Once again, Legends Of Tomorrow is the only Arrowverse show to air as the Olympics are in full swing, but if you watched it, you were treated to a fun and emotional episode that perfectly encaptured all that is great about the show. Here's what happened:
Legends Of Tomorrow 3x11 "Here I Go Again"
We open on Zari, trying to upload a simulator to the ship's server while the team is out on a mission. She built the simulator to figure out a way to save her brother in the future, but the upload fries the server and Gideon goes offline just as the team, decked out in funky disco outfits, arrive back. Sara is not pleased with Zari's mistake and the two get in an argument, which leads to Zari storming off to fix Gideon in anger. However, in the process, she pulls on a small tube and is shot in the face with some green goop. She then continues fixing the ship but is interrupted by a gigantic explosion. A second later, she finds herself back in time five minutes to when she was arguing with Sara. Bewildered, she goes to various team members to ask about deja vu, but no one else knows what she's experiencing, so she returns to her task of fixing Gideon again. The same thing happens with the goop, only she's smart enough to avoid getting it in the face. Then there's another explosion, and she's back to her fight with Sara. Desperate for Sara to understand, she grabs Sara's arm, and Sara twists her arm back, so Ray takes her to the med bay and sedates her (for a twisted arm?) and she zones out. Guess where she wakes up. Yep, back into her argument with Sara. This time, she calls the Legends back into the room and she tries to explain that they need to find the bomb before it explodes, but of course she's sounding crazy so no one listens and Mick takes her back to the med bay to be sedated. Thus begins a series of cuts to tell us that her time loop goes on and on and on.
Only after a few times, she develops a sedative immunity and as she's sneaking out of the med bay, she runs into Nate, who's willing to believe her theory and tells her to find him in the next loop and say "Groundhog Day." She does (well, she says 'hedgehog day', but he gets it eventually) and he agrees to help her (though these next few scenes involve a lot of cuts in which the bomb explodes and she has to reset. They're well-done cuts, though. Legends is never shy on humour). She realizes that the blast came from inside the ship so someone on it must have done it. The pick the most suspicious person, Mick, and check out his quarters. In a locked box they find a typewriter and a sci-fi erotica novel he's been writing (the guy who does more grunting than speaking is a writer?), but other than that, he's clear. Then they hit Ray because he's been shifty around Sara, but he straight up tells Zari that it's due to Constantine's advise to kill Sara if Mallus comes back to her. So then they decide to try Sara. Ray and Zari shrink down and follow her into the jumpship where she hides out from the team and flirts with Ava over a video chat. Cute, but not bomb-related. However, one thing that does come from this is that Zari overhears Sara say that she thinks Zari is important to the team.The only one they don't really check on is Amaya, but her subplot for the episode is that she and Nate don't know if they should be together or not. They like each other, but they almost ruined the mission by hooking up during it, so they're hesitant.
With no more ideas, and having relived the hour before the bomb many, many times, Zari is very tired. Nate then suggests that she takes her hour and has fun instead. So they eat whipped cream, she plays the violin, she reads Mick's novel, and many other things in a hilarious montage. But that fun quickly turns to seriousness as Zari is still so tired and frustrated. So tired and frustrated that she decides she's the cause of the loop and grabs a gun to shoot herself and end it. Luckily the gun is empty, and but it's shocking enough that Sara agrees to hear her out and help. The team gathers and as Zari explains what she's tried so far, Mick throws something in the trash chute, only for it to come flying out. They head down and trapped in the trash compactor is Gary from the Bureau. Before he can explain his presence, Mick grabs the thing he's holding and crushes it, which is a bad move because as Gary explains, that thing was what he's been using to cause the loops as an attempt to keep the team alive to find him (he got there because he misjudged his portal skills) and now that it's broken, they can't loop again and they're all going to die. Gary doesn't have the bomb, so they decide that it must have come from their last mission. They head back up and find a cassette player that Mick had. Sure enough, inside is a bomb.
And if you though Zari's little suicide stint with the gun was bad, prepare yourselves for what's to come. Since there are only a few minutes left and they can't figure out a way to disarm it, Zari takes it and locks herself behind a force field wall. She then says a teary and beautiful goodbye to them all. She tells Mick to keep writing, she tells Ray to be honest with Sara, she tells Nate and Amaya to just be happy together, she tells Sara that she's a great captain, and then she says that they're all her family and she loves them. Then she uses her totem and tries to contain the explosion as the timer hits zero.
She doesn't die. She finds herself on the ship, but only one person is there with her: Gideon, in her human form. Gideon explains to Sara that this was all fake. The loop was fake and Zari is actually in the med bay after an injury sustained while fixing the ship. She created this simulation based on truth (so Mick really is writing a book) because Gideon realized that in order for Zari to save her brother, she needs to stay with the Legends. You see, Zari wanted to leave the ship after her argument with Sara, and if she does, she won't be able to change the future, so Gideon created a scenario in which Zari would have to work with the team and grow closer to them so she'd realize how valued she was to them and how much of a family they are to her. Gideon, you're a crazy genius. Zari wakes up for real and tries to prove her story to Sara and Ray by forcing Ray to admit Constantine's advice to Sara. He does, and Sara agrees with it. Sara also says that since Zari's brother is in her future, Sara is okay with them working to save him. Then Zari uses her new knowledge to help the team. She advises Nate and Amaya to sort out their relationship, she gives Mick some writing advice, and she suggests Sara ask out Ava. The last scene is of Wally West(!) in China meditating when he's approached by Rip Hunter to help save the world. Colour me stoked!
All in all, a really great episode. The Groundhog Day trope is one that's been done a lot in media, but Legends Of Tomorrow is crazy enough to do it so well and have it feel so natural as an episode. Tala Ashe, who plays Zari, gave a wonderful performance, and I think it was a really needed episode because Zari's introduction and inclusion on the team was so fast all those episodes ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
What are your thoughts on the episode? Did you love it as much as I did? Leave a comment with your thoughts. And don't forget, next week The Flash and Arrow return.