Things we learned… 5×01: Legacy

Another October. Another season premiere. Where did we find our heroes as Arrow season 5 made its bow? Were there signs of recovery after a disappointing season 4? Let’s get into it…

Regression, or progression? Killing is back on the table. Oliver Queen is taking no prisoners. We saw him brutally snap the neck of a corrupt cop, in a very on the nose callback to the show’s pilot – when it was in fact this episode’s director, James Bamford, he was sending six feet under. Oliver said it himself, he had plenty of times to kill Damien Darkh last season but took the high road and eventually Laurel paid the price. We’ll find ourselves at a happy medium in the end, I should think. Even if the development to get there has been very choppy and inconsistent over the past couple of seasons, it’s the way it should be. Sometimes Oliver’s going to have to go the whole way to keep people safe. For now, it’s a jolt back in the right direction for the show but…

Old problems still remain. What we saw, unfortunately, wasn’t enough to get me on board. It was an episode which didn’t offer a grand statement of intent for what this season promises, it all fell a little flat for me. It felt more like a filler episode halfway through the season, rather than a show coming out of the blocks all guns blazing as its new season begins. The episode just never kicks off in the way I was hoping. Instead, it feels too much as if it’s business as usual. It’s passable, that’s for sure, but it’s not enough to suggest that excellent things are coming this season.

Grounded means violent? As Tobias Church entered the fray as one of the big bads this season, it appears a more grounded approach leads to a more violent approach. He wasn’t messing around. Brutally beating a cop to death. He’s not the most interesting of villains. He’s got a presence. But, he’s pretty much a bog standard gangster. He wants to make a statement by taking out the Green Arrow. He wants to connect all the gangs within Star City. Has he got enough to carry a threat through the season? I doubt it. Prometheus on the other hand…

A new mystery. Prometheus does look a threat. Who is he? I have no idea. As long as he’s not Felicity’ s new boyfriend, I can probably live with it.

Leave Laurel Lance alone! Firstly, what an awful statue that is. Secondly (this should probably be first in terms of my sheer exasperation), what on earth was that last request? It felt like yet another disservice to a character who was really improving, consistently offered a raw deal by the show, before being killed off needlessly. On the face of it, it feels as if they’re trying to slather a coat of paint over the disservice they’ve done to the Black Canary and the Black Canary – Green Arrow relationship, but it’s not working. I’m fine with her shaping Oliver’s approach as Tommy’s death did, that’s alright, but her last request really was a poorly made choice.

The flashbacks might be fun. After the terrible snoozefest the flashbacks served up last season, we’re finally in Russia and with the Bratva. There feels a lot of work to be done to get Oliver to his season 1 self, but Anatoli is back, the Bratva are brutal and although early days, they do look as if they’re going to be far better than what last season served up.

The verdict! A strangely flat premiere. It didn’t kick off in the way I would have liked. There was some good, there was some bad, but this wasn’t the statement of intent I was looking for to get my invested in the season. But still, it’s early days… 6/10.

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