Arrow: Legacy Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

“Legacy” marked the beginning of Arrow’s fifth season and it returned the show to its first season grit, fight sequences, and moral ambiguity.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Coming into season five, I didn’t, and still don’t, have any expectations. After five years, I’ve learned that Arrow has many different personalities. Sometimes it can deliver big, sweeping, dramatic storylines like Deathstroke in season two. Other times, it delivers the complete and utter nonsense that was season three. I have no idea where this season will take us, but “Legacy” was a solid start. There were no nonsense storylines and character choices felt organic. Arguably, this is one of Arrow’s continuing problems: characters acting out of character.

Let’s talk about the flashbacks. We are finally getting the Bratva storyline. This is something that should have been done a season or two ago. For some reason they were stalling this particular flashback arc, but I’m glad it’s here. Anything that involves Anatoli automatically makes everything better. It hearkens back to a time where the flashbacks were relevant: season two. Evoking season two nostalgia is the best way to go.

“Legacy” had two standout characters: Lance and Thea. These characters have had genuine arcs and their struggles in the episode were real, especially Thea, who has turned into Arrow’s most interesting character. Lance can never catch a break. His scenes with Oliver were a highlight just because they rarely have one-on-one scenes. It’s an aspect of the series that should be exploited more because those two actors have incredible chemistry.

Remarkably, the fight sequences were better. Arrow has always done well with their fight scenes, but the type of fighting has evolved over time. Of course, this directly correlates to the type of hero, or vigilante, Oliver wants to be. In “Legacy,” Oliver has chosen to regress into a killer, a la season one, which inherently changes the fight scene to one that is more violent and brutal. The first fight scene in particular was great. Oliver takes too few punches and hits whenever he fights, so it was refreshing to see him take a hit.

Arrow continues to recycle Oliver’s growth and regression storyline. Usually the cycle is contained to one episode where he blames himself for everything. However, it looks like this regression storyline will take longer to develop. It’s actually a welcome sight to see Oliver take a more season one approach to his heroism.

I loved the callback to the pilot where Oliver breaks free from being tied to a chair, breaks said chair, and proceeds to break the other guy’s back. When a series has history to draw upon, it’s fun to see the writers call back. This was especially relevant because Anatoli was the one to show him how to break free. Also, you could spot the Russian vodka bottle Oliver has in the first flashback scene.

Oliver did have more quips in this episode that he has had in the past. That’s always been one of my favorite parts of the Green Arrow character and thankfully he’s starting to grow in that area.

Felicity having a new boyfriend should not have been in this episode. Especially since it was revealed at the end of the episode. It felt forced. A part of me wishes we never knew that because this show is about Oliver, not about who Felicity is currently dating. Oh, and a quick shoutout to Tyler Ritter playing Felicity’s new boyfriend. He looks so much like his brother I actually thought it was Jason Ritter for a split second.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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