(This will be mostly spoiler-free but use the tags in the comments as needed)
Season 4 of Legends of Tomorrow began with a unicorn hunt and ended at an amusement park. Along the way, a hell of a lot of things happened. The regular presence of John Constantine and the appearance of a lot of magical creatures promised adventure, and the show did not disappoint…mostly.
Because of cast availability, budget, or dissatisfaction with the planned storyline, the show took some turns. Some of them proved more successful than others; the first half of the season built to an all-time great episode, but the post-break episodes wobbled some. There are a lot of characters on the show at the moment, and finding something for each of them to do every week – much less balancing the different storylines – proved to be a challenge.
But I can only be so critical of the show as a whole. I admit not everything worked, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that opinion. But season 4 still feels like the strongest season as a whole, and the successes were so great that most of the missteps seem tolerable. Even the weaker episodes had some classic moments.
Mostly, the Legends continued to be a group of well-meaning screwups that I still wanted to spend time with each week. This feels like a family, and few shows manage to make me laugh so much while still finding ways to make the characters matter.
The season finale managed to end everything on a high note, though not without a price. Its ending was perfect and beautiful, but in some ways, so sudden that I’m still reacting to it. But this episode was everything the season built towards, and everything the show aspires to be in its best moments: hilarious, irreverent, touching.
So Legends still feels like it hasn’t realized all of its potential – there are still some kinks to be worked out. But the show is consistently successful, and spectacular often enough, that it remains a pleasure. It’s light years away from being a motley crew of Arrowverse leftovers, and somehow, improbably, better than ever.
Come on, Catgun, tell us which characters you like so we can argue about it
14) Ugh, Mona – she has some decent moments, honestly, but mostly she feels extraneous. Her storyline with Konane is strange, and its development leads to some of the best 1990’s Playstation FMV cutscene wolf-out transformations anyone could ask for. Scratch that, they’re pretty bad. I still think she has a place on the show, but right now I don’t know what it is.
13) Desmond – that’s right, he’s barely on the show and I still like him better than Mona.
12) Gary – kind of overextended himself, though I still like him okay. Cocky evil Gary Green, all the man we need, though, is top 5 easy.
11) Hank – when you need a Tom Wilson type, it helps if you can get Tom Wilson. He had some legitimate good moments this season, which is hard for someone who is mostly a Gruff Dad. But I liked his relationship with Nate, and his sendoff was perfect. Plus, the HeyWorld promotional video is timeless insanity.
10) Charlie – kind of fun but she fell into the team so quickly that she didn’t end up doing much. And she was other people more than herself, mostly. But I do like her, and getting MRS back on the show this way was inspired lunacy.
9) Tabitha – would be higher if she had been in more episodes. Loved her going evil. Partnering with Mick in the midseason finale as Fairy Coldmother was priceless. I wouldn’t mind seeing her back to oppose the Legends, which seems unlikely given story reasons, but never count anyone out on this show.
8) Ava – I can only put her so low. I like her as a boss, I like her with Sara. Great character, just needs more of her own stories. Hopefully she’ll have more presence running the Time Bureau next season. I don’t give her wardrobe and hair enough credit, which is a weird thing to say.
7) Nora – managed to integrate into the team/show and it all worked. She and Ray work really well together (though they should). Gets extra credit for taking the fairy godmother curse and being the most put-upon Disney princess since, well, ever.
6) Mick – always good for a fight or a one liner. His ability to circumvent logic makes for some good shortcuts, and his writing is the best subplot the show has maybe ever had. His serious moments, though few and far between, always work.
5) Nate – this was a really strong season for Nate. He grew up some, and it completely worked. I’m not wild about the Zari romance; I like them together, just not how they got together. But I enjoyed him making an effort to hold down a job and getting to know his dad. Coming back to the team for pizza felt like making good on a promise.
4) Sara – I can only put her so low. She holds the team and the show together. Maybe my favorite character on a network TV show right now. Makes everything work. Phenomenal hair, great dancer, just as good being serious as she is being goofy.
3) Zari – made me question who has the best hair on the show. I think it’s Zari but it’s so hard to decide. I docked her a little for the Nate romance, but I still liked her a lot this season. Her love for her family is touching, and her ending seriously wounded me. I miss her already. Actively made me question who has the best hair on the show, which is a crazy thing to say.
2) Constantine – here we are in 2019, with John Constantine on a mostly comedy show, and it completely works. Getting John right as a character, or fitting him into a show like Legends, would be an accomplishment. Doing both is a tremendous feat. Constantine worked on a comedy show while still being Constantine, and we’re all better for it.
1) Ray – from going punk, to basically turning Nora good, to becoming another character for a while, this was a great season for good natured goofball Ray Palmer. He annoyed Constantine, he turned Nora good, he made a friend in Hell. His performance in “Egg Macguffin” might be the single best episode for anyone this season. Haircut is impossible to hate, and got better as the season went on. My only gripe is that we forgot about his tattoo. Bring back Rayge.