The Legends of Tomorrow Continue To Be… Legendary

It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this that I’m a huge fan of the CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The incredible cast of characters started with mostly established characters from other Arrowverse shows, but has evolved into its own unique crew. The chemistry between each of the characters is interesting, and watching everyone grow over the years has been one of the best television series experiences I’ve had in the last decade. Every year sees the addition and farewell of at least one character to facilitate the story for the season, and it helps keep the series fresh. Oh, and did I mention that this show is also hilarious, wholesome, moving, and extremely clever?

Legends of Tomorrow is self aware in ways that the other CW shows can’t be. One of my favorite running jokes of the last few years has been how they “won’t do the crossover this year.” There are regular jokes about how the Legends won’t help the other heroes, and this is hilarious to me. It pays off in clever ways when they can’t get help in return. There is even a season that ends with several Legends having to dress up as the leads of the other shows because they refused to help. The most recent few seasons have capitalized on the craziness and some of the personal dramas between the characters, and it has been an absolute treat.

Season 7 in a Nutshell (SPOILER WARNING!!!)

The series has a knack for starting its seasons off right where the last season left off, so there’s a very continuous drive to the events of the series. Legends of Tomorrow just wrapped its 7th season, and what an AMAZING ride it was. Season 6 ended with a copy of the Legend’s ship appearing and destroying their version of the Waverider, thus stranding the crew in 1925. Astra (Olivia Swann) attempts to rebuild the ship without her mentor and their resident master of the dark arts, Constantine (Matt Ryan), but is unsuccessful. Instead, she brings the semi-sentient AI of the ship, Gideon (Amy Louise Pemberton, to life in human form. Gideon’s human form is a wonderful addition to the team this season. We’ve seen her grow and become attached to these people over the last seven years. It feels great to have her with the others as part of the action.

Gideon recommends they seek out the original inventor of time travel to enlist his help in getting back to the present, and figure out who has a copy of the Waverider. On their way, the crew accidentally alters time killing Herbert Hoover! The crew’s history buff, Nate (Nick Zano), is horrified by this. This should be an absolute calamity, but somehow another Hoover starts chasing them! How can this be possible? An android Hoover-bot!

The plot thickens as they say. Why is that exactly? Is it a soup metaphor?

Eventually the Legends all manage to get to New York and discover that the scientist they’re looking for, Dr. Gwyn Davies (Matt Ryan) works for none other than Thomas A. Edison. The Legends must convince Davies to let them use his time machine in order to continue their mission, but Davies has his own mission to accomplish. He was a soldier during the Great War, and during a battle his lover, Allen, was killed. Davies thinks himself a coward for not being able to save Allen, and his horrible PTSD has made him incredibly fearful of confrontation ever since. They Legends offer to help him save Allen, and Davies is moved by their plight. Seeing the crew and their enlightened sensibilities moves him, and Davies agrees. While the Legends slowly build the time machine with Davies, also building his confidence, our villain is revealed to us.

In season 6, a mad scientist from the future, Bishop (Raffi Barsoumian), kidnapped Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and infused her with alien DNA in order to make a stronger better human species. Eventually she makes it back to Earth, and the Legends defeat Bishop by enlisting the help of his younger self. This younger version steals a copy of Gideon’s program and takes it with him back to the past before the Legends wipe his memory. When he wakes up he knows something is wrong, and comes to believe that the Legends made him a villain before sending him back. He activates his Gideon copy, resets her to factory default, and then proceeds to build a copy of the Waverider. Bishop becomes a “Time Master,” a title formerly given to those entrusted to preserving the timeline, and he and his Gideon set about trying to find and destroy the Legends before they can break time irreparably.

Photo Credit: The CW

The relationship between Bishop and evil-Gideon is interesting. We see how both try to manipulate each other and the means they both try to employ to preserve the timeline. Bishop and evil-Gideon try to keep time intact by using the robot replicants whenever the Legends accidentally kill someone important to history, and this concept alone is hilarious. I love the idea that Herbert Hoover and Thomas Edison were robots. As this goes on, we see that Bishop actually wants to do some of the crazy stuff that the other Legends did, but evil-Gideon won’t permit any deviations. This eventually causes Bishop to understand the plight of the Legends and turn on evil-Gideon entirely.

