Monday, July 15, 2024

‘A Head of Her Time’ Has a Ball

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What does an 18th century Queen of France, a 2040’s influencer, a warlock with some addiction issues and a clone have in common? Besides each having their own story arc in ‘A Head of Her Time’. Well, that’s exactly what this episode set out to find.

Legends apparently didn’t get enough of a horror fix last week, because we open to Charlie with a nervously pacing Gary hearing Constantine’s screams from the other room. Unable to stand it, Gary uses a spell (yes, you read that right, Gary Green learnt magic) to get in. His spell doesn’t get the door open, but he knocks a doorknob off which is enough for the ghost of Astra’s mother to escape into the house.

Meanwhile, our good Captain Lance has business in Star City (also known as Caity Lotz taking prep time for her directorial debut) and in her absence Sara’s naming Ava interim-captain. Ava doesn’t want to be boss when she’s barely been an official Legend. She wants the team to like her and it’s not like she can match the coolness of Captain Lance. Sara assures her she’ll be great and really with her other choices being the Time Bros two-thirds of whom are high a significant amount of the time, a Fairy Godmother who can be summoned away by the neediest kid and Mick, the only choice was Ava. Zari overhears their conversation, quietly filing away the information for later.

The Tarazi siblings are bonding over a Waverider tour. Zari isn’t impressed Behrad uses the fabricator to make outdated foods when they could glimpse into the future to capitalize on upcoming trends. Ava puts the breaks on those plans, no use of future knowledge for self-gain is rule numero uno. Meanwhile, Mick’s worried she caught something from Ali at their reunion hookup. Ray and Gideon see the only thing Mick’s caught is a case of the feels.

Ava calls a team meeting to say A.L.O.H.A. as captain. She’s even got leis for everyone. And A.L.O.H.A. is an acronym the Time Bureau used for the execution of their missions. The Legends take one look at binders Ava drops in their hands are ready to use aloha as a goodbye. But when Nate and Behrad argue about the correct name for egg battered bread, the team picks up an anomaly in France during the revolution.

Precious Ray, the only one attempting to read the dossier.

Zari worms her way into joining the mission, playing with Ava’s insecurities about being not being the cool captain. She thanks her with some sprays of her perfume, Dragoness and they’re off to 1793. Zari smooth talks her way into the party, but the revolution they find is less ‘off with their heads’ and more ‘the party don’t stop’.

Meanwhile, in the John Constantine house of horrors, Astra’s dear ole mum, Natalie isn’t your everyday Casper. Calling Constantine a lair, she torments him, Charlie and Gary forcing him opening up about what really happened. Natalie died to a drunk driver and Constantine lost Astra in the resurrection to bring Natalie back. Unable to live with the fact her daughter was the price for her life Natalie killed herself. But that isn’t the whole story and Natalie pushes John, slowly breaking him down to admit more of the truth. Nat’s husband wanted her back, but Constantine was the one who suggested the resurrection. Natalie was his best friend once, he had to bring her back.

A radio starts playing Mucous Membrane, a band Natalie and Constantine used to be in. Seeing visions from Constantine’s past Charlie and Gary realize John loved Natalie, but when she gave him an ultimatum of magic or her, he chose magic. Natalie possesses Charlie to speak to John, face to face.

Two episodes with horror elements in a row… oh joy.

Back in the French not-so-Revolution, the Legends see Marie Antoinette who’s meant to minus one head at this point in history. She also inexplicably looks like Nora (because Courtney Ford plays her). The boys start acting a little loopy, but Ava and Zari realize something is very wrong when Behrad almost has a drink. The other party-goers are dropping like flies, literally partying till they die. Ava and Zari reason Marie’s hell giving power has to be irresistibly charming. It’s impossible for anyone to leave as long as she’s there. They’re not sure why, but they are the only two unaffected.

Needing to get Marie out of there, Zari comes up with the plan to trick her into thinking there’s a better part that she isn’t at. Making Ava change into something more party-appropriate, they approach Antoinette with word about an after-party, but when sneaking her out, the crowd notices she’s leaving, causing the mob to storm after her. In the insanity, she loses her head. Literally. The team gets her, body and head, onto the ship, separating the two for good measure.

Talking with Marie, Zari realizes they both had their status thrust upon them. Marie’s fate makes Zari question her own future, making Gideon show her. Relenting, Gideon shows her a news feed in 2045. Her fragrance destroys a person’s sense of smell, causing a huge backlash and the decline of her fame. Trying to change the events ahead of time she thinks of changing her fragrance at the launch party that day. When Marie gets defensive about Zari using her perfume she realises the perfume was magic, not Marie. She steals the perfume, heading to her event.

Ray, eager to show Nora her look-alike, learns about Zari’s theft, prompting the team to figure out the perfume was the source of the magic. Oh, they also discover Marie’s body escaped and is running wild on the ship. Ava, Nate and Behrad portal to Zari’s event, while Ray and Mick deal with their headless Encore.

Ray, maybe out of the good in his heart, maybe because Marie looks like Nora stops Mick from attacking the body, accidentally knocking his heat gun from his hands. The next natural step in insanity progression would be for Marie Antoinette’s headless body to pick the heat gun, so of course, that’s what happens.

