This Legends of Tomorrow episode review contains spoilers.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 Episode 11
I spent a lot more time complaining last week than was warranted. Despite the episode highlighting a weakness, it was still fun to watch and great to have back.
There’s no such problem this week. “Here I Go Again,” Tala Ashe’s Groundhog Day–but-for-Zari feature, was a delight at every second. The entire episode hinged on Tala Ashe’s performance, and she nailed it. We talked to Ashe last week, and it sounded from the interiew like she was relishing the chance to jump in the spotlight. Having watched the episode, it seems like the writers were looking forward to it, too.
Legendsis a funny show. It’s not a straight up comedy, but it’s certainly the lightest of the CW DC shows, and a lot of its humor is mined from the way the show delights in the absurd corners of the comics universe they’re exploring. But a good chunk of the humor relies on the skill of the cast, and Ashe proved here that she fits perfectly with the rest of the team. She’s simultaneously juvenile and wry, absurd and sharp. She moves easily from slacker irony to strung out exasperation seamlessly.
Legendsis always at its strongest when it’s moving the characters around, trying out new pairings to see who works together. This week we got Nate as Zari’s primary foil, and the two of them were hilarious together. Zari’s weirdly driven apathy matched up really well against Nate’s earnest audience ID character.
The secondary character pairing is certainly an interesting choice. Zari gets a decent amount of time with Gideon – actual, human Amy Pemberton, and not just a disembodied voice. Zari’s Groundhog Dayscenario – where she is stuck in a time loop, trying to prevent the ship from exploding at the end of every hour – is actually a simulation created by Gideon to keep her on the team after she and Sara got into a fight and Zari swallowed a bunch of Macguffin juice.
The plot to this episode is thin, mostly because it didn’t need to be anything more than we got. The point of the episode was to run Zari around the Waverider and see how she worked with the characters, and how they looked at her. We got that, along with some great bits and some genuinely moving character development. This was a fantastic episode.
DC UNIVERSE TIME BUBBLES
– IMAGINE MY FURY when, as a staunch disco-hater, I discovered that the episode title was a reference to Abba and not Whitesnake. That I still managed to overcome it is a testament to how good the episode was.
– Like Mick, I wish I could also zap my brain with a memory eraser to get that goddamn Abba song out of my head. That may have been the joke of the week, even if Amaya and Nate then stole it to make themselves forget about having sex with each other while on a mission, and then to make themselves forget again.
– There are a lot of sex jokes this week. The best are probably Zari’s deadpan “Just don’t have sex on missions,” and Gideon saying what I think I heard was “Dinky Tickling.” What a wonderful turn of phrase.
– Half the fun of this show is watching them openly toy with the concept of its own derivativeness and pulling it off anyway. The references to Groundhog Day(which I shouldn’t have to explain) or “Cause and Effect” from Star Trek: The Next Generation (the one where the Enterprise gets caught in a time loop and keeps exploding) are explicit, but it doesn’t matter because this is its own thing, and because Legendsdoesn’t rely on the viewer having memorized “Cause and Effect” ahead of time so they can take shortcuts in their own story. No, I did NOT see a Ready Player Onetrailer for the first time today, why do you ask?
– Friends! What’s the song Zari plays on the violin at the end? Is she really playing that? Can Tala Ashe play violin?
– NEXT WEEK: Rip and Wally and PIRATES! I hope one of them cuts off Wally’s topknot.