[This is a review of the Legends of Tomorrow season 2 finale. There will be SPOILERS.]
Although it wasn’t clear at first what the main villains of Legends of Tomorrow season 2 wanted, as the Legion of Doom came together, their goal was revealed. While the Legends worked to correct time aberrations, most often caused by members of the Legion, the villains worked to retrieve the Spear of Destiny so that they could rewrite history without causing aberrations. The Legion of Doom started off as an alliance between Eobard Thawne and Damien Darhk, but has since grown to include Malcolm Merlyn and Leonard Snart. Together — and with some help from Mick Rory — they managed to get their hands on the Spear and rewrite destiny, creating an alternate history in ‘Doomworld’.
Last week’s episode featured the Legends recovering their memories of the true timeline, and working to prevent Eobard from destroying the Spear of Destiny so they could reset history. However, despite allying themselves with Damien Darhk and Malcolm Merlyn, the Legends failed to save the spear, and lost one of their own in the process when Captain Cold killed Amaya. After their defeat, the Legends resolved to go back in time to prevent the Legion from obtaining the Spear, even though it breaks a major rule of time travel.
In the Legends of Tomorrow season 2 finale, ‘Aruba’ — directed by Rob Seidenglanz and written by Phil Klemmer and Marc Guggenheim — the team locates Rip Hunter, who spent much of ‘Doomworld’ in a miniaturized version of the Waverider. Then, they head back in time to World War I where their former selves failed to keep the Spear of Destiny from falling into the hands of the Legion. However, with the threat of time collapsing in on itself due to the Legends breaking the cardinal rule of time travel, they’re risking everything to set the timeline right.
The Legends Meet… The Legends
After the dark and serious tone of ‘Doomworld’ set up perhaps Legends of Tomorrow’s greatest stakes yet for the season 2 finale, ‘Aruba’ manages to bring the show’s lighter tone back into the episode for a truly entertaining hour of television. At the start of this week’s finale, the Legends are at their lowest point yet, dealing with the death of Amaya and their inability to give Professor Stein his memories back. As such, they’ve reached a point where they’re willing to do anything, including risking a time paradox that could permanently damage the timeline by traveling back to World War I — and, if they succeed, erase themselves from existence.
Since they’re Legends — and heroes — it isn’t much of a choice, even if Mick does spend much of the episode insisting they travel to Aruba and forget all their problems. So, they work to recover Rip and the Waverider from Doomworld’s Central City and return to World War I with a fairly solid plan of avoiding themselves, but the mission predictably goes awry quickly. As a result, the Legends are met with… themselves. By this point in the episode, the Doomworld version of the Legends team has lost a few members, but Mick, Sara and Rip interacting with themselves provides a great deal of humor in the finale episode.
The Legends don’t have much time to spend with their former selves, though Nate uses his time with his past self to impart some wisdom he learned in the wake of witnessing Amaya’s death in Doomworld. This scene, as well as Sara’s debate with herself over using the Spear, are unique and compelling character moments that slow down the pace of ‘Aruba’ and give the episode time to breathe. It’s a fun twist on the rules of time travel as established in Legends of Tomorrow, but one that will have ramifications down the line.
‘Aruba’ Doesn’t Pull Any Punches
In rewriting reality with the Spear of Destiny and creating Doomworld, the Legion of Doom essentially created an alternate timeline that the Legends were forced to nip in the bud. Since their mission in ‘Aruba’ (and, technically even in ‘Doomworld’ once Reverse-Flash destroyed the Spear) is a suicide mission to begin with, Legends of Tomorrow is able to go all-in on the deaths of the Doomworld versions of the Legends, and the season 2 finale doesn’t pull any punches — or should we say death blows?
Early on in the Legends’ mission back to 1916, when they’re attempting to help their former selves without running into them, Eobard speeds in and kills Ray Palmer by pulling his heart from his chest. It’s a brutal ending reminiscent of Felicity Smoak and Amaya’s deaths in ‘Doomworld’, and it sets the stage for exactly how violent the Legends’ final battle against the Legion of Doom will be in ‘Aruba’. In fact, the Legends and the Legion go face to face on a literal battlefield — they’re still in a war zone, after all. A number of the Doomworld Legends lose their lives in the battle: Jax sacrifices himself for Stein, Captain Cold kills Mick after Mick saves Ray, and Darhk kills Nate, who tells his former self not to hide his feelings from Amaya.
But, the real fight doesn’t start until Eobard shows up with an entire army of Reverse-Flash’s — versions of himself gathered from different points in time. Faced with such an impossible foe, Sara is forced to use the Spear and in doing so, she has a moment with her fallen sister, Laurel (Katie Cassidy). It’s a sweet scene in which Sara finally finds peace after her sister’s death, and she evolves into a full-blown hero. Using the Spear, she rewrites destiny to depower the artifact, and essentially sets Black Flash on Eobard, who is finally erased from the timeline as he was meant to be. As for the other members of the Legion, the Legends return them to their respective times and wipe their memories, setting them back on their original paths.
Season 3, Here We Come
With the Spear of Destiny depowered and the Legion of Doom disassembled, ‘Aruba’ very neatly wraps up all of Legends of Tomorrow season 2’s story threads. In terms of the team’s roster, Amaya seems poised to return to her home time period of 1942, until Nate confesses his feelings for her and they both decide to stay aboard the Waverider. Rip Hunter, however, chooses to depart. Seeing how far Sara has come as the leader of the Legends, and not having much of a place on the team, he leaves to find his own destiny. It’s bittersweet to see Arthur Darvill go, but certainly a fitting departure for his character.
In the final sequence, as the Legends start to depart for Aruba — since they all could do with a vacation — they’re captured in a time storm and crash land in 2017 Los Angeles. However, the city doesn’t look how it should and there are dinosaurs running loose in the incredibly deserted streets of L.A. Sara quips that they’ve broken the timeline, and the scene sets up what viewers can expect for season 3 of Legends of Tomorrow. Based on this sequence, it seems season 3 will feature the team correcting the timeline on a much bigger scale than the aberrations they fixed throughout season 2. How exactly they’ll manage this feat, however, remains to be seen when Legends of Tomorrow returns.
Legends of Tomorrow will return for season 3 on The CW.