Warning: major spoilers below! You know the drill. Don’t read this recap until you’ve seen the season finale of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. You’ve been warned!
I don’t understand the rules of time travel on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, primarily because it seems like the show’s writers are making them up as they go along. In the season finale, Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) dies three times and it is still seen as a failure to save the family of Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill). But if the last Savage died over a hundred years before killing Hunter’s family, then why are they still dead? Shouldn’t the deaths of the earlier versions of Savage meant that his older time traveling self never lived to see 2167?
It seems to be useless to try to impose structure on this show. There’s not even a good explanation for why the team can’t save Laurel Lance from Arrow, although guest star Paul Blackthorne and Caity Lotz had some of the best scenes of the week as Quentin and Sara Lance as he told her what happened to her sister. That’s one of the few redeeming qualities of the show. It can occasionally hit its emotional marks.
Giving Mick Rory/Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) an opportunity to say goodbye to Leonard Snart/Captain Cold was also a great scene, even if the slightly younger Snart wasn’t receptive to what Mick had to say. In a way it’s telling that one of the first things that Mick did back in 2016 was to recruit a new Captain Cold. He needed to fill that void in his life. Of course, Legends being Legends, Mick promptly killed the new Captain Cold and it was completely ignored by the show.
Even Ray Palmer, who was there when it happened, didn’t bother to say anything about Mick’s casually murderous ways. Ray was more interested in forming a partnership/friendship with Mick, but at least that had been set up throughout the season. Mick’s assertion that he didn’t want to lose another friend when Hunter went off to his death was shockingly unearned. There was nothing to suggest that Mick ever liked Hunter.
On the emotional front, one of the few ways that the episode dropped the ball was with Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and his wife, Clarissa (Isabella Hofmann) because we never saw her react to Stein’s five month disappearance and it had already been established that he didn’t tell her about going on a time travel trip. Then she was totally cool with it after Jefferson (Franz Drameh) filled her in months later. You know, people are not robots. When someone’s spouse pulls a vanishing act, that’s the kind of thing that inspires anger or worry. This was the second time that it happened to Clarissa, and she should have been pissed. Having no reaction made their reunion feel forced.
After failing to ditch his team in 2016, Hunter allowed them back on the Waverunner shortly before they received a message from Kendra (Ciara Renée) that Savage was in World War II. There was some nonsense about Savage using blood from Kendra and Carter (Falk Hentschel) to activate the Thanagarian tech in the meteorites from three different time periods and reset everything to 1700 BC. Not a great evil plan, and I’m still not sure why Savage thought that would work.
But that did give the team three chances to kill Savage, which gave everyone their moments in the final fight of the season. Although it was more satisfying to see Mick and Sara take out Savage than the Hawks and Hunter taking their turn. That’s probably why I’m not sorry to see Kendra and Carter leave the show, even though they are supposedly tied to the Thanagarians who seem likely to be next season’s villains.
All of which brings us to the closing moments of the season, as everyone but the Hawks agreed to be the new Time Masters with Hunter when suddenly it was as if the episode remembered that it needed to end on a cliffhanger for season two. Another Waverider showed up with Rex Tyler (Patrick J. Adams), a member of the Justice Society, and he warned them that they would all die if they boarded the Waverider again.
It is interesting to see the star of Suits apparently join the show, and the promise of more Justice Society members could be fun. But it didn’t really work as a reason for fans to keep watching in season two. Legends of Tomorrow never fully gelled as a series in its first season. Getting rid of Vandal Savage and the Hawks went a long way towards cutting out the worst parts of the show. But the series’ lackluster writing is still its biggest problem. Nailing a few emotional beats doesn’t make up for the season’s weaker moments. It just makes the show feel incomplete even after 16 episodes.
Regardless, Legends of Tomorrow has its second season order in place and a fresh chance to find itself. With the remaining cast, Legends still has the potential to be something special. It just isn’t there yet.
What did you think about the season finale of Legends of Tomorrow? Let us know in the comment section below!
Images: DC Entertainment/The CW