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Arrow Watch: Episode 6 - Legacies

"Oliver, there's more than one way to save this city."

After getting better with each episode since its premiere, Arrow has finally misfired. And what a shame since (in its still very short run) The CW's superhero adventure easily had its most impressive installment last week with a visit from Deathstroke in "Damaged" but the sixth strayed a little too far from the series' winning formula. Don't get me wrong, "Legacies" still had plenty to like, however, almost half the episode didn't include Oliver and those sections ended up feeling more than a little extraneous to the main story and what's really important. Perhaps we're supposed to care enough about Tommy and Laurel (and the ensuing triangle, that is, if Ollie even notices) for their 'romance' to be able to keep our interest for a large part of the show? Well, I don't. Mostly because Arrow hasn't given us a reason to care with those two characters being the most poorly handled, something painfully clear when paired with Ollie and Dig's central thread.

"Sounds like you have a narrow definition of being a hero."

As usual, father and son issues abound on this week's Arrow and with a title like "Legacies" it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that family is a central theme of the episode. Enter the Restens, whose story offers not only an opponent for Ollie but a nice parallel to his own struggles. "Legacies" opens with a re-imagined the Royal Flush Gang in the middle of robbing Starling City Bank, perhaps with a nod to the beginning of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight (well, more than usual), and we immediately get to see that the Ace of Spades (Kyle, the eldest son) is a little off his rocker when he attempts to murder an undercover cop. While I enjoyed most of the events in the crime story it, like the romantic fundraising side, was not without a string of cliches and rehashed situations starting with several events in the opening heist. Many details of the job reminded me of Spike Lee's Inside Man but, for the most part, it was still well executed and entertaining despite the similarities.

"Maybe you just have to figure out what's a big deal to her and make it a big deal to you."

Ollie and Dig were basically inseparable this week which is always a good thing and they started off with some not so light sparring. And they also hit each other with sticks. That's right, the partners in fighting crime were having a disagreement about their methods with Ollie stubbornly sticking too close to the list and refusing to go after the cop shooting bank robbers. Dick move, Ollie. The first flashback also takes us inside a dream, yes a flashback to a dream, where Robert Queen has returned from the dead to, well, yell a lot about his son having to right his wrongs. Essentially this is just Oliver being hard on himself but a few moments were gleefully over the top. Same with his fight with Mom at the fundraiser but more on both later. Instead it's time to visit the weak thread of the week with a visit to Laurel's office for the birth of this aforementioned, and meaningless, fundraiser. Laurel's law firm needs money... doesn't she know TWO billionaires? Don't worry, sweetheart Tommy will take care of you. Not by funding the law office itself, which he can clearly afford, but instead by throwing a fundraiser.

"To make a difference. Let's catch some bank robbers."

"Legacies" also has to work in Thea and Moira, so naturally we find the former worried about the latter since the departure of Walter. Actually, both of their characters (Willa Holland and Susanna Thompson) have at least been built enough that I actually do care about, well, all of the Queen family and it doesn't hurt that Stephen Amell is also at his best when a bit more playful. Or fighting. Physically, not verbally. The Queen kids agree to go to Mom's brunch with the Bowens, some other Starling City socialites, but Ollie is soon called away on Arrow business, something that will occur just about every time he's supposed to be hanging with Moira in "Legacies." The moral? To be a hero, sometimes you have to be a bad son. Kidding. Tommy also gets the shoulder from Ollie when he comes calling for advice but (un)luckily for him Thea is around and willing. The whole misplaced and/or misread affections storyline plays pretty familiar and we all probably knew the moment they talked how it was going to play out. Poor girl, turns to the bottle. "The police are looking for a crew, we're going to look for a family..."

In the meantime, Dig's ruse works on Ollie and not only does he show up to find no suicidal Scott Morgan but agrees to take on a lower echelon of criminal. This takes them to the trusty Arrow-computer where they discover a way to identify the Royal Flush Gang Ace Ventura-style but that would involve breaking into the Starling City Police Department. Good thing that's incredibly easy without Detective Lance around (where was he this week?) and while the cops are stuck looking for red tape scissors, Ollie uses their, uh, computers to get a photo of the ring impression. Larchmont High. Damn, now he's late for brunch. And not only that, Carter Bowen was on time! It's going to really grind Mom's gears when Dig steals her son away from the table to go fight the bad guys as they flee from their second bank. Arrow is able to nab the money but the crooks escape as the cops drive him into a crows nest. The dialogue was hilariously awkward during the well choreographed action sequence with my favorite exchange between the family ending in the all too often said 'only one more job.'

"Those choices don't have to define you."

When Ollie's computers and the police department's computers don't provide enough information, the hero and his sidekick, sorry, partner, turn to Felicity Smoak to figure it out. Using her computer. Her snark is always welcome though and it allows someone else to come in and spill a bunch of backstory instead of having the same two characters tell us everything. Turns out, Robert Queen really screwed the Restens and this causes Ollie to have a flashback (still to the dream) and once again confront his dad. This time, pops hands over a pistol and it looks like curtains for island Oliver. You know, except that we know he's okay. However, in light of the news, he does decide to give Derek, the King of Spades, a chance to right his own wrongs but first we have to watch Laurel and Tommy's romance continue as they plan the fundraiser and bond over some sentimental player turned omelette chef story. How cute. The heart to heart with Derek Resten in The Glades doesn't go as well, especially since the bug proves that the gang won't stop until they are set for life. Of course, set for life means one more job. Just one!

"I turned my son into this."

Before the final showdown at bank number three, Oliver makes sure to drop by the fundraiser for the aforementioned lashing from his mother and to not even notice his former girl and best friend making eyes. Nope, instead the triangle involves that Carter idiot and Thea... a square? Things seemed to work out for Tommy in the end, at the expense of Thea's feelings. Did Laurel raise the money? Do we care? Arrow has a decent battle with the Ace of Spades (Kyle) but the security guard fails to acknowledge that he's 'got this' and decides to take matters into his own hands shooting the father dead. Well, not before he and Ollie can have a surprisingly tender moment, hood down, where the parallels in their stories can be spelled out for us. Dig does his best to reassure his partner that he's not to blame for the blood spilled and we finally see a flashback that doesn't take place in a dream! How does fire make ink show up on paper? Seems risky no? I mean, paper and fire don't exactly mix. Either way, the list is born and so is Ollie's resolve! Now, no crime is too small to go unnoticed by Starling City's hero.

Arrow returns with Episode 7, "Muse of Fire," on Wednesday, November 28 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.