NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Legends of Tomorrow”, including multiple potential character deaths, are present in this review
Legends of Tomorrow weirdly appeared to adopt the narrative style of The Flash this week, effectively terminating its current season conflict in order to replace it with another for the remainder of Season 6. I imagine that some of this season’s established threats may still linger in the weeks ahead, but as far as the current conflicts facing the Legends go, almost all of them are pretty neatly wrapped up by the end of this week’s episode. “Back to the Finale Part II” is another Legends of Tomorrow episode with a slightly more understated storytelling style compared to the show’s usual madcap pacing, but it does manage to wrap up the issue of Sara’s absence on a pretty satisfying note, albeit one that also takes a few annoying shortcuts along the way.
As usual, this week’s episode starts out with a pretty excellent hook. After the Legends take the (fake) news of Sara’s death rather hard, with Ava retreating to her room, while the rest of the Legends face a dispirited drinking bender, Behrad eventually takes it upon himself to go back to 1977, the time of Legends of Tomorrow’s previous season finale, and tweak the timeline so that Sara is never abducted in the first place. The Legends initially oppose this plan, on account of the rightful fear that it would do irreparable damage to the timeline, but after Ava is effectively incapacitated in a fit of grief, the rest of the team ultimately goes along with Behrad’s scheme, on the condition that they aren’t allowed to interact with nor influence their past selves.
This is a great way to create a sort of meta conflict with the Legends, as they make fourth wall-poking references like their, “Finale” celebration, this time with Spooner in tow. Other conflicts among the Legends also predictably creep out throughout this episode, such as Constantine having the selfish motive of wanting to get his magic powers restored in an altered timeline, while Spooner confronts the timeline change as meaning that she will have never joined the Legends. These conflict concepts are great, but unfortunately, they’re only really brought up in passing, and never properly challenged. Seemingly none of the Legends’ character conflicts are truly resolved in the end either, as much as the Legends’ increasingly bad ideas are eventually reprimanded by the alternate Ava, and even an alternate version of Nate in a highlight gag, after Behrad comes up with a terrible time-altering plan that involves an explosive mannequin.
Ultimately, the Legends find themselves helpless to change the circumstances behind Sara’s abduction. The only alteration they successfully make in the end is Behrad calling out to Sara as she’s abducted this time, which works to conveniently tip off the new clone Sara that her team is making changes to the timeline. This creates a solid ticking clock for Sara’s own subplot, after Mick finally finds her on Bishop’s planet, shortly after Sara decides to merely paralyze Bishop, rather than kill him, as a way to get around his indefinite cloning apparatus. Unfortunately, Mick didn’t get that memo though, so he barbecues Bishop in an attempt to save Sara, which merely leads to Bishop uploading his consciousness into a digital framework. Oops.
This represents a much more exciting potential evolution for Bishop’s character. I say potential evolution, because it seems like the show pretty quickly sweeps it under the rug once again, just like virtually every other conflict that comes up this week. I’m getting the impression that the writers were a little pressed for time in this case, because they couldn’t seem to nail down a consistent, reliable obstacle for the various Legends to face. Instead, after Sara’s altered memories from Behrad initially motivate her to create a human clone of herself, believing that she’s a dangerous liability to the team with her new alien DNA (oh yeah, that’s a nasty surprise from Bishop that’s revealed in this episode!), Mick convinces Sara to abandon her cloning effort and just blow Bishop’s base up, thanks to an inspiring pep talk. Take a shot.
So, Bishop is seemingly taken out for good before he can fully upload his consciousness to the cloud, even if it does come at the expense of his terraforming barrier coming down. This creates a much more consistently exciting climax for this episode, wherein Sara, Gary, Mick and eventually Kayla have to try and escape a rush of Zagurons, following Bishop’s Ava clones opting to stay behind on the now-Zaguron-infested planet. After Kayla ultimately comes back for Sara, Gary and Mick at the last second as well, upon initially appearing to flee, she then sacrifices herself so that the Legends can escape. This is another potential death scene that could go either way, since we don’t actually see Kayla get devoured or otherwise killed by the Zagurons. Thus, she’s possibly hanging back with the Ava clones, who hopefully don’t turn on the Legends later, especially since, as Nurse Ava points out in this episode, “Redundancy is Bishop’s religion.” Thus, it feels hard to believe that Bishop wouldn’t still have a way to back himself up, even after his consciousness upload is interrupted.
Fortunately, as much as it’s a bit of a hurried resolution, Sara does ultimately make it back to her own Ava at this point, as well as her team. This in turn wraps up this season’s initial mystery with a very happy ending, particularly when Sara is finally able to give Ava what’s admittedly a very romantic, emotional and even funny proposal, after Behrad forgets to remove the fireworks from his exploding mannequin. “Back to the Finale Part II” is definitely an improvement over last week’s more disappointing Legends of Tomorrow episode, though it still seems like the show is starting to fight some serious time and/or budget constraints. Many of this week’s character conflicts aren’t properly explored, and that’s especially annoying in Constantine’s case, since his recent de-powering feels like another excuse for The CW to trim Legends of Tomorrow’s budget even further.
Now that Sara and Mick are back however, and the Legends are fully reunited, it feels like it’s high time to get back to some good old alien-chasing next week. After all, Bishop may be seemingly destroyed at this point, but Sara still dumped a ton of aliens throughout history, and I doubt they’re playing nice with the past, present or future!
- Entertaining attempt to erase Sara's abduction
- Sara discovering alien DNA implanted by Bishop
- Sara's triumphant return, and emotional proposal to Ava
- Character conflicts are barely explored
- Ending feels rushed