LEGENDS OF TOMORROW S3x03 – ZARI

In this week’s episode, the Legends head to the near-future, where they run into a mysterious hacktivist and the assassin trying to kill her.

Previously, on LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

When we last left the Legends, a follower of Mallus had resurrected Kuasa, a meta with water-shifting abilities. For those of you unfamiliar with the backstory, Kuasa was an adversary on the animated web series, Vixen, which also takes place in the Arrowverse. Spoilers: she dies. But she’s back and has her sights set on a hacktivist named Zari. Kuasa finds her police state Seattle, 2042. Under A.R.G.U.S. rule, both metahumans and religion are illegal, both problematic for the Muslim Zari. Fortunately, the Legends are there to help. Unfortunately, the Time Bureau shows up to prevent any changes.

Zari is supposed to be locked up in a metahuman prison, where she says her brother is being held. The Legends go to save him, only to discover that this rescue mission is actually a heist. Zari wants to recover the totem that belonged to her brother, which gives the user the ability to manipulate wind. For once, the Legends purposefully (rather than accidentally) make a situation worse, as Jax breaks out all the metas, who are being experimented on by A.R.G.U.S.

But since that is technically changing the timeline, Agent Sharpe of the Time Bureau returns to shut down the Legends’ plans. She does this by threatening to shoot down the Waverider with her much bigger ship. Morally, this puts the Time Bureau in a significantly grey area. They’d rather let an awful, abusive police state torture metas than risk any changes to the timeline. It could lead to some interesting questions but one game of space chicken later and the Bureau bails. I understand that the two teams are going to be at odds this season. However, it’s already starting to feel a bit repetitive. The Legends show up to fix something, it gets worse, Time Bureau arrives, makes threats, the Legends tell them to get lost and save the day. I think a couple of episodes without the bureau’s presence would up the tension when they do show up.

Much more fascinating is the thread that runs from Amaya to Zari to Kuasa. All three of their totems (and powers) come from the same place. In terms of skills with their heirlooms, Zari is definitely the amateur, whereas Amaya and Kuasa are pros. But Amaya’s loss of control makes her wary to use it. After Martin and Nate stupidly mansplain Amaya’s own totem to her, Nate comes through with a hallucinogenic root from her village that lets her go on a vision quest. Through this experience, Amaya gets back in the driver’s seat and uses her powers to beat back Kuasa.

Zari may have her brother’s totem, but she’s still stuck in a crapsack world with no family or friends. Thankfully, there’s always room abroad the Waverider! Let’s give a warm welcome to our latest Legend!

Show notes:

  • To prove the hallucinogenic root is safe, Nate takes some of it himself. You see where this is going. He starts tripping balls all over the ship, making him useless to help with the prison break. Instead, he gets the funniest scenes all episode. Stoner comedy could often fall flat, but Nick Zano puts so much charm in his over-the-top performance that it winds up as a season highlight to date.
  • Not only is Zari a badass hacker, but I believe she’s the first Muslim superhero to appear in a live-action series. Am I correct? Tala Ashe brings a nice mix of a hardened outer shell with a wounded center to her performance, deadpanning her way through some of the humor too. I’m looking forward to seeing her character integrate with the team.
  • Dominic Purcell gets some great material too. I’m pretty sure he fell in love with Zari as Jax read off her lengthy rap sheet. He spends half the episode frustrated that he can’t fry some A.R.G.U.S. goons. And he actually gets to say “Prison break,” while giving a side-eyed glance. May the meta references never end!
  • Even Gideon doesn’t like Sharpe, stating “What a bitch” after the agent makes another threat to take out the Legends. Sassy Gideon is the best Gideon.

The Super Cinco

  1. Jax Jackson – Jax is the moral center of this week’s episode. Even though the threat on Zari’s life isn’t part of the Legends’ mission, he convinces Sara to intervene anyway, as it’s the right thing to do. His actions at the A.R.G.U.S. prison, where he releases all the metahumans, are equally noble.
  2. Amaya Jiwe / Vixen – In this episode, Amaya goes from fearing her power to embracing it. Through her vision quest, she learns that her totem is getting stronger to match the danger she must face. Rather than fighting the animal spirits, she learns to run alongside them and stops Kuasa in her tracks.
  3. Nate Heywood / Steel – While he still has lingering issues with Amaya, that doesn’t stop him from bringing her the hallucinogenic root to help her vision quest. He takes some himself to prove its safe, leading to him hilariously tripping out. He may not help much with the mission, but it’s worth it for the comedy.
  4. Zari Tomaz – The newest member of the Legends makes the list for being badass under pressure, using her hacking skills to get out of tough jams, and rebelling against a terrible police state. Plus, she now has wind powers to go along with her other skills, making her a formidable addition to the team.
  5. Martin Stein – Terrible week for Martin Stein, who seems to want nothing to do with this week’s adventure. He ignores Amaya’s knowledge about her own totem, taking an “I-know-best” attitude that pisses her off. Then he tells Sara to give Zari up to the Time Bureau! Do better next time, professor.