This article contains spoilers for the season 7 finale of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 7 Episode 12
Finally! Booster Gold is a Legend. Wait…”who’s Booster Gold,” we hear some of you ask? OK, fine…
Who is Booster Gold?
Only the greatest hero you’ve never heard of. Michael Jon Carter is a time traveler from the 25th Century who, as created in the pages of DC Comics by Dan Jurgens, came back to our era to seek fame and fortune with a (hopefully) lucrative superhero career. A member of several Justice League rosters, and a central figure in some of DC’s biggest stories of the last few decades. He’s also a colossal screw-up. Or…is he? Maybe that’s just an act so nobody knows the truth about his larger time-traveling mission.
OK, now that we’ve got that cleared up…
Bringing Booster Gold to Legends of Tomorrow
If ever there was a DC character perfectly suited to hang out on the Waverider, it’s Booster Gold. Hell, you might even say that Legends of Tomorrow‘s entire mission statement is inspired by Booster’s antics. So it might feel like destiny – the DC Universe’s most famous misfit time traveler had to end up on the show about the DC TV Universe’s misfit time traveling team, right? But it wasn’t always a foregone conclusion that he would.
“He was off the table for a very long time,” Legends of Tomorrow Executive Producer Keto Shimizu tells us in an interview about the show’s bonkers season finale. “We really kind of forced the issue again this year.”
Booster’s introduction to the show is as conspicuous as you would expect for the biggest remaining shoe that the time travel side of the DCU could drop on this show. The second Donald Faison struts on screen, you know who he is, how he’s going to screw up the Legends’ plan, and why exactly so many people were excited about Faison joining the cast. “We had a very extensive list of people who it might be, and that list got whittled down and whittled down,” Shimizu says. “And then Donald Faison popped up and we thought, oh my gosh, yes!”
Faison is beloved for his portrayal of Turk on Scrubs, and he’s been a genre fixture ever since, appearing as a regular on kids’ shows, Star Wars shows, and gone-too-soon Tron cartoons, among plenty of others. And it turns out he’s just as voracious a nerd media consumer as he is prolific in his nerd media appearances.
“[Legends showrunner] Phil [Klemmer] and I had this wonderful meeting with [Faison] where we just clicked and we saw that he was such a huge fan,” says Shimizu. “But not just someone who was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve seen a couple episodes. I love it.’ No, this was a man who has watched every single episode of our show and had nerdy questions for us. He was so into it!”
And he slides right into the show’s vibe like he was always there. The episode follows directly from last week’s mock-series finale: the Legends are all retired, Gideon and…Dark Gideon? OOH GOODEON AND BADEON HA! [Editor’s Note: Jim…] Oh fine, never mind. Anyway Gideon and Evil Gideon are speed running a few repeat time travel offenders, as Evil Gideon slowly poisons Human Gideon’s mind against organic people.
The gang all gets together at the House of Secrets every week for dinner, and it takes six weeks for Gary – airlocked by Evil Gideon into the temporal zone, who then crash lands in alien form near a group of cavemen in 30,000 BCE – to lash up a door with a keyhole so he can get back to his friends. They realize that Gwyn knew his Alun was a robot, and then head off to help him only to discover that the battle where Gwyn lost Alun was a fixed point.
“Here Comes the Hotstepper”
That fixed point’s protector whacks a blue and yellow starred golf ball into the middle of the time-frozen battlefield as Ini Kamoze’s ‘90s banger “Here Comes the Hotstepper” plays on his headphones, and we are treated to the most delightful musical sequence this show has done since “The Thong Song.”
“My husband loves to listen to ’90s on 9,” Shimizu says. “One day we were driving and I just suddenly had this vision of Booster freezing time and during the war and doing some cool dance sequence through the soldiers. I pitched it to the room and then Phil was like, ‘Okay, what about golf?’ Sold!”
Saying Goodbye to Nate
Faison’s Booster isn’t the only character turnover in the episode. Sara, we find out, has lost her superpowers because she’s pregnant. As a half alien, Sara got pregnant just as normal human women do: by drinking out of the same cup as her partner. She’s also not the only one to lose her powers. Nate lost his steel too, saving the real Alun and breaking the fixed point by dragging him out of a mustard gas attack. And he leaves the show – Zari gives him her totem so he can go inside and live with his Zari, and she can fulfill her destiny as previewed to her by Gideon.
It turns out, the cast turnover might be one of the keys to what makes this show so special. It gives the writers an excuse to bounce new characters off each other, but it also allows for genuine character growth, something that isn’t really possible in most long-running serial stories.
“I almost feel that whenever we introduce a character onto the show, even if they’re really fun characters, they’re kind of at their worst,” Shimizu says. “And by the time they leave, they should have achieved the best version of themselves and are ready to step back into the world and to be more functioning members of society, having grown and changed through this incredible experience…it really is like a graduation.”
Will Legends of Tomorrow Season 8 Happen?
The episode ends with the Legends and Booster face down, under arrest for “time crimes” (:ahem: CAAAALLLLLED IT). And when we tried to wheedle more out of Shimizu about what we might be able to expect from a DC’s Legends of Tomorrow season 8 (which as of this writing, still hasn’t been officially renewed), she wasn’t having any of it.
“The Legends will be in jail and Booster Gold will be their frenemy,” she laughs. Which is a fine place to leave off. If the next season is half as good as this one, it’ll still be the best thing on television.