Originally Published on Set The Tape
Legends of Tomorrow ditches the adventure of the week format to build upon their season arc and introduce a brand new member of the team. Sadly, this episode does drop many of the comedic elements that have been in place in the previous episodes, much to the detriment of the story.
Set within the dystopia of Seattle 2042, where Metahumans and religion have been banned, the episode feels kind of flat. There’s little about this time period or location that jump out as being memorable, especially in comparison to some of the other future time periods they’ve visited, such as the future Star City in season one.
Thankfully, events are kept entertaining enough by the arrival of Kuasa (Tracy Ifeachor), who has been sent to kill the titular character Zari (Tala Ashe). Thanks to her nifty water powers and her silent demeanor, the episode plays a lot like The Terminator, with some obvious comparisons to Robert Patrick’s T1000. Thankfully, the episode acknowledges this, even having Nate (Nick Zano) deliver the line ‘come with us if you want to live’.
This is the first time that the series has introduced a new character to the crew that doesn’t really have a reason to be there, Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) joined to find the Reverse Flash (Matt Metscher) and Nate joined to help rescue the team, so it was always going to be a tough sell. However, by the end of the episode you genuinely feel like Zari would join the team just to get away from the awful time period she was living in.
Zari herself only gets the most basic of character development in this episode, where it tells you a small amount of her backstory but offers little insight into who she is as a person. Hopefully this will be something that will be rectified over the course of the season, especially with her apparent connection to the season’s big bad.
Unlike her comic book counterpart Isis (despite hating it when shows change a character’s name, I can really understand why they couldn’t call a Muslim superhero Isis on television at the moment), Zari appears to draw her powers from a totem, in a similar way to Amaya and Kuasa. The CW DC Universe has mentioned Kahndaq in the past, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will somehow tie Zari to the mythology of Shazam and Black Adam before the season finishes.
Despite the grim and gritty time period dragging down the amount of comedy the episode could use, the episode does manage to keep being it’s ridiculous self thanks to a sub-plot involving Nate and Amaya drinking hallucinogenic tea in order to go on a vision quest to try and find a solution for Amaya’s problems with her totem. Whilst Amaya did manage to go on a vision quest and talk to her ancestors, Nate just got very, very high. This lead to one of the worst rescues the show has ever had, and Nate getting very close to getting his arse kicked by Sara (Caity Lotz).
Only time will tell how Zari will fit in with the rest of the cast, and whether her inclusion on the team will be a temporary, story driven thing in the same way as the Hawks in season one, but hopefully she will bring a fresh perspective and energy to what has become a very well bonded group.
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