DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Fifth Season Review: So Much Fun

Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer.

Ever since the Flash entered into the Arrowverse, there have been crossover events. Initially, it was just the Flash hanging out in Star City with Oliver Queen or vice versa, but as the number of series joined the Arrowverse, the events got bigger and bigger.  Still, these events are usually one-offs where the various characters would get together to fight a big villain, and then they go back to their respective cities with storylines unscathed. This makes sense as each series has its own stories and season-long arcs to deal with and completely disrupting then for a crossover would wreak havoc on the show and on the various writers, producers, and show-runners. 

But with the most recent crossover event, “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” which aired at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, they finally created a story that will have massive ramifications on all the shows.  I won’t go into the details on what exactly happens in that crossover so as to avoid spoilers but I will say it effects the entire Multiverse forever. And if you want the details, you can read our review of the event here.

And with that build-up, I’ll now back up to say that “Crisis on Infinite Earths” actually doesn’t make that many changes to Legends of Tomorrow.  In part, this is due to the nature of a show involving regular time travel.  The Legends shake things up so much on a regular basis that it is difficult for one event, no matter how massive to truly make a difference in their day to day activities. But mostly it comes from the fact that the events at the end of Season Four created enough changes to the show that I suspect the showrunners didn’t want to make many more coming into a new season.

At the end of Season Four, Zari (Tala Ashe) sacrificed herself in order to bring Nate (Nick Zano) back to life and in doing so erased herself from the Legends’ timeline.  Inserted into her place (and into everybody’s memories) is her brother Behrad (Shayan Sobhian).  The Time Bureau was dismantled by Congress after the Demon Neron, posing as Ray (Brandon Routh), did all sorts of terrible things in the Legends’ name.  So, yea, that was more than enough changes that one can easily see why they didn’t want to add in a lot more due to “Crisis.”  And I’ve not even mentioned the things that happened earlier in the season like Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) leaving the Legends only to be replaced by her punk-rock, shape-shifting doppelganger Charlie (also Maisie Richardson-Sellers).

With the Time Bureau disbanded, Ava (Jess MacAllan) and Gary (Adam Tsekhman) have joined the Legends team.  By season’s end, two more major characters will have left leaving Legends with only three characters who have been there from the beginning.  But Legends of Tomorrow is a series that thrives on change.  Much like Doctor Who, the crew of the Waverider jump from place to place and time to time, meeting all sorts of characters and coming and going as they please.  It can be a bit dizzying at times, and it’s always sad to see a favorite character disappear, but it also helps to keep the series fresh.

The Crossover Event took place on episode one of the Legends season, which worked really well as it allowed them to move through the rest of the season without having to stop everything for the crossover. Season Five begins properly with “Meet the Legends” whereupon a TV crew is invited onto the Waverider. It seems the Legends have become famous after saving the universe during the events of last season’s finale. and Eva figures a little TV ridealong will help Congress see their usefulness and bring back the Time Bureau. This doesn’t work but it does allow the Legends to interact with Rasputin and introduces us to this season’s arc.  Astra Logue (Olivia Swann), the woman Constantine (Matt Ryan) accidentally damned to Hell when he botched an exorcism, is back and she’s bad.  She’s done well for herself in Hell and now she’s unleashing various villains back to Earth which the Legends are now calling Encores and taking it upon themselves to send them back to damnation.

As the team gets to know Behrad, or rather we do as in this timeline, the team follows he and Nate to his home where we meet his sister Zari, whom we know but the Legends do not.  Well, sort of. In this timeline, Zari is a shallow social-media star who winds up on the Waverider becoming a Legend through means we’ll skip over for this review.  Charlie is not only a shape-shifter now but a Fate, one of three sisters who are as old as the Multiverse and used to control all life as we know it. Using the Loom of Destiny, the sisters controlled all life and decided what each person would become and when they would die.  But Charlie felt life would be better if humans had free will and she destroyed the Loom eons ago.

Due to “Crisis on Infinite Earths”, her two sisters are back and looking for the Loom.  Charlie broke it into three pieces and scattered them across the planet.  Now the Legends must race against the sisters to rebuild the Loom and keep humanity safe.  Also, they want to save Astra’s mom, get Sara (Caity Lotz) out of a coma (did I forget to mention she’s in a coma? Actually, did I forget to mention Sara at all up until this point?  Whatever, she gets out of the coma pretty quick without the Loom, though she does spend most of the season blind). 

The thing about Legends of Tomorrow that I love is that while there always is a seasonal arc, the series never takes it all that seriously. Instead, they love to wander about whenever the writers want. Honestly, at this point, I feel like the producers tell the writers to think their nuttiest ideas for a story, let them smoke a few bowls, and then basically agree to whatever they come up with. This is how they wind up fighting Ghengis Khan and Marie Antoinette, or how a Mr. Rogers parody helps Ray reconnect with his childhood, and how the gang all wind up as characters on television shows parodying Friends, Downton Abbey, and Star Trek while the rest of humanity living in a 1984 like hellscape watch them as a distraction from their dreary lives.

It is also how Legends has become my favorite series in the Arrowverse.  The way they swing for the fences with absolute nuttiness is glorious.  The gags don’t always land and sometimes an individual episode will stray a little too far into the weeds, but mostly, it is so much fun to watch.  As the season gets closer to the end, they do reign some of the weirdness in so they can actually move the arc forward, but they never lose sight of the fun.

In my experience, all of the shows in the Arrowverse slowly decline in quality as the seasons pass.  This is natural for most series through the history of television.  It is hard to maintain quality episode after episode, season after season. Especially as writers and showrunners and actors all come and go.  But with Legends of Tomorrow, it is the opposite.  This show keeps getting better.  I can’t wait to see what they do next.

Extras for the Complete Fifth Season sets include a gag reel, deleted scenes, a post-production reel, and the entirety of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event, which is included on a separate disk.

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Mat Brewster

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