Now that's a comedy.
We got Paul Reubens as an evil spirit, occupying a puppet of Martin Stein. First, that's a sentence I never thought I'd write and I don't think anyone ever thought they'd read. Much less see played out on a TV screen. And second, it's comedy gold.
And yes, that was Paul Reubens. Or so says the Special Guest Appearance in the end credits and the usual news sources.
So in "Hell No, Dolly!" why is Paul Reubens playing an evil spirit occupying a puppet of Martin Stein? Glad you asked. There's the usual comedy/drama hijinks going along, and the actual case is secondary to all the subplots that play out this episode and lead into next week's mid-season finale.
The team hears about a supernatural series of serial killings in 1838 New Orleans. There's no Yancy Derringer *sigh*, but we do get Marie Laveau. Who Gideon later says was the inspiration for Angela Bassett's Emmy-nominated role. Although the AI neglects to mention it was on American Horror Story, season 3. So that means AHS exists in the same universe as the Legends. All-righty.
In the new timeline, Laveau gets arrested for the murders. The Legends find the real killer: a Dybbuk, an evil disembodied spirit that isn't able to go on to its just reward. Chucky, in other words, as Sara references several times. And if you can't get Brad Dourif, you get Paul Reubens. The Legends capture "Mike the Spike" before he can kill anyone, Mick burns the doll to a crisp, and they take it aboard Waverider. Unfortunately, destroying the doll doesn't destroy the Dybbuk. It occupies the only other doll on the ship: the Stein puppet that the Earth-X Snart used for psychological counseling. The puppet goes on a rampage, hamstrings Ava, strangles Ray, and that's where the episode ends.
Why does the episode end? Because of the resolution of one of the big subplots of the first seven episodes. Constantine (Matt Ryan) is reminded he met his lover Desmond (Christian Keyes) in New Orleans in 2018. Desmond (i.e., Dez) gave Constantine a protective medallion. It turns out Dez is Lavaeu's great-great grandson and she senses the medallion, and has her people capture Constantine. Not much comes of this, other than as a reason for Constantine to do some exposition and have some flashbacks.
Charlie has realized she can do a little bit of shapeshifting, and figures Constantine can lift his spell. He claims he can't, but later offers to do it if Charlie will pretend to be Amaya and lure the past-Constantine, which is the 2018 Constantine, away before Dez and past-Constantine meet. If that happens, then Constantine never joins the Legends and Charlie never gets locked in Amaya's shape and everything is hunky-dory. And if this all sounds very timey-wimey, well, it's DC's Legends, not Doctor Who. And Doctor Who bounced around with time a lot during the David Tennant and Matt Smith years.
During this, Constantine reveals that to get rid of a soul-dealing demon named Neron, Constantine had to bond it to Dez and send Dez and Neron back to Hell. Which is why Constantine is so desperate to rewrite history.
Constantine and Dez meeting is a fixed point in time. Despite Zari telling him not to keep trying, Constantine keeps trying and drives Dez off by claiming he used a love potion to get Dez to fall in love with him. Dez walks out, the medallion disappears as time rewrites itself, and...
Other subplots? Gary wants to date Mona, but he's pretty awkward so he asks Nate to be his "time-bro wingman". Unfortunately, Mona has been serving "man meat" to the imprisoned Hawaiian Kaupe fugitive (Darien Martin). So there's a whole conversation where Mona says that she has feelings for someone who likes man meat. Nate assumes she's talking about Gary and figures Gary is bisexual, and tells Mona he'll support her as long as she follows her heart. She runs off to declare her love for the Kaupe, whose name as it turns out is Koname.
Two guys show up to abduct Koname, and Mona hides. Koname breaks free in the parking garage and rips open his attackers. When Mona tries to calm him down, he slashes her across the stomach. Koname runs off and...
You want more subplots? Mick is using Brigid's Diary to recreate Garima on Waverider. Ava is there for a visit and not happy about him doing so, so she takes away the diary. Sara tries to patch things up between them, which leads to a tense dinner scene where Mick reminds them Ava is a clone. He wonders why Sara gets to have a fake girlfriend if he can't and walks off. However, when the Dybbuk gets loose and hamstrings Ava, Mick shows up and helps her. They head to the bridge, and...
Moe subplots? Ray grows a mustache because Nora mentioned in one of her letters she's like facial hair. He accidentally shaves half of it off, runs to the bridge, and...
Finally all these subplots come together. Constantine has altered history and a massive temporal wave sweeps through reality. Mona is frozen in mid-air as she bleeds out. Everyone on the Waverider bridge, including Mike the Spike in the puppet Martin's body, are frozen. Zari is aboard the jumpship with Charlie, and while Charlie gets her powers back Zari is turned into a cat.
And while DC's Legends isn't part of the Elseworlds crossover this year, the Legends will have to deal with an alternate reality of their own. Which, judging from the previews, are... more puppets.
And having the Martin Stein puppet return just in time for Christmas is probably the best present we could want. You thought were going to get Beebo again? Ha! That would be routine, and one thing the creative team on the show never does is routine.
The creative team does emotional drama pretty darn well, mixed in with the absurdist humor. Constantine is a big ole bag of dicks, and he pretty much describes himself as such. But you still feel for the poor guy. Constantine has one shot at love, and he not only loses it, but he deliberately trades it and his lover to save his own soul from Hell. Congrats to Mr. Ryan for managing to walk the thin line between unredeemable dirt bag and lost soul looking for love. I've never seen Keanu Reeves pull that off.
You get the impression the creative team decided to go hog-wild since they weren't "let in" on the Elseworlds crossover. There's a cheerful "screw you" attitude to the whole thing. They've rewritten the whole timeline, which you think would at least affect Arrow and Flash. Look at Flashpoint last year and how Diggle got a son instead of a daughter out of that. But they'll probably say they were insulated by the Elseworlds shenanigans, and after next week (which is the mid-season finale) it'll be back to hunting magical fugitives, dealing with Project Hades and the Time Bureau's magical captives, and more about Constantine and Neron.
But for now, I'm happy just to see how next week's weird take on the Legends (which looks a lot like Angel's "Smile Time"). Then it's a big ole hiatus until April as Black Lightning moves from Tuesdays to Mondays. So try to remember where we parked, kids.
But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
Written by Gislef on Dec 4, 2018