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Legends of Tomorrow - Ray and Nora's Last Hurrah - Review - "This Sucks, But I Love You"

Spoilers for A Head of Her Time, Mortal Khanbat, Mr. Parker's Cul-De-Sac, and Romeo v Juliet: Dawn of Justness

Legends of Tomorrow has always made up for what it lacks in story with its trademark quirkiness and lovable characters. That fact especially rings true with final episodes featuring Ray Palmer and Nora Darkh, episodes that with one notable exception are just there to spin the wheels and showcase the cast’s groovy chemistry. Make no mistake. The show’s greatest assets will forever be the versatile personalities of the ensemble whose absolute sincerity regardless of storyline wackiness makes just about anything stick the landing. Even when most episodes suggest an endgame for the show is quickly approaching, surprises continue to abound.

A Head of Her Time and Mortal Khanbat take place with minimal appearances by Captain Lance (presumably because Caity Lotz was filming the Crisis crossover), which serve to remind us that there is at least one person the show can never do without. That said, Ava steps up to the plate to lead the team through a very entertaining set of capers in France and Hong Kong. Courtney Ford doubles as Marie Antoinette, whose head spends most of an episode detached from her body. (Bizarre and brillant). Zari 2.0 decides to extend her vacation on the Waverider after learning that her perfume will destroy her fanbase’s olfactory senses and dodging a truly lame proposal from her S’more-faced DJ boyfriend. Nate provides Genghis Khan’s 1990s gang with scooters, which endangers Prince Charles but is also completely epic. Mortal Khanbat also allows frequent CW stunt performer Megan Hui to step into a brief acting role as a Hong Kong cop. As for the Encores, they continue to exist on the fringes of the main plot, which Charlie turns out to have an intriguing connection to.

The central background story this season ties in to yet another tragic facet of Constantine’s past. He wants to save Astra and end the encore threat by rewriting the fate of Astra’s mother Natalie who was one of Constantine’s early loves. It’s an appropriately somber story and not the slightest bit interesting. (This plot is so far ostracized from every other character we care about that it’s quite hard to be be invested in). At one point, Astra decides to speed up John’s death by giving him lung cancer, which does result in a humorous last supper that Constantine shares with Gary and Ray. Astra takes back his death when he promises to find this season’s MacGuffin, the LOOM OF FATE, and use it to save Natalie. Charlie reveals herself to be a Fate, from yon ancient times, who is being hunted by her Fate sisters for destroying the Loom to give mankind the chance to choose their own futures. She scattered the pieces across the multiverse, but Crisis placed them all back on one Earth.

This season has its own scattered pieces that are absolutely magical. Shayan Sobhian’s Behrad continues to blend seamlessly into the show, charismatic and badass, as naturally as if he’d been born on the Waverider. Mortal Khanbat explores his friendship with Charlie (they hooked up once, and it was mediocre) when he confesses to her that her brief disappearance without leaving a note hurt him. They reconcile, and there’s even a cool scene where they save each other from Genghis Khan and Behrad stops bullets with his powers. Tala Ashe absolutely dazzles with her new iteration of Zari, but she doesn’t let us forget original Zari either. And a scene where she dons a familiar flannel and bites into a donut packs quite the gut punch. Romeo v Juliet: Dawn of Justness lets part of the team put on the Shakespeare classic, with Constantine and Zari assuming the titular roles. Mick discovers he has a daughter Lita, and she’s played by the fantastic Mina Sundwall (Lost in Space). We even get an all too short glimpse of the Waverider Book Club.

Everything pales against what will surely be the best episode of the season: Mr. Parker's Cul-De-Sac. There’s not one false note to be found when Ray’s proposal to Nora gets sidelines by the return of Damien Darkh (Neal McDonough). Everyone truly does the most in the episode, which has absolutely everything in it. A Booksmart reference? Check. Sara and Ava as puppets again? Check. Nora pretending she’s engaged to Constantine to impress her dad? Check. Nora standing up for herself in a beautiful, heartbreaking scene where she tells Damien that working with children has helped her cope with her own childhood trauma? Sob. And check! The wedding is cozy and romantic and perfect (a couple lines of the music even sound like they could be from the Up opening. That’s how strong the emotions are here!). Darkh asking Ray to put Nora first and build a life with her feels so right and well-earned that it takes a good deal of the sting out their subsequent departures. The episode concludes with an exchange between Sara and Damien that encapsulates all of the show’s greatest successes in storytelling and character development. It is simply a perfect episode. Not a surprise considering it comes from director Ben Hernandez Bray (Here We Go Again, Legends of To-Meow-Meow, and Fellowship of the Spear) and writers Keto Shimizu & James Eagan.

Even with Ray and Nora heading off into the sunrise, Legends of Tomorrow has a full plate for its remaining episodes. The show is sorely missing a solid antagonist this season, but Charlie’s impending reunion with her sisters, Mick building a connection with his daughter, and Zari’s inevitable memory restoration all provide great opportunities to watch other characters grow. For every headless body running around with a torch gun, there’s a heartfelt tearjerking moment where someone ponders how true friendship can sometimes mean helping another person be able to exist separately from you. I’m not crying. You are.

Favorite Quotes:

“I don’t know if people love me or love to hate me, but they don’t know how hard I work to create a fantasy for them.”

“She was a foxy hedgehog out there.”

“I’ll feed the hellhounds. I’ll vacuum.”

“Inside every troll is the heart of a fan just dying for some attention.”

“All I’ve ever asked for is neighbors I don’t have to kill.”

“I’m sensing something juicy with the help.”

“And I love him madly.”

“No MacGuffin talk until after I’ve finished my coffee.”

“I get your reservations. The last club I joined programmed me to be an assassin.”

“This sucks, but I love you.”

This is a safe space.

Is there too much Constantine on this show or  are there just too many Constantine stories pulling away from the rest of the group?

What did you think of Nora and Ray's exit? I was very disappointed to hear about Brandon and Courtney's exits and the implication that it was sprung on them without too much warning, but overall I felt that Ray and Nora's departure was in  character with the journeys they have been on as individuals and as couples. I would also put Nora Darkh right under Sara Lance as the Legend with my favorite character evolution during her time in the Arrowverse.

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