It’s all about 70’s horror in this week’s CW/DC TV Roundup!
Legends of Tomorrow: Season 3: Episode 10 “Daddy Darhkest”
At its core “Daddy Darhkest” is a throwback to dark and occult films of the seventies, referencing and embracing the cliches of classics like The Shining, The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. As Legends exhausts the obvious throwbacks and themes (The space one, the Viking one, the samurai one that I’d like to forget ever happened) they start to get into weirdly specific territory. This is where they really excel, so I’m glad to see it happening. The treat for this episode beyond the bizarrely particular theme comes from Matt Ryan returning to the DC Universe as John Constantine in order to help exorcise a demon from a little girl (Not the one from his show though…no she’s still gone.) The Demon: Mallus, the girl: Nora Darhk and the greatest thing about that particular storyline is that I, and Legends, don’t even have to explain why that’s a story rife with intrigue. All the pieces are already there, and while they’re arranged in an obvious way the story relies on information that has already been revealed in order to expand on the world the Legends inhabit and build on the infamy of this season’s big-bad, Mallus, to make us even more invested in them stopping his machinations. There’s so much going on in Legends right now that I can’t even go into as much as a want to, but there was nothing about Daddy Darhkest that didn’t pull me in. Sara has great chemistry with John, which makes everything happening that much smoother, the references to classic films are clever more often than not, there are points where the direction makes the events legitimately unsettling, and every character seems engaged in interesting ways. Daddy Darhkest doesn’t break new ground or go after any big themes or ideas, but it builds on its mythos and introduces a bevy of different potential story-branches. I don’t know where Legends is going to go to next, but with all these courses laid out, it’s hard to not a get a little bit intrigued by the possibilities.
Final Word: The winner, by default, is Legends of Tomorrow! I’m kidding but it’s still a really good episode. I’m always up for Matt Ryan’s Constantine in these shows, but this one didn’t do the thing Arrow did and only feature him as a secondary character or in flashbacks. He’s a big part of the story and his interactions with the characters are key to the success of the episode. It’s the long-game that Legends is playing with Mallus that’s going to sink or swim the season though, so we’ll see if Legends can keep up this silly balancing act or not. I have hope though.