Previously on Legends of Tomorrow, Constantine went to hell to save Ray, Neron called his girlfriend Tabitha aka the Fairy Godmother OUT of hell, Gary sent Nora to hell to help Constantine, Neron made an app to get souls to hell, and Zari’s dragon egg ended up with her past self which made her say, what the hell? (See what I did there? Because every other one mentioned… you know what, nevermind.)
The Waverider is filled with magical creatures and Legends alike, running amuck and making it hard for Sara to figure out what their next step should be. Ava, on the other hand, overhears Zari telling Nate that she left the golden egg with her younger self, and immediately sends her after it. They can’t have a child with a dragon, it’s bad enough that Neron has Charlie.
Charlie doesn’t know what Tabitha wants with a shapeshifter anyway, but Tabitha thinks Charlie is capable of more than she lets on. Sure, she shifts from human shape to human shape, but she could transform into any human’s greatest fear. And Tabitha wants to help her unlock her potential. But first, Neron and Tabitha need her to be an old white man.
Zari takes Nick to the park her mother used to take her to, and tells him that she used to get picked on a lot by a group of kids that looked suspiciously like the horde they see now. But as they get closer they realize it’s not a group picking on someone, but instead Little Zari showing off her new pet and its tricks. As the dragon adorably dances and sneezes, the kids laugh and clap and cheer.
But then a grown-up comes over and ruins everything. She shouts for everyone to run, and suddenly the kids scream and run from this creature they were just being delighted by. In just a moment, they were taught to fear. The woman uses her Eyes app and Neron’s time agents zap in and take the little dragon away.
On the Waverider, Ava and Sara watch as Gideon shows them Neron using Ray’s body to speak to the senate about his app.
Neron and Tabitha have forced Charlie to sit as the Senator, and when Charlie starts speaking out against them, Tabitha uses her staff to turn Charlie into a Kraken, making everyone panic and “proving” Neron’s point that monsters are among us. Spreading fear and hate like some kind of Ben Lockwood.
Sara and the Legends rush in, but Sara has them hold their fire in case the Kraken is Charlie. So they go for Tabitha and her staff instead. They manage to get the staff from the not-so-fair-y godmother, and Charlie goes back to normal. A little shaken up, but okay.
When Nora finds Constantine in hell, she realizes Ray doesn’t have a body to save, so they have to find his soul token, which is probably in Neron’s vault, because of course there are banks in hell.
Constantine pretends to be Neron to talk to Astra, but she’s no fool. So instead, Constantine tries to make deal with her: She helps them get Ray’s soul coin, and Constantine kills Neron, leaving her and her pals to have hell all to themselves. Astra is still mad at Constantine for abandoning her, but she hates Neron more, so she agrees to these terms.
Charlie is finally reunited with her team, and she tells them that Neron’s plan isn’t about collecting souls anymore. Or maybe it never was. What Neron and Tabitha want is to use fear as energy. And now I’m mad I used a Monsters, Inc reference in my Supergirl recap yesterday, because it would be even more appropriate here.
Gideon confirms that there’s been some weird goings-on in the atmosphere, so she shows Ava and Sara the map with all this creepy energy floating up into the universe.
Charlie immediately blames herself. She’s the one who was caught, she’s the one everyone was afraid of. She’s the monster.
Neron then goes over the PA system in hell and says that soon he’s going to open a door and let them take over Earth, which may or may not have been his plan all along, bridging the divide between the two planes.
Gary and Mona are trying to feed the magical creatures on the Waverider, but report back to the team that things are getting a little hectic, keeping them cooped up, that they’re starting to act a little… beastly. Charlie shrugs and says they’re all monsters. Including Mona, including her. Sara admits they’re in quite the predicament. She doesn’t know how to defeat fear and ignorance, since it’s not exactly an enemy she can bop on the nose with her fighty sticks, but she’s sure as shit gonna try.
Zari shows the team the video of the baby dragon dancing and the kids being awed by it.
Nate realizes that this is what they need, they need to show people that magical creatures can be harmless. They need to open Heyworld.
Charlie thinks that sounds a little like rounding up pigs for the slaughter, but Sara says that all they need to do for these people is exactly what Charlie did for them. Before they met Charlie, they were just sending creatures to hell without a second thought as to whether they deserved it or not. But Charlie taught them to be more thoughtful, to get to know each creature before judging them.
So Sara’s on board with this plan. They have to build a theme park.
Down in hell, Astra takes Constantine to the bank and pretends like she wants to store him in Neron’s cell for him, but then when they get to the vault, a once-invisible Nora knocks the teller out. They sort through the coins looking for Ray, and move aside names like Mary Tudor and Caligula. Astra starts shoving some in her pockets, and though Constantine gives her an eyebrow about it, doesn’t see the point in trying to stop her.
