Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
The Royal Flush Gang may not have been dressed in their hilariously awesome ‘60s costumes on this week’s episode of Arrow, but there’s still something undeniably awesome about criminals in playing card-themed hockey masks robbing a bank – even if they were wearing T-shirts and flannel.
“Legacies” was all about family: the villains, the Queens. There were also a few more jokes about Oliver Queen’s five-year gap in pop culture knowledge, which are always fun. When somebody talks about being the next Dr. Oz, Olivers asks, “Why would you want to be a wizard?” Dig even makes a MySpace joke! Speedy’s advice? Read US Weekly.
But the episode also deepens the relationship between Oliver and Dig, explores the situation with Tommy and Laurel, and serves as a lesson to our title character that it isn’t all about his father’s list of bad businessmen.
“Legacies” opens with a bank robbery under way, somewhat reminiscent of the Joker’s introduction in The Dark Knight (in a good way). One of the Royal Flush Gang shoots an off-duty copy, which not all of them are happy about. Meanwhile, Ollie and Dig are at Arrow HQ practicing combat with pipes. “One of these days you’re going to be straight with me about what happened on that island,” Dig taunts. “Absolutely!” Oliver replies. “But not today!”
Dig wants to go after the Royal Flush Gang, but Oliver thinks his mission is about this father’s list, not “street crime.” Dig isn’t satisfied with Oliver’s “narrow definition of hero.” Oliver doesn’t think of himself as a hero at all. Cue another island flashback, with Oliver waking in a cave to discover his father standing over him. Wait, his dad was still alive on the island?
Back in the present, where Tommy is trying to show Laurel “the real” him. She blows him off, so he drops by the Queen Mansion … where Oliver doesn’t want to hang out with him either. Our young archer is busy rushing off to the hospital following a call from Dig, who says one of the guys from the black book, Scott Morgan, had tried to kill himself. Alas, it was a ruse: Dig actually wants Oliver to see the wounded cop shot by ace during the robbery in an effort to convince him to go after the Royal Flush Gang.
After getting some advice from Speedy, Tommy shows up at Laurel’s office to offer to throw a fundraiser. Laurel sees through it, but reluctantly agrees. Later, planning the benefit gives Tommy and Laurel a chance to reconnect as he confesses he wasn’t merely hooking up before; he really has feelings for Laurel. It looks like Carter Bowen (more on him in a bit) had designs on Laurel. And Speedy has feelings for Tommy. Hmm. Laurel isn’t into Carter, but she does give Tommy a peck on the cheek just before he gives a drunken Speedy a ride home.
But more about the main story:
Oliver discovers Ace’s identity because of his school ring (what kind of costumed vigilante would Arrow be if he didn’t break into police evidence lockers once in a while?). It turns out Ace is Kyle Reston, whose entire family dropped off the grid years ago. Naturally, Oliver and Dig piece together that the Royal Flush Gang is, in fact, a family. Speaking of which, Oliver rushes home just in time for the family brunch with Carter Bowen.
The Gang’s second Starling City robbery turns into a gunfight after they’re interrupted by the cops. Arrow arrives and tussles with the crew, who escape – even as Oliver snags one of their duffle bags. While Ma and Pa Reston decide they want out of the robbery game, their children convince them to do one more job (we know how that usually works out).
Hot IT girl helps Oliver and Dig discover that Gang leader Derek Reston had worked for Queen Industries as a factory foreman until Oliver’s father outsourced jobs to China and laid off a bunch of employees. Cue another flashback to the island, where we learn Oliver’s father isn’t alive; it’s merely a dream in which a suicidal Ollie is told by his dad that it’s his responsibility to survive and seek justice. It’s only when he awakes that he discovers the list of names.
Back in Starling City, Oliver tracks down Derek Reston at a local bar to try to atone for the mistakes of his father. He implies that he knows about the Royal Flush Gang, and advises him to turn his life around. “If my father had another chance, I think he’d do things differently. But time ran out for him,” Oliver says. “All I can offer you is an apology and a job. I make one phone call and you can start next week.” But Derek says he doesn’t need charity “from the son of the man who screwed me over.” Oliver leaves a business card – an a listening device.
Arrow catches the Gang in the act during their next heist, with Ace immediately firing and getting struck by an arrow for his trouble. A security guard shows up and starts blasting as well. Oliver reveals his face to a wounded Derek as he lays bleeding on the floor of the bank. “It wasn’t his fault. I turned my son into this,” Derek says as Oliver flashes back to his island dream. “Right my wrongs! This is your responsibility!” dream dad commands.
Dig gives Oliver a Good Will Hunting-style “It wasn’t your fault” speech back at HQ (well, without the intense outpouring of emotion). “Maybe there is more than one way to save this city?” Dig asks. “Maybe,” Oliver offers.