For the past few seasons, Arrow’s been a bit crazy, featuring supernatural threats, magical villains, and crossover shenanigans. The fifth season, which premiered last night, is being toted as a “back to basics” return to normalcy—except it also proved bringing Arrow back to its roots doesn’t mean it can’t also engage in a bit of delightful comic book goofballery.
On the whole, “Legacy” really was all about capturing the tone of Arrow’s early successes, before the days of Barry Allen being around to screw up the timeline or, say, crazy Lazarus Pit-related tomfoolery. The focus on Ollie’s dual life as “Mayor Handsome” (great nickname) and the Emerald Archer, a drastically pared-down Team Arrow, villains who are gangsters rather than supernatural ninja wannabes or actual wizards, even the return of Ollie’s killer streak and the debate around whether or not he should kill or maim as Green Arrow, were put to the forefront of the episode.
In fact, they basically were the episode, as not much else really happened—the closest things we got to setting up the rest of this season’s story was the arrival of Tobias Church (The Walking Dead’s Chad Coleman) as a driving force behind the new gang war against the Green Arrow, and the guy who shows up at the very end (more on him later). “Legacy” might as well have otherwise been Stephen Amell staring right into the camera and going “Look, we know, we’re making it more like season one and two again, I promise!” over and over.
While it was nice to see the hints of Team Arrow’s new incarnation—both in the form of new vigilantes and more help from Lance and the police—on the way, this episode’s mission statement was clear, and it was largely successful in achieving that “back to basics” vibe. But then came my actual favorite part of the episode, so completely far removed from the otherwise darker, more serious tone. After Ollie and his new team of elite police officers (lead by Quentin Lance) storm a power station where Church is holding several of Mayor Queen’s councillors hostage, Ollie is forced to give chase to the escaping Church’s helicopter. A tussle occurs, Church punts the Green Arrow out of the helicopter to his seeming demise, and then...
PARACHUTE TRICK ARROW. It’s no boxing glove, but it’s pretty damn glorious. This is the exact sort of level of silliness Arrow should have alongside its return to the more rooted world of its earlier seasons. We know there’s still big crossovers with Flash, Supergirl, and Legends to come that could take the show away from that “back to basics” hallmark, but if it can keep at it, while giving us occasionally silly moments like this, season five should be a return to form for the Emerald Archer.
- Felicity has a new boyfriend, and it’s one of the cops in Star City PD! It really wouldn’t be a CW show without some relationship drama, would it?
- Even the flashbacks this season are being driven by the “back to season one” mentality, as we get to see how Ollie developed his Bratva connections. These are already nowhere near as dull as last year’s pointless flashbacks, so hopefully that trend continues.
- While it was nice to see Laurel again in the flashback to her death, they really shouldn’t have kept cutting back to her Black Canary memorial statue in this episode. The face sculpt on that thing was not great! Poor Laurel.
- So, mystery archer person who shows up to off that one member of Mayor Handsome’s new police team is apparently DC Comics character Prometheus—but not really, as Arrow is basically making its own version and using the name. The most famous version of the comics Prometheus was a dark foil to Batman, so Arrow’s is likely the same, but for Ollie. A... dark archer, if you will. If Prometheus randomly shows up in a scene to start delivering lengthy plot dumps, we might be able to guess who’s behind the mask.