DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Season 6 Episode 7
“Back to the Finale Part II”
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow wraps up the first arc of the season with a trip back to last season and a celebration of love.
Sara’s separation from the rest of the team in the opening arc of this season has been both a limitation and a great source of potential. Her absence has shifted the team dynamic in fun and interesting ways with a great sense of urgency attached to Sara’s own exploits. It couldn’t last forever and this is about the right time to reunite the team so it’s good that this was accomplished before the arc became stale.
Bishop remains a strange enigma as far as villains go. On one hand the actor is really charismatic, he’s a fun presence and what he represents is really interesting but on the other he consistently fails to measure up as the threat he is supposed to be. In this episode his entire operation is destroyed with almost no effort, he doesn’t take the necessary steps to prevent Sara from foiling his plan and he is consistently easily subdued so something doesn’t quite translate when it comes to how threatening he’s supposed to be.
The reveal that Sara died and was replaced with a clone is treated with the gravity it deserves and forces new Sara -hereafter referred to as Sara- to ask profound existential questions of herself. In the previous episode she talked about being defined by her scars and the lessons she learned from what left them but now she has a body incapable of being scarred so rightly wonders if she is Sara Lance any more. Strangely any discussion of the soul and what happened to the one belonging to the original Sara is left unsaid but there’s a major existential crisis for Sara that plagues her throughout the episode. As it progresses she learns more about what she is and finds out that she’s an Alien/Human hybrid which means that she is by definition not Human. Sara is fine with death because it’s something she has either directly experienced through dying herself or indirectly experienced by losing those close to her but the idea of being altered into something other than what she was born to be doesn’t sit right with her.
Caity Lotz plays this emotional journey brilliantly. The horror on her face as she sees her cut hand heal instantly and the general confusion as she tries to internalise what she now is. Her core struggle is around identity with the main unanswerable question being “Who and what is Sara Lance?”. If she is the sum of her experiences then nothing has changed as the lessons learned from those scars still exist as well as the memories of the scars being left so the value associated with them still exists. Is she an exact duplicate of the original meaning the original Sara is gone and can’t be retrieved or does the cloning process allow the consciousness to be transferred. Considering she wants to create an all Human clone to send back to team it would appear that her original soul does not exist in the new body though that’s perhaps a question for John and Astra to ponder in the coming episodes.
Sara sees herself as an abomination; an imperfect copy of what came before and the only way forward as she sees it is to create a perfect copy that can go back to live out her life. She sees the current form and current consciousness as expendable as long as something as close to the original can continue on in her place. It’s a really profound crisis of self that has so much attached to it. The episode promotes the position that Sara is wrong to see herself in that way through both subtle and less than subtle means. Subtly the way she acts is a strong indicator. There is no difference between the Sara who died and this one in terms of how they conduct themselves so that’s a strong indicator that everything that matters hasn’t changed. She’s still heroic, determined, strong and all the other excellent qualities that Sara has become known for.
Less subtly is Mick flat out telling her that there’s no need to make a Human clone to send back to the Legends because she is Sara Lance as far as he’s concerned. All he sees when he looks at her is his oldest friend and Captain. Mick has always been one to tell it like it is so there’s never any doubt as to whether he’s being honest. Existential concerns don’t come into play where he’s concerned because he embarked on a mission to save Sara and accomplished that mission whether he brings back the original or not.
Mick’s honesty and his own brand of compassion are used well in this episode. When he reunites with Sara he flatly tells her that the ship sucked without her which is his version of a passionate declaration of friendship. Their bond comes through clearly in the scenes they spend together and Mick’s relationship with Kayla is shown to be growing more serious when he exhibits a great deal of concern for her well-being though he still understands when a tough choice has to be made and opts to leave her behind rather than sacrifice the group. In a great silent moment of camaraderie he gives Sara the nod and she trusts him to make the right call. This is a bond that has developed over years and the implicit trust is there to be seen.
Other aspects of Sara’s personality are shown in the ill advised trip back to the end of last season to prevent Sara from being abducted in the first place. Her conversation with Spooner is particularly noteworthy because it highlights her innate leadership skills as well as her ability to relate to people when she advises Spooner to not be afraid of the journey but also not to take it alone. Spooner is getting used to the idea of fellowship and counting on others so Sara’s words resonate with her on a deep level especially when it’s a lesson hard learned by her through years of brutal experience.
She also opens up about her own concerns around her relationship with Ava where marriage is concerned. Sara has an awareness of how much and how often she has changed over her very eventful personal history. Titles she has held include but aren’t limited to college dropout, castaway, assassin, vigilante, time traveller, Captain, wielder of the Death Totem, girlfriend and soon to be wife. She has been through a lot, experienced a lot and changed a lot but is worried that she will change further and may end up changing into someone that Ava is unable to love. This proves prescient in that she has literally changed into something she fears Ava will be unable to love. At no point does she doubt her feelings for Ava or her ability to love her but she has her doubts about being good enough for her. It’s a tragic admission especially after everything they’ve been through that has proven how strong their connection is but also perfectly relatable as it’s very common to feel unworthy of love, friendship or anything else despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Sara experienced that the night she disappeared and it feeds into her ongoing existential crisis following being cloned.
