This week’s episode of Arrow seemed to signal the start of a possible transformation in the type of hero that Ollie would become. For the first time Arrow moved away from corporate criminals and focused on street crime. Through that shift, “Legacies” was able to parallel Oliver’s past with the story of the Royal Flush Gang’s, Kyle Reston, and show us how the burdens of a parent can often be unfairly transferred to their children.
At least on the surface, Ollie resisted Dig’s suggestion that there were other ways to save the city besides hunting down billionaire criminals. Ollie returned from the island with one mission on his mind, so this foray into fighting street crime sort of marked a turning point. Because of Dig’s influence, Ollie’s narrow scope widened just a little bit and created a tiny opening for Ollie to begin creating his own future as a hero beyond the hit list his father left behind.
Kyle (aka. “Ace”) gave up a life of his own to pursue a life of crime with his family. Like Ollie, Kyle had become obsessed with the mission that his father had originally set into his mind – “to be set for life.” In Ollie’s flashbacks, we saw how his father’s expectations manifested into hallucinations that haunted Ollie when he was near death. Ollie had not yet fully understood the extent of the damage his family’s business had done, but his father’s last plea was enough motivation for him to sacrifice his future to ensure his father’s dying wishes were fulfilled.
It was interesting to see the parallels between Kyle and Ollie when it came to the risks they were willing to take for the sake of their father’s aspirations. Although Derek Reston refused Oliver’s job offer out of pride, we saw the guilt he carried for having turned his kids onto a life of crime. I couldn’t help but wonder if Robert Queen would have also regretted the burden he placed on Oliver if he could have seen the life he was currently leading and the suffering he endured on that island. I also wonder what direction Kyle’s life is likely to take now that his father is dead. Kyle probably doesn’t have a person like Dig in his life who can help him reroute the unhealthy objectives set into place by his father.
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