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SEASON PREMIERE REVIEW: Arrow 5×01 “Legacy”

Written by Scott Swartz

You get three episodes Arrow, three until I decide whether you are even worth my time anymore. So far, not bad Arrow, not bad at all. We all had an inkling season five would need to be big, a hundred episodes, the end of Oliver’s time on the island, and there is only so much time we can spend on the bullshit that has happened during the past two seasons. “Legacy” or at least someone at the network realized what made Arrow one of the better shows on television during it’s first two seasons, a focus on characters with a dash of really good action. For the most part “Legacy” hits the high notes I have wanted but have been sorely missing for the past two seasons. However, on the fringes you can see it, the parts where everything went wrong and made the show the equivalent of a slow and painful death.

First thing is first, we appear to possibly, maybe, hopefully have our Oliver back. No, not the annoying bastardized version of our hero we saw for the past two years, but the vengeful calculating badass we came to know and love. In this episode Stephen Amell did everything we have expected of Oliver from standing up for causes he believes in, to brutally fighting a ton of decent fights, and admitting when he is slightly wrong. Yes, Felicity was right about Oliver needing a team and it was smart of him to realize that having new friends may not be the worst thing in the entire world. Oliver on the other hand is technically right, a lot of the choices he has made over the past couple of seasons have really not helped to make Star City any safer so why not return to the partial killing code of season two. Ollie did actually kill a couple of people after Tommy’s unfortunate demise, so if the ends justify the means and Ollie doesn’t become to kill happy then we should not have a problem.

Similarly one of the big faults of last year has been rectified for the moment in the form of the flashbacks. Oliver’s Russian escapades have always been waiting in the wings and now that we will finally get to see the man become a Bratva captain it seems like it will be well worth the wait. The major boon for these flashbacks other than the sheer amount of anticipation we have had for them is that Oliver will have a solid supporting player in the form of Anatoly who has always been fun in bits and pieces. I mean Maseo and the girl from last season (seriously she was so unmemorable I don’t even want to waste the time looking up the characters name and neither apparently does Oliver) were never fleshed out to the point we cared about what happened in their stories. I mean Maseo had his son die and that was the most eventful thing to take place during the China flashbacks. Here Oliver has a purpose and a drive to kill Kovar, and if the writers manage to halfway care about these events the flashbacks may be halfway decent.

Of course the biggest surprise of this entire affair, besides the episode being mostly decent, was that Oliver has apparently remembered not only how to fight, but also how to use his bow and arrow. Seriously, Ollie fired more arrows in one episode of season five than he did in twenty one of the twenty three episodes of season four. Add on the great fight scene with Curch’s henchman where he snaps an arm and a neck and we manage to have a solid return to form. Of course this is only one episode and there is plenty of time for corn and herbal tea to come in and screw everything up, but I will take clear baby steps as opposed to giant out right leaps.

Of course not everything was sunshine and rainbows as we had one huge, gigantic problem. The side characters and plots were really, really bland with the exception of Thea. Take for example our big bad Tobias Church, Chad Coleman does a good amount of work with what he is given but at no point was he the end all be all in terms of villainy. The characterization of Church was just so over the top and flamboyant that none of his actions had anytime to breath or mean anything in the larger scope of things. Luckily, Prometheus seems like the slightly more interesting of the pair despite the very brief amount of screen time he gets.

The bigger issue is in the form of the new team, who at this moment are not as interesting as they need to be. Curtis, Wild Dog, and the others should have been given slightly more screen time even though this episode was about coming to terms with the idea of a new team. I mean I understand it in purpose, but the practice of building everything up without actual showing the new team off was lackluster at best. What bothered me the most was that Oliver despite his complete resistance for Wild Dog to join the team just up and says yes to Curtis on the spot. Like not even the slightest bit of resistance to the idea, after all the push back for Wild Dog. It just felt like Oliver had forgotten to vet everyone.

Overall it was a pretty solid beginning to the season, better than The Flash dare I say. So heres to hoping they don’t screw this up to quickly.

Final Grade B+

+Old School Ollie

+Great action

+The idea of a new team

+Solid flashbacks

-Church is a fairly weak villain

-Being cautious about a full return to form

-Ollie just up and accepts the new team and anyone on it?

Extra Thoughts

-As I said in my review of the finale, if you fuck up Red Star (Kovar) I will burn with never ending hate. I love Red Star

-So there is a clear screw up when Ollie is naming the past members of the team he says “David” rather than Diggle. Did no editor catch that at all?

-Ollie managed to take out Anarky all by himself. About F’n time.

-Loved Thea’s reasoning for leaving the team. It makes complete sense. Also Donna is gone for the time being, thank god.

-Still no repercussions for Felicity nuking an entire town after five months, what the hell is going on?

About the author

Scott Swartz

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