Topside, when they realize building a theme park will take too much time, Zari says they need to use Brigid’s Diary, which is currently locked up in the Time Bureau.
Ava is halfway through concocting a plan to break into it when Mick admits that he’s had Brigid’s Diary this whole time. Ava is so excited that she kisses him on the cheek, which I did once when I was in grade school and me and this kid solved a hard level of a video game during computer class together, but Ava looks significantly less embarrassed than I did.
Sara sends Zari and Nate to go use Brigid’s Diary to build Heyworld while the rest of them work on a marketing plan for the “happiest place on the planet.”
When Zari and Nate are getting ready to go, Gideon tells Zari that building Heyworld could actually create a future where metahuman hate isn’t quite so critically high, and her family doesn’t have to live in the dystopian wasteland the Legends found her running from. Her brother could survive. Zari is overjoyed, of course, but also realizes that in this hypothetical future, she might never have met the Legends.
Sara overhears and pops in to tell Zari that she’s not about to lose another Legend, so Zari will stay on the Waverider, in the temporal zone, where because of timey wimey reasons, she won’t be affected by the timeline change. But of course she’s not being benched; instead, Zari will be in charge of broadcasting happy scenes from Heyworld all across the globe.
When Nora finds Ray’s soul coin, Astra projects them to Ray’s torture cell, but of course, because it’s Ray, they don’t find him screaming and writhing in pain, or sulking in the corner, a shell of the man we once knew. No, instead, Ray is being absolutely, quintessentially Ray. He’s playing giant Jenga with none other than Vandal Savage.
On the Waverider, Sara, Nate, and Gary dress up as Supergirl, Arrow, and The Flash respectively, and use a lot of fog to film a commercial for Heyworld. Ava, who is directing this video, thinks it would be better if they got the actual heroes in question, but Sara says they asked and got turned down. Then Nate says, “We should have done the crossover.” Which is so meta and fourth wall breaking and absolutely fucking perfect.
Ava thinks it’s a little weird they’re promising something they’re not going to deliver, but Sara says that they need people to feel safe coming to Heyworld so they can prove that the magical creatures aren’t harmful. And people in funny suits make them feel safe, dammit! (Also she has a line about using recognizable heroes to get people in the door, which I feel like is also about Legends, in a way.)
Mona and Charlie head into the rumpus room to tell the creatures what the plan is. Charlie admits that humans can be the worst sometimes, but she believes they can change, if we help them look deeper. Charlie slips into the leadership position seamlessly, listening to everyone’s plights, helping them showcase their talents.
Down in Ray’s hell cell, Ray is afraid his friends being there means they’re dead, but Nora assures them they’re not, kisses him, then hits him.
How dare he sacrifice himself for Nate and leave her. Look at her! She’s in taffeta! Ray introduces her to Savage and then they start to disappear because Nora fulfilled her wish, so she grabs onto Constantine and Ray and they bippity bop out of there. Savage doesn’t twirl his metaphorical mustache or laugh maniacally when they leave either. He just goes back to Jenga. So strange, so great.
When Nora reappears on the Waverider, she realizes that Constantine is with her, but Ray is still just a soul coin in the palm(er) of her hand. They have to get Ray’s body back, and since Gary’s wishing won’t do it, they have to find another way.
Constantine gets filled in on what he missed while he was in hell, and he absolutely hates the Heyworld idea, but he realizes that Neron made a deal with Ray that he can’t kill Nate. So if Neron DOES kill Nate, Neron will have broken the deal, and Neron will be ejected from Ray’s body, leaving him vulnerable enough for Constantine to kill him. Sara hates this plan even more than she hated wearing Supergirl’s tights.
But Constantine can see Nate considering it, so Constantine stays quiet when Sara again insists she’s not losing another Legend, and pretends to go along with the Heyworld plan.
After Nate and Zari draw the park to life, Heyworld opens and families arrive in droves, most of the kids in little Supergirl or Flash outfits. Even Little Zari and her mother are there. Our Zari watches from her command station, ready to stream the performance they’ve orchestrated to the entire world at the push of a button.
Ava starts recording and Charlie and Mona are backstage getting their creature cast ready for opening night.
The show is called “Heroes vs Monsters” and it starts looking like it’s going to be a dramatic reenactment of an episode of Legends of Tomorrow, with Sara back in her old White Canary suit and doing some fighting moves.
Sara and Nate see monsters enter, but Sara, in her best after-school special voice, says they should try to get to know the creatures, in case there’s no reason to be afraid. The Monitor shows up, lurking in all of our finales, presumably ready for another Crisis, but he just eats popcorn and watches it all play out.
