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Arrow 1.06 "Legacies": From Father to Son

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       This week's episode of Arrow, "Legacies", written by Moira Kirland and Mark Guggenheim nicely weaved a number of storyarcs on that theme. We also see Oliver, at Diggle's urging, widen the scope of his own legacy. There were also lots of great action sequences, including a spectacular sparring sequence between Oliver and Diggle with iron bars. This episode features some new specialty arrows that can pin things down - those vigilante billionaires do have the best toys! We also got to see a little more deeply into a number of characters, allowing for some great performances, highlighted by numerous scenes that were shot by director John Behring in tight closeup.
    The episode focuses on family relationships. The flashbacks to the Island this week are actually an
hallucination Oliver had of his father. In the vision, Richard urges Oliver to right the wrongs he's committed.
Oliver is convinced he's not strong enough, but his father has faith in him. Richard tells him to honor the
sacrifice he made for him by killing himself so Oliver could live. We finally see how the names appeared in the book when invisible writing is revealed when Oliver heats the pages of the book. So, I guess for those of us still wondering if Richard was really dead? Yes. He was really dead before Oliver got to the Island. Richard's legacy to Oliver is to right his wrongs.
    Diggle is quickly becoming an important friend and mentor. He urges Oliver to go after the bank robbers
instead of Oliver's intended target, Scott Morgan. Oliver is being a bit of a vigilante snob when he tells Diggle that he doesn't go after "street criminals". He maintains that they are merely a symptom of the disease he is trying to cure caused by the rich and powerful criminals in Starling City. As it turns out, Richard Queen is actually directly responsible for fate of the Restins. The family turned to crime after Derek Restin was laid off and screwed over by Queen Industries.
    Two of my favorite actors played Mr (Currie Graham) and Mrs (Sarah Jane Redmond) Restin, and they did a wonderful job portraying parents forced to do whatever they could to try to provide for their kids: to leave them a legacy. Oliver tries to give Derek a way out by offering him a job. Derek's pride gets in the way, and while you can see him want to take the job, he turns it down. Stephen Amell and Graham both gave wonderful performances in this scene. It's likely that Derek turned him down for additional reasons, including not really trusting the son of the man who had screwed him over and the likelihood that Kyle wouldn't just go back to a normal life. In the end, like Richard, Derek sacrifices himself to save his son, because as he says, "I turned my son into this." Another legacy. It's unlikely that Kyle will honor his father's sacrifice in the way  Oliver has honored his father, but I'm betting we may see Kyle again.

    In the end, Oliver feels like a failure for not saving Derek. Diggle is the one to tell Oliver, that Richard would have been proud of Oliver: "The way you stepped up? He'd be pretty damn honored."
    There are other, perhaps more subtle, legacies explored in the episode. Thea tips her hat as interested in Tommy who only has eyes for Laurel. Thea hopes that Tommy has come to see her as a woman, but her legacy is that Tommy views her as a little sister who he needs to protect.
    Tommy ends up using his own legacy - his fortune - to help him in his quest to get closer to Laurel. Laurel thinks he's simply trying to get into her pants, but there's a wonderful scene between Katie Cassidy and Colin Donnell in which Tommy tells Laurel that he's looking for more in life and more with her. Donnell's performance is perhaps his best yet in the series. His scenes with Willa Holland are also very good, and we see a new side to Tommy. Of course, knowing that there is an Arrow villain called Merlyn has me wondering how this is all going to go wrong. On the other hand, Tommy's lending a hand with the legal clinic may give him a taste for doing something useful with his life. The legal clinic itself is Laurel's legacy from her own father - the fight for justice. Tommy's involvement may start out as a way of impressing Laurel but if he doesn't really change, he's unlikely to keep her attention. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
    We don't really get to see much more of what is really going on with Moira. We do get to see Oliver compared to the "model son" embodied in Carter Bowen. Everyone, other than the mothers, sees Carter as a jerk. Oliver recognizes that to society, Carter is a hero. It's hard to see anyone come on the show now without wondering if he's going to be the next bad guy though. We do get some great comic moments during brunch. I loved when Carter said his publisher wanted to make him the next Dr. Oz and Oliver wants to know why they want him to be a wizard! Thea also calls Oliver on his behind the times "snap". Oliver and Thea grow closer in the episode, but it's Tommy that ends up really looking after Thea.
    Oliver clearly wants to re-connect with his family but his alter-ego is preventing him from doing so. He and Moira have cross words because she feels he's shutting her out - which, of course, he is. The episode ends with them re-connecting over some fastfood. Oliver misses his mother, but it seems likely that he "knew" his mother as well as he thought he knew his father. It will be interesting going forward to see if she is betraying Oliver and his father or if something had forced her hand to do so.
What did you think of this week's episode? What was your favorite scene? Do you like Tommy with Laurel or do you think she should get back together with Oliver? Let me know in the comments below...

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