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Television

Legends Taste the Sweet Sorrow of Goodbyes

‘This sucks, but I love you.’ This does suck. There’s a little less love in our world because Raymond Palmer will no longer grace our screens with his eternal optimism and a heart too big. But Legends doesn’t take goodbyes lightly. When the Bard wrote ‘parting is such sweet sorrow’ he marked down emotions that had been true long before him and will continue to be, long after us. Legends taps into that, the best and worst and goodbyes as we bid adieu to two of our Legends.

Ray’s been thinking about Damien’s words, about Nora needing to be in the real world. As he looks over his collection of keep-sakes it’s already clear what his decision is. He and Nora are leaving the Legends to start their new life. In the most sitcom of setups, their opportunity to tell the team arises while they’re in line for the bathroom (Zari’s morning routine is not suited for a one bathroom/ten person set up). The team, minus Nate that is, because Ray wants the perfect opportunity to tell his best buddy he’s leaving.

The most unbelievable thing in Legends is a timeship that has only one bathroom.

Sara, with an assist from Gideon, keeps trying to set Ray up for his big announcement, but he keeps bailing. This happens during a round of McGuffin talk. Charlie knows where one piece of the loom is, she left it with a friend in 1594 London. She and the boys head to jolly old. Oh, and Charlie didn’t mention her friend is William Shakespeare. She disguised the loom as rings and gave him one for safekeeping. But he’s already sold it to his producer in exchange for more time to work on his play.

When the producer is in their tavern Mick suggests the quick and rest method of cold clocking them and stealing the ring. Ray won’t stand for quick and easy on his last mission with Nate, encouraging him on as Nate details an overly complicated plan. Before he can finish Charlie’s already got the ring. When Mick slips that Ray is leaving Ray lies, saying it’s for his honeymoon. Nate gets excited, deciding to throw an importune bachelor party.

Meanwhile, the ladies are on the ship enjoying book club. And Mona’s back! She’s aware of Rebecca’s troll but Mick shut down her ideas to reach out to the person. Zari’s invited to book club learning book club’s secret. They don’t really talk about books. It’s more time to catch up with each other with the occasional processing of past traumas. Zari doesn’t seem to have trauma she wants to process. Or maybe after hearing clone, cult, former assassin, and Kaupe thrown out casually, in quick succession, she thinks her own trauma won’t compare (just wait until she gets her alternate timeline memories back). Deflecting from herself, Zari suggests they throw Nora a belated bachelorette party.

Pony > Unicorn

We get side by side parties, where the bachelor party has Charlie and the guys drunkenly commiserating and the bachelorette turns the Waverider into a rave, complete with sexy fireman and stripper pole. Mick reveals he has a daughter, Ray still can’t tell Nate he’s leaving and Constantine senses a spirit watching them.

See, while this has been happening, down in hell the Coin Maker was worried about the deal Astra made with Constantine. She was the one who took care of Astra in hell and feels replaceable when Astra says Constantine wants to save her mother. She suggests she learn what Constantine is after and take it herself before Constantine can. Using the pensieve from Harry Potter (not really, but it might as well be) she spies on Constantine. Sensing he’s being watched, he ends her link to this realm, but the fancy banishing starts a bar fight. More than a little drunk the Legends use their powers in the fight. When it’s over Nate accidentally mind wipes himself and his friends, instead of Shakespeare and everyone else who saw the fight.

The ladies figure out something happened when their book club books change from Romeo and Juliet to Romeo V. Juliet: Dawn of Justness. Back on the ship, Sara’s chewing them out for changing history, though the impact is ruined slightly by the fact she’s wasted as they are and there’s a sexy fireman behind her. She pulls Ray aside, asking why he hasn’t told Nate yet. Ray’s scared to tell him because then it becomes real. He’s not ready for that. Sara reminds him they took a huge leap when they first got on this ship. If they hadn’t they wouldn’t become Legends. Now, this is another leap Ray has to take.

‘We’ll teach them how to say goodbye.’

