A Look Back on Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 finale: Aruba

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Mick Rory: I don’t have a partner. I have a team.

Beware: Spoilers may follow.

The first season of Legends of Tomorrow had a little bit of a rocky start in season 1. Season 2 however is where it started to pick up. There comes a time in almost every time travel story where two versions of the same person have to come face to face even at the risk of altering time. Legends has established that such a thing is dangerous as it could potentially create a destructive time paradox. This finale pulls that off in a fun and engaging way while also showing true character development truly solidifying the Legends as a team.

The story is Captain Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and the rest of the Legends are still trapped in Thawne’s (Matt Letscher) alternate reality. The team gets an idea to change reality back to normal but it involves breaking the rules of time travel by going back to World War 1 in the year 1916 and recover the Spear of Destiny there, which is an event they have already partaken in. However even if they succeed they have to face the ultimate consequence: Everything and everyone from Thawne’s reality, including them will be erased. Thus the Legends not only have to keep the Spear of Destiny out of the Legion of Doom’s grip but also protect the past versions of them.

The episode brilliantly establishes the stakes right of the bat. Aside from the fact that they make it clear that the Legends themselves will be the aberrations should they win in addition to the risk of running into their former selves, one of the doomworld remnants Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) has his heart ripped out by Thawne in a very gory fashion almost immediately signifying that the Legion is a far cry from Season 1’s Vandal Savage. It also puts the doomworld Legends at a disadvantage considering that Nathaniel Heywood (Nick Zano) and Jefferson ‘Jax’ Jackson (Franz Drameh) are both lacking in their powers.

Eventually the Legends do run into the past versions of themselves and it does lead to some very funny moments with them interacting with one another. Such moments include both versions of Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) threatening each other and both versions of Sara trying to be captain.

The Legends vs. Legion battle was well done. Both sides of the team get some good action in and the deaths of each doomworld remnant are memorable. It is also impressive that they managed to kill each of the Legends without permanently killing them off. The Reverse Flash army towards the end was quite incredible.

Thawne’s death while satisfying, looking back on it now is also somewhat saddening considering that since this episode Letscher has been unable to reprise the role and he gave a great deal of life to Thawne’s manical and insane nature. While Cavanagh plays the part well, it was nice to see the true Reverse Flash throughout the season.

The finale also gave a departure to former captain Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill). His speech to Sara and the acceptance that the team was far better off without him was genuine. However much like Thawne’s death, looking back on it now is also sad considering that he proves to be very unlikable in the third season.

In regards to the characters there are two that stand out. The first is Mick Rory. His realization that the Legends are far more important to him than his late partner Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) are played very well and Purcell’s performance makes it feel nothing short of authentic. His words to Snart about how he does not have a partner anymore but a team as well as how him and Snart joining the Legends resulting in the latter’s death made them both into better men truly show just how far the man who once only cared about being a thief has come. He truly knows that being a better person doesn’t mean being a softer one and even if he is soft, he knows it’s for the best.

The second is Sara Lance. Lotz’s performance is excellent in making bringing both Sara’s vulnerability and confidence. The scene with her older sister Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is a very emotional scene and shows that despite her darkness, she is able to channel it into a guiding light to do the right thing. She does not bring Laurel back to life despite having been given the ultimate opportunity to do so and several more prior nor does she kill Laurel’s killer Damien Darhk (Neal Mcdonough).

The episode also sets the stage for the third season about anachronisms by having them land in the middle of present day Los Angeles where dinosaurs and other things are running rampant.

Aruba may not sound like such an appealing title but it knew how to tie up the threads this season in a unique way. It blended in the action and the deep character moments into one heck of a finale that’s not going to be forgotten in the Arrowverse anytime soon.