It's hard to imagine DC's Legends of Tomorrow without the adorkably nerdy tech billionaire Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), but we'll be confronted with that unfathomable reality in Season 5, which premieres Tuesday, Jan. 21. Brandon Routh, along with Courtney Ford, will depart the CW series sometime this season. Though we don't know how or when exactly he's poised to leave, Ray's impending exit is sure to be a tough one for the Legends, who are losing not just a leader, but someone who's been with the team since the beginning.

For Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), who's dealt with her fair share of losses, Ray's departure marks a strange new era in which she'll no longer lean on her endlessly optimistic second-in-command.

Discover your new favorite show: Watch This Now!

"I think if there's anything Sara's become really good at, it is whatever the world will throw at her, she's going to handle. She will accept [it] and she will deal with it," Lotz told TV Guide during the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "She's seen a lot of teammates go and had to send a lot of people off, like Franz [Dremah]'s character, Firestorm, Wentworth Miller's [Captain Cold] and Victor Garber's [Dr. Martin Stein] — like everybody! So I think she has just come to terms that that's how it goes."

She continued, "But missing Ray will be a big... It'll be weird without him there. I think there's going to be definitely some adjusting that they're going to have to do."

The Legends will also go toe-to-toe with old enemies after Astra Logue (Olivia Swan) released an onslaught of familiar villains like Genghis Khan from hell at the end of Season 4. Meanwhile, Zari (Tala Ashe) will find herself in an entirely different life after altering her past and swapping places with her formerly deceased brother Behrad.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow returns for Season 5 Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 9/8c on the CW.

Additional reporting by Lindsay MacDonald.

Caity Lotz, <em>DC's Legends of Tomorrow</em>Caity Lotz, DC's Legends of Tomorrow

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)