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Tomorrow will be the season finale of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the series with the oddest trajectory in all of superhero TV. From the onetime punching bag of the Arrowverse, to one of its best-reviewed series, Legends wraps up season 7 tomorrow night with no official promise that there will be a season 8 (although it seems likely, and will feel even more like a given after you’ve seen the episode). And oh, boy, the finale is wild. Fair warning in advance: this is a non-spoiler review. There are a lot of questions that Legends fans are dying to have answered, and the goal here is to give a sense for what the finale is, without giving any of those answers away.
So if you’re reading just to find out who Donald Faison is playing, or whether it’s really true that one or another character is dying, or leaving the show, or if that title really does mean someone’s pregnant, or whatever…it’s only another day. You can make it.
The central conflict of the episode comes from the fact that Gwyn Davies (Matt Ryan) has figured out that the “Alun” (Tom Forbes) that Gideon (Amy Pemberton) presented to him last week is, in fact, an android duplicate. That sends him back into World War I – and more specifically to a fixed point in history, which cannot be altered, and is guarded by an unseen and deadly operative. The rest of the team, unable to travel through time at the start of the episode, must figure out how to save Gwyn’s life, without doing anything that would attract the attention of Gideon and void the retirement deal they struck last episode.
The Legends crew is one of the most talented ensembles on TV, and it’s hard to evaluate a single episode in a vacuum. Still, there are certainly some standouts in the finale. Caity Lotz delivers some powerful emotion, connecting with the helplessness that the Legends have felt all season. Sara, being Sara, hasn’t really allowed herself to feel that, but the specific circumstances of tomorrow’s episode really get to her. It’s a terrific performance, and its sometimes easy to forget that as funny as she plays Sara, Lotz can deliver that patented Arrowverse angst, too. Jes Macallan was similarly a standout, almost for the opposite reason. The way she blended some funny moments with a whole lot of emotions going on, as her co-captain finally has had enough of this season, felt real and impressive.
Matt Ryan does a lot of nonverbal acting that’s great work in this episode. Since part of the conceit is that he must be hidden for his plan to work, he gets to speak and “go big” less than any other member of the cast, and we are rewarded with some really cool choices by the actor. He spends some of the episode paired with Nick Zano, who steps up in a big way to fill the role of the expert and tactician, since he has been doing the time-travel thing longer than almost anybody, and Gwyn is comparatively a novice.
About half the cast get status quo changes in one way or another in the finale – not just in the sense that the Legends themselves are facing a new status quo after it’s done, but in the micro sense. Specific characters will never be quite the same again once season 7 is over. These changes are largely for the better, but there are one or two landings that aren’t totally stuck, and will leave fans with more questions than answers. And one quibble from last year’s finale will likely rear its head again, as the nature of TV storytelling can sometimes be the enemy of common sense.
Donald Faison gets only a handful of minutes of screentime, but brings a character who will be a breath of fresh air to some fans, and a little too much for others. So far, he is very much Donald Faison, and seeing how the character might evolve while retaining Faison’s core mannerisms will be a lot of fun. Certainly his relationship with the Legends in a presumptive eighth season will be interesting – and he already has one team member who’s a fan.
The Gideon-and-Gideon of it all has two or three big twists in the episode, and offers Amy Pemberton a chance to tackle both aspects of her character’s identity as they try to outdo one another. There is one writing choice that limits her range a bit, and it’s a shame. That is not to say the writing in the Gideon arc isn’t strong: one of those twists is a genuinely clever twist, and the Gideon story is the thing that gets the most closure by the time the episode is over.
…Because, yes, it ends on another cliffhanger. Last season, we knew that new episodes were only a few months away, but as of this writing, there is no official renewal yet, and that might frustrate some fans. Still, the season ends on what is certainly the turn of a big page in the show’s universe. If it’s the series finale – which seems unlikely – it will likely draw some criticism for the last few moments, but even then, it would be a valid enough conclusion to this chapter of the Legends’ existence, and the next step could be fleshed out via cameos and expository dialogue on other Arrowverse shows.
It isn’t Legends of Tomorrow‘s best finale, but it’s a solid hour of television, with a few genuine surprises and some really entertaining moments. None of the actors disappoint, and there will be big “hell yeah” moments for fans of four or five specific characters especially.