Like the Anti-Matter waves during Crisis, the Arrowverse now has new openings sweeping through their universe. The voiceovers seem to be gone, replaced by random images from the previous episodes or seasons. I really don’t care for how they look, although I admit some of the voiceovers were a bit overdone, and the Legends’ never really worked aside from the few entertaining times they let Mick do it. Aside from the new opening, the Legends’ big challenges this season seem to be the “Encores,” some of the worst of Hell being back on Earth, and uncovering what happened when Zari changed history and wrote herself out of the Legends’ memories. Things take a turn for the noir in “Miss Me, Kiss Me, Love Me.”
Following up on last episode, Constantine goes back to Hell (he really ought to be getting frequent flyer miles for this trip by now) and confronts Astra. She’s supremely unconcerned with John’s morals or requests, and presents him with stark options she knows he won’t take. Frustrated and annoyed, Constantine returns to the Waverider, provoking different reactions from Ava and Sara as he stalks past. Nate is busy trying to recreate the message he saw from Zari, and not at all getting the results he wanted. He gets even more confused when Behard checks in on him and Nate sees some interesting visual effects.
Gathering the crew together, Constantine warns them about Astra’s attitude and says she can’t be saved. Eternal optimist Ray Palmer disagrees, and they come up with a new plan, since sending the Encores to Hell isn’t going to work out. We don’t know a lot about Behrad, Zari’s replacement in history, but he doesn’t seem like the most hard-working Legend, and Sara isn’t all that surprised when he asks to go attend a family event. I’m not sure why he needs to go right now, what with time travel being a big part of the show, but Sara signs off on him and Nate both going. We do learn that Behrad is keeping secrets from his family, something the original loner Legends never had to worry about, and that Ava and Mick have very different views of being assigned to the ship during the mission. Nora is mentioned but never shows up this episode, and Charlie hasn’t been seen or talked about since she took off in the jump ship. I don’t know if the actress left the show, or the character’s off getting into trouble.
Odd man out, Nate listens to the Tomaz/Tarazi family (names are listed both ways in the credits) converse in Persian, and then is struck when he sees the “new” Zari. Her timeline changed in the “Hey, World!” episode, and he’s been haunted by echoes of what was ever since. This version of her is a famous social media influencer, who visually now looks a good bit like Margot from The Magicians. Zari does a post for her “Z Nation” of followers and doesn’t share Nate’s rush of emotion when they see each other. The rest of the team is in 1947 Los Angeles, quickly falling in to a detective story involving (of course) a scared redhead and the return from the dead of the infamous “Bugsy” Siegel. They do get the fact right that Siegel hated that nickname and never use it after the initial discussion. Sara and Ray slide into new roles immediately, and Constantine goes one better, surprising everyone with a new accent. The scene shifts to Siegel’s Blue Iguana club, and hints that he came back with more than just a new lease on life. Or afterlife. Whichever works. Returning from the dead is almost as grammatically confusing as time travel.
While Ray neatens up the borrowed detective office (we never do find out what happened to the partner), Constantine gets more details from the Damsel In Distress, Jeanie Hill. Constantine and Ray have remarkably different approaches to dealing with Miss Hill, which is no surprise, and they call in Mick and Ava to check out the club. Ava busies herself with tactical assessments while Mick samples the bar. Surprisingly, the team manages some surveillance without getting into trouble or attracting attention, and learns the lay of the land. New developments include a femme fatale, an impressive if one-sided gunfight, and “being foiled by the good guys.” The family dinner doesn’t exactly go along smoothly, as Zari complains about Behrad bringing home a stalker (because everything has to be about her) and Nate asks some awkward questions that show us more things Behrad is lying about.
Waiting at the bar, Ava complains about her new lot in life, and Mick once again surprises with his keen insight. That might be part of what helps him be both a good thief and a successful romance writer. As events move along, Ray makes a friend, Sara makes a plan, and John gets an idea from one of his worse habits. In the detective office, Constantine calls in Hill for a client conference that follows the tropes of noir adventure, and they make a plan and possibly other things. Ava’s complaints about her change in status get interrupted when Sara calls for a distraction, and ex-Director Sharpe eagerly dives in to the challenge, leaving behind a bemused Mick. Ray doesn’t get anywhere with his approach, but Sara calls in her plan and gets Siegel moving in the direction they want him to.
There are two distinct versions of Ava’s distraction, which makes for some entertaining scenes. Sara tries a few different approaches with Siegel, none of which work particularly well. The gangster did learn a good bit during his trip to Hell. Sara and Siegel’s dual of words gets definitively ended when Mick steps in with his usual unsubtle approach. In another time and place, Nate and Zari have a talk that fills in some of the details about her retconned life, and she’s clearly suspicious of Nate. True to the genre they’re temporarily in, Constantine and Hill have a late night meet up, find what they’re looking for, and betrayals ensue. The evening doesn’t go all that well for a lot of different people, although the Legends at least come out of it unharmed and making references to the movie Chinatown.
Once again, Constantine journeys to places infernal to confront Astra, and it seems some of Ray’s attitude has rubbed off on him. Astra is displeased when Constantine demonstrates he’s not as soft as she thinks he is, and the warlock gives Sara and Ray a distorted account of what happened down below. After Ray gives Constantine a pep talk, Sara does a few nice things for Ava, who is feeling the effects of her visit to the club. I really like how their relationship is portrayed in this episode. At Behrad’s place, events come to a head and force an unexpected development, surprising almost everyone with the final scene.
What I liked: They did noir well, with some unique twists and turns on the genre. I enjoyed the team’s reactions to Constantine’s new voice, and Ava’s distraction was great, both versions. Sara and Ava make a great couple and team, and they showed that well here. The developments at Behrad and Zari’s place were interesting and I’m curious to see how this resolves.
What I didn’t: I admit the cast was getting a bit large, but where’s Charlie, Nora, and Gary? They at least covered Mona’s departure, although I hope we see her again. There were a few holes (what happened to the other detective? How do they keep going from money issues to clubbing all night long? For that matter, where do they get 1947 era money?), but it’s still entertaining. They keep putting the characters in situations where their special abilities/gear do nothing for them. Ray doesn’t use his suit that much, and when was the last time Mick really set something on fire or stole much?
My few issues to one side, this may be the most entertaining of the Arrowverse shows running right now. I’ll give this a 3.5 out of 5. I’m looking forward to seeing how they deal with both Encores and Zari.