It’s images like this I pull up when someone asks why I love Legends.

At her event, Zari learns her PR teams decided marrying her DJ boyfriend would be a good boost for ratings and her input gets to be where the engagement happens; in front of a large crowd, or a slightly less large crowd if she wants it to seem intimate. She sprays herself with Marie’s perfume but accidentally drops the whole bottle on herself. Everyone in the area mindless rushes at her. That’s when the Legends portal in. Defending their noses with Zari’s smell killing fragrance, they charge into the crowds to look for Zari, using Ava’s A.L.O.H.A. to handle the situation. While Behrad holds back the masses, Ava and Zari jump into a fountain to wash off the perfume. (The H in A.L.O.H.A stands for hydrate by the way, if for a moment you thought wasn’t the most wonderfully zany show on television). Nate takes the opportunity to punch Zari’s boyfriend. Ray and Mick deal with their body by tackling it, locking Marie in the brig.

Behrad has Gideon whip-up Zari some dry clothes and instead of berating her like she’s expecting he just asks if she wants a donut. The rest of the team are also having a post-mission snack when Sara checks in. The Time Bro back up their interim captain giving her glowing praise. When Sara’s gone they tease her about Sara’s flirty comment and it’s safe to say the Legends have fully accepted their Mrs. Captain.

Zari slinks off to the bridge to enjoy her donut alone. A donut so good it sparks the memories of the times she stuffed her face on the Waverider and on missions from the previous timeline. Ava interrupts her donut-induced trance. Zari’s wondering why she didn’t face any consequences. Ava just brushes it off as a screw-up. Zari thinks Ava doesn’t screw up. They really need to introduce Zari to the Legends’ motto. Ava doesn’t care what others think, she just does what needs to be done. Zari’s spent so much time worrying about other people think, being what they wanted, she’s never gotten the chance to find out who she really is. She’s never had a friend. But that was before she set foot on the Waverider.

Back on the other side of the pond, Natalie uses Charlie’s powers to shift into her old face. She makes John admit he didn’t try the resurrection out of any noble desires. He wanted to prove to her choosing magic was the right choice. He needed to admit that to her and to himself before he could go after Astra. If he tried to save Astra for himself, then he’ll never succeed. She tells him the way to save Astra is the loom of fate, which Constantine believes is just a myth. It must be really mystical if the guy who drank Rasputin to go to Hell doesn’t believe in it. But Natalie says Charlie knowns about, releasing her from her hold.

Questioning her, she reveals that the loom is real and she destroyed it, scattering the pieces throughout the multiverse but something changed recently (like the multiverse getting a lot smaller maybe?). While all this was happening, Astra was making her own moves. Wanting Constantine out of the way, she trades a favour to off the warlock right then. Lung cancer that wasn’t meant to do him in for another decade hit Constantine all at once, leaving him coughing in a pool of his own blood… dying.


Zari can now boast she has multiple outstanding episodes that introduce her to the Legends dynamic. Like ‘Here I Go Again’, like the best Legends episodes, ‘A Head of Her Time’ has all the insanity that has you clutching your side in laughter with a dose of measured development that brings you right back down to earth with the realization of how well this show works on multiple levels.

On one hand, you have Marie Antoinette running around plus one flamethrower, minus one head. You have a dude with a S’more costume with $ for eyes. You have a guillotine being used to cut cake. On the other hand, there’s Zari introspecting on her life and the things she’s sacrificed for her image. John faced with the consequences of choosing his magic over the ones he’s loved. Ava who used to be a leader, but now she’s the boss’s girlfriend and she needs to find her place on the team because the job she was literally made to do doesn’t exist anymore. They each were confronted by parts of themselves they don’t exactly like and had to say what they want parts they wanted to move forward with.

And while it leaned a bit more into the exposition-y side of things, we say the beginnings of the overarching thread for the season in the loom of fate. Plus this new McGuffin brings with it the promise of Charlie backstory. Finally. We’re surely going to see more fallout from this episode, although not for a moment do I believe Constantine is dead and out for the count. Bisexuals on the Waverider tend to be more resilient than that.

Only Legends Could

  • Zari’s boyfriend’s DJ name is S’moremoney. S’mores$? S’mores Money?
  • Ray and Nora said I love you. They’re adorable.
  • Also adorable was Gideon saying Mick ‘like-liked’ Ali.
  • Courtney Ford must have had a blast hamming it up as Marie Antoinette.
  • “We’re going to party our faces off, it’s going to be great,” – Zari, moments before Marie Antoinette’s head flies off.
  • Literal ghosts and children in animal masks and yet the scariest thing about Constantine’s plot was his fohawk from his band years.
  • Ava didn’t need to jump in with Zari, but a captain stands by her team.
  • I wonder if Behrad asked for flannel or did Gideon make it instinctively for Zari.
  • Favourite line: “Ray, I’m looking at a gagged, decapitated woman. If that’s what you think I look like, we have a lot of processing to do.”
Images courtesy of the CW

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