Legends of Tomorrow: 3.03 Zari
It would be unfair to call this the first bad episode of the season but its definitely the first kind of boring one. Legends of Tomorrow burst back with all its crazy charm in its first couple of episodes and things kind of slow down and become a little plodding here.
Gary, my new favorite, has sent out a distress call as he’s stuck in the future trying to protect a freedom fighter from being assassinated by the water woman we saw at the end of last week’s episode. Team legs decided to jump in and save the day and earn some brownie points and, obviously, make things worse.
The problem this episode really had was the likable characters taking a back seat too much. There is very little Stein and Jax. Apart from a few nice moments like his ‘villain disguise’ of eye patch and beard Ray takes a back seat too. Instead we’re focusing on Amaya and Nate. Sheesh… Amaya is basically an arsehole the entire episode. Her likability has gone from low to non-existent and her face is in a permanent, irritated scowl. She gets a line about mansplaining after Stein and Nate try to fix her spiritual issues with science but this actually felt like a cheap attempt to get you on side. Her behavior this episode is just all over the place.
Nate is becoming such a bland lump of wood that watching these two in any kind of prolonged scene together is painful. The one saving grace here was when they both take a hallucinogenic root to help Amaya have a vision quest (she sees some ancestors and has a chat, she’s all fine now) and Nate basically goes on a bad acid trip. Nate trying to fly the Waverider stoned and interacting with Stein and Sara gives us the best laughs of the episode, I think he should be stoned all the time now.
We’re introduced this week to Zari, the freedom fighter Team Legs go to try and help. In a roundabout way, she tricks the team into helping her steal a totem similar to Amaya’s and, after facing off against the water woman, she joins the team. I don’t know how long she’ll be part of the team but she’s not an especially interesting addition. She doesn’t have any real, stand out personality traits that differentiate her from the others. She’s a little bit cool like Sara, a little bit bad like Rory, a little bit closed off like Amaya. There is nothing exciting about her and its hard to know what she’ll bring to the team. We’ll give her a chance though…
This is very Amaya heavy and you get the feeling that the big bad may be connected to her in some deeper way, I hope not because I find it hard to get behind major narratives involving her character. The Water Woman is one of the worst characters I’ve seen on the show, apart from being incredibly boring and a little season one of Smallville powers wise; the actress is entirely lacking in charisma. What I think is an attempt at cool and confident comes across as not really caring.
The episode also suffers from feeling like a bit of a cheapy. Last week had a big guest star and elaborate sets, next week looks to have a high level of CGI work, so this week’s episode has the air of a money saver about it and takes place in a future that looks mostly like an old school building where everyone buys their clothes from Primark. By the end of her soft focus vision quest, Amaya has got her mojo back and actually smiles. A highlight this week was Gideon swearing, quite a lot and Sara playing chicken in the time vortex with Angry Time Lady; plus the lead in for next week’s episode looks much, much better!
I have to say though; I still really don’t understand what Rip’s new time agency are all about? He doesn’t seems to be in charge at all and they’re out to get The Legends but they also sort of rely on them and Rip lets them do what they want but he doesn’t but, I er, um.. I’ve got no idea. I think they’re just protagonists when the plot needs it and allies when the plot needs it… and hey, this is Legends of Tomorrow, so I’m fine with that!