DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow has set some extremely high stakes going into its second season finale. The Legion Of Doom successfully used the Spear Of Destiny to rewrite history, and while the series played it far too safe with what that new reality looks like, having Eobard Thawne destroy the spear was a bold move that significantly complicated the Legends’ mission to get back to how things used to be. The team heads back to 1916 to get Christ’s blood and steal the spear from their past selves in “Aruba,” but that plan quickly goes to shit when the future Thawne realizes their plan, destroys the vial of blood, and kills Ray. With Amaya dead and Martin trapped in the spear’s altered reality, the future team is down to five members, and all but Sara will be killed by the end of the episode.
The future Legends are the aberrations in “Aruba,” and in order to save all of reality, they need to sacrifice themselves. Changing events they originally played a part in creates a time paradox, and despite their attempts not to interact with their past selves, the two groups of Legends are eventually brought together, creating an even bigger time paradox. Writers Phil Klemmer and Marc Guggenheim inject some humor into the fraught circumstances with the interactions between these two teams, first in the future Legends’ attempts to trick their past selves, and later when they’re united and trying to figure out what the hell is going on and what to do next. The episode does a good job capturing the chaos of the situation, and it gives this finale strong forward momentum all the way to its delightful cliffhanger, which has me very excited for the third season.
Destroying the Spear Of Destiny is no longer an option, so the future Legends plan on taking it out of 1916 and then figuring out what to do from there. The Legion isn’t going to let that happen, though, and the two teams of Legends are forced to team up to take out the enemy. The future team is gradually killed off until Sara is the only one left standing, and once Merlyn, Darhk, and Snart are out of the picture, Eobard Thawne shows up with an army of his past selves, leaving the Legends with no other option than to use the spear. The fate of all reality rests in Sara Lance’s hands, and she needs to overcome her own insecurities if she’s going to use the spear without letting it screw everything up even more.
Sara Lance is at the core of this finale, and looking back at this season, it’s clear that this has been Sara’s story all along. Sara taking control of the Legends and making them function as a cohesive team has been a major part of this season, as has her vendetta against Damien Darhk for killing her sister. Making Sara the focal point of this series is an excellent decision because she was already the most well-defined character at the start of Legends, and Caity Lotz has the charisma and talent to serve as the show’s anchor. When Sara uses the Spear Of Destiny, she’s pulled into a simulation created by the spear to show her a reality where Laurel is still alive, and bringing this climactic moment back to Sara and Laurel’s relationship gives it extra emotional resonance.
Lotz has done great work bringing vulnerability to Sara while still having her be a strong, confident badass, and Sara is afraid of the darkness inside of her and thinks that it makes her unworthy. Sara will always consider Laurel to be the better person, but her arc in this series is about realizing her potential for good, overcoming the darkness inside of her, and accepting the loss of Laurel and using her example as a guiding light for the future. Sara doesn’t change reality to bring Laurel back. Instead, she depowers the spear, and while it’s not made explicit, I like to think Sara also summons the Time Wraith to take care of Thawne. The problems are the spear and Thawne, so she gets rid of those and then restores the other members of the Legion to their proper place in the timeline. That includes Damien Darhk, who she easily could have killed. Unfortunately, that would have just sent new shockwaves through time, and by returning Darhk to where he was before meeting Thawne, she shows a new sense of responsibility in maintaining the timeline.
Meeting the future Legends has the biggest impact on Nate and Amaya, who finally commit to a full-fledged relationship this week. The death of Amaya in the future weighs heavily on both of them, and future Nate tells his past self that he needs to embrace his feelings so that he doesn’t look back on his life with regret. Knowing that her future self dies shows Amaya the risk of staying with the Legends, but it also gives her perspective about what she wants for herself. She has a destiny waiting for her in 1942, but she also wants to stay with Nate and continue fighting with the Legends because she’s a hero at heart. What greater act of heroism is there than saving all of reality? Amaya might be changing her destiny, but she also believes that destiny will wait for her if that’s what her path is truly supposed to be, and she’s not going to let it stand in the way of her love for both Nate and the new family she has in the other Legends.
Interacting with your past self is one of the most dangerous things a time traveler can do, and the Legends create a paradox by jumping back to 1916. This show has toyed with the ideas of paradoxes before but rarely do they have any sort of lasting impact, which has made me suspicious whenever paradoxes are used as a way to create tension. Time-quakes and time-storms sound like they could potentially be big threats, but they usually end up being a brief hurdle that goes away once the Legends save the day. Toward the end of “Aruba,” it looks like that’s going to be the case once again, but in the final moments of the episode, the team is thrown out of the temporal zone and into present-day Los Angeles, which is currently overrun with dinosaurs.
“Guys, I think we broke time,” Sara says, and it’s one hell of a moment to end the season on. Not only do we get a major consequence for a time paradox, but we get a thrilling new status quo for next season, which looks like it will involve the Legends working to repair a shattered timeline. There is a lot of potential in that concept, and I hope that it involves time periods bleeding into each other so that we get all kinds of fun anachronisms like, say, ancient Romans in the roaring ’20s or 1950s hipsters in Victorian England. Legends Of Tomorrow experienced a major upswing in quality this season by being playful and leaning into the campy fun of time travel, and the cliffhanger suggests that the creative team is going even bigger moving forward.
- Mick accepts his role as a hero this week, finally understanding that being a better person doesn’t necessarily mean being a softer person. And if he is softer, it doesn’t matter because he still knows it’s for the better. All it took was compromising the integrity of all reality before he figured it out!
- I understand the story reasons why Eobard Thawne kept all the Legends alive in the altered reality, but it really was a very idiotic decision. At the very least, get rid of the time-traveling ship that can be used to undo everything you’ve done.
- The use of The Wizard Of Oz imagery is a smart way of connecting Sara’s and Amaya’s stories together. For both of them, The Wizard Of Oz is used to represent this fantastic voyage they’ve found themselves on, and rather than leave it behind for a normal life, they decide to stay in Oz.
- Firestorm probably could have taken out the entire Legion if he stopped throwing dinky little fireballs and went with a giant wall of fire. I hope the third season finds more creative uses for Firestorm’s abilities.
- “What’s a little radiation for one half of Firestorm?” I love Lotz’s delivery of this line.
- “Knock it off, Rory!”
- “Dead, dead, good as dead.” Trust Mick to be as blunt as possible.
- Nate: “Really? Goonies?” Amaya: “What’s a Goonie?”