There’s so much more to heroes and vigilantes than just the action. This episode proved that as it set out to explore the layers of the characters we have grown accustomed to since the first episode.
Yes, it did hit the mark. While most viewers may find the pace of this episode a considerable drop from the previous episodes (which it is), it is essential nonetheless and has been long overdue. Having said that, the action plot line for this episode is still pretty disappointing. And OH!, I still have no idea where the flashback is heading.
Looking at the positives first. The Queens being the principal participants in the Arrowverse is a given; yet it would be foolish to disregard the roles played by the Lance family.
Sara Lance is back in town after her resurrection in the previous episode and Laurel does not waste any time to share this with her father. After their strained relationship, it was nice to see the growth in the bond between father and daughter.
Oliver also reminds us of how capable Laurel is and we actually finally see it. After a whole season of underplaying her alter ego, this episode let loose the abilities of the Black Canary. (Finally, a good Canary Cry!)
Captain Lance’s inner demons are explored as he struggles along the fine line between righteous and desperate. We also witness the conflicting emotions because of the love for his daughter and his yearning to see her again, a very powerful way to build Quentin’s character.
The highlight of the show came in what I would deem as, possibly, the strongest scene in the Arrow series so far. Oliver finds out about Quentin’s connections with Damien Dahrk and confronts him about it. Three whole seasons of bottled up resentment and hidden respect is poured out in a scene of pure emotion.
Stephen Amell’s performance of a broken and haunted man seeking redemption from a father-like figure he has left is astounding. On the other hand, Paul Blackthorne, the undeniable star of the episode, shows us the ultimate loving father and citizen driven by desperation into the hands of the devil. With such a strong scene, this episode sets up a new bond of trust and newfound respect.
Sad to say, while a good portion of attention was spent on character building, the episode lacked that attention to the action plot line this week. Dealing with rogue cops from the anti-vigilante task force seemed to be too much of ease for Team Arrow than it would make sense. What made it worse was that the whole situation was quelled by a pep talk from Captain Lance.
While I do understand that it was to set-up the reconciliation of the Captain and Oliver and to introduce Lady Cop (more on that below), it seemed like too much of a rush for me and lacked the essentials for a good plot.
Once again, the flashback sequences are a letdown, as I have no idea what exactly is going on in Lian Yu. In previous seasons, we were able to clearly figure out the purpose of the flashbacks and where they were heading. This time however, it just seems like random events occurring with no correlation to the present storyline at all. I do hope the flashback story is not beyond redemption to its former glory.
Mayor Oliver Queen
Not only is this a plot that is directly inspired by the comics, it’s important to note that part of being mayor was announcing his true identity as Green Arrow to the people of Star City (and the world at large)–something that also occurred to the Oliver Queen of Smallville.
So be prepared for good ol’ Ollie to pull a Tony Stark on us by the finalé of this season… which may also lead to the death of a personal friend/ally which would explain the cryptic ending from the first episode.
Having had the original hidden lair destroyed in a fight with Double Down, Oliver and Felicity, with the help of Cisco and S.T.A.R Labs, surprise the team with a new and improved version of the Arrowcave. It is located beneath Sebastian Blood’s campaign office, which is now Oliver’s.
Liza Warner, in the comics, is a hardened cop from Ivy Town and a known ally of the Atom. After surviving a massacre in her college, she was driven to join the police to catch the killer responsible for the series of events in her life. Currently, she is a member of the Anti-Vigilante Task Force and has gone rogue. It will be interesting to see if there are any further developments to her character, especially following the eventual return of Ray Palmer.
This reference is special, as he certainly does love green! Adams is the famous artist who is known for his work on the Green Lantern/Green Arrow series and is also the co-creator of Ra’s al Ghul.
Channel 52 News
Direct, yet so cleverly hidden. During Oliver’s speech announcing his candidacy for mayor, one of the microphones is marked “News 52”. It is a clever nod to the recently concluded massive reboot of the DC universe branded The New 52.
With the much-awaited appearance of John Constantine, I’d expect the next episode to be a lot more action-packed.
Next week on Arrow: