The Loom of Fate and the Encores are dominating season five of the Legends of Tomorrow. The team has been through a lot, and now Behrad is dead and Sara is dealing with the aftermath of whatever happened to her when Atropos attacked her. Finally shaken out of her social media/party girl mode, Zari is now fixedly determined to get the Loom and bring back her brother. It’s a volatile mix in “The Great British Fake Off.”
With a few interruptions from the peanut gallery, Charlie tells what happened to the last piece of the Loom, which features what I believe is the earliest appearance of one of DC’s mystic characters. Zari is really hazy on how magic works, and John Constantine is clearly getting tired of correcting her. With Sara down, Ava takes charge of the crew and quells the bickering. Later, Nate offers Zari an ear or a shoulder. In turn, she tells him about her odd meeting with her former self. It’s a really strange conversation. Constantine ends the awkward moment with an idea about what to do next
At Constantine’s home, Sara is having some issues and doing her best to hide them, waving off Charlie’s concern. The team gets moved to a special ritual room as Constantine starts a casting to try and trace the missing piece of the Loom. Nothing goes as planned, from someone fainting to Zari getting grabby, which disrupts things and sends her and John on an unexpected field trip. They end up in a familiar place but a less familiar time, and have to make several adjustments very quickly. They meet someone who seems like an extra from a Sherlock Holmes novel, and an Encore who truly qualifies as one of History’s Greatest Villains.
While John and Zari try and figure out what they’re doing and how to find the McGuffin of the week, Gideon briefs the others on Sara’s condition. It’s not great, and Charlie is worried it’s related to the earlier attack. When the Prognosticator makes a troubling Encore report, Ava takes charge to lead an assault of her own. In their own side-trip, Zari and Constantine spend a lot of time bickering until they are interrupted by some unwelcome arrivals. Ava leads a team to Hell, consisting of herself, Gary the Apprentice Warlock, and Mick, who’s pissed off enough about developments with his daughter that going to Hell sounds like a better option than dealing with her. Ain’t being a parent great?
After an obligatory PC message about not smoking (I’m anti-smoking myself, but I’m also against changing characters for political reasons), Constantine and Zari plot out what to do next. The odds are impressively against them. Team Hell-bound goes to find Astra, who makes some surprising claims. Constantine begins his bluff, only to get… reinforced? by a new plan of Zari’s. Things go sideways in Hell when Astra gets a surprise of her own. Who would have thought there’d be betrayals in Hell? John and Zari move things along as the Encores prove to be true to their nature. Astra spins a story to Ava, and more unexpected developments ensue. For all the various things the team has been through in their lives, they really are remarkably naïve. There’s something so ridiculously convenient for Constantine and Zari that even John remarks on it as they try and complete their scavenger hunt.
While the captured Legends debate the finer points of girls’ soccer, Constantine figures out something important, which is a remarkably convenient excuse for him to fall back on familiar habits. Astra’s own attempt to take charge goes off the rails as soon as she gets where she was going, as she gets her own series of surprises. Astra gets a remarkable offer, but even that isn’t enough to make her give in without a demand of her own. John and Zari’s Not-So-Excellent Adventure gets more complicated as some of their rivals make an unfortunate discovery. While he relaxes in his usual way, Zari sheds some light on why she has been the way she was, and some of the reasoning behind her very recent change. It makes a lot of sense, and is a nice little piece of characterization. As things start going badly, John acts uncharacteristically heroic, using his knowledge of the place they are in to his great advantage.
A new complication emerges down in Hell, which is part of why you really should have your resident spell-caster explain things in detail. Gary’s rhapsodizing about Ava’s wonderful qualities as a boss gets interrupted by Astra returning and continuing her string of surprises. True to Legends fashion, Ava then makes an offer of her own. It takes some talent to tempt a powerful ruler in Hell. Charlie and Nate have been passing the time in Legends-casual mode, and get scrambling when Ava returns and issues orders. Constantine and Zari wrap up their mission with some really unlikely fighting and the expected success of their task. Finally, the Legends all reunite, after another cameo by a DC mystic. John is lavish with credit for their success, and there’s a complication developing among some of the team I can see being a big problem down the road. Zari has made great strides in her own right as a hero, and most of the team gets together for a celebration. Now, they have a daunting task ahead of them.
What I liked: The cameo impressed me. I think it was that character’s first live-action tv appearance. Things were believably complicated in Hell, and I was impressed by some of the changes in direction down there. I have some suspicions about what’s going to come next. It was nice to see a bit more of Mick, even if he really didn’t get to do anything. I’m glad Zari is taking things more seriously.
What I didn’t: I don’t know how they are having more character balance issues after losing two, but it sure seems that way to me. A lot of what happened on Constantine and Zari’s side trip seemed kind of silly and felt like filler. I didn’t like what they seem to be hinting at between two of the team.
While I liked a lot of what happened, there were some odd moments. I’ll average it all out to a 3 out of 5.