After having one of their wackiest & fun episodes last week with P.T. Barnum, using the formula the series perfected with time travel in season two, this week took a step back towards the more serious side and dove into more of the plot for the season. Rip’s Time Bureau, namely Agent Gary, continues to be a presence and antagonist to the crew as they continue their chainsaw style way of fixing time after they broke it at the end of season two. While Gary is a bit of fun at times, it’s already feeling like the series might be leaning on him and the Time Bureau a bit too much so early.
“Zari” is interesting for a couple of reasons. First is that it introduces Zari Adrianna Tomaz, who the episode is named for of course, as a criminal hacker from the future and also the latest member of the Waverider crew. Her introduction continues the deeper dive into DC characters that the Arrowverse has done lately, as Zari is an adapted version of a character that appeared in the 70’s TV series The Secrets of Isis & in comics where she had ties to Black Adam & Shazam. The Isis name has been very understandably dropped for her new appearances. For the first time since Rip started the team and was part of the team, the crew adds someone from the future which is interesting since everyone except Mari is from our current day time. Hopefully this is a move to shake things up a bit more with the characters and where they come from. Soon enough there will be another potential space to add another crew member and they could use that chance to add another from a differing time period.
Another interesting aspect of the episode concerns ARGUS, the covert organization that has been a large part of the Arrowverse through Arrow. Formerly run by Amanda Waller, now led by Lyla Michaels the wife of Arrow’s Diggle, the organization has taken a far more sinister and overt police state style position in 2040s. Overall the year 2042 is nothing special in this show after all the dark and bright futures and pasts that the team has visited. What makes it slightly interesting is what happens with A.R.G.U.S. because it begs the question if this is something that potentially could be set in motion soon enough in the Arrowverse, since it was mentioned that meta-humans laws were enacted by 2021.
As mentioned up above, the reliance on the Time Bureau as a foe does drag things down because it doesn’t fully make sense that a group that can move through time instantly didn’t respond to their agent’s distress call faster than the Legends and didn’t show up to stop things till almost 3/4 of the way through the episode. Doesn’t help that the Legends are able to consistently make the Bureau look like utter fools. Kuasa though was a very scary and good foe for the team with not only her water powers but her deadly martial arts abilities and the fact that she comes off as menacing and a threat without even speaking most of the time. What the connection between Zari’s totem and Mari’s malfunctioning totem will be a potentially interesting storyline to follow.
What really saved this episode was that Mick and Nate were able to add some comic relief and levity to the otherwise heavy episode. Nate’s drug trip, using a drug to go on a vision trip with Mari, and nonsense that he spouted were chuckle worthy the entire time. His doing this to help Mari despite what happened between them before showed that he was still committed to her and cares about her. Mick just was himself for the most part which helped a lot from his constant anger at not being able to shoot anyone to his typical way to distract the enemy in the bar and the joy he had during the prison break scenes.
Overall this was a bit of a step down after last week’s episode, but overall it still wasn’t a bad episode of the series. Not compared to the slog that was much of season one. Even with a show as great as this one every episode cannot be a super gem. Season two reinvented the series but had it’s few struggle episodes as well. Last season the foes of the season were built up and revealed right away, while this season the first two episodes were spent mostly having fun with bits of the overall threat popping up. So it makes sense that this mostly storyline building episode had to happen sooner rather than later. It’s okay though because the stinger for the next episode that features young Ray in a homage to E.T. looks like it will definitely bring the fun again on Halloween.
Score: 8 out of 10