Legends of Tomorrow: Nora Darhk and what happens when character development is done right

Courtney Ford as Nora Darhk — Pic by: Jeff Weddell/The CW

I did not really appreciate last week’s episode when I first watched it. Even though I loved the show with its several hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments, the program was tainted because it obviously paved the way for Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford to leave. I just don’t get it, you guys.

While Ray is not a super favorite of mine, Nora has risen up the ranks during these past couple of seasons. Her character development has been nothing short of incredible, and I know I’ve said this before, but the journey they put her on from her first appearance in season 3 to now has been wild.

However, that journey also allowed her to become a better version of herself; to understand who she really is, what she likes, what she stands for, and who she loves.

Nora could’ve so easily ended up as a one-dimensional villain — but that wasn’t the case.

Instead, she’s grown and she’s redeemed herself. She found her true family and she even found love. To me, now would be the perfect opportunity for her to start a new chapter in her life with the Legends.

What’s also great is that her relationship with Ray doesn’t define her character. She stands alone, with storylines of her own and relationships of her own. Book Club is a testament to that. They took three characters that, on paper, were supposed to be secondary, and gave them this amazing little nugget of a friendship that only enriched them and the show.

I simply don’t understand why the powers that be decided they just didn’t have more stories to tell about her and Ray. Not when they’re just getting started.

Last week’s episode was a testament to that. Because nobody is ever really dead on this show, they brought Damien Darhk back and used him as a way to show the audience, and Nora herself, just how much she has grown; how much she has changed and embraced who she really is since he’s been gone.

It was beautiful, beautiful writing.

Because she changed so much, her first instinct was to try and save him and give him a second chance at a life without powers so he, too, could find redemption. Had she still been the power-hungry sorceress she was when we first met her in early season 3, she probably would have taken the sword from Sara and killed him herself.

Instead, she has grown and evolved, and it hurts that now that she’s learned so much, they’re just going to basically throw her away.

So when the jig was up in “Mr. Parker’s Cul-de-Sac” — and everything was hilarious, from Sara and Ava being her henchwomen to Nora pretending she and Constantine were a thing — Darhk is ready to kill everyone because he doesn’t want to believe his daughter has really changed. But then Pippa — innocent, hilariously annoying Pippa — wishes that they had all been sent to the show she watched back on the Waverider.

I love that Legends of Tomorrow doesn’t shy away from going on an insanely weird tangent, and in last week’s episode the show did exactly that. Of course, as always, this worked like a charm. I feel as if this program established itself as the kind of entertainment that if you’re not asking yourself “what the hell is happening” while laughing your butt off, something must be wrong.

What that did was give us the therapy session Nora and her father so desperately needed. She finally managed to get so many things off her chest about her relationship with Damien, and, more importantly, how his decision to basically abandon her to be raised by a demon cult really traumatized and ultimately damaged her.

When she admitted she likes who she has become and vows she will never go back, that maturity showed as peak character development. Just like with Damien Darhk, we could not be more proud of her.

So, as we get ready to say goodbye to her in tonight’s Legends of Tomorrow, I guess I can speak for everyone:

Nora, doll, you’re leaving way before your time. Book Club will never be the same again. We miss you already.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 5 Episode 7 “Romeu vs Juliet: Dawn of Justness” airs tonight at 9/8C on The CW.

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