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Recap / Arrow S 4 E 8 Legends Of Yesterday

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And you thought you'd have to wait until 2017 for the Justice League.

In the second part of the Arrow/Flash crossover, Savage demands Oliver and Barry hand over Carter and Kendra to be killed or he'll destroy both of their cities. A first attempt to defeat him goes horribly wrong with everyone except Barry dead and Central City being destroyed, and while trying to outrun the shockwave Barry travels 24 hours into the past (again). He reveals to Oliver what happened, and the two change the outcome, destroying Savage. Oliver confirms that he has a son, and agrees to keep it a secret from everyone, including Felicity. Malcolm retrieves Savage's ashes with a plan to resurrect him.

  • Abandoned Warehouse: The showdown with Savage happened in one.
  • Adaptational Name Change:
    • In the comics, Ollie's son is named Connor (and he has another son named Robert); here he's named William. Word of God is that production wanted the freedom to involve Connor some other way later on, and they wouldn't be able to if he were ten years old. Connor turns out to be Diggle's post-Flashpoint son in a Bad Future.
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    • For the matter, his mother's name is Samantha Clayton instead of Sandra Hawke.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • Ollie doesn't tell Felicity about his son, having forgotten that Keeping Secrets Sucks, which is really egregious since he took pains to avoid this in the last episode. Although to be fair, in this case the secret-keeping of not telling anyone about his son was part of an agreement with the boy's mother, which would allow him to see William every once in a while.
    • While Barry warns Oliver about the dangers of changing the timeline, he is invoking his attempt to save his mother that resulted in the near-destruction of the the city (and world) and the death of Ronnie Raymond. He seems to have overlooked that when he earlier hopped back in time unintentionally and made changes he improved the outcome of events (saved the city, prevented thousands of deaths, prevented Cisco's murder by Eobard Thawne, stopped Joe from being kidnapped and brutally beaten) with the minor exception of his brief relationship change with Iris.
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  • Amicable Exes: Cisco discontinues his relationship with Kendra after knowing that she should be with Carter, but remains supportive of her, like when he gives her a pendant with GPS chip so she can ask for help if needed.
  • Arc Words: This time it's Oliver saying "Run, Barry. Run."
  • Because Destiny Says So: Cisco ultimately gives up on his feelings for Kendra, acknowledging that she is destined to be with Carter.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Carter states that Savage was responsible for the 1887 Huang He (Yellow River) flood in China. Savage also puts down Ollie's skills by claiming that he was the one to teach Robin of Locksley how to use a bow.
  • Bromance: Oliver and Barry cement their new found closeness with a hug—though Oliver was a bit reluctant, and only conceded when Barry threatened to hug him at Super Speed.
  • Call-Back: Once again, Barry sees a second version of himself running alongside him, and once again, it's a portent that he will travel through time in this episode.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Word of God confirms that Thea is talking about Avengers: Age of Ultron during her "Superheroes in a farmhouse" remark. Neal McDonough (Damien Darhk, who appeared in the first part of the crossover), William Sadler (Simon Stagg), J. August Richards (Mr. Blank), Chin Han (Frank Chen) and Falk Hentschel (Carter Hall, who appeared in this episode) have all appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Carter tells Kendra that in their previous lives they were always helping people.
  • Composite Character: Vandal Savage is one for Hath-Set, the Egyptian villain who's tied to the Hawks' various deaths and rebirths. Savage even goes by the name of Hath-Set in the flashbacks.
  • Continuity Lockout: If you haven't watched The Flash, not only will you have missed part one of the crossover, but you also won't understand anything about the time travel plot point.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Barry tells Kendra not to let Oliver train her, since whenever it rains, he still gets back pains from when Oliver shot him in the back with arrows.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The first attack against Savage goes horribly wrong due to Oliver being distracted due to his fight with Felicity and their technology to protect them from the staff failing, in which everyone ends up dead. Luckily Barry's time travel fixes all that.
  • Crossover: The second annual with The Flash (2014).
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: With the Flash episode "Legends of Today" that's part one of this crossover, and with Legends of Tomorrow, which both episodes are a backdoor pilot to.
  • Daddy DNA Test: Oliver requested Barry to run a genetic test with his blood and William's hair strand. The Y-chromosome matches Oliver with his son.
  • Darkest Hour: Vandal kills Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and then Oliver himself, and then wipes out all of Central City with the Staff of Horus. Fortunately, Barry time travels, and this time, Barry actually knows that he will beforehand thanks to now understanding what seeing a speed mirage means.
