Yo, Arrow got so real so quick! After the rollercoaster ride that was Constantine, Team Arrow seems to still be reeling from the side effects. Fortunately, that ensures an entertaining hour for us audience.
As much as this week’s episode took us on a feels trip, the biggest element that completely brought us out of the moment was the flashbacks. After the positive sign of a linked flashback in the previous episode, Arrow reverts back to a completely separate and evidently slower storyline that does not relate to the present situation whatsoever. I mean, while I do understand that there may be a surprise kept for us towards the tail end of the season’s flashbacks, the audience desperately needs an idea of what is happening. If not, when (or if) the big twist happens, the plot elements that formed the flashbacks would not be remembered as there is no factor of it that is relevant enough that makes them memorable as of yet.
Having said that, the rest of the episode was very strong. Fans and ardent viewers of these shows would know that Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer was set to return to the show and play an integral part in “Legends of Tomorrow”. I have to say that I believe the return of Ray Palmer was handed very well. It was a gradual process that spanned a few episodes, which built it up to the moment he was upsized and reunited with the team. With Ray Palmer back into action, the CW is wasting no time setting up the events that will lead up to the season premiere for ‘Legends of Tomorrow’.
The biggest theme for today’s episode, however, was love. Thea Queen, sick of her own condition and bloodlust, wants to re-start her life and hopes to find herself by looking into her love life. While most stories of love are about romance and relationships, Arrow this week explored the love people share with their family. Be it Felicity’s relations with her mother or the love that Quentin and Laurel have for their newly returned family member, Arrow just added another layer of love among the characters, strengthening their bonds further. Some bonds seem pretty exciting too! (If you don’t know what this is referring to, go watch the show!)
Lording over all these is the tearjerker that is the spat between Felicity and Oliver. While handling the whole search for Ray, Felicity begins to second-guess her relationship with Ollie, causing me a whole lot of heartbreak. I’m not kidding. Seeing Oliver so sweet and loving, only to be on the receiving end of a painful blow really struck a chord with me. The whole subplot was handled very well in this episode and boasts some really strong moments.
With Rip Hunter being introduced in the Arrowverse, Booster Gold cannot be too far away from making his debut. But why not Blue Beetle too? A.k.a Ted Kord, owner of Kord Industries.
The code word Felicity used for Diggle in the presence of Curtis Holt is a reference to the WildC.A.T.S. leader. WildC.A.T.S., another superhero team, was created by Jim Lee—one of the head honchoes of DC Comics.
In the comics, Taiana was once under the control of China White and she assists Ollie in taking her down. Her appearance was limited to 5 issues of Green Arrow: Year One.
Lack of Iron, Man
When Ray is regrown, his only problem is said to be iron deficiency. This is a jab at early criticism regarding the suit by mentioning it looking too similar to Marvel’s Iron Man armour.
Ray Palmer jokes that H.I.V.E is similar to the enemy organization from the latest Bond movie, Spectre, as they both use acronyms.