Warning: The following contains spoilers from the season 4 finale of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, which aired Monday. Read at your own risk!
So far, every Arrowverse season finale has included some tease for the next crossover, “Crisis on Infinite Earths” — and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow wasn’t an exception. However, the idiosyncratic superhero drama’s season 4 finale teased the five-hour event in the most Legends way possible (read: hilariously and irreverently).
In the finale, titled “Hey, World!” the Legends opened Heyworld, the whimsical theme park Hank (Tom Wilson) was building before he died, to the public in an effort to counter the fear of magical creatures that NeRay (Brandon Routh) was sowing in 2019. Donning their costumes for what feels like the first time all season, Sara (Caity Lotz) and Nate (Nick Zano) performed a superhero-themed morality play that was meant to teach attendees that all of the stories about monsters they’d read weren’t necessarily true. The audience paid to see superheroes fight a big monster, so this was the last thing they wanted.
As the crowd turned on the Legends, the Monitor — LaMonica Garrett’s multiverse observer who was introduced in “Elseworlds” and appeared in the most recent Arrow and Supergirl finales — simply stood in the back of the big top and shook his head. Not only that, but he then grabbed a box of popcorn and watched as the situation spiraled even further out of control once Godmother and fully grown dragon started causing all kinds of chaos. In terms of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” teases, this is the chillest and least serious one yet, which, again, feels on-brand for Legends, a show that spent its fourth season avoiding your standard superheroics.
An impending multiverse crisis isn’t the only thing the Legends will have to worry about when they return to television though. Defeating NeRay altered the timeline so that Zari’s dystopian future never happened, which means her brother ended up joining the team instead of her. Meanwhile, in hell, Astra unleashed the souls of several historical villains (Genghis Khan, Charles Manson, etc.) on the mortal world.
Below, EW chats with showrunner Phil Klemmer about the Monitor’s irreverent appearance, season 1 big bad Vandal Savage’s (Casper Crump) surprise cameo in hell, and what this ending means for the show’s fifth season, which won’t air until midseason after the crossover.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So the Legends will be fighting these escaped historical baddies in season 5?
PHIL KLEMMER: Yeah, we’re sort of back to the world of history. Out of the world of magical creatures and back to where we started — getting back to real life villains. We do have our mythology figured out for next season. It’s super cool, it’s super exciting, and we’re putting the world of magic behind us. So, I think it’s going to feel, hopefully, very fresh.
This finale did have that very surprising Vandal Savage cameo. Can we expect him to be one of those historical baddies?
If it were up to me, for sure. I can’t get enough Vandal Savage. You know, these are talented people. The problem with Legends is there’s never enough time, there’s never enough story, there’s never enough money. The wish list, it’s always long. If it were up to me, yeah, there’d definitely be Vandal, but I can’t promise anybody that.
Last week during upfronts, it was revealed that season 5 would also deal with the original guardians of the timeline. Can you tease what we can expect from that?
What we would like to explore is the consequences. If you think back to season 1 or maybe season 2, we were once very, very concerned about what could be changed and what couldn’t be changed [in the timeline]. Then gradually over like the past two or three seasons, we sort of gained a little bit of an arrogance. Like going back to Helen of Troy, “What if we don’t return her to Troy? What if we put her on Themyscira?” All of our impulses have been totally pure and awesome, but perhaps the Legends have gotten in the business of playing god, and the Legends certainly don’t have the authority to be god.
The question is: What would happen if they sort of bump up against, whatever, the original authors of human history? The Legends are obviously writing their own story. It’s funny, we took them from the Losers History Didn’t Need to these people who rewrote Zari’s future. We never want the Legends to get too big for their britches, so yeah, we need some kind of a reckoning for the past four seasons.
That was an idea you guys were playing with in the penultimate episode of the season, too.
Yeah, with Gary. I mean, they certainly learned that lesson.
The season ends with Zari being replaced with her brother. I’m guessing that can’t be the only change that’s happened to the Legends. What else is in store for the team?
You have to imagine: If this were happening in the actual world and Ray Palmer were, say, Elon Musk, what the world saw at Heyworld was an internet tycoon doing really abhorrent evil stuff. I think if the Time Bureau were real, it would be in a lot of hot water because it allowed itself to be ruled by a fairy godmother and Gary [Adam Tsekhman]. Part of the fun of every season is just again: for every triumph the Legends have, you have to find a way to kind of bring them back to square one. Because I kind of feel like that’s where they’re at their best. They’re essentially underdogs, and I love the idea that they never really get credit for their good work. The finale states, “They’re not franchise superheroes.” They’re not the kind of people who are recognized by children on the street, who are wearing the same T-shirt. They have earned it the hard way and even then, they’re probably never going to be thanked properly for it. To me, that’s why they’re the best superheroes ever, because they toil in obscurity and they’re constantly out-shined by people who probably work a lot less hard than they do.
The Monitor had the most Legends-like cameo in the finale: just eating popcorn as everything went down. Was the directive that every show had to tease the next crossover and you went that irreverent route? Also, after sitting out on “Elseworlds,” are you glad to be back in the mix for “Crisis”?
[Laughs] If this were high school, I think Legends would be the kind of stoner outcast, the kid who’s heading to art school. Definitely not the grade grubber. Definitely not the valedictorian captain of the football team. I feel like the fact that we pretended like we didn’t want to be in the crossover probably made the rest of the DC clique want us in it, maybe? That’s the problem with being cool is that you can’t act like you want it. [Laughs] Now that they want the stoner art school kid, it’s like, “Yeah, I guess we’ll do it.” Of course, we’re thrilled. We can’t act like we’re thrilled though because if we do that we’re not going to be cool anymore. It’s a funny thing. At the time [of “Elseworlds”], we had Nate saying hard pass and we realized that we probably don’t want to bite the hand that feeds us, because if we miss the biggest crossover ever, we’d feel like we missed out on something special. So yeah, we’re thrilled to join up with everybody this year.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will return midseason on The CW. The next crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths” will span all five Arrowverse shows and air in the winter.