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REVIEW: Arrow 4×08 “Legends of Yesterday”

Written by Scott Swartz

See, Arrow can be just as fun as The Flash, that is if they happen to write in the same overall structure and play off of each other incredibly well. For tonight’s example we have the back half of this years crossover, “Legends of Yesterday” which in reality had way more in common with an episode of The Flash than it did Arrow. I mean we had time travel shenanigans, apocalyptic fights, strange sci-fi history shenanigans. If this was meant to be a preview of what we can expect with Legends of Tomorrow I am cautiously optimistic. It was just really exciting to get to see everything play out and set up some really fun new storylines moving forward, as well as screwing with both Barry and Ollie’s worlds collectively.  If there is one thing we have learned from all of this, it was something we already know, don’t mess with time travel.

Speaking of which I love a good time travel plot and man did the structure of this episode really benefit from that structure. As soon as we saw Barry “ghost” we knew something awful was going to take place and boy was the visual of watching all of Central City get fried pretty horrific. I love the fact that even the ever hopefully Barry was taken aback from Savage’s unmitigated destruction of his city and thought if only for a minute that giving up Kendra and Carter was the right move. He knows what happens when you screw with the time stream way to much and this definitely seems like it will have major blowback for both Ollie and Barry. My favorite part of the entire affair was watching Ollie be overjoyed at the prospect of a second chance and being able to plan a true counter attack against Savage. Ollie realized the risk and calculated the best possible path to victory, now eventually he will have to pay a price for his second chance.

With Ollie on the table we got more than one chance as Ollie finally figured out he has a son and is willing to sacrifice his relationship with Felicity if it means he can become a part of his son’s life. I love that we are actually getting around to this plot line as it has been dangling out there for like forever and the show seemed like it never really wanted to commit to it and Stephen Amell really nailed the opportunity which was given to him. I loved watching Ollie struggle with the revelation and be thrown off of his game, it made the reveal mean so much more than if Ollie had just simply just been ok with finding out about his son. I am slightly annoyed by the whole idea of Oliver hiding his son from everyone as it will inevitably give a villain some sort of leverage that Ollie will not be able to fight back against. It very closely puts him in a similar position as when he was with the league and chose not to trust anyone. Just when this backfires no one should be surprised.

The other element I really enjoyed was the fact that Cisco took the reins in teaching Kendra and has seemingly accepted his powers. He realizes his ability to vibe is a gift that is meant to help people and help make him a better person overall, just as Kendra’s wings are meant to make her a hero. Cisco knows what people need to hear in order to rise to their potential and it manages to show that what was originally a very one note character has evolved into something so much more. Carlos Valdes was great in these smaller moments and I only wish that Caitlin wasn’t in a holding pattern until we reach her Killer Frost arc as it seems like a waste of Danielle Panabaker’s talents.

As for our setup for Legends of Tomorrow, I am ok with the basic outline we now have and the premise of Kendra and Carter fighting crime and being the heroes they always wanted to be. My problem comes in the form of Savage, who was way more compelling last night when he was not revealed to be some type of spurned lover. Say what you will about the whole immortal caveman origin, but it adds so much more to his character. I am hoping Savage’s time with Malcolm makes him more into the character I know and love because as of right now he has no real reason to want to take over the earth. Savage at his core should follow one belief, survival of the fittest, and as of this moment he doesn’t even have that idea seemingly on his radar. We do get glimpses by knowing he has been there for the important battles, but he was not nearly as intimidating as he was on The Flash. I really hope Casper Crump is given a chance to go full megalomaniac a la the Justice League cartoon, because from what little we have seen he certainly has the capability.

It was a really solid B side to the crossover just not quite where we want Vandal to be just yet.

Final Grade B +

Overall Crossover A-

+Fun team up stuff

+Time Travel

+Excellent work from Amell and Valdes

+Legends is set up pretty nicely

-Vandal lost some of his edge with the new backstory

-A lot of the “side characters” really left out of the fight

Extra Thoughts

-Seriously, what was the point of having the rest of Team Arrow there? They really added nothing tonight.

-No one thought to get rid of Vandal’s ashes? Also how in the hell is Vandal getting resurrected, Malcolm has no pit.

-They have the term “space rocks” but not meteorite in ancient Egypt. Gonna call major bullshit on that one.

About the author

Scott Swartz