Monday, March 9, 2020

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 5, Episode 6 - Mortal Khanbat

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


As John faces a painful death from lung cancer and tries to pull every trick he can to avoid his fate (while giving Gary and Ray a hard time in the process), the rest of the Legends head to Hong Kong  in 1997, where the Encore Genghis Khan is getting ready to build a new empire... with scooter-riding Triad gangsters!


1990s Hong Kong action movies (particularly the work of John Woo), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Nate's yelling "Khan!") Greek mythology and Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits.



It's a subtle thing, but Courtney Ford and Brandon Routh manage to convey their characters' unhappiness with Nora's job keeping them apart with just two lines and one look.

Matt Ryan delivers his finest performance as John Constantine ever and it's a shame we'll probably never get a direct adaptation of the excellent Dangerous Habits. This


Caity Lotz proves to be as skilled a director as she is an actor, dancer, stuntwoman and choreopgrapher.

The production team does a fantastic job of capturing the feeling of a Hong Kong action movie in terms of the fight choreography. stunt-work, cinematography and set design.

The scene in which Genghis Khan appears writing a motorized scooter, leading a gang of biker Triad members on the same, is utterly ridiculous and yet filmed with a perfect sense of gravity, conveyed by the music and Behrad's reaction to the new horde.

Trivia Of Tomorrow

This was the first episode directed by Sara Lance actress Caity Lotz.

Charlie is revealed to be Clotho; one of the three Fates. In the Vertigo Universe encompassing the original Hellblazer comics and The Sandman,The Fates are also known as The Furies, The Graces, The Hecatae; the Erinyes; the Three Witches; the Three-in-One; Mut; Moirai; Norns; Eumenides; Parcae; Fortuna; the Charities or The Kindly Ones. Whatever the name, they were a trio of witches who hosted the horror comic The Witching Hour and made appearances in various Wonder Woman comics. Sometimes they would tell the future. Other times, as in The Sandman: The Kindly Ones, they might act as the agents of vengeance against those who spilled the blood of their family.

Nate notes at one point that Genghis Khan was a successful general because of how quickly he adapted new technologies and developed masterful strategies using those technologies, such as developing cavalry. While this is used to explain how Genghis Khan was able to learn how to drive a motorcycle so easily or how he could adapt to using scooters instead of horses to navigate the notoriously bad traffic of Hong Kong. it is an accurate assessment of Genghis Khan's genius as a military leader.

A dove flies behind Genghis Khan in slow motion as he makes his entrance. This is a tribute to filmmaker John Woo, who used the same effect as a trademark in his films.

At one point, John angrily offers himself to the archangel Gabriel in exchange for a cure for his cancer. John did try to bargain with Gabriel directly when he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in the storyline Dangerous Habits. It didn't work then either, but Gabriel was a bit more direct in telling John off.

Caity Lotz revealed the full text of John Constantine's will in a post on Twitter. There are several Easter Eggs referring to the Constantine series and other DC Comics characters. The basic gist of the will is that Gary Green is to act as the executor and gets everything in John's house except for three specific items.

John bequeaths the Sword of Night to his Papa Midnight with the stipulation that he not be told what it is and that he must open the box containing it in public. In the comics, The Sword of Night is the traditional weapon of the Nightmaster and it charges whoever takes it up with the duty to protect the mystic pocket dimension of Myrra. It seems likely John hoped to take out his worst enemy by binding him into a magical role that would require him to be a hero.

John leaves the shards of the Black Diamond to Chas Chandler and asks him to guard them well. Chas Chandler was John's best friend and driver in the Constantine series. The Black Diamond is a cursed artifact that contains Eclipso, the one-time spirit of Vengeance.

The final note in the will asks Gary to return the Sacred Kusa to Nommo and to apologize for John having stolen it in the first place.  John did this in C104 but the victim of the theft was not identified in that episode. Nommo is likely a reference to Nommo Balewa, aka Doctor Mist.


