REVIEW: Legends of Tomorrow, S5E3 – Slay Anything

John Hughes meets John Carpenter is the perfect way to describe “Slay Anything,” the Legends of Tomorrow 80s teen movie homage we never knew we needed. When a prom night serial killer becomes the next encore, the team must work together by incorporating the power of positive reinforcement and enlisting the help of literal fairy godmother Nora (Courtney Ford). Meanwhile, Zari (Tala Ashe) inches closer to her true hacker self and Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) convinces Constantine (Matt Ryan) to walk through a door full of plot.

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Hint: it’s not John.

Let’s briefly touch on the last bit there, since it won’t take long at all. After Charlie was unceremoniously removed from the show in the premiere (to accomodate Maisie’s movie filming), it’s rather anticlimactic to find her simply partying it up at Constantine’s old house. They only have a scene or two to discuss the hellish situation and reveal that the spirit of Astra’s mother is locked up in the selfsame house. No wonder the girl hates you, John.

But perhaps the biggest bone to pick is when Charlie likens Constantine’s current emotional paralysis to her own struggles, which she then never elaborates on or explains. Legends of Tomorrow has ignored Charlie as a character since her excellent punk introduction, and it’s about time that changed. Pairing her up, narratively speaking, with John is only useful if they let him bring out some of her backstory as well. It can’t always be a one-way street.

But back to the prom night killer. “Slay Anything” was never going to be anything more than a kooky Carrie reversal with some clever throwbacks mixed in, but Legends of Tomorrow makes the most of it. Nora’s return allows Ray (Brandon Routh) a few moments of unabashed joy before the show inevitably ships them off this season, and the rest of the cast all get a moment or two to shine awkwardly at a school reunion that’s not their own.

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Imagine getting rid of this goddess?

Ava (Jes Macallan) one again gets a hilarious spotlight this week, thanks to her murder podcast which only Nate (Nick Zano) seems to bother listening to. Turns out she knows everything there is to know about serial killer Freddie Meyers – what a horrible name, you guys! – except for who is actually behind the murders he perpetrated. Because while the crew is busy trying to stop a serial killer with the power of love and a kind prom date, the truth is actually much twistier and sillier. Sidenote: Mick (Dominic Purcell) actually does a bit of emotional heavy lifting for once, reconnecting with an old classmate that he hopes to protect from the scholastic vengeance spree.

Finally, Zari’s season arc inches forward when she’s left alone on the Waverider to explore. Her sibling rivalry with Behrad (Shayan Sobhian) is both interesting and entertaining, and “Slay Anything” showcases how they both care deeply about each other even when they’re a little jealous. The fact that she one-ups Gideon in the hacking department surprises even her, though, and her continued residence on Legends of Tomorrow is certainly going to mean some fun things for the timeline.

Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.