The “Arrow”/”The Flash” crossover event continues with the Wednesday, Dec. 2 episode, “Legends of Yesterday,” as the two teams work together to protect Kendra and Carter from Vandal Savage. However, when everything goes horribly wrong, can they fix everything?
The “Arrow” half of this year’s crossover with “The Flash” begins with a flashback – this time to Ancient Egypt, to when Kendra and Carter were a priestess and a prince, they were paying tribute to Horus, sky rocks were approaching the kingdom and Vandal was that guy who showed up to warn that dark times were coming. Though, as it’s revealed once Kendra begins to get her memories back, it was forbidden for clergy to lie with royalty, Kendra and Carter were together and when Vandal caught them, he decided to carry out the punishment of death himself. A fight ensued, during which he stabbed both Kendra and Carter, their first deaths, as the meteors fell, and while Vandal went on about how his hate would be everlasting, Kendra prayed to Horus for his protection and Carter swore he’d wait an eternity for her. They died with the Staff and dagger besides them.
In order to try to keep the reincarnated Hawkgirl and Hawkman safe from Vandal, the group holes up in a farmhouse, and everyone has a job to do. For Felicity, Cisco and Caitlin, it’s manufacturing gauntlets that will allow Barry to hold the Staff of Horus. Diggle, Thea and Laurel look into Vandal himself. Carter’s on Kendra training duty (use her anger, he recommends) because they could really use her new ability. And Oliver? Well, he’s off to do something secretive, and when Felicity follows him outside, calling him out on his strange behavior that clearly has nothing to do with Vandal, he admits that something’s going on and he’ll tell her all about it, but he wants the chance to know what he’s dealing with first.
As expected, Oliver goes to see the woman and kid he saw in Jitters, and when he brings up the timing of their affair and the kid’s age, she tells him that William isn’t his and she met his father two months after moving to Central City. But Oliver obviously doesn’t believe her since he takes a hair off the kid’s hat. Malcolm then calls with the worst timing ever to share that he has set up a meeting for them, Barry and Vandal because negotiation is their best bet.
While Barry’s running to the meeting, he ghosts, foreshadowing that not only is he going to time travel but something probably goes terribly, terribly wrong since they’re dealing with an immortal. No one knows anything about Vandal, Malcolm admits, which is why he’s so afraid of him. And Vandal does nothing to suggest that they shouldn’t be afraid of him since he lays down an ultimatum: hand over Kendra and Carter in 24 hours, or he’ll kill everyone they hold dear. Knowing that he’s going to time travel leaves Barry with a dilemma, and when he confides in Cisco, he tries to stop him from even saying the words. (The rules of time travel are just like the rules of “Fight Club.” Well, at least the first one is.)
After finding out about Vandal’s ultimatum, Kendra asks Carter if they’ve ever killed themselves to deny the immortal. Carter sees this query as a good example of why he’s the one who typically makes the plans in their past lives. But Kendra doesn’t want anyone to die for her, so Carter tells her to be the warrior she was meant to be. His attempt to train her – by having her come at him time and time again – goes about as well as it did when he pushed her off the roof. Carter’s failed lesson is interrupted when Laurel, Thea and Diggle return with an old Betamax tape from a professor in a conspiracy theory group interested in Vandal. The professor from 1975 spoke of a calamity that led to his long life and that any object associated with it should undo the effects. That leads them to believe that the Staff could be how to kill him.
Meanwhile, Oliver has Barry run a paternity test without actually telling him he’s running a paternity test. (He says it has to do with Damien Darhk.) Yes, he is William’s father, and he leaves Barry with instructions not to tell anyone. So of course that’s when Felicity walks in and Barry fails to do anywhere near a decent job of acting like nothing’s going on. When she looks at the results, she knows exactly what it is.
Oliver then confronts Samantha about William being his son, and she tells him what Moira did, showing him the check she never cashed as proof. She didn’t want Moira near her child – or Oliver, because she knows what he used to be like and doesn’t think his world is any less crazy. William is well-adjusted, he’s happy, and she doesn’t want to risk changing that, so he can’t know Oliver’s his father and neither can anyone else. Oliver tells her there’s someone in his life and he doesn’t want to keep this from her, but if he wants to spend any time with his son, he will. Uh-oh.
