The CW has historically been pretty generous about renewing shows well ahead of schedule, and some of the renewals have genuinely surprised us. With the network confirmed to be for sale, though, it seems like the brass is being a bit more tentative about spending money on new seasons. This week’s episode of Legends marks the Season 7 finale, and right now we don’t know if a Season 8 is coming. With a new character and a cliffhanger ending, this could be one of the stranger endings for a show. Spoilers follow for Legends of Tomorrow Season 7, Episode 13, “Knocked Down, Knocked Up.”
“Knocked Down, Knocked Up”
When I imagine the process for writing Legends of Tomorrow seasons, it looks like that scene from It’s Always Sunny where Charlie is trying to figure out who Pepe Silvia is. All these disparate storylines flow through the season, only to come together at the end in a satisfying way.
Storylines explored this season include Sara’s superhuman powers gained through her DNA being combined with that of an alien species, Astra exploring her growing magical abilities, Gideon adjusting to life in a flesh-and-blood body, Nate preparing to live with the original Zari in the Wind Totem, and of course the crew’s time-hopping journey to get their ship back so that they can get back to work.
When last we left the Legends, they were trying to settle into early retirement as a way of making a deal with the coldly logical Gideon AI. So much happens in this episode that it’s hard to really sum it up. Sara is pregnant and no longer immortal; AI Gideon puts herself into an android body and fights Astra, Spooner, and human Gideon; Gideon destroys the Waverider, allowing Astra to try again to reassemble it; Nate retires for real; Gwyn dies, sort of; and of course, the crew gets arrested for time crimes.
After running through a cloud of mustard gas–a popular but now-banned weapon used heavily in World War I–causing his steel skin to rapidly rust off his body. After one final mission, Nate is left powerless. The show has been working up to this throughout season 7–since last season, actually. Nate has been waffling about what to do about the strange nature of his relationship with Zari–her living in a totem with her ancestors while he’s out jaunting around time with her doppelganger. In other words, this is not a surprise, but it still hurts a bit to see.
Nate’s addition to the crew occurred right around the time Legends of Tomorrow stopped being a bad show and started having fun–he was instrumental in helping the Legends battle the Legion of Doom and restore the timeline, and became a core member of the crew. Now, with so many other crew members gone, he’s only behind Sara for longest tenure on the Waverider. His story has been one of lost loves.
It started with a pretty cringe-y crush on a woman in feudal Japan, but eventually, he would fall in love with Amaya–only for her to leave the Waverider and be replaced by Charlie, trapped in the same form as Amaya. Later, he would fall in love with Zari, who had to retreat to the Wind Totem to keep her other self from dying. It’s a painful existence, having your loves be replaced by their doppelgangers not once but twice. Getting him and Zari together long-term was a well-earned move for the character.
Further, this move was entirely the decision of actor Nick Zano, who decided not to renew his contract for the show. That makes it an earned ending not just for the character, but the actor as well. But that also makes Ava and Gary, who joined in Season 3, next in line after Sara as longest-tenured.
You’re With Child
Sara Lance is now pregnant. Due to her alien DNA, she was impregnated not by a donor but by physical contact with Ava. Should Legends continue, this will absolutely impact the character’s role on the show. The same way that Nate’s departure came from his desire to pursue a relationship with Zari Tomaz, this feels like the long-play setup to give actress Caity Lotz an out. One can hardly be an ex-assassin time traveler when they have a kid to raise, and the Waverider–as warm and fuzzy a place as it can be–is no place to raise a child. It seems almost guaranteed that if there is a Legends of Tomorrow Season 8, it will be Lotz’ last as a regular cast member (and likely the last for the show, too).
This storyline, in my view, also completes the rehabilitation of Gary Green as a character on the show. He was originally added to be an annoyance, a weird and creepy dork. Much like Parks & Recreation did with its own Garry/Jerry Gergich, though, the show has taken great pains to invest in him as a person.
He’s gone from looking like a needy creep to being the most well-adjusted member of the team, acting as a sort of emotional conscience for characters like Nate and Sara, whispering in their ears to help them confront their actual feelings. He’s also just about the only character in television that you could reveal is an alien 3 seasons after their debut and get “oh that explains so much” as a response instead of “this show really jumped the shark, huh?”
The New Guy
The other big development in the finale is the introduction of a new member of the cast. Initially introduced as “Mike” and portrayed by actor Donald Faison, this character plays a similar role to that of Thawne earlier in the season, protecting the fixed point that compels Gwyn to lay the foundations for time travel. There’s a hilarious moment here when Mike realizes that no one ever shows up at the fixed point because they’d be destroying time travel itself–he’s been given the equivalent of a time travelers’ desk job with no work to do.
Mike, of course, isn’t Mike at all–he’s Michael Jon Carter, better known as Booster Gold. In the comics and animated shows, Booster Gold is anything but a hero. He’s an attention seeker who uses his knowledge of the past to make himself look like a hero. In just half an episode, he’s already abused his position as a Fixed Point Guardian, stolen the Waverider for a few minutes, and gotten himself and the crew arrested for, quote, “Time Crimes.”
This is the biggest evidence that we will indeed be getting Legends of Tomorrow Season 8. It seems unlikely that they would introduce a new character portrayed by a well-known actor only to have the show get canceled, though it’s not impossible.
If the show isn’t renewed, though, this will be the last episode of Legends of Tomorrow. And boy is this a heck of a Seinfeld-style ending. For such an irreverent show, it almost seems appropriate. The last shot we get of the team is all of them on the ground, hands cuffed. They groan when Booster Gold tells them they’re going to jail together.
With that said, this isn’t the ending I want for this show. Legends is much closer to the aforementioned Parks & Rec than to Seinfeld, and an optimistic ending feels much more appropriate. It would be incredibly disappointing if the show ended due to network politics when it had been renewed against all odds for so long. Further, Faison is a talented comedic actor, and he could be a really fun addition to the team. I want the chance to see a live-action version of Booster Gold get the chance to develop into a three-dimensional character–physically and emotionally alike.
I hope there are more Legends episodes to come. This is easily one of my favorite shows on TV, and I’ll take every episode I can get.