Sunday, June 6, 2021

REVIEW: 'Legends of Tomorrow' - Astra Struggles to Adapt to a New Life With No Help From Constantine in 'The Satanist's Apprentice'

The CW's Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 6.05 "The Satanist's Apprentice"

With Astra now a mortal, she finds it hard to adapt to the real world with no guidance from Constantine. Frustrated and lonely, Astra makes a new friend who promises to help her, but her eagerness for the easy way out could have some real repercussions for those closest to her. Sara meets the person responsible for her kidnapping and tries to convince others to help her escape. 

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Legends of Tomorrow.

"The Satanist's Apprentice" was written by Keto Shimizu & Ray Utarnachitt and directed by Caity Lotz

This episode fully embraces the Beauty and the Beast fantasy. The climax completely surrenders to the animated format as well. It's completely absurd and has no real explanation whatsoever. It occurs mostly so there is a logical reason for why Astra can suddenly read music. It's absolutely ridiculous and nonsensical. And yet, those are the qualities that produce the best segments on this show. It draws such power from telling personal stories about humanity as they are caught in this incredibly ludicrous world. It's insane. No one is ever allowed a moment of peace to process the big things that have happened to them. But it is all centered around the camaraderie of the Legends as a team. They are desperate to find Sara. This episode finally provides some explanation as to what is going on with that alien threat. It's still a very tangential concern at the moment. Sara is isolated from everything else happening on the show. She still gets to be a badass fighter taking out several foes before conquering her final target. Of course, that's not good enough. Bishop has many tricks up his sleeve. He's clearly the show's attempt at a more whimsical villain. The show has embraced that quality many times in the past. It allows the story to have more fun despite the world domination that frequently centers the villain's motivations. Bishop may perhaps be defined by too many quirks instead of coming across as a genuine addition to the mystery. But this is still his big introduction. His claim to fame is being the creator of the Ava clones. He now believes he has found a way to merge alien and human DNA to create an elevated species. It's all completely bonkers. Sara sees it as a threat to what makes humanity work. The world will be destroyed if Bishop achieves his grand goals. That's a concern for the future. Right now, it's much more pressing to spend time with Astra at Constantine's house. Now, this setting has become a place of refuge for the Legends. It's a location they can regroup in while they are in the present. Rory has taken the Waverider for his mission to potentially find Sara. That leaves the rest of the Legends stranded. Astra isn't part of the team. The Legends certainly care about her. They want her to do well in life as a mortal. She made that choice. She wanted to see what living on Earth was like. In reality, she succumbs to the pressures of society that don't want to make anything easy for her. She deals with a racist neighbor. She has no money and no ability to secure a job. Moreover, Constantine's house is falling apart. It's held together by magic. That's his solution for absolutely everything. It's easy to see why some believe he is an addict. His skills have always come in handy for the Legends. In Astra's mission to survive and thrive as a human, he offers no support whatsoever. The basic necessities of helping her get her life started anew are beyond his reach. He offers no guidance which makes her susceptible to Aleister Crowley's tutelage. When the Legends arrive, she turns them into random objects believing they will disrupt her plans to gain power once more. That is the easy way out. It's costly too. She refuses to follow through on that act. She is no longer the power-crazed individual she was in Hell. She is given a second chance at life. She aspires for redemption. People care about preserving that ambition too. Crowley is an agent of chaos. He is dealt with for now. However, he talks up a mystical object of endless power as well. That tease will probably be important later on. That's especially true given that Constantine loses his magic during the climax too. His world will be forever changed. He and Astra will be equals in this world for once. That will be eye-opening while revealing just how much the Legends rely on the stability of the mission to provide meaning to their lives. They are adrift in time and space. And now, they are forced to stay still for a little while. That could make them stand even further in their convictions. Or it could threaten everything that holds value to them. Sure, the concerns of the overall narrative are still developing. Sara still needs to be found. The conflict from Bishop continues to grow. More aliens are causing havoc in the timeline. The Legends may be powerless without a time ship. And yet, they still find a way to defeat a powerful foe in classic, Legends style. The audience can always count on that. The show hasn't run out of tricks quite yet in amusing us either.