Legends of Tomorrow: Shogun
October 27, 2016 6:53 PM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

It's samurai time for the Legends.

*Vixen boards the Waverider (when? how? dunno), and knocks out Ray, Stein, Sara, and Jax, then tries to kill Rory because she thinks he's the time-traveling murderer of Rex Tyler, but newly-superpowered Nate aka Steel stops her. Sara convinces her that Rory didn't do it, Vixen decides to join them until they can find the real murderer.
*Nate and Ray manage to blow out a compartment while training, falling out of the ship, into the time stream, into feudal Japan. Unconscious Nate gets rescued by kindly Masako Yamashiro, Ray gets captured by an evil shogun who takes the Atom suit.
*Sara, Rory, and Vixen take the jumpship to go find Ray & Nate while Jax & Stein fix the Waverider. The duo finds Rip's secret compartment, which is full of weapons and has a message from 2056 Barry Allen for Rip's eyes only, which we the audience don't get to hear.
*Nate gets the knack of his powers after some initial stabby failures, Sara and Vixen fight samurai, Rory fights ninjas, and Ray & Nate destroy the Atom suit in order to defeat the Shogun.
posted by oh yeah! (11 comments total)
I think the big thing that the writers seemed to have forgotten last season is that we can only stand so much grimdark in our comix shows, we're much more forgiving about the idiot ball getting passed around and logical inconsistencies surrounding time travel when the show is at least _fun_. (Gotham might be the exception here? I don't watch.)

And this season seems to really be cashing in on that. It's fun! I'm enjoying the characters, the situations they find themselves in, and what they're trying to do. They've trimmed out the worst of the characters from last season and kept behind a useful core group. I sorta miss Snart, but his presence permitted the writers to be lazy about that pairing.
posted by Kyol at 6:35 AM on October 28, 2016

*whistle blow* Penalty! Too many Rorys on the Arrowverse field!
  • Mick Rory
  • Rory Regan the Ragman on Arrow
  • Rip Hunter who I keep calling Rory because of Doctor Who

posted by Servo5678 at 3:54 PM on October 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

Why did I know the katana was going to be the Soultaker? Because DC-CW couldn't leave a co-incidence or a historical breadcrumb trail alone.

Vixen seemed to adjust too quickly to modern technology, modern fashion and modern ways of interaction. Also, I really hate the "cold shoulder" look of her costume. That's such a 2016 style, not a 1944 one. I can't remember if Arrow's Vixen has the same look or not. (Sorry most of my CW-DC comments tend to involve fashion critiques, which I guess really isn't the thing to do when talking about super hero shows. I'm sure I'd be drummed off of other parts of the Internet for bringing up such girlie discussions in the middle of a super hero thread.)

I don't understand why the Atom suit had to be destroyed. Didn't Ray say the suit was designed specifically for his body and that if somebody else uses it, it could kill them? Why didn't that kick in? Or was that just a bluff? I think there is still some white dwarf star component to this suit, right? I hope he collected the remains of that power source. Maybe then we could see him modify his designs and we'd have a more traditional Atom as opposed to an off-brand Iron Man. I'll leave any criticisms about Sara not taking down the main ninjas alone because I understand the story reasons why the fights had to happen the way they did--that is except for the bit about rounding up the villagers. There was really no indication they were ever in danger. The shogun had a beef with the Yamashiro family, not everybody in the village.

As Mick said, Sara is essentially a ninja. The League members are basically ninjas. He doesn't need proof that ninjas exist. Oh well, I guess I can't fault Mick for wanting a souvenir, especially given his love of pretty, shiny objects.

But I could overlook all of that (or at least I'd have an easier time overlooking it) if there wasn't another big pile of awful in the episode that just drove this episode out of the "bad but fun" territory right over the "terribly awful" cliff, and that was Nate. My god, he's a bloody idiot, and I'm pretty sure that after another episode (or two max) he's going to be as annoying as Hawkgirl. I don't even care about Steel's bad CGI (although I'd rather the CW spend the special effects budget on more Firestorm effects). It's his attitude and approach to visiting the past that drives me right up the wall. For a historian who is so smart that he can identify a specific Japanese island by sight (especially one I'm betting he has never visited) he should have a better sense of what is and isn't known in the time he visits (the existence of the USA) and what he should or shouldn't say. Hell, he could at least lay off the stupid modern slang and sayings. He barely made an effort to give himself a plausible cover story. He needs to shape up and shape up fast.

He was so awful I even want to blame him for turning Ray into a bigger idiot than normal, even if that's not entirely fair of me. Dr. Palmer should definitely know better than to bash around hard enough inside a flying ship to cause structural damage.

As for Barry's message (seriously, I had no idea that was actually Grant Gustin's voice until I saw the end credits) I'm perfectly happy for Jax and Martin to hang onto that secret for a while (or at least until the crossover). I don't need to know how Barry mucked up the timeline, especially since I don't think this TV universe has a solid-enough handling on how remedial time travel is supposed to work, not to mentioned advanced time manipulation and repairs, and I guess I'm not in the mood to have my head spinning for another hour as they try to explain what happened and why while using coffee cups and magic markers to illustrate their points.
posted by sardonyx at 8:29 PM on October 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Wow, that really didn't sound anything like Grant Gustin. I wonder if they put some filter on his voice.

