Monday, July 15, 2024

Music Soothes the Savage Beast in Tender is the Nate

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We’re headed to the roaring 20’s Paris with the Legends this week, as they smoodge Hank Heywood so he doesn’t cut their budget. A budget, which is inexplicably in the hundreds of millions. Never mind there were several jokes this season about the Legends not getting paid. I’m sure a Time Ship is very costly to run and hey, the materials Gideon uses to fabricate everything has to come from somewhere. Matter can’t just be made from nothing. In Paris, they rub shoulders with some of the ‘Lost Generation’. Also, there’s a Minotaur roaming around the catacombs. But we’ll get to that in a bit because before we’re off to sweet Paris in the ‘années folles’ there are a solid ten minutes of pure Legends shenanigans to kick off the episode.

We start at the Bureau on Mona’s first day as the new dietitian/caterer for the magical fugitives. She’s not impressing Ava with her friendly approach to their prisoners. Especially not after her attempts at conversation with Nora Darhk are shut down cold.

Then in a scene, I swear I’ve read in fanfiction before, Sara shows up in Ava’s office for her birthday. In a trench coat and high heels. Yes, it is exactly what you think it is.  And it goes exactly how you think it will. Down to Hank interrupting them and Sara stealth rolling around the room to hide under Ava’s desk. The shenanigans don’t stop there. After Hank’s visit to Ava’s office, he has Nate take him to the Waverider. Cue the hilarity as the team tries to simultaneously impress Hank while also failing to keep Nate away from Charlie. For good measure, there is some naked yoga with Constantine and classic Gideon sass sprinkled on top.

Sara Lance, instilling the fear of God into men with a single look since 2013.

While Dad Heywood is on board an alert comes in about a fugitive in Paris in 1927. Sara takes Mick and Nate with her for Hank’s ride along. The Legend’s initial tactic of undercover reconnaissance doesn’t appeal to Hank, more of a run and gun kind of man himself. That is until Hank spots Ernest Hemingway sitting across the cafe. It’s a man-crush at first sight.

While Hank introduces himself to Hemingway, Nate gets info and a drawing of their creature from Salvador Dalí. Unfortunately, because it’s from Dalí there needs to be some cross-referencing before they’re sure what the creature is. Hank, not enthused about heading to the library, instead invites Hemingway on their hunt. It goes terribly. They find the creature, which is a Minotaur. Their bullets don’t phase it and even Sara can’t take it down. Hank’s injured in a reckless attempt of machismo and Sara calls for a retreat.

Constantine whips up some Minotaur musk to lure the creature in. Nate, thanks to his research, knows the Minotaur can be lulled to sleep with a lute. He stands up to his father when he puts down the lute plan. Sara and the rest of the Legends have his back.

Hemingway’s, meanwhile, has been bragging how he killed the beast. Which is naturally the exact moment the Minotaur shows up at the café. Constantine and Nate get there and the lute music is working. Until Hemingway’s pulls a gun and enrages the beast again. Music is the only thing to calm the Minotaur, but this time its Hank playing it. He plays ‘Sweet Baby James’ on a guitar that puts the Minotaur to sleep. He comes to appreciate the Legend’s method and gives them the okay to keep flying the time stream. Before Nate returns to the Bureau he has a pizza party with the Legends. A last hurrah of sorts before returning to the world he’d tried to run from when he first stepped on the Waverider.

While the roaring twenties were being shaken up by Greek mythology, Ray slipped off the ship to visit Nora. Ava wouldn’t let him see her, but Mona offers to sneak a letter to her. Nora, however, doesn’t want anything to do with the letter. She accidentally sets off the alarm trying to give it back. This draws Ava to the cell. When she finds the letter she goes to read it, but panicking, Nora releases a wave of magic that fries the system and traps the three of them together.

Mona tries to defuse the tension by bonding, but Ava and Nora aren’t the biggest sharers. Plus, it’s likely Mona is very much fired after they get out. This news terrifies her. She doesn’t want to go to law school as her mother wants. Nora encourages to listen to her gut, not her parents. Ava’s advice is the opposite. The two start hashing it out until Mona pulls out a bottle of wine.

Then they’re commiserating over their (very different) lack of childhoods. Mona puts things into perspective for them. They’re both kickass women who have overcome a lot of hardship in their lives. It’s hard to deny her drunken wisdom. They share Ava’s birthday cake (which Mona picked up after Sara had to leave in a rush), and Nora and Ava let their walls down.  Ava returns the letter to Nora. When she opens it, surprise, Ray is inside, shrunken down in the Atom suit. He sealed himself inside and got stuck. Once he’s big again, he’s able to get them out.

This is an Angels line up I could get behind.

The next time Mona takes a meal to Nora she has her own letter for Ray which Mona promises to deliver. Ava catches her with her letter, but instead of taking it away, she encourages Mona to pass it along. After being trapped with her and Nora, Ava realized their prison didn’t have to be without humanity.


The bubby system strikes again. Putting Nora Darhk and Ava Sharpe in a room together on paper sounds like a horrible idea. At first glance, they seem like they have nothing in common. But Legends took what little they did have, created the right situation to bring it out and added the catalyst of Mona to get them talking. Not only did it work, but it was also one of the best parts of the episode. They both opened up more, plus we got to know Mona better. B-plots at the Time Bureau could have easily become boring filler in between magical creature hunting, but Legends has been consistently making them compelling but grounding it in their characters.

To say a Legend’s episode was wonderfully weird and filled with heart feels like a moot statement by now. That’s become the series’ staple at this point. If I have a complaint it’s that the episodes aren’t longer. We were in the Roaring ’20s and we hardly to got to see any of it. Not seeing more of the Fitzgeralds seems almost a waste.

I am grateful the episode wasted no time dragging out any Nate and Charlie drama. They addressed it and moved on. As for Nate and Hank, every other episode this season seems to be a new take on their issues. I didn’t expect it to be done completely in one episode, but thus far it’s been the same ‘they don’t understand each other but they learn something new by the end of the episode’ arc. At least this episode offered Hank being the one to see things from Nate’s point of view while previously it had Nate learning more about his father. Overall it was a fun episode that showed Legends comedic chops several times over.

Only Legends Could

  • Legends, please you need to give a girl some warning before you drop a scene like that.
  • Said scene was amazing. Everything from the music to Ava’s gay panic was spot on.
  • The Legends play D&D. I need to know races, classes and who DMs (my money is on Gideon).
  • Just when I think I couldn’t love Sara Lance more, she punches Earnest Hemingway in the kisser.
  • Constantine’s “Well, in the hands of a master, a lute is a formidable weapon. Just look at Sting, mate,” wins best line.
  • But I almost gave it to Hank for “That was a chaotic, reckless, wasteful mess. I think I finally see the value in the Legends.”
  • Mona, please don’t call Ray and Nora a ‘Ross and Rachel’. They are so much better than that.
  • I’d bet good money the only reason Sara says no to piñata Fridays is because she knows she’ll be the one cleaning it up.

Images courtesy of the CW

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