The trail of the latest fugitive leads to Tokyo, where the timeline has been altered after the city was destroyed by a giant octopus in 1951. While most of The Legends are dealing with that, Ray goes off in search of Nora Darhk while Nate and Ava have an awkward Thanksgiving dinner at the Heywood house.
The Kaiju genre of film (giant monsters, primarily Japanese in origin, ala Godzilla), the movie Groundhog Day (Gary makes reference to this and how he keeps repeating the same scenario with Mona) and the movie Jaws (Sara's reference to needing a bigger time-ship, sea monsters, etc.)
A real Renaissance festival would be unlikely to allow anyone to carry a real sword in public without it being peace-bound so it could not be drawn.
Ishiro Honda was a soldier in the Japanese army and he did have nightmares of his time during the war. However, he was not stationed in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped on it, as this episode suggests. At that time, he was being imprisoned in a Chinese interment camp somewhere between Beijing and Shanghai. (It is possible he just had nightmares based on the Hiroshima bombings despite not having been there.)
It should be noted that Ishiro Honda was one of Godzilla's "fathers" and that the original idea of a giant monster movie centered around an octopus started with special effects producer Eiji Tsuburaya. Honda did co-write the eventual screenplay for Godzilla with Takeo Murata, which transformed the giant octopus into a giant lizard.
The cinematography of the episode mimics that of Ishiro Honda's movies, filmed low to the ground with a wide-angle lens to make the figures in certain key shots look bigger.
Trivia Of Tomorrow
The title-card logo for this episode is written in Japanese.
Ishiro Honda - the director who filmed the Fugitive monster in this episode - was the real-world director of the first Godzilla movie in 1954. He also filmed Rodan and many other classic Kaiju movies.
In the episode, Honda describes his creation of the monster Tagumo as a way to grasp the horror of the atom bomb. This reportedly was what truly inspired the creation of Godzilla and other Kaiju monsters and made the movies so successful in Japan.
While he is dyning, John Constantine says the name Dez. John had two friends named Dez in the original Hellblazer comics. One, Dez Ridley, was a friend of John's who was kidnapped by neo-Nazi gang leader Charlie Patterson and beaten to death due to his black skin and his association with John in Hellblazer #66. Dez was also the name of a hacker John hired to investigate a disruption of ley lines through England. This Dez got too close to the truth and had his hands cut off as punishment in Hellblazer #111.
Hank Heywood says the phrase "Let's make like a treat and leave." This is a reference to actor Tom Wilson's most famous role as Biff Tannen from the Back to the Future films, where the villainous Biff would routinely flub the old saying.
Baba Yaga is a witch from Slavic folklore. Different stories depict her as a villain who eats children, but she does show up in some legends as a neutral figure who might use her magic to help those who seek her out. She is most famous for her hut, which stands on chicken-legs and for flying in a giant mortar and pestle
The Time Bureau uses double doses of elephant tranquilizer to keep captured Fugitives subdued.
Brigid was the Celtic goddess of art, creation and healing. Her book is capable of making fantasy into reality.
Life force is the most potent form of energy in the universe. Nora describes John as a batter that's almost too far gone to be recharged. The only way she can use her powers to save John's life is by sacrificing someone else's.
A Kaupe is a malevolent Hawaiian spirit with a canine head. They are said to call out at night, luring people to isolated locations before killing them.
A Chupacabra is a creature born of the folklore of Mexico, the southern United States and the Caribbean. It feeds on the blood of livestock animals, particularly goats.
(Zari walks into Mick's room, where he is crumpling up a piece of paper in frustration while sitting at a typewriter.)
Mick: Closed door means stay out!
Zari: Sorry. Sara called a team meeting and-
(Zari realizes that Mick is working on his novel.)
Zari: Were you...?
Mick: Yes! I was watching porn.
Zari: (dryly) On a typewriter?
Gary: Say hello to Baba Yaga. We caught her trying to eat Chinese gymnasts at the 2008 Olympics.
Baba Yaga: (in Russian, as she lunges at Henry) I will peel the skin from your face!
Henry Heywood: What did she say?
Gary: Just a... typical Russian greeting.
(Upon seeing the footage of the giant octopus)
Sara: Guys? I think we're going to need a bigger time-ship.
(Ava is trying to cover-up Nate's absence.)
Ava: Do you know what we would do in my family? We would actually go around and list all the things that we're thankful for.
Dot Heywood: What a lovely idea!
Grandma Violet: (grumbling) I'm thankful I'm still breathing.
Nate:What does a Kaupe, Chupacabra and a Baba Yaga eat?
Mona: That would be Hawaiian barbecue, Birria and Veal. Babies, more precisely, but veal will do in a pinch.
(Nate just looks at her.)
Mona: I read a lot.
(Ishiro Honda is shivering as the shrunken Tagumo moves in on him. Suddenly, a woman with a sword is standing between him and the monster. She has three breasts, leather armor that highlights each one and a determined look as she twirls her sword, nods to Mick and engages Tagumo. Zari, Charlie and Sara look on in shock.)
