The sixth episode of Arrow, titled “Legacies,” airs Wednesday night, November 14 on The CW. Thankfully considering my impatient nature, The CW sent out advance copies of the episode so some impressions could end up online before the show.
Did they make the right move by letting people see it early? In my case, definitely. “Legacies” doesn’t quite feel the same as the previous five episodes (why? read on), but it’s still pretty fantastic.
Warning: Minor spoilers may follow but never anything that would ruin the episode.
A big difference at this point is that now that the show is six episodes in, the characters are settling more comfortably rather than being established. Moreso, the effects of having an outlet like Diggle are starting to show for Oliver, who may be starting to smile and lighten up a bit. Obviously considering what happened to him on the island, Oliver was and is going to be shell-shocked for a bit; it just is nice to see that progression. He can’t be broody and snapping necks forever.
The supporting cast also seems to have established itself, and they’re given more room to breathe. With Diggle, we see that he is more than just an assistant or a sidekick, and I think it’s clear he’s an invaluable part of Oliver’s mission. (One thing I was wondering though: Was he re-hired as Oliver’s bodyguard off-screen? Wouldn’t Moira, at least, be wondering why he’s hanging around all the time, otherwise? Maybe these things will be on the eventual Season 1 DVD set…) Tommy and Thea finally get to interact a bit more, and the interaction feels natural. It’s always fun to see Willa Holland as Thea doing something that brings out the humor in Thea, who is so much more than just a bad girl who parties and gets drunk or high — though there may be a little bit of one of those things, which might be my only real complaint about this episode, as I feel that if teenagers see teenagers behaving this way on TV, they’ll feel like they can do the same in real life without huge consequence. Colin Donnell gets a bit of screen time in his interaction with Thea, though most of his time is spent trying to woo Laurel and prove that he is a good guy for her. Tommy’s not just a d-bag, and Donnell seems to be letting Tommy’s facade fall down for Laurel. One could possibly see parallels between this and Oliver’s story.
Also among the supporting cast, Joanna finally gets to say more than “you need to go out and meet men” to Laurel, which is great because Annie Ilonzeh was my favorite of Charlie’s new Angels and I’d like to see her doing more on the show. Laurel, while not necessarily interacting with Oliver as much as the others, gets some love too as not only is she being wooed by Tommy and a potential extra suitor; she’s also doing what she can to keep CNRI afloat. And, of course, my favorite new supporting character, Felicity Smoak, makes another appearance… can she just learn the secret and be part of Team Arrow already?
Detective Lance gets the week off, but we do see the police station, which Arrow sneaks into. Wouldn’t this be another situation where a disguise might be better than full gear? I can just see Detective Hilton walking down the hallway and bumping into the green guy with the hood… that wouldn’t be conspicuous, would it? But, I’m sure that it’s one of those things where you have to turn your mind off, and it’s mostly done because it looks cool. That, and we saw Oliver do the disguise thing two weeks ago and he still got caught.
A comment and possible criticism of Arrow to come up over the summer is that Oliver Queen target only “the 1%;” the rich and the powerful. With the Royal Flush Gang, we see that that’s not the case. Currie Graham plays the leader of the violent bank-robbing Royal Flush Gang, and Oliver tries to find multiple ways to redeem him and bring him to justice — both with the hood and without the hood. With Graham’s performance, you can’t help but feel for him even if he is the “bad guy.”
Stephen Amell gets to play two sides of the spectrum in “Legacies.” On the island, his story is very emotional and possibly frightening, with some moments that even a spoiler watcher like me didn’t expect. In the present day, as I mentioned, he’s starting to lighten up; we see him smiling for once for reasons that don’t involve Laurel, and if you’re not craving a Big Belly Burger by episode’s end, then you have no heart. Oh, and best of all — no voiceover.
Lastly, I have to give some huge props to the actress that I consider the MVP of “Legacies” — Susanna Thompson. She’s taken a character that I should have hated and made her an interestingly conflicted yet caring person. It’s a fine line that a lesser actress could not have pulled off, and the Arrow casting team did a great job by getting her on this show. By this point I truly believe that Moira wants to do good by her family. In a way, as much as I love the Walter character, not having him around seems to have affected and changed her character in positive ways. I can’t wait to see more.
Arrow’s “Legacies” is, to me, the sixth of six solid episodes for the show so far — a rare feat for any TV series. It airs Wednesday, November 14 on The CW and CTV. Here are some images and be sure to come by our forum for the countdown!