With two, count 'em, two exclamation marks!
And Dominic Purcell, where have you been all my season to date? While everyone is funny, Purcell is in a league by himself by playing the drunk and seemingly punch-drunk anti-hero. Whether he's effortlessly fitting into the role of a movie producer ("You! Coffee! Now!" to the only English-speaking Japanese PA in Tokyo), to sharing too much information ( "No, I dropped a deuce this morning"), to covering for his writing by saying that he's into porn, to seeing his fantasy woman come to life, Purcell steals every scene he's in.
But what is the "Tagumo Attacks!!" plot surrounding the humor? After a brief tag with a film director, Ishiro Honda (Eijiro Ozaki) doing location work and picking up a giant octopus in 1951 Tokyo Bay, we have the Legends get a notification of a mystical disturbance in the same place and time. Sara sends Ray to find Nora to cure the dying Constantine, leaving her, Zari, Mick, and not-so-fugitive fugitive Charlie to check out the giant octopus that eventually destroys Tokyo.
In case you thought the giant red-eyed octopus from the previews wouldn't provide a lot of character moments... it doesn't. It turns out the octopus, Tagumo, was created from Ishiro's nightmares of the atomic bomb dropping on Hiroshima combined with a mystic book that makes his storytelling come to life. He sketched out his nightmare creation, and can't erase it until his story is complete.
Sara and Charlie manage to shrink down Takumo using Ray's shrink gauntlet. But it's still big enough to come after Ishiro for... some reason. Why does it want to kill the guy who created it and is presumably linked to its existence? But Mick has been having writer's block with his novel, if you remember that gag from a while back. He solves it by writing his own story into the mystic book, and his three-breasted heroine Gamima, Queen of Thorazon comes to life, kills Tagumo after a battle royale, and has sex (thankfully offscreen) with Mick. That brings an end to Ishiro's story and Mick's. After the sex, Mick tells Ishiro lizards are king and takes off. And yes, Ishiro Honda was the real-life creator of Godzilla.
Ray finds Nora and convinces her to magically heal Constantine. She's reluctant to do so for fear of unleashing her dark side. Constantine gives her a weird pep talk, she gets an image of a man (Christian Keyes) from his mind, and Nora succeeds. Ray is willing to help her escape again, but she turns herself into the Time Bureau so she can pay for her crimes and get redemption.
Speaking of the Time Bureau, this week's third and fourth plots are first that Hank invites Nate home for Thanksgiving dinner. Nate brings Ava along, and the Heywood family is a disaster waiting to happen. And you thought the Legends were a dysfunctional family.
Meanwhile, Gary invites Mona (Ramona Young) to have Thanksgiving dinner with him at the Bureau. Unfortunately, three magical fugitives are loose and they're really hungry. Gary calls Nate back, and Ava tries to cover for him with a "I'm thankful for" litany that goes on forever. Hank eventually catches on and the two of them go back to the Bureau. Fortunately, Mona has found the food to calm the fugitives and they end up darted and back into containment. After Hank (Thomas F. Wilson) makes a Biff Tannen/Back to the Future reference, Nate gets to carve the turkey, and Hank takes a call. He says the creatures can be controlled and Project Hades is on.
One thing I admire about Legends and its creative team is they manage to sometimes find the poignancy in their stories. In this case, the bit about Ishiro living through Hiroshima and using his movies to work out his nightmares and survivors guilt is allegedly true. And Mr. Ozaki plays it for all that he's worth. It all ties into the fact that Godzilla was intended as a representation of Americans dropping the a-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But there's plenty of fun along the way. I've already described Purcell and he's definitely the king of the comedy. But there's lots of other bits as well. Maisie Richardson-Sellers is a lot more interesting as Charlie than she ever was as Amaya/Vixen. They play her off against Sara (Caity Loitz), having Charlie steal Sara's whiskey. Which leads to another Purcell bit where he eyes the hard-drinking Charlie and says he likes her.
I'm also liking Tala Ashe more and more as Zari. She has a natural chemistry with Purcell, and being around him doesn't hurt her. I like how Zari ends up as the take-charge person while Sara mostly bickers with Charlie and does the sneaking-around stuff.
The Hank/Nate stuff is okay, although it's your basic holiday "humor" you see in a lot of comedy holiday movies. The Heywood family is one step removed from the Griswolds in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. We still don’t know enough about Mona to really judge. I guess that's her name, rather than "Alaska Yu" as some of the advanced PR said. And we're supposed to take her at face value as a food intern or whatever they call it for the Time Bureau. I suppose she provides someone for Gary (Adam Tsekhman) to play off against. Although why Ms. Young gets star billing and Tsekhman doesn't is one of those mysteries for the ages. Better agent, I suppose.
Jes Macallan manages to keep the humor going. She still seems a bit limited, as Ava only interacts with Nate and Sara among the regulars. Even in last week's "Wet Hot American Bummer", she mostly stuck with Sara although I did like her discussing tactics to secure the summer camp with Constantine.
Speaking of which... I'm still not sure what to make of Constantine. They put his "being chased by some great evil" thing on the back burner for the last couple of weeks. He does mutter the name "Dez", but Christian Keyes looks more like Harold Perrineau from Constantine. And Constantine's other buddy is Chaz, not Dez. I'm pretty sure he says "Dez". So the whole thing is kind of strange. I'm curious to see where they go with the whole Constantine thing. It almost seems like an extended backdoor pilot for another Constantine series. heck, I'd settle for Season 1B of City of Demons.
Overall, it doesn't seem like a theme for the season has quite shaped up yet. There's a lot of threads: Project Hades and Charlie and Constantine's back story and Mona. Meanwhile they're doing a monster/fugitive of the week while they tread water. They're great stories, but they haven't quite come together yet. Then again, given the CW is going to give the show a break, maybe it's better they don't get too invested in it until the return from the mid-season.
But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
And it's Thanksgiving in the States. The Flash and Black Lightning are new on Tuesday, so there'll be my Black Lightning review. But American Horror Story has ended for the season, and there's no Supernatural on Thursday or MacGyver on Friday. So I'll be taking a few days off. Have fun until Sunday, and Supergirl and Doctor Who.
Written by Gislef on Nov 20, 2018