Tragedy strikes the Legends in the crossover's grand finale
I would like to begin this recap with what I typed in my notes while watching the first half of this episode: NooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooo
Oh, Victor Garber. We knew you were leaving, we knew Stein was never the leader of the team — only an MVP occasionally — and we knew the effects for Firestorm were costly, but did you have to leave like this? Did Legends have to kill you off, and kill you off not even midway through the finale of a crossover that didn’t even end with your funeral?!
Seeing Stein go was a blow, only softened somewhat by the fact that it was on his own terms, and that he got a chance to see his family and reunite with everyone from the Arrow-verse before he went. The real issue I had with the episode was that it felt like it shoehorned in Stein’s exit in the middle of all the action. It made a major character death feel like a footnote, when in any other Legends episode, we would delve into a little more nuance at what this means for the team.
But hey, maybe we’ll get more of that next week, when Sara and the team get a chance to mourn properly for the professor before going on hiatus. This week’s hour was all about delivering a grand finale to the Earth-X crossover, and on that front Legends delivered, even if, just like last year, this episode didn’t feel like a Legends episode much at all. Sure, we had the Waverider and everyone onboard it, but the focus remained on the crown jewels of the CW superheroes universe: Green Arrow, The Flash, and their other halves.
At least they all made it back to Earth-1 in the cold open. Thanks to Stein (*sniff*), the breach opens, destroying the Nazis closing in on the team. Barry and The Ray arrive just in time to destroy the robot headed their way, and Jax saves Stein for the time being by merging with him to become Firestorm.
When they get back to S.T.A.R. Labs, though, everything’s falling apart. Felicity and Iris — a wonderful pairing so far in the crossover, by the way — have tried their best to save Kara, but now Supergirl is about to go under the knife once and for all. Eobard can’t help being juuust a little more creepy before diving in: He tells her about how much he loves slicing metal through bone, but when he drives his knife toward her heart, something stops him.
That something turns out to be the Atom, arriving with the rest of the Legends just in time to join the party after receiving Felicity and Iris’ SOS. And they’re not the only team to finally make it to Central City; Star City’s Mr. Terrific, Wild Dog, and Black Canary provide much-needed backup as they drive the Nazis out of S.T.AR. Labs. Together they destroy Metallo, until Evil Arrow shows up threatening Felicity’s life, and Oliver’s forced to threaten Overgirl. The pair have a standoff until Eobard rushes in and removes Team Nazi, and Oliver and Felicity get a chance to embrace and apologize to each other for leaving things between them in a bad place.
Now that Nazis have overrun Central City, the entire team retreats to the Waverider to concoct a new plan. Barry and Iris reunite, and so do Kara and Alex, but the most intriguing pair is Mick and “Leo” Snart. Mick, of course, thinks he’s a ghost, but soon enough, the two are talking about how the Mick of Earth-X died. It’s almost just like old times, only with a much more optimistic Cold.
But not everything goes well on board. Gideon assesses Stein and Jax in the medical bay, with Caitlin watching over them, but even she admits to Ray and Nate that Stein should have died by now. The only thing keeping Stein alive is his connection to Jax, and when the two of them wake up alone, Stein realizes this and calls Jax over to say goodbye.
He plays hero one last time, telling Jax that he needs to bring him Cisco’s serum — the blue liquid he had created back in Part 1 to help them separate safely — so that they can separate, Stein can die, and Jax can live instead of acting as Stein’s life support and dying himself. Stein’s a class act all the way to the end, thanking Jax for “the adventure of a lifetime” and asking him to tell Clarissa and Lily he loves them before taking the serum and quietly passing away.
