The “Legends” crossover between The Flash and Arrow was arguably a massive success, telling a big story with a boatload of characters — not to mention the fact that they literally killed everybody and blew up Central City.
Luckily for Team Arrow, which was vaporized by Vandal Savage when the heroes’ half-baked ambush went sideways, Barry Allen hit max speed and managed to zip back in time to figure out what went wrong. Obviously, this was telegraphed pretty well when Barry saw his “ghost” while running early in the episode, and we knew it was coming for sure when Hawkman and Hawkgirl got axed (they’ve gotta be around for Legends of Tomorrow, after all!), but the destruction of the city was impressive, regardless. Seeing the entire team (and Oliver himself) vaporized was shocking, even if we knew it was all going to be erased.
Almost as shocking: The worlds of Arrow and The Flash also so connected that this episode just jumps straight into the two-parter action with literally no intro. They expect the viewer to be keeping up, and in a landscape of spoon-feeding, that's wildly refreshing.
Deus Ex Barry Allen
The creative team behind Arrow and The Flash has done a good job of not overusing Barry’s time-travel abilities, only pulling them out for major events (such as a crossover against an immortal who kills millions). But they have to be careful not to go back to this well too many times. Yes, we’ve seen that these time-travel trips have major consequences (which is good), but it’s hard to have believable stakes if fans are always thinking, “Oh well, Barry can just travel back in time and fix that if it’s bad enough.” Not saying they’re there yet — but something to look out for.
Despite the WTF-ery of time travel, Oliver took it all in stride and was willing to learn from his mistakes the first go-round. From Oliver’s perspective, it was a nice character moment to show he’s growing. He knows Barry has some insight into what went wrong (both with Vandal and with Felicity). Sure, it’s kind of creepy to learn what causes a fight with your girlfriend and manipulate the situation to change it in the future. But hey, dude ain't perfect.
Oliver’s big secret is going to come back to bite him
Despite the sky-high stakes, it was arguably one of the most personal arcs that left the biggest impression. We were wondering how they would pay off the big reveal in part one that saw Oliver finally learn he had a secret child living in Central City — and boy, did they ever. It was an interesting creative choice to tackle this story in a massive crossover event, but regardless, it proved to be compelling stuff. They gave it time to breathe, despite all the Vandal distractions.
Here’s hoping they take some time to explore this later on in the series as Oliver makes an effort to play a role in his son’s life. Having Barry urge him on was also a nice touch, providing that unique perspective from his own childhood.
Of course, he still chose to keep the child a secret from Felicity (at the insistence of the child’s mother, but still), and you know that’s going to come back to bite him, eventually. Felicity seemed open to letting it go but still had that glimmer of annoyance and curiosity in her eyes. She’s not going to let this lie. Expect this story to show back up later, for sure. It’s also worth noting Oliver and Felicity were supposed to break up in the original timeline. This does not bode well.
Ready for Legends
It’s amazing how the tone of Arrow has evolved to the point where it’s now a solid fit with The Flash — and that was never more apparent than with this crossover event. These shows are absolutely in the same world, and Arrow has lightened up enough to meet Team Flash in the middle.
That’s obviously intentional, especially considering the universe is getting a whole lot bigger next month when Legends of Tomorrow premieres. Though they obviously still retain a certain level of autonomy, the success of The Flash has shown the suits at The CW that a mix of hope isn’t a bad thing. Compare Arrow’s ultra-dark, ultra-dramatic first season to now — they’re almost different shows. The CW has found a tone that works, and they’re doubling down on it. Which, hey, it’s seemed to be a nice change of pace for Arrow this season, anyway. It’s nice to see Oliver somewhat happy, for once.
Considering we already know Vandal Savage will be back for the spinoff series, was legitimately surprised to see the gang get the win and turn the immortal to dust (literally). Of course, Malcolm Merlyn looks to rectify that with some shady League magic in the closing scene, so it’ll be interesting to see how Vandal re-emerges for the spinoff series.
Latest bets on who might be in that mystery grave
... which brings us to something that’s certainly going to make Oliver very, very sad again.
Though they haven’t really touched on it since the season premiere, we still have the lingering shadow of that unidentified grave hanging over the season. Somebody is going to die, and here are the latest odds on the deceased.
Samantha and Son: The decision to finally loop Oliver’s ex Samantha and their son William back into the mix isn’t a coincidence. Could they be setting one of these characters back up to eventually kill one off later this season? It’d be an absolute gut punch, for sure — and also provide a character with a major emotional impact on Oliver, who wouldn’t exactly cause a major shakeup on the fan-favorite cast.
Felicity: Considering Oliver and Felicity get into a relationship-ending fight in the original timeline, which was erased when Barry went back in time, it makes you wonder. Barry is always talking about consequences from time travel — could this be the ripple in the pond that leads to a major character death? Possibly even Felicity’s (gasp!)? Fans would almost certainly riot if Felicity is in that grave, and it would honestly be a cheap narrative move to rip that happiness away after taking so much time to build up to it.
Everyone else: No major shakeup on the rest of the options from Team Arrow, though Malcolm’s warning about if Oliver gets Thea killed definitely felt ominous (hmm). So yeah, still taking bets on this one, folks.