REVIEWED: SEASON 5 (EPISODES 1 - 7) | WHERE TO WATCH: NOWTV, SKY GO
Since its underpar first season, Legends of Tomorrow has become an anomaly among the CW’s Arrowverse shows; a TV show that very much knows what it is – cheap, hokey entertainment – and plays up to that. Seasons 2 to 4 saw the Legends – a bunch of misfit superheroes, supervillains, and assorted hangers-on – save the timeline as many times as they endangered it, all the while having tremendous fun with the tropes of a genre TV show.
Season 5 is no different, and finds the team dealing with Encores – the spirits of some of history’s worst monsters, released by one of John Constantine’s old enemies – while trying to solve a few issues of their own, including grown-up children, ancient artefacts, and the difficulty of a long-distance relationship with a fairy godmother.
The show crossed over with the other Arrowverse shows during the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline, and nominally takes place in the same universe as The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman, but like Black Lightning (the CW’s other DC outlier), it doesn’t let heavy continuity get in the way of a ridiculous and self-contained plot development.
The settled cast are ion solid form, and although the growing ensemble can mean some are reduced to bit parts in some stories (and one, in particular, went missing for weeks without a mention), they’re still given ample room to flex their artistic muscles with scripts that switch from dramatic to comedic at the drop of a hat.
Tala Ashe, in particular, is in fine fettle, especially considering Season 4’s finale saw her character erased; its replacements, both in the form of her stoner brother who, as a result of timeline meddling, was always with the team, and her old character’s new self as a result of that timeline meddling, are perfect additions to the team, making you forget that the change even happened as easily as those whose actual memories were affected.
The show has already been renewed for a sixth season, as have all the CW shows other than the completed Arrow, and with a whole forever to play with, there’s plenty of material to mine yet. Legends of Tomorrow is a rare thing, a TV show that manages to be mindful and self-referential without disappearing into itself. Treasure it as you’d treasure a coin minted from your eternal soul.