Getting a sense of what’s coming is the only good thing about the Legends of Tomorrow finale. Legends of Tomorrow has never been a show for the logistical details or deep characterization, but the big moments. The end of this episode is exactly the big moment this show, one about bringing popular side characters from both Arrow and The Flash for adventures that are bigger than any on both shows was, is known for and executed pretty damn well. But the ending was just at the center of an hour of bombastic and nonsensical moments.
Vandal Savage was given the most over the top death of any superhero TV show’s big bad. It’s absolutely frustrating to think about how three separate battles with the same villain can happen simultaneously. However, the finale took full advantage that the Vandal Savage’s storyline (Hawkwoman and Hawkman’s storyline along with him) was concluding, meaning the writers could work in a fight with a Vandal from three eras because they would never have another chance with him again.
Each climatic duel with the time displaced villain felt like the last fight in any superhero movie or show, making Vandal’s defeat three times as satisfying as any of those other villains. Each fight complemented the other two perfectly, as if the heroes were acting in tandem, and went a long way in solidifying the heroes as a functioning team of heroes. The generator exploding, after Rip Hunter tosses Vandal into it, added a flourish to the fight. His demise won’t fix any of the show’s problems but it was just as satisfying nonetheless.
The team finally defeated the reason they formed in the premiere. They have restored the timeline and all the heroes get to have some semblance of closure (Rip getting an inspiring pep talk from his dearly departed family & Carter and Kendra finally reuniting are special highlights for me), but nothing real considering this is just a season finale after all. The 1st year has been tough for this show, but I have to say that these last scenes were worth the confusion.
The characters, and their respective motivations, are just as frustrating and confusing but taking away the time traveling elements will probably help ground the show’s drama in a more relatable story arc for the entire second season. The time-hopping might have been more fun if it was handled by a better, more thought out, show but this show consistently relied on hackneyed plot twists and tired old characters until it could get to the next big moment.
About the most exciting thing to come out of this season is the JSA’s introduction. The cast will be expanding, and possibly even changing, next season when Rex Tyler and company come rolling into two and that should hopefully lead to more interesting character interactions than the ones we got during this uneven first season. It’s a shame that it has taken the show this long to get the more interesting aspects of the show but this introduction not only sets Legends apart from other show but the current DC movies. The same problems will likely still be there, though.
The best way to right the ship is to mine the wellspring that is the Justice Society of America. This group (pretty much the same as future movie stars, the Justice League) faces many exciting and different threats. One particular group of villains that would be exciting to watch is the Lansinarians. They would complement the threat of the Thanagarians and zany enough to go up against the JSA. Furthermore, the space political angle would give the show a different taste from the other Berlanti superhero shows.