Charlie is revealed to be Clotho - one of the three Fates of ancient Greek myth, who determined the destiny of mankind. It was Clotho's duty to spin the threads of people's lives into existence.

Ava has created a new program for Gideon called The Prognosticator which can pinpoint Encores before they can change the timeline. It detects a mysterious gangsters stealing drugs from the Hong Kong triads in 1997, just before the city was to be returned to the Chinese government by the British.

Nate has a new mechanized scooter he calls Scoots McGoots.

John uses foxglove, serpent's tongue and the hair of an albino in conjunction with a summoning circle to determine who is using harmful magic against him. He has had Gary prepare this potion for him before and it can safely be taken with a little honey to kill the taste.

Even fairy godmother magic cannot reverse tinkering with a soul chit, as Nora can't use her magic to heal John's lung cancer. Neither can the healing magic of a Puca.

John has a book which has a spell that can add years onto a man's life. One of the ingredients requires a medieval knight who isn't circumcised.

John's cane has a bulldog's head carved into the grip. It is capable of talking, but it is possible John was hallucinating this while drunk and sick from blood loss. John addresses the cane as "Bully."

Charlie cannot reveal her true form as a Fate because no mortal can comprehend the true form of a god.

John apparently has hellhounds guarding parts of his house and they must be fed regularly.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Ava and Nate run into the medical bay. They find John, soaked in blood, as Gary, Ray and Charlie try to take care of him.)
Nate: What the hell's going on?
Gideon: As you can see from his chest X-ray, Mr. Constantine has a very aggressive form of lung cancer. I'm afraid it's terminal.
(Everyone states in disbelief at the medical monitor. The stunned silence is broken by the sound of a lighter clinking open. Everyone turns to John on the medical chair, who is lighting  a cigarette.)
John: Well, there's no point in quitting now.

Genghis Khan: I have only one interest. Conquest. Surrender the Triad to me, and I will remake the globe.

(Genghis Khan, Charlie and Behrad are in a Mexican stand-off.)
Shoot him!
Behrad: He's immortal!
Charlie: And I'm not!

(Nora enters the room with a small girl; her current charge. John smiles and leans on his cane, trying his best to look open and friendly and... well, not like a blood-soaked con-artist sorcerer.)
Nora: Okay, Pippa. Can you wish our friend, John, healthy like we discussed?
Pippa: Yes, but I want something first.
Nora: (forced cheer) Pippa's made a lot of progress, but we're still working on a few challenges.
Gary: (trying to sound commanding and failing) Hey. The Master of the Dark Arts needs your help.
Pippa: Shut up, four eyes.
John: (losing all sense of his friendly facade) Now you listen to me, you little squirt. Are you gonna make that damn wish? Because if you don't and I die, then I'm gonna come back and haunt you every waking hour of your life.
Pippa: (quickly) Fairy Godmother, I wish your scary British friend wasn't sick. .
John: There you go. Easy.
Nora: Okay.
(Nora waves her wand and blue sparkles swirl around in the air before plunging into John's chest. He smiles, looking honestly better for a moment... before he suddenly bends over and vomits blood onto the floor. Pippa backs into Nora, who tries to shield her eyes as Gary helps John from the room.)
John: No matter.  I'll try something else.
Pippa: I wish I was home!
(Nora starts waving her wand as she looks to Ray, sadly.)
Bye Ray.
(Nora and Pippa disappear in a shower of blue sparks.)
Ray: (quietly) Bye, Nora.

(John is flipping through a spellbook.)
John: "How to Add Years to Your Life. " Yeah, that should do it. Although the ingredient list is a little unusual. We'll need a medieval knight.
Ray: I was once knighted "Sir Raymond of the Palms. "
John: Great. Gary, grab a knife. We're gonna perform a little back alley surgery on the Big Man.
Ray: What kind of surgery?
John: Well, first off, are you uncircumcised?
(Ray starts stammering.)
John: I'll take that as a yes. Gary, the knife!

