Warning: This contains spoilers. For how to watch Legends of Tomorrow, click here.
Last episode of Legends of Tomorrow ended with a servant of Mallus summoning forth Kuasa (Tracy Ifeachor) from the water, Lady-in-the-Lake-style. Although we don’t get any further clues about Mallus in Episode 3, the episode does at least put Kuasa front and centre, along with the team’s new addition, Zari, both of whom appear to have a strong connection to Amaya. Unfortunately, the episode itself is a little dull, despite a handful of good moments.
The episode begins in Seattle, 2042, where Time Bureau Agent Gary (remember him?) witnesses Kuasa using her water-controlling powers to stage an attack on an armoured vehicle and sends a distress signal. The Legends answer the distress call and discover that Kuasa’s intended target was Zari Adrianna Tomaz (Tala Ashe). When they track her down, they learn that meta-humans and religions are both outlawed in 2042, which sucks for Zari because she’s a Muslim, something the show tells us several times, just in case we missed it.
Zari recruits the Legends to help her free her brother from jail, but she tricks them, as it turns out her brother is dead and what she’s actually after is her brother’s air totem, which gives her the power to control the air, just like Kuasa controls water and Amaya controls animal spirits. Kuasa tries to get the totem from Zari, so the Legends fight her off and that’s pretty much it in terms of the plot, aside from Agent Ava Sharpe showing up to threaten Sara again and losing a game of Time Stream Chicken. (Just why the Time Bureau use a Time Ship this week when it’s already been established they use Time Portals to travel everywhere is unclear.)
Meanwhile, in a comedy subplot, Nate helps Amaya go on a Vision Quest to discover what’s happening with her powers, and ends up getting absurdly high in the process. Nick Zano gives the whole dopey stoner thing his best shot, but the net result is about as entertaining as… well, as watching someone else absurdly high on drugs. Still, the Vision Quest is a success for Amaya, as she meets one of her ancestors, who tells her that the totem has increased in power because she’s about to face a significant threat, which pretty much confirms that the totems are going to be tied into Mallus in some way, when he, she or it eventually shows up.
Anyway, Amaya gains full control of her powers in time to fight off Kuasa, who disappears with a cryptic comment along the lines of “I can’t kill you – it would be like killing myself”. For those of you who haven’t watched the animated series Vixen, Kuasa is present-day Vixen Mari McCabe’s sister, and therefore Amaya’s granddaughter, but Amaya doesn’t know that yet. We get a nice reference to the series, when Ray says “I fought someone with water powers like this a few years ago”, even though he doesn’t actually realise he’s fighting the exact same person.
Action-wise, the highlight of the episode is once again a kick-ass Sara Lance fight sequence, although this time she kind of loses, when she faces off against Kuasa in a bar. Kuasa’s fighting style is actually pretty cool (it’s sort of dance-like), so no doubt there will be a rematch in the not too distant future.
The episode ends with everyone dimly realising that, hey, maybe these totem things are all tied together in some way, and Zari agreeing to join the team, because she’s super-excited about time-travel and also has impressive hacking skills that will probably come in handy at some point.
All in all, this is a fairly dull episode that fails to do anything interesting with the idea of a totalitarian 2042 – worse, the Legends don’t even acknowledge it as a future that they maybe ought to do something to prevent. Guess that’s what happens when your actual reality has President Trump in it – totalitarian regimes seem like a logical consequence. The episode’s also fairly weak on comedy and character interaction, with the Time Bureau stuff feeling like a lazy rehash of material we’ve already seen. Still, the addition of Zari to the team should make for some fun new dynamics in future episodes. Come back next time when Young Ray Palmer meets an E.T.-like alien in the 1980s!
Footnotes of tomorrow
– It has already been announced that Victor Garber will be leaving Legends this season, which probably explains why he has so little screen time this episode. He’s briefly involved with giving Amaya a medical check-up, but is otherwise nowhere to be seen, most notably when high-as-a-kite Nate is forced to fly the Waverider, even though Stein is still on board somewhere at that point.
– Superhero-savvy internet sources are convinced that Zari is closely modelled on a D.C. character called Isis and that seems pretty plausible. The name Isis has unfortunate connotations in this day and age, so the name change makes a lot of sense.
– Mick is criminally under-used this week, but he does get two fun moments – the first, when he gets frustrated, because he really wants to shoot someone, but his friends keep getting in the way, and the second, when he delivers the line “Prison Break? I’m in…”
Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 is available on Sky 1 every Wednesday, within a week of its US broadcast. Don’t have Sky? You can stream it live or catch up on-demand through NOW TV, as part of a £7.99 monthly subscription, no contract. A 14-day free trial is available for new subscribers.