A progressive/nerd/parent review
Arrow, Season 4, Episode 8 – Legends of Yesterday
Bechdel-Wallace Score: 1.5/3
Shukla Score: 3/3
I am awarding an extra 0.5 to the Bechdel-Wallace score this week because the show has several important women, who did dialogue with each other, if not alone in any scene. The show got a 3/3 on the Shukla test, but only thanks to the Cisco and Kendra relationship they borrowed from The Flash. I gave the show 5 amorous kittens out of 5, because those kittens would really have to be working it to turn me away from the superhero team-up action and/or Oliver meeting his son.
Highlights: Much like part 1 of the crossover on this week’s The Flash, this episode was a romp and most of it was a highlight. Not all, but most. The way the team learned from failure was great (helps when one of you can time travel) – particularly that Oliver got the whole team involved the second time around. Oliver’s revelation that he is a father and his dealing with that, with one big exception, was a highlight; actor Stephen Amell turned in, I think, one of his best performances both as Oliver Queen and as Arrow. Best line of the night, for sure, belonged to Barry:
“Whatever you do, don’t let him train you. I’m sorry, but when it rains I can still feel where you shot me with those arrows.”
Low points: I had a couple distinct problems with this episode. (1) The Flash made Vandall Savage’s intro awesome, but I would say Arrow followed that up with a weak origin story. I am sure that this is to set up Legends of Tomorrow and make something “personal” between some of those characters and the big villain… …but seriously, Vandall Savage deserves better than to basically be reduced to a coptic Highlander. (2) I have never been an Olicity fan, and this episode was a great example of why. Felicity was a nightmare to Oliver (before the timeline got changed) and then Oliver lied to Felicity about the whole thing the second time around. I try not to level this charge too often, but this just seems like lazy storytelling. Romantic relationships get more complicated after people leave middle school, and it is unfortunate that so many nerd shows are unable to portray adults having an adult relationship. Boo. (3) The Cisco/Kendra relationship ended. It ended well, every moment of it was done really well, it was good storytelling… …and it is just a bummer that it is over. (4) No way she didn’t cash that check. No. Way.
Dad edits: I don’t usually watch Arrow with my son, but had hoped to let him see the second part of the crossover with The Flash. On the one hand, the detailed vaporization of the characters makes that somewhat difficult. On the other hand, not a lot of shooting or torturing which has been the issue in the past. We will probably just skip the incineration sequence – and the Olicity melodrama – and watch the rest.