Back from another hiatus and with the promise of an epic Deadshot showdown, my hopes for this episode of Arrowwere high, so my slight disappointment is really all my own fault. Well, possibly mine and those behind the marketing of “Home Invasion.” And this isn’t me saying this was a bad episode, it’s not, but when you promote the hell out of Deadshot and he basically is filling in this episode’s B plot, I’m going to be a little let down.
So what was the A plot of “Home Invasion”? A family Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is representing plans to sue a greedy, corrupt business man who lost all their savings. Unfortunately – because nothing good ever happens in Starling City – that business man, Edward Rasmus (Al Sapienza) calls in a hit on the family and the mother and father end up dead. The only survivor is the little boy who Laurel takes into her custody until extended family can be found and she and the boy become the hunted targets of Rasmus’ hitman (J. August Richards). Which means protecting Laurel becomes Ollie (Stephen Amell), or rather The Hood’s, top priority.
This week Arrowreturns to their villain of the week formula, with a twist, but it’s no less monotonous. Someone is trying to do Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) job for him, and they’re not doing it very well or with the same measure of restraint. Calling himself The Savior, this new “vigilante” kidnaps a slumlord and publicly executes him via webcam livestream. Why is it public? The sicko has linked the livestream into every device with an internet connection: smartphones, tablets, laptops; because, of course he can, he’s a criminal mastermind.
Except, no, he isn’t. When on his second victim, the District Attorney, he lets it slip his wife was murdered and the D.A. failed to get her killers sentenced. Now it’s a personal vendetta, not a crusade for justice. Using the new intel, Oliver has Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) track the livestream signal but they can’t lock on because it keeps moving. The D.A. is killed before Oliver can get to him. Though before that we’re shown a pretty sweet parkour montage of Oliver racing around town trying to find and stop The Savior. So, y’know, it’s not a complete waste of time.
Since its return from a mid-season break Arrowhas been mediocre at best. It’s not that their episodes have been bad, but lackluster. So much time was spent in the first half of the season building the conspiracy around the death of Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) father, his mother, Moira’s (Susanna Thompson) involvement, and the motivations of the “Well-Dressed Man”; later revealed to be Tommy’s (Colin Donnell) father, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), even later revealed to be the Dark Archer. What’s happened to all that? It’s been relegated to the B-plot as we’ve watched Ollie take on a sunburned fireman seeking vengeance and a two-bit drug dealer with fantasies criminal grandeur.
While last week’s villain, Firefly the somewhat singed, vengeful fireman, wasn’t all that antagonizing, this week things get personal when Diggle’s (David Ramsey) commanding officer from Afghanistan – a guest stint by Ben Browder – becomes Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) next target from THE LIST. Yes, the list is back and we need to trust the list because Ollie’s father told him so. Even though as Dig points out he only retrieved the list from his father after he was dead. To which Ollie tells him he later received a message from his father confirming the list’s importance and reliability. When he got this message is left unknown, but it wasn’t while Ollie was on the island, at least not that we’ve seen. And we won’t see, not in this episode.
But that doesn’t mean “Trust But Verify” reveals nothing, in fact there’s quite a few revelations dropped this week. The first being Ollie’s father, Robert, wasn’t all that faithful to Moira (Susanna Thompson) while they were married. Apparently, fidelity is hard for the Queen men. Shocking, I know. Thea (Willa Holland) though, always the spiteful daughter, believes it was Moira who was unfaithful and misconstrues Moira’s secret meetings with Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) as the beginnings of another affair.
In a breaking and exclusive report from Entertainment Weekly, it’s been announced Alex Kingston – known to many of us as The Doctor’s wife, River Song, but mentioned by EW as former ER actress – will be playing mother to Laurel (Katie Cassidy) on the CW’s Arrow. Her character, Dinah Lance, is Detective Lance’s (Paul Blackthorne) ex-wife and will be returning to Starling City in the coming episodes to reunite with her family, whom she abandoned after her other daughter’s tragic death.
Can we talk about how freakin’ incredible this is!?! River Song is playing the original Black Canary! Okay, there’s no confirmation we’ll be seeing Kingston in fishnets or acting as a fellow vigilante to Stephen Amell‘s The Hood, but still. THIS. IS. AWESOME. And really, by casting Kingston they’re clearly going for a feisty woman who doesn’t take anyone’s shit and doesn’t that just scream Dinah?
Is this not some of the best casting news you’ve heard in a long time? Oooh! How great would it be for her and John Barrowman, Malcom Merlyn on Arrow, to have a scene together?