Bully: I can't believe you stooped to trying to make a deal with an angel.
(John wakes up and looks down at his cane. The bulldog head on it is speaking to him.)
John: Mm. What the...
Bully: Gabriel would have turned you into his slave.
John: Well, at least I'd be alive.
Bully: (scoffs) There are worse fates than death.
John: Oy! I will shove you where the sun don't shine just to shut you up.
Bully: Hmmph. You'd probably enjoy that.
(John ponders this and shrugs in admission the talking cane isn't wrong.)
Bully: Hell of a way to spend your last night on earth though, you arrogant bastard. Especially when you could be with two of the only friends you have left.
John: (blearily) Yeah. Yeah. Nice one.

Ava: Behrad, what's your status?
Behrad: It's complete gridlock.
Ava: (sighs) No one's getting through on the ground. The fleet must be in the air.
Zari: Nate, did you find the shipment?
(Nate is on his motorcycle, just pulling up to a warehouse. It is full of empty packing crates.)
Nate: Oh, no! We're too late.  Whatever there was, there was a lot of them.
Ava: Nate, get downtown and help Behrad.
Nate: Hold on. I think they might have left something.
(Nate moves to one of the crates that is untouched.)
(Cut To: Behrad on the streets of Hong Kong, where a whirring noise fills the air.)
Behrad: What's that noise?
(Cut To: Nate as he opens the crate. Zari and Ava are watching him remotely.)
Zari: Oh, my God.
(Cut to Behrad as he looks around, trying to identify the noise. His eyes widen as he sees it.)
(Cut to Nate as he reaches into the crate and pulls out a scooter.)
Nate: (quietly) Scoots.
(Nate lifts up the mechanized scooter as he shouts to the heavens.)
Nate: Khaaaaaaaaaaan!
(Cut To: The streets of Hong Kong, where Genghis Khan emerges from the fog majestically on a motorized scooter. The motor whirrs as his followers emerge behind him on their own scooters.)
Genghis Khan: Charge!
(Behrad watches helplessly as the horde begin to move around the cars blocking the road,  popping wheelies and jumping over the obstacles easily.)

(Genghis Khan has captured Behrad and Charlie. He has just asked Charlie to marry him.)
Genghis Khan: Your power will serve my reign well. Join me as I build a new empire that will span the globe.
Charlie: Look, I'm flattered, but I've had power of immortals and gods alike. It blows. My past is complicated. And being in a relationship Trust me, that wouldn't end well for either of us.
(Charlie is looking at Behrad as she says this. He nods in understanding.)
Genghis Khan: Wait. Did you two sleep together or something?

John: Oh, of all the ways that I'd thought I'd go, decapitated by a demon, eviscerated by an elemental, I wouldn't have picked being at home with my mates.
(There is a chorus of cheers and clinking of glasses. Gary and Ray drink the wine as John takes a pull from his flask.)
John: You know, I just wish I had more time with you lovely idiots.
Ray: Well, you're not dead yet, John.
John: No, but I will be momentarily.
(There is a long pause as Ray and Gary look at each other. And realize why John was drinking from his own container.)
John: (chuckling) John Constantine: He always goes out on his own terms.
(John suddenly collapses to the ground as the poison kicks in.)


John is taken to the Waverider sick bay by Charlie and Gary.

Charlie is revealed to be hearing voices that address her as Clotho and tell her she can't get away.

Zari has written off her vision of the pre-Crisis timeline from 505 as a hallucination brought on by eating a donut.

Ava now considers Zari part of the Legends.

Sara is still in Star City.

Mick is taking a leave from Legends business, being in "a mood" over Allie from 504.

Ava and Gideon detect an Encore at work in Hong Kong in 1997, just before the city was to be returned to China by the British.

Charlie has never been to Hong Kong before.

Ray agrees to let John leave the ship to figure out who gave him cancer, but only if he can go with him. Gary goes along with them.

Genghis Khan is revealed to be the mysterious figure who is robbing the Triads in a bid to unite them under his banner.