The audience starts booing when they realize Sara isn’t going to fight the monsters, but then Tabitha shows up with a full-blown dragon in tow. The crowd goes wild and the dragon roars. Gary passes out, effectively taking him AND Nora out of this fight. The dragon continues to cause chaos and Sara goes for the staff, but Tabitha uses the fear energy to keep Sara down. Tabitha orders the dragon to toast the grounded Canary, and for a second Sara thinks she’s about to be a tasty snack.
But then Little Zari jumps in front of her and stops the dragon, using her connection with him and their old dancing trick. Tabitha drops her staff, and since he’s not being controlled by her anymore, the dragon gobbles Tabitha right up.
As soon as she’s dead, her magics fade away, and he goes back to being a wee baby dragon, and little Zari runs after him.
But before any of the Legends can get to the staff, Neron grabs it and opens the portal to hell. Constantine approaches him and tries to stop him, saying the real fight should be between them two, and Sara watches as Neron slowly kills the man who once saved her life.
But then Neron starts to disintegrate and the real Constantine steps forward; it wasn’t Constantine he killed, it was Nate. Which means Neron broke his deal, so Neron is dying.
Zari watches from the Waverider and realizes Nate is dead, so she ignores Gideons warning about getting trapped in the wrong timeline and goes to Nate’s side.
Constantine reassures everyone this was Nate’s choice, and when Neron’s energies seep out of Ray, Constantine kills the Neron cloud, closes the portal, and puts Ray’s soul back from the coin into his body. He’s so happy until he sees his best time bro dead on the ground. Sara is also unhappy, partially because of Nate, but also because Zari is here. She might lose two Legends when she was desperately trying not to lose any at all.
Nate, turns out, is up in the rafters looking down. His dad appears next to him, and Nate admits he’s pretty bummed about dying. Hank has an idea though, and he uses some ghosty magic to get a singalong started. Sara and Ava are very confused at first…
…but then Zari starts singing, and then Fredrick the Ogre joins in, and soon enough, with a little encouragement from Sara and, of all people, Constantine, everyone in the room — human and meta and magical creature alike — start singing and pouring their love into Nate. They start holding hands, and Ava and Nora comment on actually being part of the circle of positive energy this year.
And so the power of love brings Nate back to life.
But magic always has a price. And by the time Nate’s reunion hug with Zari is over, it’s not Zari standing in front of him at all. It’s Zari’s brother, Behrad. He has the air totem around his wrist, and in a blink, Nate’s acting like he’s always been there. In a blink, everything has changed. In a blink, Zari is forgotten. Sara leads everyone out, proud of a job well done, unaware of the changes made to the timeline.
And at first I was mad. Like, really mad. You can’t just replace a female character on this show with a male one and pretend like nothing happened. Zari has become so integral to the team, we’re not just going to FORGET HER. But then I read an interview and Tala Ashe isn’t going anywhere, so while OUR Zari might be gone for good, a different version of Zari might be out there waiting for us.
Before the episode draws to a close, because what is a finale without a little tease of what’s to come, Astra goes back to the time vault with her stolen coins. She dumps the coins on the table and says she wants to give a few people a second act. She “withdraws” the souls of all kinds of baddies, from Charles Manson and John Wayne Gacy to Genghis Khan and Stalin to everyone’s favorite lesbian murderess, Lizzie Borden, sending them out, presumably across time, to wreak lord knows what kind of havoc.
This season of Legends of Tomorrow was wacky and wild and fun. Sara and Ava’s relationship went through all kinds of ups and downs, and they ultimately ended up just being ladies in love and leading together. “Legends of To-Meow-Meow” remains one of my favorite TV episodes of anything ever, followed closely by “Wet Hot American Bummer” (and last season’s “Here I Go Again”). “The Eggplant, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” had some of the best mature relationship convos between two women I’ve ever seen on TV. We had Zari being sarcastic and funny and badass, and SINGING FOR US, more than once. We had Charlie really finding her fit in the found family of the Legends, and Nora finally coming over to the good side for real. We laughed, we cried, we laughed some more, and we were once again reminded about how amazing a show can be when it leans into what makes it great, like Strong Female Characters or whackadoo storylines. I do hope next season they focus a LITTLE more on character, the last few episodes were getting a little “totem shmotems” for me, but they have all the building blocks for it, so I’m confident they’ll build something great.
I’m excited about next season already, even though we won’t get it until 2020. But the possibilities of this new twist are endless. Stopping Genghis Khan from leading a war in the 21st century? Making sure Charles Manson doesn’t turn Ancient Greece into more of a culty murderfest than it already was? Keeping Lizzie Borden from chopping down an endangered rainforest? The possibilities are endless and potentially true-crimey and I personally am ready to Stay Sexy and Protect the Timeline.