The Legends of Tomorrow are usually a fun bunch with some weird adventures. I’ve heard about some of the changes coming up, and not liked any of them. Well, they’re making me less happy in how they’re getting there, as they make some questionable choices this episode. There are a lot fewer laughs than normal, and some high stakes drama, in “There Will Be Brood.”
The show starts at Constantine’s house, where a concerned Zari goes to confront John about what she learned last episode. She is clearly concerned about him, and he’s at his absolute worst, cold, uncaring and bitingly bitter and sarcastic. After he’s nasty to his girlfriend for a bit, the rest of the team comes in demanding to know where Bishop is. Constantine is just as unpleasant to them as he was to Zari, and they gradually figure out there’s a big misdirection going on. Constantine is a real magician, but he’s clearly learned from stage performers. Meanwhile, on the Waverider, Bishop and his new ally make some big changes, and Astra and Spooner get taken for a ride.
The ship ends up in Texas in 1925, as Astra and Spooner try and figure out what’s going on. It’s clearly a company town, in this case with the focus on oil, and people are getting hurt as indifferent bosses order them back to work. Spooner gets a shock when one of the men gets treated, since the healer, somehow, is Spooner’s mom. The local boss, Doc, clearly has no interest in anyone’s welfare, and sets up one of the conflicts of the episode when he’s very insistent about buying Gloria Cruz’s land, but Spooner’s mom says no. Astra wants to stay on mission, but Spooner isn’t going to miss a chance to spend some time with her mom, and makes an appeal that persuades Astra to go along with her. In the woods, Constantine and Bishop, a troubling pair if ever there was one, seek the ever-elusive Fountain of Imperium. They clearly don’t trust each other (wisely), and we learn a bit more about the fountain, magic, and mushrooms. Spooner and Astra go home with Gloria for tea, and Spooner gets one surprise after another.
Out in the woods, Constantine finds a young girl, and there are some really bad vibes off this scene. Thankfully, this new and darker Constantine doesn’t seem to have stooped that low, and he’s interested in finding the fountain or any other magic. She doesn’t know of any, but makes a friendly gesture which ends up giving Constantine a clue about what to do next. At Gloria’s place, there are several unexpected reunions and a few lies to complicate everything. The rest of the team, marooned at Constantine’s place, figure out how to go after their ship and teammates, and come up with a weird little plan. One plot hole gets mentioned in passing, but they make no effort to explain it. It’s that kind of show, and this isn’t a great episode.
At Gloria’s place, there’s a lot of verbal fencing and various hints about other things. Spooner keeps learning surprising things, and finally Constantine takes more direct action. He pulls Spooner aside for a specialized private chat. He shows her things to come, and makes a pitch for her getting something important to her in exchange for what he wants. Spooner isn’t perfect, and it’s a very tempting deal, although Astra is appalled when she finds out what’s happened. She points out how serious this, and the two bicker to the point of talking about going their own ways. At Constantine’s home, the team gets the help they wanted, although it’s a tense meeting. They point out why it’s in the newcomers’ interests to help them, there’s an unexpected personal plea, and finally a reluctant agreement to help. There’s one part here that makes absolutely no sense to me, but it’s never touched on or explained. Again, not a great episode.
Aboard the stolen Waverider, Bishop and Constantine snark at each other as their plan moves forward. As soon as he’s alone, Astra tries to convince John to come back to the team. That goes poorly and he sends her on her way. Back at Gloria’s house, Spooner tries to convince her of what’s coming, but Spooner is fighting the dual battle of bringing some strange tidings and facing an optimist. Somehow, Spooner convinces her of at least parts of her story, and they send Astra away to care for an innocent bystander with an interesting future ahead of her. Astra makes another appeal to Spooner, but no one is listening to Astra this week. Things get tense on several fronts as John and Bishop get close to making their plan work, and Spooner is determined to stick to her guns at Gloria’s place. The changes John is making apparently have some ripples, as Spooner does something we’ve never seen any hint of before. Astra manages to complete her mission, and Spooner carries out her task without breaking Gloria’s rules.
With a little help, the rest of the team catches up with everyone and Nate does a cute little trick to help find the Waverieder. Most of the team goes to the ship, but Zari and Nate split off on another side mission. Constantine and Bishop take turns betraying each other, and the stakes keep rising. Things start getting really ugly in short order. The majority of the team goes on a rescue mission, dealing with a booby trap, and while they are mostly successful, there appears to be a casualty. Out in the woods, a character falls to a stupid trick he really should have known better than, and we may have our second fatality of the episode. Spooner has some problems from side effects of what’s going on, and there’s tearful farewell someplace else. No one is doing well as the episode draws to a close, leaving us an impressive setup for the season finale.
What I liked: Nate’s little trick was amusing. I can understand Spooner going off-mission given what she found. I don’t like it, but I understand what’s driving Constantine through all these bad decisions. In an interesting bit of trivia, the episode was directed by Maisie Richardson-Sellers, known to Legends fans as Amaya/Vixen and Charlie the shapeshifter.
What I didn’t: This episode had some holes in it. Constantine was far too easily duped by Bishop. I’m not sure why Spooner suddenly developed new powers. I don’t know that Bishop’s motivations make a lot of sense. The explanations for some odd bits in Spooner’s life didn’t really seem to hold up to scrutiny.
I really didn’t like this episode on many fronts. I’m giving it a low 2.5 out of 5 and that’s likely generous. I really hope the finale is better.