Legends of Tomorrow: Necromancing the Stone

legends

A warlock and the Time Bureau walk into a time ship…

Among the many things I enjoy about the Legends of Tomorrow is the sense of humor and pop culture references. They have fun with that in their titles from time to time, and did for this one. “Necromancing The Stone,” is a call back to the Michael Douglas/Kathleen Turner action comedy, Romancing the Stone.

The episode opens aboard the Waverider, with Sara having an odd nightmare about a little girl. She wakes up, and is in bed with Ava, which was nice to see. The scene is a combination talk about nightmares/flirtation/relationship stuff, and it’s handled with an awkward messiness that rings true for the early days of two people seeing each other. Just after Sara tells Ava about John Constantine, Gideon interrupts by calling everyone to the bridge.

With the time tears getting worse, and closer to freeing Mollus, Sara decides they can’t keep going the way they have been. She splits the team to handle various anachronisms, sending small groups off to deal with problems in history. Ray stays behind to work on the cold fusion notes they got from Cold War Berlin, with an indifferent Mick as his assistant. Splitting the team this way allows for a lot of passing references and in-jokes, but more importantly finally addresses the “Why aren’t the powerful ones doing something this week?” issue that has plagued the show since the start. I applaud this plan.

Sara also stayed behind, and that proves to be problematic. The Death Totem they got from Elvis (really, how often do you get to say THAT sentence?) is acting up, and guess who on the ship is most vulnerable to the siren call of Death? After she tries and fails to reach Constantine, she gets haunted by the ghost of her own past and is drawn to the Totem. Cue ominous music.

Amaya and Zari return from their side trip to find things haven’t gone well in their absence. Internal scanners are down, and Ray isn’t answering coms. They find out why when they get to the wreckage of his lab and find him out cold on the floor, beaten badly. Mick and Amaya go hunting for the intruder, only to find out it’s a possessed Sara. For close-in combat, like the corridors of the Waverider, Sara is probably the most deadly of the team, so this is going to be nasty.

Sara not only retains her dangerous skills, but she has some new tricks, such as what appears to be teleportation. She defeats her two crew-mates easily, destroying Mick’s heat gun in the process. That’s ok, it seems like he almost never uses it anymore anyway. Mick and Amaya are saved from being finished off by a well-timed super-speed rescue. Ava picks this moment to holo-com in, and is very confused by everything going on. Wally rushes in again after they regroup, and we see the Totem is more clever than just direct fighting. Kid Flash could take White Canary, no matter how good she is, so instead he gets some of his psychological weaknesses turned against him.

In present day New York, Ava and Time Bureau dweeb/comic relief Gary go looking for John Constantine. Gary, living down to stereotypes, babbles about his D&D games. They walk in on a really bizarre scene, and Ava finally gets John’s attention when she says they’re worried about Sara Lance. Constantine fills in a few blanks about why Sara is having such a strong reaction to the Death Totem.

While the trapped Legends try and make a plan, and Mick shows his usual lack of concern for his fellow man, Constantine, Ava and Gary try to combat Mollus’ influence on Sara. Ava is willing to help, although not happy about all that entails as far as John is concerned. John’s overconfidence gets dealt a blow when the first clash with Mollus goes badly.

Following Horror Movie Protocol, the team continues to split up and try and find out what’s going on with their leader. Nate finds Wally out cold on one of the bridge consoles. I was optimistic about my assessment of the power issue earlier, because even though Nate is clearly scared, he’s still in his human, not steel, form. Mick observes they’re going to need a bigger med bay as team members go down, and Zari gets her turn of being haunted by her past. Zari does a bit better fighting Sara, and manages to reach the real Captain Lance, locked away in her own body. Nora Darhk is impressed Sara can resist Mollus as well as she does.

Constantine tries to find the Waverider, with various jokes about Dr. Who, Beebo, and Gary and Ava discussing Ava’s relationship. Gary draws a parallel, somewhat stretched but a decent narrative device, comparing his D&D group with the Legends. The rest of the team debates what to do with the repaired Fire Totem (at least Ray got that far, and really, who among the crew has a tie to fire? Let me think…), and Nate goes out again to reclaim the Totem. Amaya kisses and reassures him while Mick tells him he’s going to die. Constantine thanks Gary for an idea in a way that tells us a bit more about Gary, and Sara talks to Nora about her choices.

Amaya and Mick find the beat up Zari while Nate runs from Demon-Sara. Hey, I’d run too. Nate gets his own ghost visit. The Death Totem is really starting to seem like it should be the Guilt Totem. Amaya comes to a decision about the Fire Totem that anyone who watches the show and has a few functioning brain cells saw coming. Ava, Gary, and Constantine portal in, making a very unlikely cavalry, as John’s magic and Ava’s love help Sara come back. Constantine celebrates with a cigarette, although he at least found a unique way to light it.

Sara and John share a drink, and she makes an offer that will make Constantine fans happy. They compare notes on the relative state of their souls, and he offers her some advice. Sara goes to the team to apologize, and no one carries a grudge, which is nice. Less so is Sara deciding to fall back on a very tired Hero Cliche and breaking up with Ava for her own good. This is pretty much always weak and/or lazy writing, and seems that way here, too. The episode ends with Gary running D&D for John, which is entertaining.

What I liked: Any Constantine appearance is a good one. Splitting up the team made sense from both a narrative and tactical standpoint. I like that Beebo is a running joke through the CW/DC Universe. The Fire Totem is in the right hands, no matter how much they telegraphed it.

What I didn’t: The break up was just dumb. Nate not using his powers was another flaw. I get they have to juggle screen time, but Ray seems to be getting shafted a lot.

It was another fun episode, which Legends excels at. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5.

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