REVIEW: Legends of Tomorrow, S4E4 – Wet Hot American Bummer

In this week’s Legends of Tomorrow, aptly titled “Wet Hot American Bummer,” Sara (Caity Lotz) and Ava (Jes Macallen) realized that the Swamp Thaaaang horror film that they were enjoying was supposedly based on real-life events. You know what that means! A trip back to the Waverider to capture a mythtery hiding out in a summer camp. This time around, though, Sara invited Ava along to camp so that they could spend more quality time together – and so Ava could learn what it’s like to be a kid.

Drinking buddies.

While those shenanigans took up most of the enjoyable episode, there was also a minor subplot in “Wet Hot American Summer” that was meant to induct Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) into the Legends of Tomorrow team officially. Perhaps it’s leftover bitterness from her treatment last season, but I still wasn’t sold on her being so gung-ho to help the group after nothing more than a night of drinking with Mick (Dominic Purcell) and a tip on how they could stop the villain of the week. That being said, it was a nice use of the chemistry between the actors and a reminder that Mick once had a soft spot for Amaya too. Not to mention that we got to see Zari (Tala Ashe) warm up to the shapeshifter as well, and agree that leaving her caged was wrong.

Back at the main event, the Legends of Tomorrow dressed up as camp counselors and were treated to a tour Chad, known for lame 90s jokes that Ray (Brandon Routh) charmingly referred to as “comfort food.” With a mission to uncover the monster abducting kids in mind, the new counselors attempted their respective methods. Ray taught his charges tracking so they wouldn’t get lost in the woods while Constantine (Matt Ryan) created a protective barrier, but it was Sara and Ava who butted heads the most. While Sara wanted to bond with the girls and enhance their camp experience, Ava treated them like suspects in a police line-up with no fun or games in sight. And therein lay the big difference between then: Sara had several poignant memories from her summers in camp and therefore understood the importance of the experience, whereas Ava had never even been a child and therefore couldn’t comprehend a secret handshake or a trust fall.

Objects may be softer than they first appear.

It was a night of peeling away protective layers and getting to the emotions underneath, and to her credit Sara was very understanding of her girlfriend’s struggle and did her best to make camp special for her as well as the other kids. John’s magic potion of youth thus pulled double duty, allowing the Legends ladies to pass as children and become bait for the creature (known as a “Striga”) while also allowing Ava to experience the joys of Truth Or Dare and of a first kiss under the stars. But it wasn’t just Ava who revealed insecurities, because John accidentally opened himself up to Ray as well.  not only for Ava but for John as well. In the midst of berating the kindhearted scientist about his attachment to Nora, Constantine let slip just how much he related to her. He viewed himself as a danger to those he loved, alluding to a friend’s (or more than a friend’s?) death due to his own darkness. And his failure to save Astra also cropped back up, when he gave up some of his own life force to rescue one of the children trapped by the Striga because he couldn’t bear to lose anyone else.

“Wet Hot American Bummer” ended with the Striga – who turned out to be none other than good old Chad – vanquished and Constantine at death’s door after using too much magic. But fear not, for Ray knew just the person who could save him. Of course, that means he has to search for Nora (Courtney Ford) and risk learning that she’s turned back to the dark side. Legends of Tomorrow hinted at that possibility for a split second in the final scene, before revealing that she’s actually working at a Renaissance Fair for a nasty boss who’s about to get a sexual harassment suit thrown his way. The stage was set to add yet another member to the Waverider team, wrapping up a mostly delightful episode. Nate and Gary were missed, but it was worth it in order to set Charlie free and make her an equal on the ship.

Legends of Tomorrow airs Mondays at 9/8c on the CW.