Oh, how I wish I could give this episode a straight A. It’s a Legends tribute to Ishirō Honda, complete with a giant evil octopus, a three-breasted heroine, and a goofy origin story for Godzilla! What more could you want? Four breasts?! (Even Total Recall can’t manage that! Also I hope Guillermo del Toro watches this show because this hour was practically made for him!)
Okay, okay, I’ll cool it with the exclamation points. As much as “Tagumo Attacks!!!” did what Legends does best — it made you invest in a nonsensical story — it faltered again with making the Time Bureau side of things interesting and worse, it underserved Ray’s arc just as it was warming up with Nora back in the picture. Maybe Legends is stretching itself a little thin. If you have to add a baba yaga and a chupacabra into some scenes to spice things up, maybe reconsider the point of those scenes entirely, you know what I mean?
That said, I’m critical because I care. This series remains my favorite of the Arrowverse, and the team’s adventures in 1951 Tokyo were bold and inventive and my favorite of this season so far. The campiness of the premise — director Ishirō Honda discovers a giant octopus monster while filming one day, and the Legends must stop it from eventually destroying Japan’s capital — meshed seamlessly with Legends‘ tone, and I loved that the team got reshuffled right away. At the top of the hour, Sara gives Ray the green light to track down Nora so they can save John, so she recruits (or rather, forces) Charlie into participating on their monster hunt.
Of course, they can’t hunt a monster if they don’t know what they’re up against. Zari and Mick pose as Hollywood producers in town to retrieve the footage, but when Honda lies about it, Sara and Charlie rummage around his office on their own and bring it back to the ship. On board, they discover that it’s a massive octopus, but curiously, Charlie can’t identify it, despite being their “fugitive expert,” as Zari puts it. It’s a slight Charlie doesn’t appreciate, and she and Zari are about to duke it out when Sara reins them in.
They head back to Honda’s set instead, planning to shrink the octopus and take care of it once it’s a manageable size. But before they can lure it out, they spot Honda tossing a book into the water instead. When they corner him, he finally tells the truth: He’d been found by (and bonded with) a magical Celtic-goddess-created book that turns dreams into reality. Honda, though, only has nightmares — he’d survived Hiroshima, but the trauma manifests itself every night in the form of Tagumo, the giant land octopus, and he’d drawn the story of Tagumo to try and cope. The book made Tagumo real, and unfortunately, Tagumo will continue to be real unless they can change the ending.
As it turns out, editing’s not allowed in magical journals; the Legends’ only hope of turning this one around is to have the book bond with someone new and creative enough to come up with a story that doesn’t end in Tokyo’s destruction.
Enter… Mick. Sure, he’s a man of few words, but as Zari discovered back in the excellent “Here I Go Again,” he’s a writer, and he definitely has a story to tell. Only trouble is, he’s not quite ready for everyone to know what his story is, so before they can put their new plan into action, the Legends are forced to face Tagumo, who’s squeezed through the sewers and come for Honda. Sara attempts to direct Charlie into serving as bait, but the shapeshifter runs off, leaving the reformed assassin on her own. And though she does well — it’s Sara, after all — she winds up trapped in the clutch of a tentacle until Charlie dashes back in to do what she was told. They battle Tagumo and manage to shrink him, only to lose him after he shrinks.
In other words, Tagumo’s still a problem. Honda apologizes for starting the mess and tells Mick and Zari that at least now that Tagumo’s come to fruition and is out there, he no longer fears what was in his head. At that, Mick realizes he shouldn’t be afraid either, and within seconds, he’s furiously scribbling a new story into the book’s pages. And the book accepts…
Next: Tagumo vs. Garima