I liked this episode a lot -- I was a LoT proponent from the start, even when Vandal Savage and Hawkman were still on it (poor Kendra! it wasn't her fault the show didn't know how to handle her), and like it even more tbis season -- but I too am not feeling Steel. There's an air of Poochie about him, like the show is determined to fill 73 of its 100 floors of terror with this dude. I don't hate his backstory, but I don't think the show really needs another dorky white guy. I don't know how else to say it. We have Ray already. There's a LOT of third string characters in the DCU. There's even a first string character bouncing around without a show anymore *cough*Constantine*cough* and I promise he would be WAY more fun to have on board.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:35 PM on October 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

I thought it sounded totally like Grant Gustin, myself - just a simple filter on his voice.

* I liked Sarah and Vixen getting along. I enjoyed their fight with the samurai at the end in particular, and was pleased to see an animal spirit besides gorilla. Oh, and Sarah as leader is working out, which is great.

* Vixen works for me as a replacement for Kendra - she's competent, she's irritated with the main cast, she has cool superpowers.

* Nate does, indeed, feel like Ray 2.0 with less charisma. (Brandon Routh is much better at the dorky charm thing). I don't mind the CGI.effect, but he really does come across as too dumb to live. That said, he's still better than Rip.

* Mick stole the show with his talk about ninjas. I think my favorite part was him being attacked by ninjas for no reason, and proclaiming, "I love ninjas!" before throwing down. Oh, and this exchange:
Steel: You let the shogun steal your 21st century super suit?
Ray: He took it after I crash landed, trying to rescue you!
Sarah: How does the shogun even know how to *operate* your Atom-suit?
Ray: I designed it so an idiot could use it.
Mick: An idiot *does* use it.
* Destroying the Atom suit felt forced. Really, there's no vulnerability to exploit without blowing it up? I hope the replacement suit's better. Also, I couldn't help but notice that the shogun was a lot tougher than Ray is, in that thing.

* Jax and Stein keeping a secret from the rest of the crew, (presumably a warning about Eobard) is tedious and dreadful. They should've come clean immediately.

Overall... mixed bag, but still better than S1.
posted by mordax at 11:31 PM on October 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wow, that really didn't sound anything like Grant Gustin. I wonder if they put some filter on his voice.

It's supposed to be an older Barry Allen from the future, so they put a filter on Grant Gustin to make him sound older.
posted by Pendragon at 4:46 AM on October 29, 2016

Yes, I too watched the episode.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:13 AM on October 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Atom suit was pretty dorky-looking, I live in hope that the redesign will be an improvement, and not just a duplicate acquired from Ray/Palmer Tech/Ray's descendants elsewhen in the timestream.

It was Wentworth Miller who kept season 1 watchable for me, and it looks like the baton has successfully passed to Dominic Purcell, loved all his little comedy moments.
posted by oh yeah! at 10:03 AM on October 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yes, I too watched the episode.

Well, excuse me then...
posted by Pendragon at 10:19 AM on October 29, 2016

It was Wentworth Miller who kept season 1 watchable for me, and it looks like the baton has successfully passed to Dominic Purcell, loved all his little comedy moments.

Yeah. I was always partial to Snart, Mick and Sarah - if the show lost all three, I'd almost certainly bail. (I could handle losing Snart largely because they also dropped Rip - poor Arthur Darvill sure got saddled with a turkey there.)
posted by mordax at 12:12 PM on October 29, 2016

I'd be pissier about Snart had I not heard that they have a four-series-guest contract for him. (Plus him guesting on The Flash in a flashback/hologram this week.) But yeah, if certain characters weren't on this show being awesome, I would have given up on it beforehand. Nice to see Sara kickassedly leading the team though. Even if she had to be all...."professionalish." Plus hey, we added another woman!

I tend to get annoyed at episodes where they aren't even trying to make it plausible about the past. Like Masako, knowing her fiance is deadly evil on foreigners, allows one into the house. Uh-HUH. Also, what was already quoted about an idiot running the suit. And I say that as someone with a soft spot for Brandon Routh. And again, these folks can't even manage to fake fitting into a timeline even a bit believably.

I figured out it was Barry's voice with filter, but just barely. Again, more secrets = ughs for everyone. I guess this is why Rip ran off, though?

Mick's love of ninjas and not wanting to shoot one was delightful.

I nth everyone in saying that Nate's character was written just AWFUL. Even besides the fact that we could have cast someone who wasn't a white guy in the role of "time historian cop with hemophilia who wants to be badass" (and that's not a bad concept for a character either), he was awful. Screws up all the time, is all "I got this" when he doesn't know how to make his power activate, somehow didn't die of a stabbing (did that serum cure the hemophilia?), and puts the moves on the shogun's fiance and yells out that she doesn't want to marry him, which would totally get her killed... DUDE YOU ARE AWFUL HERE. He might not stink the rest of the time--he's only been in a few episodes so far and didn't bother me in the other two--but seriously, ugh, bad writing.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:05 AM on October 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

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