Stepping away from the Lance family drama that’s dominated the last few episodes, Arrow gives John Diggle (David Ramsey) some time in the spotlight. And of course there could only be one reason to bring Diggle back in to focus: Deadshot (Michael Rowe). Diggle’s government connection, A.R.G.U.S agent Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson) has gone missing and Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) wants him to get her back. What? Not enough DC Comics name-dropping for you? Don’t worry, there’s more. (more…)
By ending last week’s episode on such an exhilarating cliffhanger, I’ll admit, Arrow impressed me. Not only because the series was willing to go there, willing to put Oliver (Stephen Amell) at such risk of discovery, but because Laurel (Katie Cassidy) was able to prove herself as ruthless and tenacious as any hero or villain. Say what you will about the series distorting the character of Laurel Lance from her comic book counterpart, but the lady’s got balls. Equally ballsy is Olives’ shining knight, Black Canary–or rather, the “masked blonde woman in black leather.” (more…)
After last season’s shocking ending – seriously, I’m not being sarcastic, I really didn’t see that coming – Arrow returned for its second season last night with a solid premiere. The Hood has been absent since an earthquake left a good chunk of Starling City in ruins. Coincidentally, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) skipped town, too, though no one in town seems to find any correlation between these two events. Hey, they’re suffering, we can’t ask them to draw obvious conclusions right now. (more…)
A Season 1 finale needs to deliver on a lot of levels. We need to see the season’s over-arching threat thwarted, we need to see how each character relates to the endgame, and we need to have enough left over to leave us chomping at the bit for Season 2. And after a season that was often more shaky than solid, Arrow‘s finale, “Sacrifice“, went out on a strong note. Possibly the strongest of the season.
Last week’s episode left Oliver (Stephen Amell) in the custody of Malcolm (John Barrowman), after learning The Hood and his son’s best friend are the same guy. With Ollie in chains, Malcolm moves forward with his plan to decimate The Glades with the seismic device from Unidac Industries. But not before belittling Oliver with how easily he’s been beaten, again. Having made a name for himself as the courageous and cheeky Captain Jack, watching Barrowman gleefully ooze with arrogance about his crusade to save the city from the corruption of The Glades is a treat. I’m already campaigning for him to get more villainous roles in the future. And while he’s the most charming of villains, he’s still incredibly cold and calculating, and no more so than when manipulating his son, Tommy (Colin Donnell).
This is it, the final stretch. Only two more episodes to go, and wow!, did “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” really set things in motion for next week’s finale. It’s almost as if this is the episode we’ve all be waiting for because, finally, all of Arrow‘s tangent plot lines are coming together. Things kicked off at breakneck speed with the Dark Archer, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) attacking Unidac Industries and killing every scientist who had anything to do with the seismic device “the undertaking” is using to destroy The Glades. And I was immediately struck by how distraught I’ll be when Barrowman’s villain meets his inevitable sticky end.
I’m guessing we’ll see his undoing this season, with Tommy (Colin Donnell) taking his place as head of Merlyn Global and The Hood’s arch-nemesis. I do hope I’m wrong, because bad guy Barrowman is too much fun to give up, but the police drawing a connection between the Dark Archer and Merlyn Global so quickly can’t be good sign. At least there’s plenty of promise Malcolm’s not going down without a fight.
This week Arrow returns 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.
She’s baaaack. Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) old flame, or “psycho ex-girlfriend” as Diggle (David Ramsey) affectionately calls her, is back in Starling City. And she’s back for only one reason, REVENGE. Jessica de Gouw‘s Huntress has returned to finally take out daddy and she doesn’t care who gets in her way. It’s exciting she’s back, even if she’s more villainous than I was expecting.
The opening sequence for “The Huntress Returns” is so obviously wank fodder and usually I’d hate such an objectifying scene. I mean, how many time have we seen a female character disguise herself as a stripper in order to interrogate or kill a man at a club? Hundreds, maybe thousands! It’s an overused trope is what I’m getting at, but Arrow manages to turn the scene into a humorous nod to Huntress’ more common, and far more revealing, comic book costume. I laughed, but was also happy to see her quickly change into the crime-fighting trench coat she got from Oliver. I love that coat. I want that coat.
You may have noticed – or not, it’s hard to tell – that last week’s episode of Arrow wasn’t reviewed due to my being out of town (at Gallifrey One! Look for my convention recap this weekend.). And what a shame, too, since last week’s “The Odyssey” was Arrow‘s best episode in weeks. It benefited, like I predicted it would, from more screen time for Manu Bennet‘s Slade Wilson, the inclusion of Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) properly into Team Arrow, and some real answers about what happened on the island between Oliver (Stephen Amell), Slade, and Yao Fei (Bryon Mann). For one, Yao Fei has completely switched allegiance to Fyers and his mercenaries because they’re holding his daughter hostage.
But no, that’s not the episode I’m covering today. This week’s episode was “Dodger,” and it’s a return to the tired villain of the week formula sandwiched between both Ollie and Diggle’s (David Ramsey) sorry attempts at romantic entanglements. And no, unfortunately not with each other. A shame because at least that would have been interesting!
Last week Arrow left off with Thea (Willa Holland) arrested for driving under the influence of Vertigo, Starling City’s newest party high, bringing the drug and its nefarious dealer, The Count (Seth Gabel), center stage. It’s another neat twist on DC lore turning the austere Count Vertigo into a drug dealer peddling a substance that when over imbibed leaves the user suffering from some dizzying effects. With Thea facing jail time because Judge Jerkface wants to see her made into an example for the drug-addled youth of Starling City, Ollie (Stephen Amell) sees his only option as bringing in The Count to take the heat off Thea.
Since it’s his sister on the line, Ollie uses every available means to hunt down The Count. As Oliver Queen he visits an old flame from his partying days, McKenna Hall (Janina Gavankar), now a vice cop, who provides him with a couple leads including “The Count” alias. And do you want to know how he earned such a moniker? You sure? Because I’m sorry, it’s pretty dumb. See, Vertigo is a very potent substance and required quite a bit of testing before it was street safe. Testing done on homeless bums and destitute prostitutes. When those poor souls were found overdosed there would be two puncture marks on their necks from the syringe. Vampire bites, get it? Vampire bites, The Count, isn’t that funny!? Yeah … umm, clever.
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.