Recap: LEGENDS OF TOMORROW Presents Time Travel, Kurosawa Style

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Episodes 203 “Shogun”
Written by Phil Klemmer & Grainne Godfree
Directed by Kevin Tancharoen

This week, everyone learns a little about each other, as a stowaway tries to wreak havoc while the newest member of the team tries to figure out his new powers. And the early history origin of a member of the Suicide Squad.

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Last week, Rex Tyler’s last words to Vixen (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) were, “Time traveler” so she gets it in her head to stow away aboard the Waverider to kill Mick (Dominic Purcell), because out of all the time travelers on the ship, of course he’s the one who would kill indiscriminately, right?

She takes out the team pretty quickly, too, using her magic totem and animal spirit powers to overpower everyone except Nate (Nick Zano), who’s still in sickbay adjusting to the super-soldier serum that saved his life.

… and gave him superpowers, apparently. For as Vixen is just about to deal Mick a death blow, she’s stopped by Nate’s new stronger-than-steel metal alloy skin.

They figure out that Vixen’s target is most likely the same time traveler who’s been bouncing in and out of the time stream to alter history, creating the time aberrations Team Timey-Wimey™ has been tracking. And just as Sara (Caity Lotz) and Amaya make nice, they hear “da boys” in the cargo hold. Testing Nate’s new superpower, Ray (Brandon Routh) is fully suited up and blasting away at Nate’s new composite alloy skin. Of course they’re “running tests” and of course something goes wrong because in the midst of it all the cargo hold door gets blasted open. Nate gets thrown into the time vortex, Ray goes after them, and both get lost to history.

The accident puts them in feudal Japan, 1641, where Nate gets taken in by Masako (Mei Melançon) and her father Ichiro (Sab Shimono), who hide the gaijin before he can be seen by agents of the Shogun, who’s identified as Tokugawa Iemitsu (Stephen Oyoung). According to the history books, Tokugawa didn’t have eyes for the ladies, but this show’s version of Tokugawa (it’s a multiverse) has already done away with a couple of wives and now looks to ass Masako to his collection.

Take the suit away, what are you? (Bettina Strauss/The CW)
Take the suit away, what are you? (Bettina Strauss/The CW)

Meantime, Ray’s been captured by the Shogun’s samurai, and the Shogun takes the A.T.O.M. suit, making him a formidable opponent once TTW finds them and comes for the rescue.

Jax (Franz Drameh) and Professor Stein (Victor Garber) have stayed behind in the Waverider — still in the time vortex, mind you, so … how did the rest of the team get to Japan? — so they can repair the cargo hold. Gideon (Amy Pemberton) reports that all thirty-six compartments are now rock solid and airtight. Shipshape, she says. Except Jax only knows about thirty-five compartments.

The thirty-sixth one is a secret door hidden behind a false panel, and inside is a massive armory. Guns all over the place. And a message board, with a highlighted message from Barry Allen date-stamped 2056. It’s an ominous message, and we don’t get to hear it yet, but it’s obviously supposed to be a Very Bad Thing.

Ninjas are real. (Bettina Strauss/The CW)
Say it: “Ninjas are real.” (Bettina Strauss/The CW)

Meanwhile, in Japan, we have The Magnificent Seven The Seven Samurai playing out again, as TTW puts all the villagers into hiding because Nate has refused to let Masako marry the Shogun. So the samurai attack the village, and the rest of the episode plays out with a series of action sets that help form the bonds between Ray and Nate, Sara and Amaya, and prove Mick isn’t such a bad terrible person after all.

Oh, and there’s ninjas.

Spa time in feudal Japan. (Dean Buscher/The CW)
Spa time in feudal Japan. (Dean Buscher/The CW)

The fight choreography is top shelf this week, with sword play and roundhouse kicks and hiyah! all over. Sara gets to be her League of Assassins self while we get a few new animal spirit animations for Vixen. And no flirting between the two, which is good, because Sara’s best when she’s the action figure, not the sexpot. Don’t make her the sexpot.

And don’t make Ray the whiner, either. Because Ray tries to face the Shogun armed with a katana made by Ichiro. He tag-teams with Nate after teaching him the weak spots of the suit, with the inevitable result that the Iron Man A.T.O.M. suit gets destroyed. How will Ray recover? I don’t know, maybe create a belt that goes with a suit that actually makes him look like The Atom, finally? We’ve already spent a lot of time over two shows examining Ray’s lack of self-worth and the fact that he built the suit to make up for whatever inadequacies he thinks he has. Let’s not go through all of that again. Just make the Atom suit the way it’s supposed to look, please?

Amaya and Mick make peace, of a sort. She thinks she’s got him figured out. He thinks she’s full of it. He’s probably right.

In the end, Nate figures he’ll call himself “Steel” or “Citizen Steel” or something, and the katana passes back to Masako… Yamashiro. Obviously the first in a line of women warriors, eventually leading to Tatsu Yamashiro, otherwise known as Katana to Team Arrow (she was played by Rila Fukushima).

 

Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8/7c on the CW.

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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