“Legends of Tomorrow” Episode 401 Recap: A Literal Unicorn

Hello and welcome to my shiny new Legends of Tomorrow recaps! Jes Macallan was upgraded to a series regular, and we graduated from Boobs on Your Tube coverage to FULL-LENGTH RECAPS! As soon as I saw this episode I knew it was time, and lucky for me Heather agreed. So here I am to shout about Sara Lance and Ava Sharpe throughout space and time.

This first episode was so much fun, and it highlighted every reason I love this show. Whip-smart humor, ridiculous sci-fi shenanigans, misfit teamwork, hilarious mishaps, period piece perfection, and ladies loving ladies.

What’s great about Legends is that each week is a romp and the through-lines don’t really matter as much as the characters — in fact, last seasons running plot about the totems is the origin of what my friend Bridget calls, “totems shmotems.” When it comes down to it, those things aren’t why we watch the show. So there’s not much that carries over for this season; all you need to remember is that they let the Big Bad out of a hell dimension to kill it (with Beebo) and other things like dragons slipped out before they closed the portal again.

So the Legends have spent the last five months cleaning up their anachronisms and keeping their eye out for more ooglies. When we rejoin them, they’re overseeing the Beatles landing in the US, talking about which member they’d bang… classic Legends.

Things are going well until Paul Revere shows up, but it’s not long before they set things right. Our little band of weirdos seems to have their act down pat.

Zari and Sara lookin foine

And their lewks, too.

Later, back on the Waverider, Sara finds her team moping around. They’re on a time-traveling spaceship and they look… bored. Sara’s like, “Hey remember that one time we SAVED INDEPENDENCE AS WE KNOW IT” but they are nonplussed.

Sara is trying to rally the troops

“If not even my arms have roused you, something is surely wrong.”

They want to fight dragons and other mysterious monsters. Ray makes a joke about ratings — Time Bureau ratings of course — and Sara tells them to get it together. They’re finally doing things right, they’re finally fixing more messes than they make, they’re finally HEROES.

Gideon interrupts to say that Avagram wants to talk to Sara, and Captain Lance all but skips over because she’s excited to see her girl.

Sara is happy to see Ava

“Why yes I will openly flirt with you via official Time Bureau channels.”

But the Avagram is short and curt and demands they all come to the DC office at once. As soon as she hangs up, Sara whips around and demands to know who told her about the dragons.

On the way into the office, they try to beat the truth out of Gary, asking why they’re in trouble, but he shoves them into the room and they realize it’s actually a surprise party for them. They fixed all the anachronisms, they finished their missions. And Ava is so proud.

Ava is beaming


Ava takes Sara back to her apartment and they have a little… fun. Then Sara starts to leave to go back to her team because a pirate on furlow is trouble in the making, but Ava asks her to stay. And more than just the night. She wants her to move in with her. And yes this really happened, you didn’t actually click away from my recap and start reading fanfic!

Sara smirks down at Ava

I like this Timeline! I hope Barry doesn’t run too fast and fuck it up!

At first Sara looks like she’s balking — and at first I’m not surprised. Sara Lance has always been terrified of commitment, terrified of getting hurt, terrified of hurting. But that’s not why she paused. She was just thinking. And though she wants it to just be part time so she can still be a Legend, she’s totally on board with this whole cohabiting thing.

Also Ava makes a U-Haul/Subaru joke and it’s amazing.

Ava actually literally squees and they kiss and it’s perfect.

Sara and Ava hold each other joyfully in bed

Ava is all of us.

Sara goes out to the kitchen to get more champagne but Constantine decides there’s too much happiness going on and he wants to throw his wet blanket on it. He grumbles about darkness and Sara is like, “Can you possibly NOT?” but he has bones that he thinks will say some mystical magical mayhem is afoot. Ava comes out to see what’s taking Sara so long and Sara promptly shows Constantine the door, hiding the bones. She sends Ava back to bed, reassuring her that Constantine is just being a pest and is not a threat to their relationship.

Ava nuzzles Sara's neck


But as soon as Ava is out of sight, the bones move, and Sara knows that, though his timing was bad, Constantine was right.

While the Captain is away, the Legends will play, so Nate and Mick decide to go make some trouble. They sneak into a mansion to rob it only to discover (well, we discover, and Mick discovers; Nate knew) that it was Nate’s parents’ house, and while his mother is immediately feeding them sandwiches, it’s clear Nate is not a daddy’s boy.

After seeing the spooky bones, Sara goes to the Time Bureau office and wakes up a drunk and sleeping Gary to have him help her find a place in time that might be hiding a monster.

Sara looks sternly at Gary

:instinctively empties pockets at Sara’s feet:

The biggest hiccup is during Woodstock, which could be a monster everyone is too high to register as one, so Sara jacks Gary’s time carrier and bounces back to 1969.

Ray also noticed the blip and thinks, instead of a monster, it might be Nora, so he heads back to Woodstock, too, his buddy Zari hot on his heels. The first thing Ray and Zari find is a pile of rainbow goo and a corpse with its heart missing. A curious juxtaposition if we’ve ever seen one.

