WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Legends of Tomorrow‘s season finale
It took a second season for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow to truly hit its stride, but with the finale wiping out Reverse-Flash (right…?) and turning the modern world into a time-warped, dinosaur-ravaged mystery… the third season may make villains of the Legends themselves. After all, it was their meddling with time and reality, including breaking the rules they swore to always uphold that put them into this nightmare. But most importantly, how will this distorted version of 2017 Los Angeles impact the rest of The CW’s shows?
It’s not possible to answer every question (the producers need to leave some mysteries for next season), but there’s a good chance fans will have plenty to debate despite the need for patience. Have both the Legends and The Flash seen the last of Eobard Thawne? What’s to blame for the strange blend of past, present, and future in the show’s final shot? And what effects, if any, this final mission had on the CW’s Arrowverse as a whole.
We’re doing our best to cover the biggest questions, and show just how complicated a story gets when time is no longer a straight line.
The Death of the Doomworld Legends
The show left audiences with a bleak premise in the previous episode, with the Legion of Doom successfully re-writing history into a ‘Doomworld’ reality. Eobard Thawne even succeeded in destroying the Spear of Destiny to keep the Legends from returning the world to normal, and even killed Vixen in front of her teammates. But with the season finale, things begin on a much more optimistic note. The impression that reality could not be changed is tossed aside, with the Legends coming up with a rather simple solution: return to 1916, acquire the vial of Christ’s blood first, trash the spear, and none of Doomworld will ever have taken place.
Aside from solving their immediate problems, it also means that Amaya’s death will never have occurred – nor any of the deaths soon to follow on the Legends’ mission. So as Ray Palmer has his heart ripped out, Mick Rory is impaled by ice, Jefferson Jackson takes an arrow to the chest, and the rest of the Legends are eventually punched to death(?) by Reverse-Flash, those left alive know their loss can be undone if the mission is achieved. It is, and as expected, the older, Doomworld-experienced Legends soon fade from existence – since that reality never came to be, nor they with it.
The Fate of Reverse-Flash
Reverse-Flash was really the one member of the Legion of Doom to live up to their name, having tracked the Legends back to 1916 from the future – the future of 2017, not the distant future he originally came from. Realizing that the rules of time travel and remnants were fair game (what with the Black Flash safely contained in his Doomworld S.T.A.R. Labs), Eobard Thawne sets out to pull dozens of himself from other points in history to create an army of Reverse-Flashes. The plan almost works, since he takes down the strongest Legends when all is said and done, but he’s too late retrieving the Spear of Destiny from Sara Lance. And here’s where things get interesting where theory-spinning is concerned.
Sara chose to remake reality into one in which the Spear of Destiny held no power. That meant it would never be able to be used by the Legion of Doom to create Doomworld. And if it never created Doomworld… then the Black Flash could finish the job. Freed from his prison, the Black Flash arrives to punish Eobard Thawne for his meddling with time via the Speed Force, vibrating a hand into his chest, and killing him. Well, we say “killing him,” but it may be more accurate to say the Black Flash corrected the error/loophole that allowed Thawne to exist at all. And just like that, all the other Reverse-Flashes present faded away as well. So what was happening?
Since we sincerely doubt that Matt Letscher’s Reverse-Flash is truly gone from the Arrowverse, the writers have always left themselves open doors. For starters, the Reverse-Flash that got killed was the one from the Doomworld future, not the one from 1916 (hence the “from the future” mix-up with his villainous peers). He’s the Thawne who used the Spear, remade reality, and returned to ensure that happened. But with the Spear no longer able to remake reality, he fades from existence, since he can’t be there. And since he couldn’t have recruited all the other Thawne’s to aid him, they simply fade away, having never been removed from their own realities.
Now, the Thawne that existed before or (chronologically) after that decision to use the Spear would feasibly still exist.
The Original Timeline Restored…?
Fans knew to expect a heartbreaking Lance sister reunion in the finale, and got it when the Spear of Destiny made Sara’s deepest desires real. But the glimpse of what life with Laurel would look like wasn’t reality remade, merely a test of Sara’s true resolve. She didn’t need to live through Doomworld to know she is what her trauma made her, and removes the Spear’s power – and nothing else. From there, it’s just a short goodbye to the future/alternate history self that affirmed her belief in herself, and the rest is history. Well, not yet.
The team is determined to restore the world exactly as it should be, trauma, betrayals, and all. That means delivering Captain Cold to Central City shortly before he arrived on The Flash, and wiping his memory of time with the Legion, allowing him to play his part among the first Legends team. That also means dropping off Damien Darhk back in 1987 so he can be as smarmy, evil, and magic-seeking as ever before. Villains replaced, memories wiped, and heroes united, it’s finally time for the team to take some hard-earned vacation (and for Nate and Amaya to quit wasting time).
Or so they think.
The Legends Break Time Itself
They had assumed that the violent Time Storm that thrashed the Waverider earlier in the episode was a result of their attempts to stay ahead of the “reality wave” moving backwards from the inception of Doomworld, or even teaming up with their former selves. But as the team attempts to make a harmless leap to Aruba, they’re tossed from the timestream into what should be a friendly backdrop – Los Angeles, 2017. Instead of the world we know as our own, the Legends look out onto a city built from famous monuments, futuristic skyscrapers, and dinosaurs. Rampaging Tyrannosaurus rex, to be specific. They immediately assert that they broke time far more severely than assumed, but a few additional details can be offered for fans.
First of all, this is no random assortment of structures. Rather, they’re uniquely tied to the Legends’ own adventures over the past two seasons. There’s Big Ben, a famous monument regularly seen destroyed in the show’s first season intro. That spiraling skyscraper seems eerily reminiscent of the architecture of 2147 in the Kasnia Conglomerate, the idyllic home of Per Degaton, Vandal’s pupil met in the show’s first season. As for the dinosaurs? That’s a callback to the beginning of season 2, when Ray Palmer was found fleeing from a Tyrannosaur around 70 million years in the past.
What’s brought these monuments and beings into a single place? Have the Legends pulled these disparate reminders of their messing with time into the future or past? And if so, why here? Why now? Oh, then there’s the question of how they go about undoing their time meddling. Without, you know, actually undoing all of it? That, we’re afraid, is going to be a question for season 3.
Until then, fan theories are as good as our own. Did you spot any other hints or evidence in that final scene? Or have a suspicion as to how the Legends will return time and reality to the exact way they ought to be?