While DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has most times been infuriating with the persistence of certain storylines, it’s penultimate episode returned to what made me care about this show in the first place: the characters.
In “Destiny” our team fought to control their own destinies and defeat the Time Masters, but there was a heavy emphasis on character that reminded me what it feels like to really, truly care about this show. When it comes to superheroes, sure the action and time travel of it all is cool. But if you don’t give a damn about who these characters underneath or their motivations for having joined this dangerous crusade, then you really don’t care at all.
But the fact that Legends of Tomorrow has elicited this powerful emotional response from me after this episode goes to show how powerful human emotion can be. Look at what happens when you focus on the people that are fighting this crusade; look what happens when you take characters are bring them full circle; look what happens when you shock your audience with a death that feels like a knife to the chest.
I’ll be honest. Legends of Tomorrow, while enjoyable, hasn’t been my favorite DC Comics show because it’s been inconsistent with how its been executed. While it is far from the likes of Arrow and The Flash, there was still this expectation that I had that Legends would also understand the importance of focusing on these characters.
But “Destiny” has easily been the best episode of Legends of Tomorrow in a long time from the storyline of controlling your own destiny to the redemption of Mick Rory to the love story we always deserved with Sara and Snart and to Leonard Snart’s sacrifice where he became something he never expected to become: a hero.
Let’s break this down:
Seize Your Destiny
When it comes to the theme of time travel, Legends of Tomorrow has been great at addressing the theme of destiny. From the start this show has been about focusing on these characters whose destiny was nothing spectacular but they seized the opportunity to make something out of themselves. They’ve always been fighting to forge their own path, and “Destiny” was no different.
The Time Masters introduced an interesting yet mind scratching concept with the Oculus, which essentially allows them to control everything that happens throughout the existence of time. Basically, everything that has happened, every decision they’ve made, every mistake they’ve made, every good thing that’s happened has all been because that’s what the Time Masters have predetermined.
This once again brought forth the question of fate versus free will. When it comes to forging your own destiny, is it even possible? What happens when your destiny is already carved out? What happens to free will? Is free will even a thing? But apparently the only place where free will is possible is the Vanishing Point, which is where the Time Masters operate out of.
When it came to besting the Time Masters and getting the advantage, the team elected to do something that the Time Masters wouldn’t want them to: destroy the Oculus. So the team returned to do so. While they were initially met with resistance – turns out the Time Masters made that happen – Jax returned from 2016 and saved their asses. The team was able to destroy the Oculus – with Snart’s grand sacrifice – ensuring that their destiny was theirs for the taking.
Leonard Snart Is A Hero
When we first found Leonard Snart on Legends of Tomorrow, he was adamant about the fact that he wasn’t a hero, nor did he plan on becoming one. Well, wouldn’t you know some 14 episodes later that Snart became the very thing he never aspired to be but was always destined to be: a hero.
Heroes come in all varieties, as we’ve seen on The CW. Heroes don’t have squeaky-clean pasts. They’re the ones that are willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. They’re the ones that believe that some things are worth fighting for, worth dying for.
Since his introduction on Legends, Snart has been a character destined for redemption. Learning what little we did about his troubled childhood where he was raised by a father that inspired fear and thievery within him, it showed us exactly how your upbringing shapes who you become. But joining this team allowed Snart to change his destiny; to allow him to become a better version of himself. To not be bogged down by his father’s past but instead to forge his own path, which he was able to do.
There’s something about being part of a team, about being part of something greater than yourself that inspires you to become a better version of yourself. And Snart was able to accomplish that on this show. More than that, Snart was able to cement his status as a hero. The ultimate sacrifice a hero can make is sacrificing their own life for the safety of others. And that’s what Snart did. He saw that Rory was going to give his life for the team, but Snart couldn’t lose Rory again. So he gave his life for his brother.
“That’s what he was. A hero.” – Sara
It was clear the impact that Snart has had on the entire team as they sat around the Waverider mourning his loss. It really shows you how this team – minus Rip of course – has evolved as a family as sorts over this journey. But especially seeing Rory and Sara’s reaction was gut-wrenching. Snart was loved. Don’t ever doubt that.
When I think about Snart’s death, I think back to his conversation with Sara several episodes back when he asked her what it was like to die. Sara told her how lonely she was knowing that those she loved and cared for were so far away. She basically died alone. But given the circumstances of this episode that’s not something Snart had to experience. Snart died knowing that he was around the people that he cared about and people that cared about him, with Sara and Rory and even the team. While he died, he didn’t die alone. He didn’t have to experience that feeling that Sara described. He chose this. He chose to go out this way. He chose to go out feeling loved. And there was something profoundly moving in that that made this all the more heartbreaking.
But while it might’ve appeared that Snart met a tragic end, Wentworth Miller’s new deal in the DC Universe confirms that while he won’t be on Legends full-time, he will be between both Legends and Flash beginning next season. But in the time that Snart spent on Legends as a vital member of the team he was able to become a better version of himself. His journey was unexpected and yet expected at the same time. One thing is for certain; Snart will always be a Legend. To quote The Sandlot:
“Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”
Captain Canary Lights a Spark
When it comes to romance on superhero television shows – or any shows for that matter – sometimes the greatest relationships happen when you least expect them. Looking back prior to Legends of Tomorrow’s premiere, I was confident that I’d be shipping Sara and Ray given Caity Lotz and Brandon Routh’s natural chemistry. But then something surprising happened: Captain Canary.
