That was a lot of crossover for the money!
You guys, everyone died on Arrow Season 4 Episode 8. EVERYONE DIED! Oliver, Felicity, Laurel, Thea, Caitlin, Cisco, the new Hawk people...all gone. Everything went horribly wrong, supposedly because Oliver's head wasn't in the game. Yes, if Barry is right, Oliver's personal life can influence his actions that much.
It was a tragic and effective scene that changed everything. Not only did it change much of what we had already witnessed within the hour we had watched so far, but it established exactly what kind of a villain we have in Vandal Savage and reminded us why inviting Malcolm Merlyn to any party has never been and will never be a good idea.
Let's talk about as much as we possibly can without being long winded (gulp), shall we?
We started all of this on The Flash Season 2 Episode 8, when we really got to know Chay-Ara. Sorry, I really love her original name. While I know she has lived 206 lives, Kendra Saunders hit the jackpot in the name department when she was an Egyptian priestess.
In order for the two teams of superheroes to try and defeat Vandal Savage, they decided they had to give Kendra the best chance at recalling who she once was. Everyone who has been there knows how important it is to get in touch with yourself, so hightailing it out of the city for both protection and reflection seems like a great idea.
It is for viewers, as well, because it allows all of the characters we love to stay loose and enjoy themselves a bit despite the rather tense times under which they're all operating.
Thea: A bunch of superheroes in a farm house? I feel like I've seen that in a movie before.
Oliver: We need a secure location.
Caitlin: What's wrong with STAR Labs?
Oliver: Well, absolutely nothing if you forget about the revolving door you guys installed so the bad guys can come and go as they please.
Caitlin: Remind me again what happened to your old lair, or the one before that...
Just like on The Flash previously, Arrow pulls out all the stops to make Flash viewers comfortable in its world. It's not all darkness and despair over here, Flash Fanatics. If you don't always watch, there is much to enjoy. Things have blossomed while you were away.
HOWEVER! The overall intent of the crossover did, in my opinion, get derailed. While we got to know more about Kendar/Chay-Ara and Carter/Khufu (and what we did learn was very cool, making the wait for LoT interminable), the story of Oliver, his son and his concern over Felicity's reaction were the main event, and if Barry is correct, the reason he had to turn back time.
I'm not sure that was the best use of the crossover's time, especially if the hope is to persuade Flash viewers to get their butts over to Arrow. I've been known to be wrong before, so by all means, share your thoughts with me.
Things started out alright, but from the moment everyone arrived in Central City, Oliver's head really wasn't in the game. Through a series of events, Oliver not only confronted Samantha, but he got the truth about her son, William, of his own accord and Felicity discovered it as well, thinking he's holding out on her. The end result was anything but pretty. But it was not something that felt real. At all.
Since this was all going to be wiped away on the episode with time travel, the decision was made for Felicity to completely overreact to what she believed was happening with Oliver.
Do you know that my whole world just exploded? And I think that I'm entitled to a minute to process that by myself.Oliver
Somehow Arrow Season 3 Felicity was dragged out of the writers' toolbox to be angry with Oliver. I'm sorry, but I do not buy for one single second that the Felicity who has been around for Arrow Season 4 would not be more compassionate and caring in this situation. She would never hold his taking a bit to digest having a son over his head like that mere hours after he discovered the news.
Thusly, the whole situation felt false, as if the drama was being created strictly for the purpose of blaming Oliver for the deaths of all of his friends, and to show that having a relationship and a personal life – to love – is not really in Oliver's wheelhouse. At least not if he wants to successfully conduct business as the Green Arrow. In a word, this entire build up has me WORRIED.
Barry thought he was going to time travel. He had a very confusing chat with Cisco about it. Then it came time to confront Savage a second time, and Oliver didn't want to put any more lives at risk, so it was lone wolf Oliver with Barry, Kendra (not fully prepared) and Carter. Oliver balked a bit, the glove didn't work, Kendra failed and Savage pounded his staff and killed everyone horrifically.