At the same time, Nate’s dad mentions the Woodstock Massacre, so Nate and Mick end up back in 1969 too. They do a little ’60s-style block formation and end up together, looking cute as heck. They quickly find the reason for the magic meter going off when they spot a beautiful, magical unicorn dazzling people with its happy butterflies and rainbow lights. Everything is groovy until the unicorn IMPALES a woman and EATS HER HEART OUT. Literally. Totally uncool, man.

Before taking back off into the forest, the unicorn sprays everyone with rainbow glitter goo from its horn. Well, everyone except Sara, who dove behind her team like a good captain should.

Sara wants to solve this without involving Ava, because she likes that Ava looks at her like a hero, like the woman who saved the world, and she doesn’t want to give that up.

Sara and Zari look goooood as hippies

I love Woodstock, turns out. Who knew. #sideboob

So Sara heads off to find Constantine, who warns her that her friends are all going to be useless for a little while due to the hippie acid goo.

And sure enough, back at Woodstock, everyone is hallucinating. And it seems like everyone is seeing something they feel like they lost. Nate sees his father, Mick sees his rat Axl, Ray sees Nora. Which is why it made me pretty sad that Zari just saw love.

On their way back, Sara tells Constantine about why she came to him for help instead of Ava, how she doesn’t want to screw things up, and Constantine gives her the oh-so-helpful advice that people always leave and love is a lie and she should probably just break up with Ava now to save everyone the pain of it.

And the Sara Lance we once knew — hell, even the Sara Lance of last season — would have taken this seed of doubt and held it until it grew into a tree that rooted her somewhere far away from Ava. But this Sara Lance has been through too much with Ava already. They’ve already had the conversation about danger and clones and the chaotic lives they lead. Of course she’s scared. But they chose each other, and they keep choosing each other.

Sara scolds Constantine

“If you don’t cut down all this grumbling, I’m sending you to Star City.”

Sara won’t give up on Ava, on their relationship. Love is not a weakness, love is what makes us strong.

Constantine can go choke on his seed of doubt for all she cares.

Okay fine for all I care. Sara says working with her team might do him some good. Even Mick isn’t quite this cynical anymore. Mostly.

Though cut to her team and they’re all kind of useless, high as hippie kites. So Constantine and Sara get to work, Sara urging him on by telling him, one bisexual to another, that the Sexual Revolution depends on them getting this right.

So they visit some ’60s icons to gather ingredients for a spell to send the demon unicorn back to the hell dimension it came from but the last thing they need is the saliva of a virgin, so they go find Gary. Gary is mostly just happy to be invited even though he’s 100% bait for the murderous unicorn.

Oh also Gary implies that he and Constantine fooled around a bit (but not enough for him to lose his virginity status, at least not according to the laws of sorcery).

Sara raises a sexy, sexy eyebrow

“Sounds like you two lit the black flame candle if you know what I mean.”

The unicorn appears and bares its horrible fangs right up in Gary’s face and Constantine starts a spell he maybe should have started prepping like 30 seconds sooner and then the beautiful white coat and rainbow essence of the unicorn is stripped away and all that remains is a rotting thestral-looking creature. Constantine sucks the demoncorn through the portal, and the Legends save Gary from going with it. Before it disappears from whence it game, the unicorn takes one last lunch out of the portal at Gary and nibbles a nipple right off.

Ray mentions the ratings again and says, “People do love the supernatural” or should I say Supernatural aka the wildly popular show also on the CW. 85% of the time when a show makes a meta joke I hate it, but with Legends it just WORKS.

And then Zari swoops in to bring things down a notch. Because Legends likes to remind you it’s 50% romp, 25% friendship and love, but also 25% heartbreak. Zari goes to talk to Ray, who is bummed they didn’t find Nora, and tries to get him to just let it go. She takes him to a park where her mother is pushing her own tiny self on a swing. She says it would be so easy to tell her to go to Canada before the country she worked so hard to get to would turn on her. She feels guilty every day that goes by that she didn’t warn her.

Zari has tears in her eyes and it HURTS

Zari needs a hug and I volunteer as tribute.

Zari’s eyes fill with tears as she watches her mother’s eyes light up as she laughs and lovingly plays with her daughter. “How could anyone be afraid of her?” she asks.

It hit very close to home and it’s fucking heartbreaking. But that’s what I love about this show. Mystical magical nonsense and real life issues, all in one episode.

Oh and also domestic relationships between two women.

Like how Ava has made dinner and is hanging up Sara’s Time Bureau awards because she’s so proud of her.

Ava rests her head on Sara's shoulder

Two blondes in a relationship is truly groundbreaking. Dare to defy.

Seeing how proud Ava is, Sara breaks. If this is going to cave in on itself, it has to happen now. So she blurts out the truth about the portal and the magical creatures and that she kept it from Ava so that she didn’t think her girlfriend was a major screw-up. Ava just laughs and says she knows; Gary told her about the unicorn. Sara’s confused. If she knew about the unicorn, why did she make dinner instead of packing Sara’s scary slippers? Ava calls her a goober and says she loves her. No matter what. And she doesn’t think she’s a screw-up.

