A few quick thoughts on tonight's “Arrow” coming up just as soon as I figure out a way to play this Betamax tape…
Perhaps because the bulk of it was set in Central City, perhaps because the crux of the plot revolved around Barry traveling back in time to change things again, perhaps because so much of the episode's emotional arc had to do with Cisco, or perhaps because there was still more banter than usual (with even Merlyn commenting on it by noting that Oliver's being a bit more humorous lately), a lot “Legends of Yesterday” wound up feeling more like another “Flash” episode guest-starring the “Arrow” cast. That may be inevitable at this point with these crossovers, in that “Flash” already toggles between light and dark, which means that lightness of that show stands out more on “Arrow” than the darkness of “Arrow” affects the “Flash” episodes. And it's probably better for the consistency of the crossovers if both halves feel like they're from the same show. But given that some “Arrow” fans don't watch “Flash” (and vice versa), I wonder how they felt about the other series taking over their show to this degree – and, particularly, how they'll feel if Barry's trip back in time has a backlash like the one that happened when he did it last season on “The Flash.”(*)
(*) Given that that episode was one of the weakest of “Flash” season 1, perhaps both shows would be better off dealing with the timestream repercussions in a few lines of dialogue referring to events that happened off-screen. Maybe Laurel will suddenly have a mohawk and Cisco will be a breakdancer, and it'll be blamed on the backlash effect.
Still, there was enough material about Oliver's son and the impact his discovery had on Felicity to not make it feel entirely like the week had two “Flash” episodes. I've got mixed feelings about that plot. On the one hand, this was some of the best dramatic work that both Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards have done on the show to date. On the other, William's mother insisting that Oliver keep the relationship a secret from everyone just felt like a contrivance to give us that exact kind of fight. Keeping secrets on these shows never works out well for everyone, yet the characters either choose to keep doing it or are forced into doing it by the plot, and the whole thing made me roll my eyes even as the two leads were killing it opposite each other.
As for Hawkman and Hawkgirl, even though I've had a few months to get used to these goofy costumes – the show making the best of a bad situation, admittedly, since there's almost no iteration of their outfits from the comics that would look good in live-action – they still were silly and much too reminiscent of Wolverine in action, and not helped by sharing the screen with Diggle and his new Magneto helmet. I did appreciate their flashbacks taking the place of another random Oliver island adventure, even if Ciara Renee seemed more comfortable playing a non-modern version of the character than Falk Hentschel did. I really wish they hadn't raced so quickly into Kendra accepting her destiny, since one of the most interesting aspects of her introduction as Hawkgirl in the comics is that she had few memories of her previous lives and thus had a very hard time dealing with this strange man insisting he was her once and future lover. Maybe this is something that “Legends of Tomorrow” will deal with more, but that show is going to have almost as many moving parts as these crossovers, so maybe not.
Overall, the story was fun, but both shows are individually suffering from too many characters and storylines right now, and crossovers that not only feature both casts, but major guest stars who need a build-up before they become part of a third show only exacerbates that issue.
What did everybody else think of both “Legends of Yesterday” and the crossover as a whole? And how are you feeling about “Arrow” in general this season?