Back from its winter hiatus, Arrowreturns us to Starling City where Oliver (Stephen Amell) has not been the vigilante since his encounter with the “Dark Archer,” revealed to be Tommy’s (Colin Donnell) father, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). Ollie is in full-on, self pity, mopey mode, ignoring Diggle’s (David Ramsey) assertion he needs to suit up and get out there because the city needs him. In fact, we’re blatantly told via some talking head news show the vigilante has had a direct effect on lowering the number of muggings, robberies, and murders in Starling City. Which is pretty astounding considering we were shown none of this during the season’s first half.
But Ollie is off his game, he can’t even shoot and pierce a tennis ball! Now what trick does he have to impress the ladies!?!
In the Queen mansion, Moira (Susanna Thompson) is doing her best Howard Hughes impression as she’s become a shut-in since Walter’s (Colin Salmon) disappearance. Made all the weirder because she knows who kidnapped Walter and probably feels responsible. Thea (Willa Holland) and Ollie try to cheer her up, but the Queen family is extremely, emotionally stunted. Just listen as Ollie awkwardly suggests getting takeout and watching a DVD. It gets worse when he struggles to pronounce “Galifianakis” in another reminder he was trapped on an island for five years. We get it, how many more painful pop culture references must we sit through?
The episode needs a villain because there must be a crime in order for Ollie to get back in The Hood. Well, actually, no. A call from Laurel (Katie Cassidy) on the secret vigilante iPhone is enough for him to put on the suit and creep into her apartment. She presents him with a case about a fireman who died on the job under suspicious circumstances that she believe is a murder being covered up as an accident. The perpetrator and this week’s bad guy is Arrow‘s attempt at an updated, “more realistic” version of the lame DC villain, Firefly. And I know what you’re thinking, how could it be worse than a pyromaniac dressed as a bug with a flamethrower strapped to his back? Oh, they found a way.
During a horrific fire years earlier, a fireman, Garfield Lynns (Andrew Dunbar), was killed when he refused to leave the building after it was deemed unsafe and the rest of his squad was called out. He demanded reinforcements, which his chief denied, and he was left in the building to die. Of course he didn’t die, but being so terribly burned he was unrecognizable and was labeled a John Doe while in a coma at the hospital. It’s an all right, seek revenge on your surviving company back story until you see him and he is by no means burned beyond recognition. Hell, Oliver is able to narrow down the suspects because when he confronts Lynns he notices the firefly tattoo on the back of his hand signifying him as a member of the Firefly Company. Good thing that didn’t burn off with the rest of his skin. I mean, look at him!
How was this man not identified as Lynns at the hospital is beyond me, and I’m usually pretty forgiving when it comes to suspending my disbelief. Rather than appearing as a horrible burn victim he looks like man who’s had some scar putty smeared on his face. To make it even worse, that scarred side of his face is kept mostly in shadow. I’ve been quite happy with Arrow‘s spin on many classic DC characters, like the Royal Flush Gang and Huntress, but this was dumb. If they were looking for a challenge in updating one of DC’s crappier villains, they only succeeded in making him even dumber.
Pretty terrible villain and criminal plot aside, “Burned” had its stronger moments, too. Laurel, for one, wasn’t completely useless. We see some that of determination and stubbornness we associate with Dinah, Black Canary, as Laurel investigates the case and disobeys her father seeking out the assistance of The Hood. Though, she does come off a little like the scolded child when her father, Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) finds out she’s stolen the secret vigilante iPhone. And she manages to somehow not realize Ollie answers his phone when she calls The Hood, even though they’re about 20 feet away from one another. So she’s not perfect, but there was some growth this episode. Unlike Tommy, whose role has become to throw the party that all necessary characters attend come the end of the episode to better serve the climax. Guess it’s not a bad job.
For Oliver, this episode was all about coming to terms with facing death and having people you care about in your life. Something he didn’t have to worry about as he struggled to survive on the island. It’s the fear of what his death would mean to those closest to him that’s had him resisting The Hood. But after several heart to hearts with Diggle, including a friendly bro-fight, Diggle convinces him having people he loves doesn’t make him weaker, but rather stronger. It gives him something to fight for. And here, we have the episodes message, Ollie learns to be a hero not just a vigilante. Something the show makes sure you don’t miss by having that same newscaster from earlier blatantly state it on television.
Ollie’s got his confidence back, Moira leaves the house after a pep talk from Thea to become the new CEO of Queen Industries – a dicey decision if you ask me, considering what happened to the two previous CEOs – and Detective Lance allows Laurel to keep the secret vigilante iPhone, essentially turning her into Arrow‘s version of Jimmy Olson. Oh! And he’s bugged the phone in order to finally catch The Hood, because even though he sort of saved the day, he still can’t be trusted.
