How many critics have said in their Arrow reviews so far, “Going after the guys on the list is going to get stale after a while.” Heck, how many times have I said it? TPTB must have anticipated the complaints when breaking story and have decided that in episode six, Oliver would get a talking to about his myopic vision of vigilantism.
Before I get an earful about the heavy handed parallel between Oliver’s dad and the bank robbing dad, remember this was the good part of the story. One that played out much better than it looked on paper. The lesson was inevitable, there is no black and white in a lot of these situations. In this case, it was the tale of two legacies. The shameful one of Robert Queen, and the shameful one of Derek Reston. Their sons were left to do something about what their fathers had given them, and is Oliver’s brand of vigilante justice better than Kyle’s choice to rob banks so he and his family could finally be set for life? Not really if you ask John Diggle.
Oliver raised the issue after all, in his chat with Derek Reston. “We’re both dealing with the consequences of my father’s actions. What he did then, that’s on him. What we do now, that’s on us.” Yet this line comes a few days after he protests to Digg about how he doesn’t fight street crime. He even has the quick answer when Digg tells him that’s a narrow definition of being a hero. “I’m not a hero.”
The question becomes, who failed the city in this case? I think everyone did this week except Digg. He was the only one that had it right. The city needs someone to defend the regular people from the misguided victims of those who have failed the city, because now they’re failing the city too. Oliver wants to fight the symptoms, not the disease, but that single minded mission against his father’s enemies certainly doesn’t benefit these people as much as he thinks. His father’s actions created far more damage at other levels that he never anticipated.
Derek Reston just wanted his family to be financially secure, and who were they hurting by robbing a few banks? As long as no one got killed. Um yeah, about that... Sure, he went off on his son for shooting the cop because that’s not what they do, but after doing this a while, crossing lines becomes a lot easier when you’re focused on that one goal. They wanted out of this life and were getting desperate. No matter what the intentions, no one was getting a real win here. Except Digg, by doing the right thing for the cop. I do so love that at least someone in this scenario is grounded.
I was quite disappointed with the outcome of the final robbery. Derek only admitted fault for bringing his son into this life while dying. That’s a harsh way to learn a lesson and too little too late. I assume Kyle was apprehended and will spend a good portion of his life to come in jail. They didn’t show Oliver whisking him away, right? That leaves the two remaining members of this family off on their own, devastated by the loss of their loved ones and probably more bitter than ever. Will they make the right choices? After all, they didn’t get the lesson Derek got. That kind of sucks. I know these things are never tidy but it’s a bummer.
Oliver at least at the end came out of it realizing he had to mend fences. He and Moira took a step forward toward reconciliation, even if I don't see Oliver doing anything wrong by bailing for the greater good on those god awful family social parties. I would have hit the door with a far flimsier excuse. Considering her evil doings regarding the original shipwreck though we know that’s not going to last. But hey, Oliver did the right thing. He can go do his vigilante thing on her now with a clear conscience.
On the other end, the side plot was just hideous. I’ve enjoyed the fact that Tommy has been relatively MIA in the last few episodes, but because I don’t see the point in his character other than a very weak end of a time wasting love triangle between him, Oliver, and Laurel. Plus he and Laurel have no chemistry. Then again, Tommy doesn’t even have chemistry with the living room furniture, so I don’t blame Katie Cassidy for not pulling her weight.
They’re making Tommy out to be such a nice guy, it does make me wonder if they’re doing all this just so they can pull the wool out from under our eyes at a later time yelling, “He’s evil!” Fine if they do, but will we really care if that happens? He’s too bland either way. Giving him screen time is just filler. The fact that they went for the little teenage crush that Thea had for Tommy would make one roll the eyes and huff in exasperation, but that ended up being the part of this little subplot that actually worked. Tommy does make a much better big brother and him playing nurse maid to Thea in the alley before taking her home was sweet. That’s all I really want to waste on that though.
Here’s a question, why in the world does Arrow need a love triangle? Can’t Laurel just say she’s perfectly happy at home alone with her cats? The love triangle thing is quite overdone in episodic drama these days, don’t you think? Then again, so is the flashback device, and this week’s didn’t do much in the terms of interesting reveals. Somehow Oliver is hallucinating on the island now? His dad wrote a journal of names in invisible ink? Okay, that’s...okay.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a big shoutout to Queen Industries own tech support lady, Felicity. She needs to play along a bit more with Oliver (you don’t want to know!), but she still rocks.
Overall though, just because John Diggle is completely awesome, I liked “Legacies.” No, it doesn’t come close to being a barn burner, but for filler it still had it’s intriguing moments. The fight training between Oliver and Digg alone made the entire episode worth it. Now let’s see some of that fight training with Yao Fei in the flashbacks. Time to get Oliver out of that “whiny brat” phase and make him a real man!
Screencaps courtesy of Home of The Nutty.