Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
So we’re back! It always sucks to have that holiday break from the shows we love watching, but it’s a welcome sight when the dry spell is over and our shows come back.
The show kicked off with a quick recap of the season thus far. We are soon thrusted into the present to a chase scene where everyone’s favorite emerald archer is chasing down a thug on his motorcycle (Bolt Cycle/Arrow Cycle/Green Machine/whatever). A lot of people have been making comparisons from Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” trilogy to “Arrow.” It’s hard not to do so, especially when Ollie suspends a guy upside down, demands information in a gravelly voice and finishes by punching him square in the face to knock him out. My selling point is that we are fresh out of Nolan Bat-flicks, but we do get several more seasons of “Arrow” to enjoy.
I’ve been expecting to get sick of the island flashbacks. It definitely serves as a plot movement mechanism, however, every moment with Manu Bennett’s Slade Wilson is a moment I relish because of the growing conflict. We were given a nice teaser at the end of “Three Ghosts,” and some additional foreshadowing about the effects of the Mirakuru that Slade (and now Roy) had taken. To see him slowly become more unraveled and violent is a lean towards the Deadshot.
Oh Blood… bloody blood. I have a personal need to either connect with the villain on some level, like a lost offspring, or to absolutely hate them from the beginning. I am pleased to see the way Kevin Alejandro has been handling his duties as Sebastien Blood. We were given a nice peek behind the curtain this episode, and Kevin’s delivery of it was spot on. I wish “Arrow” hadn’t shown their hand so early with the reveal of who he really was. I would’ve preferred more of a dramatic reveal later on, but hey, that’s life. The last few moments with Laurel and Blood’s Aunt… Mom? (Whaaaat?). What an excellent game changer. That’s what I needed from his villain, and it was delivered on point.
LAUREL LANCE WILL NEVER BE LOIS LANE.
Laurel Lance will never be Lois Lane. I get that she serves as that medium, doing her own investigating wherever she wants and seeming to align herself with only those that are bad since Tommy’s fall. I just wish she was more of her own character and less like the shadow of Lois Lane that I see her to be. I think her pill addiction is an interesting touch, but I’m still not seeing her fall apart like an addict would. She’s not messing up at work, blowing friends off or being late for things. She’s essentially the same exact person who takes pills every now and again. There is a lot of backstory about Detective Lance falling apart after the Queen’s Gambit scuttled, which seems like a missed opportunity to me to explore that family heritage.
I think it’s high time for Roy Harper to suit up and make it happen. We’ve been dancing around it for long enough and the guy took an arrow for Pete’s sake. Let the guy throw on a suit and chuck an arrow into someone. We know the injection is making him stronger, let’s put it to good use already! Fight some fire with some red hooded fire! His strength and healing factor are well defined. If Slade is going to be a supervillain, I hope they are going to let Roy serve as the super sidekick and not let the Mirakuru take place of a heroin addiction.
It’s always great to see Sean Maher (best known for his work on Firefly… but you should know that) back in action, but I will say his villain of the week role was a little flat. I really enjoyed the “I declare war on you all” line he delivered, but that was as far as I could dig into the character. He was too easily apprehended and his devices were only so/so. With all the other elements of the story coming together, it might have been too difficult to add an extra successful layer to the episode. It seemed like not only a missed opportunity with the villain, but with showing how Ollie is while still dealing with the loss of Tommy. He lost his best friend in a building that collapsed around him, and he was covered in rubble and fire when it happened. To put Ollie back in that same situation, to have him not have any reaction to it whatsoever just doesn’t line up. There are all these flashbacks to the island, which I like, but there are other ways to utilize the flashback format and I think that is a total missed opportunity.
It’s nice to see Ollie’s team still working as such. The longer you work with someone, the more you have fights and disagreements. It’s good to see them comfortable enough to have some disagreements and flared tempers, but ultimately able to forgive one another and keep on fighting the good fight. It feels real, and I like it.
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