Monday 9:00 PM on The CW (Returning October 22, 2018)
Ah, wasn't "Amazing Grace" sweet.

Don't get me wrong: I don't mind sweet when it's done well. Well-acted, tied into the main storyline as necessary. And there was some plot movement, even though we didn't see anything of the Dahrks or the Time Bureau.

Let's recap. First we get an intro where a young man goes into a Memphis pawnshop and buys an old guitar which does weird stuff. The guitar once belonged to blues man Robert Johnson, and the black storeowner is alternately greedy and superstitious. To no one's surprise, the young man says that his name is Elvis Presley as he leaves.


The Legends has some downtime--what is downtime for them?--and discover that an anachronism has occurred and is affecting the crew. Zari's game of Guitar Hero has become Trombone Hero, Nate's hair loses his pomade, and Mick's rat is renamed "Josh Groban" according to the food dish. The Legends still remember the original timeline for some reason--yeah, I don't get it, either--and they soon learn that the population of Memphis went nuts in the 1950s.

The team heads there and goes into the church where Elvis performing with his uncle, Lucious Presley. People glare at the Legends, and I'm not sure if it's because they're strangers or they have three minorities among their members, or something else. The team soon learns that the guitar contains the Death Totem, making Elvis a Totem Bearer. The Totem summons Elvis' dead brother Jesse, who died as a child but whose ghost is the same age as Elvis. And wears leathers. So ghosts age in the afterlife and have clothing stores? Who knew?


Wally superspeed steals the guitar, but Jesse's spirit starts bouncing Legends around Waverider. Meanwhile, Nate and Amaya pose as record executives and nobody seems concerned about a black woman in the 1950 American South. And Axl the rat gets loose during the ghost rampage and eats something poisonous. Axl dies (oh no!) and Mick is all heartbroken about the rat's change, which is a reflection of his inner angst about all the recent changes. I guess he liked Martin and Jackson more than Shayera and Carter, because he wasn't that upset when they got replaced. It must be a cumulative thing.


Lucious decides to stop Elvis from playing the devil's music--rock and roll--and somehow has him thrown in jail along with Nate and Amaya. But Zari and Wally go to Lucious' church and convince him to give them the record and play it on the radio like happened in the original timeline. But... the music raises the dead and the ghosts attack the church.

Elvis, Nate, and Amaya get out and go to the church, and Elvis sings "Amazing Grace". This sends the ghosts on to their next life. Elvis gives Nate the Death Totem and at the end, we shaking inside of the lock box where Ray has put it.

What else? Nate is trying to teach Amaya the significance of music to him. Which we've never heard that much of before. And she plays him some Zambesi music at the end.


Ray, Sara, and Mick hold a funeral for Axl, and Axl's ghost runs around for a bit and doesn't do much. The episode ends with an in memoriam to Axl, so I'm not sure if the rat died in real life or what.


Wally is pretty much okay with superspeeding around and doing things, and Zari acts as his life coach. She tells him that sometimes the Legends need to talk to people instead of superspeed taking their stuff to set right what has gone wrong, and... this is Zari the time hacker talking, right? It's not like Wally isn't being subtle. He's not revealing himself to people in the past: he just speeds off and does things while the rest of the Legends sit around and gab. It's not like should have stopped and talked to Damien last week rather than just steal the Fire Totem, so other than to prevent the creative team from using Wally as a deus ex mechina, I'm not sure what the point of all this is.


So there's a lot going on this episode. Nate and Amaya have a subplot, Mick has a subplot, Ray, Sara & Mick have a subplot, Zari and Wally have a subplot. And that's on top of the main plot, and all the mentions of anachronisms and Mallus and the Dahrks and whatever else they tossed in.

All of the Legends got a decent bit of characterization. Some of it seemed a bit out of left field: Ray has always seemed more like the "music guy" than Nate. Mick hasn't been that upset about changes in the Legends until now. And other than to depower Wally, I'm not seeing the point of giving him a hard time about acting rather than talking. Sometimes the Legends do make things harder for themselves, and Wally cut through all of that. But now Zari has presumably convinced him to do more talking and less acting.

We don't see that much of the 1950s, and some of it is kind of weird. The aforementioned bit at the church is the only reference that we get to the fact that 1950s American South wasn't that great a place for blacks. And while Lucious not being a total bad guy makes a pleasant change, he seems to do a reverse heel-turn a bit too easily. One speech from Wally and Lucious realizes the error of his ways.


But you've got Elvis Presley, and gospel, and rock and roll, and ghosts, and Brandon Routh acting goofy. It all got mashed up together in a weird combination of a Presley movie and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and The Sixth Sense, but somehow it all worked. Maybe it was because the creative team seemed to treat Elvis with a degree of reverence they don't always show to historical personalities. Like Blackbeard a couple of episodes ago, who got thrown under the bus of comedy. If they had handled Elvis like they handled Blackbeard, it wouldn't have been as entertaining an episode.


So next week, Ava, Gary, and Constantine return. And Mallus makes a move, possessing Sara. It should be entertaining if nothing else.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
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Mar 13, 2018
I totally agree with the review. I get that the show isn't meant to be dark and wants to avoid racism and such, but come on... Black people in history and in the south in particular couldn't possibly be treated like that.

The episode was pretty dull. Not much action, story was too far fetched and not enough funny parts with Mick.

Here are the things that bothered me:

1) Are they really calling it the Death Totem?
Ghosts + Elvis = Soul Totem... isn't that an obvious name for it?
2) Didn't the earth totem bring back the dead as well? I'm baffled by the repetition here.
3) Remind me again... The whole thing was an anachronism right? That's why things changed? Except what changed? Elvis never actually owned the guitar in the first place? So Dhark just planted it there? I'm confused.
And if Dhark did something, why didn't he grab the totem for himself. He's collecting them, right?
And if Dhark had nothing to do with it, why was this an anachronism?
4) Didn't last episode end with Grodd killing the director? So the Legends just ignored him?
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Mar 13, 2018
Soul Totem = too much like Spirit Totem, which is already spoken for.

The Totems don't work consistently, regardless. Kuasa can turn into water with the Water Totem, but Amaya can't turn into animals and Zari can't turn into air.
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Mar 14, 2018
Yea, but common... Souls of the Dead? Soul Music? It's a given!
When they said "what kind of totem would Elvis have" I was sure they were aiming for that.
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Mar 14, 2018
I also think "soul"would have gotten into religious/spiritual questions that the creative team didn't want to raise.
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Mar 15, 2018
Sure, they are not aiming at some extremisim, but they are pretty clear on the fact that Christianity is the right religion in that universe.

In this season, we see Ray tell us that Jesus is the one true god.

While assuming they have other gods (Themiscara was mentioned), it's likely something like Supernatural\Xena where there were other godlings but also god and Jesus works.
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Mar 14, 2018
It was a pretty secular Jesus, all things considered. ;)
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Mar 14, 2018
Considering that last season was all about a Jesus artifact, I think they crossed that line a long time ago.

Regardless, it just seems like picking Elvis seems like too much of a good choice to make it an accident.
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Mar 13, 2018
I wanted to like this series, I'm such a fan of DC heroes since the beginning of the Silver Age. It was cute at the beginning but all the ineptitude in both plotting, scripting and characterization is beginning to wear on me. At first, the "anachronisms" were a good excuse to put the heroes in silly situations, but now the writers can't even do that consistently, so this is all really a big fat waste of time.

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Mar 13, 2018
I agree. This show is better when it's more silly and self aware of it.
The serious dramatic tone fails here big time.
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