Another twist for this season that works really well for me is the use of the House of Mystery. Constantine gives up the key to his house before his death, and the Legends make good use of it in the absence of the Waverider. The house serves as their base of operations because it can teleport to all manner of different locations, including Hell itself, and avoid detection from evil-Gideon. From the house, the Legends make use of Davies’ time machine and human-Gideon’s knowledge of the timestream to try to lure out their adversary. Without Bishop at her side, evil-Gideon has created robo-Legends! Cards on the table, this was possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in a superhero show. The robo-legends are super over-the-top versions of the regular heroes and they are absolutely perfect in every way. It’s amazing.

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Just look at Robo-Nate and his “John Cena arms,” and tell me that isn’t funny. Go ahead I’ll wait.

Evil-Gideon and the robo-Legends pursue our heroes across time and space culminating in a surprisingly dramatic and also hilarious battle at a time-traveler’s bar called the Fixed Point. The bar itself helps to solidify the idea that there are times in history that can’t be changed. Somehow, no matter what you do, these specific events have to happen, and time will correct itself around your alterations. Specifically, this bar exists in Austria and serves as a waypoint for travelers attempting to prevent the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and thus prevent the Great War. The Legends decide that the best way to save Davies’ lover, Allen, would be to prevent the war entirely. Sounds fair. But each of their attempts is foiled fantastically until we are introduced to “the Fixer,” Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher)! Thawne has somehow been plucked out of time and tasked with ensuring that the assassination takes place. Thawne and the Legends lure the androids to the Fixed Point, by making a slew of small changes and getting evil-Gideon’s attention. The Legends succeed in defeating their robotic replicants one by one, while also infiltrating the Waverider. They’ve finally done it! They have their ship back, and they can finally help Davies save Allen!

Huzzah!

But there is still an issue. The Waverider is still controlled by evil-Gideon! The two Gideons eventually agree to let the Legends live and pilot the ship together. “One captain and one AI.” The Legends all have to part ways and return to normal life in this exchange, but they won’t be hunted and killed so they at least have that. And… Constantine’s place! Some time passes and the crew meet weekly at the house to stay friendly and catch up. On their last meeting, however, Davies is absent and Gary (Adam Tsekhman) arrives looking like he’s been through hell! He reveals that evil-Gideon has been manipulating human-Gideon. She even gave Davies a robo-Allen to try to satiate him to no avail. Davies takes his time machine back to the Great War, and we’re treated to my favorite thing in the series so far.

It turns out, Allen’s death is also a fixed point. Without it, Davies doesn’t invent time travel and thus a lot of things can’t happen. Where there is a fixed point, there is a Fixer. This particular Fixer (Donald Faison) is under the impression that he has the most important assignment of any Fixer, and thus views himself very highly. When the Legends arrive, at first he absolutely gushes over them like they’re celebrities, and it’s great. I love the idea that these people do indeed eventually become every bit as famous and important as the other heroes. They all work out that this particular fixed point isn’t actually a fixed point, and this sends the Fixer into a tizzy. He steals the Waverider and leaves before the Legends can say or do anything about it, stranding them all in the most dangerous part of the Great War.

Photo Credit: The CW

The Legends fight through tooth and nail, and steel, to save Allen for Davies. It was powerful to watch Nate use up every last bit of his power to rescue the man from mustard gas. Davies even gets to see that he wasn’t the coward he thought he was. In his grief he blocked out a memory of his valor and courage that is truly wholesome and well done. With Davies and his lover reunited and the rest of the Legends reunited it seems that we’re about to start next year in the same way we started this one, but no.

In the final moments of the season finale, the Fixer returns with the Waverider and invites the Legends all onboard as he apologizes. Suddenly a crowd of armed officers burst onto the bridge to arrest the Legends for time crimes and the Fixer’s identity is revealed. “Quiet Buster.”

“It’s not Buster. It’s Booster. Booster Gold.”

The Character Relationships are Everything

Legends of Tomorrow is always a bit of a rollercoaster, but never more than this season. It was an absolutely wild ride from start to finish. There are some crazy emotional moments set beside some of the most hilarious sequences. I again refer to robo-Nate and his amazing John Cena arms if you doubt me. There are definitely some low moments through the season, but they don’t take up huge chunks of the series or drag the whole season down as a result.