This conversation also sets up a potentially interesting dynamic between Spooner and Sara. It hasn’t yet been explicitly stated but my working assumption is that Spooner was replaced with a hybrid clone in the same way though it’s not clear why that is or why she was such a desired subject. It will become more apparent as the episodes progress most likely especially with the strong connection created between them at this point.
The mission back to the finale of last season is unquestionably ill advised and is constantly shown to be a bad idea. There are some issues with this as it’s a lesson the entire team have learned more than once so it’s baffling that they would even entertain the idea gain. Granted this time it starts because of Behrad in an altered state assuming that he can succeed where they always fail but the rest of the team latching onto the idea once they find him doesn’t make sense. In particular John’s views stand out because he starts off determined to facilitate this change in the timeline in the hopes of restoring his magic. This is consistent with him being self serving while also having the interests of others in mind. To him there’s no reason he can’t help others and himself at the same time but it doesn’t mesh with his declaration that he learned a hard lesson about changing the timeline. He most definitely did but only articulating that at a much later point doesn’t make sense. The same applies to virtually any character as they have all learned their lessons in different ways so as a plot it feels out of place. Of course it’s always fun and the episode continues to remind the characters and audience how stupid an idea it is but it remains an ill advised plan from characters who should know better.
Some of the highlights include an alternate Nate sporting John’s coat and an eyepatch making a brief appearance warning them against the ridiculous mannequin plan and the Ava native to the time period they’re visiting discovering them. As always the show knows how to have fun but sometimes leaving behind logic in order to facilitate it doesn’t work in its favour.
The episode ends with the whole team reuniting and the long awaited official proposal. It’s a beautiful moment where Sara allows herself to be fully vulnerable in front of Ava along with the rest of the team as she delivers a heartfelt and emotional proposal that is gleefully accepted. Bringing in the fireworks stuffed mannequin to punctuate the moment was perfect and it was the ideal cap to this arc with a blissfully happy ending that is sure to be short lived when further complications manifest themselves before long.
A satisfying conclusion to the opening arc of the season with the sophisticated exploration of difficult existential questions, a fun if ill advised caper and a blissfully happy ending. The reveal that the original Sara was killed and has been replaced with an Alien/Human hybrid clone is a lot to take in especially for the new Sara. She wonders who and what she is, whether she can call herself Sara Lance and whether she will be accepted by those she cares about. Big questions are asked around her identity following this massive change with the discussion of the soul being left for now. It appears this new iteration of Sara Lance has all the memories of the original but the soul hasn’t transferred which makes her an entirely new entity. It’s definitely one for Astra and John to chew over. The episode demonstrates this version of Sara’s worthiness to that identity in both subtle and unsubtle ways. Subtly the way she behaves is exactly in keeping with what would be expected and unsubtly it’s Mick telling her that as far as he’s concerned she’s the real deal. Both are valid positions and propel her on her journey. The issue isn’t resolved but the acceptance is earned. Mick’s honesty and own brand of compassion are used well in the way he relates to Sara and his relationship with Kayla has developed naturally while his decision to leave her behind further showcases the bond that exists between Mick and Sara. Spooner and Sara’s interactions establish a strong dynamic between them that also brilliantly highlights Sara’s leadership skills as well as what she has learned from her experiences. Her admission that she’s concerned she will change into something that Ava would be unable to love is brilliantly delivered and ties into the profound change she has to accept in this episode.
The mission back to the finale of last season is unquestionably ill advised though is never presented as anything else. It makes sense that Behrad would initiate it in an altered state but it doesn’t make sense that the team would so casually go along with it. In particular John’s views stand out because he starts out prepared to change the timeline to restore his magic before stating that he learned a hard lesson about how dangerous it can be to change the timeline. Each member of the team has learned that lesson in their own way which makes it all the more baffling that they would come around to the idea so easily. It enables some fun moments but in this case the leaps in logic associated with allowing them to happen doesn’t work in the show’s favour. The blissfully happy proposal is a great ending that has Sara be vulnerable in front of everyone and even manages some well timed fireworks. It’s a well earned happy ending prior to complications that are sure to manifest.
- large questions of identity being asked around Sara’s current situation
- subtly showing the new Sara to be worthy of being called Sara Lance through her actions
- unsubtly showing this through Mick flatly telling her that he accepts her
- Mick’s own brand of compassion and his bond with Sara being well used
- the Sara/Spooner dynamic
- fun moments in the other plot
- the blissfully happy proposal
- Bishop remaining a problematic antagonist
- John looking to change the timeline before detailing the lesson he learned about not changing it
- the team coming around to the idea of altering the timeline despite all knowing it’s a bad idea
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