Previously on Legends of Tomorrow, Constantine froze Charlie’s shapeshifting form while she looked like Amaya, Zari got stuck in a time loop and found out Mick was writing a novel, and Constantine gave his life force to a little kid at the best summer camp ever so Ray decided to find Nora once and for all to save him.
Ray still has no idea where to look for Nora, but turns out he should have just asked Sara in the first place, because as soon as he loops her in, she has the idea (inspired by her father, RIP) that she might be hiding in plain sight. And sure enough, they find her in 2018. So Sara splits the team; Ray will go find Nora, and Sara will take Zari and Mick to their next magical blip in Tokyo 1951.
Sara calls her team together to debrief them on their trip and Zari catches Mick trying to write and Sara catches Charlie somewhere between the hangover and the hair of the dog.
Sara is probably remembering how much better 12-year-olds listen to her as she waits for her team to assemble. Also, Charlie is drinking Sara’s whiskey.
Sara tells her team about the monster in Tokyo Bay and decides that this is a good first mission for Charlie since they don’t really know what they’re dealing with. Charlie agrees only because she’s against this whole sending-creatures-to-hell-on-a-whim plan of theirs and wants to oversee the capture of this next magical creature to make sure it goes off humanely.
Meanwhile, back at the Time Bureau, Ava and Nate are giving Mr. Heywood a tour of the new additions to the office. As he’s about to leave, he tells Nate he’s looking forward to Thanksgiving, and asks Ava what her holiday plans are. She says she was going to spend it with her girlfriend (a smile peeping through at the mention of Sara) but she has to work overtime so she’ll probably just work through it. Heywood thinks that’s nonsense and invites her over for dinner.
My family was always taking in strays at Thanksgiving and honestly those were always the best ones. And besides, Ava doesn’t have any real Thanksgiving memories yet, why not make some?
In Tokyo, Sara sends her team in and has Mick and Zari pose as producers to try to get their hands on the tape a director making a movie in the bay made of the mystery monster. They go in and Zari does a Ye Olde Hollywood accent and it’s really fun.
But the director is dodgy about it, saying it was just a whale. Sara and Charlie are listening outside and can both tell the director is lying so Charlie decides to go rogue and break into the director’s office while he’s distracted. Sara is annoyed but in a cute way? She says, “You’re lucky I’m a reformed assassin” and it’s one of those things that might have sounded threatening coming from someone else but it was just kind of sweet coming from her. Even though I know for a fact she could kill anyone just by thinking hard enough about it.
Charlie proves helpful though, master of trickery though she is, and finds the hidden reel. They head back to the Waverider and Gideon (aka Miss G now apparently…Sara and Gideon’s friendship is A+++) digitizes the reel so they can watch the footage the director caught by the bay. I don’t know what they were expecting, but they were all rather surprised to see a giant tentacle whip out of the water.
Also because we’re keeping up our tradition of adorably cheesy one-liners from Captain Lance, she says they’re gonna need a bigger timeship. It’s a bit of a mashing of monster lore but I’ll allow it.
Charlie insists that this isn’t a fugitive she’s ever seen and blames it on humans (which is fair) so her and Zari get into it. They get real close to each other’s faces. And I know it’s greedy to want Zari and Charlie to be queer main characters five and six on this show, but I MEAN!
(I think really the thing is Maisie Richardson-Sellers has chemistry with literally every woman she shares a screen with like some kind of Katie McGrath.)
ANYWAY Ray finds Nora at the Ren Faire we left her at being harassed by a loser who thinks pretending to be in medieval times means you can return to medieval manners.
But Ray defends her honor or whatever and she panics that he’s there to turn her in, but he just needs her help.
In 2018 DC, Nate takes Ava to Thanksgiving and fills him in on some classic holiday nightmares: cooking is going to take forever, loud ankle-biters underfoot, and there’s of course a drunk uncle. Nate pours her a drink because it’s going to be a long day.
Ray takes Nora to the med bay on the Waverider and Constantine is a little worried to see Nora. Ray thinks she can just wave her hand and make it better, but from the look on her face, it’s going to be a little more complicated than that.
Sara’s plan for the octomonster is to use one of Ray’s shrink-gloves to make this bad boy calamari but Zari and Charlie are fighting again about how to get the monster’s attention. (My notes for this scene were just, “They look so good but they’re fighting.”)
They see the director throwing something into the bay so they go over to talk to him; as they approach they see the bay throw something back. Charlie sees that it’s a familiar book and says that it’s Brigid’s diary, a celtic goddess’s creation that would allow anything you imagine to become reality. And of course it didn’t fall in the hands of like, the inventor of the Care Bears.
Anyway Charlie says this book is no good, and it means the monster in the ocean isn’t the fugitive.
The director calls the book a nightmare but Charlie points out that the intention of the book was good; it’s not Brigid’s fault humans ruin everything. But the book has bonded with the director after he wrote the story of this land octopus, so they’ll need his help to stop this chaos.
