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NOC Review: Tala Ashe Shines in the Latest ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’

Legends of Tomorrow -- "The Ex-Factor" -- Image Number: LGN603fg_0035r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Tala Ashe as Zari, Shayan Sobhian as Behrad and Matt Ryan as Constantine -- Photo: The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The following has minor plot setup spoilers for the Legends of Tomorrow Season 6 episode “The Ex-Factor.”

One of the aliens scattered throughout the timeline has come to Zari and Behrad’s time in 2045 and is threatening to take over Earth! But thankfully due to a misunderstanding, this alien thinks that he has to win the reality tv show “Da Throne” in order to literally rule! Thankfully, the Legends have a multi-media talent in one Zari Tarazi (Tala Ashe) who steps up to the challenge in some magnificent ways in this episode to challenge him for the grand prize. What follows is an amazing romp of an episode that highlights all the talents and nuances of Zari, particularly placing a spotlight on her burgeoning relationship with John Constantine (Matt Ryan) and the challenges they face.

I can’t think of a single Zari-focused episode (whether as 1.0 or 2.0) where Tala Ashe didn’t shine in her performance, and this time is no different, especially as she gets to showcase more of her talents as an actress and singer, as she did in Season 4’s “Séance and Sensibility.” Ashe, having extensive theater experience, does amazingly on the stage here, captivating all virtual audiences watching. But besides participating in a talent competition that seems like a cross between The X-Factor and The Masked Singer, Zari must contend with deciding how, and if she wants to move forward and beyond from her “no-strings-attached” fling with Constantine.

It also seems as though this plot point is a microcosm for how Zari wants to move forward from her life of glamor after spending so much time already, and the internal conflict is omnipresent in Ashe’s performance. Ashe and Ryan have sizzling chemistry and friction in their interactions that will keep anyone glued to the screen, and are overall masterful screen partners.

Their supporting cast is used very well in this episode, including the Legends and the return of Zari and Behrad’s (Shayan Sobhian) mother Nasreen Tarazi (Mitra Lohrasb), who shares a poignant scene with Zari in which they speak Farsi with one another — showcasing more of her and her family’s Persian heritage. As a Kurdish and fellow Middle Eastern person, I am reminded of speaking Kurdish with my own family members in these scenes, and I’m grateful for whenever we can get them.

Rating: 9.3/10

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow‘ “The Ex-Factor” airs Sunday, May 16, and you can watch new episodes every Sunday on The CW and streaming the next day on The CW app.

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