Hola, and welcome to this recap of Legends of Tomorrow Episode 610, Bad Blood, aka the one that wastes way too much time on Constantine, who I thought we’d be rid of for longer.
I was really hoping that Constantine was spending his time away from the Legends having off-screen adventures and finding the fountain and getting his magic back and that we wouldn’t have to watch him do it, and things were looking good while he was gone for a few episodes, but alas, it seems like he was standing in front of Aleister Crowley’s portrait scratching his beard until the camera panned back to him so he could torture us with his self-serving mission.
He has enlisted the help of a vampire, who I love and want to know more of, who gives him a scroll that was once Aleister’s and a little red vial that she thinks he’ll enjoy. First taste is free.
Meanwhile, on the Waverider, Behrad, Nate and Gary are singing baby GusGus to sleep, much to the amusement of Original Zari and Astra.
Ava and Sara are off looking at wedding venues, and Zari being the oldest girl (and more responsible than the two boys who have been on the team longer than her) is tasked with looking after the rest of the kids while mom was away. I really thought this episode was going to have fun parents-are-out-of-town teen romp vibes when I heard this, but I was very wrong. Instead it had big “we can’t afford the Captains AND Constantine in a big ensemble episode so let’s swap two blonde queers for the other this episode.”
Spooner is getting annoyed because she understands baby GusGus when he’s yelling about his growing pains, and he has to translate for Gary because he can’t find his glasses, and she’s feeling a little grumpy about it. Zari smirks at her new-girl-on-the-ship vibes because she can very much relate.
But an alien translator’s job is never done, Lita also needs her help checking on Mick’s brood pouch to see if maybe it’s the reason Mick stopped contacting Lita a year ago in her time.
Also throughout this episode, Mick keeps saying things like “men can’t have babies” without even met-my-coparent-in-a-feminist-class Lita interjecting to correct him. And Nate keeps making fun of Mick for being pregnant as if it’s a hilarious thing to happen to anyone, especially a man, and none of it sat right with me. Besides applying human binary gender norms on this obviously alien situation, it doesn’t feel very accepting coming from a team that’s been living on a ship with like one hundred queer people including a shapeshifter. These jokes felt off for this show specifically and I was surprised to find this episode was written by a woman. I have to presume she’s straight. Full offense.
BUT anyway, Spooner is an alien translator not an alien midwife and thus has no idea what’s going on with Mick’s weird lumps on the back of his neck so she jumps at the chance to help Constantine instead when he beckons.
Spooner also needs her help for alien reasons, because his map is in an inhuman language, and he decides to take her with him when they figure out where the map leads, back to Albacete, Spain, 1939. They go to the first bar they find to ask about El Gato, who Constantine suspects drank from the fountain, and it starts off a little rocky because the locals think they’re fascist spies, what with Constantine looking the way he does, but he eventually lies his way into their favor. At least, I’m pretty sure he was lying. I don’t remember much about Constantine’s time period/backstory and truly do not care to look it up. With this man, odds that he’s lying are higher than not so I’ll take my chances.
Constantine starts asking them questions while Spooner keeps a sharp eye out for danger.
They follow a lead down to the basement, where a boy is holding a comic book of La Torera and thinks it’s Spooner. And I couldn’t find a real DC Comic about La Torera so I’m going to go ahead and decide this is foreshadowing for a future mission where Spooner inspires this character, even if this episode is any indication, it will happen off-screen.
The boy they find is mute and goes to communicate with them via chalkboard, but before he can finish writing, Spooner realizes that she can hear his thoughts and learns his name is Fernando; this is how Constantine knows for sure Fernando drank from the fountain. When they get upstairs, some Nazis have arrived, and they shoot El Gato right in the chest, but Fernando rushes to him to heal him. The Nazis grab the boy and Spooner while Constantine slithers out a back window.
Up on the Waverider, Lita is still trying to get Mick to come to terms with his unexpected pregnancy, just like her mother did, just like she did, but he’s being grumpy about it. Nate and Zari are having a bit of a hard time with GusGus, who has grown into a giant hormonal teenager, but Mick is resistant to help. Lita asks why he won’t even have Gideon make sure the alien spawn aren’t eating him from the inside out but he finally admits what’s really eating at him: he left Kayla behind. Lita comforts him but when it’s clear he won’t budge, she tells him she’s going into labor.
Meanwhile, El Gato is being tortured by the Nazis, and Spooner telepathically reassures Fernando that Constantine went to get help and that a whole band of heroes are on their way. But of course Constantine didn’t get the Legends. Or even just Sara and Ava. No, Constantine is a narcissistic dillweed who thinks he can handle this himself, so he dresses up like a Catholic priest and pretends to be sent from the Vatican.
Mick is trying to push his pregnant daughter to the med bay when they run into the Tarazi siblings trying to use their wonder twin totem powers to keep GusGus, who now looks like a yeti who got bubble gum stuck in his fur, at bay. Also, it seems they’ve been trying this for a while because everyone looks a bit windswept.
Mick does jump in to help protect Lita, and the team ends up yeeting the yeti out a time portal to Beebo-knows-when, which I suppose is a problem for future us. When they get to the safety of the med bay, Lita admits she lied to get him here to have Gideon tell if he’s in labor or not.
