Legends Of Tomorrow – Season II – Ep. 3 “Shogun”: A Review

Posted: 10/31/2016 in Uncategorized

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“Shogun” was a mixed bag. It was far removed from bad, but as this show is currently facing a fairly substantial drop in viewership it needs to offer a solid, consistent product to stay on the air. There were aspects of this run that were funny. There was an abundant amount of action. The presentation of Sara Lance/White Canary’s (Caity Lotz) ascension as team leader seems incontestable and she continues to deliver. There was also a fair degree of silly with this episode, and silly is not such a good thing.

Nate Heywood (Nick Zano) gets a major push with this run, metaphorically and literally. He is now able to transform himself into a steel formed superhero. This is the result of Ray’s (Brandon Routh) ingenuity as he crafts a serum from the Nazi “super soldier” formula provided by Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher) in order to save the young historian’s life. The moment in which Ray and Jax (Franz Drameh) test Nate’s abilities are knuckle headed as Ray wears his A.T.O.M. suit while blasting the “new guy” to a cheering Jax.  These hijinx illustrate that the group is still immature. The accidental, and avoidable, displacement of Nate now “Citizen Steel” acts as a catalyst to the latest time travel adventure in feudal Japan.

The introduction of Vixen/Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Williams) in the mix allowed for some good moments. Her effortlessly and stealthily making her way into the Wave Rider and dismantling the Legends showed the superiority of an established super hero team member. Her mistakenly thinking Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) was her team leader’s, Rex Tyler/Hourman (Patrick J. Adams) killer leads to a predictable team up and I hope this won’t be the main allowance for the use of the JSA, as the little offered so far is tantalizing enough to want to see more. I still prefer Megalyn Echikunwoke’s modern age Vixen to Richardson-Williams’ Golden Age variant. LOT’s Vixen however is quite physically adept and allows for another strong female presence besides Sara Lance.

The notion of Time Disruption is discussed with Thawne’s and Darhk’s (Neal McDonough) agendas, along with their presences as a growing teamed up threat, remaining veiled from the sight of the Legends. A discovery by Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Jax, however, does lead to a pretty cool reveal featuring a warning from a future version of the Fastest Man Alive (Grant Gustin). This aspect will assuredly lead to the mass crossover of all four of the Berlanti DC series in the coming weeks/months.

The whole feudal Japan arc was okay. We knew we would get to see Caity Lotz’s martial arts and weapon’s training come into play and her “League of Assassins Class of 09” comment was perfect when asked where she trained by her opponent. Mick’s ninja movie obsession and ninjas overall was duly funny. With his deep baritone voice and straight faced delivery, he routinely brings about some of the show’s funnier moments. His cranky reluctant hero still plays well and is far from tired. Mick’s challenging their “Gideon” A.I. to state  in plain English that they were “screwed” was a very fun segment.

Ray…poor Ray. Ray feels defined by his tech. He forsakes his chance at obtaining super powers to save Nate’s life. He loses his suit to a shogun Tokugawa Lemitsu (Stephen Oyoung) in foolish fashion, The fact that he made his suit so simple to use that anyone could do so is aptly retorted by Mick saying “well, that’s dumb”. Ray Palmer has been floundering this season and for a goodly part of season 1. He makes some headway by the show runners building him up, then they drop him into a self doubting, restless role. This ep was no exception. Seeing him get a pep talk from the elder Yamashiro and watching him wear a samurai armor while battling the shogun wearing his superior tech was just….sad…silly and sad. Having Ray being forced to sacrifice the one thing that he feels makes him special, should have proper gravitas. It does not unfortunately.

Nate fared a little better in his first heroic run, but the potential romance with Masako Yamashiro (Mei Melancon) yielded little other than her encouraging him to be heroic. Her lineage into the modern day Arrowverse was well done and this is where the show shines, rewarding comic book fans with clever “Easter Eggs”. Nate has a long way to go to engaging fans and becoming a personality the viewer will care about. Overall, LOT’s latest run was okay, but this show needs to be far better than okay. It needs to be simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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