written by Kate Spencer
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
The episode begins with Ishiro Honda’s film crew capturing footage of a monster rising from the sea in 1951 Tokyo. On the Waverider, Ray and Sara have tracked down Nora in 2018. Zari walks in on Mick writing again, but he swears he was just watching porn. Sara calls a team meeting, and that includes Charlie because they’re short-handed.
Oh, this is going to be fun.
The Time Bureau is rounding up their latest batch of prisoners, Baba Yaga, a chupacabra, and Kaupe. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get an episode of the Legends trying to chase down a chupacabra. Hank invites Ava to Thanksgiving dinner, something that Nate is not looking forward to. Ava once again reminds us that her “parents” are just actors. Last episode she admitted to keeping a photo of them on her desk just to feel normal. That’s sad but also kind of adorable. Sadorable, even.
Zari and Mick infiltrate the studio as producers from K&G Pictures to ask Honda for the monster footage, but he claims it was only a whale and the footage was conveniently ruined. Charlie and Sara break into the office, where Charlie is able to find the hidden film in the base of a mortar shell (a nod to the unexploded mortar that landed near Honda in World War II that he kept on his desk). Mission accomplished without fucking things up! We’re charting the unknown! Speaking of the unknown, the footage shows a giant tentacle lashing out of the water.
SARA: “We’re going to need a bigger time ship.”
Like the one the Time Bureau had last season? Remember that? What happened to that thing? Does the Bureau still have it? Why isn’t it ever used?
Charlie doesn’t recognize the sea creature as a fugitive and suggests it’s man-made, a result of the atomic bombs. Why does that sound familiar? Eh, I’ll figure it out eventually. Zari counters that a nuclear monster wouldn’t set off the magic detector and she and Charlie have a face-to-face argument that’s close enough for a “now kiss!” moment that never happens.
Gary gets food delivered by Mona, the same delivery woman whose memory he had to erase in a previous episode, and it looks like she needs her memory erased again because she sees the Time Bureau logo once again. Um…call me crazy, but if you’re going to have deliveries made to your top secret government facility, maybe you shouldn’t have logos with “Federal Time Bureau” everywhere? Can’t blame Gary for this one. Anyway, Gary invites Mona to have Thanksgiving dinner with him at the Bureau just as the prisoners wake up.
Team Monster finds Honda throwing a book into the water, but the water just spits it back out. Charlie identifies the book as an agent of Brigid, the Celtic goddess of art, creation, and healing. Also thought to be the origin of Saint Brigid of Ireland, who shares almost every trait with the Celtic goddess and just happened to be in an area where the church was trying to stamp out or convert paganism by adopting and altering their traditions, holidays, and iconography. Coincidence, I’m sure.
The book makes whatever you write or draw come true. It was drawn to Honda, and he began to take inspiration from his nightmares to create Tagumo. The book and its power are linked to Honda, and Tagumo can’t be destroyed until the story concludes…but the story ends with Tokyo being destroyed.
Honda tries to draw a new ending, but every mark he makes in the book disappears. He tells them about his nightmares of Hiroshima and how Tagumo was a way to put that horror and feeling of helplessness into something he could understand. He blames himself for Tagumo’s creation, but Sara sympathizes with him and says it’s not his fault.
Ray finds Nora, but in order to save Constantine she will have to tap into the magic that comes from her father, and that will make her evil or something. I GEDDIT! It’s Darhk magic!! Constantine doesn’t want her to do it either – not because he’s worried about himself, but because he’s worried about her. Nora would have to drain the life force from someone else, but Ray substitutes that with a good old-fashioned power cable from the ship.
…Okay, yeah, sure. As long as we get to keep Constantine around and Nora stays on the side of good. It works, and Constantine makes a full recovery.
Honda can’t change the ending, so they need another artist or writer. Zari tries to convince Mick to come clean that he’s a writer, but he’s suffering from writers’ block. Tagumo makes its way to the film studio through the sewers, since it’s an octopus and it can squeeze through small openings. Sara tries to hit Tagumo with Ray’s shrink ray, but it grabs her in one of its tentacles. Charlie distracts Tagumo with insults long enough for Sara to zap it, but they lose sight of the smaller-but-still-giant octopus. Honda and Mick have this weird bonding moment over bringing their creations to life? It gets Mick writing in the book, at least.