Following last week’s promo where we saw Sara and Snart going in for a kiss – pretty sure my heart stopped there for a moment – this was the episode that us Captain Canary shippers have been waiting for. Sara and Snart’s relationship has been carefully crafted and organically developed as the two criminals essentially helped each other become better versions of themselves.
This episode gave us a glimpse at the reason I’d fallen in love with Sara and Snart – the snark, the connection, the love. The two have this incredible chemistry – kudos to Caity Lotz and Wentworth Miller – that just lights up the screen. Just the two exchanging looks with each other is enough to light the screen on fire. But there was a moment where Snart opened up to Sara about thinking about his future; about her future; about him and her together. It was something so simple and yet so grand for someone like Snart, which made it all the more special. And the way Sara handled it:
“You wanna steal a kiss from me, Leonard? You better be one hell of a thief.”
But it ultimately ended in heartbreak as Snart sacrificed his life in order to save the team, including Sara. As Snart held onto the device, Sara – knowing full well that she couldn’t stop Snart from doing this – went in for that kiss that he had wanted earlier in the episode. It was beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time.
While Wentworth Miller might’ve exited Legends as a series regular, Snart lives on despite his apparent death, which means that there’s still hope that Captain Canary might meet again giving us that glimpse into what could’ve been – and what still could be – when it comes to Captain Canary.
Mick Rory’s Redemption
When it comes to pleasant surprises, Mick Rory’s redemption arc has been one that has really stood out, right behind Leonard Snart’s. Both men started off as criminals reliant on only each other and their drive to quench their personal thirst by stealing, but they both quickly became something else entirely after joining the Legends team.
Rory had a particular interesting storyline. While it appeared as if he might’ve started caring about the team around episode five, it was as if that scared him and he reverted to his old ways of putting himself and Snart before everyone else, who was basically expendable to him. Then he was left behind by Snart and brainwashed by the Time Masters to become Cronos, a time bounty hunter that was seeking out his former team. When the team captured him, he appeared to be far from redeemable. But the thing that I’ve always stressed is that anyone is redeemable so long as they want to be. And Rory wanted to be.
Rory isn’t one to express his feelings. The most we’ve seen him get emotional has been with Snart or that time when he saw Ray defend him. But in this episode we got to see just how much Rory has changed. When the Time Masters attempted to brain wash him to become Cronos once more, it appeared as if it had worked. Only Rory was playing along in order to save his friends. So that means something had changed.
Ray questioned Rory about how he was able to withstand their mind control. The first time he was susceptible to the mind control because he was focused on how much he hated the team. But this time around he used the need to protect the team to fight the mind control. That’s right, Rory cares about the team. And he’s finally acknowledged that.
More than that, Rory was willing to sacrifice himself for the safety of his team, including Ray who was attempting to do the same. Rory knew that it was the right thing to do, and he would’ve gone through with it had Snart not knocked him out cold and sacrificed his own life. And that’s something that certainly stuck with Rory.
There is no denying that Rory has come a long way from the man he was when he reluctantly joined this mission. While he’s had his share of struggles, and likely will dealing with the loss of Snart, he needs to become his own man and step into that role on the team. He still has a ways to go in his journey. And I can’t wait to watch.
Savage Has Plans For Kendra?
While most of the hour centered on our team attempting to break free or destroy the Time Masters and regain their destiny, Vandal Savage kidnapped Kendra and Carter – though thankfully Carter was MIA for the episode. He took them to 2166 London where he intended on killing Rip Hunter’s family, which he was instructed to do by the Time Masters in order to motivate Rip into forming this team in the first place.
Savage spent most of the episode rubbing the fact that he had power over Kendra in her face. She was bound and under his control as he finally had her in his possession. It was a nice reminder of how horrible this storyline has been. It could’ve been a nice several-episode arc. But one that encompasses 16 episodes? Too much.
Apparently the Time Masters revealed that they believe Savage is the savior of our world – God, I cannot stop laughing. Because while Savage destroyed the world in 2166, he was actually able to unite it when an alien species tried to take over our world. Okay, now we’re taking things too far, Legends. First you want me to believe that Savage is a savior and now you’re bringing aliens into the picture. Take a breath.
But what happens now? Savage accomplished his task of killing Rip’s family. He has Kendra and Carter in his possession. Only now the Oculus has been destroyed, which prohibits Savage from time traveling the way he had been throughout history. What else is there left for him to do but kill Kendra and Carter? What is the endgame in all of this? This only ends one way: in death. For Savage, for Kendra and/or Carter, or perhaps all three. All I know is I’m ready to bid adieu to this storyline.
Jax Finds His Way Home
Given the last time we saw Jax he was roofied – a second time – by Stein and sent back to 2016 as a means to save his life, we were left to wonder if we’d ever see Jax again. Well, turns out we only had to wait a week between episodes.
The episode picked up five months in the past as the team contemplated going on this journey. We saw present-day Jax walk right up to Stein and essentially use his smarts to chart a course back to his friends in the future. It made for an interesting dynamic as this past Stein was definitely different than who he had become since he joined this crusade. But the two once again made a great team and were able to chart a course for Jax to return to the future. Lucky he did, too, because his team was about to be obliterated by the Time Masters. Reunited and it feels so good!