Legends of Tomorrow Falters with “Tender is the Nate”

*Spoiler warning for Legends of Tomorrow, season 4, episode 6.

Sara and Nate on Legends of Tomorrow
Sara and Nate in Paris during the Roaring ’20s on Legends of Tomorrow. Photo courtesy of CW, screenshot by Linda Maleh.

After last week’s dynamite episode, Legends was just okay this week. As Hank (Nate’s dad) investigates the Time Bureau and their finances, he seriously starts to question the astronomical expenses the team racks up manning the time ship, and completing their missions. It’s very confusing to me that he lists food and period costumes as being major expenses considering Gideon creates all those things for free. The Legends have never had expenses before (they aren’t even paid), so this feels like a major plot-hole to me.

To prove to Hank that the Legends are worth the money, Nate decides to take his dad along on a mission. Things get very awkward when Nate finds Charlie on the ship, and mistakes her for Amaya, and the team has to explain how she’s just trapped looking like Amaya, especially since they can’t let Hank know that they’re harboring a fugitive.

The team winds up in the Roaring ’20s Paris trying to track down a monster witnessed by Salvadore Dali down in the catacombs. If you know nothing about Paris in ’20s, you should know that the city was full of artist expats, including Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. The Legends meet all of these people as they do recon on what the monster is. Hank is particularly impressed by Hemingway, who he as admired all his life, and inexplicably has the nickname “Papa” for him. While Nate wants to do more research on what the monster may be and how to kill it, Hank and Hemingway elect to just go straight down to the catacombs and kill. This goes horribly wrong and they only get away because Sara and Mick go with them, and use their skills to manage to get them all out.

Nate shows the drawing Salvadore Dali made him of the monster to Charlie and the Fitzgeralds, and Charlie determines that it’s a minotaur – a monster with the head of a bull and body of a man, stuck in a labyrinth, from Greek mythology. After doing some research, Nate figures out that the way to defeat the minotaur is by lulling it to sleep with music. Hank is derisive of this approach, and Hemingway almost completely ruins their plan by trying to shoot the minotaur in a crowded cafe, but Hank gets on board in the end and plays and sings a James Taylor song on a guitar to put the minotaur to sleep.

After the mission Hank says that he can see the value in what the Legends do, and will approve their budget. Sara asks Nate if he wants to stay with the Legends, but he decides to go back to office life at the Time Bureau, saying that his Legends days are over, but welcomes Charlie to the group. It’s too bad since I miss Nate’s buddy-dynamic with Ray, but oh well.

Back at the Time Bureau, it’s Mona’s first day as caretaker for the animals. She and by-the-book-Ava clash over how to take care of the monsters. When Ava catches Mona trying to sneak newly-imprisoned Nora Darhk a letter from Ray, Nora lashes out with magic, frying the security circuits and trapping them all in her room/cell for the duration of the episode. Ava is resistant at first, but she loosens up and they actually all have a good time after opening up a bottle of wine and eating cake meant for Ava’s birthday. This was actually one of the only fun parts of the episode, and hopefully spells future plot lines for Nora as an ally. They finally break free when Ava allows Nora to open the letter, and it turns out Ray was in the envelope in miniature the whole time. Using the blasters on his Atom suit, he blasts them out of there.

This episode tried a little too hard, much like most of the episodes so far this season (except for last week’s episode, “Tagumo Attacks!!!,” which was fantastic). It also further demonstrated the emerging role the Time Bureau takes up in this season. While the show used to just be about the Legends flying around time fixing things, it’s now just as much about the office life of the Bureau in regular old 2018, which provides some fun supernatural office humor, but I also wonder if it isn’t a drain on the show’s usual fly-by-the-seat-of-its-pants style. I guess we’ll just have to see.

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Author: Linda Maleh

Entertainment writer, feminist, and New York City native. Personal blog is tvtotalkabout.com.

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