Zari: Hedgehog Day!
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
Almost every time travel show has an episode where there is a time loop. This episode was Legends of Tomorrow’s attempt to do so (even hilariously referencing Groundhog Day). However to the episode’s credit it gives development to a character who was in great need of it and has fun with what is an overused concept.
The story is that Zari (Tala Ashe) and Sara (Caity Lotz) get into an argument after the team returns from a mission and Sara finds out Zari has been creating a simulation to look for loopholes in history. Shortly afterwards she finds herself in a time loop involving the Waverider blowing up that only she is aware of. Zari suspects the source might lie in the secrets of the team. However, in investigating them, she finds her place among them.
Ashe’s performance was the highlight of this episode. She does a wonderful job of portraying the annoyance, frustration, and fear of being unable to stop the time loop and being completely alone in it. And the writing around her involving her interactions with the rest of the team, work well both in terms of comedy and emotion. We also get to see a silly side of Zari as Nate (Nick Zano) suggests she goes through a fun montage with her trying on the team’s costumes, holding cue cards of what Ray (Brandon Routh) and Mick (Dominic Purcell) are about to say with a hilarious deadpan expression, throwing eggs at Mick, having a whipped cream binge, etc.
This is the second episode where we see the ship’s AI Gideon (Amy Pemberton) in her human form and while it is rare to see her in that form it does make her fascinating particularly when she explains her plan to Zari. Despite being an artificial intelligence she is quite advanced as she has developed a family-like attachment with the rest of the team and wants to see them succeed in their endeavors whether it be Sara’s relationship with Time Bureau Agent Ava Sharpe, Nate and Amaya’s (Maisie Richardson Sellers), or Mick’s writing. She even has somewhat of a twisted side as she hilariously reveals she put Gary Green (Adam Tsekhman) in the trash compactor during the simulation of the loop for sheer amusement.
The scene of Zari playing the violin to Vivaldi’s L’inverno greatly references Tala’s real life experience as a violinist and the music juxtaposed with the scenes of the Legends enjoying themselves would have been a great note to end the episode on. However we get one last post-credits sequence of the return of Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) meeting up with Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) as Wally proved to be a nice addition among the team in the long run (in some ways he was better here than he was on the Flash).
The episode does reveal that there was a bigger purpose to all this as if Zari had not gone through the simulation she would have left the team and without her totem there would be no chance of the Legends defeating Mallus which is an okay plot point but that isn’t the heart of this episode. The episode’s heart lies in Zari learning to explore her new home in both its area and its inhabitants and it works in a comedic and moving sense.