Legends of Tomorrow recap: Zari learns a lesson about love
Music has been a surprisingly big part of Legends of Tomorrow’s fourth season. We had the singing Disney fairy godmother in episode 2, a trip to punk rock London in episode 3 “Dancing Queen,” and the deliriously fantastic Puppets of Tomorrow in the midseason finale. But the outbursts of musicality in all three of those episodes were rather short and, in hindsight, feel like they were preparing us for tonight’s Zari-centric episode, which boasts an ambitious and charming Bollywood musical number.
Yes, the dance sequence is great and is better than any action set-piece, but it wouldn’t have worked nearly as well without the episode’s focus on Zari’s emotional development. In the same way “Here I Go Again” used a time loop to explore her relationship with her teammates, this episode attempts to get underneath her skin once again to reveal why she’s guarded, and the Bollywood number is a delightful part of her journey.
Before we get to that exceedingly fun musical sequence, though, we must begin in Washington, D.C. in 2019 — specifically, at Hank Heywood’s funeral. Even though they all want to be there for Nate, a couple of the Legends want to get out as quickly as possible. First, we have Zari, who shares a near-kiss moment with Nate in his bedroom right before the wake begins and has no idea how to process her feelings. Then, there’s Ray, who felt awkward showing up in the first place because his pen-pal/crush is accused of killing Hank. Ray and Nate share a very cute moment where they reaffirm their love for each other, but the awkwardness returns when Ray receives a message from Nora asking for her help. Luckily for Ray and Zari, something goes bump in the time stream and causes Jane Austen to abandon her fledgling writing career, which gives them an excuse to flee the Heywood residence.
While Mick and Constantine hang back at the wake, Sara, Charlie, Zari, and Jane Austen super-fan/hopeless romantic Mona plot a course for Regency-era England to save the day. When they arrive, the Legends discover that a mysterious outbreak of lust is sweeping the country and causing everyone to abandon any sense of propriety. Mona and Sara decide to question Jane, who says that she actually doesn’t believe in romance and marrying for love, much to Mona’s disappointment. Meanwhile, Zari stumbles on the magical fugitive responsible for this lust plague: Kamadeva, the Hindu God of Love who is masquerading as a very attractive coachman. At first, Zari makes out with him, but once she discovers who he is, she slaps the cuffs on him.
Unfortunately, capturing the fugitive doesn’t set Jane’s career back on course, but it’s too late in the evening to talk to Jane again, so they decide to wait until the morning. As everyone drifts off to sleep, the fugitive blows some magic dust into the Waverider’s vents, which causes everyone onboard to have the horniest of dreams. Nora, who’s stowed away in Ray’s cabin, dreams of him getting in bed with her, while Zari dreams about having a threesome with Nate and the fugitive.
The fugitive’s dreams aren’t all fun and sexy times, though. Mona dreams about the Kaupe, which breaks her heart all over again. Zari, typically guarded and somewhat out-of-touch with her feelings, tries to comfort her — and by that I mean Zari tells Mona she needs to get some perspective because she didn’t really know Kaupe for that long. That’s the last thing a romantic like Mona needed to hear and the two women end up having a fight about the value of romance and love that ends with Mona transforming into Wolfie and storming off to confront Jane Austen for not believing the romance she put in her books.
In the wake of her fight with Mona, Zari confronts the fugitive, who reveals that his name is actually Sanjay and his power comes from Kamadeva’s ashes, which he collected in a vial thousands of years ago. In their ensuing scene, Zari opens up about why she’s so resistant to the idea of love, both the kind Mona is advocating for and her own feelings about Nate. She comes from a time when she was so focused on survival that she never had room for love because it could get her killed. I particularly loved the fact that the show tied Zari’s guarded nature back to where we met her in season 3. Believing Zari actually yearns to be free, Sanjay offers her the power of Kamadeva. She says what the hell and takes a hit of the powder. Cue love sick Zari!
Entranced and infatuated, Zari impulsively asks Sanjay to marry her, and Kamadeva’s ashes inspire her to open up about her feelings in song — specifically a Bollywood musical number. Using the powder, she draws everyone into the song-and-dance piece, which was mostly about the joy of throwing sense aside and surrendering to love. However, Mona, who received some advice from Jane, shows up midway through and tells Zari that real love isn’t about losing complete control. Mona’s bit of advice puts a crack in the spell, which shatters completely once Sanjay admits that he has a thousand wives. As the number ends, Zari vows to keep herself open to the possibility of love. In other words, this episode has been about Zari and Mona finding some middle ground between keeping oneself completely closed from the world (Zari) and doing absolutely anything for love.
Meanwhile back at the Heywood home, Nate has an emotional breakthrough. After his mother tells a touching story about the time Hank dressed up as Mickey Mouse just to cheer Nate up, Nate discovers his father’s secret room and more specifically what he was up to at the Time Bureau: His men were testing the magical creatures because he wanted to build a theme park where people could visit them, which is something Nate dreamed up as a kid. The theme park would’ve been called “Heyworld.” That’s some classic whimsical Legends nonsense, but it works because of the emotion in the scene as Nate realizes just how much his father did love him (in his own insane way), and Nick Zano delivers a moving and emotional performance.
At the same time, Constantine also makes a shocking discovery: Hank has been working with Neron, who looks very much like Desmond. It’s still unclear if Neron is Desmond, or if he’s just using his body as a vessel. Either way, there are hard times ahead for Constantine.
Wall of Weird:
- “We’re so not passing the Bechdel test right now,” Zari, when Sara, Charlie, and Mona tease her about crushing on Nate.
- During the Bollywood musical number, Ray and Nora express their feelings to each other. It’s dorky and cute, and I love it.