Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 17, 2019)
Arguably the wildest of the superhero series, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow comes to us with Season Four. This two-disc set includes 16 episodes. The plot synopses come from the package’s liner notes.
The Virgin Gary: “John Constantine (Matt Ryan) warns of a new magic threat.”
Left out of that synopsis: much of “Gary” takes us to Woodstock. The episode offers a clever twist on actual events and sends the Legends to fix this glitch. Expect a fun start to the season.
Witch Hunt: “The Legends head to the Salem Witch Trials.”
Legends has always been a rollicking series, and S4’s introduction of magic sends it into even crazier territory. I like that, and these choices allow “Hunt” to go down some delightfully warped paths.
Dancing Queen: “Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) infiltrates a 1970s British gang.”
Is it an easy gag to place straight-laced Ray among punks? Sure, but it works anyway, and that becomes an enjoyable angle in another entertaining episode.
Wet Hot American Bummer: “The Legends go undercover as camp counselors.”
With its mix of throwbacks to camp-based comedies and horror films, “Bummer” offers potential. It doesn’t quite match up to expectations – or S4’s first three episodes – but it still seems pretty good overall.
Tagumo Attacks!!!: “The Legends chase a new fugitive in 1951 Tokyo.”
One might expect “Tagumo” to follow a Godzilla-style story, but instead it branches in different directions. While I feel a little disappointed we don’t see the series’ take on a giant lizard, “Tagumo” still becomes a likable adventure, one with a slightly more serious tone than usual.
Tender Is the Nate: “Nate Heywood (Nick Zano) invites his dad (Tom Wilson) onto the Waverider for a mission.”
While the presence of Wilson in a series about time travel could feel like stunt casting, he integrates too well with the rest of the cast for this to become an issue. Add a fun detour to 1920s Paris and this becomes a delightful tale.
Hell No, Dolly!: “Constantine is forced to confront his tragic past.”
“Dolly” jumps all over the place and tends to a slew of story points. These generally succeed, but the episode can feel a bit scattered.
Legends of To-Meow-Meow: “Constantine breaks the cardinal Legends rule.”
Even by the crazed standards of Legends, “To-Meow-Meow” brings an unhinged episode – in a good way. Wild and wacky, the show delights.
Lucha de Apuestas: “The Legends track a fugitive to 1961 Mexico City.”
Of S4’s new characters, Mona (Ramona Young) and Konane (Darien Martin) are my least favorite. As such, an episode that focuses on those two seems likely to leave me cold, and “Lucha” does – well, relatively, at least. The show still comes with some fun moments but the concentration on Mona and Konane ensures it doesn’t sizzle.
The Getaway: “The Legends go on the run with President Nixon (Paul Ganus) in 1973.”
Ganus delivers one of the all-time worst Nixon impressions, but even with that drawback, “Getaway” entertains. It embraces its 70s tone and brings us a lively show that rebounds after the lackluster “Lucha”.
Séance and Sensibility: “Jane Austen’s (Jenna Rosenow) England is at the center of a magical alert.”
Much of “Sensibility” brings a romantic bent, and that leads toward a semi-sappy orientation. We still get some fun moments but this feels like a less effective show than usual.
The Eggplant, The Witch and The Wardrobe: “The team sees darkness on the rise in 2019.”
As S4 progresses, it tends toward more drama, and I can’t claim to love that choice. I get why the series veers that way, but Legends works best when it’s light-hearted and goofy. “Witch” lacks the vivacity I expect.
Egg MacGuffin: “Ray is forced to do the unthinkable for Nora Darhk (Courtney Ford).”
Much of “Egg” stays with fairly light fare. However, it comes together eventually in a manner that motivates the season’s overall arc, and some twists make it worthwhile.
Nip/Stuck: “The Legends struggle to find Constantine.”
Much of “Nip” goes down narrative arc paths, but it manages a lot of fun curveballs along the way. Between the development of a cocky Gary and the reveal of Tabitha’s identity, this becomes a lively show.
Terms of Service: “Constantine must choose whom to save from Hell.”
As S4 nears its end, we get a good mix of comedy, drama and intrigue via “Terms”. Expect it to set the table for the finale in a dynamic, satisfying manner.
Hey, World!: “The Legends set out to defeat Neron’s plan.”
Apparently Hell is populated by sexy strippers. That’s eternal damnation?
This odd choice aside, “World” concludes S4 well. With demons, monsters – and strippers – the episode caps the broader narrative in a lively way and finishes the year on a high note.
Now that Gotham got cancelled, Legends stands as my favorite DC TV series – and it’s not even close. S4 becomes another exciting, compelling package of shows.