This is going to be something horrifying or ridiculous, isn’t it? It’s always one or the other.
Gary calls Ava and Nate for backup. Nate skips out of Thanksgiving dinner, ditching Ava and leaving her with his horrible family. He figures out that the monsters are hangry and Mona goes for food to sate their appetites. Hank finally gets Ava to tell him the truth and they arrive at the Bureau to find three monsters eating dinner. Hank commends the Bureau’s “magical creature handler” and promises to push through additional funding for a better containment facility. With things all wrapped up, Hank says “Let’s make like a tree and leave.”
HE SAID THE THING! …Kind of.
Tagumo attacks (oh, now I get the title!) Honda, but he’s saved by the arrival of a three-breasted purple alien woman with a sword. Mick wrote this. She can’t be another fugitive, an actual alien, or something else. Three breasts – that’s gotta be Mick Rory creation. He introduces her as Garima, Queen of Thanzanon. Garima fights Tagumo on-set in a miniature city. Once slain, the beast vanishes and Garima embraces Mick in a passionate kiss. Zari reads the end of Mick’s story, which says Garima made love to “Buck” in the ruins of the city. Zari, Charlie, Sara, and Honda flee in terror.
An untold amount of time later, Mick leaves with the book. Honda is glad to give it up. Mick says to forget about the octopus; lizards are king. That sparks an idea in Honda about the King of Monsters. Just as long as it doesn’t have three boobs.
Oh goddammit, why do I put these images into my own brain?
Nora feels good about using her magic to help someone. She’s not scared of it anymore. Ray gives her a time stone and tells her to run without telling him where. Instead, she uses it to transport herself and Ray to the Time Bureau. She wants freedom, but she wants to do it the right way by atoning for her past. She surrenders herself as agents surround her.
Nate and Ava return to the house for Thanksgiving dinner. Hank excuses himself to take a phone call and tells whoever is on the other end of the line that he wants to be able to control the magical creatures and mentions something called “Project Hades”.
It’s tough juggling three plots in one episode, but this one handled it well. In true Legends of Tomorrow fashion, it’s a combination of action, laughs, and gut punches. Plot A dealt with the monster of the week in a compelling way. The “fugitive” was a magic book that was supposed to bring the wonders of imagination to life, but creativity can often come from dark places, so it happened to make something bad. Drawing from Ishiro Honda’s real life worked very well here. The scene where he talks about Hiroshima is heartbreaking and horrifying. I’m glad the ending didn’t give him a sudden turnaround where he could write the happy ending, because that’s not something one just gets over.
Plot B finally brought Nora Darhk back after mentioning her in all four of the previous episodes (if I remember right). I’ve given Ray crap about falling for Nora and trying to turn her good, but it’s a really good plot. Ray is an optimist who wants to see the good in people. He wants to believe that bad people can change, and Nora’s arc is an opportunity for him to see that realized. Nora rising above her shitty upbringing and figuring out that even the scary magic parts of her can be used for good is a great arc for her. But it’s not as simple as “I’m good now, so I’m forgiven of everything.” She knows she has some things to atone for, and that begins with turning herself in. I’m glad she wants redemption just as much as Ray wants it for her.
Finally, Plot C is our goofy plot of the week. I don’t think I mentioned Mona in the episode she first appeared in, but her chemistry with Gary is just delightful. They’re both equal levels of goofy, happy, and awkward. I’m glad we’re going to be seeing more of her.
Nate’s relationship with his dad continues to evolve. He realizes why his dad always had to duck out of Thanksgiving for “work emergencies”, and though they may not be the ideal father-and-son pair, the tone they use to talk to each other has lightened since the first episode of the season. That relationship is on the mend just in time for the inevitable betrayal when Project Hades comes to fruition.
Next time: Hank wants to find out just what exactly the Legends do. So yeah, if he’s going to go villain, it’s probably gonna be after about five minutes of that.
Legends Of Tomorrow airs Mondays on the CW at 9 ET/8 CT. Kate can be reached on Twitter @WearyKatie.