Is the Arrowverse Timeline Imploding in 'Legends of Tomorrow'?
Legends of Tomorrow is about halfway through its third season, and its certainly giving fans a lot [...]
Legends of Tomorrow is about halfway through its third season, and its certainly giving fans a lot to process.
Spoilers for all of Legends of Tomorrow's third season, as well as some of Arrow's sixth season, below!
The CW's group of time-traveling heroes have gone on a pretty big journey to stop anachronisms throughout the Arrowverse timeline. In the process, they've already defied authority (like, a lot), acquired a new team member in Zari Tomaz (Tala Ashe), fought some of the Arrowverse's most complicated villains, and danced to "Singin' in the Rain" with a baby alien.
Sure, the show has gotten a bit zanier, arguably for the better, than it had been in seasons past. But could each episode of Legends Season Three be building to something more complicated? Could the timeline that the Legends are trying to restore actually be crumbling around them?
While last year's aberrations felt a little more commonplace -- and usually had something to do with either the Legion of Doom or the JSA -- this year's anachronisms have felt way more personal.
Even if the anachronisms themselves haven't directly tied to one of the show's characters, a majority of them have affected their personal life in one way or another.
The hunt for a baby Dominator in "Phone Home" caused the Legends to re-examine Ray Palmer/The Atom's (Brandon Routh) lonely childhood in the 1980s. The vampire fighting in "Return of the Mack" led to the group crossing paths with Martin Stein's (Victor Garber) ancestor, Sir Stein. And in this week's "Welcome to the Jungle", the hunt for Gorilla Grodd in Vietnam caused Mick Rory/Heatwave (Dominic Purcell) to come face-to-face with his father.
Legends even called out these connections in dialogue, with Zari acknowledging how "unusual" these adventures have been.
Are these just meant to be written off as coincidences, as a way for each of the Legends to grow as the season goes on? Or could they be intentional, and signify something else going on?
Of course, there's another family connection that has affected Legends' third season, but we'll talk about that in a bit...prevnext
Speaking of family, the existence of Lily Stein (Christina Brucato) almost creates a time paradox all its own.
Lily first debuted in Legends' second season, as the result of Martin lecturing his younger self about neglecting his wife, Clarissa. While she technically hadn't previously existed in the Legends' timeline, the group allowed her to stay, and Martin began remembering memories of Lily's childhood because of it.
In Legends' third season, Lily revealed that she was pregnant, and she had her baby soon after. Martin, Jax Jackson (Franz Drameh), and Mick Rory all visited Lily in the hospital, where she gave birth to a baby boy named Ronnie.
Now here's where things get a little complicated. While Lily still is technically a time aberration, her existence seems to have some sort of ripple effect on Martin's life. This means that, theoretically, Lily would have had some sort of involvement in her father's earlier adventures - particularly, his forming of Firestorm with Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell).
In a way, Lily being a part of Martin's life means she had to have met Ronnie at least once. Whether they briefly crossed paths or had a friendly rapport with each other, Ronnie's presence had to have made enough of an impact on Lily for her to name her baby after him.
This means that, by proxy, Lily knowing Ronnie not only shifts the timeline of Legends, but it technically shifts The Flash's canon as well, seeing as the show periodically dealt with Ronnie and Martin's partnership.prevnext
Hiding In Plain Sight
For some eagle-eyed fans, the biggest indicator of the timeline changing hasn't been in dialogue or in plot, but in what's been hiding in the background.
The first instance came in "Phone Home", when the Legends were trying to save the younger version of Ray. At one point in the episode, adult Ray shrinks down to his Atom size, causing his younger self to mistake him for an action figure. Younger Ray puts adult Ray on his bookshelf, where he is surrounded by action figures of a dinosaur, a samurai, and a knight -- all things that Ray fought in earlier installments on Legends.
Could this just be chalked up to a way of conveying younger Ray's excitement for these parts of history? Sure, but it also could indicate the sort of time paradox that the Legends have put Ray's life in, something he essentially calls out in the episode.
Another prop that might raise some eyebrows appeared in "Freakshow" in a scene between Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and Agent Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan). While in the Waverider, Ava notices a framed photo that Sara has on a table of Sara, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), and Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell).
The only problem? That photo has appeared throughout the Arrowverse before, but with Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) in place of Oliver. While this could just be a continuity error, something about it just feels like a hint towards something more.
Sara has obviously been shown coping with Laurel's Arrowverse death, and was given a chance to interact with Laurel in two separate dream states, both in the "Invasion!" crossover and in Legends' Season Two finale. Could the photo be that desire for the "perfect" timeline -- one where Sara, Laurel, and Oliver aren't impacted by the events of Arrow's first few seasons -- creeping through into Sara's life? Your guess is as good as ours.prevnext
As we mentioned, the Legends have had a more familial connection to the events of this current season. And in a way, a lot of the season's villains (aside from Gorilla Grodd) have reflected that.
The biggest instance, of course, is Kuasa (Tracy Ifeachor), the granddaughter of Amaya Jiwe (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) and one of the antagonists of Vixen. Kuasa was first brought onto Legends through some sort of mysterious resurrection, which seemed to be at the hands of the Time Trapper.
While it's unclear exactly how, Kuasa being brought into the fold certainly doesn't feel like an accident, and further complicates the Arrowverse timeline for herself, Amaya, and Mari McCabe (Megalyn Echikunwoke) in the process.
And of course, this season has featured the return of Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), who the Legends previously faced in Season Two. Darhk's return is interesting for a few reasons, namely that while it hasn't really complicated the main Arrowverse timeline yet, it's made some complex additions to it.
While the Darhk in Legends Season Two was from before his wrath in Arrow's fourth season, the Darhk in this season is from after it. But along the way, he somehow remembers his previous battles with the Legends, despite his memory being wiped in between.
And in addition, Darhk's return brings another villain as well: his daughter Eleanor "Nora" Darhk (Courtney Ford). While Arrow viewers first saw Eleanor as a child in the show's fourth season, she's since grown up, and brought a whole lot of mystery along with her.
And at the root of all of these villains is Mallus (John Noble), a mysterious figure who appears to be pulling the strings. While almost everything about him still remains a mystery, it isn't out of the question that he could have some sort of personal ties to the Legends, or be a manifestation of how badly they've messed up the timeline.prevnext
Star City 2046
While the Arrowverse shows primarily remain unaffected by each other - with the minor "Flashpoint" changes being the only exception - there's a chance that Legends' broken timeline could already be affecting one of the other shows.
In Legends' first season, the team accidentally visited "Star City 2046", an alternate timeline in apocalyptic ruins. While there, the group found a worse-for-wear Oliver Queen, as well as a conflict between Connor Hawke/Green Arrow -- really John Diggle Jr. -- and Grant Wilson/Deathstroke.
At the time, this timeline felt like a distant possibility, and a way for the Arrowverse to bring Oliver's The Dark Knight Returns look to television. But in the years since, the timeline has gradually begun to reflect the world of "Star City 2046".
John Diggle Jr. entered the Arrowverse last season, as one of those aforementioned "Flashpoint" changes. And Grant Wilson -- who previously had been kept secret from his father, Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (Manu Bennett) -- was name-dropped in a recent Arrow episode.
Along the way, Oliver has given his Green Arrow mantle to John Diggle (David Ramsey), Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) has appeared to be on the track to Smoak Technologies, and Star City has passed an anti-vigilante piece of legislation.
Could that "possible future" that the Legends saw be making its way into the main canon? And could the Legends attempting to fix time be the cause of that? It's certainly possible at this point.prevnext