Previously on Legends of Tomorrow, we entered our most delightful season yet, filled with Domestic Avalance, magical fugitives like a demon unicorn and a bitchy fairy godmother, and so much more.
This week we travel back to London in 1977, where the Queen is acting rather strange, asking to wear her crown jewels out to see… a punk grunge band in a club. She is rocking and crowd surfing and having a jolly good time. But the thing is, as the Legends have now noticed, something magical is afoot and the Queen going off the rails like this slowly devolves the country into chaos. So they’ve got to stop it.
Sara wants Nate to ditch the suit and hop back on the Waverider, but he wants to help Ava kick off a project so he’s going to stay behind. Sara can’t believe he’d choose manila folders over time travel but she leaves him be and skips off without him.
Back on the Waverider, Ray has made Zari a cool watch to hold her air totem so she can still do her whooshy powers. He says it’s the least he can do since she is his confidante re: The Nora Thing.
The duo joins the rest of the Legends as they figure out that the magic blip is coming not from the Queen, but from a band called The Smell.
Constantine looks at the band poster and immediately decides that one of them is a leprechaun. He says it with the confidence of a mediocre white man and won’t listen to anyone who suggests maybe they don’t jump to conclusions. Sara is excited to jump into this mission because she’s got herself a cool band of punks… and also Ray Palmer.
To lean into this dynamic, they all dress up in grunge gear and have Ray dress up as their chauffeur. It’s literally perfect. Well, Constantine isn’t dressed punk but his loose tie/unnecessary coat/spikey hair look screams rule-breaker anyway. Plus he’s the only one who actually fits in and likes this kind of music. He thinks this qualifies him to be the one to talk to the band and try to suss out what’s going on, but Mick doesn’t trust him… and so the boys start a bar fight.
In the tussle, the band runs off and hops into Ray’s van, and he takes off with them because they told him to.
The band loves Ray and, much to Sara’s dismay, this means he’s the guy on the inside now.
Constantine tells him to spill grains because a leprechaun will be compelled to count them, and Sara doesn’t have time to tell him literally any other idea because she has to keep Constantine and Mick from setting each other on fire.
Meanwhile, at the Time Bureau, Ava and Gary drop heaps of papers and binders off at Nate’s desk and Ava, the adorable dork she is, says, “The adventure’s in the details.” Nate is having second thoughts about this gig but Gary insists that they have fun here in the office, too. For example, instead of Taco Tuesdays, they have — get this — Taco MONDAYS. (Then Gary says “dare to defy” which is literally one of my favorite jokes to make about CW shows.)
The deliverer of the tacos is a girl name Mona, and Gary very awkwardly flirts with her. They’re a match made in awkwardville.
Ray infiltrates the band’s hideout with the very clever, super secret, deep undercover name Rayge. The seeming leader of the band, Charlie, decides she likes this Rayge character and invites him in.
Ray drops some grains on the ground and the man Constantine just KNEW was a leprechaun not only isn’t one, but recognized the test for one and is highly insulted. So the band decides they should put “Rayge” through a test. They have him drive them to St. James’ Park and tell Rayge to steal one of the royal corgis. And sure enough, the royal dog walker is there walking the royal corgis. They need Ray to stay in with the band until they figure out who’s magical, so Mick and Sara work together to secretly take care of the guards so Ray can easily scoop up one of the pups.
They give the pup a purple mohawk and send him home, and the band is so impressed with him they want to give him a tattoo to initiate him. Ray is extremely hesitant until Charlie says, “Sometimes you have to do bad things for good reasons,” which is something Ray can get behind. And in fact is exactly what he did with Nora. Emboldened, he accepts the tattoo from the dirty needle with pride.
While he’s getting branded, Charlie mentions that their next plan is to get the crown jewels to keep, and she says she’ll “work” her “magic” and winks at her new buddy Rage.
Constantine, meanwhile, is in a bar chatting with the bartender. Zari comes in and giddily thinks she’s cockblocking him, but then she finds out that actually the bartender is his mother. She died (dies?) in childbirth, something his asshat father (who is also at the bar) never let him forget.
Constantine thinks he has a brilliant solution to this problem, and all the problems he perceives he caused throughout his life, and goes to kick his father in the balls, but Zari just watches with sad eyes, knowing full well he can’t do it. You can’t kick yourself out of existence because then there’s no one to kick you out of existence. It’s timey wimey and it’s not going to work.
Zari gets it, though. Truly.
Constantine has a lot of regrets and knows his past is quite literally haunting him but isn’t quite ready to confide in Zari just yet.
Ray meets up with Mick to tell him what he knows so far, and says that he thinks Charlie is the magic-maker, so Mick wants to send her to hell. But Ray tries to tell him that it’s not as black and white as that anymore.
Also, fun fact, Ray’s tattoo is a corgi with a mohawk. Because of course it is.