Also lying is Constantine, still/again/always, this time to try to give a spiritual reason why maybe Spooner can translate Fernando’s thoughts and tell them where the magic fountain is. He says he was hiding in a cave when an angel told him to drink from the fountain, and he’s been able to heal people ever since. He tells Spooner that he could lead them to the cave, but that part Spooner keeps to herself, telling the Nazis that he doesn’t remember exactly where it is.
And then they all fight until Spooner, Constantine, and Fernando can escape.
Spooner thinks this is an awful lot of work for Constantine to get his magic back, especially to someone who spent years wishing her powers would go away. But he says he’s a bisexual man with an abusive father whose magic is the only thing he has to stick it to “the man” so Spooner agrees to help him.
But when they get to the cave and find the fountain, it’s all dried up. Constantine is devastated, furious, frantic, and asks Spooner to steal Fernando’s fountain magic and put it in Constantine. Fernando is fine with this plan as long as they help him find his mother.
So Spooner uses the lullaby that has been stuck in her head all day to focus and floats the magic out of Fernando and into Constantine.
But instead of sticking to Constantine, it goes right through him and back into the fountain, which stays dry and cracked. Spooner realizes what this means at the same time as Constantine: He’s not worthy.
But Nazis are approaching and Constantine is desperate so he drinks the little red vial the vampire gave him and it gives him acid trip magic, enough to kill all the Nazis and to wear him out completely.
Back on the timeship, Gideon scans Mick and says he’s not in labor, but he does have 48 baby aliens swimming around in his noggin. Between his conversation with Lita and seeing the hatchlings on the ultrasound, he’s finally coming around to the idea of having Kayla’s babies.
Ava and Sara choose now to return, and Ava thinks this is lovely even though Sara is weirded out by the ultrasound.
They hardly notice that the rest of their team looks like they played that game where you go in a box of wind and try to grab as much cash as they can, but I suppose little could faze them at this point in their time traveling career.
Spooner and Constantine take Fernando home and are grateful to find El Gato alive. Also I hope the lady behind the bar was his mother, otherwise Constantine just fully did not keep up with that part of the bargain.
I guess they stay and celebrate a bit because next thing you know, Spooner is carrying a drunk Constantine home and giving him a pep talk about faith.
We blessedly get a little Spooner backstory. She says she forgets her mother’s face, but not her voice, that they both got abducted but only Spooner was returned and she wished she kept looking for her, but eventually she lost faith. But Constantine tells her that there’s no such thing as ‘too late’ when you’re a time traveler.
Constantine sniffs his little red vial and Spooner tries to warn him against using that stuff again, but in response he fucks with her free will and memory and sends her to bed. The vampire returns with a briefcase full of more little red vials and takes the Crowley portrait as payment.
She smirks at Constantine as she leaves, knowing this isn’t the last she’ll see of him.
And I can’t help but wonder if Constantine is on a path to becoming the big bad? Because I know he’s always been the most morally gray of the lot of them but fucking with Spooner’s memory and free will without hesitation? Without regret? That feels too far, even for Constantine. I, for one, wish he had stayed away, but we all know that CWDCTV loves to milk their overdone male properties even when it’s a proven fact that their female leads are stronger.
I know that there are some huge Constantine fans out there, leftovers from the show, loyalists from the comics, but I just don’t feel like this is the right place for him. I don’t think he’d be the right fit for Superman & Lois either but I sort of wish he’d go there so I didn’t have to look at him anymore. He’s best when he’s just one of the team, but he so rarely is allowed to just be part of the ensemble. He too often is sucking up spotlight like a black hole when we have so many more interesting characters now with plenty more to learn about, whereas Constantine and his magic addiction and questionable ethics always feel like more of the same.
While I love a background bit (Marie Antoinette’s headless body stumbling around in the background of that one episode is still one of my favorite moment), every time we caught a glimpse of Zari — Original Zari! Who we JUST got back! Who we were all so excited to see! — and then we’d cut back to Constantine, I’d get so annoyed. It made me which this episode was more of a choose your own adventure, or like Sleep No More, and we got to pick which storyline we followed. I was grateful for more time with Spooner, but I wish she got her own story, instead of having to try to steal a moment or two in Constantine’s.
If I try to step back from my bias against Constantine, I still think there’s an issue with this episode; an issue so few episodes of Legends have had since Rip left. There was a star of this episode. The A plot and the B plot were both about singular characters. This story was mostly about Constantine getting his magic back, and a little about Mick coming to terms with his pregnancy, and the rest was just background flavor. That’s not what makes this show tick. This show is an ensemble show and that’s its best quality. Even when they’re trying to solve one person’s problems, it’s usually 4-5 of them at a time on a mission. I love the occasional quiet one on one moments, but those should be just that: moments. This show is about misfits and found family and it falls apart if we try to bring any one character too far forward for too long.
Even the episodes where Sara was alone on an alien planet were balanced with ensemble shenanigans.
Anyway, they can’t all be Thong Songs and Beebo Battles, yaknow? Next week, alien bowling? Sure, why not.