With the Time Bureau now under Gary Green's control, Ava and Sara enact a bold plan to take it back. When the rest of the team winds up at the mercy of Tabitha, Zari and Charlie join forces to figure out what Neron is up to in Ray Palmer's body. And John Constantine faces a difficult choice, as he is given a chance to escape from Hell but can't take everyone he wants to save with him.
The Collector by John Fowles (lead character a parallel of Gary), the Hellblazer comics of Jamie Delano (the idea of a stock market for souls), Alan Moore's Swamp Thing (the general vision of Hell), Neil Gaiman's The Sandman (the idea of Hell being run by a triumvirate), Secret Origins (vol. 2) #48 (Depicted Hell as being ruled by a triumvirate consisting of Lucifer, Belial and Azazel), King Kong (Mona's transformation spooking the crowd mirrors King Kong going berserk while on display) and the Hellblazer comics of Garth Ennis (the demon Calibraxis,the idea of John Constantine having the three most powerful demons in Hell fighting over his soul)
For a strip club in Hell, the dancers in the Flesh Factory are modestly dressed and seem more like contortionists than exotic dancers. (Then again, a strip club where the dancers don't strip or dance provocatively seems wholly appropriate as a place to torment the lustful in Hell.)
It is hard to single anyone out given how the whole ensemble is utilized. Still, we'll give the MVP award to Adam Tsekhman who somehow manages to make Gary somewhat sympathetic even as he's indulging in some truly petty acts of evil... which makes the reveal that he's intentionally trying to do a bad job of playing the bad guy all the funnier. Even his making Sara and Ava dance for him - something which SHOULD be creepy as Hell (pun intended) - manages to be more comedic than terrifying, as if this truly were the worst thing he could think to do as a bad guy.
The set design for Hell is fantastic, as are the camera tricks used to make the whole experience of traversing it and speaking with demons unsettling and unnerving.
Trivia Of Tomorrow
The novel Gary chooses for his book club to read is shown to be The Collector by Neil LaChance. The description of the book, however, seems to match that of The Collector by John Fowles - a novel about a socially awkward butterfly collector who abducts a young woman in the hopes that she will fall in love with him. It seems likely the author of the book was changed due to the characters in the episode who read it saying the book is "not very good."
The Hell of the DC Comics universe is diverse and ever changing. Some aspects of it mirror the traditional view, with pits of fire and many torture chambers. Hell also contains urban areas which mirror places in the real world. The modern vision of Hell in the DC Universe was conceived by Alan Moore and introduced during his run on Swamp Thing. It is said in Neil Gaiman's Sandman that the only people who go to Hell are those who honestly believe they deserve to go there, but this does not seem to be wholly accurate as innocents can be held captive in Hell against their will.
The Arrowverse version of Hell is an urban dystopia where it always night, what light that exists is green and sickly, save for the red fire pits in the distance.
At one point John is menaced by a biker demon with a beard, who he once sent to Hell, named Calibraxis. In Garth Ennis' run on Hellblazer, Calibraxis.was the name of a demon who claimed to be responsible for possessing a man and committing the murders later attributed to Jack The Ripper. John was responsible for exorcising Calibraxis from an unnamed member of the British Royal family.
John asks a demon named Masher how Neron's name is trading. The idea of Hell having a stock-market was introduced during the Hellblazer run of Jamie Delano, with mortals being able to bank on better bargains for selling their soul depending on the state of the market. It was also possible for demons to trade souls to one another in exchange for various favors and demons being able to encourage investment in their name as part of various schemes to acquire a mass of souls in exchange for a small initial investment by other demons. This is because souls are also used by demons to power their magic as well as a form of currency and status.
John demands to be taken before a body known as The Triumvirate. In the DC Comics and Vertigo universes, Hell has been depicted as being ruled by a series of triumvirates. The first triumvirate was revealed in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman and consisted of the fallen angel Lucifer, the demon Azazel, and Beelzebub, Lord of Flies.
