Once a show has been running for a few years, and its ensemble has developed a kind of chemistry with the audience, it can be very difficult to add new blood -- but with Ava Sharpe, DC's Legends of Tomorrow seems to have avoided the pitfall.
How? Well, executive producer Phil Klemmer thinks a lot of it is that she fills a gap that audience members may have seen before her arrival.
"I guess the whole founding principle of the show and what it means to be a legend," Klemmer said when we asked why he thought Ava hadn't encountered the same resistance as latter-day characters introduced on shows like The Flash and Arrow. "It's kind of a punk rock ethos of, oddballs are not just welcome, oddballs are recommended. The straight over the plate superheroes wouldn't function well with our other characters. I think that's why people draw inspiration from the show, because a lot of people, myself included, feel like weirdos. Then the idea that you would find a kindred group who are weird in different ways, but they compliment each other in a really cool way [is appealing]. They tolerate each other as best they can. It's not cuddly, feel good. Our guys are sarcastic with each other. They're like a family who fights all the time but then would give their life without question for one another. I think that's why we're able to bring new people in because I feel like everybody's a stray. Or certainly people who are searching for belonging and family. They find it unexpectedly on the Waverider."
The Legends themselves can't seem to figure out why so much of the show works, but it does -- and Klemmer, who has been teasing what a formidable presence it would take to make Sara settle down for almost a year now, thinks they cracked the code with Ava, and that it helped Sara become a more fully-realized character.
"It's almost like the Waverider's a halfway house," Klemmer admitted. "If you are able to function in the world as a adult human being, you have no reason to be on this show. You've graduated to real life and that's the irony of our show. That they're superheroes that are struggling to exist as people. The first thing we came up with for season three was forcing our man-children and girl-women, whatever you'd call it, to grow up. Sara Lance, who's so composed and so in control and captain...you find out what is unfulfilled in her life. What part of her person is atrophied? Where does she need to grow? Obviously, giving her a relationship, that's what she needed to do."
DC's Legends of Tomorrow airs its season 3 finale tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.