Legends of Tomorrow: 2.17 Aruba
Here it is! The moment we’ve been waiting for after months of anticipation and build up, the Legends of Tomorrow season finale, how will it all end? (Hint: They save time, space and the universe).
Its been a more confident and at times almost coherent second season of adventures for Team Legs with some suitably stupid and nonsensical rubbish along the way and the finale is a great combination of this new confidence and the old don’t-give-a-shit-stupidity.
After being defeated by Thawne, who has created the most boring evil universe imaginable and destroyed the Spear of Whatever, he appears to literally just let the Legends, like, leave? He destroys their known world, kills one of their team mates via Snart freezing and shattering Amaya and pretty much antagonises them as much as he can, then instead of killing them allows them to go home to Nate’s mum’s house? Okay, sure. Yup, we’ve come this far, lets just go with it.
Tiny little shrunken Rip in the mini Waverider flying off to find the team is great fun and I really enjoyed these moments. A whole episode with a tiny Waverider zipping about would be cool! What isn’t cool is the fact Thawne used Ray’s Atom Suit to shrink the Waverider and not the MAGIC STICK THAT CAN CHANGE REALITY AT WILL. Why did he use Ray’s suit? When Ray goes back to Thawne’s lab and finds his suit because he “Figured that’s where Thawne would keep it” I couldn’t decide if it was awful writing or outrageously bold because with Legends of Tomorrow we’ll swallow a lot of rubbish.
Once the episode kicked in properly and the story starts to centre around the team traveling back to cross their own timeline and stop Thawne ever getting the Spear in the first place, I started to really enjoy it. The show finally starts really playing around with its time travel ideas and the concept of the team teaming up with an earlier version of themselves to fight the Legion of Doom, is great. The episode has some very well staged scenes with all the team and their doubles together including some genuinely funny moments, especially Rip’s frustration when meeting himself and realizing what they’ve done. There is also a nice awkward moment when they notice not all the future team are there and the scene of the various team members fighting over who gets to sit where was perfect.
The adventure works well, especially when I realised they were going to pull a bit of a Blake’s 7; the Legends we followed here from last weeks episode consider this a suicide mission and accept the fact they will cease to exist if they’re successful, leaving the Legends from a couple of episodes ago to continue on. This is a nice spin on the it never happened idea and really works well and obviously means Mick doesn’t transgress and Amaya doesn’t die (oh well, never mind).
The finale itself is pretty awesome, it was what I was hoping for but I was really pleased to see them actually do it! Early in the episode, after realising the Legends have doubled up, Thawne zooms off leaving Darhk and Merlin to hold the fort. Once the Legends have the Spear and are about to escape, Thawne in his Reverse Flash outfit turns up, then Thawne in his Reverse Flash outfit turns up, then Thawne in his Reverse Flash outfit turns up… an army of Reverse Flashes turns up! (what’s the plural of Flash? Flashes? Fleesh? Flashi?) This was the kind of thing I stuck with this show to see and it’s a cool image, hundreds of Reverse Flash on a WWI battlefield surrounding our dying heroes. Sara’s final use of the spear and how she uses it to save the day was surprisingly understated and subtle and a clever twist, resulting in an impressive, grissly end for Thawne at the hands of Black Flash.
The whole team get their moments to shine this week but Stein and Jax probably get the shortest straw in terms of things to do, with Sara and Mick taking the main stage. Nate and Amaya (who doesn’t die because that timeline no longer exists by the end) decide not to worry about the future and just explore their relationship anyway. I’m not sure how I feel abut this or if I really care, Nate grew on me a little as the show went on but Amaya is a woefully under developed character so hopefully they’ll focus more effectively on her in season 3.
The real emotional heart of the episode focuses on Snart and Mick. Its always great to see Snart back and he has been more evil than ever in the last couple of episodes. I had expected some kind of reset at the end bringing Legends Snart back to life but he’s still dead and Past Snart has his mind wiped. This is a clunky end conceit; the remaining Legion of Doom members get their minds wiped and are returned to their original timelines. The idea of Rip deciding to leave the gang to go wondering in time feels like a bit of a cheeky set up for next season too, as searching for Rip (caused by Arthur Darvill’s Broadchurch commitments) was quite a good catalyst this time round.
A high concept, well executed, fun, funny and exciting season finale for the Legends with the usual amounts of what the? and but how does that make sense? and the final scene cliffhanger was exactly the kind of weird and crazy I want to see from Legends of Tomorrow going forward – hopefully this season has given the show the confidence to make things bigger and more stupid next time. You can never have too many dinosaurs…