Legends of Tomorrow will lose one of its few remaining original cast members in Season 5 with the departure of Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer, as well as one other member of the Legends ensemble. Routh has been part of the Arrow-verse since way back in Arrow Season 3, before helping launch Legends as the second Arrow-verse spinoff. As longtime viewers can attest, Legends was originally pretty dark, gritty, and occasionally depressing. The Legends of the last couple seasons is all but unrecognizable, if not for the Waverider and characters who stuck around!
The shift was drastic and seemingly quite popular with fans, who may get enough gloom and doom on Arrow and even The Flash in recent years. The loss of Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer could cast some gloom on Season 5 if Ray doesn't get a happy ending, but Routh himself was full of praise in a goodbye message he posted on his final day of filming. He acknowledged how far the show came, and more:
My final day of filming with my #LegendsFamily. I love you all & appreciate the 5 seasons we’ve spent together. It hasn’t always been easy, but I think that’s what makes it harder to leave—getting through the growing pains of the first few seasons has bonded us. And made the last three seasons a blast! I’ve never been at a job this long, so this is new for me. I think I will miss you all and the fun we’ve had making this silly show on the #Waverider—as much as I’ll miss bringing #RayPalmer to life. Love & blessings on a great finish to the season.
Fans aren't the only ones who appreciated the shift from gloomy early Legends of Tomorrow to the bonkers, hilarious, and heartfelt Legends of Tomorrow that it has become by this point. Brandon Routh was gracious in his message, and I for one hope that this is a sign that he'll be ready to return to the Waverider someday, whether as a guest star or something more regular.
That Brandon Routh's last day of filming was October 25 suggests that Ray (and presumably Nora as well, if they leave together) exits Legends of Tomorrow prior to the end of Season 5. It's difficult to guess how exactly Legends will write him out, but I'm choosing to believe that it won't be in any kind of permanent way!
For now, we can focus on the positive. Brandon Routh shared some photos from Legends of Tomorrow on Instagram, along with the touching message. Take a look:
Legends apparently had a farewell for Brandon Routh, including a cake and a box decorated with some seriously throwback pictures. Remember when Ray and Kendra Saunders, a.k.a. Hawkgirl, were a thing? Oh, Season 1!
Legends of Tomorrow returns for Season 5 in 2020, but you don't have to wait until next year for a fix of The CW's Arrow-verse. Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and newcomer Batwoman are all airing episodes in the fall, and both Arrow and The Flash are hard at work setting up the "Crisis on Infinite Earths." Maybe a little too hard at work for The Flash, but hopefully Arrow has already proved that "Crisis" is going to be amazing.