Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Legends of Tomorrow 3x16 "I, Ava" Review

After weeks and weeks of hype, speculation, and tears over said speculation ‘I, Ava’ finally arrived. Sometimes when we spend time overly speculating on what could happen, what actually happens ends up being a massive disappointment.

Thankfully ‘I, Ava’ doesn’t have this problem whatsoever. It was an absolutely terrific episode from start to finish, giving us heartbreak, shocks and some of the funniest dialogue Legends of Tomorrow, and dare I say it ANY TV show, is ever likely to produce.

Beginning the episode and following her break-up, Sara wants to take a bit of ‘me time’. Amaya, Nate & Ray try to explain why that’s not a good idea, after all they are in the middle of a massive fight against Mallus, but Sara holds her ground. In her absence the ship will need a Captain and Ray thinking that Sara is choosing him, only for her to instead appoint Amaya was hilarious. He has never been one to toot his own horn, so believing he is worthy of being a Captain is probably a step up Ray and the way he sees himself.

Whilst Sara heads off to her cabin with Ray following, Garry arrives. He’s got his eyes covered and walks into a wall which is every bit as hilarious as it sounds. Sara tells Gary he can look, and Garry explains he was worried of walking in on her and Ava. Sara then reveals to Gary, and Ray, that she and Sara have broken up.
Garry is completely and utterly devastated, bemoaning the break-up as he shipped Sara & Ava so damn hard. Agents of Shield on Friday pulled a similar line of dialogue with Deke asking Daisy how Fitz & Simmons were, since he’s found himself invested in how they are as a couple. Granted his investment stems from being their grandson and wanting to be born eventually, whereas Garry is just a believer in love but both situations pull off this line of dialogue perfectly and speak for all shippers. This is also the type of line that can only work on specific shows, with specific characters of which the humour would resonate well, so I do hope no-one else tries to jump on the bandwagon.

Garry informs Sara that Ava hasn’t been at work and worried, Sara sets off with Ray & Garry to investigate. This takes them to the time bureau where Ray hacks Ava’s computer, whilst Garry looks on absolutely petrified they’ll be caught. They’re not, but Ray discovers all files relating to Ava have been deleted. This is of course deeply suspicious and they decide to visit Ava’s parents for answers.

They seem like delightfully cheery people. They offer them snacks. They offer stories about Ava. Unfortunately the emphasis is very much on stories, because Sara quickly realizes they’re lying when they get info about Ava’s 15th birthday wrong. With Sara threatening at knife point, they admit they’re actors who were hired to pretend to be Ava’s parents. They don’t know who by since they’re paid in advance, and it’s hard to get acting jobs where they live. Due to the fact Ava doesn’t visit much, it’s an extremely easy gig.

Sara, Ray and Garry return to the time bureau where they run into Ava. She’s extremely frosty, lying about where she’s been, and whilst Garry thinks the matter is resolved since she’s now back, Sara doesn’t. She wants to know where exactly Ava has been and what exactly she’s hiding, because when a Lance girl has a hunch, they don’t stop and it’s a quality we greatly admire.

Going through more computer logs, they discover a zone in the future which is off limits to everyone. So naturally they visit.

On arrival, they see Ava. And then another Ava. And another Ava after that & very quickly they realize this is a Vancouver full of Ava’s. Both Sara & Garry have had dreams where they’re surrounded by Ava’s. In Sara’s dream she was wearing a little less clothes, in Garry’s dream she was just there, but we all have a good laugh over them both having sexy dreams about Ava. Being stuck in a city full of her exes is Sara’s worst nightmare, which it’s a delight for Garry and Ray is just taking it all in.

Garry is concerned Ava might be a robot, but Sara is adamant she hasn’t been dating a robot. Obviously this episode was filmed long before fan theories began to kick in, so Legends of Tomorrow joking about what Ava could be and the fun dialogue between Sara & Garry is just the writers having fun and I love it.
They soon realize that Ava is indeed a clone. Because Sara really doesn’t know when to quit, she decides they’re going to the headquarters.

There Ray finds the prototype for how exactly the Ava’s are built. It’s using the worlds best DNA from many different people, to create to perfect woman. Unfortunately, Ray also ends up waking up a clone who isn’t happy at all that they’re there. Ava clone tries to attack them but Sara manages to fight her off, and Garry gets her all tied up.

Even more unfortunately? Our Ava soon arrives. At first Sara is frosty, but then she, Garry & Ray come to realize Ava has no idea she’s a clone, and Ava’s soon passing out upon meeting one of her clones.

When she does eventually recover, she confesses to Sara she lies about visiting her parents as she actually went to hook up with an ex. She’s been trying to use a dating app, it hasn’t exactly been working great, but there’s no time to stew on that as security has been called and they’re facing an army of Ava’s. Our Ava is having a massive identity crisis, knowing nothing about her is real and she’s just like the other voidless clones. Sara reassures her ex that whilst she may be a clone, she is very much real, and what they’ve felt has been real.

Our Ava then has to put on the game face to try and convince the clones she’s one of them, and will be escorting Sara, Garry & Ray off to be terminated. The clones are buying this until the clone Garry previously tied up appears and informs them that our Ava is lying. An epic clone fight kicks off, which is bizarre for everyone involved.

The clones are eventually defeated though. Sara, Ava, Garry & Ray make it back to the ship, with Ray taking Garry off to have his memory erased because he can’t cope with this secret. Ava & Sara meanwhile have a chat, and they both realize that Rip was probably the one to delete the files on Ava, and probably the mastermind behind the whole thing. This saga is very much not over, with them both likely to have some big questions for Rip the next time they see him.

The second big storyline of the episode revolved around Amaya. With her totem in the Darhk’s hands, it’s having some extremely bad effects on her grand-daughters. Amaya wants to visit one of them in Detroit, but Wally & Nate decide to instead. There they come across Kuasa, who informs them she’s not there to kill her sister but protect her. She hates her totem being in the hands of the Darhk’s as much as them, and is willing to team up to get it back.

With the Darhk’s knowing Wally is a speedster, he’s sent back to the ship to keep an eye on Amaya, whilst Nate & Kuasa team up. She aims to lure Damien & Nora to them by using Nate as bait and offering him up, in exchange for her totem. Nate is on board with this plan & the Darhk’s take the bait.

Or really Damien does, since Nora is very much not home anymore. Mallus has more or less taken over her body, and Damien is somewhat ok with this. Whilst Damien is reluctant to hand the totem over, Mallus over-rules him and hands it back. Kuasa then predictably double crosses Nate. She explains that with Amaya in love with him, it means she will never meet Kuasa’s grandfather and consequently, Kuasa and her sister will never be born.

The logic is quite sound and as much as the plan isn’t the nicest one, it does make complete sense. Nate is left at Damien’s mercy and is fully expecting to be killed. Fortunately for him, and amusingly for us, with Nora having been taken over by Mallus, torturing people just isn’t the same for Damien. He knows he’s lost his little girl, he knows he can’t really do much about it, and is extremely sad.

Trying to help him out & keep himself alive, Nate suggests that Damien pretend to beat him up. Whilst this is going on Kuasa returns to the ship and informs Amaya she got her totem back, through double crossing Nate. Amaya and Wally aren’t at all happy with this, and Amaya accuses Kuasa of being selfish. Strangely enough in this situation the selfish one is actually Amaya. She knows she and Nate can have no future because her destiny has already been promised, and yet she’s still on the ship and engaged with him.

The confrontation between grandmother and granddaughter spurs Amaya & Wally into going after Nate. They’re well beaten by Nora Mallus (yes I’m making that a thing) and Kuasa saves the day, resulting in her being killed. Nate & Amaya both feel extremely guilty over it, and they are both right to, but Amaya digs it in by pointing out Kuasa never would’ve been in danger if Amaya wasn’t on the ship with Nate. He’s hurt by her basically saying she wishes they’d never gotten involved, and whilst it’s hurt I can understand, it feels like we’re once again slipping into rinse + repeat territory. We’ve been there many a time this season with them both knowing their relationship is doomed, but they still have feelings for each other, but they know it can’t work out, but they can’t stop their feelings etc.

Amaya decides to go back to her time period without telling anyone what she’s doing, which is the end of her storyline for the week.

The final storyline, and one not given nearly enough screen time, is Zari attempting to train Mick on how to use his totem. He just wants to use the fire totem to make food, Zari really isn’t here for that (and doesn’t appreciate Amaya putting her on training duty) and Mick thinks she’s so grouchy because she’s fasting. They have a massive fight, or rather Zari enjoys using her totem on him, before they both feel Kuasa dying. It gives them both a fresh perspective on their totems and the fight they’re in.

‘I, Ava’ didn’t exactly move any stories along, so can probably be labelled a filler ep. Considering the last few weeks of episodes though? It was an enjoyable filler ep that provided character development to interesting characters, kept Nora & Damien at a minimum, kept Nate at a minimum, had Ray sparingly used & the episode basically belong to Ava, Sara & Gary. Which I am more than ok with.