And uh-oh is right, because when Oliver returns to the farmhouse, Felicity’s waiting. He tries to give her a lie about Damien Darhk, but she tells him she knows about the paternity test and she doesn’t want to hear another lie. She doesn’t care that he has a child. She cares that he lied to her. He argues that his whole world just exploded, so isn’t he entitled to a minute to process it by himself? After he admits he doesn’t know when he was planning to tell her, she says that if he loved her, trusted her, telling her would be a relief, not a burden, so how can she be with someone who doesn’t trust her? She walks away, and that doesn’t seem good for their future.
It’s a tough position for both of them, and in a way, both have valid points. On the one hand, yes, Oliver should have time to process this by himself, but on the other hand, taking time and keeping something like this from her are two different things. Why doesn’t Oliver tell Felicity what’s going on, that Samantha doesn’t want him telling anyone, that he needs time to process it? If he’s going to lie to someone, why lie to the woman he was planning to propose to at the beginning of the season and not the woman who lied to him and doesn’t even want his son to know he’s his father?
The hits just keep on coming after that. Oliver and Barry bring Kendra and Carter to Vandal, with a plan in place, but things go awry when Kendra can’t access her abilities. Both Kendra and Carter end up dead, and the gauntlets don’t work. Vandal gets his hands back on the Staff and causes an explosion that takes out the city and kills everyone – and Barry runs back in time.
After going through the original meeting with Vandal again, Oliver and Barry return to the farmhouse, and Barry tells Oliver he traveled back in time. Messing with time doesn’t end well, he warns him when Oliver says they can use it to their advantage. Oliver points out things already didn’t end well. So they need to start with what went wrong, namely, Oliver’s head not being in the game. Barry tells him about the paternity test and his fight with Felicity, that it sounded like it was over, that Kendra couldn’t access her power, that the gauntlets didn’t work, that everyone dies.
So, Oliver goes around to fix what he can, advising Cisco to talk to Kendra because she needs to accept who she is and he’s the guy to convince her because he’s clearly in love with her and to triple check the gauntlets will work. Cisco does just that, telling Kendra to focus on her priestess side instead of her rage like Carter suggests. He thinks she’s resisting what Carter is teaching her because it means remember who she was, someone else, someone who loves him, but all of this is a gift, something most people don’t get to experience. And she does remember, and thanks to that memory of how they died the first time, she knows how to beat Vandal.
The meteors and the Staff both had the same glow back then, she remembers, and that could be key. Barry picks up a sample of it at the museum, and Cisco synthesizes it to coat the gauntlets. And this time, they bring Thea, Laurel and Diggle, all suited up, along for the fight. Working together, they manage to defeat Vandal, and once they do so, the Staff disappears.
With the fight done, Carter and Kendra are off to help people (a.k.a. go to “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”), which means it’s time for Cisco to say goodbye to her. But he doesn’t let her leave without something to remember him by, a necklace made out of the metal from the meteorite, with a GPS chip in it so he can find her if she’s in trouble. She kisses him “for being [him].”
As for William, Barry asks Oliver if he’ll tell Felicity about him. Oliver doesn’t think it’s any of his business and he even wonders if his son is better off without him, but Barry knows what it’s like to grow up without a father and disagrees. So Oliver does go to see Samantha and their conversation goes the same as it did, with Oliver having to agree to keep the paternity a secret, but he does get to spend time playing with Flash and Captain Cold action figures with his son.
This time, Felicity didn’t see the paternity test, so she only knows that Oliver isn’t telling her something. They have a life together, they’re a team, she reminds him, and if she doesn’t know what’s bothering him, she can’t fix it, can’t be a good teammate. He says it doesn’t matter, that it’s over and he’s back in Star City with her, but as he holds her, it’s clearly not the end of this and this will come back to cause trouble.
Finally, the last scene solves the problem that is raised with a situation like this: establishing a villain for an upcoming series (“Legends of Tomorrow”) while also letting the heroes still be heroes. Yes, they defeated Vandal, but Malcolm collects his ashes and tells him he owes him one.
“Arrow” season 4 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 8 “Legends of Yesterday”?