Legends of Tomorrow: Zari, Not Zari

"Wait, are we screaming because this is weird, or because this is awesome?"

The Legends do a crossover with Supernatural, sort of, and we learn that Dean Winchester is Sara Lance's hall pass.

Right. Now that I have Billie's attention...

Wow. That is a lot to process.

Part of me thinks that it's probably a positive thing that they had an unplanned few weeks' break between Ray's departure and this follow-up episode. It allowed us all to kind of deal with his leaving before they picked up on the storyline, which is good. Because having a character that significant leave is a big deal, and moving immediately on to the next plot development as if nothing happened really hocks off the regular viewer while wallowing in the loss can be a big turn off to the casual viewer. It's a tricky needle to thread, and usually 'taking a few weeks off' is your best option. Plus, you know, those sorts of things usually happen at the end of sweeps when everybody needs a break to crunch the viewing figures anyway.

They did the same thing, albeit intentionally that time, when Jax left halfway through season three, if you recall.

Spoiler warning for this next bit, so if you haven't watched the episode yet, turn back now. Normally I leave this sort of thing for later in the review so as to not accidentally ruin it for the casual clicker, but it really does need to be addressed at this point in the discussion. I'll throw in a cute picture from Nick Zano's Instagram feed to fill a bit of space.

#TeamPalmWood4Ever

OK, so Ray's leaving at the end of the previous episode was a huge loss for Nate. Imagine, then, that seven days later (our calendar) we watch him immediately also lose his other best friend when Behrad is suddenly and brutally cut down by the literal hand of fate. Sure, we know that the loss of Ray is the bigger deal and that Behrad wasn't really supposed to be there anyway, but as far as Nate knows, he, Ray, and Behrad were a threesome (easy...), which became a duet, and then almost immediately a solo. If it hadn't been for a passing global pandemic causing a schedule change, they would have happened too rapidly.  That would have been almost unbearably soul-crushing to watch Nate go through and I do wonder if they altered anything about the tone of things once they knew there would be a gap.

So, Behrad is dead. Probably capital 'D' Dead, although I've been wrong before. If you'd asked me after the airing of 'Hey, World' how I'd feel when Behrad was finally removed so that Zari could re-take her place, I would have told you that I'd be throwing a party and breathing a sigh of relief. It's just a personal preference, but alternate universe storylines do almost nothing for me. Even 'The Wish' is a slog for me, and that gave the world Evil Vampire Willow. But thanks to Shayan Sobhian's portrayal of Behrad, and his natural chemistry with Tala Ashe, Behrad's death really hit me, and felt both unexpected and inevitable at the same time. I'll miss him. The moment that really made the tragedy of the whole thing quicken was when Zari, Nate, and Behrad begin theorizing happily about what life on the Waverider had been like before Zari changed history and it never once occurs to any of them what the real implications are of Zari having had the totem.

It's interesting, because the showrunners are finally showing their hand as to what this season is really about, but they've very courteously not beating us over the head with it. The point of this season was never about the Encores, or Astra, although they provided a nice gateway to it. At the end of season four, the Legends changed fate. They took what was supposed to happen and completely threw out the design plans. This season, fate hits them back, hard. It's been a nice subtheme underneath everything so far, and having Charlie be one of the actual Fates so that they could make that metaphor literal was a genius touch.

I can't be the only one to have been overjoyed at seeing Zari Tomaz' return, however briefly. I'm not 100% sure that the overwritten timeline version of Zari ending up in the totem really makes sense, but who cares when it allows Tala Ashe to absolutely crush it as Zaris Tomaz and Tarazi coming to terms with herself. Zari Tomaz basically tells the audience, 'Hey, this new version is OK. It's OK for you to like her.' Plus it really shows off all of the subtle ways that Tala Ashe has been differentiating the characters.

Meanwhile, on the set of Supernatural in British Columbia, 2020, all of that show's crew has been killed by one of the fates and turned into zombies, which not only gives an in-universe justification for the rest of their season being delayed, but just feels right. I mean, if it was going to happen to the crew of any show...

 Sara giving in to her inner fan-girl over Sam and Dean was a delight, and we were all desperately hoping for one or both of the boys to show up even for a moment, but I get why that wasn't possible. You just know they tried, though. Oh, and speaking of things that feel right about that situation, you just know that if a mystical piece of the Loom of Fate was buried somewhere in the world, Supernatural would end up filming something there. They just would.

