'Legends of Tomorrow' 6.03 Review: The Ex-Factor

"The Ex-Factor" signals a complete return to form for the CW's zaniest series.

Tala Ashe and Matt Ryan as Zari and Constantine in Legends of Tomorrow "The Ex-Factor"
(Image: © The CW)

What to Watch Verdict

"The Ex-Factor" signals a true return to form for Legends of Tomorrow and the type of "can't stop grinning" episodes it's known for.


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    👽 A true return to Legends of Tomorrow form.

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    👽 Mick Rory trying to process his emotions is never not a joy.


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    👽 Put Sara back with the team already.

This post contains spoilers for Legends of Tomorrow "The Ex-Factor."
Check out our last review here

The Legends are back this week with a wildly popular reality TV show and the current Zari in her element. The hunt for Sara Lance is put on hold while the Legends head to Los Angeles 2045 to ensure Zari's ex — DJ D'Smore Money — doesn't get offed by a rogue alien named Lord Knoxicrylian (henceforth Lord Knox because that spelling is probably very wrong) on the set of his reality show, Da Throne. 

Worry not, Sara (Caity Lotz) fans! "The Ex-Factor" doesn't forget about our captain. In fact, it gives her a fun little plot twist as she discovers that the world she and Gary (Adam Tsekhman) are trapped on happens to be one occupied by Ava (Jes Macallan) clones. Predictably, Sara handles this information much better than the panicked Gary who realizes he's eaten several of his boss' clones. Poisoned or not, Sara knows a fake of her future wife when she sees them!

We don't quite understand why Lord Knox is on Earth, we just know that his pod crash landed on the planet and he thinks his problems are solved by killing Earth's leader. Lucky for Earth and D'Smore Money, Ava is able to convince the alien that the way combat works on our planet is by beating the best on the planet in a talent competition. Enter Zari (Tala Ashe) and her dragon lady empire! Her influencer status is exactly what the Legends need to take down their complicated new enemy, but conflict with Constantine (Matt Ryan) ends up putting the mission more at risk than necessary. (So, y'know, pretty standard Legends of Tomorrow fare!) 

"The Ex-Factor" is a complete return to form for the series. The premiere was good, last week was better, but this? This is the exact kind of hot nonsense that you use to show people what Legends of Tomorrow is all about. Whether it's Zari and Constantine teaming up for a song about their emotions that meshes her pop-vibe with his punk roots or Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) struggling to parse through big emotions, "The Ex-Factor" is exactly what this show is all about.

Speaking of Dominic Purcell, he got to deliver more than one on-the-nose line about both the series and his feelings about Hollywood this week. Impressively, both deliveries will leave viewers laughing regardless of how obvious they are. "This place is like a revolving door," and "watch me" in response to the fact that he can't just fire on Hollywood could have been pulled directly from the Instagram post about the star's departure. Capping it all off with his unintentional smooshing of the tiny, fluffy alien that piloted Lord Knox's metal suit was a true coup de grâce.

Less obvious (but still completely delightful) is "The Ex-Factor"s decision to avoid the will-they-or-wont-they of most CW Shows (including Legends more often than not) and having Zari and John simply agree that they're in a relationship now. The unlikely couple have no idea what to do with one another, and they're terrified of the decision they've made, but that's what makes the plot point so fun. It's so refreshing to see the episode stow the typical dramatic antics and just let a cute thing be cute. We've got enough drama with Sara off world, we don't need interrelationship team angst to add to the mix.

The delay of returning Sara to her team is the episode's only weak point. The Legends of Tomorrow team certainly has a point here — and hopefully it'll be more interesting than what they did over on Supergirl's midseason finale — but whatever they're doing just isn't engaging in any way. Even the reveal that Gary's been an alien this whole time is lost in the mix of "this could be fun but this just doesn't work with prolonged team separation."

Amelia Emberwing

Amelia is an entertainment Streaming Editor at IGN, which means she spends a lot of time analyzing and editing stories on things like Loki, Peacemaker, and The Witcher. In addition to her features and editorial work, she’s also a member of both the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice. A deep love of film and television has kept her happily in the entertainment industry for 7 years.