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Warning: major spoilers ahead if you haven't already caught the Season 5 premiere - entitled "Legacy" - of Arrow.
The CW's Arrow will soon come full circle as Oliver Queen completes his five-year origin story as the Green Arrow, and this next season will see Oliver finally relive the last of his flashbacks to his years of hell. Arrow has gotten more fantastical in recent years, but luckily for those of us missing the grounded action of the first couple of seasons, Arrow really seems to be getting back to its basics for Season 5. Tonight's premiere was so full of callbacks and Easter eggs that longtime viewers may need to re-watch just to catch them all.
The biggest element of Oliver's past that was brought back for "Legacy" was his willingness to kill. He gave up his lethal ways in the wake of Tommy's death in Season 2, but Laurel's murder and its aftermath were enough to knock him right off the no-killing wagon. The characters all seem determined to use Laurel as an excuse for doing whatever the hell they want, so there's no saying how long Oliver can continue citing her death as a reason to take lives.
Hopefully we can count on the stunts being as awesome in Season 5 as they were when Oliver was killing folks in Season 1. The epic "Let me murder you with this chair!" maneuver from the Season 5 premiere is close to a shot-for-shot remake of a sequence from the pilot. Oliver made a lot of enemies due to his killing ways in Season 1, so Season 5 may put him in a similar situation.
The flashbacks were finally as fun as they used to be in "Legacy," too, and not just because Oliver got to enjoy his favorite pastime of "working up a sweat shirtless." Oliver reunited with his old island pal Anatoly who, as it turns out, is the person who taught Oliver the skills he needed for the "Let me murder you with this chair!" maneuver. By dislocating Oliver's thumbs, Anatoly enabled Oliver to slip out of his bindings. It was a great re-introduction of the Bratva into Arrow, and it proved that Season 5 may be much better than Season 4 at organically connecting the events of the past with those in the present.
The Bratva scenes also featured the return of Robert Queen's notebook full of names that Season 1 Oliver would use as his list of people to hunt in Star City. The notebook hadn't been seen since the end of Season 1, and its reappearance in Season 5 is a pretty solid clue that Oliver will be getting an unpleasant blast from the past thanks to his days of using it as a hit list.
Then there's the fact that new big bad Prometheus looks an awful lot like Oliver in his days as the Hood in Season 1, ranging from his outfit's long sleeves to the sleek lines to the weird crop-top hood that would look ridiculous on somebody less terrifying. Prometheus truly looks like a dark version of Oliver as the Hood, and for all we know, the antagonist has greasepaint going on underneath his face mask. His choice of suit, combined with Oliver's return to killing and the narrative reappearance of Robert Queen's notebook, shows that Arrow is really embracing its basics to set up Season 5.
It should be fun to try and figure out Prometheus' identity as the season progresses. Past baddies Leo Mueller, Jason Brodeur, Frank Bertinelli, Adam Hunt, and Danny Brickwell all got mentions in the Season 5 premiere. We may discover that Prometheus is connected in some way to one of them, since Arrow does tend to be big on narrative symmetry. Frankly, as long as the midseason finale doesn't pull a "Gotcha!" and reveal that Prometheus is actually a different version of Oliver that Barry Allen Flashpoint-ed into existence, I'll probably be happy with how Arrow's trek back to its basics.
We already knew that Arrow would be dealing with Oliver's legacy as both a man and a vigilante in Season 5, and considering the premiere felt a lot like a second pilot, it seems like we're going to get a perfect storm of elements from Oliver's past returning to mess with his present. Arrow airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. To see what else you can find airing in the future, check out our fall premiere schedule.
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