Warning: spoilers ahead for the Season 3 finale of Legends of Tomorrow, called "The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly."
The stakes for the Legends of Legends of Tomorrow were never higher than heading into the Season 3 finale. The demonic Mallus was finally freed of his containment to a mortal body in the penultimate episode, and he turned out to be a giant horned monster that looked more than capable of wreaking havoc through all of time and space. The Legends were ultimately able to harness the power of the various totems, conjure up a giant Beebo (Voltron-style) like the Stay Puft Mashmallow Man in Ghostbusters, and defeat Mallus, but a couple of notable characters died before the end. One was arguably the central character of Season 1: Rip Hunter.
Rip actually died early in the finale. The Legends' first attempt to use the totems against Mallus was completely ineffective, so Rip decided the time had come to rise to the occasion and save the people he'd brought together (along with the extras Sara and the other originals picked up along the way). After saying goodbye to Gideon in the Waverider, Rip took the time drive from the ship and raced outside to face down Mallus. He wouldn't be able to kill Mallus by using the time drive against him, but he would be able to use it to wipe Mallus to a different time. Unfortunately, in doing so, Rip would have to sacrifice his life.
Sara managed to get through to him before he died and tried to talk him out of his suicide mission, but Rip simply said that he wanted to save them and go to see his long-dead wife and child again. It was a tragic yet heroic exit for a character who has been as much of a hindrance as a help to the Legends over the years, and the fact that he willingly accepted his own death with the hope that he'd finally be reunited with his family will hopefully soothe the sting of his death for diehard Rip fans. R.I.P. Rip. He wasn't the only one to die in the finale. Damien Darhk has also been sent off to that great time ship in the sky.
Well, maybe Damien Darhk has been sent off to that great time ship a lot farther south than the sky. Although he arguably died the death of a good man, Darhk was pretty undeniably a villain. Here's how he went out.
Mourning the death of Nora in the penultimate episode, Darhk teamed up with Ray to go back in time and try to find a way and save her before Mallus emerged from her. Darhk somewhat unsurprisingly pulled one over on Ray when they got to Nora, and he ended up taking Mallus from Nora and into himself. Nora was freed, and Darhk was doomed to die when Mallus manifested a physical form. Damien Darhk is dead. Given that Damien Darhk was a bad guy and has died in the Arrow-verse before, there probably aren't too many viewers wailing and gnashing their teeth now that he bit the dust, even if he did give his life to save his daughter.
We'll have to wait and see if Rip Hunter and/or Damien Darhk stay dead. Legends of Tomorrow alone has a habit of bringing dead characters back; The Flash is no stranger to doing so, and Arrow just brought Lazarus Pits back into play. The show did say goodbye to another character as well, and the odds are higher for her return than either Rip or Darhk. Amaya realized that it was time to return to Zambesi and set some key events in motion, and so she left the Legends. That said, she also refused to have her memory erased, and Sara made it clear that Amaya will always have a family in the Legends. Surely Legends of Tomorrow can bring her back!
The cliffhanger does indicate that the Legends will need all the help they can get. Constantine showed up in Aruba with what looked like the severed head of a dragon, irritated with the time-travelers for what they did to mess up time. He'll be on board a lot more moving forward, as will Ava. Fans have a lot to look forward to moving forward.
Legends of Tomorrow did score a renewal for Season 4, so you can expect it back on The CW at a later date. A list of other TV season finale dates can help you figure out when you can catch more big episodes of other series. For what you can watch while we wait, take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule and our summer TV premiere guide. You can find more important superhero TV info on our breakdown of TV superhero dates.