There’s a fair bit in Arrow Episode 6 worthy of a slow-clap, most notably the abandoning the “Rich Bastard, you have failed this city” one per cent-hunting that was set up in the pilot as Oliver (Stephen Amell)‘s whole raison d’etre when bodyguard-turned-accomplice John Diggle (David Ramsey), sends him after a team of bank robbers who wound a cop during a heist gone awry.
A more down-to-earth spin on embarrassing DC punching bags the Royal Flush Gang, Arrow’s take leaves the theme as just playing card decals on their hocky masks as they storm a bank with automatic weapons – when it turns out they’re a family tossed over the poverty line by Oliver’s father outsourcing production to China, and exploiting a loophole to deny them severance pay, he takes him upon himself to offer them a lifeline – placing him at odds with Diggle, who simply seeks justice for the gunned down po-po. It’s a bit contrived, artificially positioning Diggle as the extremist and Oli as the moderate in contrast with their previous set-to. Coupled with flashbacks to Oliver hallucinating his own father back on the island, there’s a definite sense that the theme of ‘Legacies’ is making its way through the plot with all the subtly of a builder knocking in a dividing wall.
There’s a lovely subplot in which Oliver and his mother, Moira (Susanna Thompson), bond after she lashes out due to loneliness, with the episode closing on them eating burgers in a diner. It’s sweet and silly and cliché, and totally not unfair to just describe it as “very CW”, and that sort of defines the tone of the episode as Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell), taking the long road to super-villainy, appears to do quite well romancing Laurel (Katie Cassidy), but oh no, Thea (Willa Holland) is sweet on him, and thought Tommy asking for her advice on winning over this hypothetical girl was code for asking her out. She gets tanked and does a sick – there’s definitely a drinking game in this; it happens that often.
When Arrow first opened fire, comparisons to Smallville were never far away (which is unfair, as it was mainly ripping off Batman Begins – although the Royal Flush Gang’s escape from the opening robberty is cribbed from V For Vendetta and The Dark Knight), but the workmanlike ‘Legacies’ brings them all crashing back in as we’re given some chocolate sprinkle moralising, a love triangle (or square if we factor in Oliver still being into Laurel, too) and a bit of family drama.
It’s only a matter of time before Oli is helping the hallucination ghost of Robert Queen oil his tractor or chop wood, Pa Kent-style.