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Legends of Tomorrow: Damien Dhark, puppets, and a surprise wedding in ’Mr. Parker’s Cul-de-sac’

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Mar 11, 2020

For a show that usually features plenty of weird stuff, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow tossed the kitchen sink in with aplomb this time — and it made for one of the show’s weirdest and most entertaining episodes to date.

Spoilers ahead for “Mr. Parker’s Cul-de-sac,” the latest episode of The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, which aired Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

We already know Ray and Nora (aka real-life married couple Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford) will be leaving the series at some point this season, and now their exit strategy is becoming clear: Ray had been working up the nerve to propose to Nora, and this week he does just that — but not before her former Big Bad father Damien Dhark decides to show up as the latest evil “encore” released from Hell by Astra.

This being Legends, though, Dhark’s return is handled in a bit… shall we say… sillier take than his original Arrowverse turn on Arrow (or even his stint as a co-baddie in past Legends seasons). Damien’s aware he’s been gone for two years, but instead of doing Astra’s bidding to go cause evil shenanigans, he decides to check in on his dear daughter. As fans are well aware, a whole lot has changed for Nora the past couple years. She’s since given up evil and become a fairy godmother, she’s in love with goodie-goodie Ray, and some of her best friends are the Legends crew who once battled her evil father.

So when dad shows up at the door, she decides to lie, as opposed to coming clean about her new life. The results are positively hilarious. As more members of the Legends crew pop in, she has to start adding layers to her ruse. Sara and Ava? Her henchwomen. Constantine? Her lover. You get the drill. Damien’s father-in-law-ly admiration for Constantine is pure gold, but it all falls apart when Ray’s botched proposal ends with Constantine proposing to try and keep up the lie. Nora finally comes clean and tells her father she’s in love with Ray…

So of course Damien immediately tries to kill Ray and the rest of the Legends for “corrupting” her daughter. We get some good magical fight action, and a quick reminder that — yes — Damien is still one of the more powerful baddies to grace the rogues gallery. But thanks to a well placed fireball from Constantine (which only draws more admiration from Damien), Nora gets through to him and he finally realizes that, though it’s not the life he would’ve picked for her, Nora really is happy now.

So Nora and Ray decide to get married right then, with the Legends partying it up with Damien himself at the reception. It’s such a strange juxtaposition bringing these characters together, but it really speaks to the found family concept that is the heart of this show. Nora’s their friend, and despite Damien’s awfulness, he’s still her father. And they respect that. Even Sara gets a brief moment with Damien, who truly seems changed after seeing the new life his daughter has found. There’s nothing he can say to apologize for killing Sara’s sister (remember that, Arrow fans? It was Damien who knifed the OG Laurel Lance all those seasons ago), but he genuinely does seem remorseful for the pain he caused her. 

More than that, he’s found some peace is seeing his daughter one last time and knowing she’s happy with friends who love and care about her. So he takes the hell sword Sara had swiped to take out future “encores,” slips outside, and uses it on himself. He might be evil, but nothing is more important than family. Damien’s journey is finished, so he takes control of his own fate and heads back to hell of his own accord.

But before he goes, he has a heart to heart with Ray, telling him that Nora will need support in their life together — and that means more support than he can provide flying around full-time not he Waverider with the Legends. So yes, this marriage certainly seems to be setting up their exit as full-time members of the crew (though, like pretty much everyone else on this show, it stands to reason the door will be left open for some future cameos). Ray is one of the few original Legends left on the roster, and his exit will certainly be felt. But it at least seems like they’re trying to give the hero a fitting sendoff with a new life to start.

Assorted musings

The CW

Of course, this being the weirdest show on TV, they had to find a creative way to hash out their emotions — so enter Mr. Parker’s Cul-de-sac. The Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood spoof starts off as a show Ray show’s Nora’s godmother charge to keep her out of the way. But things go haywire when the girl wishes the fighting heroes and Damien into the TV show itself to work out their issues. It’s as horrifyingly funny as you’d imagine. Ray is the squeaky clean host, of course, with Nora/Damien and Constantine/Charlie (who are still feuding over the Loom of Fate) set to hash out their differences. Gary is turned into the laugh-out-loud named “Gary the Unspeakable Train Abomination” (fresh off being tied to a train track by Damien after he was set free from hell); Nate is the smiling face of the sun; and Sara and Ava are puppets showing how we’re all supposed to communicate our feelings.

Constantine and Charlie also come to an agreement. Constantine gives her his word that if they can find the Loom of Fate and fix Astra’s life, he’ll help her destroy it for good before they’re tempted to rewrite even more fates. They have a deal, so the search for the Loom can kick off in earnest.

Zari is also still around, though still without her full memories from before the timeline changed. She spends the episode helping out Mick, who is dealing with an online troll cracking on his romance book series. Turns out its his estranged love and the daughter he never knew he had. Mick promptly fates, then erases their memories. Because, yeah, that’s Mick.

Also, old Arrow hero Wild Dog is trying to get in touch with Sara about a job offer in Star City? What is it, exactly? The city’s new hero now that Oliver is gone? Or, like, an actual normal job? Could Ray possibly take it, setting up his exit back to the city where his story began? It stands to reason that tidbit could resurface soon.

Next week: The episode title says it all: “Romeo V. Juliet: Dawn of Justness.” It seems instead of writing his classics, Shakespeare starts writing superhero stories. This also looks to be the episode where Ray and Nora say goodbye. So, cue up the tears.

 

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