A separate triumvirate was revealed in Garth Ennis' run on Hellblazer. This was later retconned as being the first triumvirate of Hell. It consisted of three demonic beings known as the First of the Fallen, the Second of the Fallen and the Third of the Fallen. When Lucifer fell from Heaven, he took over the rulership of Hell from them and served as sole ruler until a civil war in Hell, as seen in the pages of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing.
For a time following this civl war, Hell was ruled by a Second Triumvirate, which consisted of The Demon Etrigan, Rann Va Dath of the Pit and Abaddon the Destroyer. They acted as an interim government until the establishment of The Third Triumvirate. ruled by Lucifer, Azazel and Beelzebub. After Lucifer abandoned the throne of Hell in the The Sandman: Seasons of Mist, the original First Triumvirate took over the rulership of Hell, even as the day-to-day operations were overseen by the angels Duma and Remiel. This changed leading into the Lucifer monthly comic by Mike Carey, after John Constantine was able to depower the First of the Fallen, who gave up ruling Hell to focus on gaining revenge on John.
To further confuse matters, a Stanley And His Monster story in Secret Origins (vol. 2) #48 (April 1990) revealed another Triumvirate, consisting of Lucifer, Belial and Azazel. It is believed that Belial was used in place of Beelzebub due to a research error.
The Hell of the Arrowverse is revealed to be ruled by three demons - Satan (First of the Fallen), Belial and Beelzebub.All three appear as old men in business suits
The First of the Fallen is considered to be the arch-enemy of John Constantine in the Hellblazer series. It is unclear if the Arrowverse version and John enjoy a totally similar relationship.
In the Hell of the Vertigo universe, Satan is a title rather than an individual demon or fallen angel, the name coming from the Hebrew word for "adversary." While originally bestowed upon the ruler of Hell, the title of Satan now seems to be bestowed upon whichever member of the Triumvirate acts as the official military leader of Hell's armies. Lucifer answered to the title of Satan in several Vertigo comics before he renounced his throne.
The flashback scenes of John losing Astra to a demon as well as the scenes as John is sent to his room in Hell are taken from the original Constantine show, intercut with new footage of the new actress playing Astra as a young girl.
It is revealed that Astra has become a demon in the service of Hell. In the DC Comics cosmology, it is possible for a mortal to become a demon. Typically this happens when an extremely evil human is promoted, having impressed some elder demon into giving a fraction of its power to a particularly inventive mortal sinner. Presumably a mortal who had acquired multiple souls could also gain power through playing the demonic stock market or some other form of gambling.
According to Charlie, Ogres are big softies who wouldn't hurt a fly.
Article 27 of the Time Bureau Creed says that no supervisor will show favoritism towards a fellow employee - a statue Gary says Ava violated by starting a book club that he wasn't invited to be a part of.
Hell is ruled by a triumvirate of demons, made up of Satan (First of the Fallen), Belial and Beelzebub.
The beings known as Fairy Godmothers were all witches who were cursed to only be able to use their magic to do the bidding of others.
A free witch can takeover the curse of a Fairy Godmother by taking her wand.
It is possible for a human to become a demon after having been warped by Hell and embracing their corruption.
(The Legends watch Neron's ad for PalmerX 2019)
Nate: I don't care if Neron's wearing my best friend's face. I want to punch him.
Mick: Get in line.
(We see a montage of the various Legends wielding various weapons. The line ends with Zari, distastefully holding a bandoleer of grenades.)
Zari: This seems like overkill.
(Sara tells the rest of the team to execute Plan B over the comms.)
Zari: What's Plan B?
Mick: I only listen for my name.
Nate: I assume it's like Plan A, but, you know, with less people.
Demon: You're dead, demon hunter!
John: I was going to be a demon proctologist, but the pay wasn't as good.
John: I invoke a parlay. I demand to speak to the Triumvirate!
Calibraxis: I'm a demon, not a pirate, John. I thought you understood the rules.
John: Well, you little maggot, as long as I'm alive, then the Triumvirate can pass me around like a little sparrow amongst the cats. But as soon as I die, you dim-witted dick, then my soul belongs to Neron, and then the Triumvirate lose out on all the tasty little bits of torture that they've got planned for me. So you've got two choices: You can either kill me and royally piss off the old bags that run this place, or take me to speak with the Triumvirate.
