Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Recap And Review – Episode 17: ‘Aruba’
If there was ever a story about second chances, it’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. After a shockingly uneven first season, the pressure to deliver the goods on an ensemble superhero team for the DCW was pretty high. Fortunately the Legends production crew rose to the occasion and delivered one of the most enjoyable seasons of superhero TV from the last few years. Stuffed with inside jokes, crunchy science fiction, legitimate drama and a cast of heroes and villains that crackled with charisma, Legends of Tomorrow rode a wave that soared to some pretty fantastic heights. The only question that remained was if the Legends could land the season finale “Aruba“. I’m glad to say that they absolutely did; and with aplomb.
So let’s set the scene. All season the Legends have been fighting the Legion of Doom over the incredibly powerful Spear of Destiny. In an unfortunate turn of events the Legends lost that battle and witnessed the birth of “Doomworld“, a dark twisted version of our universe where the Legion of Doom handily destroyed all of their opposition. After a failed attempt to put things right, which incidentally killed Amaya, the Legends conclude that their only course of action was to return to WWI and steal the Spear of Destiny from their younger selves.
In a word, it was the “Hail Mary” pass of the season. Why? Early in the Legends career it was made crystal clear that you cannot revisit the same point in time over and over. Going back to events you’ve already influenced can cause a time paradox and this destructive force could not only wipe you out of existence, but destroy the world and a portion of the known galaxy. In short, you don’t do it. So to even consider this option, you have to be pretty desperate. Fortunately for us the Legends didn’t have much of a choice, so that means we get to see what happens when you break the cardinal rule of time travel.
Oh man did it get broken, a lot. Which I honestly respect because if you’re going to break a rule, go for broke. On their way back to the land of scorched earth and blasted craters the Legends have a wonderfully poignant moment where they realize that they are the time aberrations and if successful, they will cease to exist. It was pretty heady stuff that shined the spotlight on their heroism.
Once the Legends arrived in WWI it was clear that this wasn’t going to be an easy task. After a few scant moments on the battlefield, Ray was quickly dispatched by the Reverse Flash by ripping out our resident geek’s heart with his bare hand. It was dark, and fairly gory for a show that tends to delight in the fun part of comics. The death of Ray was also the last trump card the Legends had as the rest of the team was de-powered, which certainly stacked the deck in the Legion of Doom’s favor.
Even though this was pretty dark, I was surprised at how the show was able to bolster the viewers spirits despite the homicidal bad guys taking our heroes to task. It was honestly a wonderful balancing act that started with a miniaturized Waverider trying to kill Damien Darhk with a barrage of lasers that amounted to Calvin dressed up as Spaceman Spiff yelling “pew pew.” Simply. Hilarious. Another moment that was worth it’s weight in paradox was the Legends meeting their younger selves. Between Sara and Sara echoing one another at every step and the Rory’s sizing one another up, the concept of dueling legends paid off in a big way as the older, de-powered heroes could help their younger selves.
Of course, once Thawne figured out that he faced two sets of Legends, the guy decided to get in on the action too by recruiting dozens of Thawne’s throughout time. Needless to say, this set up for a pretty epic battle that absolutely destroyed any of that left over negativity from the first season. Vandal who? Forget that guy, give me the Legion! They were absolutely vicious, killing off nearly every member of the Aberrant Legends in brutal fashion. It was absolutely perfect and a wonderful reminder that the Legion of Doom is more than a group of narcissistic monologuers, they’re actually cold blooded killers.
In a pretty neat piece of writing all of these elements (Aberrant Legends, Time Paradoxes and the cold blooded Legion) came together to create an incredibly satisfying conclusion to a number of story lines that ran this season. The best example was Sara, who wound up with the Spear of Destiny and only a second to change the world. In that moment she faced the events that shaped her world: Damien Darhk, Laurel’s Death and Sara’s years at sea. These were critical moments that helped shape her entire life, but if they changed the world could be radically different.
So she allowed everything to unfold as it should, with one tiny change that would make Indiana Jones proud: she removed the Spear’s power. It was nothing more than an artifact that belonged in a museum, which nullified all the changes made by the Legion. Kudos to the team for giving Sara a chance to make everything perfect and rise above that intense desire, it was kind of perfect.
Of course, this meant that Thawne had run out of time as the Black Flash finally caught up with his prey, erasing him from existence. It was a pretty big moment that made me more than a little sad. Matt Letscher was a great addition to the roster that brought more than a little pathos to such a despicable villain. Chances are, this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Eobard Thawne (he still has to kill Barry’s mother after all) but in the off chance that it is, what a way to go.
Of course that means that we’ll probably never see this version of the Legion of Doom again. Darhk has a date with destiny in 2016 and Snart is going to die at the end of time. It’s a bummer that dooms these baddies to their original deaths but it only makes sense. Honestly, I was hoping that Sara would have saved Leonard, a last second reprieve for saving all of existence from the Time Masters; but c’est la vie.
Honestly my only complaint for this season was the fact that Snart and Rory didn’t go back to being a bromance in Central City. As much as I love Rory, his truest self is at odds with a certain Scarlet Speedster alongside the rest of the Rogues. I hope we see it one day, but I can live with having a lovable curmudgeon in the mix until then.
That takes us to the final seconds of the show where it becomes obvious that the Legends tampering with the time line has had some serious repercussions. It appears that time itself has begun to unravel, placing dinosaurs next to hyper futuristic skyscrapers. It’s not a lot to go on, but it seems to me that the Legends have just become their own worst enemy.