If you’d told us that our favorite new drama of the Fall 2012 season would come to us courtesy of The CW, we might have doubted you. Obviously, we love “The Vampire Diaries” as much as (okay, more than) anyone, but there’s no denying that as a general rule, The CW is best known for love triangles and surface-level teen angst, not emotionally compelling, broad-appeal drama.
That said, if any show could reform the entire reputation of the network, “Arrow” is that show. We’ve pretty much exhausted our quota of superlatives at this point, so we’ll say one more time: if you’re not watching, you’re missing out.
We just watched this week’s episode, “Legacies,” and once again, we were captivated. Stephen Amell elevates the material as usual, making Oliver Queen simultaneously more formidable and more sympathetic. His desperation to prove himself to his dead father is heartbreaking, especially as it continues to conflict with his relationship with the rest of his family. You know, the alive part. Meanwhile, as the Hood, Oliver is once again confronted with a morality question as he tries to give a band of criminals a chance to live righteously.
You won’t want to miss the episode, airing at 8 p.m. Wednesday night. In the meantime, here are five things to expect.
1. Thea being her drunkenly spectacular (and spectacularly drunk) self. Don’t be fooled by the healthy brother-sister banter at the beginning of the episode — Thea (Willa Holland) carries a considerable amount of damage, and it’s not going anywhere any time soon. That’s never more evident than when she misinterprets a moment of kindness from Tommy (Colin Donnell) and decides to make a move.
2. The Royal Flush Gang has a surprising connection to Queen Consolidated. Oliver isn’t particularly interested in fighting petty street crime, because he sees it as a symptom of Starling City’s disease — the disease being the rich, powerful men corrupting the city from the top down. When he finds out that a family of bank robbers has a link to his dad, though, he has no choice but to step in.
3. Moira and Oliver grow closer. As Moira (Susanna Thompson) begins to question what Oliver is doing with his time, he realizes that he’s got to make more room for his mom in his life, and they share a sweet moment. The question remains as to whether her affection takes priority over the scheme she’s cooking up with the well-dressed man.
4. More Felicity! Are you guys loving Oliver’s new nerd-buddy as much as we are? Felicity Smoak (Emily Rickards) helps Oliver do some research on our villain of the week, and continues to be as charming and refreshingly candid as ever. She was introduced as a minor character, but we’d love to see her role expanded. There’s always room for a new sidekick.
5. A visit from beyond the grave. This week’s flashbacks to the island feature Robert Queen (Jamey Sheridan) as a starved and scared Oliver hallucinates a stern warning from his father. This may be the most vulnerable we’ve seen Oliver yet, but as the flashbacks unfold, we’ll see the first glimmer of Oliver’s future as a vigilante.
And a bonus: Oliver starts training Diggle. David Ramsey has been hiding some serious biceps under those suit jackets, ladies.