That ladies and gentleman is how you make one of the best episodes of Arrow not actually take place on Arrow. Welcome to “Star City 2046” where everything is right in the world and Oliver is back to being the misanthropic, sarcastic, son of a bitch we used to love week in and week out. It is amazing what the formula of Legends of Tomorrow allows itself to do on a weekly basis when it is not tied down to the mini-arc structure that we have seen so far. It was just completely bonkers to see the team have to deal with this future, knowing that it had no actual bearing on their mission as a whole. Watching Sara and Ray have to deal with the idea that everyone they love is dead, seeing Mick and Snart in their “paradise”, and watching Rip constantly have to remind them that nothing mattered in the end. This easily made for one of the strongest episodes of the series thus far, if not my personal favorite.
The member of the Legends who had the most to deal with this week was Sara and Caity Lotz really rose to the occasion of being the main. I loved the idea that this future is in some way directly caused by the fact Rip plucked Sara and Ray out of the timeline in order to take down Vandal. To see Lotz struggle with the fact her family is all dead and that her former friend is incredibly broken by the events that have taken place shows just how much her past life means to her. Sara has always tried to do what is best for her friends and the city she grew up in, so her constant sacrifice and willingness to throw her life away is not entirely surprising. It does however cement this characters relationship to the team and perhaps her greatest weakness. If Savage were to present a Star City or the team scenario to our hero would she be able to sacrifice that in order to save billions. It’s an incredible question that I hope gets tackled moving forward as for right now the team as a unit is fairly strong, with the exception of one person.
That is how we get to the story of the Rogues having a falling out as Mick and Snart had trouble brewing in paradise, or as much or a paradise as a post apocalyptic hells cape can be. Up to this point the two rogues have had an unbreakable bond, but here much like Sara they are given a choice. A world without heroes where they can steal whatever they want, do whatever they want, and fight whoever they want. Where Mick believes this to be their paradise Snart surprisingly doesn’t want any part of it. To Snart the most important thing about being a thief is the challenge and with not Barry or Oliver to pose a threat, this world is quite literally hell to him. I loved the final talk between the two characters and how Snart is trying to cover just how much the team and his time facing off against Barry has changed him. Say what you will about Mick being a crazy pyro, but he at least knows who he is and what he wants out of the world. At this point Snart really doesn’t know how to deal with the change, and that will be half the fun moving forward.
Even with all of this great character development we managed to get a pretty kickass plot involving Connor Hawke, aka John Diggle Jr. and Old Oliver Queen. Both Stephen Amell and Joseph David-Jones play their characters to a near pitch perfect note as we can see exactly how broken Oliver has become without his friends and family. I was especially surprised by just how much I liked Jones’ portrayal as Hawke as you could clearly see the Diggle influence on his character. Connor is fighting because it is the right thing to do and it is what his father would have done when he realized Ollie had lost the will to fight. It reminded me of Avatar The Last Airbender and how friendships can transcend lifetimes and this was truly the beginning to Green Arrow 2.0 for the team. Similarly, watching Oliver find the strength to challenge Deathstroke one more time and start the process of saving his city was a quality arc that helps to show how much Ollie has changed since the first season of Arrow. If this was season one Ollie he would have just straight up murdered everyone, but Ollie has realized he needs his friends in order to stand up to the big bads of the world. It’s a nice note to see Old Ollie maintain.
The one part of the episode that really face planted was the “everybody else hits on Kendra” arc. I mean in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t super offensive or annoying, it just felt like their were more important things going on. I liked watch Stein simultaneously help and screw over Jax as it shows he is indeed taking their partnership seriously and wants to make his team member happy. I just wanted something more or to know where this is all going moving forward, because at this moment it felt like a huge throw away plot when a ton of cooler things were going on.
Overall it was the strongest episode of the series and definitely one of the most compelling.
Final Grade A-
+Old man Ollie and Connor Hawke were great
+Mick and Snart having it out
-Deathstroke was underwhelming
-Ray and Jax trying to hit on Kendra
-Mick’s pimp coat is on the ship. This better turn into a running gag moving forward.
-So for fifteen years Connor never thought to look for Oliver in his base of operations. Wouldn’t that be the first place you go.
-Diggle has a second kid, I am guessing Diggle is no longer in the grave now. Sorry Thea, Lance, or Laurel
-Kinda of bummed we didn’t get old man Slade vs old man Ollie. Really would have tied up their stories nicely.