Review: Arrow Season 4 Ep 8 “Legends of Yesterday”

In the second half of the Arrow/Flash crossover event, Team Arrow and Team Flash have taken Hawkman and the newly emerged Hawkgirl to a remote location outside Central City to hide and make a plan of attack against Vandal Savage.

For the Arrow/Flash crossover episodes, I always like to watch them back to back and see them as one continuous story, but for the sake of the review here I do need to focus on just the Arrow half of the story.

The Positive

At the start of the episode, it was immediately apparent how much different this story felt than most episodes of Arrow.  The setting is inside Central City whereas the Flash episode was focused primarily in Star City.  The story is much brighter with most of it happening during the day.  If you removed the title cards from the episodes I would not have guessed that this was the Arrow half.  I appreciate the fact that the creators are taking chances and playing with the formulas, especially with the crossover episodes.

LOY 2The story itself is a continuation from The Flash.  Vandal Savage has appeared and is after Hawkman and Hawkgirl.  This time around though, the teams are focused on fighting back.  They are using Kendra’s emerging memories and talents as their element of surprise against Savage.  The plans are complicated when Oliver makes a discovery from his past.

Stephen Amell delivers a really good performance, much more understated than we usually see him in the more dramatic scenes.  A young woman, Samantha Clayton, who we only met once as part of the flashback way back in Season 2 has a child.  This child turns out to be Oliver’s son.  It’s great to see them picking up on this story thread, ever since it was introduced I’ve been waiting for it to come back.

Merlyn makes a brief appearance as an intermediary in their attempts to negotiate with Savage, and he makes sure that we know that Merlyn is very much a villain and no longer a friend to Team Arrow.

The Negative

It’s hard to really call this a negative, but as I said above, this episode didn’t feel like an episode of Arrow.  Most of Team Arrow have almost nothing to do and only get a small handful of lines in the episode.  The Flash and Cisco carry quite a bit of the story here, especially towards the end after Flash time jumps.

Oliver not telling Felicity about his son, either time, feels a bit like forced drama.  It’s obviously going to come back up at some point, and while we know Felicity is not the best at keeping secrets it seems weird for him not to tell her.  It would not be that difficult to keep the secret from Samantha.  I was a bit disappointed that the kid’s name wasn’t Connor, maybe it’s his middle name.

I didn’t really enjoy Hawkman all that much.  He was very distant and kind of jerk throughout the episode, although I think that was the intention.  I’m not really much of a Hawkman fan, I could just be biased against the character.


The Verdict

There was a lot to enjoy in this episode, it really did give us the best of both the Arrow and Flash shows.  I enjoyed seeing the teams out of their elements and forced to adapt.  Putting the flashbacks on to Kendra instead of Oliver was a good change that kept the show’s style intact but still informed the present much like Oliver’s flashback stories.  I would say that Vandal Savage was taken out a little too easily, but we know we will be seeing much more of him soon.

The crossover stories are some of my favorite episodes.  They make the universe feel deeper and more cohesive and with Legends of Tomorrow on the horizon it looks like the world is only going to get bigger.