DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – “Zari” Review

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By: Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is in its third season, racing forward and backward in time and creating problems to solve. Lighter than many of its fellow DC comic book-based shows, it often shoots for laughs. This week’s episode fought for a balance between the lightness and drama. Did it succeed or were there problems? Read on for a spoiler-y review to find out!

Last week introduced a water-morphing character to the show. This week, there’s no doubt that the beautiful woman of the water is a villain for the team to reckon with. Unfortunately, very little was revealed about her. Her villainy and mystery was lost in the busyness of the episode – from a character struggling with her power to the team butting heads with the Time Bureau and much more.

Much of the busyness started as “Zari” seemed to pull more than once from Marvel’s X-Men comic books. This week’s episode took the Waverider team into Seattle in 2042. However, the version of 2042 they jumped into is a dark future where A.R.G.U.S. is wielding a heavy hand over the city’s citizens and enforcing the Anti-Metahuman Act of 2021. While such a story may be a topical nod to the current political climate, it fell short at the start in a big way. A major plot hole in this week’s episode quickly emerged when the team was accused and almost arrested under the Anti-Metahuman Act, but only one of the four team members present at the time actually had any powers. Detainment under the guise of superpowers was a thin one, at the very least, and such an error in script-writing was hard to ignore. Add to that no further exploration into how such a thing might have happened in 2021 and the episode was lacking in deep exposition.

In what seemed to be further imitation of well-known X-Men comic books, a new character named Zari (Tala Ashe) this week took off like the wind – similar to a familiar Marvel character by the name of Storm. A government locking up humans with powers and doing experiments with a character who (from first appearances) seems to control weather, the alignment with Marvel material was difficult to ignore. (Whether her powers are actually related to the weather or not, the initial reaction instantly left an impression of character hijacking.)

Even if the story wasn’t the best in its execution, it was redeemed by one of the consistent highlights of the show: when Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) gets to release her inner assassin in a great fight scene. Her tiff with the water woman did not disappoint! Crisp and cleanly executed, it was a perfect example of slick fight choreography from the team behind the cameras of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Amaya’s (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) animal force has been taking over in an unsettling fashion, leaving the animal in control and the team in peril. She learned more about what might be causing the problem, but the new characters seem to be related to Amaya somehow. If there’s a season-long story arc to be told, it’s clear that it will be related to the totem-bearing character.

Issues with animal forces, a dark future, X-Men alignments and new characters are just the tip of the show’s iceberg. Time dweeb (as dubbed by Mick [Dominic Purcell]) Gary (Adam Tsekhman) was pulled into DC’s Legends of Tomorrow once again this week, but to what end? He seems to be a character written to provide some comedic relief, but he borders on almost annoying instead. With Ray (Brandon Routh) and Nate (Nick Zano) providing the show’s comedy on a fairly consistent basis already, the role is already filled, leaving Gary as an unnecessary redundancy.

Speaking of comedic relief, Nate’s hallucinogenic drug-induced experience was physical comedy at its finest. With a Star Trek joke thrown in, and a previous Terminator reference, Nate becomes more relatable by the second, especially for the pop culture nerds watching the show! I could have watched an entire episode centered around the metal man with mental issues.

So what’s the final verdict of this week’s episode? “Zari” had too much going on to fully enjoy and become immersed in. Jumping from one story to another, and skimming only the surface of each, it felt like there was no meat on the bones of this episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. That being said, the comedic chops of Zano came out in his portrayal of Nate, and some powerful female fight choreography was worthy of a goosebump or two. Not enough to make it a favorite episode, though, but it still clung to the elements of fun that make it a unique addition to the DC universe on The CW.


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