Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Legends of Tomorrow Witch Hunt Review: "Say Hello to the Twisted Fairy Godmother!"

As does tend to be the way with Legends of Tomorrow, this was a surprisingly emotional episode. Not what I thought I'd be writing about an episode that featured an extremely naughty fairy Godmother, but these are the types of episodes that LOT does so well.

We're living in an extremely volatile political climate. Encouraged to fight for what we believe in, to fight for the little people, use our voices for something that matters, speaking out and fighting back against an enemy to which logic does not compute. No matter where you go? It's extremely difficult to escape the subject of politics because it does impact on our every day lives, so it's no surprise that TV shows are seeping storylines of a political nature into episodes.

Supergirl has begun its 4th season with an anti-alien group wreaking havoc. It's extremely easy to condemn them for their actions because they're hurting aliens that have mostly come in peace, and just want to live a better life on earth than they'd get on their home planet, but with this weeks episode we got to see the other side of Agent Liberty and how exactly they came to have such a hatred for aliens. With Legends of Tomorrow this week? A journey to Salem to find a fugitive magical creature turned into Zari trying to save a girl and her mother from being burnt at the stake. Sara was insistent that they had to let history play out, because as we're constantly reminded, whilst the Legends might travel through time they don't change things that can have wide lasting ramifications on the timeline. It's why Quentin and Earth 1 Laurel Lance are still dead, despite Sara having the ability to go back in time and stop that from happening, and it's why Zari lives with an ache in her heart.

The show reminds us quite often that Zari comes from an extremely difficult time filled with prejudice and death. She lives with the fact that her families life is forever doomed because of this, and no matter how much she wants to change it she's not allowed to. Bearing this in mind it's completely understandable that Zari would immediately feel empathy for a young witch and her mother, who a man accuses of being a witch just because she turned him down and her mother is willing to be burnt if it means protecting her daughter who is the actual said witch. There have often been missions where the team is torn in half, some wanting to go rogue and change things for the better even if it has ever lasting consequences and others trying to be the voice of reason.

In this episode that voice of reason was ship captain Sara who was once again trying to reign Zari in. That's not something that went too well for her as Zari of course went rogue and used her totem to try and break Jane Hawthorne out of prison, and reunite her with her daughter Prudence. To her surprise, Jane is very much willing to take the punishment and die and she's even willing to forgive her killers if it means her daughter is able to live her life. Zari points out that knowing her mother died for her is something that will haunt Prudence forever, but Jane is resolute that she will eventually be free of her burden and absolutely refuses to run.

At the trial Reverend Parsons lays out all of Jane's crimes and how she is completely and utterly evil and must be burned if Salem is to rid itself of witches. I'm pretty sure viewers were as angered by his speech as Zari was, but it does raise a good point. It is so easy to accuse someone of actions out of spite and malice. It's extremely easy to then come up with a list of reasons for why they should be condemned, and it's so easy for a crowd to just go along with that. It's a thing of human nature that when we don't understand something, we're skeptical and scared of it and that can lead us to do horrendous things. In Zari's case her anger and frustration over the doom that is her families fate well and truly came to the surface, as she used her totem on the Reverend to free Jane. She did rightly point out that the trial was bogus, the Reverend was the true evil and the people needed to stand up against him, but of course they didn't listen. So Zari ended up becoming the very thing she was condemning and took matters into her own hands, using the totem to choke the Reverend and several other people. She could've quite easily killed them all and she knew that. She did eventually regain control of herself, and realize that her anger had caused her to become the very thing she was protesting.

Unfortunately at that point the Reverend re-took control of the situation, and decided to condemn both Zari and Jane to the stake and burn them. Zari's power and almost dying well and truly had the Reverend shook, and when you're truly scared you do just what the evil thing terrorizing you to go away. Luckily Sara was on hand to interrupt the burning and kick some fine ass, before Prudence showed up with her fairy Godmother to wreak revenge on all those that had hurt her mother. That's when Zari was forced to step up and point out that her mother doesn't want Prudence using her power for evil. In a game of one up man ship the fairy Godmother challenged Zari to tell Prudence that things do eventually get better in the future, and mankind does learn its lesson. She of course couldn't admit that because mankind really does not learn anything from the past, but reiterated that you don't beat your enemies by stooping down to the level, you beat them by being better.

Some might view that answer as a cop-out but it's the truth and a very good PSA. We are living in extremely difficult times and unfortunately, some people take their ideologies to the extreme and kill innocent people. It is completely and utterly terrible, but taking a life for a life doesn't even the score it only makes things worse. Even if it is extremely difficult (and it is REALLY difficult at the best of times) when they go low we do have to go high because otherwise we are no better than them.

That's a message Prudence took on board as she released the fairy Godmother from her, and both she and her mother decided it was time for them to leave Salem. Zari returned to the ship expecting Sara to tell her off, but instead Sara simply said she was there if Zari ever wanted to talk. Both she and us viewers already know that Zari knows she took things a little too far, and will hopefully learn from this experience to do better.

Away from all of this some seeds were sewed for the possibility of Nate leaving the team. He was drafted in to help Ava schmooze the department of defense into giving the Time Bureau more money to help track down and keep time in shape. Of course the person leading the defense departments team was Nate's father Hank and of course this talk came just after Nate and his father had an extremely angry confrontation. Nate decided it'd be best if he wasn't part of the schmoozing so Ava was forced to turn to Gary for help and it didn't go well at all. With Hank demanding proof that magical beings existed, Nate went back to the ship and brought pig Ray along for the meeting (he was turned into a pig by the fairy Godmother) and once the spell had worn off, Ray became human Ray again and Hank was willing to give the Bureau whatever they wanted to make sure he didn't have to see Ray naked again. With Nate having done so well with said schmoozing, Ava offered him a job with the Bureau because she absolutely hates this part of the job and Nate does it so well. He seemed reluctant at first, but with the opportunity in sight of perhaps getting another chance with his dad? Maybe traveling through time just isn't the right thing for Nate right now. Ray seemed to pick up on his friends trepidcation when Nate declines to go back to the ship with him, but it remains to be seen just where exactly this story goes.

And finally I'll drop a few notes on John Constantine. Something very big and scary is clearly out to get him. It's so big and scary that John backed down and decided to join the Legends as a consultant. Said consultancy in this episode involved a back and forth exchange with the fairy Godmother as they both hated each other, and John later trying to bargain with her by offering her the chance to be his fairy Godmother and in exchange he wouldn't sent her to hell. Shockingly enough she declined the ever so kind offer, and instead told John he was even more damned than she is before she got zapped. Given this is only the 2nd episode in, the show is clearly still laying the seeds for what is to come this season. John's a fantastic character and Matt Ryan does so much with him that I love every moment he is on screen. Having said that the show needs to start dropping some answers and soon.