Arrow: 4.08 Legends Of Yesterday
The Flash and Arrow are certainly going to feel like a bit of a letdown after this week. The concluding part of the big crossover event took the fight to Vandal Savage as Legends Of Yesterday continued to provide an excellent starting point for upcoming spin-off Legends Of Tomorrow.
I commented in The Flash's Legends Of Today that it felt oddly like an episode of Arrow featuring the characters from The Flash, perhaps because the episode spent so much time in Star City, and this week felt like the reverse of that, with the gang relocating to Barry Allen's home turf to take down new villain Vandal Savage.
While part one had The Flash-centric tale of Caitlin and Harrison developing the formula to help Barry, this episode had the side focus on Oliver discovering that he had a son in Central City. It was arguably woven into the episode more successfully than the other; Oliver's decision to hide the paternal blood tests led to a bad fight with Felicity that took him off his game, resulting in the gang losing the fight to Vandal Savage and dying (more on that shortly) but I was little frustrated that he chose to keep the secret from Felicity at the end. Given all the secrecy and deceit of last season, how is hiding this from Felicity going to end anything but badly?
But of course, Oliver discovering he had a son wasn't the reason we all tuned in and in the fight against Vandal Savage we got some massive moments, starting with the origin on Savage, Hawkman and Hawkgirl in ancient Egypt. It certainly added to the grandeur of the events at play, from the political scheming to the bloody murder of the prince and priestess by Savage and the meteor shower with its powerful rocks that destroyed the royal palace.
From these flashbacks to the 1970's conspiracy about Savage's immortal life (and a passing reference to the villain training Robin Hood) Vandal Savage was established as a powerful villain in the Arrowverse, clearly laying a strong foundation for Legends Of Tomorrow. (I think someone as powerful as Savage will easily find a way to cheat his death at the end of the episode). Kudos once again to Casper Crump for delivering a wonderfully nuanced performance that made him far more than just an evil caricature.
Oliver's discovery of his son aside, the real focus was Barry Allen and newbies Hawkman and Hawkgirl. In the preparation for the big fight with Vandal Savage, the episode took the time to discover the emotional fallout of Kendra's discovery of her true legacy. There was a real connection between Ciara Renée's Kendra and Falk Hentschel's Carter that I look forward to being explored in the spin-off show. I also liked that in the end it was Cisco's connection that helped her awaken the warrior within her, something that was pivotal at the end.
As for Barry, I suspected that we were going to get a time-travel element to the story as soon as he saw a mirror version of himself. The episode really had fun with that idea by literally killing everyone off save Barry, who travelled so fast he went into reverse and was forced change history. Oliver and Barry's attempt to use a gauntlet to turn the staff of Horus against Savage failed miserably, leading to the shocking murder of Carter and Kendra, while Oliver, team Arrow / Flash and the rest of Central City were vaporised in the fiery blast from the staff.
It was a proper Terminator 2: Judgement Day-style apocalyptic moment, though the episode also poked fun at another big movie, The Avengers: Age Of Ultron. In The Flash's Legends Of Today, Vandal's attack on Oliver's apartment felt like a proper Ulton moment; here Thea dryly commented that a bunch of heroes hiding out in a farmhouse reminded her of that big superhero movie - even if that film was never actually called out.
Talking of the hide out, it was great to see everyone attempting to solve the problem of how to defeat Savage. Oliver, Felicity, John, Laurel, Thea, Cisco, Caitlin, Barry, Carter, Kendra; everyone got to join in the fun and the dynamic was great to watch. Given the stakes at this point there was a little less lighthearted banter than the previous episode but it was still wonderful to see everyone working together.
The final showdown was brilliant too, particularly knowing just how badly the first attempt to take down Savage had gone. This time a meteorite-infused gauntlett, an empowered Hawkgirl and the addition of Black Canary, Diggle and Speedy led to a spectacular showdown that saw everyone united to take down and kill Savage.
Legends Of Yesterday was a great conclusion to this year's big crossover event; while it wasn't quite as fun as its The Flash counterpart it was still a great action packed episode with a stunning - of little obvious - twist halfway through. As a setup for Legends Of Tomorrow it was a bold, successful introduction; the world of the Arrowverse just got a lot bigger...