Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Legends of Tomorrow The Virgin Gary Review: "The Best DC Show Back With A Bang!"

The CW's DC TV season has not started until Legends of Tomorrow is back. That's not bias, it's just simple fact. No other show could make a killer unicorn murdering hippies at a festival work. No other show could make an episode title like 'The Virgin Gary' work but Legends does.

The premiere didn't exactly pick up where we left off last year with Constantine proclaiming them to have screwed up time forever. Instead it picked up with the Legends doing a great job acting as body guards for The Beatles and keeping bad guys at bay. In fact the Legends have been doing such a bang up job that the Time Bureau decided to throw them a party to celebrate that. So of course Sara basks in the acclaim and her girlfriend's arms and doesn't tell her anything about Constantine's previous warning, because she just wants to enjoy not being a screw up for once and having the girl.

A lot has been written about Sara/Ava's relationship, with most of the criticism claiming them to have basically been thrown together with no build-up whatsoever and finding Ava's turnaround to crushing on Sara a little too fast. Personally speaking I got back into Legends of Tomorrow faster than I got into Sara/Ava and even from a neutral perspective? It was blatantly obvious their love/hate thing was going to turn into a love/love thing and I completely dig it. The LOT writers managed to successfully craft Ava out as her own character outside of Sara, even giving her an episode focused on her and opening the door to identity issues with the discovery of Ava being a clone. The writers did take their time with Ava & Sara, managing to craft out two extremely interesting characters who have come together extremely naturally, thanks to the chemistry between Caity and Jes (which let's face it is what all ships live or die by). It's refreshing in a day and age where LGBT characters screen time becomes solely about their relationship, that LOT has decided to break away from that. It's exciting that TPTB saw the positive reaction to Ava's character and signed Jes up as a series regular and it's exciting that her characters progression remains the same. It's also rather interesting that all of this came from a show inside a universe that has had its criticism for its treatment of LGBT characters.

Sara and Ava are happy and in love and cute and adorable with it, with Ava deciding to take that next step by asking Sara to move in with her. Understandably Sara is a little unsure at first, Ava is slightly embarrassed, but Sara quickly comes round and decides to throw caution to the wind. By the end of the episode though, Sara's realized that whilst she does love Ava and want to move in with her, she has to remain with her team on the Waverider, so they can focus on battling this new evil together. Slightly predictable way to go around things, but this is only the premiere so Sara just upping sticks to move in with Ava and actually stay moved in? Not going to happen this early in the season.

Ava of course isn't the only character who was signed up as a reg this year; we've also been gifted with more John Constantine. I never watched the NBC show, but Matt Ryan is a brilliant actor who elevates every scene that he's in and never fails with any of his line delivery. He's proven himself to be an absolute gift during brief appearances before, so I'm delighted we have now got him on a more permanent basis for this season. Not taking the stereotypical route, the writers decided to have Constantine reject Sara's offer of joining the team. He's a lone wolf, a darker lone wolf than when we last saw him, with demons very much after him, and he's not interested in being on a team or with anyone else. He tries to convince Sara she isn't really ready for that either, and we were treated to two humorous scenes one in which saw Ava question why exactly her girlfriend's ex had broken into her apartment, and the other where Ava was revealing that Constantine had been out helping the team with the unicorn.

Thankfully it doesn't look like the writers intend to put us through a tedious Constantine/Sara/Ava triangle, but instead Sara's interactions with Ava are about facing off against someone who she used to very much be like. Whereas she has now somewhat conquered her darkness, accepted the fact she can be loved, embraced friends and team work, John isn't interested in any of that and it'll be interesting to see how his future interactions with the team go.

In between the unicorn drama, Nate also took Mick to break into a house that turned out to belong to his parents. Thanks to the comic-con announcement, we already knew that Nate's father would be showing up this season. How exactly this story arc is going to go isn't something we know just yet, but it's clear that Nate's relationship with his parents isn't exactly the best and something that he wants to work on. Nate's not the only one working through issues, as Ray has secretly been trying to keep tabs on Nora Darhk. He later admits to Zari that he felt a spark when his and Nora's hands touched, which leads Zari to compare her to a unicorn and Ray to guess that their relationship is doomed. Zari then takes Ray on a little trip down memory lane, to her younger self being pushed on a swing in the park by her mum. Every day Zari lives with the fact that she could so easily change her families future, but in doing so screw up the whole of history and cause a lot of people to die. One of my favourite episodes last season was Zari seemingly being stuck in a time loop and slowly going insane as a result. It allowed us to get a true feel of her character, and since then the show has continued to drop little crumbs. Zari's probably one of the most complex characters on the show, and as much as I do find Ray's naivety a little too much at times, he was perfect in this scene as he completely emphasized with Zari on her dilemma and realized that in comparison? Whatever he thinks he's feeling for Nora pales.

Where the title and our beloved murderous unicorn are concerned........... Gosh don't you love how LOT just put their own unique take on things?! Unicorns are supposed to be adorable creatures, but instead this one was a murderer and more specifically, murdering hippies. It had the potential to change history as we know it, which the Legends obviously couldn't let happen. Sara went to John for help and help he gave, whilst using our beloved virgin Gary as bait for the unicorn. Because he's Gary, he was of course questioning if he was still a virgin given he and John have done things, and John was extremely resolute in his answer. Offering himself up as bait for the unicorn led to Gary getting injured, but at least he now has a fun story to tell! Constantine was of course eventually able to vanquish said demon, but the episode left him in a perilous position since something, is very clearly coming after him.

We don't know what that something is yet. The writers have promised this year we'll be seeing lots of magic and twists on beloved fairy tale characters with 'Witch Hunt' next week introducing a Fairy God Mother who isn't quite as charming as Cinderella led us to believe. We'll also at some point be seeing the new character that Maisie is playing, since Amaya of course departed at the end of last season.

The Virgin Gary was an absolute cracker of a season opener. It had all of LOT's trademarks whilst obviously setting up stories that are to come into play this season. Thankfully we don't have the distraction of the crossover to deal with this year, as Legends of Tomorrow has rather wisely been left out of that, so we really do have a whole season to just enjoy the wackiest, and most loveable DC show on TV.