What do you get when you combine a magic addict, a bunch of time-traveling superheroes with time to waste, and a board game? Well, the first thing kind of spoils the other stuff. Spoilers follow for Legends of Tomorrow Season 6, Episode 12, “Bored on Board Onboard.”
“Bored on Board Onboard”
This week sets up two major elements likely to last through the season finale a few episodes from now: John’s downward spiral and the return of Bishop. It starts simply, though, with a board game and a surprise visitor.
The deus ex machina last week was John Constantine using his vampire-blood magic to zap the Waverider to where the missing Legends were trapped in a bowling alley. In the process of showing off, though, he overloaded the ship’s AI, Gideon. And so the team has to take the long way back to Earth–just flying through space in a space ship. Of course, it’s not long before another ship shows up, piloted by Kayla, the alien who Mick left on the toxic planet after she impregnated him (without his knowledge, gross).
While Mick helps her, the rest of the Legends sit down to play a game that’s essentially Mafia or One Night Ultimate Werewolf–there’s a secret killer amongst the players and everyone else has to figure out who it is before they all die. John, out of his mind on vampire blood and drunk with power, decides to make the game “more fun” by putting the players in a magical mansion. Things go quickly sideways, of course, and the team is suddenly fighting for their lives.
Outside, Kayla helps fix the ship’s AI but in the meantime cut off one of her own tentacles–which the show establishes have minds of their own–goes off to do some shenanigans. The team escapes the game just in time to find the medbay printing a person from the feet up as Kayla says she owes the guy who helped her get off the toxic planet.
That guy again?!
There’s some good and some really frustrating in here that makes for an overall downer of an episode. The premise itself is fun, and the beast is revealed to be the part of John that’s becoming corrupted by the blood he’s been drinking. At the end of the episode, John sees how much the blood is damaging his body and mind and tries to pour it out. Being an addict, though, he can’t. The murder mystery party with a secret beast is a really cool way to show how addiction damages not just you but those around you. And how hiding it only drags out and amplifies the hurt.
Behrad’s protective instinct toward Zari makes him the only person to notice how dangerous John’s behavior is. Zari hasn’t yet noticed thanks to the rose-tinted glasses of new love, and to the rest of the crew John is just being his surly self. Behrad sees right from the start, though, how John’s interactions with Zari and the crew are changing. Zari also admits to Behrad that she’s in love with John; the coming heartbreak is already devastating.
It’s also fun to see Spooner and Astra, two self-sufficient outsiders, both new kids to the Legends, bonding and working together.
On the other hand, I’m pretty bored of Kayla and Bishop both. Kayla was a fun foil for Mick, but she doesn’t add much on her own. Bishop, meanwhile, is actually pretty annoying as a villain. Even though we’ve had a few episodes with him, we still don’t have a good idea of what his deal is. He says he wants to save humanity, but doesn’t get much more specific than that. When? Where? What happened or will happen to humanity?
And further, he doesn’t tie back to the Legends in any clear way. The Fates were linked to Clotho and brought with all these themes of destiny, free will, and control. The Heyworld story the season before got deep into Nate’s past and his relationship with his dad. Bishop, compared to Mallus, Neron, and the Fates, feels pretty generic. I always knew he was coming back, but it’s still pretty disappointing all the same.