Legends of Tomorrow: “Tagumo Attacks”
This review brought to you by the tranquil tones of Oxygen Destroyer – “Vanquished by the Unrelenting Devastation of the Celestial Behemoth” music track.
Hello all and welcome to my review of the latest episode of Legends of Tomorrow, “Tagumo Attacks”. Now, I must warn you as this review may be quite erratic because, hands down, this is the best (arguably of course) and my favourite episode of any Legends episode I have seen so far. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed this episode and I will go back and watch it over and over again.
The title and the setting give away that this episode is a homage to that wonderful, Japanese genre of movies, Kaiju. And who should be acknowledged in such an episode? None other than the godfather of the genre, Ishiro Honda. Here, they do a fine job of honouring the man, albeit with some, a lot of, artistic licence. Either way, it is a great way to honour him.
So, the story. Gideon alerts Sara to a disturbance, which send the majority of the Legends, including newcomer Charlie on her first proper mission, back to Japan, 1951. Meanwhile, left back on the Waverider is Ray, tasked with trying to find Nora Darhk in the hope that she can help to save John Constantine who is still on deaths door following the exploits at Summer Camp and his deed in saving one of the kids. Also, we see Nate this episode, at the Time Bureau with Ava, showing his father around and then getting set for Thanksgiving; Mr Heywood also invites Ava to join them for dinner. Nate obviously, isn’t looking forward to the day as things always seem to go tits up.
Japan, 1951 – Sara, Zari, Mick and Charlie are trying to solve the issue of the magical being that is causing havoc and pay a visit to Ishiro Honda (we saw him in the pre-title sequence filming video of something in the water while directing a movie) and the Legends (Mick and Zari in this case) pose as producers to try and get a glimpse, or a copy, of the footage that Honda had taken. Honda is reluctant and states that the footage was gone. Charlie, fully aware that he is lying, along with Sara sneak in to the studio and steal the film. Back on the Waverider they look at the footage and see what they are up against. Yes, it’s a giant squid. The Legends know that they need to rid Japan of this menace and set about doing so before it causes more damage. However, the monster isn’t their problem. In fact, the issue arises because of a book that Ishiro Honda possesses, a book gifted to mortals by a Celtic goddess, Brigid. The book brings their creations to life and they won’t leave until any story is finished.
It is probably obvious what might happen but first, more on Ishiro. We are told that he is a Hiroshima survivor and he tells the Legends his story of looking for other survivors, realising that there were none and that they were there, in his hair, on his skin, breathing them in. It is truly heart-breaking listening to him and may bring a lump to your throat. It is here we find that this was how Tagumo (the giant squid) was born, from the despair of what had happened at Hiroshima. His creation, the magical book and now Ishiro needs to finish his story, sending Tagumo away for good. However, he is unable to do this. Each time he puts pen to paper, the lines disappear and he is unable to complete the story. Hmmmmm, what next? Well, as mentioned above, it may be quite obvious. Thankfully, there is another writer in the room, one who has been suffering with writers block. Mick Rory, he of erotic fantasy, takes the pen, sits down with the book and starts to write, the block gone. Thanks to his writing, he creates a character called Irima, a three breasted (Total Recall alert!) warrior who comes to life to take on the smaller version of Tagumo (thanks to a nice use of Ray’s shrink ray earlier after Sara and Charlie do the business when up against it). A fight ensues, Monster vs Warrior, with the warrior being triumphant despite being up against it one point. As the fight is ongoing, Honda catches the majority of the fight on camera, stopping short of watching Mick get his own reward thanks to the Triple-Boobed victor. As the other Legends have gone back to the Waverider, not wanting to watch Mick do his thing or wait around due to the time he is taking, Mick speaks to Honda before leaving himself. He offers him some kind words and basically plants the seed in his head about a King (of monsters obviously); Ishiro starts to have ideas. Mick keeps the magical book too. Probably for his own benefit, but maybe we’ll see it again in future episodes.
And so to Ray, in his quest to find Nora. He feels that she is the only person who can help Constantine to recover and save his life. Thanks to Gideon’s face recognition capabilities, they find Nora and Ray makes his way to visit her in the hope of bringing her to the ship to help revive JC. After breaking some pervy fellas phone for taking a look at Nora’s (his wife’s) cleavage. Nora agrees to visit the Waverider, but is worried that as her powers come from her father, using them may bring about her fear of using dark magic. Ray, being Ray works his own magic, assuring her that she’ll be ok and, despite warnings from Constantine, she uses her own magic to save the Warlocks’ life. Adding to this her new bad girl turned good, she also turns herself over to the Time Bureau in order to repent for her sins.
