Sara gets possessed…and the Legends get wrecked.
Sara Lance has always struggled between her roots as an assassin and her path as a hero and a Legend. It’s a darkness that always part of her, that constantly tempts her towards a wayward path. Lately, on Legends of Tomorrow, it looked like she had overcome her worst instincts, even starting up a romance with Ava Sharpe. But this episode, it all comes roaring back with the death totem.
As the Legends spread out to take care of multiple anachronisms at once, Sara is called to the death totem, feeling an overwhelming need to wear it. She’s even encouraged by a vision of herself as Black Canary after her death on Arrow. Skip ahead a few hours, and Amaya and Zari return to the ship to find Ray severely injured. By who? Surprise, surprise, it’s Sara, possessed by Mallus and wearing the death totem. As Zari says, “we’re screwed.”
And she’s not wrong. The Legends, for all their power, can’t stand up to the combination of the totem’s power and Sara’s experience as an assassin. It doesn’t help that they (rather stupidly) split up. She wrecks Amaya and Mick and locks down the ship. Wally goes to take her out, but Mallus disguises herself as Jesse to taunt and hurt him. But Wally, though emotional, knows it’s a trick and gets a chance to talk about how he’s moved on from Jesse. So Sara just uses the anti-speedster gun from last season to knock him out instead. She does the same move with Zari, appearing as her dead brother and then knocking her out when it fails.
When Ava learns about Sara’s possession, she goes to everyone’s favorite demonologist, John Constantine, for help. Given his slouchy persona and Ava’s more straight-laced edge (plus the fact that they both slept with Sara), there’s a big personality clash. But they do work together to try and save her.
Although the flashy fight scenes are in the real world, the real struggle takes place in Sara’s mind. She’s trapped in Mallus’ realm, where she talks with Nora Darhk and relives moments from her life as an assassin. She watches herself kill a man, only for his young daughter to see his last moments. Nora tries to convince Sara to embrace her past as an assassin and join Mallus’ team, just as the lost tribe of Zambezi did years and years ago against the other five totems.
When John and Ava arrive, he tries to exorcise Mallus, not falling for his tricks. But the possessed Sara is too strong. It takes a totem-bearer to compete with another. Luckily, Ray’s experiment to restore the fire totem worked. And Mick, working through his feelings that he’s not a hero, takes it up. Of course, who else would wield the fire totem?
He knocks out Sara long enough for Ava to remove the death totem. She implores Sara to come back to her. Sara, in the other dimension, turns down Nora’s offer of a life without pain, dedicating herself to stopping any more death from entering the world. She feels she owes that little girl at least that much. Both Caity Lotz and Jes Macallan bring fantastic performances to the emotional scene. They also get another moment at the end of the episode, after Sara is free of the death totem. Her possession and attack on the team convinces her Sara that she can’t have a normal love life. Even though Sara’s never been happier in her life, she breaks up with Ava for fear of hurting her. It’s a sad ending to a dramatic episode that did much to increase the stakes for the team personally. Hopefully, this won’t be the last we see of Sara and Ava’s relationship. Even Legends with as dark a past as Sara need a win sometimes.
- Those anachronisms that the Legends take on at the start of the episode? The Mona Lisa is in Montana in 1977, Einstein is trapped in the Ice Age, and Nate and Wally must get a dog named Laika back to the Soviet Space Program.
- How do you sum up John Constantine in one sentence? As Sara says, “He’s a demonologist who kind of looks like Sting.”
- John: “I’m a master of the Dark Arts, not Dr. whatshisface.” Ava and Gary: “Who?” John: “Exactly.”
- Randomly, the episode closes on a light-hearted teaser of John playing Dungeons & Dragons with Gary from the Time Bureau. Sure, why not?