Legends of Tomorrow season 5, episode 7 review: A fond farewell

Legends of Tomorrow -- "Romeo V. Juliet: Dawn of Justness" -- Image Number: LGN507a_0247b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Nick Zano as Nate Heywood/Steel and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Legends of Tomorrow -- "Romeo V. Juliet: Dawn of Justness" -- Image Number: LGN507a_0247b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Nick Zano as Nate Heywood/Steel and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Two beloved characters bid farewell in this week’s emotional episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, softening a blow that didn’t really need to happen in the first place.

After five seasons of entertaining us on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow as the brilliant Ray Palmer – while also doing the same on Arrow – Brandon Routh bowed out of the Arrowverse this week. But the iconic Superman actor didn’t leave alone, as his wife and co-star Courtney Ford also bid farewell to her beloved character Nora Darhk in an emotional episode that saw the two legendary newlyweds depart the Waverider for life anew.

An tearjerking episode, no doubt, but one that also brought smiles to our faces – both heartwarmingly genuine ones and ones that resulted from the typically off-the-wall plot developments – as “Romeo V. Juliet: Dawn of Justness” brought about the end of a wacky and wonderful era.

I’m only me because of you

The crux of the episode naturally revolved around the departure of long-time Legend Ray, as he attempted to follow through on the advice that Damien Darhk gave him; leave the ship so that he and Nora could start a life together. And that set the stage for some rich internal conflict as he attempted to figure out the best way of telling best friend Nate Heywood of his imminent departure.

The bromance between SteelAtom has provided Legends of Tomorrow with some of its greatest moments, so it felt right that the pair’s friendship was the emotional heart of this one. And the writers did that bromance justice throughout the episode, featuring callbacks, nods and references to their greatest attributes and classic capers.

More from Arrowverse

The conflict that ensued between the pair whenever Nate found out about Ray’s departure before actually being told about it hit hard – real hard – as it was easy to empathize with Nate over how he was feeling about losing his best friend, because in all honesty we didn’t want Ray to go either (only our anger wasn’t misplaced towards Ray because fans have rightly taken issue with the questionable creative choice to write him and Nora out).

Ray’s last adventure, however, ended up bringing William Shakespeare into their lives and it was through the wise words of Romeo & Juliet that Nate realized pig-headedness wasn’t going to change the fact that his best friend was leaving. And with that, the pair shared what might just be the most heartbreaking and heartwarming embrace in Legends of Tomorrow‘s history in a moment that highlighted the impact that true friendship can have on people.

End of an era

Ray Palmer has been a huge part of the Arrowverse for nearly its whole existence. Having arrived on Arrow‘s third season and appeared in its fourth before joining Legends of Tomorrow for five seasons (all while appearing in episodes of The FlashSupergirl and Batwoman), he’s part of the shared universe’s very fabric and it’s going to be so hard to imagine what it will look like without him.

While this writer doesn’t feel that his departure was necessary at all (we now only have two original Legends left), the departure itself feels loyal to the character. Part of Ray’s character journey revolved around his pursuit of happiness, something that somebody who so easily made everyone else happy was more than deserving of.

With that in mind, the fact that he gets to leave his heroic days behind and have a long, happy and healthy life with the woman he loves – and now, his wife – makes this somewhat disgruntled writer smile.

It’s what both Ray and Nora deserve, and man, we’re going to miss seeing them light up our screens each week.

Legendary Leftovers

  • Turns out Zari is quite creative. That became clear when she was a little apprehensive about joining Book Club, but apparently she’s a classically-trained actress. And can I just say: She and John Constantine slayed their roles as Romeo and Juliet.
  • The decision to pair Nate and Ray’s emotional embrace with the dialogue from Romeo & Juliet was inspired. It highlighted how all types of love are important, eternal and capable of bringing a tear to our eye… which this scene certainly did.
  • The woman who so clearly wanted Astra to spy on Constantine has an agenda of her own. What are the chances that she’s one of Charlie’s loom-wielding sisters?
  • The title of the episode “Romeo V. Juliet: Dawn of Justness” is obviously a reference to the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • Can I be a member of Book Club… please?
  • While Mona hasn’t always been used to the best of the character’s abilities, this episode played to her strengths really well. The humor wasn’t overdone and she was vital in making Mick see the importance of family, reminding him that he was capable of caring about others.
  • “There’s never a problem so big that it can’t be solved with a smile”. That right there is Ray Palmer’s legacy… and it will live on in Legends of Tomorrow forever.
  • On one last note, allow this writer to take a moment to congratulate Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford on fantastic runs on Legends of Tomorrow and, more than that, thank them for making us fall in love with them over the past few years. I hope they return one day!

Next. 25 most heartbreaking Arrowverse deaths of all-time. dark

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow returns on Tuesday, April 8, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Are you going to miss Ray and Nora? Let us know in the comments below!