Legacy or “Welcome Back Ollie”
Welcome back Arrowites (that’s what I’m calling us now)!! It’s been a long 5 months since the end of season 4 to the beginning of Season 5, but here we are! We find Oliver Queen serving not only as the costumed vigilante Green Arrow, but also as his Honor, the Mayor of Starling City. If you recall, at the end of Season 4, the previous mayor – who was secretly the wife of Damian Darhk – was killed during the H.I.V.E.’s attempted takeover of the world. Ollie, who was her opponent during the election, was then selected as the mayor to replace her. Now Ollie has to pull double duty: Mayor by day, vigilante by night (let’s see Bruce Wayne do THAT!).
The beginning of the episode finds us watching a city function that has the attendees waiting on the Mayor’s appearance. His alter ego is fighting crime in the streets against the villain Anarchy who once again turns up like a bad penny. Arrow has to fight Anarchy and prevent a bomb he planted from going off. This time, however, he’s doing so alone as the rest of Team Arrow is in the wind, with Laurel dead, Diggle back on active duty, and Thea taking a hiatus from crime-fighting. The ever-reliable Felicity – now known as “Overwatch” – is back in the Arrow Lair, directing Ollie as he disposes of the bomb. Out of nowhere another, unknown masked vigilante arrives to try to help, but Ollie shuts him down pretty quickly and places two arrows in him to get his point across (pun intended).
Back at the function, Ollie addresses the crowd and lets them know that their police are corrupt. This is a pretty bold move since there are several, including the brass, who are in attendance.
We then have our first flashback which takes us to Mother Russia, 5 years in the past. Ollie is street-fighting, like a scene out of Lionheart before a crowd of surly Russians. We’re introduced to what can only be described as the Russian Mob, a group known as the Bratva. They become miffed with Ollie when he kills their fighter.
Back in the present, Curtis is still around, annoying as ever, and helping Felicity out in the Arrow Lair. In the next action scene, a group of the corrupt cops Ollie mentioned assassinate a couple of crooks to steal from them. Before they can, however, a new face shows up on the scene and it’s none other than Chad Coleman, better known as Tyrese from “The Walking Dead”. He plays an underworld heavyweight known as Tobias Church.
Facing off against the rogue cops, Church proceeds to beat down their leader with a pair of brass knuckles while his crew guns down the rest. Things just got real.
We learn that Captain Lance is back in town and suffering, understandably, from depression since the death of Laurel last season. In order to cope he turns to the bottle (much like Joe in the “Flashpoint” timeline of “The Flash”). We also discover that he’s broken up with Felicity’s mom, the smoking hot Mama Smoke. In the line of the night, Lance says to Ollie that an alcoholic has to find a reason to be sober. With all that’s going wrong in his life, he just hasn’t found that reason.
Olllie contacted Captain Lance to let him know that a statue will be dedicated to honor Laurel and all she did to help protect the city in her guise as Black Canary. At the dedication ceremony, Church and crew show up in broad daylight, cap a couple of police and kidnap Mayor Queen along with a couple of city council members. Church feels if he can take down the Green Arrow, it’ll prove he’s the biggest dog in the yard and thus cement his hold on the criminal underworld. And what better way to draw him out than to kidnap some city leaders? Back at his hideout, Tobias tells Mayor Queen his plan to which Ollie responds: “he’s tied up”.
Having seen what just went down, Captain Lance meets up with Thea to see what her plan is to rescue her brother. To his surprise, she responds that she’s hung up her quiver since she’s been living a relatively normal life for the past 5 months and is reluctant to give that up. Meanwhile, Ollie has antagonized Church to the point that he instructs one of his flunkies to rough him up. Out of the view of others, one of Starling City’s corrupt cops basically brags about how he’s going to hurt Ollie and slaps him across the face a couple of times. This, of course, doesn’t sit well with Ollie who tells the hired thug: “Slap me again, and I’ll kill you”. Now you know the thug is incredulous and basically taunts Ollie: “What’re you gonna do, you’re zip-tied up”. In the immortal words of Lee Corso: “Not so fast my friend”.
Unbeknownst to the cop, Ollie has secret ninja, Russian mob training and was able to extricate himself from the ties that bind. Once hands free, a smack down commences and Ollie snaps the rogue cop’s neck, thereby saving the city hundreds of thousands in pay and benefits. Two birds. One stone.
At this time, Thea shows up as Speedy and the sibling duo kill several guards while making their escape and leaving the other captives behind. In the final act of this episode, Ollie returns to free the remaining hostages from Church’s clutches. Captain Lance assists Ollie by convincing a few of the good Starling City cops to back up the Arrow on his assault on the hideout. While the rest of the team takes on Church’s hoods, Ollie takes on the man himself in a mano-y-mano battle. Surprisingly, Church is able to hold his own and makes his escape. The building blows up but not before the hostages have been freed.
The postscript of the episode shows us Church – who will be this season’s baddie – solidifying his hold on the criminal underworld of Starling City, the introduction of yet another arrow-wielding shrouded figure we’ll call Black Arrow for now, AND a stranger pawing all over Felicity. We’ll find out who HE is in the near future I’m sure.
What did you think of the season premiere? Follow me on Twitter [@ATLBlerd], and let me know your thoughts. We can also live-tweet the show.