I'm not saying anything new by declaring DC's Legends of Tomorrow to be the best superhero show on TV (because it is). However, Monday's bizarre fall finale proved that the time-traveling CW series has transcended the Arrowverse — hence why it's been left out of this year's crossover event — and is now operating in a league of its own.
"Legends of To-Meow Meow" saw the show fully embrace its cult hero status as the most carefree and fun series in the CW's superhero lineup with singing puppets, a kick-ass Charlie's Angels parody and a love story so grand that it practically destroyed reality.
In an effort to save his doomed ex Dez (Christian Keyes) from eternal damnation, Constantine (Matt Ryan) broke the cardinal rule of time travel by revisiting history to change the past which, in turn, sent the timeline into utter chaos. This fractured reality spawned alternate versions of the Legends. Ray (Brandon Routh), Rory (Dominic Purcell) and Nate (Nick Zano) teamed up as the Custodians of Chronology, the perfect spoof of '80s sci-fi lore; Ava (Jes Macallan), Gideon (Amy Louise Pemberton) and Sara (Caity Lotz) were the Sirens of Space-Time, a nod to Charlie's Angels; and DC's Puppets of Tomorrow, a pitch-perfect parody of Fraggle Rock.
While those unforgettable moments will undoubtedly launch a thousand GIFs and memes, the episode's strongest scenes were, in fact, those in which Constantine grappled with his selfish desire to change his past as reality unfolded around him. His anguish over saving the man he loves or wrecking time altogether unveiled yet another layer to the broken hero with enough emotional baggage to crash a planet. And while difficult to swallow, that all-important lesson of what it means to interfere with the timeline in order to save a loved one also served as a rite of passage — one that every Legend goes through before being fully integrated into the team. Like it or not, Constantine is one of them now.
However, he wasn't the only Legend to earn their stripes in Monday's supremely entertaining finale. Up until this point, Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) seemed more like an outsider biding her time until she regained her shapeshifting abilities than a permanent member of the crew. But after choosing to save Ray and Rory knowing it would cost her the chance to regain those lost powers, Charlie realized just how much she actually cared about this motley group of time travelers and pretty much etched her permanent spot on the Waverider in the process.
And that's why I love Legends. It contains multitudes. This show can make you laugh until you cry because of a Fraggle Rock parody in one moment and then kick you in the gut with an anti-hero choosing to do the right thing at a great personal cost in the next. Unapologetically outré, Legends is like a foster home for unwanted, reluctant heroes. This degenerate gang of outsiders has found a family in each other, tethering a cosmically fun series to reality in a way that most other genre shows haven't been able to.
And now it looks like this found family faces their biggest threat yet in the villainous Neron, who's itching to collect more souls so that he can rule hell once and for all. Returning to Earth to play a round of golf with Hank Heywood (Tom Wilson), he's well on his way to accomplishing just that. Can spring come sooner?
Legends of Tomorrow returns in April 2019 on The CW.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)