Monday, August 16, 2021

REVIEW: 'Legends of Tomorrow' - An Elaborate Game Reveals the Depth of Darkness Within Constantine in 'Bored on Board Onboard'

The CW's Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 6.12 "Bored on Board Onboard"

The Legends are ready to get back home, but after Constantine overloaded Gideon, they have to go the old fashion way to preserve the ships energy. Trying to entertain themselves, Gary suggests playing a murder mystery game to pass the time. Constantine decides to make the game more interesting, which makes Behrad worried about him but is met with pushback from Zari. Rory and Gary deal with an unexpected guest that arrives on the Waverider.

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.

"Bored on Board Onboard" was written by Keto Shimizu & Leah Poulliot and directed by Harry Jierjian

The Legends work best when they have a quest to focus on. That's the mentality Sara embraces when the team must conserve energy on the Waverider in order to get back to Earth as quickly as possible. It also serves as a little meta commentary for the show at large. It's a simple explanation for the formula that frequently creates the best episodes or individual stories. Of course, it's not all that this show aspires to be. It highlights the individual lives and needs of these characters. Their season-long stories don't always revolve around some central quest. Their personal stories are just as relevant and meaningful as the core missions. In this instance though, Sara needs a distraction. She must unite the team. Now, Gary's board game isn't going to take three weeks to complete. At best, it would only serve as a couple hours of distraction. Moreover, someone onboard just needs to repair the show's jump drive. Once that is accomplished, it's relatively easy to return to Earth. But that would immediately break down the premise of this episode. That would be such a disappointment because the adventure that awaits the Legends if absolutely great. What is initially perceived as a fun but boring bonding experience turns into a game of survival. Constantine wishes to amplify the stakes. He boasts this incredibly pompous attitude of needing to display his magical abilities and all their might. He must incorporate them into every activity he partakes in. It's the only way that he can feel a rush of excitement. He believes others are just as impressed because of what he can produce. And yes, the spell certainly works on Zari. She is in love with him. She makes that declaration here. Behrad is worried for his sister. He sees that something has changed within Constantine. He has gotten more annoying with his magic. This game only amplifies those concerns. Behrad is also happy for his sister. They share a bond of understanding that no one can break. They have the freedom to expand their worlds and chase what is meaningful to each other. They also seek to protect each other. That's what Behrad is doing here. It takes a physical injury for Zari to realize that something more is happening with Constantine as well. He turns into the proverbial beast hunting down the players in this game. It's not as simple as one player receiving that designation and incorporating it into the character they play in this fantasy. It's a commentary on the darkness of temptation and addiction that has consumed Constantine. He warps this reality and makes it much more monstrous than he intended because he can't control the magic he now unleashes onto the world. He craves it. It holds significant consequences for his body. He can simply indulge even more to avoid that pain. He can't escape it forever. He isn't even the one to conquer this beast. Instead, that's Zari. She is the one who pulls the entire team out of this spell. In that moment, she makes her choice even if she isn't fully aware of the metaphor at play. She chooses to save both Behrad and Constantine. However, she is battling a darkness that she doesn't fully understand. She allows herself to feel things she has never explored before with Constantine. And yet, that is all being corrupted by his addiction. He can't throw the magic away either. That will be costly. While most of the Legends are trapped in this game trying to find a way out, Rory and Gary are still on the ship as a former foe emerges once more. Now, this season as of late hasn't had an overarching narrative. Sara and Ava's wedding served as that connective tissue that was clearly building for a massive resolution by the end of the season. But now, Bishop and Kayla have returned. A new body has been printed for the villain. Sara will have to face off with that foe once more. It brings the story back to what was important for the first half of the season. It was always unlikely that the threat from Bishop was done for good in his last appearance. The show suggested that though. And so, a lot of this development comes across as expected. Again, it has the potential to unite the team around a common quest. Sara and Rory's strong connection to this threat will inform the rest of the team. Hopefully, that can bring together the disparate parts that once defined what happened on a faraway planet. And yet, it's not a terribly exciting development as Bishop wasn't all that great to begin with. But that's a concern for the future. Right now, it's all about the fantasy and horror that comes from the Legends exploring a board game to help pass the time. That's delightful and rewarding for the entire episode.