Sunday, May 16, 2021

REVIEW: 'Legends of Tomorrow' - Zari and Constantine Enter a Singing Competition to Stop the Latest Alien in 'The Ex-Factor'

The CW's Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 6.03 "The Ex-Factor"

The Legends find themselves in 2045 trying to defeat an Alien warrior which leaves Zari no choice but to enter a popular singing competition. Ava has finally had enough of Rory's behavior and, with the encouragement of Spooner, gives him some tough love. Sara finds herself struggling after being attacked but someone familiar helps her to keep searching for refuge. Zari and Constantine have a much-needed conversation with each other.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Legends of Tomorrow.

"The Ex-Factor" was written by Grainne Godfree & Tyron Carter and directed by David Geddes

The Legends successfully convince an alien hellbent on invading and conquering Earth that the planet decides its leaders through a singing and dancing competition. It's absolutely ridiculous. And yet, it's a prescient and observant point as well. This world shows more of an affinity towards pop culture figures than the heads of nations. Of course, the lines between celebrity and politician have blurred increasingly over the last few decades. However, the Legends just have to distract this alien long enough to delay this invasion. They have to stop it from happening at all. That would be a serious diversion from the timeline. The Legends have already dramatically rewritten history once. That gave Zari this new life. She is still deeply connected to it as well. It could be strange and alienating solely because she comes from 2045. That is the present that remains grounded for her. She spent her life creating a brand. That life imploded for her. She embraced life as a Legend because it offered her perspective. And now, she and Constantine are verging on an actual relationship. They get to that point by the end of the episode even though the prospect absolutely terrifies them. Zari is rational when she tells her mother that this fling won't last. They are unable to commit to each other. They refuse to take the next step because they are frightened about what it could mean. They care about each other. They don't want to hurt the other. And yet, they can only prove that when they get on stage and bear all of their emotions for the world to see. Zari can sail through this competition as a celebrity. That status means something. It gives her an edge that allows her to stand out in this time period. That isn't always a benefit in these adventures. As such, her life remains complicated. She finds peace in the journey though. Her concerns aren't as vain as the people who used to be side-by-side with her in this endeavor. She has moved on with her life. She still keeps people she loves at a distance. That includes her mother. Behrad is open and honest with his feelings. He has a healthy relationship with his parents. He lies to them as well. He just doesn't actively push them away. That seems to be the pattern Zari has always embraced in her pursuit of fame and attention. Constantine wants to label her as being addicted to that. She craves it so much that this return to her world runs the risk of removing her from the team altogether. She is committed to the mission though. Ava trusts her completely. The new leader of the Waverider understands that the Legends have a certain way of doing things. They may create a mess that warps the timeline. However, they get the job done at the end of the day too. She needs that in order to find Sara. As such, she is willing to explore any ridiculous idea because she knows it could potentially lead to something great. She is open and willing in that regard. She gives herself over to the process of what it means to be a Legend. Of course, Spooner also has a point in saying that Rory's disobedience is disruptive to the team. He has always operated that way. And now, the show is indicating it comes from a depression due to him being the only original member of the team still here. Everyone else has moved on and returned to their former lives. They have made peace with no longer journeying through the timeline. Rory is devoted to finding Sara too. He actually comes up with a plan that can build on what Ava is trying to do. They must track down Kayla. She is the only alien who can actually provide answers. This adventure is a lot of fun. It's personal and expressive for Zari. She commits to her relationship with Constantine. They take that next step. That's a huge development. It's given the breathing room here to flourish. It's not dragged out in an annoying and agonizing way. Of course, the show is actively doing that with Sara and Gary at the moment. It's become quite a frustrating plot. One that treats everything as a serious episode-ending reveal. That final face she encounters doesn't really mean anything. Nor does seeing a bunch of Ava clones on this foreign planet. It doesn't make sense and the show is obviously in no rush to provide any meaningful answers. It's stalling. That's annoying and drags the rest of the narrative down with it. It doesn't even matter that Gary eats a bunch of those clones and is then horrified by what he has done.