DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- "Tender is the Nate" -- Image Number: LGN406b_0036jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Tom Wilson as Hank Heywood, Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary and Nick Zano as Nate Heywood/Steel -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Television 

Five Thoughts on Legends of Tomorrow‘s “Tender is the Nate”

By | November 27th, 2018
Posted in Television | % Comments

This week on Legends of Tomorrow, Nate’s dad Hank made a surprise visit to the Waverider, and decided to observe the Legends do their thing when they detected a Fugitive in Paris, 1927; Nate came face-to-face with Charlie for the first time; and Ray asked new girl Mona to deliver a message for Nora at the Time Bureau’s prison in 2018.

1. Saxy Times

The writers must’ve realized how boring and cliched it would’ve been just having Hank complain to Ava about the Legends’ expenditures, so they concocted a pretty memorable and saucy opening where Sara, deciding to give Ava a birthday treat, shows up unexpected at her office wearing a trenchcoat and lingerie (to what sounds like an electronic saxophone). When Hank enters the office and Sara disappears, you assume Ava must’ve been dozing off, only to realize with her that Sara’s dropped a shoe and leaped onto the ceiling. Sara’s athletic but I don’t think anyone expected her to be that stealthy and agile!

Oh, and because everyone at Legends believes in equal opportunities, we also see Constantine meditating nude in his office. I suppose it’s all very appropriately “ooh la la” given this week’s setting.

2. His Face Must Be Tender

Nate tags along with his dad and despite the Legends’ best efforts, winds up coming face-to-face with Amaya’s doppelganger. Awestruck at his ex’s apparent return, he embraces her, angering Charlie to the point of socking him in the jaw. I was dreading this “reunion” as I was fearful of how melodramatic it could be, but no, the writers made it hilarious and had Nate be surprisingly mature about it (he also figures out what happened incredibly quickly, which is a nice reminder he is actually a smart guy). He’s much more concerned with pleasing his dad, to the point I actually wish he had commented a bit more about how weird it is seeing someone else with Amaya’s face – even that subsequent exchange between him and Charlie was more of her projecting her own feelings onto him really.

3. Guest Appearances Galore

Nate, Hank, Sara and Mick go to the Cafe du Dome, where all the best and brightest are hanging out: Salvador Dali is there, and unsurprisingly for such a strange man, he’s the only one who’s seen the fugitive – Charlie manages to decipher his napkin scribble as depicting a minotaur. Ernest Hemingway’s also there, Hank drops his professional pretence and fanboys all over him, and Mick finds a kindred spirit in the overly macho author (I’m delighted he finally found one after all his journeys through time). And given this episode is named after Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda also make an appearance.

It was all very interesting, but to be honest, I was more awestruck by Constantine namedropping Sting! We need a Sting guest appearance! It could only happen on this show, and I really hope it does now.

4. Soothing a Savage Beast

This episode’s theme was very much about Nate not living up to his father’s expectations of a hero – his father mocks him for his knowledge of 1920s Paris, for wanting to go to the library to look up how to identify and deal with the fugitive there, and for being struck by Charlie (Sara rather nicely gets Hank to shut up about the last one, by asking if he’s ever been hit by a woman – I would like to see that). Hank isn’t impressed either when Nate and Constantine concoct a plan to subdue the minotaur with a female minotaur’s musk, and lute (or is it a lyre?) music, as he and Hemingway would rather shoot it (even though Hank’s superiors would probably be unhappy with a dead minotaur specimen).

However, during the ensuing climax, when everything goes wrong and Nate is forced to get violent with the minotaur, Hank winds up picking a guitar and lulling the beast to sleep with a country song – it’s astonishing how such a ridiculous moment becomes a poignant one about a father starting to see things from his son’s perspective. All in all, this episode had a great message about you don’t have to be overly aggressive to be masculine. Also, it’s just fantastic to see Thomas F. Wilson play the guitar on TV – man, I’m gonna be sad if Hank turns out to be an overly evil villain.

Continued below

5. Prison Time Out

Oh yes, let’s talk about the whole subplot with Mona, Nora and Ava. Mona’s a lot like Ray – she’s optimistic and annoyingly earnest, and Ava thinks she’s too friendly with the prisoners. Small wonder Ray asks her to deliver an envelope to Nora (after Ava tells them they don’t allow conjugal visits, heh), but Nora’s doesn’t want any friends: she winds up accidentally locking Mona and Ava in her cell after becoming distressed over the letter. It’s weird that the barriers designed against magical creatures block off physical attacks but not magical energy, but it was great seeing the ladies get some quality time, and to see Mona’s positivity rub off on the others: she gets Nora to snap out of her self-loathing, and Ava from her ennui over being a clone from the future. And then it turns out Ray was in the envelope the whole time, getting stuck on the folder, which was just adorable. I also really enjoyed how Mona talking about her parents wanting her to be a lawyer tied into the overall theme of letting down our parents gently.

Bonus thoughts:
– Gideon greets Hank and reveals Zari gave her facelift – I liked Gideon’s old face better, it was less uncanny valley.
– Charlie and Constantine’s terrible American accents were great fun, as were the latter’s observation that one’s accent tends to determine what words you actually use.
– I can’t believe Nate’s attempt to use a tablecloth as a muleta actually worked.
– Nate wants a dog, and now I want the Legends to get one too.
– Quote of the week: “No shipping the inmates!”

Next week: spooooky dolls.


//TAGS | Legends of Tomorrow

Christopher Chiu-Tabet

Chris is the news manager of Multiversity Comics. A writer from London on the autistic spectrum, he enjoys tweeting and blogging on Medium about his favourite films, TV shows, books, music, and games, plus history and religion. He is Lebanese/Chinese, although he can't speak Cantonese or Arabic.

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