I want full credit for guessing that the Coin Maker in Hell would turn out to be one of the Fates, although in hindsight the one thing we knew about her was that she was able to control the literal length of a human being's life, so maybe I shouldn't break my arm patting myself on the back over that one. So, the Coin Maker is really the third Fate, Lachesis, and she seems comfortable hanging where she is and letting Atropos do all the wetwork.  That makes sense given their respective roles.

Sarah Strange brings a great energy to Lachesis and really gives the sense that she's been doing other things without her sisters for a very, very long time. That makes her knowledge about John Constantine and his friend Charlie feel organic instead of gratuitous, as it certainly would have in the hands of a lesser actor. It does strike me as a bit odd that she didn't sense that Charlie was her sister, but hey – it's been a long time.

And then there was Ava and Mick. Look, I like that they continue to let Ava exist as more than Sara's girlfriend, and she actually does team very well with Mick, but I just don't understand what the point is of the 'Mick has a daughter' side plot. I'm sure it will tie in somehow later, and the montage of his drop in visits was absolutely wonderful (Lita trick-or-treating as Captain Cold!), but for here and now it just feels like a pointless waste of episode time in an episode that already had a lot to do. Perhaps they're just trying to give Dominic Purcell some more interesting material. God knows he deserves it. And man did he nail the 'Mick Rory sees his infant daughter for the first time moment' here.



Everybody remember where we parked:

John Constantine took the jump ship to British Columbia 2020, where Supernatural Season 15 was being filmed. While there, the jumpship is destroyed. We assume by Atropos, but I don't think they explicitly said so. Maybe it was Jensen Ackles? I was a little confused as to why they were stuck there since Sara and Charlie Time Couriered in, but on a re-watch I see that Ava created the portal with a Courier she was wearing but then stayed behind herself. The fact that I had to go back and re-watch it probably means that it could have been a little clearer.

Ava and Mick, meanwhile, use the aforementioned Time Courier (do they only have one at this point?) to hop into Mick's daughter's life every couple of years to create a scrapbook and memories. It felt forced to me that Lita was so unchanged by those visits, since she seemed blissfully happy in all of them until Mick brought the scrapbook



Bits and Pieces:

-- It was a nice touch that they brought the same actors back to play members of The Smell during the opening sequence.

-- This time, the change in time that they sensed in order to begin the plot was the slaughter of Charlie's bandmates. Speaking of, in reference to the newspaper headline about that, 'Terror at the Hole' would make a great band name.

-- It seems that the habits and behaviors of Zari Tomaz are starting to subconsciously seep into Zari Tarazi. Particularly; skill at video games, hacking, and crawling into bed with Nick Zano. One can hardly criticize her for that last one.

-- The opening scene had a very Terminator 3 feel to it. Probably deliberately.

-- So now Zari also is desperate to get the Loom of Fate to save Berhad. And to that end she's vowed to stick by John Constantine's side. After the two of them doing Shakespeare last episode, I would absolutely love it if the twist was that it was Zari Tomaz who loved Nate, and Zari Tarazi is going to wind up with Constantine.

-- While the change of Zari's last name this season is useful for distinguishing between them, if they didn't both begin with 'T' I wouldn't have to type them out in full every time. I'm just saying.

-- Mick apparently tried to deliver a teddy bear to an angry sixteen-year-old off screen. He really doesn't know anything about parenting.

-- It's strange to consider that Atropos' old job was to literally kill every single person that existed.

-- Did Sara just get caught up in the moment or are we supposed to believe that the prop people on Supernatural just keep an actual trunk full of functioning weapons in the Impala?

-- I was hoping Atropos would put the two blades together to make a scissors when she cut the thread of Berhad's life. Call me a traditionalist.

-- They're clearly planting the seeds for a big reveal about Sara. I think the rumor is that she's going to get powers of some sort? I don't know, I'm not a huge behind the scenes guy. And hey, isn't Ryan Choi supposed to show up at some point?

-- Why do they keep mentioning that they need to stop the Encores? They made a deal about the Encores having been called back to Hell a couple episodes back. Which is it, show?