Next week THE LIST is back and Ben Browder guest stars! Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8pm on the CW.
Arrowwill be back on the CW tomorrow evening at 8pm and with it the continuation of Oliver Queen’s struggle to become the hero Starling City deserves (as well as my episode recaps!). Speaking with The Huffington Post, executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti dished all about where the show’s going next. And I do mean dish, their article is littered with SPOILERS for the second half of Arrow‘s first season.
Berlanti discussed how our, as in the fan’s, response to the first half of the season influenced what they’re doing with the second,
We were able to go through the hell of the first seven or eight [episodes] that I think you have to go to, to sort of calibrate how to make a good episode and how to make it on time and on budget and all that stuff, and [we started] to get real, true audience feedback about what people are enjoying most. So this next run of episodes is the byproduct of a conversation we’ve had with the audience and then also our own learning curve in terms of how to make better episodes.
Good to know. I’d hate for them to come back with crappier episodes. The series has definitely improved as it’s gone on, as long as they keep that up I’m pumped for the show’s return. Be sure to check out HuffPo’s entire write up for all the details about where Arrow‘s going next, what new villains will pop up, which old villains will be teaming up, and more.
In the meantime, here’s a gallery of new promo images from tomorrow night’s episode, “Trust But Verify”, as well as some on set pics snapped of newcomer Colton Hayes, who’ll be playing Roy Harper.
And lastly, what are the odds we’ll see Arrow crossover with the CW’s other planned show featuring a DC superhero, Amazon? Not bad, actually, but it all depends on what the showrunners want to do. As reported by IGN, CW president Mark Pedowitz also put an end to any chance Bruce Wayne could come to Arrow,
At this time, no. And regarding your next question, regarding is Batman going to make a trip to [Arrow’s] Starling City, they’re not in the same state.
Well, shucks. Oh well, what are you look forward to from Arrow‘s second half of season one?
The CW’s superhero drama Arrow has been making merry sport mining the DC Universe for potential enemies and allies for its young Emerald Archer. Next villain up for bids is Firefly, the pyromaniac with wings who typically plagues Batman, will soon be stopping by Starling City to get something started – like a fire.
In this episode, which is entitled “Burned,” Firefly is recast as a former firefighter who was severely burned on the job and apparently he decides to take out his rage on the issue by setting a few fires of his own. Firefly will be played by Andrew Dunbar, who you’ll recognize from other Vancouver-area shot sci-fi series like Battlestar Galactica and Stargate Universe.
Below is a photo gallery from the episode released by The CW. “Burned” will serve as Arrow’s midseason premiere when the show returns on January 16 at 8 pm ET/PT .
Every day the internet produces an astounding amount of goodies and gems. Most hilarious, some amusing, but all worth at least a few seconds of your time. We here at Nerd Bastards try to bring you the best bits of news and nerdery the webz has to offer, with a bit of snark thrown in. But sometimes not everything makes the cut. Monday through Friday we’ll be bringing you our inbox leftovers, our forgotten bookmarks, the nerdy bits that simply slipped through the cracks. You can submit items to Nerdy Bits by emailing us at email@example.com.
Above: Have a friend in the U.K.? Get them to send you some mail with these cool Doctor Who stamps! All eleven Doctors are available and in the second set there’ll be some of his toughest foes, too. Commemorating the 50th Anniversary these stamps will release next year. [io9]
Last night was the mid-season final of Arrowwhere the show remembered it had quite a bit of plot to move along since resolving Ollie’s (Stephen Amell) botched attempt at bonding with fellow vigilante, The Huntress, Helena Bertinelli (Jessia de Gouw). There were some island flashbacks, more investigating from Walter (Colin Salmon), the reveal of an “evil” archer in Starling City, and Ollie trying to save Christmas.
And his attempt to imbue his family with the holiday spirit they are lacking is awkward at best. Actually, the Queen family is all sorts of awkward and their forced enjoyment of each others’ company is heaped with awkward moment upon awkward moment. Have I said awkward enough, yet? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? Good, ’cause that’s how watching the Queen family interact makes me feel.
Turns out since Oliver and his dad disappeared they’ve stopped celebrating Christmas, and more importantly stopped throwing their annual Christmas party. And if one guys knows how to throw party, it’s Ollie, and he does so with the hope it’ll liven up his family’s dreary Yuletide. It, of course, has the opposite effect but that’s exactly what I’d expect from the most awkward family in Starling City.
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