Oliver Queen (Stephen Arnell) is prompted to redefine his definition of both ‘hero’ and ‘crime’ when his family is implicated in a string of robberies in Starlight City. Too bad there’s a doozy of boring B-story sucking the fun out of the episode.
Let’s bitch it out…The parallels between Oliver’s father/son relationship and the bank robbers is a little heavy-handed: Olivers feels a sense of kinship because he feels beholden to honour the promise he made to his father and rid the city of crime. The issue is that his father’s list only consists of white collar criminals and – as Diggle (David Ramsey) helpfully clarifies – the city is overrun with crime. This is where the bank robbers come in. There’s a similar “sins of the father” angle at play as the son is only involved in a life of crime because of the father. So it’s only natural that Oliver’s father is responsible for creating the situation (because…why not?!) On one hand it’s interesting to see how far down the rabbit hole Oliver’s father criminal activity goes and how much penance Oliver will need to pay. Flip that around, however, and it makes you wonder if every story the show plans to tell will be tied to that damn book. If last week’s low-key, character-driven episode was a step forward, ‘Legacies’ falls back into the tried and true formula. It’s not bad, but it is safe.
With that said the A-story is heads and tails above the B-story featuring Tommy (Colin Donnell) and his pursuit of Laurel (Katie Cassidy). It’s been obvious that Tommy is in love with Laurel since the pilot, just as it’s been obvious that he’s the ‘wrong partner’ for her (revisit last week’s intimacy between her and Oliver). And yet it’s clear that the story will play out for another stretch as Laurel falls for Tommy’s fundraiser ploy. Even the “inappropriate younger sister crush” angle with Thea (Willa Holland) can’t liven up this dead horse of a storyline. Better to cut it loose and get Laurel and Thea involved in a capacity that extends beyond being a romantic love interest. Why are the boys the only ones having all the fun?!
- Have we even learned the name of Laurel’s black co-worker/BFF? At this point I feel like we should just call her Ashley – as in Ashley from Revenge – because she exists to do nothing
- The best part of the episode is the (re)connection between Oliver and his mother, Moira (Susanna Thompson). It’s not a particularly new story, but there’s a legitimacy to the way these two interact. Even when we know what’s coming a million miles away, Thompson manages to sell the cliche. The sight of a rich WASP-y millionairess eating at a greasy burger joint is well worth the price of admission
- Alas, there’s no sign of Walter (Colin Salmon) as he continues to jet set around the globe. I like the presence he brings to the show, so hopefully we’ll see him soon
- The Christopher Nolan/Batman parallels continue with robbers in card suit masks, which is reminiscent of the opening heist in The Dark Knight. What will they pay homage/steal from next?
- Unbelievable arrow of the week: an arrow that springs cables to tie something down
- Flashback of the week = boring. Aside from the reveal of the names in the book, Oliver’s hallucination is a big ol’snoozefest
- Oliver (when Diggle suggests going after “street crime”): “I think you have the wrong impression of what I do.”
- Thea (when Oliver confuses Dr. Oz with Wizard of Oz): “For all of us, please start reading US Weekly”
- Diggle “Not even a MySpace account. It was a very dark time.”
- Oliver (when he takes his mom out for burgers): “Ma, it’s okay to get your hands dirty every once in a while.” Oh, if only you knew…