Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Legends Of Tomorrow Returns With The Horror That Is "Daddy Darhkest!"

The Good: Fun plot, Competent performances, Hints of character
The Bad: No exeptional plot, character or acting moments.
The Basics: Legends Of Tomorrow resumes with "Daddy Darhkest" . . . and an appearance by John Constantine!

Well before the third season of Legends Of Tomorrow began, it was well-teased that John Constantine would be making an appearance. As the show picks up for its midseason premiere, that appearance happens. Having not watched Constantine, I was intrigued to see if it would be possible to appreciate the new direction and character. Fortunately, "Daddy Darhkest" begins with a pretty basic primer on Constantine to help viewers ignorant of his show catch right up.

"Daddy Darkest" picks up in the aftermath of "Beebo The God Of War"(reviewed here!), which climaxed with John Constantine appearing on the Waverider. Given that Sara Lance had just encountered Mallus in the spirit world, the explosion of supernatural elements into Legends Of Tomorrow seems organic.

Opening in Star City, 2017, John Constantine enters a hospital where he attempts to perform an exorcism on a little girl. There, he finds out that something evil is hunting Sarah Lance. Constantine arrives on the Waverider where he informs Lance that something evil is coming for her. Lance and her crewmates are able to name the evil: Mallus, which helps Constantine plan his next attempt to exorcize the demon from Emily, who turns out to be a younger version of Nora Darhk. While the others work on the exorcism, Amaya Jiwe fights Kuasa, who comes to defend Emily. When the exorcism goes badly, Snart, Constantine and Lance find themselves teleported to 1969.

With Kuasa frozen and Mick Rory obsessed with watching a live football game, Dr. Heywood, Tomaz, and Palmer try to help Emily so she might not grow up to hate them. In 1969, Mallus reaches out to Lance, but Constantine is able to help her. Snart, however, is captured by the doctors at the asylum. While Lance and Constantine rescue Snart from a lobotomy, in 2017, Palmer and Tomaz take Emily out to coffee. While at Jitters, Mallus takes over the girl. To escape 1969, Constantine summons Mallus into Lance's body. In the spirit realm, Nora and Sara Lance work together to fight the influence of the demon.

John Constantine is surprisingly unobtrusive in the character mix of Legends Of Tomorrow, which is nice. With Jax gone and Dr. Stein dead, finding a new balance in the characters takes a back seat for an episode. Constantine hooks up with Lance, which is fun and the idea that Constantine has the ability to fight a demon like Mallus makes sense given how most of the crew of the Waverider is more scientifically-minded as opposed to guided by magic. The return of Snart to the crew - even in his Earth-X form - is enough of an adjustment for the regular crew.

Every scene that Wentworth Miller is in in "Daddy Darhkest" reminds viewers of how much his presence was missed in the prior season. Miller steals the show as Leo Snart continues to establish himself as a very different version of Snart.

Madeline Arthur is wonderful as the creepy young Nora Darhk/Emily. Her waifish appearance is augmented by a wide-eyed stare that is just plain creepy. At the key moment of "Daddy Darhkest," Arthur plays the part with a sadness that is palpable and it is impressive for such a young actress.

"Daddy Darhkest" allows John Constantine to help the Legends Of Tomorrow define the season's villain better and open up the show to how they might defeat it. Tomaz and Jiwe learn that the totems may be the key to stopping Mallus and there might be more than the five that Jiwe knows about in existence.

Ultimately, "Daddy Darhkest" is a horror episode of Legends Of Tomorrow and it is solid, but lacking in anything superlative. The episode had no great performances, no unstoppable character moments and a plot that is very familiar to anyone who has watched horror movies.

For other DC Television Universe midseason premieres, please visit my reviews of:
"Legion Of The Super-Heroes" - Supergirl
"The Trial Of The Flash" - The Flash
"Supergirl Lives" - Supergirl


For other television and movie reviews, please visit my Movie Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2018 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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