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SYFY WIRE DC's Legends of Tomorrow

'Legends of Tomorrow' showrunner on Booster Gold, cast exits & what that finale cliffhanger means

So who's still on the team roster? What about that new guy? It's all a bit complicated.

By Trent Moore
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The cast of Legends of Tomorrow gets a shake-up every year or so at this point, and Season 7 was no different — so who’s left on the team and who might be joining if the series returns next season?

**SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers ahead for the Season 7 finale of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, which aired Wednesday night on The CW**

We’ll start at the big DC reveal it seems we’ve been waiting years to see: Booster Gold, welcome to the Arrowverse. Donald Faison (Scrubs) made his debut as fan favorite time traveling troublemaker Booster Gold, running the full gamut of emotions with the Legends — from friend, to stealing the Waverider, to betraying the team to some mysterious chronal peacekeepers.

In an interview with SYFY WIRE, Legends of Tomorrow co-showrunner Phil Klemmer said adding Booster was something they’ve wanted to do ever since Legends of Tomorrow was a pitch on the white board, and he couldn’t imagine anyone better than Faison to bring that character to life and mix it up with the Legends. There’s no word on an eighth season yet, but if the show does return, Booster is expected to stick around.

“His name has been echoing throughout the halls of Berlanti and the Arrowverse. The thing is, I don’t feel like we truly know him yet. That’s the wonderful thing of having such wonderful actors. With a marquee character like Booster Gold, we’ve just scratched the surface of this guy. It’s just interesting to imagine what his dynamic is going to be with the team,” Klemmer said. “I like that he kind of got started on the wrong side… The fun thing is finding these people who are solo operators. Booster Gold doesn’t need an entourage, He’s got plenty of ego to fill the room all by himself.”

Nate's departure

The series also bid farewell to a longtime member of the team in the finale episode, with Nate Hayward (Nick Zano) opting to retire from the team after losing his steel powers on one last mission to rescue Gwyn’s (Matt Ryan) lover Alun from the battlefield. The episode ended with Nate riding off into the sunset, with plans to finally write his memoir. Klemmer said the decision to have Nate exit the series came at Zano’s request, after spending the past several seasons anchoring the Legends crew.

“Nick Zano made up his mind long before the season started that this was to be his last, and we totally respected that … It’s hard to let go of characters, but I just hope we gave him a sendoff that’s worthy of his character and Nick’s contribution to the show,” Klemmer said. “When you’re on location in your 12th hour in the freezing rain of Vancouver, to have a guy like Nick Zano who can come in and just fire everyone up, bring out the best in everybody, his contribution on-screen, anyone can assess that. But for everyone who has worked behind the scenes, having that guy [is so important].”

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Though it might seem like the introduction of Faison’s Booster Gold was well-timed with the departure of Zano’s Nate, Klemmer clarified there was never any intention to “replace” that character. Instead, it’s just the never-ending evolution of the Legends on display.

“Donald Faison was never meant to be a replacement, but it’s so great that in the finale Donald could come and his energy could inspire people,” Klemmer said. “I think that’s what keeps this show moving. The stories change, the personnel changes, but hopefully the heart of the show is intact.”

Matt Ryan's future

One character who won’t be leaving anytime soon if the show returns is Matt Ryan, who joined the show several seasons ago as John Constantine and stuck around in Season 7 as new character Gwyn Davies, the inventor of time travel. The season finale ended with Gwyn reunited with his lost lover, Alun, ending his season-long rescue mission, but Klemmer made clear that’s “not the end of his story.”

“He’s going to be with us for next season for sure [if the show is renewed],” Klemmer said. “Now that we’ve unburdened Gwyn of all that darkness, I want to see him let his hair down. He put life on hold for so many years. He has a lot of living to catch up with, and I think that’ll be fun and exciting.”

That cliffhanger 

Though we at least know where all the characters stand, there’s also the question of that cliffhanger ending — which saw a mysterious group of time police bust in and arrest the Legends, after Booster set them up and sold them out with the stolen Waverider. Klemmer said the ending felt true to the unexpected nature of the show, and served as a great reset to remind the Legends that, no matter how good they think they might be doing, they never really have it all figured out.

"There’s something really funny to us about the Legends. They’ve been doing this for 110 episodes, and they’ll always be screw-ups in a certain way, but they’ve gotten pretty good at this stuff. But it was just funny for us to imagine that this whole time they’ve been out there, thinking they’re fixing things and they’re autonomous out there solving things, and it turns out there’s been an institution watching from afar, wearily, and they finally have to drop the hammer,” Klemmer said. “It’s kind of the idea of Back to School, with Rodney Dangerfield going to college. The Legends think they’ve finally perfected the thing they do, then being told ‘You dummies. You’re doing it all wrong, you need to be rehabilitated.’ Because I think that’s when they’re at their best. Like, the Bad News Bears almost winning the championship, then having to watch some schmucks walk away with the trophy.”

The season finale of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is streaming now on The CW app. At this point, there’s been no word on if the series will return for an eighth season.