[Review] Legends Of Tomorrow Episode 4×06: “Tender Is the Nate”

written by Kate Spencer

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

A minotaur is loose in 1920s France and Ernest Hemingway is doing his best Gaston impersonation trying to kill the beast. Remember when the show was about trying to kill Vandal Savage? No? Me either. This is better anyway.

I’m still recovering from Thanksgiving, so I’m slightly out of it. I think as long as nothing taxes my brain too much, I should be fine to review this thing. Hey, Mona is starting her first official day at the Time Bureau! She wants to decorate the cells, but Ava won’t let her. But…there’s nice furniture in Nora’s cell?

Ava returns to her office, where Sara visits her. Sara is wearing a coat with nothing underneath but sexy black lingerie amd utyp gharm fzzklptp wrt quijibo–

…Sorry, my brain kind of bluescreened there for a second. *ahem* As I was saying, Sara is there to celebrate Ava’s birthday bwiz kyarn glockenspiel smavxrt her birthday present to her. I’m sorry, I don’t know why that keeps happening. She starts kissing Ava’s neck and GODDAMMIT, HANK! Yeah, Goddammit Hank walks in to complain about the Legends’ expenses. Sara has mysteriously vanished just in time, but one of her heels falls from the ceiling at one point, so we know she’s still in the room. Dang Sara, I knew you were a ninja, but clinging to the ceiling? That’s impressive. Through a series of flips when Hank’s back is turned, Sara ends up under Ava’s desk right in time for…

HANK: “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were in bed with the Legends. Either that or this Captain Sara Lance is simply screwing you.”

She’s trying her best, Hank, jeez.

After that bit of clitorference, Nate takes Hank to the Waverider to see firsthand what the Legends do. Shenanigans ensue as the Legends try to look good for their inspection while also trying to keep Nate from seeing Charlie in the lab. Hank and Nate see a panicking Zari and Ray, a naked Constantine, and Mick. Ultimately, they can’t keep the Heywoods away from the lab, and Nate sees “Amaya”. He wraps her in a delighted hug, then gets slugged for it. He’s briefed on Charlie, but for the sake of conning Hank into approving their budget, Charlie has to pretend to be Amaya.

The magic-o-meter picks up a fugitive in 1927 Paris, France. Sara, Mick, Nate, and Hank go to a café to gather information from the locals. Wow, you want to put your best face forward so you bring Mick to a place with alcohol? I thought the Legends were being more self-aware now. Nate geeks out over Salvador Dali, Hank geeks out over Ernest Hemingway, and rather than question the convenience of running into two famous people of the era, I’m thinking about how those two are going to screw up this mission.

On the Waverider, Charlie practices her American accent to sound like Amaya, but ends up with something more Southern and just…just awful. Credit to Maisie Richardson-Sellers for painfully mangling an American accent without a hint of Amaya’s voice. I cringed for all the right reasons. Constantine tries to give her pointers in his version of an American accent.

CONSTANTINE: “That was absolute garbage. ‘I’m American, soccer, yardsticks, ranch dressing, weasel.'”

Am I allowed to be offended by that? I can’t decide if I want to salute Matt Ryan or slap him, because on one hand, accurate. On the other…fuck you. I think Brits mocking American accents is one of my new favorite things. Charlie gives up and goes for a walk. Ray flies the jump ship back to 2018 to see Nora, but he’s blocked by Ava. Mona is going to pass Nora a love letter from him, though.

Back in 1927, it’s time for drunk monster hunting with Ernest Hemingway in the catacombs! That goes about as well as you can imagine. Hemingway is sexist, overconfident, and completely inept. I’d call him Zapp Brannigan, but I already called him Gaston, and really…same thing. Hank is injured and taken back to the ship. At least now they know they’re dealing with a minotaur.

Nate runs into Charlie and then they encounter the Fitzgeralds. Oh, F. Scott Fitzgerald, who penned “Tender Is the Night”! Now I get the title. Seriously though, running into famous people while time-traveling must be really easy. Over drinks, they too figure out the fugitive is a minotaur, so Nate and Charlie head back to the Waverider. Hank is taken to the med lab for treatment, but he wants to get back out there, so Gideon sedates him.

