Arrow: “Legends of Yesterday” Season 4 Episode 8 Review: Part Two of the Annual Flash/Arrow Crossover

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The second part of this year’s epic crossover managed to avoid a lot of the awkward plotting of last night’s episode while maintaining the fun.

Early on in “Legends of Yesterday,” the Flash sees another version of himself. This happened last season on The Flash, right around the time he started leaping through time. Right from that moment, this episode should have been incredibly predictable. But the writers here do a masterful job in the first half of this episode simply making things feel relatively normal.

There’s a lot of juggling to do to start this thing out. Between Green Arrow, Flash, and Malcolm meeting with Vandal Savage and Kendra’s training with Hawkman, it’s pretty amazing that this episode fits in a subplot about Oliver and his maybe-son and actually makes it work. But these threads all go wrong in a big way in the first half. Hawkman teaches Kendra to use her anger to fight like he’s a freaking Sith Lord. Oliver being revealed as the boy’s father leads to a relationship-ending fight between he and Felicity. Worst of all, Oliver and Barry underestimate the power Savage wields with the Staff of Horas, and everyone they know and love dies.

Except for Barry, who escapes the explosion going fast enough that he lands a day earlier. Time travel is tricky to pull off, and it definitely lead to some frustration toward the end of The Flash‘s first season. But here, when the turnaround to redoing the event was essentially in 20 minutes, it really worked. Just as in last night’s episode, the scenes between Oliver and Barry work best. Barry revealing the future, and Oliver’s expression to said reveal, makes for a great scene. The adjustments they make to give themselves a chance against Savage are crucial.

For example, Cisco trying to appeal to the lighter side of Kendra makes me wish for them to get together whenever this universe comes to a close. He’s much better for her than Hawkman. As for the redo of the climactic battle with Savage, it goes a lot better. Maybe a little too much better. Unfortunately, the villain’s demise is just too quick and anticlimactic. He’ll of course be back in Legends of Tomorrow, but for this big crossover event, the ending is a little too easy.

The Oliver baby-daddy subplot also ends unsatisfyingly. Instead of telling Felicity himself, he decides to keep it a secret. Hasn’t Oliver already grown out of this?

Overall though, this entry is slightly sharper and more focused than last night’s episode. It still manages to be a ton of fun while delivering a ton of cross-series comedy and superhero action. For a big crossover like this, what more can you ask for? Grade: B+

Some Other Notes:

  • It looks like Malcolm will be behind Savage’s resurrection. Whenever the final season of Arrow is, I fully expect Malcolm to be the big bad once more.
  • Laurel was visiting her mom and sister in Central City, yet Sara, who’s also a future Legends of Tomorrow star, failed to show up. And where was Ray for all of this? Not that these episodes needed more characters to juggle, but what gives? An explanation or cameo would have been nice.
  • After being annoyed at Arrow and The Flash all season for Iron Man 2-ing, this crossover finally has me excited for Legends of Tomorrow. Well done.

By Matt Dougherty

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