During the season finale of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the CW super series will break a cardinal rule of time travel, leading to some big consequences.
After Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher) rewrote reality to create Doomworld and subsequently destroyed the Spear of Destiny, the Legends are now forced to travel back to WWI to prevent the Legion from getting their hands on the Spear in the first place, running the risk of coming into contact with their past selves. The consequences of their actions will lead to “so many deaths,” according to executive producer Phil Klemmer. Below, the Legends boss also teases how their actions will reverberate into season 3, which will include some new team members.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The Legends must return to the past in the finale. What can you tease?
PHIL KLEMMER: As Marc Guggenheim has said many times, and in shaming me for the fact that I’ve never seen Back to the Future 2 — I’m sorry, I apologize to everybody — from what I understand, this is a version of what happens in Back to the Future 2. We’ve always wanted to break the cardinal rule. Obviously, from a mythology standpoint, it’s very exciting to imagine what will happen when we do the one thing that Rip told us never to do. But from an interpersonal perspective, it’s interesting to see how our Legends will interact with themselves. There’s comedy to that. The fact that our one team can’t come to a consensus and march in a straight line, it’s hilarious to imagine what two teams would try to do if you try to herd those cats. But then there’s also a very poignant opportunity for people to meet yourself — your future self getting to talk to your past self and impart whatever lessons you’ve been able to learn over the course of Doomworld. We’re not going that far back in time, but so much has happened. They were the most fun scenes I’ve ever written on the show — [the scenes] between the Legends and themselves — both for the comedy and for the pathos of it all.
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It’s obviously a rule for a reason, so what are the consequences of coming into contact with your past self?
Well, it’ll take at least another season to try to, if not fix, mitigate some of the destruction that we inflict on the universe in the finale. I just know, as a viewer, I would hate people if they made it too easy. It’s been 33 episodes of us being like, “You can’t do that, you can’t push that button,” so if it were too easy to undo the cataclysm, I would be like, “Oh, come on!” It’s not resolved this season. It basically is the propulsion that will take us into season 3. It will redefine our Legends, who they are and what they do, which is great because it’s always good to make them responsible for the mess. Our Legends provide the best part of the show, which is us trying to clean up our own messes. We make our ultimate mess in Tuesday’s episode.
With double the amount of Legends that he’s facing, what will Thawne do to combat that?
Hats off to The Flash, but when you have somebody as powerful as a speedster, it’s always a challenge to come up with a way of evening the playing field. Obviously, he has his henchmen. We’ve had a couple of humanizing moments for Thawne in space to see his more human side, but he’s a pretty messed-up guy, and I don’t think he trusts his partners, nor do his partners trust him. I will tease it like that: The only person Thawne really trusts is himself.
The team is also facing off against Legion. What can you tease of how that will culminate, especially since we know Damian needs to return to his timeline, otherwise what does that mean for season 4 of Arrow?!
Yeah, or what if Snart doesn’t go back, there’s no Captain Cold, and there’s nobody to save our team at the Oculus, and Vandal Savage isn’t vanquished! One of the fun parts of our show is even evil parts of history are part of history. We hit that hard for the first time when we went back to the Civil War, and we had our team dealing with zombies, but at the same time you’re like, “Even once the zombies are fixed, there’s still a monstrous thing happening here.” We meant to make that a bigger part of season 2, and it’s something that’s really still available to our team. Again, season 3 is going to be totally different, it’s not going to be just fixing these simple aberrations and then moving on. As our team is maturing, they’re going to be — next season — faced with questions of like, “What if putting things back to the way they were wasn’t good enough?” It’s always great when you have a conflict, when you have two equally valid points of view. That’s what you want on a show, because if everybody agrees, the show gets really freaking boring really fast.
At the end of this finale, obviously everybody is pulling in the same direction because they have to, because the stakes are so high, but as we finish this season, we really want to change the dynamic in season 3 so that it’s not going to be just like, “We’re picking up where we left off and we know where everybody stands!” That’s why we have these crazy cliffhangers, this is why we bring on new characters, that’s why we had the JSA, that’s why we blew up the Vanishing Point. We’re doing versions of all those things we did last year, we’re doing them Tuesday night, which is crazy to do, because we love season 2 of this show, we love the dynamics we have on our team, we love our villains, but kill your darlings, or whatever they say.
There were a couple of big questions coming out of Doomworld, like whether Stein will get his memory back, whether Amaya is really dead, and whether the team can trust Mick. Will you definitively answer those in the finale?
Definitely. We will deal with all of those things in the finale. It’s definitely not a finale you want to turn off in the last couple minutes. There’s a seismic shift in our show, quite literally, that will give you an idea of what season 3 will look like, but also I don’t think anybody will know what it’s going to look like, because frankly, we don’t quite know what it’s going to look like. The show has always been designed to morph. There’s a big morph moment coming.
What can you tease of how the finale will set up season 3? What’s the one question you think fans will have?
Season 1 was about stopping Vandal Savage, and then season 2 we accidentally blew up the Time Masters, and now we’re effectively the time police, so we’re fixing these aberrations, even though we didn’t want to do this and we’re not really equipped to it. After the finale, people will wonder, “What does an episode look like now?” A great thing about our show is that not only do the characters change and the dynamics change, but the engine of the show changes with it. What you do with the cliffhanger is basically paint yourself in a corner, and you have no idea how you’re going to get out of it. When we had Hourman appear and say he’s a member of the JSA, you have an idea of where that’s going, but it’s not until you really sit down and start writing those stories that you know for sure. It gives you that slightly weightless feeling, where it’s a thrill, but it’s also scary as s—, where you’re like, “Man, sometimes it would be easier to keep writing the same show,” but that’s not what Legends does best. It’s great when it catches people by surprise. The things we get to do on this show, nobody on TV gets to do episodes about George Lucas and a Nazi cabaret song or a Land of the Lost episode. Our mission is to surprise people, and that’s why we have to force ourselves out of our comfort zone at the end of every season, so we’ll be as surprised as the rest of the audience when we finally get there.
What will next season’s Legends team look like? Will you be adding new members?
We do. It’s something akin to the scale of what we did this season. You will not know who the new characters are [in the finale], you’ll have to wait until next year.
Should we expect any death in the finale?
There will be so many deaths! It’s just nothing but death. It’s a wall-to-wall carnage. It’s a meat grinder. It’s more people that I’ve probably killed in my entire television career. It’s ridiculous.
The season finale of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Stay tuned for more scoop on the return of a familiar face in the finale.