Last season on Arrow, the almighty Oliver Queen managed to defeat the creepy-eyed, bad-haired magician, Damien Darhk and save the city once again. Add to that a load of Felicity and Oliver drama and we witnessed what may be (aside from a few exceptional episodes) the worst season of Arrow thus far. In the end, Ollie became mayor and Team Arrow mostly disbanded. Is this a way for the writers to press the reset button so they can bring us something a bit more compelling? ‘Legacy’ certainly suggests that this may be the path they’re taking this season, though only time will tell.
We begin with a quick intro into Oliver’s current life situation. He’s doing mayor stuff while trying to juggle the demands of politics with the demands of being The Green Arrow. What’s more, the city is plagued with a new breed of vigilante. Felicity is down with recruiting some of these individuals to help fill the holes in the team, but Oliver doesn’t seem too impressed with bringing a bunch of amateurs into the fold.
Unfortunately for him, he may need to think twice about that, as there’s a new bad guy in town – Tobias Church, aka Charon. He wants to make his mark on the city and what better way to do that then to take down the biggest vigilante around? In order to get The Green Arrow to come out of the shadows, Tobias kidnaps who else but the mayor himself. It’s too bad he didn’t get the memo on the whole secret identity thing.
So it’s up to a returned Quentin Lance (back on the bottle to boot) and a reluctant Speedy to come to his rescue. Even when Oliver is free, however, there still remains the problem of what to do about Tobias. Luckily, Lance has a good idea who the non-corrupt cops on the police force are, so he forms up a small team of elites and off they go to do battle.
In the meanwhile, Felicity decides that new blood is necessary in order to keep Team Arrow up-to-speed. So she and Curtis take it upon themselves to go vigilante hunting, despite Oliver’s protests. Their first target – some wacko in a hockey mask who goes by the code name of “Wild Dog”.
And, in the end, Church figures out that he’ll need more help if he wants to take down The Green Arrow for realz. Perhaps that help may have even arrived in the form of another angry archer who just came to town, though we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.
While all this is going on, we get some more of the signature Arrow flashbacks. This time Oliver is hanging out in Russia and attempting to cross a name off of his father’s list. In order to do that, however, he’s going to have to join up with his buddy Anatoly’s mob crew.
The first episode of the new season brought a lot to the table and left us with a ton of stuff to absorb – some of it good, some of it questionable. All-in-all, it was a decent kick-off to another venture into the Arrow-verse, despite the rush-and-tumble feel to it. We got to see familiar faces with the promise of new ones on the horizon, though it will definitely take a few more episodes before we know whether the writers are creating something new or just grasping at old straws to keep the show afloat.
The one thing that really stood out for me was the improvement of the action sequences. I’d have to say that Arrow is looking better than it ever has and you can really see the TLC being put into the fight choreography as well as the creative turns that they’re trying to make with these particular scenes. Hopefully this is something that will remain consistent throughout the season, cause it’s making the show a helluva lot more fun to watch.
I’m also enjoying the fact that Ollie is back to his killing mode. At the same time, I’m worried that the season might take on the same tone as it has previously and start spending inordinate amounts of time focusing on Oliver going back and forth and back and forth and back again between “I must do whatever I can” to “I must be a better man”. We’ve seen that since season 2 and it’s getting old. Let the man settle in to the dark side or the light, but please stop with the forced moral turmoil.
The biggest hang-up I had with the intro to season 5 was Tobias Church. We just spent an entire season watching Oliver face off against a crazy-as-fuck magician who was going to destroy the entire world with nuclear bombs so that he could absorb the souls of the dead and become invincible. An arrogant gangster with a merry band of thugs is hardly a worthy opponent anymore. Sure, it’s hard to top the villains that Oliver has faced off against thus far, but the writers will need to come up with something better than this. Hopefully the actual big baddie has something more to do with the mystery archer than with Charon the gangster.
My final judgment – a good, solid first episode. BUT… the rest of the season really depends on how the next couple of episodes pan out. If they can’t develop what they’ve established so far in an interesting way, I may have to sit this one out. And, gods be willing, they’ll leave well enough alone with the Olicity bullshit drama this time around.