NATE: “And you thought a minotaur was bull-headed.”
SARA: “Ooo, mythology burn!”

Most heroic dorks on television.

Mona’s attempt to deliver Ray’s love letter to Nora causes a host of problems that end with Ava and Mona locked in Nora’s cell with her. Mona resigns herself to being trapped for a while and gives Ava permission to eat her if things get dire. Ava says no one is eating anyone. Well yeah, Hank’s complaints about the budget earlier put a stop to that. Mona is on the path to getting fired, so she tries to fix it with the birthday cake Sara had delivered for Ava. That doesn’t go well either. She’s so fired. Her fallback career plan is Yale law school, which is what her parents want for her, but her dream is working at the Bureau where she can put her skills to use. Awww.

Nate does research and comes up with the idea to use music to soothe the savage beast. He’ll play a lute and put the minotaur to sleep. He stands up to Hank to keep him from attacking the minotaur head-on, defying Hank’s constant lectures about trying to make Nate more like him.

The minotaur tracks Hemingway’s scent back to the café and attacks. The Legends and Hank get there in time and initially, Nate’s plan to subdue the minotaur works…right up until Hemingway tries to shoot it. Sara punches out Hemingway for the botched attempt and for being on her summer eighth-grade reading list. Hey Sara? Fitzgerald is right there. Mind decking him for The Great Gatsby being on my tenth-grade reading list?

The lute is broken, so Nate tries attacking the minotaur, but that goes poorly. Hank picks up a guitar and serenades the beat with James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James”. It puts the minotaur right to sleep, Sara congratulates Hank, and it’s Mission Accomplished.

The prison crew bond over alcohol and cake. Nora finally opens her “love letter” to find a miniaturized Ray stuck to the glue of the envelope. Oh hey, I was wondering where he’d gone. He breaks all of them out of the cell, and the next day when Mona makes her rounds, Nora asks her to give a letter to Ray for her. Mona would do anything for “her generation’s Ross and Rachel”. Oh honey, no. Have higher standards than that! Ross and Rachel were awful! Ava okays the letter and even relents on giving the prisoners some more creature comforts in their cells.

Hank calls the minotaur mission a chaotic, reckless, wasteful mess. Wow, good thing he didn’t go on a typical Legends mission, then. But he sees the value in the team. Nate has enjoyed his time back, but the Time Bureau is where he belongs now. The team throws a post-mission pizza party to see Nate off.

With that, the show sets up Nate’s departure from the Legends as a more long-term thing, likely as a setup to give Nick Zano some time off. I hope he’s back on the Waverider crew eventually because I like the dynamic with Nate and Ray, the absolute nerd bros.

The episode also further sets up a Nora redemption arc by having Ava coming around to the possibility of Nora someday getting out of the Time Bureau prison without breaking out. The Ava/Nora/Mona subplot was a lot of fun. With Ava and Gary now being regulars in the series and with several new Time Bureau sets to work with, there are a lot of possibilities for stories in and about the Bureau. Which is great, because last season they were more of an outside government-like entity who were always looming in the background, looking over the Legends’ shoulders.

Something is bothering me, though. For three seasons, the Legends operated without a budget. They never had to stop anywhere for supplies, they had no home base, and no oversight. Now they’re shown as a branch of the Time Bureau rather than a separate entity, and a rather expensive one at that. Which, you know, that’s fine. The new status quo sets up fun interactions between the Legends and the Bureau, but there’s the little problem of the budget.

Hank said the Waverider is a multi-million dollar thing. Sure, there’s the new time core they needed after Rip blew up the old one to slow Mallus down, but Hank also mentions $1.7 million for historical costumes. There’s a line item about condiments, implying they have a food budget. But we’ve already established that fabricators aboard the Waverider make all of the clothing and weaponry they need, and there’s a food synthesizer that makes all of their meals and their alcohol. So either the writers made a goof, or the Legends are fleecing money from the Time Bureau and by extension, the Department of Defense.

Mick wrote up the expense report, didn’t he?

Next time: ALL OF THE NOPE!

Legends Of Tomorrow airs Mondays on the CW at 9 ET/8 CT. Kate can be reached on Twitter @WearyKatie.

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