Sunday, July 18, 2021

REVIEW: 'Legends of Tomorrow' - Constantine Craves Magic and Grows Desperate to Restore His Powers in 'Bad Blood'

The CW's Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 6.10 "Bad Blood"

With Constantine obsessed with getting his powers back, he convinces Spooner to join him on the quest to find the Fountain of Imperium. After they find themselves at the end of the Spanish Civil War, Spooner makes an unexpected bond with someone she feels the need to protect from everyone, including Constantine. Now that they have a special guest on board the Waverider, Nate, Zari, Behrad, Gary and Astra all work together but experience some growing pains along the way.

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.

"Bad Blood" was written by Grainne Godfree and directed by Alexandra La Roche

Constantine is addicted to magic. It's the only way he believes he is powerful and in control of his life. He was more than willing to sacrifice his powers in order to save Astra. In the aftermath, he has craved having these abilities once more. They make him feel like a vital member of the team. He provides more to the Legends than simply a house they can crash in when the Waverider is unavailable. He has also been hiding this development from the team. They believe he still has his powers. Only a few people are let in on that secret. It's obvious to them as well that he is faking things along the way. He can only do that for so long. He believes he has found a way to regain his abilities as well. The key to unlocking magic can conveniently be found on Earth at a specific point in time. Constantine just has to track it down. He simply needs Spooner to translate a map. The situation obviously grows more complicated when they travel to Spain at the end of its civil war. They aren't the only people trying to obtain this power either. They don't face threats who are fellow aliens or time travelers. The dangers lurk precisely in this specific moment in time. That allows all of this to feel separate from the ongoing story. In fact, it's hard to really discern what the overarching story of the season is at this point. The most recent episodes have been very self-contained. They deal with personal stakes for these characters. The team is on a mission. Aliens are loose in the timeline. Some central antagonist isn't making their lives harder though. Plus, they have safely retrieved Sara. She and Ava get to take the week off and just enjoy wedding planning elsewhere. They enjoy that luxury. Meanwhile, Constantine can't feel at peace with himself until he regains his magic. It's all a selfish desire fueled by his underlying addiction. He needs power in this way once more. It doesn't matter if in doing so he damns his soul all over again. He has faced that reality before. It was daunting and limited parts of his life. It didn't define his whole essence or stopped him from living fully. That concern doesn't matter to him anymore. He believes he will always overcome it. And yet, he too tortures himself with that thought about what happens to him and how his corrosive actions will reflect on him for all eternity. Everything plays out at such high stakes. Spooner is a unique choice for a traveling companion on this journey. It comes with the understanding that aliens will be involved at some point. That connection is fostered through a kid who can only communicate with her. He has come in contact with this fountain. He has brought his uncle back to life several times. It's a burden he doesn't wish to carry because it places a target on his family. Constantine would love to have that power transfer to him. It doesn't work though. The fountain gets to decide who is worthy of drinking from it. Constantine isn't. And so, he spirals further into addiction by juicing. He makes a new bargain that supplies him with enough potions to keep up the illusion that he is the same man he has always been. It will come at such an extreme cost. Spooner witnesses that. She is powerless to stop him though because he takes away her free will to remember this. That's horrifying and traumatic. Of course, it's also the only story of real weight in this episode. This is the first episode with the original Zari back on the team. The story doesn't really utilize her whatsoever. She has a few brief reactions as to how the Legends have developed. That's about it. Meanwhile, Rory refuses to accept that he is pregnant with multiple alien babies. He is basically being irrational and immature. Those qualities have certainly defined him in the past. But it's clearly going for the broadest comedic effect as possible. That has come to mean so much to Rory, which mostly robs him of personal agency and camaraderie from the rest of the show's dynamics. That's frankly what has been happening for awhile. This story may build to something meaningful. At the moment though, it's just a way to keep Rory busy and away from the ongoing concerns of the rest of the team. Right now, Rory's story actually has the priority. In most instances, the Legends are fine operating on their missions without him. That reality will likely be restored in the next episode.