A major Arrowverse villain met his end while two of its purest characters found true happiness in the best episode of Legends of Tomorrow’s fifth season yet.
It’s hard to deny that the fifth season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has been on an upward trajectory. In fact, if you’ve been following these reviews, you’ll know that this writer has thus far considered it an improvement over the show’s hit-and-miss fourth season.
Whether it be the ominous threat of the Encores or the unique messages that each episode gets across (albeit showered in an over-the-top flood of weirdness), Season 5 of Legends has reinvigorated the show, getting it back in the game if you will. And yet, the writers weren’t just content with being better than before, as they upped the ante again with the latest episode – and as a result, “Mr. Parker’s Cul-De-Sac” became the best of the season.
Dinner party from Hell
The episode’s primary narrative revolved around the return of Damien Darhk – who, following his noble sacrifice in the Season 3 finale – was brought back as an Encore to continue his devilish dealings. However, he decided to kick off his return by visiting his daughter Nora, only to unwittingly crash Ray’s planned proposal dinner. And as a result, Nora attempted to convince him that she was a dark mystic in love with John Constantine, all while making the director of the Time Bureau, Ava, and the Captain of the Waverider, Sara, her slaves.
The idea to bring a formidable Arrowverse villain like Darhk back as an Encore was an admittedly great one, and his resurgence lent itself to the narrative rather nicely, allowing Nora to fully realize that she’s happy in her new life and how much she loves Ray for making her see the happiness that this life could be full of. That provided solid foundations for the episode’s while Darhk’s return proved to be one last brilliant obstacle to threaten that happiness – one that they ultimately overcame.
Could Damien’s over-the-top wisecracks get a little tiresome? Yeah, but that’s one of the reasons why he works so much better on Legends of Tomorrow than he ever did on Arrow, and Neal McDonough ate up every delicious campy bite he possibly could, nailing it like he always does.
Being Legends, it was only fitting that Nora, Ray, Damien and the rest of the warring Legends ended up sorting out their problems on an episode of children’s talk-show Mr. Parker’s Cul-De-Sac (because that’s a thing, right?). No, it shouldn’t have worked. And yes, it absolutely did.
Till death do they part
The reason that Damien’s return worked so well was the fact that it was directly tied to the season’s overarching narrative and that it couldn’t have come at a worst time. But being the big bubble of baffling irony that it is, it turns out that it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Having realized the error of his ways, the former Arrow Big Bad made amends with his daughter in a moment that saw her accept Ray’s proposal of marriage. And in one of the Arrowverse’s most joyous, emotional and heartwarming moments, two people who were madly in love said “I do” to each other with their friends and family watching them do so. Damien walked Nora down the aisle and into the arms of the man she is set to spend the rest of her life with. And that, folks, is pure poetry in motion.
The decision to write Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford out of the show will always remain a questionable one given how genuinely popular they are with fans and the fact that the latter wasn’t part of the show for that long, but the beginning of their departure couldn’t have come with a more beautiful moment.
Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Palmer!
- Ray and Nora deserve the world. That is all.
- Damien’s decision to kill himself with the Hellsword was another selfless deed on the part of the mystic and just more proof of how much he’s developed over the years.
- Okay, so elsewhere, Charlie and John Constantine agreed to find the Loom of Fate so that they can help Astra before destroying it properly this time. A solid plan, but the reference to Charlie’s sisters potentially looking for it suggests that it’s going to be easier said than done.
- Mick has a daughter to his high school sweetheart who’s been trolling Rebecca Silver online. Though he’s totally against the idea of being a parent, something tells this writer we’re going to see him develop that little bit further in the weeks ahead.
- Sara’s apparent job offer from Arrow‘s Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog at least explains what this “business” she had in Star City was about, but what kind of job was it? Star City is crime free until 2040 remember, so did Rene need help in his mayoral campaign?
- Seeing John Constantine square off against Damien Darhk was goosebump-inducing. Can we get a full match between these two, please?
- Struggling to remember how many times I shed a tear in this episode. Some were tears of laughter, others joy and some even sadness, but there were a lot!
- Not sure if train Gary is hilarious or terrifying!
- I’m glad Sara didn’t shake Darhk’s hand in the end. As far as he has come, that would have been too much – he killed her sister and nobody should ever forget how low Arrow sunk by making that ridiculous creative decision in Season 4. Having Sara forgive him would have made it seem okay… and nothing about that season was okay… especially killing Black Canary.
- Neal McDonough is, in every sense of the word, an absolute Legend.
- Legends of Tomorrow‘s upward trajectory took it to new heights this week, as “Mr. Parker’s Cul-De-Sac was a season-best for the show, giving the spotlight to two characters who were more than deserving of it. And what a beautiful episode it was.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow returns to The CW next Tuesday, March 17, at 9:00 p.m. ET. What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below!