LEGENDS OF TOMORROW Review: “Aruba”

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If you feel like it’s taken years for us to get to the season finale of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, you are not alone. With production schedules pushing episodes back and an extended episode order, we’ve been on this ride for what feels like 80 years. But we’re here.

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We begin the season finale, “Aruba” with Rip tracking down the rest of team who have a plan to restore reality. After easily taking down Darkh and his henchmen, the team uses Ray’s suit to un-shrink the ship so that they can begin the real mission – stopping the Legion of Doom from getting the Spear of Destiny by returning to the Battle of the Somme in 1916.   Rip, who’s less than enthusiastic about the plan, warns the team that they have to avoid contact with their former selves who were there a few episodes ago. The Legends are tasked with quietly aiding their former selves destroy the Spear before the Legion of Doom can get it. The catch is, once their former selves destroy the Spear, they will cease to exist because they never would’ve existed if the Legion hadn’t gotten the Spear… at least in their current states. Yeah, this is where the whole time travel thing gets confusing.

After returning to the Battle of the Somme, Ray locates the vial containing the Blood of Christ but is thwarted by Thawn, who easily predicted the team’s plan. In a terrible first act twist, Thawn not only destroys the vial but removes Ray’s heart, killing him.

Although harsh, because the current Legends are aberrations, Ray’s death doesn’t effect his former self in 1916.

Future Thawn warns the Legion of Doom that the future Legends are here to help their former selves, so you can bet the team’s plan didn’t go as seamless as they thought.

Future Mick, Nate, and Rip infiltrate the Waverer of their past selves to steal the Spear of Destiny, much to former Sarah’s confusion who thought that they were supposed to be going to the church. Future Nate, misleads the rest of the team as to where the blood of Christ is located. He also falls over himself when seeing Amaya alive and well in the past. Mick and Rip quickly steal the Spear, but Nathan’s delay after seeing Amaya causes them to run late and they’re not able to escape the ship before their former selves return from the church, effectively trapping them in the ship.

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The past Legends finally catch on to their future selves and the two teams attack each other. The future Legends are forced to reveal their plan and what the future holds if they don’t secure the Spear. Much to Rip’s warning about interacting with themselves, the team encounters a time quake. Before they can figure out the next step, the Legends are both attacked by the Legion and caught in a time storm (caused by them interacting with their past selves) before they can blast off, causing them to be stuck in 1916. The new plan for the team is to get the past Legends onto the future Waverider so that they may escape with the Spear.

The team faces off with the Legion of Doom, a battle that leaves future Jax, future Mick, future Rip, and future Nathan dead. It also gives us an epic battle between Sara and Darkh. Just as the remainder of the team believes they can escape with the Spear, Thawn suddenly appears with an army of evil Speedsters. With no other option, Sara is forced to use the Spear of Destiny (something she’d been reluctant to do with so much “darkness inside of her”) to defeat the team. Just before Sara is able to use the Spear, Thawn steals the Spear from her and attempt to use it against her – but is stopped when he learns Sara has de-powered the Spear. Just before Thawn can drive the Spear through Sara’s heart, his “monster” (Black Flash) finally catches up with him and destroys him. The Legends are able to walk away victorious, Spear in hand. IMG_4886

The team returns Snart and Darkh back to their original timelines (instead of killing them like they could). Amaya packs her bags to return to 1942, but Nathan professes his love for her and asks to come with her. Amaya, even though she knows her destiny, decides to stay with Nate. Rip tries to slip off, feeling that the team functions better without him. He anoints Sara as the official captain of the team, and takes his leave.

Just as the team sets off for a vacation in Aruba, they’re thrown out of the temporal zone by another time storm, crash landing in Los Angeles 2017. The team realizes that the effect of them communicating with their future selves may have been worse than they thought when they see dinosaurs and other oddities walking around LA. We end our season with Sara speculating to the group that they may have “broken time.”

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It’s been said before, but I think that this season of Legends of Tomorrow was astronomically better than it’s first. This season seemed to get a consistent tone down pat, allowing characters to be comedic when they needed to be while not overshadowing some of the darker plot twists. Also, almost every character had a decent story arc at one point or another, and (in my opinion) this season wrapped up Rip’s story quite nicely in this last episode. While there may have been a few episodes that didn’t hit the nail on the head for me towards the beginning of the season when they were still doing “aberrations of the week”, all and all this season had a slew of solid episodes which actually makes me excited for next season.

As for this week’s episode, I thought the double trouble of both the past and present Legends was an exciting way to end. Granted, all of the future Legends died – I suspect that was the easiest way to get rid of them the quickest – I personally am a sucker for the whole TV “we can make it look like the same character is talking to another version of themselves” magic trick. In addition to enjoying the character’s feats of having to battle and work with themselves, that also was a clever way of setting up season 3’s problem  in which the team may have broken time….whatever that means.

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I think my main complaint about this episode was the time quakes. I may have missed an explanation about them before, but having seen the Legends screw up quite a few timelines all season, I found it weird that this was the first time we saw the magnitude and danger of time storms and quakes, and wonder why we haven’t been introduced to how dangerous they can be before. Maybe a small introduction to them in previous episodes could have raised the stakes for me during this episode when they kept happening. Or, maybe they intentionally kept time quakes low-key, so we could be surprised with how much damage they can cause by the end of the season.

I ultimately loved the defeat of the Legion and Thawn’s defeat by his monster (Black Flash). I definitely have to applaud the show for really tracking all of their stories from the season, and knowing when to pull a trick out of the hat at a really effective moment. I thought that the Black Flash ultimately being the thing that stops Thawn and the Legion from ultimate control was strong, and personally enjoyed seeing Thawn being torn apart piece by piece. I seriously couldn’t stand that guy.

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So we end this season knowing that the Legends screwed up big time. While I really wanted them to end the season on a beach after finally making it to Aruba, I appreciated the surprise ending and thought it was specific enough for us to guess what the Legends will be dealing with next season, while still being vague enough to keep us in the dark about who the next big bad will be.

I cannot stress how much an improvement this season has been. Honestly, it’s become not only my favorite show of the CW’s DC universe, but also a show I look forward to watching on a weekly basis. While I thought all of the characters carried their weight, I have to say Arthur Darrell (Rip) was the MVP for me, with his really strong portrayals of Rip’s ever-changing mental state during the middle of the season. While I’m sad it doesn’t seem that he’ll be returning for next season, I’m happy that they wrapped up his story in a clean way.

We end this season with dinosaurs in LA; time will only tell what our Legends will have to deal with next season.

TB-TV-Grade-A+Season 2, Episode 17 (S02E17)
Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays at 8PM on The CW

Read all of our reviews of Legend of Tomorrow here.
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Writer based in LA. Just trying to write good stuff while deep conditioning my hair.
Keep up with all of Vanessa’s reviews here.

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