Mick: Meet Garima - Queen of Thanzanon.
(Garima strides over to Mick.)
Mick: Hi. I'm Mick.
(Garima grabs Mick and kisses him forcefully. He grabs a hold of her and responds in kind.)
Zari: (reading from the book of Brigid) "With the monster vanquished, Garima and her beloved Buck made passionate love in the ruins of the city."
(The Legends all smile at this romantic ending as we hear the sound of the set being destroyed. Ishiro Honda looks horrified as Zari, Charlie and Sara slowly come to look disgusted.)
Sara: Okay. Let's go. Now.
(Everyone hurriedly leaves the set as we hear the sounds of loud banging. Dealer's choice as to whether or not that's a euphemism.)
John is still near death following the events of 404. Ray says that magic may be the only thing that can save him and suggests finding Nora Darhk.
Sara recalls a fugitive her father had spent years tracking, only to discover he was living not a block away from SCPD headquarters. This inspires her to search 2018 near the Time Bureau for signs of Nora Darhk.
Mick is seen working on his novel, first referenced in 311.
The Time Bureau has multiple teams besides the Legends working to subdue fugitives, all of them trained by Nate. They are currently in the middle of building a holding facility to contain them all.
Ava is invited to dinner at the Heywood house.
Nate does not enjoy Thanksgiving, associating it with drunken family fights.
Charlie says the giant octopus is not a fugitive and she's sure it's a man-made monster - a mutant created by radiation.
Nora is working as a serving wench at a Renaissance festival in Reston, Virginia.
Nate has a cousin named Patty, who has two uncontrollable sons, Tyson and Chris.
You should not play cards with Nate's grandmother, Violet.
You should not mention Barack Obama to Nate's uncle Rich.
Rich is also apparently a heavy drinker, who goes for the expensive booze first.
Mona, the delivery person from 403, appears again. It is revealed that Gary has blanked her mind regarding the purpose of the Time Bureau every time she has delivered food to him.
Mona's family all live in Los Angeles, so she is spending Thanksgiving alone.
Gary asks Nora to spend Thanksgiving with him in the Time Bureau office.
Mona is a vegetarian.
Nora agrees to look at John Constantine, since she feels she owes Ray for helping her escape from the Time Bureau.
Charlie says that the fugitive is not the giant octopus but a leather-bound diary that is an agent of Brigid - i.e. a book that can make fantasy into reality. The book is also attracted to creative types and finds its way to them. It was intended to be Brigid's gift to humanity, letting them bring dreams to life.
Ishiro Honda confirms that he found the book while location scouting and that the giant octopus was born of a recurring nightmare he had. He calls the creature Tagumo.
According to Charlie, the only way for the creations of Brigid's journal to be destroyed is for their story to be played out in full. This means that the monster will disappear once Tokyo is destroyed.
Nora says that her magic powers came from her father and that she's resisted using her power for fear of being corrupted by it. As such, she refuses to heal John and John says it is better she stay clean and not fall off the wagon.
All the fugitives being kept in the Time Bureau escape captivity while Gary is having his "date" with Mona.
Mona recognizes the Kaupe.
Mona is able to suggest take-out that would correspond to the diets of various mythological monsters.
John says the name "Dez" while he is weak and hallucinating.
Nora has a vision of the dark-skinned man who is apparently hunting John. When Nora asks who he is later, John just says "The past."
Nora feeds off a live-wire and channels the energy into life force to save John.
Mick uses Brigid's book to bring one of his characters to life to fight Tagumo - Garima, the three-breasted warrior queen of Thanzanon.
Mick takes the book of Brigid with him after advising Honda that "lizards are King." This apparently inspires the creation of Godzilla - King of the Monsters.
Honda likewise advises Mick that three boobs is enough when he ponders a fourth breast for Garima.
Charlie buys Sara a new bottle of booze as an apology for everything she drank from Sara's personal stash before and says she's satisfied that Sara isn't as ruthless as she pretends to be.
Mona is hired on by the Time Bureau as a creature wrangler.
Nora says she isn't afraid of her magic for the first time in her life.
Nora turns herself in to the Time Bureau.
Mick's writers block is cured and he finishes another book about his protagonist Buck and Garima.
John locks The Book of Brigid in his chest.
Henry Heywood gets a call from someone. He tells them the Fugitives can be controlled and says Project: Hades is go.
Tokyo - 1951
Reston, Virginia - 2018
Washington D.C - 2018
The Bottom Line
A brilliant holiday special. The bits with The Heywood family come off a little too cliched, though that's likely by design and the jokes they set up later make it all worth it. The Nora/Ray subplot seems a little underdeveloped but we'll hopefully get to see the two interact more. Everything else, however, is top-notch. This has got to be the only show where a battle between a three-breasted alien warrior queen and a giant octopus would be just a footnote rather than the centerpiece of the action and I am so thankful it exists.