Keto Shimizu on the Season 7 Finale and Future of ‘Legends of Tomorrow’

This has been a tough season for the team of Legends of Tomorrow on multiple fronts. From getting stranded in the 1920s to being hunted by robo-versions of themselves, to so much more, they’ve faced their most daunting challenges but made it through it all while strengthening their bonds on the way. But will we get to see more of them in a potential Season 8, which hasn’t been announced yet by The CW?

To get answers on where Legends may go from here, we were fortunate enough to speak with co-showrunner Keto Shimizu once again. We discussed the last two episodes of Season 8, the development of Gideon becoming human, the significance of Donald Faison entering the show, and much more.

Legends of Tomorrow — “Knocked Down, Knocked Up” — Pictured (L-R): Lisseth Chavez as Esperanza “Spooner” Cruz, Tala Ashe as Zari Tarazi, Jes Macallan as Ava Sharpe, Caity Lotz as Sara Lance, Matt Ryan as Dr. Gwyn Davies, Shayan Sobhian as Behrad Tarazi, Olivia Swann as Astra Logue, Amy Pemberton as Gideon, and Adam Tsekhman as Gary Green — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Major spoilers for the end of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Season 7 finale follow.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Thank you so much for speaking with The Nerds of Color again today. So I’ve watched the finale, and I loved it. Love this season. Bravo to everyone involved. I think what this season meant so much to me is that so we know that Legends is a lot of things, many different kinds of storytelling, but ultimately, it’s a story about what it means to be human. And we saw this especially with Gideon this season in the finale. So I’m curious about, in the first place, what was the impetus to have human Gideon and what do you hope viewers take away from her story?

Shimizu: I guess the impetus for having human Gideon in the show was that we’ve always wanted to do more with the character of Gideon, we love her so much. She has literally been the entity that has been taking care of our Legends forever since the start of the show. She’s shown little bits of personality here and there, which have been really fun to sort of hint that this is an artificial intelligence that is evolving and learning from her human charges. And we’ve had the delight of having Amy Pemberton come on the show just about once a season as a little sort of “surprised to see Gideon in the flesh” surprise in various different ways.

Legends of Tomorrow — “Too Legit to Quit” — Pictured (L-R): Amy Pemberton as Gideon and Adam Tsekhman as Gary Green — Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

So human Gideon has long been in the making for us, having her come on for an entire season and hopefully beyond, is something that has definitely been a long time coming for us and certainly using her as a way to explore somebody learning how to become a human for the first time. It just provided so many wonderful, juicy storytelling opportunities for us. And the flip side of that, which is Gideon as our villain, has always been very intriguing to us because, again, this is a character that has such intimate knowledge of the timeline and the Legends that she could and has been a very, very formidable opponent, and someone who can at once, fully understand the Legends but also be the most critical of their actions. And we’ve been so blessed again with Amy Pemberton her incredible talents at playing both sides of this coin.

Yeah, she’s done an absolutely mesmerizing job along with the amazing writing that y’all have for her. So I’m curious like about in the structure of this season with the penultimate episode of Season 7, it was set up almost like a series finale, but we know it wasn’t that and it’s clear, especially at the end of this season, that there are so many more Legends stories to tell. So I’m curious what in the writers’ room you were aiming for with this penultimate episode.

Yeah. Well, I think as we were coming to the final movement of the season, we were like, “Okay, well, what was this all building up to it really did seem like we were having to face a choice which is that do we keep doing this?” Or do we take the easy way out? And for the Legends that is a very serious choice. They’ve been pining for home this whole time. Trying to get back to safety to security. To comfort. And we also wanted our Legends to face the question of what does that actually mean for them? They’re all from different places. They’re all from different times. What does it mean to be home when home ultimately is being together and doing this strange work? And being on the road, in a way, they kind of don’t have a home and we really wanted to give them an opportunity to explore what it meant to be away from one another and to kind of get what they all thought they want it. By the time we got to Episode 12, and we knew we had one more left afterward, we were like, “Let’s tell that story of like the Legends making the decision to say goodbye to one another.”

