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Spoilers ahead for Episode 11 of Legends of Tomorrow Season 4, called "Séance and Sensibility."
Season 4 of Legends of Tomorrow has delivered two main villains, in the form of Hank Heywood and the demon Neron. Although the demon is naturally the bigger and creepier baddie, Hank has been the face of the villainy. So, when he was killed by Neron at the end of last week's episode, there probably weren't too many fans distraught by his fate, even if he was somewhat reformed after learning that his actions were hurting his son.
Now, in the episode that featured Hank's funeral, Legends of Tomorrow explained his villainy in the most amazing, ridiculous, Legends of Tomorrow way. His motive is definitely not one that many could have predicted, and his intentions weren't actually nefarious or even shamefully self-serving. Was it a reasonable motive informed by something that could actually, conceivably happen? Not really. But it wasn't a villainous motive.
Hank was able to explain his actions himself despite the fact that his corpse was laid out in a coffin for viewing during the entire episode. His spirit had not yet moved on, and Constantine figured out how to reach him and enable him to move on. At the same time, Nate was exploring his dad's secret lair -- because of course Hank had a secret lair -- and discovered the deep dark secret of what drove Hank.
Let's start with what Hank had to say when his spirit was summoned by Constantine into the vessel of Mick Rory:
It pains me to admit it, but I made a terrible mistake. A man approached me about a deal. Unlimited funding, and all I had to do was give him access to all the magical creatures within the Time Bureau. But this man was no ordinary beltway bandit. He was a demon. Only after he murdered me did I realize the truth. Promise me you'll keep Nathaniel safe.... [The demon's] name was Neron.
Hank stuck around the mortal plane of existence to drop some serious exposition on Constantine. His words didn't come as much news to viewers who have been keeping up with Season 4, but the characters definitely didn't know that there was anybody pulling the strings behind Hank, let alone a demon!
Kudos to Hank for taking responsibility for his actions and exonerating Nora in his message before heading to the great beyond. Constantine wasn't so reassured, though. He's too familiar with Neron to be anything other than deeply troubled by the news that he's back in the mix, and closer than he could have imagined. Neron has been messing with the Legends all along, and he had no idea.
Hank's message as a spirit at his own funeral was a reminder that he was a man of good intentions, even if he was misguided. His message that Nate witnessed down in his dad's lair is one that illustrated a very different side of Hank Heywood.
In fact, the side is so very different from the Hank that had appeared in previous episodes of Legends of Tomorrow that even Nate had to acknowledge that the reveal was both "insane" and "nuts."
When he wandered down into the lair, he discovered a video camera and turned it on to see his dad talking directly to the camera while smiling, overflowing with enthusiasm, and wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Here's Hank's final message to Nate, even if he never intended Nate to see it:
Hey world! I'm Hank Heywood, and I'm here to tell you about an exciting opportunity. When I learned about the existence of magical creatures -- yes, magical creatures exist! -- I ran right home and pulled out a drawing made by my son Nathaniel when he was only 9 years old. My son envisioned a theme park where everyone could gaze in wonder at dragons and unicorns, werewolves and minotaurs. Now, you may be thinking, 'This is insane!' But what great man hasn't been thought of as insane at one point in his life? I believe this park can bring our country together, and with your help, I'm going to turn my son's dream into a reality. I call it 'HeyWorld.'
Yes, Hank Heywood's real motive for how he handled the magical creatures under his purview was trying to train them to include them in a theme park. If this had happened on Arrow or The Flash, I would call shenanigans, but it's pretty perfect for Legends of Tomorrow. Of course that's what happened, and of course Nate learned the truth via a video appeal to raise funds for HeyWorld. There was a bit of foreshadowing to the reveal, though.
After Nate delivered a bummer of a eulogy for his dad, his mom stood up to share a story of when a family trip to Disney World had to be cancelled because Nate had to go to the hospital when he was a child. Nate was so disappointed that Hank went and rented a Mickey Mouse costume to convince everybody that magic is real. Oh, Hank. You did have a heart in there.
Nate was still thunderstruck at the thoughtful yet ridiculous reason why his dad did what he did, but he ended the episode respecting his dad for dreaming big. He even called him "Dad" rather than "Hank" and broke down in tears. Nate didn't see this twist coming any more than viewers could have.
Does this mean that Constantine doesn't tell the whole team about Neron, and saves the battle against him for magic users like him and Nora? Or are the rest of the Legends just focusing on a threat that they can actually battle, unlike a demon? We'll have to wait and see.
I'm still holding out to see the Legends dressed up in other superhero costumes, and honestly, after the Bollywood-esque musical number in "Séance and Sensibility," I'm more on board with a future musical episode of Legends of Tomorrow than any other show in the Arrow-verse, including another one from The Flash or Supergirl!