“Amazing Grace” or The King Has Left the BuildingBy Marc Watkins

Our show begins in a small music shop in Memphis, Tennessee in 1950. As the proprietor sits behind the register, a gangly youth walks in with a hand full of pocket change so that he can purchase his first guitar. The clerk tells the man that, much like Harry Potter’s wand, the guitar picks the man. The youth walks around and his attention is drawn to one particular guitar that the clerk seems reluctant to sell. The clerk tells him that legend has it the previous owner sold his soul to the devil in order to play but the boy would not be dissuaded and asked to give it a try. As he strums out a few chords, the lights in the shop begin to flare frightening the clerk who makes the immediate decision to let the boy have the guitar for what little pocket change he provided. The boy promises to make good his music career and when asked his name he states: “Elvis Presley”.

In the present, Zari shows the Legend’s new team member, Wally West, aka Kid Flash formerly of Team Flash, around the Wave Runner and his new digs as her roommate. Elsewhere on the ship Ray runs down the list of totems they currently possess while Nate and Amaya try to determine what will be the next anachronism they’ll fix. Slowly, the Legends realize that subtle changes to the time stream has been made: Mick’s pet rat is no longer named “Axl” (after Guns & Roses guitarist) but “Josh Grobin”; Nate no longer has his trademark pompadour full of body & Zari’s video game is no longer called “Guitar Hero” but “Trombone Hero”.

They ask the ship’s A.I. Gideon to find out what’s going on and they learn that Memphis, Tennessee became a literal ghost town in the 50s thereby preventing rock & roll, popularized by Elvis Pressley (which he learned from black artist of the day) from being invented. The team heads to 1954 Memphis and finds a young Elvis in his uncle’s church during Sunday service. The intergrated Legends receive strange looks from the segregated church crowd and get even more stares when Zari begins floating in the area after Elvis begins playing and singing gospel.

Turns out that the guitar Elvis purchased years before has the 6th and final, previously undisclosed Death Totem in its neck which reacted with Zari’s wind totem. Back on the ship, the Legends discuss how to acquire the guitar from the King of Rock’n’roll when Wally does his speedster thing and snatches it and replaces it with a replica.

Later that night Elvis goes to play a gig in a club with the replica guitar but it is out of tune and costs the King his confidence when he’s booed off stage with Nate & Amaya in attendance. They approach the young man in the guise of music agents and convince him not to give up. Elvis tells the pair that since he’s owned the guitar it always seemed as if his deceased twin brother was always with him when he played but he no longer felt that connection.

On the ship, Ray tries to remove the totem from the guitar when it suddenly takes on a life of its own and flies around the ship. Sara receives a call from Nate who had just spoken with Elvis and she calls his brother Jesse’s name because he’s the apparition causing the guitar to fly. When Nate gets back to the ship, he has to convince Sara the importance of Elvis’ music to the world and how if he messes up his scheduled recording at Sun Studios, rock’n’roll won’t be invented. Sara relents and allows Nate to take the guitar back to Elvis for his recording session, but only if he stays with the guitar at all times.

In the studio, Elvis’ recording goes off without a hitch; he plays and sings with confidence and lays down a track that’s headed for the radio. Before they can leave the studio, Elvis’ preacher uncle busts in and takes the demo tape. When Elvis objects, the uncle has him – along with Nate & Amaya – thrown in jail. Knowing the importance of the demo, Wally’s first inclination is to just use his powers, grab the demo and take it to the radio station. Zari, however, convinces him they should use their words.

Wally & Zari go to the church of Elvis’ uncle and give an impassioned speech as to the importance of that recording. Touched by their words, the preacher-man gives up the recording and Wally zooms it over to the radio station where its being played within minutes. With their work done Wally & Zari go to take their leave when the spirits of the dead arise from the church’s cemetary and begin flying around.

The pair use their powers to try to corral the spirits but it’s a temporary measure as they keep coming back. Elvis is released from jail and rushes to his uncle’s church with his guitar and begins to croon. They say music soothes the savage beast, well it also soothes restless spirits. After a few bars the spirits go off to their final resting place and Elvis relinquishes the death totem.

Now that the Legends have 4 totems, are they ready to take on the Darhks? Tune in next Monday to find out. Also be sure to follow @ATLCW & @ATLBlerd to live-tweet the show.

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