The Legends have gone from magical creature of the week to dealing with their big villain. Neron is running around, Nora has escaped and been framed, and Nate has to deal with the after-effects of his father’s death. And oh, by the way, has anyone seen Ava lately? Things are building up fast in “The Eggplant, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.”
The episode starts with that very issue as Sara goes to their apartment to try and apologize to the prickly Director of the Time Bureau. What she finds is the place trashed and no sign of Director Sharpe. Back aboard the Waverider, everyone gets caught up on Hank’s death being Neron, not Nora, and now the disappearance of Ava. After some bickering between the two magical talents, John Constantine, Nora Darhk, and Sara Lance go back to the apartment to see what they can find. Ray, uncharacteristically, not only stood up for Nora but was fairly vicious with some of his comments.
After checking around, and some snark from Constantine, Nora homes in on Ava. While Team Magic goes after Ava, Ray rescues Nate from file shuffling, bringing some news Nate doesn’t believe at first. Just to make sure Nate can’t get his bearings, they find a phone of Hank’s they didn’t know about. Nate makes an understandable, if a bit bitter, joke, and they find out one of Hank’s plans was farther along than they thought. Nate decides they are going to go check this out, using both their codenames for the first time in quite a while.
In a run-down motel room, the team finds Ava, looking a lot the worse for wear, and get her back to the ship. Constantine explains what’s going on, and Sara insists on being sent to rescue Ava from her own purgatory. When Constantine expresses some concern, Sara rattles off all she’s been through and is sure she’ll be fine. Pride goeth…
Zari’s subplot to keep her busy this episode is trying to figure out exactly what text to send to Nate since she’s realized she likes him. Mona and Mick don’t even get their own subplots, and are reduced to making comments about Zari’s. I swear, it seems like they’re trying to write Mick off the show. It’s been a long, long time since his skills as either arsonist or thief were used.
Constantine sends Sara to rescue Ava, and it turns out Director Sharpe’s purgatory is… well, basically Ikea but with the predominant blue shifted to red. Ava and Sara meet up and Sara explains roughly what’s going on. Gary has learned what’s happening, and rushes to Ava’s bedside. Constantine updates the team and sets up his own mission. When did he get to be second in command again?
Nate and Ray go exploring, and find a lot of surprises about Hank’s plans. Nate shares the news about his father with the boss, looks around at the project, and orders MIkey the foreman to tear the whole thing down. Ava and Sara run into a guide who looks a lot like a certain bumbling Time Bureau Agent, who drops a few hints for them. They end up facing a severe test for any couple in the modern world, and they have very different ideas on how to approach it.
Constantine lays a trap for Neron, and for what’s supposed to be a vastly powerful demon, he goes down pretty easily. Credit where it’s due, it was a good trap, but still. Neron ends up in the holding cells at the Bureau, reinforced with chalked symbols from our resident warlock. Nora and John debate what to do after some gloating from Neron, and realize he’s getting to both of them.
Sara and Ava fail in their first attempt, and end up needing to compromise. One quip in line with the title later, and they’re still in the store from hell, just a different part. Their guide drops by with more hints as they have to make a furniture selection. There’s an analogy here that could be really clunky, but the writers really made it work with some help from a good makeup artist and some good guest-casting. They’re both forced to reevaluate their outlooks about their relationship. Nate and Ray get back and have a brief buddy moment which gets interrupted by Nate seeing the captive Neron and going to confront him. Neron taunts Nate, who finally loses it and ends up punching someone who is trying to help him.
Ava and Sara end up facing the trial of mundanity, which really wears on both of them. After some more stupid Zari text bits, John and Nora compare notes and come up with a plan, of sorts. Nora is bearing the brunt of Neron’s evil whispers and goes to take a break, rushing past a very confused Ray. Ava and Sara bicker in their new situation, Sara snaps, and ends up in a very unique warehouse that might well be one of Gary’s dreams come true. Nora sneaks back to talk to Neron alone, which can’t be a great idea.
Neron baits Nora, drops some hints about what’s coming, and derides Constantine, bringing up an old grudge Nora hasn’t really addressed until now. Sara’s quest gets a bit tighter of a deadline and she has to find the one she really wants. Nate and Ray unwind in Nate’s office, leading to a bad comedic standby and a sudden decision from Nate. Neron makes a very tempting offer to Nora, striking one of her vulnerable spots, and she decisively gets Constantine out of the discussion when he barges in.
Sara finally succeeds, and is smart enough to share the credit with Ava, ending their stay in the hellish Megastore. Nora and Constantine show they are working together better than I would have given them credit for, until Ray comes barreling in, not knowing what’s going on. They really need to work on communication, this team. Ava and Sara meet up with the others, who are, yes, still discussing Zari’s text. What is this, high school? Ava and Sara leave with some banter about kids, while Zari makes a decision and immediately regrets it.
Nate makes a dramatic bid to stop what he set in motion, and uses his powers for the first time in several episodes, at least. Zari’s message doesn’t get to him through some fairly absurd circumstances, and she’s very relieved, leaving Nate somewhat bemused. Constantine is finally reunited with Desmond, but if you’re expecting a happy ending, you don’t know much about Constantine. It’s a very emotional scene. Ray checks in on Nora, and Constantine is actually complimentary about her. The episode ends with a hint that things with the team’s plan didn’t quite go as they hoped.
What I liked: Constantine had some good plans, and worked well with Nora and even Charlie. The plot with Sara and Ava worked well and was nicely written and acted. Nate is finally coming to terms with his loss (even if he’s choosing to become an accessory after the fact to various Federal crimes in the process).
What I didn’t: Zari’s plot was just silly, and Mick and Mona were utterly wasted this episode. Neron is really smug and needs to get taken down a few pegs. I’m surprised John missed what we saw at the end.
I thought it was an overall good episode, even with my concerns above. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5. Now to see how they fix this mess.