LEGENDS OF TOMORROW 4.04 Review “Wet Hot American Bummer”
This post contains spoilers for Legends of Tomorrow
Check out last week's review here.
Every week, Legends of Tomorrow churns out a new experiment. They flip both superhero and television norms on their side, and laugh at themselves the whole way. Sometimes those experiments focus more on character development than story progression, but no matter what, it always manages to be a joy to watch. “Wet Hot American Bummer” leans more on the character development side, giving us pairings with Sara and Ava, Ray and Constantine, and the Waverider team that includes Zari, Mick and Charlie.
The Legends have to head back to the ‘90s to figure out what’s vexing Camp Ogowa. While it’s not Swamp Thing, we do get a fun mention! Ava tags along since she and Sara’s movie night was interrupted by yet another magical fugitive. They decide on Ray and Constantine as the other half of their away team, with Mick and Amaya stuck on the Waverider as babysitting detail.
Despite his protests otherwise, the team finally gets Constantine in a costume. They even take the poor man’s tie! He’s obviously despondent, but he manages to cope with some whiskey. He and Ray are put in charge of one cabin, while Sara and Ava take over another. Unsurprisingly, each pair up has different parenting styles. But that’s where the character work starts to come in.
Quick reminder, Ava is a clone. That means that she never had a childhood, and has no idea how to empathize with this scared (and exceptionally mean) tiny creatures. She treats them as she would a soldier, which only makes the girls worse. The episode’s solution to this is to make her and Sara children in order to tackle the episode’s magical problem: a striga.
Said striga isn’t the crone-y nightmare you’ve heard about in stories. Instead, he’s a hot counselor named Chad. Chad is as insufferable as you’d expect, but that’s made up for by him getting the snot kicked out of him by two thirteen-year-old lesbians. Bye Chad, eating children is wrong.
Ava’s not the only one who’s grumpy with their situation. Constantine’s being a real jerk to Ray. Which is difficult, considering the man is like walking sunshine. As it turns out, Constantine’s only being a butt because he doesn’t want Ray to get hurt. He knows about the Nora situation, and certainly doesn’t want Ray getting close to him when he feels that his days are numbered due to whatever demon situation happened in this season’s premiere.
Now, onto Zari, Charlie and Mick. The meat of the Waverider scenes focus on Mick and Charlie, but Zari gets a few solid moments of snark in on the former shape shifter. When Charlie tries to escape, she’s thrown back in her cage by Mick, who ultimately bonds with her over hooch that he learned to make while he and Ray were in the Gulag. The two of them reminisce over their times in their respective prisons, and the similarities they share because of them. All of this culminates in Charlie acknowledging that Mick knows a thing or two about acting worse than he is to survive a situation, and Mick telling her that you don’t have to keep doing so after you find the right partner(s).
When Charlie gives them information on the striga, Mick elects to release her. Sara, Ava and company have a question or two about her whereabouts, but they’re quickly rendered moot when she decides to return. That’s good, because they have a dying Constantine on their hands.
One of the children had too much of their life drained by the striga. In order to save him, Constantine gives the kid a part of his life. We already knew that John isn’t the bad man he tries to play himself up as, but it’s a nice reminder even if it did land him in the med bay. They’ll have to find a way to save the warlock next week (that way is Nora, who’s chilling out in a renaissance festival), but they’re going to have to do it while dealing with kaiju.
That’s right, we’re going to Japan next week, and we’ve got some monsters to stop. You know what to do if you had thoughts on this week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow in the meantime!