Legends of Tomorrow has always been a show that uses its frequently ridiculous settings and stories to wrestle with the sort of big, emotional, and existential questions that the superhero genre was made to explore. Sure, this season has featured alien-human hybrids, tentacle sex, and literal magic mushrooms, but they’ve all been used as vehicles to ask questions about identity, love, and the things that make us human. And the season 6 finale is no different.
And as season enders go, I’m not even sure that a finale that involves an alien invasion, a surprise wedding, and the exit of two major characters is even that shocking, particularly compared to some that have come before. (There’s no James Taylor singalong or final battle set to a Sisqo song.) But though there’s plenty of “The Fungus Amongus” that doesn’t entirely work, the episode absolutely nails the part that matters: Avalance’s big moment.
That Sara and Ava decide to spontaneously tie the knot in the face of (another) impending apocalypse is perfectly on-brand for their relationship and for the show on which they star. Unlike many other superhero shows (cough cough Arrow cough or Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD if we want to cross franchises), Legends of Tomorrow has never been interested in coming up with obstacles to keep its marquee couple apart, preferring to explore what it means for them to be together.
Instead of manufacturing pointless drama between them, Legends made Sara and Ava’s relationship a centerpiece of the show, allowing viewers to see the myriad ways the two make each other better: As Legends, as leaders, and friends. We’ve seen the two work through deep-seated fears and complex trust issues, choose to be vulnerable with one another, and honestly work through their own identity issues (which, this being Legends of Tomorrow, are fairly legion.)
Ava’s anxiety about being a clone is something that reared its head again as recently as an episode ago, and Sara will likely never feel as though she’s done enough to atone for the sins of her past as a member of the League of Assassins. Yet, the two have managed to find something like peace together, and a relationship where each is accepted – and loved – for exactly who they are. (Even when not always necessarily the best versions of themselves.)
But – and perhaps most importantly – Legends remembers that relationships (even on a superhero show) should be more than a Herculean slog through dark threats trying to force a pair apart. Part of the reason Ava and Sara’s relationship is so much fun to watch is that they are allowed to have fun together. They’re playful, they enjoy one another’s company in silly, simple ways much more frequently than they make desperate declarations of love in dire, possibly life-threatening circumstances.