Arrow Review: “Legends of Yesterday”

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Jim’s Thoughts

Well, part two of the big crossover event gave us the big kaboom at the end of the long fuse. My big complaint with part one, of course, was the slow setup, but I’d say the finale paid off in a way that was mostly worthwhile.

The flashbacks to ancient Egypt were more than a little hokey and stiff, but they weren’t allowed to dominate the episode, so they can be forgiven without too much effort.

The confrontation with Vandal Savage didn’t quite live up to what I’d hoped for. In the end, it really just felt like a pep talk and a few technical tweaks shouldn’t have made quite as much difference as they did. In short, it came off as oversimplified.

The development with Oliver and his son struck an effective emotional chord. Stephen Amell really flashed some acting chops in those scenes, and I think he’s shown some real development in his performance over the last few seasons.

On the Ollie and his son story, I have to say his decision to not tell Felicity seems odd, as is the insistence on the boy’s mother’s part that no one know. I get her not wanting her son involved with Oliver, but I feel the need for absolute strict secrecy needs to be better explained.

With that said, the show is running the risk of the audience turning on Oliver. He’s apparently regressing in his pledge to let people in, and that will frustrate some viewers. I’ll admit, if this ends his relationship with Felicity, I won’t be too upset by that myself.

All in all, this was a pretty strong crossover. The second part was stronger than the first, so I’d like to see pacing worked on for the next one, but it held my attention and made me glad to watch.

Kyle’s Take

I’m still not sure whether or not I ate the second half of a Kit-Kat. “Legends of Yesterday” had a lot of flair—as most superhero crossovers do—but I’m not sure we gained much for either series except at the very end. I won’t spoil the ending but what happens could have repercussions and there’s an opportunity for Arrow to develop next season. The Flash didn’t fare nearly as well. Velocity 6, the only thing truly gained for The Flash, developed outside the crossover.

I agree with Jim and liked Ollie’s father-son scenes (Amell was great), but Arrow set up Ollie visiting his son every time he’s in Central City, which will be every time his show crosses over with The Flash’s, so him not telling Felicity about William isn’t that odd because he’s not going to be a father for his son. Who cares if you share genetic material if you won’t be there for the child? Arrow put a fine point on it: he’s in Star City now. And you can’t be a father to a young child from thousands of miles away no matter how much Facebook, Twitter, and Skype would like to disagree.

I’m not quite sold on the explanation Arrow gave for William’s mother wanting to protect him from Ollie. I get why she wouldn’t want Ollie around, but the secrecy thing is odd when she gives him visitation rights. I guess she’s worried she’d lose control of the situation if the truth got out—that can be a huge motivation for a parent—but Arrow could’ve made that more explicit.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be hard on a crossover (see first paragraph: nothing gained for either established series), but this was the coming out party of two prominent heroes in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Hawkman and Hawkgirl got the shaft as much as The Flash and Green Arrow. Really? You’re going to waste time in Arrow and The Flash with Legends of Tomorrow backstory only to short shrift the two biggest members of Legends who didn’t get a full season of prep time? Arrow could’ve had Hawkman searching for Hawkgirl in the show or shows preceding this one in a semi-nod to Ghostbusters. I am the keymaster. Are you the gatekeeper? But no, Hawkman literally fell from the sky during the first half of this crossover, and both Hawkman and Hawkgirl got the Cliff Notes version to their origin. The ending was too easy as well and showcased why time-travel can be overpowered and overused (see last year’s reviews: bringing people back from the dead). All of this led to storytelling as substantial as the air between Kit-Kat wafers, but man, it was a lot of fun.

I’ll return to the father-son storyline, which was the strongest part of either episode, and pose an idea as to why it was the most effective part of the story. People can’t comprehend the end of the world no matter how much we envision it. We can’t fathom the universe ceasing to exist. We can’t even wrap our small brains around a force that could destroy a city in an instant. But we know of fathers and sons.

I hope I’m wrong and we see more of William between crossovers.

Do you want more Arrow? Check out our Arrow secrets page here. Thanks for reading.

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