Legends of Tomorrow Proves Best When Embracing Its Goofy Side

Robert Falconer/The CW
Robert Falconer/The CW

She may have fought against it for awhile now, but on this week’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Zari (Tala Ashe) finally found her place among the misfit crew of the Waverider. Of course she got a little help along the way from a somewhat unexpected source, but after resisting really being a part of this team, “Here I Go Again” found Zari trapped in a time loop that helped her see she is exactly where she belongs at the moment. The “Hedgehog Day” inspired episode could quite easily have been a disaster, but thanks to writers Ray Utarnachitt and Morgan Faust, along with the delightful Legends cast, the hour proved to not only be one of the show’s finest episodes, but also downright enjoyable, once again proof that this show is one of my favorite things on TV at the moment.

I am admittedly late to the Legends of Tomorrow game. I was suffering badly from superhero fatigue, especially of that of the CW DC superhero nature, but after prodding from several friends, as well as the positive chatter about the show I’ve seen on social media, I finally jumped in on Legends. So while I may be late to the game, boy am I glad I’m here now. Week after week, Legends is far and away the lightest and funniest of the CW’s superhero shows. Lately, I’ve been all about trying to watch shows that bring me joy or add a smile to my face, and no show fits that bill more than Legends of Tomorrow in Season 3.

One of the main reasons I so enjoy the show is the way that it has no problem putting the women of the Waverider from and center. Of course, the team is led by one of my favorite characters on TV at the moment, Captain Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), but just as intriguing and compelling is a character like Zari, the focus of this week’s episode. Along with delivering intriguing, complex female characters, the concept of found family makes for some of my favorite stories on TV. The misfits that make up the Legends team are a prime example of people who normally wouldn’t be together or associate, but who have come together to form the perfect zany family unit.

Robert Falconer/The CW
Robert Falconer/The CW

When dealing with found family, there’s no storyline or trope that I love more than the character who initially objects to being a part of said family. Maybe they think they don’t need anyone’s help or like Zari, feel as though this is just a temporary stop on their journey. This storyline can come in a multitude of different ways, but seeing that character realize just how much they need the team and then become one of the best members of it is a story I will always love. Seeing Zari make this realization, after having to go through the time loop over and over and over again, was very rewarding. Ashe did a wonderful job of taking Zari across the spectrum of exasperation, frustration, joy and finally realization to how much she and this team need each other.

The other thing “Here I Go Again” did was showcase one of Legends’ biggest strengths, its ensemble cast. Sara may be the captain, but every single character is capable of stealing a scene or having an impactful moment. I find that when I’m watching Legends I never “zone out” when a particular character comes on screen the way I do with other shows. Even the way the show used the somewhat problematic Nate (Nick Zano) to assist Zari in a very meta-like way on her mission was enjoyable to watch here.

That ensemble even expanded in this episode to include the ship, Gideon (Amy Pemberton). While she regular steals scenes with her one liners, here she actually took on her human form and proved to be the brains behind the entire time loop. Gideon’s plan masterfully exposed everyone on the team’s secrets and proved once again that this “cheeky bot” is one of the best members of the team.

Robert Falconer/The CW
Robert Falconer/The CW

As secrets were exposed, Legends again proved that it isn’t afraid to be crazy or do things that may not make the most sense, but will bring a laugh. Case in point, who expected Mick (Dominic Purcell) to be a romance writer? Legends doesn’t care about what you expect or thought was planned. It constantly feels like it’s leaning into its strengths, whether that part of the story was planned or not. There are other shows I watch where it feels as if the writers are inflexible or reluctant to stray from the original season long arc that was planned. Legends not only feels willing to do that, but the writers seem open to stories that result in the most joy or that capitalize on chemistry between actors. Of course, I know the Legends writers ultimately have a plan, but the way they execute on it seems to result in surprising viewers in the best possible way.

A perfect example of this is the burgeoning romance between Sara and Agent Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan). It’s now clear that this season has been the perfect slow-build romance between the two, because at one time Agent Sharpe was nothing more than a huge thorn in Sara’s side. However, “Agent Sharpe” has now simply become “Ava” and there’s clearly a strong mutual affection shared between the women, as evident in their phone call this week. That slow build from adversaries to relying heavily on one another for not only mission support, but emotional comfort and advice as well, is one that takes considerable skill to execute and one rarely afforded for relationships between characters of the same sex. However, Legends has so far proven itself more than capable.

“Avalance” is routinely ticking all the qualifications I hold for some of my most favorite TV ‘ships. I find myself become more and more invested, and I cannot wait for the moment we finally seen these two act on their feelings. I won’t deny that it’s fun to see Sara turn on her charms and be freely allowed by the Legends writers to sleep with whoever she chooses and not have it shown as a bad thing. However, there’s something very rewarding about this build to a meaningful relationship for her and Ava. I mean after all, if anyone deserves happiness it’s our dear Captain Lance.

@CloneNic
@CloneNic

Now, as much as I enjoyed this episode of Legends of Tomorrow, I found the cliffhanger between Wally West and Rip Hunter in China to be a bit out of place. The episode had delivered on so many great emotional moments, and this just felt very tacked on. It was almost like an afterthought, and I don’t think the episode really needed it. However, I am excited to see Wally join the series and think he will make an intriguing addition to the Waverider team.

As long as Legends continues to bring the fun and emotional character moments as it did this week, then I suspect I’ll continue to have very few things to complain about. Sure, we didn’t get any huge advancements on the overall season plot or any new information on Mallus, but I quite enjoy when Legends embraces its goofiness. And if the end product is that Zari finally forms some close bonds with her teammates, well then I’m even more on board for that kind of trade-off.

 

What did you think of this week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow? Add your thoughts below!

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on CW and CTV Two.

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