“You Know the Rule: No McGuffin Talk Until I Finish My Coffee.”
Over the last couple of years, Legends of Tomorrow has become my favorite of the Arrowverse shows. It took itself seriously enough to make us care about the outcome, but it leaned into the ridiculous, so it was ridiculously fun along the way. Sadly, the fifth season changed some things up, and not for the better.
Since the season didn’t premier until January, the show had an advantage over its sister shows. While it was part of the epic Crisis on Infinite Earth’s crossover event, all the episodes of the season happened afterwards. As a result, it didn’t have to try to break the season into two parts like the rest of the shows did.
When we rejoin the Legends, they are basking in some newly acquired fame. Only Sara (Caity Lotz) seems to see the downside of it as they try to go about their missions. And those missions quickly become complicated when they realize that some of history’s biggest villains are coming back to life. It’s going to take extra work to defeat them, extra work that Constantine (Matt Ryan) thinks might be related to him.
Meanwhile, the Legends are living in an alternative world they aren’t even aware of – one in which Behrad (Shayan Sobhian) has always been part of the team and Zari (Tala Ashe) is a social media influencer who has no idea what her brother is up to. But when she is suddenly included as part of the team, will that shake things up?
One of my problems with last season was the new characters that were introduced. I had a hard time coming to care for a couple of them. Fortunately, the writers seemed to agree with me since they were written out for much of this season. Unfortunately, the writers decided they were done with another couple characters I love, and they were written off part way through this season. I’m still in mourning that this happened.
I did enjoy some of the storylines this season. Behrad and Zari’s stories were interesting, especially as they interacted with Nate (Nick Zano). Mick (Dominic Purcell) also got some interesting storylines involving a huge surprise from his past. And the episodes that found the cast trapped in various TV shows or taking on an 80’s style slasher were absolutely wonderful.
My main issue with the season involved Constantine. When his character joined the show, I was worried that the show was going to go too dark and demonic. He is a demon hunter, after all. So far, while they had included some of those elements, the darkness hadn’t been too bad. That wasn’t the case this season. They really leaned into it, and it made for a much darker season as we tried to help him and Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) destroy the loom of fate once and for all. I wanted the light and funny, and that just wasn’t it.
On the plus side, the actors all continue to shine. When they get funny material, they excel at it, but the more serious or emotional moments are just as strong. Likewise, the special effects are always good.
This was one show that wasn’t impacted by the pandemic. Since they only planned on fifteen episodes, they’d finished filming by the time production on most shows shut down. That means we got a complete story in this set. Well, there is a cliffhanger involving…. (You didn’t think I was going to spoil that fun surprise for you, did you?)
I’m hoping that the show will return to the lighter comedy action I loved in season 6 since I didn’t enjoy the change in tone for season 5 of Legends of Tomorrow.