Legends of Tomorrow 2×03 Roundtable: ‘Shogun’

A new season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow means a new season of roundtables where Fangirlish writers Alyssa, Lizzie, and Lyra discuss the hot topics from every Legends of Tomorrow episode.

In Legends of Tomorrow’s third episode of season 2, our Legends found themselves in Feudal Japan as Ray and Nate found themselves stranded there in need of assistance. In the episode we saw Nate grow into his new Citizen Steel persona, as well as saw Ray face life without the Atom suit.

What were your overall thoughts on “Shogun?”

Alyssa: Legends of Tomorrow continues to outshine its freshman season by a mile. Actually, miles and miles. It feels like a different show in the very best way. And “Shogun” was a great example of that as it explored important issues in a very fun, light, yet at times serious way. Whereas last season I was always concerned about how Legends might shoot itself in the foot, this season I just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. I loved how this episode addressed the very important issue of “you don’t need a costume to be a hero.” It’s something that’s easy to forget when there are all these masks walking around. But everything in this episode was just gelling so well. Legends is a show I look forward to every week.

Lizzie: It was nonsensical at times, in a way only Legends of Tomorrow can be, but it was otherwise an entertaining episode. I’ve gotten used to putting my brain away when I watch this show, and that just makes everything more enjoyable. Who cares that Nate should know better than to mess with history? Not me! Who cares that Vixen was willing to kill a man over a conjecture? Not me! Who cares that the samurai shouldn’t really be able to use Ray’s suits – or that he gave contradicting accounts to how easy it was to use it? NOT ME.

Lyra: I’m going to be honest with you. I was ready to quit LOT. DC just hasn’t been doing it for me lately and I needed a load off. Then this episode happened. It was predictable, funny as hell, and didn’t require me to put that much thought to it. Basically it was a good time where I could get a little feels, stare in wonder at Caity Lotz flipping skills, laugh at Micks ninjas, and get a new ship.

What new ship you ask? Mixen of course! Mick and Vixen. Don’t pretend you didn’t see it. The banter, the anger, and the gift giving. It has the makings of a relationship that starts with a BANG aka angry sex and leads to Mick being a softie for his lady. I’m here for this, people. I’m here for Mixen.

This week our group traveled to Feudal Japan as a means to save Ray and Nate, who had fallen there randomly. What did you think of the time period and story?

Alyssa: Something I’m really loving this season on Legends of Tomorrow is how it’s really taking advantage of the time travel elements of the show. These characters get to travel back in time week in and week out, and there’s so much potential when it comes to exploring different time periods. Sure, we have the central story, but that doesn’t mean the show can’t take advantage of the fact that they’re going back in the past and have fun with it. We saw it when the gang hit up Feudal Japan with Mick and his obsession with ninjas, Sara and Amaya getting their badass Samurai on, and the beauty of the time periods. I loved it.

Lizzie: Sara is as much of a badass in Feudal Japan as she is in any other time-frame. Otherwise, I don’t think they really explored the time period, and the story felt more than a little flat, maybe because I was busy yelling at Nate half the time for being such an idiot. I did like that, considering they were in Feudal Japan, the storyline didn’t have to do with some white folk who mysteriously lived there, no. But that’s about all I can say that I liked. That and the old man’s conversation with Ray, at least.

Lyra: I appreciate the fact that Legends of Tomorrow actually cast asian characters in this time period and story. With the search for Mulan going around right now, and Matt Damon saving China *insert MASSIVE eye roll right here*, I’ve been wary of American productions doing anything foreign. But they actually cast Asian characters, made everyone change their clothes to fit in, and had a believable set. The story was mediocre and looked like it was taken right out of a comic book. Doesn’t mean that it was bad. Just means that it didn’t wow me. Fair maiden falls in love with foreigner who saves her and her village. Overplayed and predictable.

An interesting conflict that Ray faced came with him existing as a hero without his Atom suit. He didn’t believe he was a hero without it. What were your thoughts on that?

Alyssa: This was perhaps one of my favorite individual storylines this season because it addressed something that’s so important in this “super” universe. Say it with me, you don’t need superpowers or a costume to be a hero. It’s something that the Berlanti-verse hasn’t been nearly vocal about enough, but when they are vocal about it is impactful. Ray believed that he was nobody without his supersuit mostly because that’s what people have been telling him. That doubt unknowingly crawled into the back of his mind and was unleashed when Ray found himself without his Atom suit and, he believed, useless. But a costume has never made a hero. It’s always been the other way around. The person inside of the costume or behind the cool name has defined the hero. The same goes with Ray. He’s become a more skilled fighter, and let’s not forget his intelligence is indeed a super power. Now that Ray’s suit has been destroyed, I have to wonder if we’ll find Ray without his Atom suit for awhile and have to adjust to being a Legend without it. And to be honest, that’s exactly what he needs.

