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Review: Arrow "Legacies"
When this show first aired I thought it had great potential but being that it is on the CW, I pretty much assumed it would be a carbon copy of Smallville but with a darker tone. In ways it is that, but it is different in large part due to the fact that the writers and actors seem to have a better grasp of what the title character is and they don't limit themselves. Granted, the show still suffers in some regards due to the somewhat unnecessary over dramatic love triangles that CW seems to never stray away from but the frequent Easter Eggs and the dark tone make it all something that is rather unique. Especially with this super hero craze that is going on the heels of The Avengers. Stephen Amell and the writers of this television series are taken it very seriously, which is yielding some terrific results. Viewers will be quick to point how the show is similar in overall story and tone to that of Christopher Nolan's Batman saga. Truthfully, in the comics Green Arrow was very similar to in both of those regards to Batman.
The episode starts off with a band as they introduce another group of villains that were heavily featured in the comic books, the Royal Flush Gang. It showed them as they were robbing a bank but the young fiery Ace (Kyle Schmid) saw one of the hostages was a cop and decided to take matters into his own hands by killing the man. This sets off his father Derek Reston, King (Currie Graham) and the trio head out of the bank with the money as their mother drove the getaway car. As the Royal Flush Gang made their move, Oliver decided to train with John Diggle. Again, it is always terrific to see the fight scenes in this show as the choreography is always terrific in every fight scene. The edits may be a little awkward at times, but still, it is arguable that this show has had some of the best fight scenes for a cable television show. Diggle however, attempted to tell Oliver how to be a hero as he only seems to be focused on his father's list. Oliver has no interest in being a hero as he feels as if he can complete the list then the city would be able to fix itself. Wishful thinking, sure, but the fact remains that it is on him to do what the police cannot.
The other ongoing story of the episode focused on Tommy Merlyn, Thea Queen and Laurel Lance. From episode one it was obvious that Tommy held Laurel in high regard seeing how they hooked up while Oliver was presumed dead as well. That storyline for the most part had taken a back seat over the past few weeks but came back into play on this episode when Tommy decided to throw a party to raise money for Laurel. It was a nice gesture as the money raised went to a good cause to help the unfortunate but that idea came from Thea. Tommy asked her for advice and she had some nice words but she simply assumed that Tommy was showing interest in her. This love triangle if you ask me, is completely unnecessary. However, with that in mind, it may be the driving force in making Thea into her alter ego "Speedy" and the same goes for Tommy becoming the archer known as Merlyn. Thea in the first few episodes seemed to be that of a spoiled brat going down the wrong path, whereas in this episode she seemed much more grown up. It seems as if that she is much smarter then she lets on. With Oliver going into custody under the pretenses that he was the vigilante, it got her thinking and it may have forced her to grow up quicker.
Diggle attempted to get Oliver to set his sights on the Royal Flush Gang, and eventually he gave in to use his abilities to stop them from doing further harm. He quickly found out that one Derek Reston used to work for his father. Oliver's father ended up having Derek laid off from his job, forcing the Reston family to go into the business of robbing banks. Classy move right? Completely harmless to? Check and check. Oliver takes it upon himself to speak with the man one and one to hopefully talk him down as he believes everyone deserves a second chance, after all his mission is essentially given his father a second chance in a way. Of course Derek doesn't follow through but Oliver is at the bank and puts a stop to them. Kyle seems to have been put away but Derek was indeed shot by the rent a cop on duty. Fun times. With Kyle behind bars, I hope this means in future seasons or later on that we will still see the Royal Flush Gang back again sometime.
While the Royal Flush Gang was nice to see, it would have been nice if like most villains this series has shown was a little bit more developed. That is a minor gripe I have with this series, but I understand it from a writing perspective. If you take the time to develop a villain who is essentially "the monster of the week" then that takes away from what is important in the early run of this series, which is our hero Oliver Queen. For the show to be successful, which I think it is, they need to continue showing his flashbacks and relating it to what is happening at Starling City. Perfect example of just that is how they related his flashbacks in the previous episode, "Damaged". As for the other characters, Diggle continues to impress as the pseudo-Alfred character to Oliver. Moira continues to be a character the no way can relate to. Her allegiance is to her family, but seeing how she seems to be involved in whatever nefarious plans with the suits in the city and how cold she is first and foremost it is really tough to like her. This episode marks probably the most redeeming episode for Thea Queen however. It showed her softer side, and her vulnerable side as she holds Tommy in high regard. It's nice to see, although the frequent jabs at calling her Speedy was a bit too much if you ask me.