It was Oliver's turn to say, "Run, Barry, Run!" And run Barry did, right back to the first meeting with Malcolm and Savage, and it all started again. Barry knew exactly what went wrong, and instead of Oliver discovering he was a father by way of a piece of paper, his friend told him, giving him a little time to prepare. Barry explained about Felicity, Samantha and the whole shebang.
What changed the second time around? Well, Oliver made sure Cisco double checked the weapon so it would work and asked him to help Kendra. Cisco pointed her to the nurturer inside of her instead of the warrior. Oliver counted on the entire team to assist in taking down Savage. Felicity never found out about Oliver's son. That's right. Ugh. More on that in a minute.
First, let's talk about Malcolm and why he was invited. Was he invited, or did he keep showing up uninvited? I kind of lost track.
Sure, he has some information on Savage. Buy why was he still hanging around? AND WHY DIDN'T ANYBODY DUST UP SAVAGE'S REMAINS?! Malcolm is a very frakked up dude. At first, he tells Barry he knows nothing about Savage, and that's why he's so afraid. Then he's scooping up his remains into a coffee tin for use at a later time. What gives?
So, yes, in a completely surprising move, our heroes defeated the great Vandal Savage. It MIGHT have even been forever. But you can just mark my words that whatever Malcolm did with the ashes will be the thing that resurrects Savage, causing problems for the Legends of Tomorrow. I just can't.
When Legends of Tomorrow starts, and Malcolm is to blame for the return of their greatest enemy, will Malcolm die? Can he please be the one in that grave? A useless character who has long outstayed his welcome wouldn't be likely to cause that single tear down Oliver's cheek, though, would it?
As for Oliver and his son, he kept Samantha's terms. He won't tell anyone he's William's father in exchange for a relationship, any relationship, with the boy. He's disregarding the warning from Barry and misunderstanding what occurred before the timeline changed. Felicity was angry because he held back the truth from her (although I still cry foul at even that). So, he's going to go ahead and do that.
Am I the only one who thinks this will probably grow and become much bigger, eventually ending their union? Can Oliver eventually spin a lie he knows he's keeping (one he fully expects will draw her ire), to land smoothly in Felicity's lap that she will simply brush away?
Oliver is making a mistake in keeping this from Felicity that cannot be undone. Barry turned back time once and fixed it. That was a coincidence. He's not going to do it again.
The best thing to come out of the entire thing was getting to know Hawkgirl and Hawkman. I was really skeptical about them both when first announced, but this crossover did a real bang-up job introducing their characters.They fit in with everyone perfectly. Cisco got the short end of that stick, but there's little doubt he'll bounce back!
- The benefit of being new characters to the Arrowverse is that Kendra and Carter got the best backstory and sendoff to DC's Legends of Tomorrow. Really good stuff!
- I loved that Kendra asked Carter if they ever tried to commit suicide to put an end to Savage's immortality once and for all. Granted, they'd never know if it worked, but it was very kind of her to consider it.
- Someone has seen Terminator 2. I certainly can't be the only one who saw the nuclear apocalypse scene from that classic movie flash before her eyes when Savage did the ultimate damage with his staff.
- Am I the only one who doesn't like Oliver's ex? Didn't she even want to Google him over the past several years to see what he was up to? She so adamant about William not being influenced by horrible Oliver. Oliver is running for Mayor! Read some of his inspirational speeches, why dontcha? People change.
- Apparently Dr. Aldus Boardman, who was seen on the betamax talking about Chay-Ara and Khufu, will also turn up on Legends of Tomorrow.
- Oliver got to be the Captain Cold action figure to William's Flash when they were playing. How cute!
"Legends of Today" was a really solid finish to the crossover, fully utilizing both teams and highlighting how wonderfully in sync their world is now. However, it also created drama within the Olicity relationship that seems false in light of how far they have come as a couple.
To suggest Oliver isn't giving his all to his duties as Green Arrow because of his personal issues doesn't bode well for his desires to become mayor. That may be more than one man can handle. Is Star City in trouble?
Where do you stand on the issues? Did you enjoy part two of the crossover? Did you think the drama was created out of nowhere? Would Arrow Season 4 Felicity behave as she did before Barry turned back time? Hit the comments you guys!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.