Sara and Ava’s (Jess Macallen) relationship is cute. Watching them try to navigate while they figure out how they’re going to get married adds some levity to the more tense moments of the season. We’re shown that they eventually have a daughter together, and this quickly replaces their getting married as a focus for them as a whole. I like the idea that they want to have a “normal” life together, and it’s something that they’re actually excited about. It also lets these characters be vulnerable with each other and adds to their relationship as a whole. I wish there had been a bit more focus for their story, but it works for what it’s meant to do.

Nate and other-Zari’s relationship was a bit odd at first. It’s a weird idea that he has to go into one of his friend’s totems to see his partner who is also an alternate version of one of the friends from a previous timeline. This actually ends up building out all three characters in ways I didn’t expect. Both versions of Zari have been developed into unique characters, and seeing how they have to play off of the other’s interactions with other members of the crew has been really interesting to watch. New-Zari is struggling to find herself and she wants to be more helpful for the team. There are several points throughout the season where she questions whether or not she should be the main Zari at all. Seeing how Nate and her brother Behrad (Shayan Sobhian) react to her and her alternate version was a clever way to develop both of them. Nate and other-Zari’s relationship itself is interesting because they use it to show how much Nate has grown as an individual. He wants the relationship to work, but he’s nervous about moving in and being accepted by her family. When he finally does, we see him happy and content in a way that he hasn’t gotten to be otherwise.

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I’m definitely going to miss Nick Zano’s Nate. He has been one of my favorite characters in the series. He’s grown from a hemophiliac historian to a proper superhero over the course of his six years on the show, and he showed real growth emotionally as a person. We’ve seen him almost step into the captain’s chair a few times and be a voice of reason in chaos. We’ve seen him fall in love, and become half of the second greatest TV bromance ever all in just a few short seasons. Nick, if you ever read this, you were my favorite Legend, and I’m sincerely going to miss you.

Photo Credit: The CW

My favorite pairings this season though were Astra and Spooner (Lisseth Chavez), and Gideon and Gary. Watching Astra and Spooner’s friendship grow and become truly important to both parties was endearing for both characters. I loved watching Spooner help Astra as she struggled with being a “mom” for human-Gideon. Spooner’s coming out as asexual felt natural and honest. Gary has been a longtime favorite of mine on this show, and I absolutely loved him and human-Gideon together. I thought they were absolutely adorable, and I want more of it.  There is something about watching a really sweet and honest relationship blossom on-screen that just can’t be topped. Give me more Garideon!

That being said, there are some character relationships that just don’t work for me. Astra and Behrad felt… strange. I got it to an extent, but it also felt like they just wanted to give them both someone on the ship to be with but everyone else was taken. Astra also had a lot more to do with other characters in a non-romantic way that were a lot more interesting. Astra and Spooner could have a spinoff show and I’d watch it every week. I really like Behrad’s character, but I don’t think he necessarily needed a love interest. The relationship doesn’t really go anywhere other than to facilitate for us that he doesn’t need to smoke or take edibles to feel like he’s okay. Learning that this character has been self-medicating for depression actually really worked for me. I absolutely understand the feeling that you have to look happy all the time for the people close to you. It had always been a funny part of his character, but now it allowed for a moment of character growth that leads to his quitting substances. Awesome for you, Behrad.

All of this is also wrapped up in the idea that he’s not confident enough to be with the woman he has feelings for though, and this is what I take issue with. Behrad has never been a character that seemingly struggles with confidence. He has always been who he is. That’s why his character has worked for me from day one. He’s hilarious, he’s himself, he’s okay with it. I liked that a lot. Hell, one of my favorite episodes involves his becoming a fry-cook seemingly just because he loves the idea of being one. That is not a man who lacks confidence. That’s a man who can pull anyone they want. I wish I was that level of confident.

The Final Word

9/10: A wacky time-travelling adventure with heart, soul, …and BOOSTER GOLD!

Picking up from the wreckage of the Waverider at the end of season 6, Legends of Tomorrow delivers another year of hilarious time-travelling action ridiculousness with superheroes. The characters are compelling and their relationships are interesting to watch. I love seeing these people as they work their way through the most impossible situations. The series has blasted through time, messing things up for the better, for seven years, and I sincerely hope we get at least one more. As of this writing there hasn’t been an official announcement for another season, and this hurts me deeply. That being said, this season was a treat to behold. If you haven’t seen it you’re missing out. Check it out on the CW, or coming soon to Netflix. Let the studio know we want more Legends!

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