mouse costume, going to the hospital to visit Nate and then visiting every other sick kid there and giving them a personal visit from Mickey Mouse. She says that Nate was not perfect but that at his best he could make people believe in magic.

Jane Austen explains to Mona that she decided to stop writing because her work was meant to satirize the manners of her society. What that society having lost all sense of decorum, coupled with a steady stream of rejection letters, she's decided there's no point in continuing.

Sanjay admits to having married 1000 times since he go Kamadeva's powers.

John performs a seance and channels Hank Heywood into Mick Rory's body to ask why he's so upset.

Hank tells John about how he made a mistake and made a bargain with a man - unlimited funding and all he had to do was give him access to the magical creatures in the Time Bureau. He didn't realize the man was a demon until after his death. He tells John the demon's name is Neron.

Nate discovers a secret passageway in his father's house, triggered by pulling a book on Disneyland. This leads into a secret study full of various files and a video camera, containing a file of Hank asking for investors to help him create a theme park full of magical creatures like the one Nate made a drawing of when he was a kid, called Heyworld.

Nate realizes his father wasn't involved in torturing the magical creatures - he was trying to make his son's childhood dream come true to make up for all the time he lost with Nate.

Neron reveals himself to John and taunts him - first as John's reflection and then as Desmond and then in his true form.


Washington DC - 2018
Bath, England - 1802

The Bottom Line

Honestly, the story is all over the place and the important plot details with Hank and John all get rushed in the final segment. The resolution with Jane Austen is a bit pat (all it takes to restore the timeline is one werewolf fangirl telling Jane she'll be a success) and we never to find out what the Legends do with Sanjay. Still, for that musical number and all the comedy bits that work... all is forgiven.

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