REVIEW: Legends of Tomorrow, S4E12 – The Eggplant, The Witch & The Wardrobe

Legends of Tomorrow has been a little off-kilter in the back half of the season, probably because it’s taking as long to deal with the death of Nate’s (Nick Zano) father as real life might. Nevertheless, “The Eggplant, The Witch & The Wardrobe” manages to push several other storylines in interesting and important directions this week as the show finally tackles the aftermath of Sara (Caity Lotz) and Ava’s (Jes Macallan) breakup.

Don’t mess with Sara’s bae.

One might be forgiven for accusing the Bureau of negligence, considering that their boss was kidnapped by a demon two weeks and no one even questioned her absence – and this was after their stand-in boss was murdered on company property and no investigation took place, mind you. But Legends of Tomorrow has never been about logic, so instead Sara discovered the foul play after forcing her way into her ex’s apartment and finding everything a mess. The missing Sharpe was found surprisingly quickly, but it was no picnic pulling her out of the purgatory her soul found itself in. No, that second part required Sara to dive into Ava’s mind and encounter her in her own personal Hell: a department store in which she and Sara had to work out their domestic kinks. Romantic?

The premise may have been a little shaky (why exactly would Ava be the one scared of building a future with Sara? Surely there was an easier way to depict her fear that Sara would reject that future), but “The Eggplant, The Witch & The Wardrobe” did actually end up being one of the show’s more romantic episodes. And that’s saying something, considering their big episode about love was last week. The best part was seeing the sincere emotions between Sara and Ava on full display, as their odd series of shopping tasks and household chores led to them each laying their cards on the table. Ava got a chance to walk back her uncomfortable stance on magical creature cruelty and explain her defense mechanisms while Sara got to confess why she doesn’t feel she deserves a happy ending. By the end of the relay race out of their hellish domestic bliss, their issues may have not been entirely worked out, but their love was stronger than ever.

Nora defied all expectations.

While those two were re-coupling, Constantine (Matt Ryan) and Nora (Courtney Ford) focused their magical efforts on trapping and containing Neron – with some drive by help from Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) and her awesome shapeshifting powers, neither of which get enough screen time. The problem was that incarcerating him on the Waverider couldn’t stop him from running his mouth and hitting all of their weakest points. From seducing Nora with whispers of unlimited power and the ability to resurrect her father to taunting Constantine with the ways he failed Dez, the demon came dangerously close to turning the two of them against each other. Not only that, but he hit Nate pretty hard with insults against his dearly departed daddy as well. Nate even punched out his bestie Ray (Brandon Routh) in his wrath, although of course he immediately apologized like the good boy scout he is.

Legends of Tomorrow pulled off the best magic trick of the episode in this storyline, by letting the audience believe Nora was falling prey to Neron’s machinations only to have her secretly team up with Constantine to take him down. It worked on several levels, not only subverting our expectations about her, but also putting Ray in the position of ruining their carefully laid plans with his good intentions. While worrying about Nora potentially getting possessed, I certainly didn’t stop to think that Ray would be possessed instead while trying to save her. And while I was preparing for Constantine to have to let Dez go for good, I didn’t expect him to be saved (though he still walked right out of John’s life and broke my heart) and Nora instead to be the one whose life was in danger. Next time, maybe they’ll let Ray in on the secret so he doesn’t mess it up.

The rest of Nate’s plot in “The Eggplant, The Witch & The Wardrobe” did not reach the same heights, as it was not only a retread of Hank’s death but also of his ridiculous theme park idea. Nate spent his non-demon hours flip flopping between continuing construction on the park and tearing it down, much to the consternation of the poor civil engineer in charge of the project. What made this mourning process even stranger was that it was repeatedly punctuated by Zari (Tala Ashe) and Mona (Ramona Young) going back and forth while composing the perfect text with which to ask Nate out. And just like Nate seemed to leave the park as he found it in his last scene, so too does Zari decide to erase all her progress by leaving her text lost in Nate’s phone – which was smashed by a wrecking ball before he ever had a chance to read it.

The circular structure of Nate’s grief and Zari’s crush aside, Legends of Tomorrow delivered a solid episode in “The Eggplant, The Witch & The Wardrobe”  that pushed relationships and plotlines forward with ease.

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