Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 3, Episode 3 - Zari

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.




Plot

When Sara receives a distress call from her "good friend" Gary, The Legends move in to help capture a time-traveling assassin. Unfortunately, their efforts to help her target - an outlaw named Zari - only makes the anachronism worse. At the same time, Stein tries to diagnosis Amaya's condition, which now has her summoning animal spirits in her sleep.


Influences

The comic X-Men: Days Of Future Past (a dark future where super-powers are illegal) and the movie The Terminator (idea of a time-traveling assassin, Nate quotes the movie)


Goofs

Sara Lance, Mick Rory and Ray Palmer are all listed on the metahuman registry despite not having superpowers. (Perhaps the registry also includes ordinary humans with extraordinary training or technology or any vigilante/criminal with a code-name regardless of whether or not they have powers?)


Artistry

The fight scene in which Nate, Sara and Ray take down a team of ARGUS agents - much to Mick's annoyance since he doesn't get time to shoot someone - is well-executed.



Trivia Of Tomorrow

The episode title comes from the name of Zari Tomaz - the new Legend introduced in this episode.

Zari Tomaz is a character unique to the DCTVU, though her name is inspired by that of Adrianna Tomaz - the woman who became The Mighty Isis in the post-Crisis DC Comics Universe. She is armed with The Wind Totem, which gives her the power of flight and the ability to control the element of air.

The Mighty Isis was a heroine originally created for the 1970s children's program The Shazam/Isis Hour which also starred the Billy Batson version of Captain Marvel a.k.a. Shazam.

The Mighty Isis was introduced into the DC Comics universe formally during the mini-series 52. Here, she was an Egyptian woman named Adrianna Tomaz (an homage to the original heroine's secret identity of Andrea Thomas) who was rescued by Black Adam. She would befriend him and eventually the two would fall in love, with Black Adam giving her the Amulet of Isis that allowed her to transform in much the same manner that he did.

This episode is the first of the third season to feature a new introduction, delivered by Sara Lance.

Kuasa is a character unique to The DCTVU, who first appeared in the Vixen animated series. The older sister of Mari McCabe and granddaughter of Amaya Jibe, her battle with her sister for control of The Anansi Totem lay up the heart of the first season of the Vixen animated series.

In the second season of Vixen, the sisters were forced to team up when Mari returned to the land of her birth to fight Eshu - the warlord who had destroyed her home village - who was now armed with a magical Fire totem. Kuasa attempted to turn on her sister using the Water totem they had retrieved together, only to be killed by Eshu in the battle which followed. The Water totem gave Kuasa the power to transform her body into pure water and control water around her - a power she retains following her resurrection.

Based on Kuasa's fights with Ray and Sara in this episode, it appears that her water form has enhanced strength and durability as she is able to trade blows with Ray in The ATOM Suit. She is able to beat Sara handily in a fight, due to Sara's attacks not phasing her and her attacks hitting Sara much harder than they seem they should. She may also have some form of enhanced speed (but not on the level of a speedster) as she is able to dodge and block Sara's attacks with little effort and her background does not suggest much in the way of martial training - at least not on par with a member of the League of Assassins.

Gary - the Time Agent who Sara slept with - has his full name revealed in this episode as Gary Green. It's worth noting that comics have a tradition of alliterative names, which started with Clark Kent (Superman) and continued through Peter Parker (Spider-Man), Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Sue Storm (Invisible Woman) and all the way up to Jessica Jones in the modern day.

At one point, Jax comments that ARGUS - whom Ray identifies as a covert paramilitary organization - seems to have forgotten how to be covert as they are now driving around in large black military vehicles with their logo stamped on everything. This seems to be a mocking jibe at Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD, which centers upon a similar organization that features prominent branding on all of their vehicles and equipment despite supposedly being a covert organization few people know about.

Zari asks The Legends to help break her brother out of prison. Mick Rory says the words "Prison Break" ponderously before agreeing to help. Dominic Purcell - the actor who plays Mick Rory - is also one of the stars of the show Prison Break.


Technobabble

In The Time Bureau, a Code 99 is apparently the code for either a rogue metahuman attack or a request for back-up. Gary Green issues one when Kuasa kills the two ARGUS guards transporting Zari Tomaz.

Stein describes Amaya's sleepwalking while wall-crawling as "Acute Arachnid Somnambulism."

ARGUS drones are equipped with lasers.

Stein suggests testing Amaya for an overactive hippocampus, latent chromosomal imbalance and temporal dysplasia.

Lyoga Root is a Zambesi plant known for its spiritual healing properties. A powerful hallucinogen, it is used by Zambesi mystics to go on vision quests.

Jannah means 'sanctuary' in Arabic. Literally, it translates as "paradise". In Islamic tradition, it is also the name of the highest level of Heaven but is also used to refer to The Garden of Eden and any sort of symbolic paradise or haven.


Dialogue Triumphs

Sara: (voice-over) How will we be remembered? Will it be for saving the world twice? Nope! We're the team that broke Time. That's right! History has been torn to shreds. Which means it's up to us to put it back together again, piece-by-piece, fixing these so-called anachronisms before we get torn to shreds. So please, don't call us heroes - We're Legends.

Stein: You're not supposed to wake a sleepwalker! Especially when they're stuck to the ceiling!

Sara: The last time I checked, we help people who are in trouble.
Rory: I don't.

(As the team watches a large military vehicle drive past.)
Ray:
 (identifying the logo) That's ARGUS - covert paramilitary organization.
Jax: Yeah, but it seems they've forgotten how to be covert.

Nate: (To Zari) Come with us if you want to live.
Ray: Yeah, I used that one, once.