Ava: You know what, Gary? It's a little hard to feel sorry for you when you're holding us all hostage.
Gary: You're not getting it. This whole time Tabitha has been trying to use me to hurt you.
(sadly) All I wished was for us to hang out! I was trying to protect you. (shrugs) I get it. I'm not cool.
But I don't deserve to be treated like a joke. (voice becoming more sinister) So, now... now the joke's on you.
Charlie: If I die, I'm going to come back and haunt you!
Zari: I would love a ghost friend.
(Charlie, disguised as a Time Bureau Agent, escorts a cuffed Zari into the Bureau.)
Zari: Stick to the plan, Charlie.
Zari: Stick to the plan, Charlie.
Charlie: You mean the plan where I need to rely on my shoddy shape-shifting to portal creatures one by one out of their cells and on to the Waverider, where Gary may or may not wish them to Kingdom Com?
Zari: Yep. That plan.
Sara: Gary, when Rip first recruited the Legends, he picked the people that were insignificant to history - the original losers. You don't have to be cool to be a Legend. And maybe we forgot that somewhere along the way, but...you are one of us.
(Charlie shapeshifts into Tabitha and makes a break down the hallway. Unfortunately, Neron sees her.)
Neron: Oh, my love! My love!
Neron: Oh, my love! My love!
(Charlie stops and laughs with Neron.)
Neron: Uh, still no luck with Nora?
Neron: Uh, still no luck with Nora?
Charlie: (sadly) No.
Neron: Oh. Well, she'll take your curse soon. After all, you are very convincing.
(Neron leans in for a kiss, but Charlie leans backwards to avoid it.)
Charlie: Well, I better head back. Evil deeds to do and all that.
(As Charlie hurries off Neron exhales into his hand and smells his breath, shuddering a bit.)
Neron: Hmm. No.
Nora: (as she is sucked into the portal to Hell) Gary, you dick!
A young Zari is revealed to still be living just outside Washington DC in the year 2019, as in 401. Her mother is currently pregnant with her younger brother, Behrad.
Neron, as Ray Palmer, informs people of the existence of monsters through televised ads promoting a technology conference called PalmerX 2019, where he promises to unveil a solution to the monster problem.
Nora Darhk is still inside Time Bureau HQ, fighting her way through the brainwashed Time Agents while hiding in the ducts.
Gary has used Tabitha's powers to redecorate his office and give himself three nipples.
According to Tabitha, John Constantine has banished thousands of demons back to Hell in his life.
Neron tells Mona of his intent to give her a special role in his plan.
Gary complains that the Legends never invited him to their pizza parties or their Dungeons and Dragons games.
Gary wishes to be part of Ava, Nora and Sara's book club, magically teleporting them into his office.
The book Gary selects for his book club is The Collector by Neil LaChance.
Gary wishes for the rest of the book club to be forced to read the book super quickly so they can discuss it.
Without Sara and Ava, the rest of the Legends decide to infiltrate PalmerX 2019 and figure out Neron's plan.
John finds out that half the demons in Hell have found out he's been sent to Hell and are looking for him.
Gary wishes to be Captain of the Waverider. Tabitha sends him, Ava and Sara to the ship.
Tabitha allows Nora to remain with her, saying she has no quarrel with Nora as she wasn't part of the group of people who sent her to Hell.
Tabitha was in Hell for 327 years.
Tabitha says that Neron rescued her in Hell and won her heart.
Tabitha says that Neron is much older than her.
Tabitha says that she thinks she and Nora might have been friends in another life.
Tabitha sends Nora to PalmerX 2019 in a fancy gown to act as "Ray's" armcandy.
Neron threatens to kill Mona if Nora turns on him.
Neron tells Nora that her father is going stark raving mad in the deepest pits of Hell.
Neron says that he's keeping Nora around as his "girlfriend" because he figured the best revenge possible for her trying to kill him was to give her a front-row seat to everything he's about to do while wearing the body of the man she loves.
Neron, posing as Ray, claims to have spent the last two years hunting magical creatures around the world and developing an exoskeleton that will let him fight them. He also unveils an app he calls Eyes, which will allow people to report monster sightings to him in real time.
