Legends of Tomorrow finale recap: The power of song (and love) compels you!
Sure, Beebo didn’t appear in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow‘s season 4 finale, but that’s fine because his spirit (specifically what he symbolized) was present throughout the entire hour. “Hey, World” was a whimsical and slightly-rushed finale that trumpeted the values of unity over everything and concluded with a heartwarming musical number.
The world is going to hell, literally, at the top of the hour. As the team adjusts to sharing the Waverider with a bunch of magical creatures (from time fugitives to time refugees), Zari and Nate try and fail to get the now-hatched dragon egg back from Lil Zari, and Sara and Mick manage to save Charlie from NeRay and Tabitha, but not before the evil duo got what they wanted. See, NeRay and Tabitha made Charlie transform into a giant squid in the middle of a Senate subcommittee hearing on national TV. That brief mishap generates even more fear of magical creatures, which NeRay and Tabitha plan on using to open the gate that unleashes literal hell on Earth. As far as evil plans go, this is a pretty interesting one.
“How are supposed to beat fear itself?” wonder all of the Legends. The solution: They need to show humans that magical creatures aren’t actually scary. So, they decide to use Mick’s magical book to build Heyworld and teach everyone that creatures are just misfits looking for their place on Earth.
While some of the Legends dress up as the Arrowverse Trinity and film a terrible Heyworld commercial, Mona sets about Pretty Woman-ing the creatures into something friendlier because the plan is basically to put on a talent show that will change everyone’s minds. Unfortunately, the plan also has one unintended side-effect: If the Legends actually pull it off, they will also succeed in rewriting the dystopic future from which Zari comes because building Heyworld leads to an era of understanding and the anti-metahuman act never happens. This, of course, raises a complication: Changing the future means that the last two years wouldn’t have happened. That’s an unacceptable outcome for Sara. “I’m not losing another Legend,” she declares in a “No one dies today” kind of way. Nevertheless, they push forward with their plan hoping they’ll figure out a way to save Zari. It’s been a while since the time travel shenanigans have had personal stakes, and tying it to Zari’s journey is quite effective, especially since we know this is the reason Zari joined the Waverider in the first place.
Meanwhile, Fairy Godmother Nora crash lands in hell, tracks down Constantine, and frees him from torture. The two form a tentative truce with Astra, who helps them recover Ray’s soul token from the Soul Exchange, which they’ll need if they want to put him back in his body. Then, they find Ray, who is playing Jenga with none other than Vandal Savage. And while I wasn’t a Vandal Savage fan in season 1, I found his cheery cameo here very delightful. Anyway, having found Ray and Constantine, Nora completes the task Gary assigned her and teleports back onto the Waverider (except Ray is now a coin until they can expel Neron from his body).
Surprising no one, Constantine thinks the Legends’ talent show plan is very stupid. Not only that, but he also reveals that the only way for them to expel Neron from Ray’s body is for them to trick Neron into breaking the deal he made with Ray. In other words, they need to make Neron kill Nate. But Sara says that’s out of the question because she refuses to lose another Legend. But you can tell Nate is still thinking about it…
Anyway, Heyworld opening day arrives and the park is crowded with children ogling all of the magical creatures. The main event is a Superheroes vs. Monsters morality play starring Sara and Nate back in their superhero costumes for what feels like the first time all season. As part of the performance, Sara and Nate suggest they get to know the monsters before killing them, but the audience starts to revolt because they paid to see superheroes fight monsters goddammit! (Meanwhile, LaMonica Garrett’s Monitor stands in a corner and simply shakes his head at all of this, which is a very Legends way of setting up this fall’s crossover).
Of course, the Legends’ plan starts to fail even harder once Tabitha shows up with a fully grown dragon, who causes all kinds of mayhem under the big top. Thankfully, Lil Zari shows up and orders her dragon to start dancing. The Dragon proceeds to knock Tabitha’s staff out of her hand and then eats her! That’s when NeRay arrives on the scene and uses the fear in the air to open his portal to hell. Constantine challenges NeRay to another fight, but the demon simply kills him — and by “him,” I mean, Nate, who switched places with Constantine and sacrificed himself to free his best friend. Zari, who was supposed to stay in the temporal zone to avoid losing her memory of her adventures with the Legends, orders Gideon to take her to Heyworld.
With Neron expelled from Ray’s body, Constantine destroys what’s left of the demon and then returns Ray’s soul to his body. Ray begs Constantine to resurrect Nate, but Constantine says he doesn’t have the juice. Thankfully, Ghost Hank is there to help. With a little nudge (read: briefly taking over Mick’s body and starting to sing), he helps them realize that love can be just as powerful as fear. So, everyone in the big top, Legends and civilians alike, joins hands and start singing James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James.” Sure, the Legends don’t necessarily form Beebo here, but they come pretty darn close and this resolution is perfectly whimsical and cheesy and poignant.
The magic works and Nate’s soul returns to his body. Nate is briefly reunited with Zari, who disappears in a blink of an eye and is replaced with her brother. “It feels like something is missing,” says Nate, who doesn’t realize he just lost yet another girlfriend. But that feeling fades away and he and the rest of the Legends triumphantly strut out of the big top. Unfortunately, more trouble awaits: Back in hell, Astra returns to the Soul Exchanger and unleashes the souls of several historical sinners on Earth. “Everyone deserves a second act,” she says.
Overall, I really enjoyed the season 4 finale. It was a delightful conclusion to a pretty strong season (To be fair, I love anything that ends with a musical number). While I don’t think season 4 was as consistent as season 3, it was still incredibly entertaining and at times moving, especially because it took full advantage of how much the audience has grown to care about the characters over the past few years. Here’s to next season!
Wall of Weird:
- After Gary’s questionable behavior in the past two episodes, I really hope the show addresses how awful he was, in particular to the women, next season and that he isn’t suddenly let off the hook because he saw the error of his ways. Watching him force Sara and Ava, and then Nate, to do what he said made me feel very uncomfortable.
- “We should’ve done the crossover,” Nate, after the actual Trinity declines to help the Legends with their commercial.
- “People need franchise superheroes to feel safe, so that’s how we’re going to get them in the door,” Sara, explaining why they need the Trinity’s iconography and also revealing the team’s own insecurities.
- UPDATE: I realized I forgot to add a grade to this, so I just did.
This post has been updated.