We watch as everyone mourns, a moment of calm before the storm. Sara kisses Stein’s forehead. Iris breaks the news to Barry. Amaya, Nate, and Zari comfort Ray, who looks at a photo of himself with Stein from their Wild West adventure a long while back. We even get a lovely shot of Cisco and Caitlin standing together. Aaaand now I’ve got something in my eye. (NEXT: It’s Over, Overgirl)
Soon enough, the team has figured out what’s really going on with the Earth-Xers: The Ray and Mr. Terrific deduce that Overgirl’s radiation may soon turn her into a supernova that’ll destroy the planet, and that she’s vanished because they’re aboard a Nazi Waverider. Oliver figures that they’ll use Overgirl to threaten Earth-1 and force them to surrender — and he’s right.
Evil Arrow offers to leave their Earth alone if they turn over Supergirl and her heart, but Oliver refuses, saying that his Team Arrow, the Legends, The Flash, and everyone working with them won’t ever abandon their friends, and Ray adds that while they can’t bring Stein back, they can protect his home from Nazis.
And so, the team lands in Central City, ready to face down Evil Arrow and his Nazis. We finally get the crossover slow-mo shot we’ve been waiting for, of all the heroes in a line, facing down the masked baddies. The fighting breaks out, and as usual, we get some neat smaller moments in all the chaos: Leo tells Mick they can’t just roast people (“Haven’t you heard of due process?” he questions Mick, who obviously doesn’t care); Sara and Alex fight side-by-side again; and Mr. Terrific tosses the Atom for a fun combo.
But the battle boils down to a few fronts in the end: First, Felicity, Iris, Harry, and Cisco help Killer Frost Frozone her way on board the Nazi Waverider with Amaya and Zari to disable the shields. The Flash takes on Reverse-Flash, but in the end, Barry lets Eobard go once again, knowing that he’ll just come back again and again to torture him. (After all, Eobard promises him that he’ll be back, perhaps wearing a new face.) Supergirl lures Overgirl off the ship, and the pair take to the skies, but when Overgirl’s radiation jumps off the charts and she starts to go supernova, Kara’s forced to fly her above the Earth so Overgirl can explode. When Overgirl self-destructs, Evil Arrow falls to his knees, giving Oliver time to kill him once and for all.
And then Supergirl falls out of the sky, caught just in time by Nate, who makes a “man of steel” pun because of course he does.
The rest of the hour is devoted to an epilogue of sorts as everyone returns to their respective homes. Almost, anyway: Leo opts to stick around Earth-1 for a little longer, kissing The Ray goodbye as he departs for home. (Which is really too bad; it’s always good to see Russell Tovey around on the small screen.) Stein’s funeral takes place, and Jax delivers a heartfelt speech before sharing a hug with Clarissa, Lily, and baby Ronnie. Mick cries, too, while Leo encourages him to let it all out. And lastly, each of Stein’s closest super friends thank him as they say goodbye: Sara thanks him for believing in her, Caitlin asks him to say hi to Ronnie, and Barry thanks him for bringing him home. (Aaaand I think I have something in my eye again.)
Still, that’s not the end of the crossover. Sara retreats with her Legends, saying goodbye to Alex before she takes off, hugging as they tell each other to trust their instincts, and that they’ll find someone someday. Kara and Alex then go back to their Earth, thanking Oliver and Barry for hosting them.
Left alone, Barry and Iris look at each other and decide that, well, they might as well get married right then and there. And so, Barry picks up the ordained Diggle from the Team Arrow lair, and after Diggle finishes vomiting, he gets ready to marry Barry and Iris. They say their (very, very, there’s-something-in-my-eye-again sweet) vows, but before they seal the deal, Felicity interrupts.
After hearing Barry and Iris’ vows, she’s come around to the idea of being married to Oliver after all. Despite the danger and all their ups and downs, she wants to be married to him, and so Diggle gets to marry two super-couples, ending the episode on a high note of love and super-friendship.
It’s cute, and lovely, and certainly a nice way to wrap up a somewhat bloated crossover event. But still: Stein, guys, Stein. I repeat: NooooOOOOOOOoooooooooOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooo. Please join me in revisiting this clip of Stein distracting everyone in Mission Control with the power of SONG.