REVIEW: Legends of Tomorrow, S4E11 – Séance & Sensibility

The fact that an episode beginning at a funeral for Nate’s (Nick Zano) dad could end in a Jane Austen/Bollywood mashup number led by Zari (Tala Ashe) and a ghostly visitation courtesy of Constantine (Matt Ryan) and Mick (Dominic Purcell) is a testament to the versatility of Legends of Tomorrow, and “Séance & Sensibility” took said versatility to its logical extreme. Not that logic has ever been a big concern where this show is involved.

The best funeral guests.

Though Hank was the one who dead, nearly every member of the Waverider crew found themselves mourning something – especially poor Ray (Brandon Routh), who feared that Nora (Courtney Ford) killing Hank meant the end of his friendship with Nate. Good thing the latter was incredibly understanding and the former was incredibly innocent, so it all worked out. Regardless, the events of “Séance & Sensibility” meant that the majority of the Legends of Tomorrow had to shuffle out of the funeral early to take care of anachronisms and murder mysteries alike: Sara (Caity Lotz), Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers), and Zari set off for Regency England with Mona (Ramona Young) after the newly-minted werewolf discovered that all of Jane Austen’s characters were disappearing off her shirt, while Ray took Nora back to the Waverider to exonerate her and learn more about the demon Neron.

That left Constantine and Mick to hold down the fort for Nate at the funeral, where the bereaved son was forced to reconcile his anger over Hank’s experiments on magical creatures with the love he had recently rediscovered for his father. While this was the most grounded (and sometimes boring, sorry!) element of “Séance & Sensibility,” it still involved a spectral visit from Hank himself, a Mickey Mouse cosplay, and a harebrained scheme for a magical creature theme park. Zano really made the zany plot work thanks to the sincerity with which he played Nate’s struggles, though it helped that his usually disgruntled friends toned down their drunken snarking enough to actually be useful to him. His discovery that his dad actually wanted to fulfill his childhood dream by starting a theme park made up of magical creatures didn’t exactly make up for the literal deal with the devil that the elder Heywood made, but at least he felt comforted by the fact that Hank wasn’t actually evil. The highlight (if you can call it that) of the story, though, had to be Constantine’s horror and heartbreak when he realized Neron had taken Dez’s form.

Always check if they’re single first.

Meanwhile, Jane Austen took up the bulk of the Legends of Tomorrow episode and featured the most eclectic mix of plotlines, tropes and cultures. The anachronism that led the ladies to England in the 1700s was none other than an Indian coachman who was secretly harboring the power of the Hindu god of love Kamadeva and using it to drive the town wild with lust, which apparently made Jane Austen decide she couldn’t satirize a society that was already a parody of itself. The man, Sanjit, took an immediate liking to Zari and set off a series of epiphanies revolving around her ideas of love and her specific love for Nate – the fact that said love was revealed by a threesome she dreamed up while under the spell of Kamadeva’s lust dust was just the cherry on top. Instead of facing those feelings, however, she let herself be swept up by Sanjit and ‘let go’ in the form of a Bollywood musical number that extended to Nora and Ray (who confessed their feelings in rhyme, as befitting their silly and adorable selves) before being broken up by sound logic from the rest of the ladies. If I had to judge the big number, I would say that while the outfits involved were spot-on for Bollywood, the music and choreography were more Disney princess. Furthermore, I’m not sure Kamadeva would require an outfit change at all for music inspired by his power unless that was meant to be a connection created solely by Zari’s love-swamped brain, but no one asked me.

Zari wasn’t the only one forced to confront her way of dealing with love, though, as Mona also had to contend with her pain after losing Konane. She did this by hulking out into werewolf form and blaming Austen herself for filling her head with romantic notions that made me question her reading comprehension, but the author turned things around by explaining that she never advocated loss of control and instead believed romance should be based on mutual love and respect. Not that Konane didn’t respect her, but Mona couldn’t throw the rest of her life away grieving for him – nor could Zari throw her future away on a magical being who already had 1000 wives. And so both girls decided that they would put aside their most recent love stories (even if Zari’s was concocted just this episode) but be open to the next one. Which means that Nate and Zari is still most definitely on the way, fear not!

As I mentioned before, the wild mix of plotlines and genres fit together rather well on Legends of Tomorrow this week. But I can’t help but wonder why exactly Bollywood was chosen, and why it only lasted the length of one song in an episode that was primarily taken up by plays on Regency romance. Similarly, it doesn’t sit entirely right with me that the one brown man in the entire time period ended up being the anachronism, but perhaps that is something better left to others who are more educated on the subject. Setting aside those concerns, “Séance & Sensibility” was highly entertaining and featured a great deal of emotional growth for Nate, Zari and Mona. Not to mention the cutest Nora and Ray moments all season.

Legends of Tomorrow airs Sundays at 7/8c on the CW.