Sara can’t believe her damn luck, that in all the timelines in all the worlds, she found Ava Sharpe in hers. Sara says she loves Ava right back.

Sara grabs Ava's face and says she loves her

Sara deserves this. We deserve this.

Sara tells Ava that while she’d love nothing more than to be with her always, now with more monsters on the loose, she really has to be with her team. Ava understands — like really, truly, maturely understands — and says she wants the relationship to keep evolving, even if it doesn’t match the typical path relationships often take.

They’ll figure things out their own way.

Avalance kiss

These two are the true unicorns.


Eh hem.

Anyway the episode ends with Sara inviting Constantine to the team, Constantine being a butt about it, Sara leaving, and Constantine getting attacked by an unseen force who writes cryptic messages to him on the mirror.

I don’t know about you, but I loved this episode, I loved writing a full recap for this episode, and I love that we’re going down a magical route this season. It looks like next week we’ll be dealing with a fairy godmother gone wrong, so I kind of hope we keep up the trend of traditionally “good” icons being demon nasties.

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Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 572 articles for us.


  1. I literally created an account just so I could comment on how much I couldn’t handle how soft and cute and sweet and fluffy and DOMESTIC Sara and Ava were being. It was too much; I was on overload. Amazing.

    This season is shaping up to look so fun. They turned the whacky up a notch and I am loving it. Bring on the magical and the crazy!

  2. I spent the entire episode grinning from ear to ear what with the Avalance domestic bliss and time travel shenanigans and then Zari hit me in the feels with that monologue/scene with Ray. It was an emotional roller coaster that I didn’t know I needed until the ride was over. This might be the best Legends episode ever.

  3. That Uhaul and Suburu joke was so on point I did a double take and almost fell off my couch. It’s clear they have some queer ladies in the writers room, or else they REALLY did their research.

    I also loved how Sara pushed back on Constantine, that she wasn’t going to give up on her and Ava. Talk about some character growth!

    I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings us.

  4. Hi so I don’t know who writes the meta jokes on this show but anyone who can have VICTOR GARBER MAKE THE WORLD’S BEST TITANIC JOKE ON AN EPISODE LITERALLY FEATURING BILLY ZANE IS A GODDAMN HERO. Also this may be the gayest show on tv and I watched 5.5 seasons of Pretty Little Liars

  5. Like most of us here on this website I started watching this show for WLW content, and OMG did this episode give us some amazing content for that. But, last season, somewhere around the time loop episode, I will admit, Zari became my favorite character, she’s fun, her sense of humor matches up with mine real well, she has a bit of a defeatist streak that I have, I just love her.

    And then her thing at the end about warning her mother, and talking about where this country is going, and I’m sitting here a transgender woman and everything on the news about basically redefining me out of existence and I just lost it. I’m crying right now thinking about it and I don’t know how to finish this post. I love this show, and I love all of you guys and I’m really scared.

    • I’m so sorry this is happening, Diana. Just like Zari has the Legends, you have this group of misfit TV-lovers on this very website. We’re stronger together, and you’ll always have a home here with us. <3

      • Thank you, that means a lot. I know we’re fighting, we’re together and we’re doing what it takes. A lot of times I worry that their just isn’t enough of us, but I know that even if shit gets really bad, that bad won’t last forever. I know that. It’s just really hard to keep up the faith when that happy times seems so far away. Thank you for your kind words, I REALLY mean that.

        • You have my support, Diana. I also spent the past couple days crying and have finally stopped because I’ve been lucky enough to get my feelings out in safe spaces. Like Valerie Anne said, we’re here for you, Autostraddle is a safe space.

  6. This episode is a gift to cross fandom humor. Observe:

    “No, I get it; you’re a lesbian, not a unicorn.”

  7. I love this crazy shit show so much.

    It was so refreshing seeing a relationship dealing with issues in such a mature way. Like genuinely talking through issues and understanding each other. Sara Lance has come so far and I am so happy for her.

    I’m a bit ehhh about Constantine. I find this character trope so boring but I trust this show enough to see how it goes. The best thing about this show is that you can pair any two characters together and the dynamics are so much fun.

    I love Zari so much and I’m really looking forward to seeing her arc this season. Especially with Amaya gone.

    Anyway thanks for the recap Valarie. I’m so glad we’re getting full ones this season.

    • The only reason I’m still giving Constantine a chance is that he brought Sara back from the dead that one time so I still feel a debt of gratitude toward him. He’s drying up that well pretty quickly though…I’m hoping he lightens up a little.

  8. I always thought it was “time courier,” no?

    Hat tip for working in a Harry Potter reference.

    Yay for full Valerie Anne recaps this season!

    • Ha! Time Courier…makes way more sense. I’ve never had to write it before! hahaha Thanks!

  9. I wasn’t sure how they were going to top the absolutely bonkers bar they set with giant, fighting Beebo, but they really did it. Such a fun episode and a promising start to the season. Glad to see you taking on the full-length format this time around, Valerie Anne!

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