DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’s “Miss Me, Kiss Me, Love Me” is a hilariously self-deprecating film noir tribute that makes great use of its talented ensemble cast.
Hot off the heels of the revelation that Astra Logue, the child Constantine inadvertently damned to hell, was the one sending all the “Encores” to the surface world again, episode two of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow picks up exactly where it left off, and follows the crew as they attempt to deal with the most recent reincarnation: a prohibition-era mobster wreaking havoc on Los Angeles.
The episode is a very obvious riff on the classic film noir movies of the ‘20s and ‘30s — everything from the costumes to the music to the lighting cues seems like it’s been plucked out of a vintage film. The ambiance is so well established that it feels as if Humphrey Bogart could waltz into frame any second.
In place of Bogart as the lead (hilariously), is John Constantine, sporting an equally ridiculous and impressive American accent. Alongside his “secretary,” Sara, and their “cop” friend, Ray, Constantine attempts to unravel a mystery involving a femme fatale, a seedy speakeasy, and a set of scandalous photos.
It’s an engaging setup from the get-go that brings Constantine to the forefront — which means the episode is full of wonderfully brooding stares and smarmy dialogue. Constantine is one of the show’s strongest characters, so it’s good to see the writers give him so much to do. Also featured rather prominently is Ray Palmer, which is a big relief for us, considering his days on the show are numbered.
Ray will be a sorely missed presence once he’s gone. Although Nate does share a few of the same qualities, there’s nobody quite as squeaky clean and genuinely optimistic as Ray, so it was fun to see him tangle with corrupted police officers and be repeatedly fooled because of his faith in others.
Thankfully, the two “B” plots of the episode were strong in their own ways as well. One grouped Mick and Ava together (an odd couple to say the least), and the other saw Behrad and Nate visiting Behrad’s family, which lead to the episode’s most shocking revelation.
As we mentioned in last week’s Legends of Tomorrow review, Behrad has started off as a fairly strong (albeit underdeveloped) character, and now we know why: The show was leaving room for this timeline’s version of Zari to join the Waverider crew. In this version of reality, Zari is not a post-apocalyptic survivor with a powerful totem, she’s a 21st-century Insta-famous influencer with 51 million followers. Oddly enough, this reveal isn’t played for very much comedy, which is a surprising but fitting choice, given that this is now the second time that Nate has been presented with an identical clone of a former love interest who has no clue who he is (see last season’s Charlie/Amaya mixup).
Unfortunately, while it’s great to see Zari back in the fold, her brother’s character suffers greatly for it, which is a shame because he seems like such a promising and interesting character. Behrad is in an odd place narratively speaking. He was shoehorned in at the end of last season’s finale, and although there’s no reason for characters to get to know him because in their timeline he’s always been a part of the team, audiences have yet to be properly introduced to him. With the addition of Zari to the team, it seems like Behrad won’t get the time he deserves, even though Shayan Sobhian is giving it his all.
Also giving it her all is Ava Sharpe, whose literal only purpose in the episode is to get plastered on ‘20s liquor and sing Bell Biv Davoe karaoke as a distraction. She and Mick have little to do, but that’s A-OK with us, as they’ve never been the show’s strongest characters. In this episode especially, Legends seems to know when to spend time with the more important characters and when to cut back to funny little gags like Ava’s drunken singing, so the episode is stronger for it.
Between the new uber-punk intro, Constantine’s impressive American accent, and the surprise Zari reveal, “Kiss Me, Miss Me, Love Me” is a well-paced, well-written second entry that keeps us excited for what’s to come.