Speaking of chaos, Ava and Nate are still drinking their way through family Thanksgiving when they get a call from Gary. You see, Gary was going to spend a romantic holiday with delivery person Mona when the three monsters he was in charge of keeping in their holding cell woke up and broke free and are now loose in the Time Bureau. Nate decides it’s up to him to fix it and leaves Ava to stall while he’s gone.
Team Legends takes the director back into his office and ask him to draw a new ending to this story he wrote where the monster wins. He agrees, but when he tries to draw, the ink keeps disappearing. Mick gets it; he’s writing from experience, and he hasn’t experienced anything that gives him hope for a happy ending yet. The team listens to him tell the story of Hiroshima and you can see their hearts breaking wide open as they stand there.
And now, on top of all that trauma, he created a monster that will destroy the city. Sara reassures him that channeling his pain into art is a beautiful thing, and he had no way of knowing the monster would come to life. This is not his fault.
And considering Sara Lance used to be the queen of carrying guilt that didn’t belong to her, this is a huge step for her. It’s just another one of those little signs we’ve been getting that Sara has truly evolved into an amazing person, a capable leader, a true empathetic soul who has stopped getting in her own way. She has grown, and she’s now able to help others on that same path of growth.
AND I’M EMOTIONAL ABOUT IT.
Back on the Waverider, Nora is afraid she can’t fix Constantine without succumbing to the darkness (or the Darhkness) of her powers. She would have to siphon energy from another person and there’s just no way to do that without black magic. But Ray has an idea, and a way for her to do this kind of magic without hurting anyone.
When Nate gets to the Time Bureau, he realizes that the loose monsters are just really hungry, and luckily for them, Mona reads a lot and knows exactly what kinds of beasts these are and what they eat. And also where to find all the food. So she rushes off to save the day while the boys go find tranq guns.
In Tokyo, Team Legends realizes they need a new artist to change the end of the story, and Zari looks pleadingly at Mick. He has writing skills, and he can use them now for good. Sara says she’ll buy them time and takes Charlie outside to try to hold off the monster, but when Charlie realizes that Sara wants her role to be bait, she runs the fuck off. So Sara tries to take on the monster herself.
But as badass as she is, she is simply outsized, and ends up wrapped up in a tentacle. But just when things look hopeless for our fearless leader, Charlie runs back in to save her and plays the distraction after all.
And so they shrink the monster down to a slightly more reasonable size for the fighting.
Inside, Mick talks to the director and they bond as artists. With the director’s blessing, Mick sits down and starts writing a new ending to the story, and the book takes a liking to him and the ink doesn’t disappear.
On the Waverider, Ray MacGyvers an energy source that is not another human so that Nora could use it to heal Constantine. Constantine makes Nora decide for her own self if she wants to do this—she can’t do it for Ray or for him. It has to be for her.
And so she does it, and it works. She saves Constantine and doesn’t appear to succumb to the Darhkness.
At the Heywood House, Ava has been awkwardly stalling for Nate while he was off fighting things that go bump in the Time Bureau. Eventually she’s run out of excuses and time and Mr. Heywood catches on.
So Mr. H and Ava go back to the Time Bureau to find Nate and Gary with tranq guns trained on a feasting trio of beasties, and Mona delivering hot sauce to them. It’s kind of cute! Mr. Heywood commends Nate on hiring such a skilled creature handler which gives Nate that very idea.
Back in Tokyo, the girls are watching Mick write when the director gets grabbed by a tentacle. But then Mick’s story starts to come to life and a tri-bosomed lady with a sword appears.
The director films her fighting the octopus throughout the fake town and the Legends Ladies watch in amazement.
The warrior defeats the beast, and the director and Mick are proud of their work.
Then the story ends with the warrior and Mick making “passionate love” so the team leaves (though it seems Charlie would have stayed if they let her).
Later, Sara is cleaning up the Waverider, specifically all the empty bottles of booze Charlie has left scattered about, when Charlie appears to offer Sara…well, a bottle of booze.
Sara agrees to have a drink with her and thank her for coming back for her, and Charlie admits that if someone has to be dragging all these magical creatures back to jail, she’s glad it’s someone with tactical brilliance and a heart full of compassion. Someone like Sara.
Ray is ready to say goodbye to Nora, telling her to run to the far corners of space and time, but Nora doesn’t want to run anymore. So instead of using the Time Stone to take herself to some distant future or a technology-free past, she zaps herself right to the Time Bureau and turns herself in. If she truly wants to be free someday, she has to pay for the sins of her past.
As the episode ends, Mick finishes his story, and Nate and his family (including Ava) are finally ready to eat. Mr. Heywood gets called away, as usual, but this time Nate finally understands what that’s like.
Unfortunately this isn’t quite like Nate’s clean-up on aisle Baba Yaya; no, Mr. Heywood is up to no good, inspired by Mona keeping the creatures at bay, and wants to find the money to get “Project Hades” off the ground. Which could be about sending a litany of monsters after a demi-god, dragging souls to hell, making sure everyone in the Time Bureau has blue flame hair, or something more nefarious. I mean, after all, it’s not called Project Hugs and Puppies.