(Jax, Mick, Sara and Ray enter the bar. Ray is wearing a backwards black ball-cap, an eye-patch and a clearly glued-on soul-patch goatee and crossing his arms in an attempt to look tough.)
Sara: Too much, Ray. Too much.
Ray: What? I look like a just robbed a bank!
Jax: Or a costume store.

Zari: I can't believe it! You guys are time-traveling superheroes?!
Ray: Yeah! We've actually saved the world. Twice. Not that we're counting.
Zari: Really? You saved the world?
Ray: Twice!
Zari: Then why does it still suck?
Jax: Uh- just for the record, dealing with that messed up police-state of yours? That's on our to-do list.

Sara: Nate? How are we doing with that rescue?
Nate: (as Scotty from Star Trek) I'm giving her all she's got, Captain! The ship can't take much more of this!
Gideon: Actually, Dr. Heywood, the engines are still idling.
(Cut to outside The Waverider, where it is revealed the ship is hovering and birds are flying past it. It turns out that the visuals of the ship moving at great speed were part of Nate's hallucination.)
Nate: (intensely) Then why does it feel like my face is peeling off?
Jax: Dude, are you high or something?!
Nate: You have no idea...

Kuasa: So you do have it. But are you capable of using it?
Zari: What are you offering for the totem?
Kuasa: I can give you what you really want, Zari. What you want more than that little trinket. I can give you revenge.

(Rory draws his gun and sets himself between Ray and Kuasa)
Rory: If anyone's gonna kill Haircut, it's me, lady!
Ray: (genuinely touched) Awww. Thanks Mick.
Rory: Pleasure.

Kuasa: (To Amaya) I would kill you, but I'd just be killing myself.


Continuity

The Seattle of 2042 is a police state with an anti-metahuman curfew at night.

Kuasa frees an imprisoned woman in 2042 - later revealed to be Zari Tomaz.

Gary the Time Agent, first referred to in 301 and first seen in 302, is now identified with the full name Gary Green.

Ray Palmer refers to the events of Vixen: Season Two and how he once fought someone with water powers.

Nate quotes the movie The Terminator to Zari, when he says "Come with us y Ray notes that he made the same quote. He did this in 112.

Metahumans were declared illegal by The Metahuman Act of 2021.

This future seems to contradict what we see of The Future in the pilot episode of The Flash, where a newspaper headline from 2024 seemed to depict The Flash still operating openly.

Zari is capable of hacking an ARGUS drone in seconds so it does not recognize her as a threat.

Gideon determines that there is nothing physically wrong with Amaya.

Zari Tomaz's rap sheet includes burglary, larceny, grand larceny, identity theft, trespassing, digital trespassing, metahuman smuggling, conspiracy and multiple religious infractions due to her being a devout Muslim.

Religion is illegal in 2042.

Mick Rory had a regular bar in Seattle, which is still around in 2042, though the decor is greatly changed.

Zari has no idea who Kuasa is but can think of several reasons why people would want her dead.

Zari agrees to help The Legends if they help break her brother out of an ARGUS holding facility

Ray has Gideon synthesize Lyoga Root extract so that Amaya can go on a spirit quest to find out what is wrong with her powers. He tests the extract on himself first.

Jax elects to free all the prisoners in the ARGUS Black Site after discovering that the metahumans are being tortured as part of some kind of experiment.

Zari lied about needing to rescue her brother. In truth, she needed to recover a necklace that belonged to him.

The necklace is revealed to be The Wind Totem, counterpart to the Fire Totem used by Eshu and the Water Totem used by Kuasa. Zari is able to use it to fly and create focused blasts of compressed air.

Mick's nickname for Nate is "Pretty" or "Prettyboy."

Amaya has a vision of "the world between worlds" and speaks to an ancestral spirit who informs her that her powers are growing stronger because a threat is coming that requires she become more powerful. It also says that she cannot fight this threat alone and must find and protect a girl who is destined to become a totem barer like her. It also advises her to trust her powers and not resist them.

Zari was captured the first time trying to recover the Wind Totem after her brother was killed and ARGUS took it. Ray follows her to a sanctuary where she and her parents were supposed to meet. Zari believes her parents to be dead, killed by ARGUS as well.

The Time Bureau also has access to large Time Ships.

Kuasa offers to help Zari get revenge on ARGUS for destroying her family in exchange for The Wind Totem. Zari rejects her help.

Kuasa has some form of runestone that allows her to teleport.

Ava Sharpe calls The Waverider to tell them that whatever leniency Rip Hunter gave them in the past is over and she intends to banish The Legends to the dawn of time if she sees them again.

Amaya has gotten control of The Anansi Totem again. She confirms that Zari is the "girl" in her vision that her fate is entwined with, whom she must protect.

Zari agrees to join The Legends.

The final scene of the episode, set in Ivy Town 1988, depicts a young Ray Palmer, hiding from some bullies in a sewer pipe and saying hello to some manner of creature.


Location

Seattle - 2042.
Ivy Town - 1988.


The Fridge Factor

Stein and Nate discussing Amaya's condition in front of her like she isn't there and "mansplaining" her own powers to her.


The Bottom Line

A solid introduction for Zari and easily the strongest episode of the show to date. While The Legends still indulge in some tremendously stupid behavior, at least this time it is being done for believable reasons (i.e. Sara butting heads with Ava Sharpe, Jax wanting to stop people being tortured leading to a bigger prison break than planned, Nate wanting to help Amaya out of love, etc.) and the execution of the story is far stronger. More episodes like this in Season Three, please!

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