Back in London, the team sneaks into the Globe Theatre to steal the scripts while Ray speaks to Shakespeare. He needs to convince the Bard to revert the play to its original version. Shakespeare doesn’t want to say goodbye to the characters of Romeo and Juliet. Ray sees the parallels to his own life. He knows saying goodbye to the characters is the best ending they could get. Shakespeare knows it too.

Nate overhears their conversation and that Ray is leaving. He’s broken Ray’s leaving even more so that Ray didn’t tell him. He could have made their last mission great, but now he just feels blindsided. Gideon notes Romeo and Juliet no longer exists in the timeline. Ray thinks its great news. If the mission isn’t over they can do it right this time. Nate doesn’t even want to try.

Shakespeare’s producer withdrew his funding thinking William was behind the ring theft so Romeo and Juliet was never performed. Nate’s ready to give up without even trying. Sara sees why he’s really hurting, admitting she’s hurting too. She doesn’t know if how the Legends will fare without Ray and his optimism. As she says it her eyes spark in a Ray like way. She has an idea.

Rallying the team they put on Romeo and Juliet themselves. The Legends, being the Legends getting a little into it. Except for Nate (who’s playing Juliet because of course, he is). He’s too heartbroken to play the love-struck Juliet. Zari comforts him, encouraging him to say goodbye. She takes over as Juliet, and Nate rushes to the Waverider.

The greatest bromance of all time.

In a completely Legends move, Nate and Ray’s goodbye is paralleled with the balcony scene.  The best buds couldn’t part without one last tear-filled goodbye. Afterwards, Sara seeks out Nate knowing he could use a bro. Nate waxes poetic friendship and change. Sara let him know she’ll always be there with a hug when he needs it.

Elsewhere on the ship, Mona’s heard about Mick’s daughter. She encourages him to reach out to her. Mona’s life is better with Mick in it. She knows his daughter’s will be too. Back in Hell, Astra wakes up, knowing now Constantine is looking for the loom. The Coin Maker knows of it and thinks it’s too powerful to trust Constantine with.

That night Sara walks into the kitchen and finds Nate there. Doesn’t take much to figure out why he can’t sleep. Mick’s in the dark, saying he wants to be alone. But he also has a jug of Ray’s special juice and just enough glasses for everyone on the ship. The team filters out one by one pouring a glass. They toast to Ray. But they’re reminded Ray had some weird eating habits, all gag at the juice and fight their way to the bathroom. Their hearts maybe a little less full, but they’re still the Legends.

Review

As last week’s episode was Nora’s this one was Ray’s. And much like our favourite star-crossed couple, these episodes go best together. This episode showcased all the reasons why losing Ray hurts. On a team with many skeptics and realists, Ray was the openhearted optimist who reminded them all there’s always light to find. With Ray leaving we’re also losing one of the best representations of the love two guy friends are capable. In a world where the superhero men are expected to be strong and emotionally distant (aside from maybe their girlfriends and even then it’s only the rare affection) Ray and Nate love each other deeply and unconditionally. Their friendship will truly be the thing I miss most.

This is a bittersweet goodbye for the characters and the crew. At some point in Shakespeare’s and Ray’s conversation, it stopped being about Romeo and Juliet and started being about Ray and Nora. ‘Change is hard. But it can also be beautiful. It can be both’. Let’s listen to Zari’s words and remember it’s okay that it’s hard. ‘This sucks but I love you.’

Only Legends Could

  • ‘You know the rules. No McGuffin talk until after I finish my coffee.’
  • Dual Bachelor/Bachelorette parties is truly a pure Legends send off for Ray and Nora.
  • Who was that sexy fireman? Where was he from? When was he from?
  • ‘Why didn’t he steel up again? Stupid Mercrucio!’
  • I’d bet my bottom dollar Nate jumped on playing Juliet to keep historical accuracy to men playing women during Shakespeare’s time. And maybe a little because he wanted to be one of the leads.
  • Mick relates to King Lear. That checks out.
  • Shakespeare creates the superhero crossover 500 years yearly and the Legends don’t let it stick?
Images courtesy of the CW
Written By

Proud Trinidadian. Writer, poet and game writer when she isn't busy dissecting fictional worlds or galavanting through the latest video game.

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