Legends of Tomorrow: 4.05 Tagumo Attacks!!!

Legends of Tomorrow heads to Japan (complete with opening titles written in Japanese) to face a giant octopus in this heartfelt homage to kaiju cinema.

After getting a magical alert pointing to 1951 Japan, Sara, Zari and Rory put on cool disguises and head down to see what’s up. Meanwhile, Ray decides to contact Nora Dhark to help Constantine, who is on the edge of death. Meanwhile, meanwhile Nate has been invited to Thanksgiving dinner by his father (who is slowly warming up to him) with Ava tagging along. Meanwhile, meanwhile, meanwhile Gary is left as the only person in charge of the Time Bureau and a group of magical prisoners that have recently been brought in.

This, for me, was one of the best episodes of the show and probably the best of this season so far. The episode is very well structured. The biggest flaw of Legends of Tomorrow generally is the fact that each week the team splits up into mini groups to concentrate on the A, B and C plots. Sometimes characters almost inexplicably just stay on the ship. In this episode the characters working on separate adventures feels natural and organic.

Ray looking after Constantine allows for him to develop his relationship with Nora - as well as a chance for her to gain some redemption by not only choosing to use her powers for good but also by turning herself in to the Time Bureau to atone for her crimes. Ray really does know how to pick ‘em!

I’m really enjoying the Ava/Nate buddy-up. It feels like a really good way of using the characters. I really like Ava and Jes Macallan ’s performance too. Nate has always been a bit bland for me but he improved a lot when the show shifted him into lovable douche-bro. Shifting that up again to make him someone who wants more meaning out of life plus a relationship with his father, adds more depth and Ava, being a clone with no real family, tagging along to experience his re-connection with his family works.

The main story revolves around Godzilla creator Ishiro Honda who, it turns out, has been using a magic journal to write his storyboards for his monster movie. A movie which he explains is his way if trying to deal with the horrors of Hiroshima. The episode as a whole only really touches of the horrors of that event very briefly but the scene where Honda played by Eijiro Ozaki describing what he’d seen and how he was trying to process this through was surprisingly moving and really brought a lump to my throat. Most people know the elegies of the original Godzilla but it was surprisingly touching to hear it expressed here.

Unfortunately for the gang, in the movie script Tagumo wins and the story has to play out unless the book bonds with another artists. Cue Mick Rory, secret Author. After Zari pushes and insists he go public, Rory steps in and starts writing a new ending to the story - a fantastic battle between a three breasted alien warrior queen (great call back gag to the novel he’s been writing) who fights the giant octopus (who has been shrunk down using Atom tech to just really big) on the miniature sets build by Honda for his film. Having him grab his camera and start filming the fight, allowing the scene to periodically shift to black and white, is a nice touch. Of course by the end of the adventure, Rory has suggested Honda change approach as lizards are king, leaving Honda to ponder of the idea of a King Lizard…

It’s does a great job pushing forward characters whilst continuing to cement the new team dynamic. With Constantine out of action, there is a legitimate excuse to bring Charlie into the mix to help with her magical creature knowledge. I do worry that, at the moment, she is too similar to Constantine to make an impact; she’s a late 70’s Brit-punk with knowledge of the occult, who uses words like bloody and wanker and love a lot. Still, I like the same actor-new character idea.

A bit more time with Nate and his Dad is good, I especially liked – when Nate has snuck off to fight escaped monsters at the Bureau – that Hank’s first concern was for his son’s safety, there is an important human edge to the character. They also, finally, did a Back to the Future gag but, it wasn’t just funny, it was organic and well earned! Almost unusual for this show!

The whole side plot of Gary letting the monsters out because he was trying to bang the sandwich girl from last week was a bit tedious. He is so entirely inept at his job I don’t know why he works here. I also don’t know why he would be left in charge, all by himself? Was he planning on putting the moves on this girl then just nurelising her after? I feel like there might have been something creepy going here…

This was a fun, well structured and touching episode of the show which was really well directed by Alexandra La Roche. This show just keeps getting better and more mental… keep it coming Legends of Tomorrow, keep it coming.

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