Is John Constantine truly nothing without his magic? He certainly seems to think so, and his pursuit of a new source of magical power–after losing access to his thanks to Astra’s greed–is turning him into a legendary a-hole more than anything else. This week, Constantine thinks he has a solution, though things don’t go quite as planned. He is a Legend, after all. Spoilers follow for Legends of Tomorrow Season 6, Episode 10, “Bad Blood.”
This week we have three plotlines, in order of significance: John’s search for a new source of power, Mick Rory trying to cope (by not coping at all) with the news that the betentacled extra-terrestrial Kayla impregnated him when they hooked up in her spacecraft, and the rest of the Legends are trying to figure out what to do about the adorable alien Gus when he grows up a little too fast, turning from a two-foot tall hug machine into a door-busting pink Sasquatch.
Help from Aleistar Crowley and a vampire named Noelle, who gives him a vial of the same magically-infused blood that let Crowley cheat his way into magic use, leads John to Spain during the Spanish Civil War, which directly preceded World War II. John enlists the help of Spooner as a translator for both Spanish and any alien tongues they might encounter. They quickly run into Nazi-aligned Spanish soldiers and a mute teenage boy with the power to resurrect and heal.
While that’s going on, Lita and Mick go back and forth about their respective pregnancies, with Mick resistant to even acknowledge the possibility. Lita fakes labor to force her father to let Gideon check him.
Neither of these storylines are particularly interesting or engaging when compared to so many other Legends episodes, but they still have their charms. John’s storyline makes good use of both Johnny himself and Spooner. John is starting to get desperate. If you thought he was a mean, unreliable jerk before, wait till you meet the version of John scrambling frantically to get access to magic. A heart-to-heart between these two reveals their different perspectives on power. For Spooner, her ability is a curse, something that set her life on a path she didn’t choose. For John, who frames his younger self as an abused, impoverished boy whose bisexuality only made his life more difficult, magic was a way to take control of and shape his own life.
John’s desperation pushes him to make risky moves, like posing as a Catholic priest in front of the Spanish soldiers, and telling Spooner and the boy that those soldiers are further away than they actually are in hopes of first finding, and then claiming the boy’s magical powers. When they actually try it, though, the powers slip through John’s fingers–he’s not worthy to wield them in the opinion of the power source, the Fountain of Imperium. John swallows the vial of blood and the sequence that follows is a creepy, psychedelic one where he zaps the soldiers dead with power he can barely control. He later describes the experience as frightening, only to hypnotize Spooner into ignoring the return of the vampiress, who arrives with a briefcase of more ‘bad blood’ in exchange for that obnoxiously chatty Crowley painting.
John probably won’t turn out to be the villain of the season, but he’s certainly not going to make things easy for the Legends crew.
Back on the Waverider, a lot of the fun comes from watching Dominic Purcell yell and scream. He’s very good at it, and very entertaining. The core here is seeing Mick try to communicate with his daughter. He’s good at yelling, but terrible at communicating, and struggles to make any headway talking about his emotions–especially about ditching the potentially-alive Kayla on an alien planet to ensure he could get back to his daughter.
To break up the creepiness of the main plotline and the Very Special Episode happening between Mick and Lita, we see the rest of the Legends trying to contain the increasingly uncontainable Gus. The show cuts back to them in increasingly worse condition, with Zari and Behrad both sporting some impressively huge hair before finally kicking Gus out into an unknown forest. That definitely won’t come back to bite them.
This isn’t my favorite episode of Legends; it’s actually one of the lesser of both the overall show and this season. Even so, it manages to develop both John and Mick’s stories–and to a lesser degree, Spooner as well–in interesting ways that will impact the episodes to come, and it doesn’t feel like a Cosmic Treadmill.