And the final part of the episode takes us to Thanksgiving with the Heywood’s. Always a tumultuous holiday for the family, it’s not long before Nate gets to leave and return to the Bureau, in turn leaving Ava behind with the family, promising that he won’t be long. Well, we know that’s not going to happen don’t we? Gary has contacted him, informing him that magical creatures that were supposedly locked away safely have escaped. Hilarity ensues, which also includes food delivery person, Mona, lady friend of Gary. Attempting to recapture the monsters, it’s not long before Nate realises that he has seen action like this before, at Thanksgiving dinner. Kids playing up due to hunger, which he realises is the issue with the monsters, they are starving. Thanks to Mona, who knows what these monsters are, she races to the food business she works for and brings back the food she knows the monsters enjoy. The monsters are feeding when Mr Heywood, now aware that his son is at the Bureau, arrives with Ava. He promises funding for more secure lockups, Mona gets a job and Nate, Ava and Mr Heywood returns to dinner just seconds after they had left. All is well…
…but then, Mr Heywood receives a call and reveals that he is up to something with the creatures. Something that I’d probably say is slightly dodgy.
Tagumo Attacks is an episode that I will watch again and again and talk about for some time because there is so much going for it.
It pays homage to one of my favourite genre of movies, Kaiju. Those Godzilla from the 50’s onwards (not that I was born until ’73) movies were a big part of my childhood growing up, managing to catch viewings when I could. Such fun and for a young ‘un, such spectacle. I still watch them today and they still hold up. Ishiro Honda has created quite a legacy and this episode is a brilliant, and respectful, tribute to him. The writers have done such a great job here and should be commended.
Fun, goes without saying, this is an episode of Legends of Tomorrow after all.
Emotional and heart-breaking, in particular when Ishiro talks of being a survivor of Hiroshima and his search for fellow countrymen.
Meaningful, in particular from Mick, the writer. He may have a gruff exterior but inside he is a totally different character. His talk to Ishiro at the end was uplifting; look at the reaction from Honda himself. Also meaningful in the monologue that we hear from Ishiro. Yes, artistic licence but the images created by what he says that he experienced are ones that not only ring true but would live long in the memory.
Great action, the battle between Tagumo and Charlie and Sara was excellent. Very well done.
Ray and Nora. Love that she is a reformed character, helping to save JC and then turning herself in. I’m sure we will see her again. Also loving the chemistry between Nora and Ray, although that is obviously help by them being married in real life.
Charlie: “Wankerrrrrrrrrrrr!!” – This made me laugh heartily (I’m very immature, I know)
Gutted that Matt Ryan only had a bit part in this episode but still, he was excellent in the little things her did.
I want to read Mick’s book/s (There’s a merchandise opportunity there).
If I wasn’t sober, I’d want to go drinking with Charlie. What a night that would be.
Loved Charlie’s turnaround, giving respect to the captain of the Waverider. Maybe she’ll listen a little more from now on but we’ll see, the little minx.
Have a feeling Nate will soon be on Waverider once again hopefully with Ava although I did really enjoy his time in this episode, good fun.
Ava – I need more Jes Macallan, even though she had her fair share of screen time here. Really love the character, love her relationship with Sara and she makes me swoon (I could say that about all the Legend Ladies though).
“Make like a tree and leave” – Finally, Biff gets it right, although Nate tells him he’s not sure that’s how it goes. A brilliant nod to Thomas Wilsons Biff Tannen character in Back to the Future. I am loving seeing him in this show, the BTTF movies are always top of my list of movies that I love and can watch again and again (I say this a lot don’t I? I must have too much time – John).
Heywood Thanksgiving dinner – no thanks. I do like that Nate is connecting with his father, however, it’ll be interesting to see how that develops depending on what Mr Heywood is up to with the creatures. It’ll also be something once Nate meets up with Charlie.
The battle on the streets of Japan between Irima and Tegumo was so well done. As Ishiro is filming it, seeing the shots of how it would look in Kaiju movie form was superb and faithful to the style of the time when these movies were first released.
Like I said earlier, my favourite episode of Legends that I’ve watched so far. I’ve gone on enough here and I do hope that you have enjoyed reading. I do hope that you all enjoyed the episode too and I would really welcome your thoughts on the episode. You know the drill by now, comment below or on any of our social media pages. I really hope you get in touch.
Finally – and I feel that I must say this being a fan of the show, I am reading about how ratings are lower for this series than before and it seems to be the least watched show from the CW Arrowverse. I feel that is such a shame. This show dares to be different, out there and some real fun. I’ve read comments, going back a while, of people feeling that the CW shows were all too much the same (I don’t see that myself but hey ho, opinions will always be around) and they need some difference. That is what Legends of Tomorrow gives you, something different from all the others; in fact, such a massive difference from many shows that we see on television. So, I urge you readers of this and fans of the show, spread the word. If you’re a fan of the CW Arrowverse then please watch ALL the shows that fall within that universe. You never know what you might be missing, especially with a show like Legends.
Dokusho no tame no ōku no okage de