  • Death Is Cheap: Even though Savage is reduced to nothing more than a pile of ashes, Malcolm seems to know a way to bring him back to life. In Legends of Tomorrow, it's revealed that Savage can come back From a Single Cell (which is fitting, given that Malcolm's actor can do the same thing in Torchwood).
  • Disintegrator Ray: The Staff of Horus fires off an energy beam that can turn anybody into dust. Vandal Savage is no exception.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Thanks to an old tape our heroes dig up when researching Vandal Savage, we get to see Professor Boardman well before Legends of Tomorrow even gets started.
  • Evil Is Petty: Vandal Savage threatens to destroy all of Central City (and later Star City) if Hawkman and Hawkgirl aren't surrendered to him to be killed. He later successfully kills the two, but because both Arrow and The Flash keep on fighting him after that, he still destroys Central City anyway out of spite.
  • Fanservice: In flashbacks, Khufu/Hawkman had a skimpy cover for his torso and Chay-Ara showed some part of her boobs.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Due to Vandal Savage being the Big Bad of Legends of Tomorrow, it's obvious his death is not going to stick.
  • For Want of a Nail: After his accidental time jump, Barry tells Oliver about his son without any physical evidence, so Felicity never found out about it (yet, at least), and she and Ollie would never get into a fight. This allows the Arrow to be in "his game" for the battle against Savage.
  • Get Out!: In the Ancient Egypt flashback, Vandal Savage caught Prince Khufu and Priestess Chay-Ara in the same bedchamber. Prince Khufu proceeds to tell Savage to get out before starting a brawl.
  • Give Him a Normal Life: Samantha requests Oliver not to reveal anybody that he is William's father.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Oliver and Barry opt to kill Vandal Savage, rather than let someone that dangerous be taken into custody.
  • The Hero Dies: Oliver and every other character sans Barry were killed by Vandal Savage. Barry travels back a day before that happens to make things right.
  • Hero Killer: Vandal Savage is established as a dangerous threat, both literally and figuratively.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Although Oliver considers Samantha's refusal to allow him to interact with their son to be unreasonable, he does realize she's right when she states his life isn't one that would be good for William to be involved in.
  • Killed Offscreen: Several. All negated by Barry's Time Travel.
    • Thea, Cisco, Samantha and William's deaths via Vandal Savage's World-Wrecking Wave weren't shown, but they're confirmed to have been killed-off by the attack. Assuming that he's still in Central City during the attack, then Malcolm counts too.
    • Even though they did not appear in this episode, most of the characters on The Flash (2014) (Iris, Joe, Harry, Captain Singh, Jay, Patty, and the villains that Oliver and Barry defeated that were imprisoned in Iron Heights) and Dinah Lance. Possibly also Sara, assuming that she's still staying at her mom in Central City.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Samantha insists that Oliver not tell anyone he has a son - not even Felicity.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Malcolm proves once again his villainous nature by helping Savage getting resurrected just so he owes him a favor.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Cisco refers to the element in the Staff of Horus and the meteorite as "nth metal", the Applied Phlebotinum that's been been connected with all the assorted versions of the Hawkman/Hawkgirl characters.
    • Although this version of Savage has a significantly different origin story from the classic character, a meteorite impact is still involved.
    • The meteorite sample Barry retrieves was in Keystone City. Keystone City is the home of two of The Flashes (Jay Garrick and Wally West).
    • Barry escaping Savage's World-Wrecking Wave is played out similarly to the finale of Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. (although in the movie Barry races the explosion with an injured leg)
  • No Ontological Inertia: When Savage is killed the Staff of Horus disappears out of Barry and Oliver's hands.
  • Oh, Crap!: Kendra realizes that she can't spread her wings the same way Carter does, leading her to waste the opportunity to fight Vandal Savage back during their first battle.
  • One-Man Army: Savage takes on the entire Arrow team and dominates the fight, despite getting ambushed.
  • Out of Focus: Though Laurel, Diggle, Thea, and Caitlin all appear in the episode, they only have one or two lines each.
  • Outrun the Fireball: The Flash manages to barely escape the wave of destruction that Vandal makes the Staff of Horus emit to destroy all of Central City, and he runs so fast that he travels back in time to the previous day.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Considering Hawkman and Hawkwoman have arguably the most ridiculously convoluted and confusion-plagued continuity in the history of comic books, mixing their fate with Savage in ancient Egypt is the best way for the TV versions to go without getting into the whole "alien policemen" aspect.
