While she may be Captain Lance to the team, Legends of Tomorrow
season 3 episode 7, "Welcome to the Jungle," introduced us to the Legends' team without Sara Lance involved at all, and, to say the least, it wasn't something that should ever be done again. Her absence was explained away as being in a coma after her near-death fight with Damien Darhk, from which she barely escaped with her life.
Being Captain Lance of the Waverider has solidified Sara's importance to the team, but it's what she brings as a captain that separates her from any other character, including Rip Hunter. Her unique background with the League of Assassins, dying, and being reborn and getting her soul restored, among other traumatic events, has given her a unique outlook on life and the world, so she knows what it's like to lose your life.
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Sara has lost her place in the world and gotten it back, plus she's spent years of her life training to be an assassin, which gives her a different perspective than the other members of the team who weren't trained to kill and everything that goes along with that. Aside from that, Sara is also the only one of the Legends who takes time travel as seriously as it should be. She understands the consequences of changing time, so much so that she didn't go back to save her sister's life because it could have altered everything that has happened in the world since, and more lives could have been lost instead. No one else on the team could make a call like that, and they wouldn't.
As we've seen thus far this season, Sara believes in her team more than Rip ever did, and despite their foolish mistakes, she continues to seek out the best in everyone and inspire them to be the best heroes they can be. Without Sara, season 3 episode 7 felt empty because the writing was completely off.
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The Wrong Team?
The writers acted as though the previous episodes in the season didn't exist and viewers didn't see how awful these characters were at saving time and stopping anachronisms without Sara to guide them. Sara has saved the day in every episode this season, and I believe the writers were trying to show that the team could manage to function without her in charge, but it didn't work. At all.
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The characters were all written slightly differently to account for this loss, and as such they didn't meet the same standards they've been written to all season. The "growth," if you can call it that, wasn't earned, or deserved. It was given to try to make some of these characters, Nate and Ray especially, seem more capable of handling the anachronisms than they have been.
In short, without Sara the team doesn't work, and season 3 episode 7 proved just how necessary Sara is to make the team capable of handling the time-traveling crises they see every week.
What do you think? Is Sara crucial to the team, or did the team function fine without her? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Legends of Tomorrow
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