The latest episode of Legends of Tomorrow saw John Constantine take drastic measures to save a life. But what will the consequences be?
Legends of Tomorrow season four has delved into the magical realm with occultist John Constantine (Matt Ryan) joining the team. Following the events of the previous season, the Legends have been tracking magical aberrations through time. With Constantine’s help, the Legends have managed to take down all their magical adversaries, thus far, with little to no repercussions on the timeline.
But for all his magic-battling abilities, Constantine has one fatal flaw – he’s only human. And that human part of him may have got the Legends, and all of time, into one hell of a pickle in episode seven, ‘Hell No, Dolly!’.
We examine what went down in the episode and what it could mean for the Legends. Spoilers ahead!
The team learn of a magical anachronism through a quiz on a cereal box – as one does – where it is revealed that one of the most prolific serial killers in America was Priestess Laveaux. Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan), Director of the Time Bureau, and Captain Sara Lance’s (Caity Lotz) partner, happens to be a serial killer expert, who would have known about a famous female serial killer. The team immediately realises something is wrong.
In 1856 New Orleans, Priestess Laveaux was said to have murdered several rich, blonde women in their homes. Ava, ever the expert, matches the murderer’s MO with serial killer Mike the Spike. It seems the murders weren’t committed by Priestess Laveaux at all – she was framed for it.
The Legends head to 1856 New Orleans to stop the murders from ever taking place. But what should have been a routine mission takes an unexpected turn.
While Sara, Ava, Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), and Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) keep an eye on the first victim, Constantine, Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) and Zari Tomaz (Tala Ashe) meet Priestess Laveaux. Well, more like Priestess Laveaux’s people kidnap Constantine because the priestess recognised a medallion Constantine had with him – of St. Malo, the patron saint of runaway slaves. She knows the medallion because it is hers. Using her magic, Priestess Laveaux dives into Constantine’s mind to find out how he got it.
It turns out that six months ago, Constantine fell hopelessly in love with a barkeep in New Orleans, Desmond (Christian Keyes). The two were besotted with each other, so much so that Constantine even told Desmond exactly what he does. But a particularly vicious demon named Neron, who holds the deed to Constantine’s soul, and came after him to collect, prompting Desmond to give his family’s medallion to Constantine. The medallion has a protection spell on it and it clearly kept Constantine safe from Neron, but only him.
What Went Wrong?
Unfortunately, the true owner of the medallion, Desmond, didn’t fare so well. According to Constantine, Desmond was “collateral damage” in his fight against Neron. But this doesn’t sit well with Priestess Laveaux, who uses her magic to compel Constantine to save Desmond any way he can. How aware Constantine is of being magicked this way in unclear but from thenceforth, Constantine practically ignores the Legends’ actual case in New Orleans, focusing instead on finding ways to save Desmond.
Time Travel Trickery
While the team hunt down a murderous Dybbuk that possesses dolls, Constantine teams up with Charlie to save Desmond and, as a side-effect,restore Charlie’s shape-shifting powers. Constantine’s plan is simple – stop himself from meeting Desmond so Neron can’t kill him, ensuring that a guilt-ridden Constantine doesn’t join the Legends and thus, never takes away Charlie’s powers. Charlie is, expectedly, all in with the plan, but the newest members of the Legends are about to learn a harsh lesson in Time Travel 101.
With Charlie’s help, Constantine manages to stop himself from meeting Desmond, but the change doesn’t stick. Desmond finds Constantine a few days later and their relationship ends up back on track, as does Desmond’s unfortunate fate. Before they can go back and rectify the situation, Zari hauls their sorry selves back to the Waverider and explains that there are certain fixed points in time which can’t be changed, not without catastrophic consequences. As surprising as it is to the cynical Constantine, his meeting with Desmond is one such fixed point.
However, Constantine is wily and thinks he’s found a loophole to exploit. His meeting with Desmond may be fixed in time, but a successful relationship isn’t. Constantine needs to find a point to replace his past self so he can turn Desmond away, thus saving his life. Easier said than done, as it happens. Zari finds that any substantial change in events related to John and Desmond will have a disastrous domino effect on time. That doesn’t stop ole Jonny from trying though.
Constantine takes his past self’s place to meet with Desmond. Despite Zari’s warnings, Constantine manages to break up with Desmond, thus changing history.
In the closing moments of ‘Hell No, Dolly!’, a time-shockwave appears to freeze the legends on the Waverider, as well as the occupants of the Time Bureau. However, on the Jumpship, Charlie regains her ability to shape-shift and finds that Zari has been replaced by a cat.
As for Constantine, the medallion Desmond had given him disappears from his hand, most likely meaning that Desmond still has it and is thus, alive. One win in the books, then!
Time is a tricky mistress, however, which is why the Legends have usually erred on the side of not rewriting history. The few times that the Flash has changed history, things have had long-lasting effects. The Flash essentially replaced John Diggle and Lyla Michaels’ daughter with a son, and Flashpoint caused both Caitlyn Snow and Cisco Ramon to develop powers when they had none before, as well as creating a divergent timeline where Cisco Ramon’s brother was killed.
What precisely will be the repercussions of Constantine saving Desmond remains to be seen. With Desmond never having died, Constantine would not have joined the Legends – he reluctantly agreed to join the Legends as it is – thus erasing all the work the team have done this season. With nobody to stop the magical creatures roaming the timestream, the death toll will be catastrophic. Woodstock, the Salem witch trials, the summer camps, Tagumo’s attack on Japan, not to mention the Queen of England’s bizarre behaviour if Charlie is left to her own devices – time as we know it is about to be destroyed.
Next week, the Arrowverse will dive into its crossover, Elseworlds, but Legends of Tomorrow will not be participating in it. However, this breach of time could set up Elseworlds, changing the lives of current characters in the Arrowverse, and leaving the Legends to clean up their own mess.
Alternately, Elseworlds could take place separately from the Legends of Tomorrow arc, leaving the few Legends with their wits about them trying to preserve the now-ruined timeline. Whether or not the Legends have any connection to Elseworlds, one thing is for sure, Constantine breaking the cardinal rule of time travel is going to have a very serious impact on the team and the world around them. But if there’s anything we know about the Legends, it’s that they always find a way to save the day.