The legend of Constantine continues!
I don't get why Matt Ryan is a Special Guest Star instead of a series regular. He's been in all three Legends episodes so far, he's in next week's episode judging from the previews, and he's a major focus of the season 4 story arc. Something that (presumably) escaped from Hell is chasing him. Constantine tried to make a deal with a fairy last week to boost his powers. This week he's more involved than ever, arguing constantly with Mick and dropping in to see his parents.
We also get Ramona Young as new credited regular Alaska Yu. Although her character is named "Mona" there. Why the name change, who knows? Gary does zap her memory near the end, so maybe she forgets her old name and picks a new one.
But why, do you ask, is Gary zapping someone's memory? Let's recap "Dancing Queen" and find out. After a brief bit in London 1977 of Queen Elizabeth II going punk-rock clubbing with the Crown Jewels, we go to Time Bureau HQ where the Bureau informs Sara there's a magical spike in 1977. The Legends head there, and Nate decides to stay behind at the bureau. The Legends go to the club, Mick and Constantine argue, and a fight breaks out. The band the Queen was partying with, the Smells, run out and jump into the van where Ray is waiting while the others went into the club. They have him drive them to their hideout and Sara tells him to follow the group. Constantine thinks one member, Declan (Jack Gillett) is a leprechaun.
Constantine's test for leprechauns (spilling rice which they're forced to count: isn't that Chinese vampires?) fails on Declan, who is Irish and thus the likely leprechaun. The other three band members don't react to the rice, either. The band leader, Charlie (Anjli Mohindra) take Ray under her wing and he pranks the Royals by taking one of the Queen's corgis. This gets him in good with The Smells, and eventually he figures out Charlie is the magical being. She's a shapeshifter, and Constantine warns him shapeshifters are vicious buggers. Ray isn't convinced, warns Charlie his teammates are coming, they show up, and Ray starts attacking them. Except it's Charlie, who has knocked out Ray, taken his suit (how'd she know about it), knocks out Sara and Mick, and tries to blast Zari and Constantine.
Ray wakes up and voice-disassembles the armor. Earlier Ray almost had his cover blown when the band members found a magazine cover with him and the other Legends from when they went undercover (with Amaya) as a disco band in last season's "Here I Go Again". So Charlie knows what Amaya looks like, and Ray told Charlie earlier that Amaya was the Legends' moral compass (??). Charlie takes on Amaya's form so they won't send her to Hell. Constantine doesn't, but strips her of her shapechanging powers while she's in Amaya form. So hey, we've got Maisie Richardson-Sellers back on the show.
At the end Sara says she knows all about Ray, and he proves her wrong and finally tells everyone he let Nora go. So that's out of the way.
In other subplots, Constantine goes to see his parents Mary Anne and Thomas, since 1977 is before he was born. When he tries to give his father a "back alley vasectomy" (i.e., kicking him in the balls), Constantine flickers backward and Zari--who has been following him--explains about their version of the grandfather paradox and not being able to change their own history. Constantine is all depressed about this and almost tells Zari what he's running from, but they get interrupted. Zari gives Constantine a photo of his mother later, so he feels a little better.
Nate is trying to fit in at the Time Bureau. He ends up teaming up with Gary (Adam Tsekhman) and they become "time bros". They go on a mission to the Pleistocene, and the magical time blip disappears. Gary brings back a weird plant, and it turns out to be a meat-eating magical plant and the source of the blip. Nate and Gary chase it around the Bureau, capture it, and later when Sara arrives Nate tells her he left the team for a while to get away from reminders of Amaya. Sara wisely doesn't point out they have a shapeshifter who looks like Amaya on board and drags Ava off to her quarters.
Besides Matt Ryan, the episode rests on Brandon Routh's shoulders. He seems a little lost without Nate as his "time bro", and while logistically I can see why they need more than one regular in the Time Bureau, Nate seems a little out-of-the-place there. Teaming him up with Gary doesn't seem like the best idea, either, just because as I may have noted before, a little bit of Gary goes a long way. You wonder how competent the Time Bureau is if they let people like Gary join.
We do find out Constantine dumped Gary. Can't say that I blame him.
Even though they overplay Ray's Boy Scout-type nature just a tad, Routh covers all the bases: naivety, slowly embracing the punk rock lifestyle (with his self-given nickname of "Rayge"), briefly turning villainous, thanking Zari for being his shoulder to cry on about letting Nora go, his little bit of defiance telling the others he let Nora go.
Dominic Purcell gets more to do than in the first two episodes of the season. And I liked Mick's comment at the end. The Legends do seem a bit... neutered this season. "We have met the Man, and he is us." Seeing Mick and Sara going in to grab Charlie and banish her to a Hell realm is a bit disturbing. It's the kind of thing the Legends originally fought against, with their status as a ragtag bunch of rebels, non-conformists, and in three cases (White Canary, Captain Cold, and Heat Wave) criminals. Seeing the team's two remaining former criminals march in lockstep to Time Bureau orders to capture Charlie is a little chilling. Hopefully they'll explore this a bit. Legends has never shied away from mixing moral dilemmas, slapstick, and interpersonal bickering.
So overall, "Dancing Queen" was okay. It focused more on the interpersonal issues, and continues highlighting Constantine. It gets in some jabs at the British, which I guess is comedy gold on American TV. I could do with less Gary (and his damned missing nipple) after three episodes, but now that he's partnered with Nick I suspect that we're stuck with him for the duration.
What they'll do with Charlie-as-Amaya, we'll have to see. Ms. Richardson-Sellers was never a big part of the cast. Was there a big fan demand for the actress' return that I missed somewhere? I suppose we'll get the inevitable "Nick meets someone with his girlfriend's face" scene. But other than that, I don't know what they'll do with her. You've got a shapeshifter who can't shapeshift, impersonating a superhero but with none of that hero's superpowers. It seems more like stunt casting than something that leads to a season-long story. Ditto for Ramona Young, whose character shows absolutely no promise whatsoever.
But then again, you could say that about the whole concept. Who thought a series filled with castoffs from other CWVerse shows could go the distance?
But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
And since it's election night in the U.S. tomorrow, November 6, no new Black Lightning (or Flash) and thus no reviews. Happy Elect a Democrat, Republican, or None of the Above Day!
Written by Gislef on Nov 6, 2018