I feel like if you’re going to loop me through the same time line over and over again, you better bring some twists, turns, and surprises. This week’s Legends of Tomorrow, “Here We Go Again” definitely did that.
So we started off with a tried and true beginning: main character discovers they’re reliving the same thing over and over again, but no one else notices. After tampering with the ship to try and discover time loopholes that would allow her to travel to 2042 and save her family, Zari gets into a fight with Sara and must undo whatever she’s done to the ship. Of course she does so begrudgingly, but before she can restore Gideon, the ship explodes. It doesn’t just stop there, Zari learns she’s stuck in a time loop where the ship explodes every hour, and she must figure out a way to stop it.
See, this is where most Groundhog Day stories get boring for me, but Legends managed to pepper in enough humor and character fun that I wasn’t annoyed out of my mind by the time the ship blew up for the 100th time. After realizing there was no way she could figure out how to save the ship alone, Zari enlists the help of Nate, deciding that Sara would never believe her. With the help of Nate, Zari begins to investigate who could be blowing up the ship – Kuasa, Mick? The adventure leads to some pretty humorous discoveries: we learn that Amaya and Nate hooked up during their last mission (yawn) and that Mick may be the next E.L James.
But, eventually, after a montage of “well we’re going to die anyways” fun, Zari becomes desperate, and decides she has to tell Sara what’s going on.
Here’s where the twist get juicy (and a little complicated): at first, we’re led to believe that the bomb was planted by Damien Darhk during the last mission. But then just as Zari gives her “I know I’m a bad person but I appreciate you all and I’m sorry I was a bad person” speech before she sacrifices herself, Gideon reveals that Zari was actually knocked out by some goo when she first tried to repair the ship, and this was all a simulation to get Zari to accept Sara as her leader. Turns out there is a loophole that could save her family, but Zari needed to learn to chill out and cooperate before Gideon would reveal it to her. Boom. Groundhog day solved.
So the MVP goes to actress Tala Ashe, who does an amazing job at playing Zari this week. This entire episode rested on us going on an emotional journey with Zari that would eventually lead to her breakdown at the end of the episode. She played the different levels of emotions extremely well. I felt her through her initial shock of discovering she was in a time loop. I felt her exasperation in having to repeat the same bs every hour. I enjoyed her moments of humor when she decided to just enjoy being able to do whatever she wanted. And finally, I completely believed it when she attempted suicide after feeling hopeless.
The humor of this episode helped make it one of my favorite of the season. Even though Gideon reveals that Mick may or may not actually be a romance novelist, I loved that beat in the story. Also, wouldn’t it be great if the writers released a snippet of his writing? Ya’ll don’t want to read Mick’s sy-fy romance novel? Come on.
Speaking of romance, it makes me genuinely happy to watch Sara’s budding relationship with Agent Sharpe. It’s a slow burn, but given Sara’s admittance that she’s often tired and burdened with her position as captain, it’s nice to see something positive happening in her life. I also appreciate that it seems like it’s something that won’t fully payoff right away, which means it could turn out to be catastrophic later on.
While the twist at the end wasn’t my favorite (just because I have a personal vendetta against “it was all fake” endings), I loved that it was all a scheme cooked up by Gideon. We don’t get to see her often, in fact I think the last time we saw her was last season, so she’s still a bit of a mystery. But her ploy of creating a simulation ended up being beneficial for the entire team. How? Zari learned to chill out and trust Sara as her leader, but she also helped Sara realize how she’s been wrong. Sara’s been so against discovering time loops because she doesn’t want to think about saving her sister, but, as Zari tells her, she can’t let fear stop her. This also helped Ray admit that was told that he has to kill Sara if she ever uses Mallus’ powers again, which is probably a good thing in the long run. She even encourages Mick to keep writing, which is probably the sweetest moment we’ll see this season.
I loved that we got an insulated episode that only involved our main characters. Spending time with them this week was refreshing, and I love that their bond has strengthened, especially given all they’ve been through. This episode just helped remind me how much I truly do love them all both as individuals and as a team. Sigh… I just wish Stein and Jax could’ve been there too.
Season 3, Episode 11 (S03E11)
Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays at 8PM on The CW
Writer based in LA. Just trying to write good stuff while deep conditioning my hair.
Keep up with all of Vanessa’s reviews here.
Vanessa Jay | Contributor