'Legends of Tomorrow' EP Phil Klemmer on The Legend Lost in the Season 3 Finale

Warning: spoilers ahead for tonight's season 3 finale of DC's Legends of Tomorrow.

Tonight on the season three finale of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, titled "The Good, The Bad, and the Cuddly," one of the original Legends of Tomorrow died.

Rip Hunter, the Time Master who brought the team together after the first-ever crossover between The Flash and Arrow, gave up his life in order to stop Mallus.

"I will say that our love for Arthur Darvill exceeds our need for his character," series executive producer Phil Klemmer told ComicBook.com this week. "Our reinvention of him last season was...we just felt we owed him a chance to do something different than what he had done season one. I totally agree that he set things in motion and hopefully his appearance in the finale will ... His appearances in the show, I think he was a reminder of just how far the Legends have come since the premiere."

Removing the Waverider's time drive from its housing, Rip caused it to become unstable and explode, killing himself and hurling Mallus backwards through time.

"My one hope is that you all live up to that name," Rip told Sara just before his death.

After playing a major role as the ship's captain the show's first season, Rip was largely absent in season 2. In the season 3 premiere, he was reintroduced as the head of the Time Bureau, an officially-sanctioned time-traveling law enforcement organization.

He has been in and out of the story throughout season 3, although he has played a key role in assembling both the Time Bureau's lineup (he hired Ava Sharpe) and recruiting a new Legend (Wally West).

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In the comics, Rip Hunter is the son of Booster Gold, a time-traveling superhero who had a TV pilot in development at SYFY back when Legends first premiered. Killing him here not only gives the finale an emotional punch in the first half, but also presumably clears the way to use Rip in future Booster Gold projects. While the SYFY show is dead, Legends of Tomorrow producer Greg Berlanti is said to be developing a feature film based on the character

DC's Legends of Tomorrow airs on Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.