Lizzie: I’m gonna make a confession – a huge confession. I like Ray Palmer. He might be close to dethroning Sara as my favorite Legends. And that’s BIG. You know why? Because I really didn’t like Ray Palmer at the beginning of Season 1. The Arrow writers never knew what to do with him and the Kendra mess in season 1 didn’t exactly help, but right now, Ray is the one character making me feel things other than annoyance or a desperate need to roll my eyes so far back they might get stuck. His fear is, I think, a fear common to all superheroes – or to all people. Can we be as good as we want to be? Are we good enough, as we are? Thing is, just the fact that Ray wonders this means something. As does the fact that the never thinks before putting himself in stupid situations to help others. I said it last week, but I’m going to repeat it – the thing about Ray Palmer is that his brain is his superpower. He doesn’t need the suit, because the thing that makes him a hero is that he’s got a huge heart and is smarter than just about anyone else. And maybe he’ll build another suit. Maybe he won’t. But Ray Palmer IS a hero. No doubt about it.

Lyra: Am I watching the same show? This is really Ray Palmer from Arrow? Because this Ray Palmer made me have the feels. He made me want to wrap him up in a blanket and protect him from all the idiots trying to steal his suit. This is the Ray that I’ve been waiting to see, one with depth and an understanding that he is so much more than the suit he wears. Funny and dopey only goes so far. Having him break open and show us his fears makes him more relatable and someone I wouldn’t have a problem investing in. Never thought I’d hear myself saying this when he first appeared on Arrow. Oh how times have changed.

Something intriguing that happened involved a mysterious warning from Barry Allen from 2056. What do you think that message could be? And what do you think about Stein and Jax choosing to keep it from the team?

Alyssa: Well the sheer fact that Stein and Jax are choosing to keep it from everyone else tells me that it’s not good. Also given that it was a warning also tells me it’s not good. Whatever it is it probably has the magnitude to affect the entire DC universe. It also makes me wonder 1) How does Barry know Rip? 2) What would cause Barry to go to Rip for help? I don’t necessarily agree with Stein and Jax’s decision to keep it from the team – we all know how keeping secrets ends up in the Berlanti-verse (spoiler alert: never well) – but I suspect it’s all part of a storyline that will continue to unfold. My only question right now: are we going to have to wait to learn what it is when the rest of the team does? Cause that could be awhile.

Lizzie: Meh, I wish I cared. It’s probably just Barry fucking more shit up. That’s kind of Barry’s MO. Right now, I’m not too into this storyline. It’s drama for the sake of drama, the way secrets always are, especially in the DCTV universe. Can’t people ever communicate? What could Barry from the future have said that they don’t all need to know? THEY HAVE A TIME MACHINE. They can change stuff. So if the message is – you’re gonna die, wouldn’t it be better to know so they can, you know, change it? Either way, keeping it a secret makes no sense to me – and I doubt it will make any more sense when I find out what the message is.

Lyra: Stein and Jax should’ve told the rest of the team as soon as they encountered them. No secrets. That should be the motto. They’re on a time machine and Barry’s in the future. What is he going to do? Time travel and mess things up? Oh wait, he already did that! lol. And why didn’t Rip delete that message if it was so sensitive? Or command Gideon to do it? (Gideon is the true villain of this story. Just you wait!)

Possible messages that Barry Allen sent include:

  • I left the stove on
  • Is your refrigerator running?
  • Please stop wasting your time chasing Damien.
  • Watch out for Malcolm Merlyn
  • And oh yeah, the Reverse Flash is messing around with time, AGAIN!
Nate got superpowers this week, which he had some difficulty controlling. What are your thoughts on Citizen Steel?

Alyssa: I never thought that Nate had to get superpowers to be relevant on this team – look at Rip Hunter. For all intents and purposes, Nate is replacing Rip in the knowledge of history department. But I’m happy for Nate because apparently it’s something that he sought, especially given his heritage and having Commander Steel as a grandfather. I loved the natural growing pains of these brand new powers. It made for some pretty hilarious training scenes with him and Ray, which prompted the “we’re professionals” line in unison with Ray shooting Nate with his Atom suit to try and get him to transform. There was so much to enjoy about it that probably wouldn’t have happened if this was season one.

Lizzie: Nate, honey, I know you just got here, but I’m gonna need you to be better than the other idiots. I’m gonna need you to use your brain, okay? I know you’re very strong and all right now, but brain. History. That was what you brought to the team, remember? Don’t go all stupid superhero on me. Because I like you. Or, well, I used to like you more before this week’s stupidity, but I still sorta like you. Don’t ruin it.

Lyra: I was down for Citizen Steel at first. He’d be DC’s version of Colossus and would lead to many crazy adventures were his abilities would come into play. Then Nate forgot that he was a historian and had common sense. He was acting like he was playing a game and if he saved the maiden he’d level up, marry her, and get his name up there with the other high score players. Nooooo Nate. That’s not how this time travel thing works. Haven’t you watched Timeless? If I had popcorn while watching this, I’d throw it at the screen and yell, “Forget Nate. I was invested for a second but it’s gone. Give me for Mixen!”

Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW. Stay tuned for another Legends of Tomorrow Roundtable next Wednesday!

Teacher by day, writer by every other free moment | Obsessed with sports, TV, books, movies, and superheroes | Proud shipper and supporter of strong female characters | Co-executive Editor for Fangirlish | Contributor for Bears Wire at USA Today SMG | Producer/Co-Host of Buffone 55 for Bears Barroom Radio Network | Contact: alyssa@fangirlish.com.