When it was first announced that DC's Legends of Tomorrow was introducing Connor Hawke, many wondered how this would play out in the DC small screen universe. As every DC Comic faithful knows, Oliver Queen is the father of Connor Hawke, which leads to Hawke taking over as Future Green Arrow. But that's not how The CW is handling this big introduction of the fan-favorite superhero. And it could have repurcussions for Arrow and at least one of its main players. As revealed by aged, one-armed Oliver during last night's episode Star City 2046, Connor Hawke is John Diggle Jr.!
In this future set episode, Team Arrow, including Felicity, Laurel, Diggle, Thea and Lance, are all dead. And John Diggle Jr. has decided to carry on Green Arrow's mission to protect Star City after Oliver Queen is presumed dead. But as we saw in last night's episode, this version of Connor Hawke might be wiped out from existence. So, what does the big reveal of Hawke's father mean for the future of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow and especially John Diggle Sr.? We'll have to keep watching to find out!
DC's Legends of Tomorrow finally showed its promise with Star City 2046. The series had been plodding and clunky leading into the sixth episode. The spinoff from Arrow and The Flash has not juggled the multiple characters with the time traveling storyline well. The overarching plot of tracking Vandal Savage through time, while dealing with the personal conflicts of rogue heroes, is difficult to cram into forty-two minutes. I was beginning to worry that the series wouldn't take hold, but there was vast improvement with Star City 2046. The writers were able to do a crossover with Arrow, action packed, and have meaningful character interactions. It's their best effort yet, and gives me hope that the season is getting better.
Following the attack by Cronos, the team crash lands in Star City, 2046. The city is ravaged and burning. They are attacked by a new Green Arrow, Connor Hawk (Joseph David-Jones). He claims that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) has long been dead and a new Deathstroke (Jamie Andrew Cutler) rules. Sara (Caity Lotz) is blindsided by this future outcome, but is convinced by Rip (Arthur Darvill) to stick to the mission and help repair the time ship. Rip, Snart (Wentworth Miller), Sara, and Mick (Dominic Purcell) venture out into the ruins to find a critical processor to repair Gideon's computer. Leaving Stein (Victor Garber) , Jax (Franz Drameh), Ray (Brandon Routh), and Kendra (Ciara Renee) to fix the engine.
The episode then splits beautifully into subplots that engage the characters on a personal level for the first time. Jax becomes irritated listening to Ray and Kendra's flirtatious conversations. Stein can sense he's got a thing for her. His attempt to deduce Ray's intentions towards Kendra inadvertently causes Ray to see her in a romantic light. Stein can't hide his mistake from Jax, as they are psychically linked through Firestorm. The mentor student dynamic between Stein and Jax actually becomes heartfelt. Stein convinces Jax to be bold, have confidence while talking to Kendra.
The team is attacked by gangs trying to find the processor. The Green Arrow reappears, but is wounded. He helps Rip and Sara escape. They explain what they're searching for and he takes them to Oliver Queen's abandoned hideout. Drum roll please, Oliver is alive, but has been hiding...in his hideout of all places, older, beaten, and one-armed after being defeated by Deathstroke. He calls Connor by his real name, John Diggle Jr. Then informs Sara that the city went to hell when she and Ray left thirty years ago. He remains at the hideout a broken man, while the team heads to a warehouse to recover the chip.
At the same time, Mick easily defeats the leader of a gang, takes his mink coat, girlfriend, then rolls with them to party at their club. Snart is not happy with Mick's revelry. For the first time, Mick rebels against Snart's leadership. He loves anarchy. The team concept was to plunder, not be a hero for him. This showdown finally establishes a realistic moment between the true criminals of the team. It had been ridiculous to watch Mick follow Snart like a dog to this point.
Sara, Rip, and Connor find the chip, a tiny computer part in a giant warehouse, with laughable ease. Back at the club, Mick and Snart's quarrel is interrupted by Deathstroke. He orders the gang to find the Green Arrow. Just like that, we cut to the gang ambushing the warehouse team, where they capture Green Arrow and escape. Snart refuses to let Mick stay in this time line, sucker punches him, and then takes him back to the ship.
The team reassembles with the ship fully repaired. Sara begs to rescue Green Arrow, but is shot down by Rip. He claims that this future will be erased if they stop Vandal Savage. They shouldn't risk death here. Sara refuses, embarking solo. Rip gives her an hour before he leaves her behind and returns to the past. Sara's first stop is to shake some sense into Oliver. She brings him his bow, which she found, like that chip, in the massive warehouse. She knows that he'll never let Deathstroke kill Connor.
Snart and Mick have a come to Jesus moment on the ship. Snart's rein as the brains and unquestioned leader of the two is over. Mick finally steps into his own as a character. Gideon informs them Deathstroke is planning to execute Green Arrow in the center of town. The team decides that Sara should not face the fight alone. This was a pivotal scene for the series. They had worked together for the goal of defeating Savage. But it seemed forced and unrealistic. Here, where Savage isn't the threat or involved in any way, they choose to save their teammate. This is critical bonding that plays out perfectly.
As Connor is about to be decapitated by Deathstroke, Oliver and Sara strike. They are vastly outnumbered and surrounded when the cavalry arrives. This was another important moment for the series success. As Atom, Hawkgirl, and Firestorm swoop in, Captain Cold, Heatwave, and Rip decimate the gangs. They are formidable, absolutely in sync. The episode had been building to this scene where we see how effective the team can be as a group. It's a great action scene, by far the best one we've had in the series.
The team returns to the ship with a new sense of belonging. Leaving Connor and Oliver to retake Star City. A lighter moment is well executed as Kendra mercifully lets down Ray's advances. She's still reeling from Hawkman's loss and not ready to jump back in the dating game. Ray catches Jax snooping on the exchange. The pair rib each other as rivals. This interplay is exactly how audiences fall in love with characters. They become more human, grow in value. Brandon Routh's aw shucks persona as Ray makes me wistful for his days as Superman. He was a great Clark Kent. That ship has definitely sailed for him, but I still feel he needed another chance as the Man of Steel.
'Star City 2046' is the first episode that doesn't end on a cliffhanger. The serial nature of the show so far had every ending leading into a new story. Not this time, I think the writers wanted to leave the audience in a feel good moment. It totally works. The crossover from Arrow was also a big winner. A crusty, old Stephen Amell made a nice twist. Every character had an important moment, especially Mick, who had been the weakest link dramatically. DC's Legends of Tomorrow finally pulls it together. I just hope that this is a trend. We'll have to wait and see if and when Connor Hawke returns, and how his destiny is handled heading into the future. Will we see a young Connor Hawke on Arrow?