TV Review: Arrow - Season 5 Episode 1 "Legacy"
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 1: "Legacy"
Synopsis: After Laurel's death and the departures of both Diggle and Theafrom Team Arrow, Oliver takes to the streets solo to protect Star City's citizens as the Green Arrow. However, when a deadly new criminal, Tobias Church, enters the picture, Oliver realizes the best thing for the city might be a new team of superheroes.
Review: Five seasons in, Arrow has to try and find a way to make itself relevant again. With The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow upping the ante for DC superhero series, the show that started it all has found itself lagging behind in a cycle of repetitive seasons that follow the same overall formula: Oliver has to save the city from a villain bent on it's destruction while balancing his dual personalities which connect to flashbacks from his time exiled on Lian Yu. The last two seasons have really suffered from a feeling of deja vu with the lone highlights coming from the crossovers with the other heroes within the Arrowverse. Season 5 is a big turning point for Arrow. As the show approaches it's 100th episode, it truly needs to justify it's existence in a crowded sea of similar stories.
Last year, Oliver stepped in as Mayor of Star City while his team of vigilante heroes dissolved. Felicity ended her relationship with Oliver, Laurel was killed, Diggle re-enlisted, and Thea retired. This left Oliver as Star City's lone hero, a mantle he struggles with handling alone. After months of running around solo, Felicity recommends that Oliver enlist the help of the new crop of vigilantes popping up around town. Oliver is not looking to get anyone else in harm's way and hopes that the old crew will come to their senses. In the meantime, a new foe arrives in town in the form of brutal criminal Tobias Church. Nicknamed Charon, the thug wants to take down the corrupt cops and righteous heroes alike and reign supreme over Star City. He even goes as far as to kidnap Oliver and some other elected officials at the unveiling of the Black Canary statue honoring the late Laurel Lance.
Temporarily coming out of retirement, Thea dons her Speedy costume to rescue Oliver and witnesses as he easily murders several criminals. Unable to save the rest of the hostages, the duo retreat to the Arrow Cave to come up with a new plan. Oliver has not been open to killing since the first seasons and now questions whether that self-imposed rule may have led to Laurel's untimely death. Captain Lance, once again off the wagon, offers his help in restarting his life and aiding Oliver. Felicity and Curtis have been secretly recruiting some of the vigilantes, namely a hockey-mask wearing amateur nicknamed Wilddog. Oliver doesn't think it is a good idea and instead takes four of Lance's top recruits into battle against Church. Raiding the warehouse, Oliver and the cops manage to rescue the hostages in the nick of time as the building explodes. In a cool scene, Oliver fights Church on his helicopter before parachuting to safety.
Eventually, Oliver concedes that a new team is needed after getting the blessing from John Diggle, still deployed overseas. Oliver also accepts Captain Lance on the team. In flashback, we learn what Laurel secretly told Oliver: don't let her be the last Canary. Oliver agrees to bring in Felicity and Curtis' list of recruits which Curtis adds his name to as well. In the closing scenes, we see Felicity at home with her new boyfriend, a SCPD officer, and one of Lance's recruits being murdered by a masked archer who is definitely not the Green Arrow. The episode also returned with the useless flashback sequences, this time taking us to Russia where Oliver is following up on his vow to murder a criminal boss named Kovar. First, he must join a group called Bratva, which requires that he....you know, I don't care. These flashbacks are a played out narrative device that have been pointless since Oliver first left Lian Yu. They need to stop.
For the second time in two seasons, Arrow is trying a soft reboot of the series. Last year, the showrunners tried to lighten the tone to match the more fun The Flash but it didn't work. We are back to dark and brooding and this time they are resetting the team with new heroes we have not seen before. But, we still have a lame bad guy and a mysterious archer who will likely end up being Malcolm Merlyn or someone we haven't seen in a while. There is still so much potential in this show that it is such a damn shame they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. While the casting of Chad Coleman as Tobias Church was a great choice, the character just doesn't feel like he is enough compared to the supernaturally powerful foes we have seen in seasons past. It is going to be a long season so there is time to get things right, but as far as premieres go, this was one of the weakest Arrow has ever had.
Next on ARROW: "The Recruits" airs October 12th - Oliver’s new recruits for Team Arrow are Curtis, Wild Dog andEvelyn Sharp. Unfortunately, the Green Arrow’s training methods prove to be too much for some of them to handle. Meanwhile, in the flashbacks, Oliver’s initiation into the Bratva continues.