Legends of Tomorrow — “Too Legit to Quit” — Pictured (L-R): Lisseth Chavez as Esperanza “Spooner” Cruz, Adam Tsekhman as Gary Green, Shayan Sobhian as Behrad Tarazi, Jes Macallan as Ava Sharpe, Olivia Swann as Astra Logue, Caity Lotz as Sara Lance, Amy Pemberton as Gideon, Matt Ryan as Dr. Gwyn Davies, Nick Zano as Nate Heywood/Steel, and Tala Ashe as Zari Tarazi — Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Of course not completely because they have the little loophole of the keys and being able to sort of meet each other in an alternate dimension, but the idea of like, “We are going to move on, we are all going to move on and leave this job and someone else is very capable hands.” And we felt like it was necessary because of how we started the season with this real desire of our Legends to go home, that they should explore all the different meanings of that word before we headed into the finale or sort of as we’re heading into the finale because the Legends have now all gone home at the end of Episode 12. So yeah, it is a little bit of like an almost finale, but of course, things are so vastly unresolved. When Gary discovers the secret, in a season full of robots, Alan was a robot. So it’s going to be a challenge in the finale, as we’ve seen, for the Legends to face the truth. And to decide what they’re going to do about it.

And I think that part of that lack of resolution, we especially see in Zari in both episode 12 and in the finale, where she sees her future she understands that, “No, this isn’t really what I want. I want so much more.” And we also see her give her totem to Nate at the end of the season. I’m very curious, like what this means for Zari 2.0, hopefully, fingers crossed for Season 8, and where her journey might go from here.

Yeah, well, sorry. Like, yeah, we really wanted to have her surprisingly be the one who was the most uncomfortable in Episode 12 with the idea of retirement because she feels so unfulfilled. She’s only been on the lead on the ship for a couple of years. And she’s like, “Wait a minute, I didn’t get my big hero’s journey. Like I feel like I’m just starting.” She’s not your traditional hero who just puts on a super-suit and goes out and blows wind everywhere. That’s not who that character is. She is someone who is very passionate about standing up for people who need help, but she’s not someone who’s gonna just go in and start fighting people. That’s not her strength or using her flexing her sort of supernatural muscles. So it became clear that we kind of needed to resolve that for her and to put that version of a hero out of her mind. That was why in this in the penultimate she was really struggling with the idea of like, “I feel like I haven’t had my hero moment” and then when an opportunity to come to, to be a rebel and to save Alan, she is there she is ready to jump in and do something about it. And then it’s resolved for her so again, she feels a little bit dissatisfied.

Legends of Tomorrow — “Knocked Down, Knocked Up” — — Pictured (L-R): Adam Tsekhman as Gary Green, Nick Zano as Nate Heywood, Tala Ashe as Zari Tarazi, Matt Ryan as Gwyn Davies, and Shayan Sobhian as Behrad Tarazi — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

And just for her own version of like, what being a hero however as seen in the finale, she does get a really cool like using her totem moment, and that’s, I think the moment she realizes, like, this isn’t something I need. It was cool to do this cool thing with her power. However, her own brand of being a superhero is something she still has to fully discover and embrace, but she knows it doesn’t have to involve the totem, which is why she’s so willing to be like, I don’t need this totem anymore. I’m going to be a different kind of superhero, and one that we’re still going to figure out exactly what it means.

I love that so much and I can’t wait to see what it will be like. But going into Season 8 (again, knock on wood it’s happening) with this finale we finally got to meet Donald Faison and as many fans have expected, he is indeed playing DC comics fans’ favorite time travel renegade Booster Gold! And we see him getting the Legends into a lot of trouble ready at the very end as he gets them captured by a new unknown organization. What can you tease about how he will add to the team’s dynamic next season?

I mean, again, we have no idea what’s going to happen but the way we ended the season was pretty much planting a flag that we intend to tell more stories. And Donald brings such great new energy to the group. I think that’s something we’re always so excited about when we add a character to our roster, that shakeup that someone who can come in and kind of put everybody on their feet and even on their toes. It brings a new crackle to all the scenes and all the stories. So I think more than anything, we’re just excited for the presence of this new very big personality to offset the sort of comfortable dynamics that the team has gotten themselves into over the last couple of years. And for him also to open up some story about what’s his deal, what’s his background, what’s his deal? I think that’s always so fun to explore as well and to see how his point of view of the world can change our character’s point of view on the world and vice versa, how our team can help him grow and to get over or to move past some of his shortcomings or his sort of egomaniacal drive. A character like Booster Gold is only so fun when they get to be flawed and egotistical and incredibly jealous and proud. So I don’t think we would ever want to lose that from that character. But I do think peeling back layers is always something we love to do. And the Legends in particular are really good at doing for new characters.

And you always peel back for everyone so well! Keto Shimizu, I thank you so so much again for staying with the Nerds of Color today. And congratulations on a great Season 7, and fingers crossed for Season 8!

Thank you so much.

You can watch all of Legends of Tomorrow Season 7 streaming on the CW and Netflix.

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