With the world of 2019 “cannibalizing itself out of fear and paranoia” of magical creatures, the titular heroes of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will take a gamble to unite humanity in the season 4 finale, which airs on Monday.
“They’ve sacrificed [before], but this is probably the most selfless thing they’ve done in the four years,” showrunner Phil Klemmer tells EW. “The thing we’re trying to resolve is where monsters belong in our world.”
Typically, the Legends fight the Arrowverse’s secret wars, meaning all of their season-ending battles to save history occur away from the present day. However, this year’s finale “Hey, World!” finds them smack dab in the present, which is a change of pace for the team.
“The Legends’ last stand takes place very publicly on the world stage,” says Klemmer. “The consequence of coming out of the shadows of history to make a stand is that you’ve got eyeballs on you. As soon as they get eyeballs on them, the Legends start asking the questions: Do we wear [superhero] outfits? Do we use our superhero names? Do we use our powers? Are people going to accept us as real superheroes?”
In other words, the Legends face an “existential crisis” in the season 4 finale, which explains why the midseason sizzle and recent photos show Sara (Caity Lotz), Nate (Nick Zano), and Gary (Adam Tsekhman) dressed up as Supergirl, Green Arrow, and the Flash. The team isn’t entirely sure if the year 2019 will take them seriously as they try to convince the public not to be afraid of magical creatures.
“One of the big themes of the finale is that they start comparing themselves to what Sara calls ‘the franchise superheroes,'” says Klemmer. “Everybody knows Supergirl and every kid wears a Flash t-shirt, but are we going to be accepted or are we going to be ridiculed, or are we going to not be trusted? It brings up all that insecurity for our guys, which is great.”
Of course, pretending to be the Arrowverse’s Trinity fails to sway humanity, so they must sway people’s hearts the only way they know how: the Legends way. “That’s our Beebo moment for season 4,” says Klemmer. “How can the Legends unite humanity in the spirit of peace, love, and understanding, as opposed to fear, suspicion, and paranoia?” This is Legends of Tomorrow, which means you can expect music, too. “Season 4 became not just our magical season, but it became our musical season, too.”
Additionally, you can expect the finale to resolve one of the show’s long dangling stories. “We wanted to sort of pull in all of the threads of Zari’s (Tala Ashe) dystopian future,” he says. “We’ve been promising to resolve that for two years now, [and] we didn’t want to push that until season 5.”
Speaking of season 5: “Hey, World!” will also set up the show’s fifth season in a substantial way. “It’s a big kick-off [for season 5], because the consequence of meddling in 2019 present day on a public stage is that you can’t go hit the reset button,” warns Klemmer. “We all felt there needed to be a completely different aesthetic to season 5, and in the closing minutes, we sort of announce, ‘Oh, we’re done with magic and we’re doing something totally different next year.'”
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.