    • Likewise, it's a bit easier to accept Vandal Savage only being about 4000 years old rather than a caveman wandering the Earth since the Cro-Magnon days.
    • Having the Hawks' wings being able to appear and disappear as necessary makes it easier on all involved instead of having to explain why they wear artificial wings and fly using nth metal (the standard comic explanation) or having them walk around with wings all the time (the DCAU version of Hawkgirl and other Thanagarians).
  • Poor Communication Kills: Barry, after time traveling from the first disastrous attempt to fight Savage, tells Oliver about not only how the attempt went wrong, but also how things ended badly, especially since Oliver and Felicity got into a bad fight about his son. But, due to justified reasons, Barry fails to mention that the fight wasn't because Oliver had a kid, but it was about how he didn't tell Felicity about it.
  • Retcon:
    • Her original appearance in season 2 implied that Samantha became pregnant shortly before the shipwreck of the Queen's Gambit, but in this episode it is stated that those events took place "10 years ago", which would place the flashbacks in Seeing Red two years before the Queen's Gambit went down.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Felicity would never have realized that Barry was hiding something from her (namely, the DNA test Ollie asked for) had it not been for Barry pocketing it in superspeed.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Samantha doesn't want William to be involved in Oliver's life as she considers it would be bad and even dangerous for him to be exposed to Oliver's life... the life of an immature, partying, womanizing playboy, which she still thinks of him as.
  • Saved by Canon: Vandal Savage's resurrection is secured by his tenure as the Big Bad of the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Samantha never cashed the million dollar check Moira gave to her (and presumably the second million she promised on her return to Central City) because she did not want the Queens to have any claim on her son.
  • Secret-Keeper: Barry is the only person Oliver tells about his illegitimate child. Felicity finds out too, but Barry's Time Travel causes a Cosmic Retcon.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Barry does it again to save Central City (and everyone else) from a disaster.
  • Ship Sinking: Felicity ends her relationship with Ollie since he didn't tell her he has a son (she's not mad that he has a son, but that he kept it from her). That's undone by the time travel, but the fact he still doesn't tell her at the end implies he's just kicking the can down the road.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: The 1887 flood that Carter states Vandal Savage was responsible for is one of the few widespread natural disasters that could, theoretically, really have been caused by a single relatively normal human arranging for breaches (using gunpowder explosives, for example) in the dykes holding back the Huang He.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Thea seems to have grown attached to "Speedy", as she denies Cisco's attempts to come up with a better nickname.
    Cisco: Maybe you need to familiarize yourself with my body of work.
    Thea: Why don't you get a haircut, then we'll talk?
    Cisco: [twirls hair] I think you just mad 'cause my conditioner game is on point.
  • Special Edition Title: As in "The Brave and the Bold", the arrow is replaced by the lightning bolt from the Flash titles.
  • Stripped to the Bone: Vandal Savage caused an energy explosion that vaporized everybody within the field, with skeletons visibly crumbling down.
  • The Stinger: Malcolm collects Vandal Savage's remains so he can resurrect him so he can cash in a favor from him in the future.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: When Caitlin asks why they couldn't regroup at S.T.A.R. Labs instead of the farmhouse, Oliver points out that it basically has a revolving door for bad guys. Caitlin retorts that given his history with bases, he really can't talk.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: This episode marked several characters cheating death due to Barry's Time Travel.
    • This would have been Oliver's second official death, and the third time he cheated it.
    • This would have been Thea and Cisco's second deaths, the latter's first also being negated the same way.
    • Assuming that Sara is still staying at her mother in Central City, then this is also her second official death, and the fourth time she cheated it.
    • Assuming that Malcolm is still somewhere in Central City when Savage released the World-Wrecking Wave, then this is the second time he cheated death.
    • This would have been Carter and Kendra's 207th death and the very first time they officially cheated it.
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble: Barry runs into this while trying to explain time travel to Oliver.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: In addition to the Vandal Savage subplot, there's one associated with Oliver's son that started in the Flash portion of the crossover, but became more fleshed out here.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Savage killing all the main characters of both this show and The Flash (2014) sans the latter's title character. Granted, Barry negated it via Cosmic Retcon but it's still a shock to see.
    • Merlyn collecting Savage's ashes.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: Savage's staff unleashes one that annihilates the city. It could've spanned the entire world had Barry not time-traveled.
  • You Owe Me: Malcolm wants to resurrect Savage so he can invoke his trope.