John goes to a demonic strip club called the Flesh Factory in search of a soul broker called Masher.
Masher says that Neron's stock is about to rise, due to a highly anticipated acquirement of a massive soul collection on Earth. This suggests that Neron is about to make a power play for the throne of Hell.
Masher was sent back to Hell by John, but is far more forgiving about it than most demons.
John is confronted by a demon named Calibraxis, whom he convinces to take him before the Triumvirate that rules Hell.
Neron angers Mona, forcing Wolfie to come out before a crowd, revealing the world's first real werewolf.
Mick and Nate are teleported back to the Waverider to be part of Gary's new crew of Legends.
Zari uses her wind bracelet to save herself from the mob, leading to Neron calling her a witch.
Gary starts wearing Nate's old costume, which he calls the Kid Steel suit.
Only 2000 people signup for the Eyes App after PalmerX 2019. It is flushed out of the news cycle by Kanye West releasing a surprise album and a video of a cat getting a bath.
Neron plans to arrange a monster attack on the Capitol.
Tabitha places Nora in the same sell as a wounded Mona.
Tabitha tells Nora that she thinks they can help each other - something she wants to do as a fellow witch.
Zari takes Charlie to her childhood home to hideout.
According to Zari, ARGUS institutes a fascist government in the United States in 2021 to better control metahumans.
Zari discovers that the Terms of Service for the Eyes app contain a clause that give Neron the soul of anyone who downloads and uses the app.
After the Legends annoy him by condescending to him, Gary wishes for Mick to be turned into a big baby, Nate to be forced to relive Gary's high-school years (with braces, acne and a frizzy mullet) and for Sara and Ava to be forced to dance for his amusement.
Zari accidentally leaves the backpack containing the dragon egg in her childhood home when she and Charlie leave. It is found by her younger self.
John bargains with the Triumvirate that rules Hell, promising them that he will stop Neron's plans to take over Hell in exchange for their letting him leave Hell with Ray's soul.
The Triumvirate forces John to make a choice between Ray and Astra - the girl he accidentally condemned to Hell. John chooses Astra.
Gary is a fan of the game Settlers of Cattan.
Tabitha tells Nora that she'd be able to heal the dying Mona with her powers and that all she has to do is take Tabitha's wand.
This is revealed to be a trick, freeing Tabitha of her curse and trapping Nora as Gary's fairy godmother.
Zari and Charlie enter into the Time Bureau, with Zari posing as a prisoner and Charlie as a time agent.
Charlie's cover is blown when the witchy Tabitha finds Neron just a few minutes after Neron saw Charlie disguised as fairy godmother Tabitha.
Zari opens all the cells in the Time Bureau as Charlie sets a Time Corridor portal into the Waverider at the end of the detention level's main hallway.
Gary wishes for his fairy godmother to rescue John and Ray from Hell, not knowing that Nora is now his fairy godmother.
Charlie is able to free all of the magical creatures and rescue Mona, though she's left trapped in Mona's cell.
Neron wants to kill Charlie but Tabitha says they can use Charlie's powers to create whatever magical monsters they want for his attack on the Capitol.
John discovers that Astra's time in Hell has turned her into a demon. She refuses to go back to Earth, breaking John's deal with the Triumvirate, who decided it is more fun to torture John and that they can deal with Neron themselves.
When we last see John, he is trapped in a cell, with Calibraxis advancing on him with a curved blade. We hear the sound of flesh being cut and a scream after things go to black.
It is revealed that the dragon egg is hatching in a young Zari's bedroom.
Zari Tomaz's Childhood Home - Outside Washington DC - 2019
Time Bureau HQ - Washington DC - 2019
PalmerX 2019 - Washington DC - 2019
Gary leads his team of Legends in stopping a fairy from disrupting an episode of The Great British Bake Off.
The Bottom Line
A decent but not great episode which sets the stage for the season finale well enough. It seems like the whole cast is stretched too thin, but there are about a dozen players to keep track of. Still, there's a lot of solid ideas here and the show moves between them quickly enough that it doesn't seem overwhelming.