-- Dear Show, there are other ways, if one has a timeship, to go back and prevent a pregnancy. You don't always have to default to kicking someone in the balls really hard. It's honestly starting to concern me that that's your go-to.


Quotes:

Charlie: "It doesn’t have to be a walk of shame if you enjoyed it. But if you’re walking at all, you didn’t enjoy it enough."

Lachesis: "You smell of that slowly dying world filled with apathy."

Sara: "It’s a show about two hot brothers who fight demons. I wonder if the Winchester Brothers are here!"

Zari: "Someone who dresses like a teenage boy and who makes me do awful things like eat donuts and cuddle with Nate."

Zari Tomaz: "Wow. New me came out shockingly self-absorbed."

Zari Tarazi: "Wait, does that mean Nate was right? Are you the cooler me?"

Behrad: "Uh, Ava. We have a problem. There is a very slinky lady in a red leather pantsuit on the ship, which usually I would be into, but she’s giving off a super ‘I want to kill you in the worst possible way’ vibe."

Atropos: "You don’t belong here. No more defying fate."

I love a lot about this episode, not least seeing Zari 1.0 again, but the Mick and Ava stuff just takes me right out of things. Even though the two of them are a lot of fun together.

For the sake of Baby, seven out of ten Impalas.

Mikey Heinrich is, among other things, a freelance writer, volunteer firefighter, and roughly 78% water. You can find more of his work at the 42nd Vizsla.

6 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Enjoyable episode and the crossover was really cute, but I just wish they'd gotten someone in the Supernatural cast to stop by, too. :) And Mikey, you're absolutely right that the stuff with Mick and his daughter really didn't work.

percysowner said...

I admit, I'm hoping the producers fell as much in love with Behrad as I (and a lot of fandom) did. I'd love for him to come back and then have a Wonder Twins Unite! moment. I suspect you are right and it won't happen, but I've come to love Behrad.

I admit, I'm concerned that Mick's daughter may end up on the Waverider in an attempt to bring in younger viewers. I'd rather have Behrad than an angry teen. This isn't a spoiler, just the only reason I can see for introducing her.

I'm all for New Zari and Constantine getting together. They had mad chemistry in the Shakespeare scene.

Ryan Choi joining the crew makes sense, but I haven't heard any rumblings one way or the other. Part of the issue with Ray being the Atom was the the effects for the suit were pretty expensive, so IF we get Ryan Choi, they will have to make sure that whatever his power is, it's not effects intensive.

I really did enjoy the episode and it is moving things along plot wise.

Josie Kafka said...

I'm embarrassed to admit that I really hadn't realized how much of an impact Behrad's death would have on Nate. That's a really excellent point, Mikey.

We haven't seen Nate go full sad at any point, have we? His breakup with Amaya was handled in a hiatus and some flashbacks.

I wonder if this will turn out to be an "alternate universe storyline" or a "new world" storyline. I've been assuming the latter. Especially since my sudden desire to ship Constantine and Zari.

It also hadn't occurred to me that there was a possibility that Mick's daughter would join the crew. I am not a fan of that idea, although the actress seems awesome. A youngster would just seem like...well, like a Cousin Oliver/Scrappy Doo situation.

Mikey Heinrich said...

The actress who plays Lita is pretty great.

Perhaps they're preparing the ground for a Young Legends spinoff with Mick's daughter, Sara's secret younger cousin, 10 year old Behrad rescued from earlier in his timeline, and a fifteen year old clone of Nate.

I would absolutely watch that.

I thought the plan from the get go was that Ryan Choi was going to join the group as the new Atom. Although now I have no idea where I heard that. Maybe I just imagined it.

CoramDeo said...

Maybe it's just my love for the cast of the new Lost In Space (particularly Mina Sundwall), but I really like Mick's daughter. It did differ to ally from the rest a little too much, though, so I'll give you that.

Behrad was never gonna be long for this world, but I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I liked him in the time he was around. Great performances here from both Shayan Sobhian and Tala Ashe.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if it ever got officially confirmed, but Ryan Choi is the name of the Atom who took over from Ray in the comics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom_(Ryan_Choi), so that, along with Ray being confirmed leaving, made everyone assume he would take the mantle.