Rayge goes back to talk to his “punk friends” and instead of finding his new buddies ready to hang, he finds angry folks with a newspaper with a photo of the team from last year’s ’70s episode (“Here I Go Again,” arguably one of the best episodes of the season) and calling him a liar and a poser.
They call Rayge a disco narc, which is kind of hilarious, but then Charlie yells at them at stop being gatekeepers. They all have a past, and it shouldn’t matter. Who you were doesn’t matter, it’s about who are you and who you want to be.
As a form of apology, Charlie gives Rayge a mixtape, which will forever be the cutest gift you can give a person. Charlie asks what happened to everyone from his disco days; Sara fell in love, Nate got a desk job, and Amaya, their moral compass, is gone. Charlie isn’t surprised that, after all that, Ray turned into Rayge. Ray asks her what happened to her, and she says that small-minded people got scared and locked her up.
She reveals to him that she’s a shapeshifter, and is thrilled that he is more amazing than afraid of her abilities.
Ray goes back to Sara and tells her that Charlie is indeed their shapeshifter, but that he doesn’t think he deserves to go to hell like the murder-unicorn. But Sara points out that the Fairy Godmother looked harmless until she didn’t too… but Ray promises she hasn’t really hurt anyone, just pulled some relatively harmless pranks.
The team thinks he’s in too deep, but Sara’s first instinct is to trust him, but Zari is the final vote and she’s outnumbered, so she leads her team to move in on the shapeshifter.
Ray sees his team coming and tries to save Charlie by telling her the whole truth and showing her his suit, but then next thing you know Ray is using his suit to knock out his team without a reflex apology, which is a bit of a red flag.
While all this chaos is going on, Gary and Nate have been becoming Time Bros. They decide to skip procedure and go try to find a magic fugitive themselves, but end up having the scurry back and away from getting mauled by a sabre tooth tiger so that they don’t get mauled by a sabre tooth Ava. When they get back, Gary gives Nate a plant he took from their mission, and that plant ends up being a regular ol’ Audrey II. And I know I made a Little Shop reference in my Supergirl recap, but this time it was even more justified, and also Sara made it first.
Ray wakes up and realizes Charlie stole his suit and his face, and tries to play peacekeeper between an angry and scared Charlie and his angry and scared Legends.
At Sara’s word, Zari uses her powers to hold Charlie against the wall and Constantine calls her a monster as he opens the portal to hell.
Distraught, Charlie pleads for her life. She says she can show them a real monster, then turns into Sara.
Which is really triggering for Sara, who has lived in fear that she was, indeed, a monster, ever since she came out of the Lazarus pit.
Charlie turns into each of them in turn, and then, in a moment of desperation, puts on the face Ray had called their moral compass, hoping it will act as a mirror, showing them what they’re doing to her.
The team is stressed, and Zari can’t do it, so she lets the Amaya-faced woman go and Constantine closes his hell portal. Sara decides they can figure things out back on the Waverider, but Constantine doesn’t trust Charlie. So he steals. her. powers. And I’m sorry but that’s super fucked up! They have power dampeners or could have put a tracker on her or cuffs or anything, but instead he permanently stripped her of her powers, before even letting her choose what identity she wanted to be in forever. I mean, I personally don’t mind that she’s locked in with Maisie Richardson-Sellers’s face, but it was a jerk move on Constantine’s part.
Back on the ship, Ray is a little indignant about keeping Charlie locked up, and Sara is quite over his punk phase. But then he says that it’s not just a phase, because he’s been a rebel for quite some time. In fact, he is the one who helped Nora Darhk escape.
Ray believes Nora deserved a second chance, like so many of them got, and like Charlie should have.
Sara goes to the Time Bureau to find Nate and Gary covered in goo. Nate says he’s almost ready to go back to the Waverider because he won’t be looking for Amaya around every corner. Sara realizes that… maybe right now is not the best time for him to come back after all.
Sara isn’t there for Nate anyway, she’s there to take her girl on a date. Ava is concerned about the multitude of goo, but Sara pulls her away and says it’s date night.
Ava, having had enough trouble keeping Gary and Nate in line, wonders how Sara handles so many of them at once. But the only Legend Ava has to worry about handling tonight is Sara so off they go for a lovely evening together.
Back on the Waverider, Zari gives Constantine two gifts. The first is the promise to never force him to overprocess his feelings, and the second is a surveillance photo she pulled of him and his mom together. The only one he’s ever had.
Zari always knows exactly how to help in her very Zari way.
Meanwhile, Charlie is still trapped in the holding cell in her disco outfit and Amaya’s body…but she’s definitely not Amaya anymore.
Mick is mad at himself; they almost became the thing he hates most: cops. They almost threw someone in hell just because they technically broke a rule, without any thought to seriousness of the crime, whether anyone was hurt, etc. Ray helped him realized that good and bad, even when it comes to magical creatures, isn’t so cut and dry.
This show continues to surprise and delight me, and next week we’re going to summer camp in the ’90s to battle a swamp thing, so it seems there will be no end to the hootenanny we’re having this season.