Legends of Tomorrow season 3, episode 16 recap: Consequences of time

DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW via CWPR
DC's Legends of Tomorrow -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW via CWPR /

This week’s Legends of Tomorrow revealed the secrets of Ava’s past and forced Amaya to confront the reality of her future.

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Although last week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow was bad, “I, Ava” got things back on track. Funnily enough, the two episodes had a lot in common. Both dealt with identity issues and totemic minutia, but this week’s installment lacks the melodrama that made “Necromancing the Stone” such a bummer. Superhero angst just doesn’t fit with Legends laid-back vibe.

Also, I really appreciated that everything in this episode felt motivated. The team made logical decisions based on the circumstances they were faced with. And nobody did anything because the plot demanded it. And since Legends is by far the lowest stakes of Arrowverse show, storytelling consistency is quintessential.

One of the best things about this episode of Legends of Tomorrow was that its narrative was derived from the show’s history. For months now, we’ve known that Ava has a big secret and tonight we found out what it was. We also saw Amaya deal with the fact that she has a destiny to fulfill. At some point, she has to return to Zambesi, get married and have kids and die in 1992. If she doesn’t, a series of anachronisms will disrupt the time stream.

Even Sara had to face the fact that she broke up with someone she really cares for a stupid reason. Hopefully, the show’s producers keep up this level of consistent storytelling for the season’s remaining two episodes.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW via CWPR
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW via CWPR /

“Do you know how hard it is to get an acting gig Fresno?”

“I, Ava” began by neatly setting up a dual narrative. Sara (Caity Lotz) and Ray (Brandon Routh) set off to find Ava (Jes Macallan) after Gary (Adam Tsekhman) revealed she had gone missing. Sara left Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) in charge and she dispatched Nate (Nick Vento) and Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) to aid modern-day Vixen, who had been injured after being rendered powerless by Amaya losing her totem. When visiting Vixen at the hospital, Nate and Wally encountered Kuasa (Tracy Ifeachor), who was actually protecting her sister. Meanwhile, Nate’s team convinced Kuasa to betray the Darhks and together they tricked the villains into returning the Spirit Totem.

Even though I really like Amaya as a character, I was happy that this episode delved into her contradictions. In a way, her time the Waverider has been analogous to Barry Allen time in Flashpoint. As a Legend, she’s been able to indefinitely delay taking her role as Zambesi’s protector. And while she’s grown to love Nate, he’s not the man she’s destined to be with. And while her decision to sidestep her fate is understandable, it is ultimately a selfish thing to do. Given how this episode ends, she’ll finally be dealing with her destiny soon. And while I think that story will be a compelling one, I worry that it will end with Amaya leaving the series.

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“I did not have sex with a robot!”

After discovering that details of Ava’s life were fabricated, Sara’s team journeyed to Ava’s home timeline of 2213. There they discovered Ava was part of a clone army that policed the future. However, Ava had no memory of her origins. Kuasa turned Nate over to the Darhks to ensure her own timeline came to pass. Wally, Kuasa and a repowered Amaya rescued Nate from the Darhks. However, the Mallus-possessed Nora (Courtney Ford) killed Kuasa and stole her Totem. Sara figured out that Rip (Arthur Darvill) wiped Ava’s memories and vowed to get answers. Distraught over her granddaughter’s death, Amaya traveled back to Zambesi 1992.

I really enjoy the revelation of Ava’s backstory because so much for her character. Since she’s essentially a renegade Robocop, she fits in well with other Legends. She’s superhuman but, as one member of an army, she’s not especially important to history. That kind of origin makes her a perfect Legend. Also, it seems clear that Rip took Ava because he wanted the perfect assistant director for the Time Bureau. That means like Sara’s past as an assassin, being a time cop was something that was thrust upon her rather than her choice. The only real choice she’s made was falling for Sara. Provided the Ava-Sara coupling isn’t treated like the rest of CW’s queer romances, they will officially be the Arrowverse’s best couple.

Next: Legends of Tomorrow season 3, episode 15 recap: Reverting to type

It also means that the Legends need to have a reckoning with Rip. His constant manipulation of the team has to stop. His decision to keep Ava’s past the secret nearly got her, Ray, Gary, and Sara killed. And by tricking people into altering time to suit his needs, he’s no better than Mallus. I’m really hoping that the Legends either force Rip to come clean or cut ties with him for good. It’s starting to strain credulity that the team keeps trusting him, betrayal after betrayal. I realize that Captain Hunter was Legend’s original main character, the show has grown past him and it needs to acknowledge that fact.

Next week, the team has to save a young Barack Obama from Gorilla Grodd.

Legends of Tomorrow airs on The CW Mondays at 8 p.m.