Khan's meeting with the triad is interrupted by a trio of plainclothes detectives with the Hong Kong PD, whom Ava fights alongside as Charlie chases after Genghis.

John determines that Astra is responsible for accelerating his death, after she brings him into a psychic landscape that resembles his house in Newcastle.

Astra has no memory of the house in Newcastle or how her mother brought her there.

John tells Astra that he has a lead on a magic artifact that can rewrite history so that her mother never died and she never went to hell and her dad never drank himself to death.

Nate figures out that Charlie and Bedard had a one night stand based on their interactions.

The hero lady cop who fought with Ava is killed by Genghis Khan, whose sword has been turned into a Hell Weapon.

Nate talks to Behrad about what happened with Charlie. He suggests talking to her directly about why she ghosted him.

Genghis Khan's plan is to capture Prince Charles and force him to give control of Hong Kong to him.

The female cop draws out the route of Prince Charles' motorcade through Hong Kong, before she is killed with Genghis Khan's sword, which was turned into a Hell weapon.

Genghis Khan confirms that he woke up his tomb when he was resurrected and it took him 700 years to dig his way out.

Yeung, the thug Charlie knocked out and impersonated, was an engineer in charge of building a fleet for Genghis' conquest of the globe after establishing Hong Kong as the seat of his new empire.

Behrad saves Charlie from being hit by a truck as she undergoes some kind of psychic attack from the people looking for her.

The Puca from 414 makes an appearance. Its magic can't heal John this time.

Ray makes reference to being knighted in 212.

Ray has a bucket list.

Charlie says the sex she had with Behrad was mediocre and tells him to get over it, before leaving with a Time Courier.

John decides to stop fighting his cancer and enjoy what time he has left with his friends.

Nate discovers the shipment Genghis Khan was waiting on was for a fleet of mechanized scooters. Utilizing these, he intends to weave through the terrible Hong Kong gridlock and ambush Prince Charles' motorcade.

Charlie decided to impersonate Prince Charles on her own.

Prince Charles is stuck on the Waverider, being babysat by a drunk Mick Rory.

Genghis Khan has 12 wives.

Behrad is able to make a shield using his bracelet to catch the bullets as Genghis Khan's men shoots at him and Charlie.

Charlie kills Genghis Khan with his own sword.

Charlie reveals her status as a Fate to the rest of the Legends. She says she quit her job and destroyed her loom because she thought people should be free to set their own destinies.

Charlie scattered the pieces of the Loom of Fate across the multiverse, leaving herself and her sisters powerless. With the Crisis having merged the multiverse into one reality, however, everything could potentially be reunited and her sisters could force her to return to her role or kill her.

The Legends agree to find the Loom before the other Fates.

Sara returns from her business in Star City.

John writes up a will and leaves his house to Gary.

Ray plans to ask Nora to marry her, but is scared because his last two engagements didn't work out well.

John poisons himself to go out on his terms.

"Scarborough Fair" was the song Natalie sang to Astra when she was young that she declared their song. John claims it was his and Natalie's song first.

Astra gives John back the time she took from him, deciding to give him a chance to see if he can rewrite her mother's fate and her fate.


Hong Kong - June 30, 1997
Northumberland County, UK - 2020

Untelevised Adventures

Charlie and Behrad had a one night stand after the events of 416.

At one point, John met the ghost of Winston Churchill. (There's a fan theory that Bully, the spirit in John's cane, might be Sir Winston's ghost, as the voice sounds somewhat like him and they have a similar dry wit.)

The Fridge Factor

The "hero lady" cop is unceremoniously killed off and isn't even given a name. All we know about her is that she's a mother with one son. We know even less about her two partners.

The Bottom Line

A solid episode that achieves the perfect balance of comedy and drama while giving all of the cast a chance to shine. The only sour spot, strangely enough, is one cool supporting character getting fridged in a pretty permanent way. Hopefully that will be resolved later this season because it just seems so odd they'd introduce this female cop with a kid and have nothing come of it.

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