Lots of Arrowverse fan-favorites are returning for Season 9 of The Flash, but Legends of Tomorrow deserves its own swan song to finish its story.
With each new casting announcement, The Flash Season 9 seems to poised to be not just the swan song of the Scarlet Speedster, but the Arrowverse itself. Yet, The CW’s delightful outcasts on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow need their own finale rather than being shoehorned into some other show’s ending.
If the cast and crew of The Flash had their way, they also would likely prefer their final season to be about their show. Instead, Batwoman, John Diggle and even Oliver Queen will also get to add post-scripts to their stories. Interestingly, none of the casting announcements have involved any Legends of Tomorrow‘s actors, at least those who were series regulars in the final season. This news might be disheartening to all those who want more for these characters than being locked up in a time prison. However, the show diverged so far from the rest of the Arrowverse, that any Legends involvement risks making things weird, and not in the fun way. While the least straightforward superhero show on The CW, somehow Legends of Tomorrow was comic book storytelling in its purest form. The show blended emotional moments with utterly preposterous scenarios effortlessly. They deserve to end on their terms.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Was a Unique Series That Earned Its Own Ending
Former The CW president Mark Pedowitz prided himself on allowing the network’s series to have a final season in advance of cancelation. He recognized that these properties were much more valuable as complete stories rather than suddenly ended shows with no closure. Legends of Tomorrow exists because the network and producers wanted to be able to lock down great actors even though they didn’t have a place in the current storylines of Arrow or The Flash. The cast rotated out, bringing in wholly new characters or rescuing others, like Matt Ryan’s John Constantine.
The first season followed a bleak storyline in which the Legends fought iconic DC Comics villain Vandal Savage. It wasn’t until after those first 13 episodes that the show that it became started to take shape. Eventually, Legends of Tomorrow became a place for silly sci-fi romps, such as rescuing young George Lucas or Barack Obama. Other times, the series delved into deeply emotional and heartbreaking territory. People came to care about these knuckleheads, many of them ambivalent to the rest of the Arrowverse.
The characters’ relationships, specifically the romantic ones, are what the core fanbase really cared about. An appearance in The Flash Season 9 can get them out of the jam their series finale left them in. Yet, it can’t do justice to all the characters’ stories, including those who left the Waverider over the seasons. Putting a capstone on Legends of Tomorrow is one of those things where “nothing” is preferable over “getting it wrong.”
The Flash Has Enough to Worry About Without Angry Legends Shippers
From a certain point of view, The Flash producers are using this opportunity to wrap up 700-plus episodes of interconnected DC storytelling. They know the legacy of their show and the Arrowverse as a whole are one and the same. The last thing anyone involved with the show would want to do is underserve the characters they are bringing back or their fans. If The Flash did try to wrap up the story but didn’t make it clear that Ava and Sara raised their child happily ever after? The AvaLance army would come for them.
The final season of Arrow had to set up the Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries and include a backdoor pilot for Green Arrow and the Canaries. Yet, the majority of its final episodes were focused on Oliver and the rest of the characters who’d passed through that series. The Flash has to do this, but also include satisfying endings for the returning characters. With only 13 episodes (five more than Arrow had), The Flash will have to go very quickly to fit it all in. Hopefully, this doesn’t result in fans of any Arrowverse character feeling cheated or underserved.
The Flash could easily include the Legends, but it’s perhaps best that it doesn’t. It leaves the door open for the Legends to get back together for one more madcap adventure that will leave fans’ hearts feeling full. Meanwhile, The Flash gets a little more space to wrap up its near decade of storytelling.
The Flash debuts its Season 9 premiere on Feb. 8, 2023, at 8 PM ET on The CW.