Glitz, glamour, and over-the-top costumes; the Legends are taking on a reality singing competition to save the world from an alien invasion. In 2045 one of the displaced aliens sees a poster for ‘Da Throne’ a singing competition where Zari’s celebrity ex, DJ S’more Money, is the judge and previous winner. Assuming S’more Money is the king of the earth the alien kills him on live television, which Zari hears about when she’s invited to the funeral.
Just before she gets the news about her ex, she and John are a few pieces of clothes shy of doing the horizontal tango, to the tune of the Buzzcocks ‘Ever Fallen in Love’ no less. Zari’s amused by the song choice but John insists there is no ulterior meaning behind the song other than it being good music.
This is when they get the news about S’more Money from Zari’s assistant, Les-Lay. The team suits up for Hollywood, 2045, Zari’s old stomping ground. At the studio, John’s a little off-put by Zari’s other life making him crankier than usual. Behrad is catching up with his mom on the phone since they’re in the same time period again but Zari dodges talking with her. Using her stardom, Zari distracts the crowd to let the others sneak inside.
The alien, who goes by Lord Knox, ambushes S’more Money, but this time Behrad and Nate step in to stop him. Their fight is mistaken for a performance that impresses S’mores so much he advances Lord Knox to the finals.
Meanwhile, Rory’s been having a rough time. Ava leaves him in charge of showing Spooner the ropes which for Rory means he grumbles about wanting to be left alone. Spooner hits the nail on the head when she guesses he’s missing Sara after learning he’s the last of the OG Legends, not that he’s about to admit that.
With a time courier, Ava tricks Lord Knox onto the Waverider and traps him. She, Nate, and Behrad question him about Sara’s location. He doesn’t know anything about Sara Lance, just that he ended up on Earth after being captured. Sensing an alien on board, Spooner joins them, ready to blast Knox. The alien uses his own technology to break out of containment. The Legends stave off a full alien invasion by convincing Knox, on earth, performing is how a ruler is chosen. He agrees to return to the competition.
Meanwhile, Zari learns her brand has been tanking because she’s out of the spotlight. When she realizes they need to stop Knox from winning ‘Da Throne’ she gets an idea to finish the mission while also boosting her engagement. She announces herself as the wild card contestant on the show, right after Constantine uses some magic to set her ex’s S’mores head on fire. Zari’s performance wins her a spot in the finals vs. the alien.
Elsewhere in the universe Sara and Gary are slowly being approached by those mysterious figures. Not-Amelia Earhart’s poison left Sara too weak to fight so the duty falls on Gary. She wants him to use his alien abilities but he’s hesitant. Sara implores him. She did unspeakable things to survive once and now she needs Gary to do that to get back to Ava.
He agrees, attacking the group, knocking some out, and eating the rest. While he’s fighting Sara sees Ava, following her into the forest. Gary unmasks one of the soldiers he knocked out, realizing it’s an AVA clone.
Back in 2045, the Legends are worried Zari hasn’t won enough of the audience to beat Knox. They arrange an interview for her and John, hoping to sell their love story to earn votes. Nate, Behrad and Les-Lay drag John away to wrestle him into presentable clothes.
Zari’s mom shows up, upset she had to learn about her daughter’s new relationship on TV. Her mom’s willing to give Constantine a chance if Zari cares about him, but Zari promises he’s just a fling. What she doesn’t know is John’s outside the door listening. Her words cut him deep and he takes out during their interview walking out partway through. S’more Money offers Zari a song for the final to help her maintain her ‘Dragon Girl’ image after the trainwreck interview.
After watching an interview with Lord Knox talk about being brought to earth after captured by Kayla, Rory decides they should just attack. He has Gideon target Lord Knox, but when the alien picks up he’s being targeted he calls in his armada, saying he’ll attack if the competition is interrupted.
Pissed Rory went rouge, Ava confronts him. He reveals some of his attitude stems from the fact Lita’s off at college and has less time for him now. Ava understands why he’s upset on both the Sara and Lita fronts but she doesn’t have time to nurse his bad attitude on top of everything else.
Back at the competition, S’more Money double-crosses Zari by giving Lord Knox the same song he gave her. With Knox performing first Zari’s performance will be ruined. The boys learn about it, Behrad knocking out S’more Money and Nate taking his place to stop him from interfering further.
Lord Knox performs the song, ‘The Real Dragon Girl’ before Zari and she knows she can’t win with the same song. Before she goes on stage Constantine asks why Zari told her mother they wouldn’t last. Zari doesn’t see a future for them because they can’t even admit they want to commit. John knows they might be a bad fit but he wants to give it an honest try.
Zari has to perform before she can respond, but when she starts singing it’s not the song S’more Money gave her. She sings ‘Ever Fallen in Love’. John joins her, playing the guitar. Their performance and chemistry win the audience and Lord Knox over, the alien declaring Zari his queen. It’s what she deserves.
Post-mission debrief/celebration Zari calls John her boyfriend for the first time, something that’s a little scary and a little exciting for them both. Lord Knox’s face opens up to reveal his whole body is a suit and the real Knox is an alien about two inches tall. Rory steps on him almost immediately. He has a plan. Knox mentioned he was captured by an alien called Kayla which Rory picked up on. His idea is to find Kayla and have her take them to Sara. It’s a pretty solid idea and Ava’s proud to see him working with the team again.
Speaking of Sara she’s been following the Ava she saw, but she knows the difference between her Ava and a random clone. She knocks the clone out and enters the passage she was being led to. Inside she finds dinner step up and a guy who seems to know who she is. He welcomes her, pleased she’s finally there.
I keep waiting for the day Legends does a true musical episode (hopefully borrowing Kara and Barry for the episode too) but until then I’ll continue enjoying episodes like ‘The Ex-Factor’ that have delightful performances baked in. Outside of episodes where the Music Meister has forced everyone to sing, this is a musically heavy episode. Any opportunity to have Tala Ashe sing is an opportunity well used.
Zari 2.0 may be a different character from the OG Zari to reside on the Waverider, but there are many ways they are the same. They’re both scared to be vulnerable with others. Zari’s relationship with John allows her to be vulnerable in a way she hasn’t before. In her life, there have been so few things she’s had full control over, especially professionally. It’s great to see her taking charge this episode (and Ava trusting her to take the lead) letting her explore what she wants. If anything the episode could have dug deeper with it, particularly in the scene with her mom. It will be interesting to see more of her and Behrad’s parents and how that relationship has shaped the siblings.
As for the story happening on the other side of the universe, Sara and Gary’s journey has been a slow build mystery. Why was Sara chosen? Who is not-Amelia Earhart? What is she? Why are there Ava clones on this planet? Here’s hoping some of those questions are answered soon now that we’ve met the person behind Sara’s abduction.
Only Legends Could
- ‘I don’t know what’s more surprising, an alien attacking Zari’s ex-boyfriend or the fact that network TV still exists.’
- The Rock’s the president in the future, go figure.
- Some of the singers Lord Knox downloads include Ottis Redding, Beyoncé, Freddie Mercury, Dolly Parton, and Bob Marley.
- ‘The Real Dragon Girl’ is right under ‘Puppets of Tomorrow’ in original Legends songs for me. ‘Cartier’ is above that but ‘I Surrender’ is still number 1 by a mile.