TV Review: Arrow - Season 4 Episode 8 "Legends of Yesterday"
Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.
Episode 8: "Legends of Yesterday"
Synopsis: Oliver and Barry Allen take Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall to a remote location to keep them hidden from Vandal Savage while they figure out how to defeat him. Malcolm arranges a meeting between Vandal, Green Arrow and The Flash that doesn’t go as planned. Meanwhile, Felicity, Thea, Diggle and Laurel work with Team Flash to come up with a weapon powerful enough to destroy Vandal Savage.
Review: The second half of every Arrow/Flash crossover has been something of a let down after a stellar opening episode, but this hour of Arrow does the best job to date of delivering on a balance of the two superhero characters while respecting the tone of the outing. With the lighter and more humorous tone of The Flash on last night's episode, this Arrow still manages to pack a lot of Flash goodness into a very Oliver Queen-centric storyline. We also get more of the genesis of Hawkman and Hawkgirl along with hints as to how everything will come together for the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow series.
Taking Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall to a remote farmhouse outside of Central City, Oliver and Barry are soon drawn into a meeting with Vandal Savage arranged by none other than Malcolm Merlyn. Merlyn insists he doesn't know anything about Savage and that is what makes him dangerous. In a flashback to Ancient Egypt, we learn that Savage was in love with Priestess Shiera and was jealous of her romantic interest in Prince Khufu. Finding the two lovers in Shiera's bedchamber, Savage stabs both to death as the palace is destroyed by rocks from outer space. Since then, he has lived as an immortal, killing the winged Egyptians for 4000 years. While Caitlyn and Cisco build guantlets to use the Staff of Horus against Savage, Carter trains Kendra on her new powers while Barry runs a DNA test that proves Oliver is a father. All together, the drama embroiling everyone is compoinded by Barry seeing a ghost of himself, meaning at some point he time travels again.
Oliver confronts his former girlfriend who admits Moira Queen paid her off to tell Oliver she miscarried. Oliver demands to be a part of his son's life but is only allowed to do so if he doesn't tell anyone the truth. Keeping the secret from Felicity, who caught Barry with the DNA test results, leads to the couple breaking up just before meeting with Vandal Savage. The fight does not go as planned and both Kendra and Carter are killed. The gauntlets fail to let them use the Staff of Horus, so Vandal Savage unleashes his power on the city, killing Oliver and everyone on Teams Arrow and Flash. Barry runs so fast he travels back in time to the initial meeting with Savage. Barry confides in Oliver that he time travelled and that they fail to stop Savage.
Changing the past is a tricky concept in the Arrowverse. Barry knows that altering their fate could have a ripple effect on the future, but Oliver is adamant that they stop Savage. This time, Cisco helps Kendra realize her powers which reveals the truth about her initial death as Shiera. Using an ancient Egyptian stone fragment, CIsco is able to get the gauntlets to work. Oliver allows Diggle, Thea, and Laurel to join the fight this time and they surround Savage. Barry and Oliver are able to gain the staff and use it against Savage. Charging it to full power, they launch it and disintegrate Savage to a pile of dust.
Cisco bids farewell as Kendra and Carter decide to return to their previous home and try to help people, free of Savage for the first time in their lives. Cisco gives Kendra a tracker if she ever needs help. Oliver says goodbye to Barry after an awkward hug. He tries once more to visit his son and promises to not tell Felicity. Returning to Star City, Felicity asks Oliver what was bothering him, but Oliver keeps the secret which will absolutely come back to bite him in the future. The closing scene of the episode shows Malcolm Merlyn gathering the ashes of Vandal Savage while making cryptic comments that most definitely allude to his involvement in the resurrection of the dead immortal.
Overall, the connection between Vandal Savage and the various members of the Legends of Tomorrow team is still unknown. We don't know if their origin will be addressed prior to the first episode of that series next month, but I have a feeling we have seen the end of the backdoor origins on Arrow or The Flash. The series have worn out the use of these supporting characters and really need to get back to telling their own tales. While this episode was not quite as good as last night's The Flash, it definitely builds to a satisfying conclusion. Beating Savage did come across as anticlimactic, especially since every dead character on these shows seems to be coming back to life these days, but that is my lone complaint. Next week's midseason finale will hopefully get the series back on track.
Next on ARROW: "Dark Waters" airs December 9th: After the city is attacked again, Oliver makes a bold move against HIVE. Malcolm checks in on Thea and leaves her with a warning. Things take a horrible turn when Damien Darhk retaliates in a brutal manner at Oliver’s mayoral holiday party.