Legends of Tomorrow didn't lose any of its regulars due to the events of "Crisis on Infinite Earths," but two Legends are departing the series anyway in Season 5. Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford will say their goodbyes to the Arrow-verse's most bonkers superhero show in the not-too-distant future, which means fans need to prepare their farewells to Ray and Nora. The actors' comments after news broke of their departures indicate that they didn't choose to leave the Waverider, so why is Legends losing Ray and Nora?
The Legends of Tomorrow bosses weighed in on why the time was right. Co-showrunner Phil Klemmer explained why life on the Waverider isn't meant to last forever, saying this:
We've always imagined that time on the Waverider was meant to be finite, you know? It was always meant to be halfway home and not a permanent home and that once you've repaired whatever damage you had when you boarded the ship that you probably should make room for another damaged soul. It's like real life, as well. You know, you have your single friends but when you get into relationships--sorry to break the news to all the people in young relationships who think that life is never gonna change, but it does. There's no way of going through a threshold in life and carrying everything that you had before. You have to forfeit something. And that's the pain and beauty of life.
Legends of Tomorrow has cycled through most of its cast by this point in Season 5, and the show is all but unrecognizable from its grim beginnings. At the moment, only Caity Lotz as Sara, Dominic Purcell as Mick, and Brandon Routh as Ray remain from the original crew of Legends, and that trio will go down by one before Season 5 hits the halfway point. Routh and Courtney Ford reportedly leave Legends in Episode 7 of Season 5, called "Romeo v Juliet: Dawn of Justness." Their finite time on the Waverider is coming to an end!
While it will be sad for fans to have to say goodbye to Ray and Nora, at least their departures mean that they've repaired the "damage" that brought them into the Legends in the first place. They've recovered some of what they lost, found each other, and apparently need to move on. Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford, who are married in real life, got to play their characters falling in love in Season 4. Will their swan song in Season 5 send Ray and Nora off for a happily-ever-after?
Legends of Tomorrow co-showrunner Keto Shimizu explained further how Ray and Nora leaving time-travel behind is the more "realistic" story, saying this to GameSpot:
We like to tell what are more realistic stories, which is that people come together for a time when they need each other and then when they don't need each other anymore, they kind of grow apart. And that is definitely the story we're trying to tell with Ray and Nora. And we think it's the way that we build up to their departure. I think it's very loving. It comes from our love of these characters. And it comes from us wanting that story to come to the most satisfying close that we can, both for us as writers, for the actors, and for we hope the audience.
While Ray and Nora growing apart from the rest of the group could be a bit sad, it sounds like Legends of Tomorrow isn't going full doom-and-gloom to say goodbye to these major characters. A "loving" departure coming from love of characters doesn't strike me as a description of anybody being killed off, and would it really be "satisfying" to Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford if Ray and Nora came to tragic ends?
So what if their final episode is named for characters from a play where the leading man and lady famously died? Ray and Nora can have the romance of Romeo and Juliet without the tragic ends of Romeo and Juliet!
Only time will tell how Ray and Nora will depart from Legends of Tomorrow and how fans will react. My fingers are crossed that they don't leave in a way that would prevent one or both of them from returning at any time. The resolution to "Crisis on Infinite Earths" (which featured a very different side of Brandon Routh) with Oliver Queen's ultimate sacrifice (which Legends dealt with in its own way) means that there aren't... well, infinite Earths to lock Ray and Nora away on.
I'm just hoping that they decide they're ready to try a normal and less dangerous life, which they deserve and wouldn't mean the goodbye would be forever. For now, you can catch Ray, Nora, and the rest of the Legends in new episodes of Legends of Tomorrow airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. If you're still in the market for some other TV options, check out our 2020 winter and spring premiere schedule.