The Legends bow out for another season in their usual crazy fashion, though perhaps with a more emotional sting in the tail than usual…
This was a wonderfully zany Legends of Tomorrow finale but, in all honesty, it’s probably the weakest they’ve done. That’s not to say it’s a bad finale or a bad episode and it really packs some emotional punches along with the meta jokes and big action; but there’s something a little unfocused about the finale. In fact, there has been something a little unfocused about the whole season post the mid-season break.
This show has/had a formula and it works very well but you have to keep things fresh and you have to shake the formula up a bit form time to time. The start of this season did just that; Constantine joined the gang and the anomalies in time and space were now magical in origin and, again, it was sort of the Legends’ fault. Having them clean in their mess is fun and the show had a blast with self-referential gags when they set up the new status quo. Towards the end of the first half of the season things started getting a bit crowded, Mona was introduced, Hank was up to something and we seemed to be spending a lot of time at the Bureau. Post break and everything seems a bit more messy, very little time travel, an over focus on the big bad and a lot of characters bouncing around has left the back half of the season feeling a little off. Not bad but not quite Legends of Tomorrowy.
This finale in itself is great fun but it’s quite weakly directed which I think is where it’s main flaws lie. Nate and Zari take the centre stage for the emotional stakes, while Constantine and Nora get into the world of Hellblazer down in Hell. The rest of the team play a little bit of a back seat role, at least in terms of development. I think its safe to say Sara and Ava are in a good place and even Rory is doing well as an author. Its nice that Ray takes such a centre stage in the finale as I’m a big fan of ray and Routh’s performance and I love seeing my second favourite Superman almost being Superman again.
One of the best gags of the season comes when Constantine and Nora finally track down Ray’s soul in Hell. Constantine makes a bg deal about the terror and horrors Nora is gong to see when they rescue Ray from being tortured and while you know that we’re being set up for a big gag (it’ll be horrible but isn’t). The reveal that Vandal Savage was sent to torture Ray but the two men have made peace and are now playing board games, was fantastic. It was really clever way of cameo-ing the character as well as highlighting Ray’s ability to find the good in anyone. The way he quickly dismisses the fact he and Savage argued over a woman, in front of Nora is was also brilliantly delivered. We also get Sara, Nate and Gary dressing up as Supergirl, Arrow and Flash which is fun, especially when Nate opines they should have done the cross-over.
There is a lot going on in this episode and whereas other finales have made the most of the frenetic, crazy nature of the show things feel just a little sedate here. Constantine comments at one point that they won’t be able to save the world with a song and dance routine but… they save the word with a song and dance routine. This is beautifully Legends of Tomorrowy but still feels a little low key.
A few of the better moments are swallowed literally, by the action. When Zari’s now adult dragon turns up at the finale (the launch of HeyWorld) and trashes a performance tent only to be stopped by young Zari, who has befriended the dragon, everything gets a bit messy visually. The now fully Evil fairy Godmother getting eaten by the dragon, who then transforms back into its cute version, gets slightly lost in the mix.
This season has had a strong emphasis on relationships and the team’s ability to develop as people. I’ve enjoyed this but wonder whether at times if it’s managed to pull apart some of the dynamic of the team. It feels like the last season managed to develop the individual relationships without losing sight of the Legends as a whole. The show still suffers from having lost Stein and Jax; it’s a hole the show has never quite managed to fill and during this finale I felt it more. Constantine’s involvement throughout and the implication that he is the spur for next season’s big bad has been a highlight. While the drift from Monster of the Week episodes has impacted the show, the lack of a really strong villain hasn’t helped either. Evil Ray has been fun but never given the chance to really fulfill his potential.
Things get nice and silly towards the end of the episode, with Nate disguising himself as Constantine so Nemon-Ray kills him. When nemon kills Nate, even though he was tricked, it means he reneged on his deal with Ray not to kill Nate and all his power is undone, allowing Constantine to kill him. Again this all happens with a bit of whimper and not a bang.
What it does do is lead us into a fun and pleasantly low key final moment, that really smacks a gut punch. The latest meddling in time means Zari’s parents and brother never died; this also means she won’t become the woman she is so she has to stay on the Waverider in order to remain out of the changing time-stream. Only Nate dying brings her down off the Waverider, where she sings to him to bring him back to life. Nate, meanwhile having died, is sat with his dad, Hank, having a chat about how much they loved each other. Its always lovely to see Thomas F. Wilson and he was a blast in this show as this character and I was honestly sad to see him killed off. Once the singing starts, Hank unceremoniously throws Nate back to earth and back to life.
Nate and Zari have a moment where she’s happy he’s alive and he’s touched that she risked her own time stream to save him and then something horrific happens. They embrace and when they release, she’s gone and is replaced by her brother. No one remembers Zari and they just move on and the episode ends. It’s brutal and gut-wrenching that she simply got re-written by time and is gone and no one cares because they never knew her. It was a big moment in a slightly lack-luster season finale that left me reeling. Zari has grown on me a lot and Nate works best with a strong support. This was really terrible to see. Hopefully they embrace the narrative potential and we get Zari back, in some form, next season.
I love this show and I’ve loved this season. The back half felt a lot different to the first half and while it wasn’t a bad thing, I’d like to get back to time capers and silly hats. The set up of next season (unleashing the worst historical tyrants in Hell on the world) has some great potential to merge both aspects of this show! Bring it on!
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