Wrapping Up With ‘Legends Of Tomorrow’ Season 7
by Erik Amaya
Sometimes, you really do need to blow up your premise to once again find your strengths.
Legends of Tomorrow started its seventh season from one its weakest footholds since the initial year. COVID, a weak antagonist, and isolating Sara (Caity Lotz) from the other Legends exposed many of the show’s rougher edges during Season 6 — although, to be fair, the same could be said of all Arrowverse shows in spring and summer 2021. But as the Legends writing team is nimble and introspective, they sensed the issues and sent Season 7 off in a strong direction by doing something almost all time travel shows have to do at some point: strand the heroes in one time period.
But because Legends almost always finds a worthwhile twist, the time period the Waverider crew had to navigate was the 1920s and it proved to offer some great stories, like Zari 2.0 experiencing the overt racism of the era and Nate (Nick Zano) navigating his readiness to live with Zari 1.0 (Tala Ashe) via playing at being a G-Man. Beyond the social issues and episode-specific plots tied to the decade, Legends‘s inability to travel to time for half of the year offered it something lost in the previous season: good pacing. For as much as getting stuck in the ’20s could be tiresome, the Legends ended up finding a way out at the right exact moment in the season. Bouncing around to a WWII aircraft factory, Chernobyl, and a few other places, the themes of the season continued as the story also found its way to a compelling antagonist. Sure, we were initially back with the never-quite-right Bishop (Raffi Barsoumian), but it soon became clear his counterfeit Gideon (Amy Louise Pemberton) was really pulling the strings.
Although dedicated to the original principles of the Time Masters and the Time Bureau, her lack of empathy created a ruthless enemy whose main goal is, ultimately, a good one. But to prove her inhuman efficiency was a liability, the show also gave the Gideon Pemberton played up until now a physical form. Now a presence within the frame, both Pemberton and Gideon had a chance to truly become part of the ensemble. Astra (Olivia Swann) adopted her (after a fashion) and learned she had some motherly instincts after all. Gideon and Gary (Adam Tshekman) started a physical relationship that could be sweet and revolting all within a few seconds. But most importantly, Gideon learned something, as it turned out, that Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvil) was trying to teach her from the moment he took control of the Waverider — the raw data of history is not enough.
To an extent, this has always been the point of the show, even when it was still finding its tone in the first and second seasons. Rip never would’ve assembled the Legends in the first place had he thought the timeline could not be massaged into a more humane form. Opportunities for people like Spooner (Lisseth Chavez) to learn who they really are should be encouraged. And, of course, whenever possible, the senseless deaths Gwyn (Matt Ryan) saw all around him in World War I should be mutable in some way. Sure, in our reality, time is always fixed, but in the fantasy of Legends, it can be tampered with for a brighter world where everyone, even Bishop, gets a second chance.
Of course, a second chance at happiness is what we always wanted for Nate and it seems his farewell served as that ending — even if we didn’t get to see Zari 1.0 as he disappeared. Also, we’ll admit the actual reason for Nate’s final goodbye into the air totem was introduced in a fairly rushed way, but that also seems to be a feature of the way Legends says its farewells. Consider the departures of Jax (Franz Drameh), Mick (Dominic Purcell), Ray (Brandon Routh), and Nora (Courtney Ford) also had an abruptness to them. To say nothing of Wally’s (Keiynan Lonsdale) off-screen exit. Some had more prep for their departures than others, but all share an odd swiftness in the final minutes that suggests the writers, much like the audiences, wasn’t really ready to let them go.
One thing we were ready to let go of was Evil Gideon and we’re glad it happened swiftly. We’re also happy to see it was the trio of Gideon, Astra, and Spooner who dealt with her. The curious family unit they discovered during their trip to 1920s Chicago was one of the most unexpected pleasures of the season as a whole. Another unexpected pleasure was the way reducing the season from fifteen episodes to thirteen did wonders for the program overall. It almost makes you wonder what the Arrowverse shows still stuck making twice that amount could do as leaner series…
But that is a question for another time as Legends of Tomorrow leaves us with the final image of the team once again under arrest and alongside Booster Gold (Donald Faison). One imagines his time on the Waverider will be eventful, even if it has to start with a prison break.