Corrina: Hey, spoilers! Oliver Queen doesn’t stay dead.
I know, you’re all shocked, shocked that gambling is going on in this establishment.
To give the creative team credit, they don’t drag out the “when will Oliver come back to life” very long, just until the end of the episode. That’s a good choice because we all knew the inevitable would happen. However, the flip side is that the characters on Arrow actually believe Oliver’s dead.
I know, they don’t watch superhero television shows, so they don’t know like the viewers do, but they live in a world where Oliver was once thought dead and came back (which is mentioned in the show), in a world where Oliver claimed Sara was dead and that turned out not to be true (until it was), in a world where Oliver killed Malcolm Merlin and yet he lived, and in a world where they all know the story of how mirakuru brings people back to life, with Slade as an walking, talking example.
So why don’t they call Barry and S.T.A.R. labs for help in whipping up a batch of the stuff if they believe Oliver lost the duel. In fact, why aren’t they sending Barry out to grab Oliver’s body? But even if they don’t call in Barry, Felicity, Diggle and the others have enough resources to get this started.
Instead, after the blood on the sword proves to be Oliver’s, they accept he’s dead. I assume this is so there can be a tearful reunion later and much angst among many cast members for moving on and failing their friend or Oliver being upset with his friends.
But, to the episode.
Mordechai: Arrow opened this week with a high speed chase. We got to see more of Roy in action than we’ve seen before, and we got to see Diggle in the Arrow suit again. I’m not entirely sure why Captain Lance was in on the chase, but they did manage to catch one of the two bad guys. Not bad, right?
Corrina: Is Roy still super-strong because of the mirakuru? Because that was a Matrix-type leap for him in the fight scene. I guess he’s been practicing on the salmon ladder. Aside: a Captain Lance sighting! And he’s not even taking his heart pills while Laurel looks on sadly.
Mordechai: We then cut right to the flashback, which was just a massive infodump. There’s a missing virus, Tatsu has been kidnapped, and Amanda Waller isn’t interested in the second bit, just the first. I know I should be annoyed that they slimmed down Amanda Waller, but I’m really enjoying that they’ve kept the “don’t mess with me” persona intact.
Corrina: I love Cynthia Addai-Robinson. Everyone reading this, go watch all the seasons of Spartacus. Now. Bonus: You’ll get Nyssa, Slade, Captain Boomerang and the Weather Wizard from upcoming Flash episodes. However, I still wish Waller looked more like the comics version.
The flashbacks are putting me to sleep this season, much as they did in season 2. The flashbacks in the first season tied in brilliantly with Oliver’s character growth. Since then, the flashbacks have been far more literal, basically giving us the backstory to what’s happening in the present. Making the flashbacks so literal makes them less interesting to me. Whatever they did in the first season, they need to do more of it. Incidentally, we have yet another damsel in distress: Tatsu. In the comics, this origin story belongs to her, not her husband.
Mordechai: I would have absolutely been on board with the same story, gender-flipped.
Next up, we return to the modern day with yet more exposition, this time from Felicity. It’s been three days since Ollie left and they’re all freaking out a little. Diggle is taking Ollie’s possible death really easily. Felicity, meanwhile, is in abject denial.
Corrina: Why wouldn’t Felicity be in denial? See above.
Mordechai: Then Felicity runs off to work and has a scene were she gets to worry over Ray. It’s nice that even with Ollie gone she still gets to fuss over a man. We also finally see part of the A.T.O.M. suit, which doesn’t work.
Corrina: Sorry, but I like Ray. And I like how he sees Felicity’s intelligence first before anything else.
Mordechai: I like Ray. Maybe too much. Oliver used to see Felicity’s brains first. We saw how that ended.
Meanwhile, Laurel is the prosecuting attorney for the fellow Team Arrow caught and absolutely smokes the defense attorney. Or does she? It turns out that it’s all related to a plot by the latest bad guy, Brick. in the comics Brick is a metahuman with literal brick skin. On Arrow, it seems like he’s just bulletproof. Oh, and he’s British.
Corrina: He has to be some sort of meta-human to survive a bullet to the skull. Incidentally, smart move by Diggle, even if it didn’t work. One of the true pleasures this episode was seeing much more of Diggle, especially Diggle in action. I miss the back half of the first season of with Diggle, Oliver and Felicity working together. (Missing the first season seems to be a theme of mine. But it was a darn fine season.)
Mordechai: Merlin and Thea continue to bond over swordplay. Merlin vs Thea bonding over swords. That’s healthy. Apparently they’re now close enough that Thea doesn’t mind if daddy uses his evil contacts to find out where her brother is. It really is amazing how quickly she seems to have spaced on the fact that her father is a mass murderer.
Corrina: She’s been brainwashed, remember? I figure every dumb decision she’s made has been because Merlin established control that way. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Mordechai: I thought it was just that one time, not overall.
Corrina: My story and I’m sticking to it. I hope this pays off with Thea killing Malcolm.
Mordechai: We also learn that Felicity is such a good hacker that she can tell just from a trace that a phone is a burner. That’s impressive (and sorta unlikely). They still track it though, which leads them to a warehouse and some burnt papers.
Corrina: I suspect many of the things Felicity finds out have computer experts throwing up their hands. Just go with it. Most television shows are like this, even the supposed detective shows like Castle where even I can spot the errors.
Mordechai: Oh don’t even get me started on Castle. Back in the past, Maseo and Ollie are sent to get the second part of the MacGuffin virus, the Alpha. One has to wonder exactly how few agents ARGUS actually has if they need to rely on an emotionally distraught operative and a neophyte rich boy for these missions. Just send someone else! Still, it gives us this great scene of Oliver smacking into the glass.
Corrina: That action sequence may be my favorite one this year. Love the reflections.
Mordechai: Back in the present, Merlin, who’s walking around Starling pretty openly for a dead guy, breaks into the ArrowCave to have a great line, “Would you put the gun away? You don’t scare so much as annoy me.”
Corrina: Every now and then I wonder why someone doesn’t just shoot him. But I also wonder that whenever Ollie breaks out his arrows in a gunfight. Mostly, I just go with it but someone needs to shoot Merlin. I would have been seriously amused if it had been Felicity. “Oops, sorry, did I hit the trigger by mistake?”
Mordechai: Seriously though, he came to tell them tell them Ra’s doesn’t take prisoners and Ollie’s got to be dead. Then Laurel shows up after IDing a corpse and is all confused “where’s Oliver?” You’re telling me that she didn’t notice he was gone for three days? You’d think she’d be there all the time, hounding him about avenging her sister.
Corrina: But Laurel has been working. Besides, Oliver went away for a while earlier this season to get Thea, so three days doesn’t sound like much by comparison. And I need to back up and say that it was very nice to see Laurel doing her job. Iris on The Flash seems to have a great actress in an underwritten part. Laurel, however, sometimes does get the spotlight and I’m not entirely convinced the actress is up to it. We’ll see.
Mordechai: Cut to wherever Ollie and Ra’s had their fight – which can’t be Nanda Parbat. Because then Merlin’d have to be gone for the days the flight there and back would take, and it looks like it happens fairly closely to his conversation with team Arrow.
Corrina: Maybe it’s near the Winter Warlock’s hideout? And Merlin doesn’t have a choo-choo train to give away and so avoids looking for the body?
Mordechai: Although Felicity has changed outfits, her third such change in the show’s first 20 minutes.
So arguably, this episode has already taken place over at least three days.
Corrina: Not exactly. Because lots of women change out of their work clothes and into something else for after-work. And the black is arguably a better reflection of her mood at the time. But I’ll give you the third one. That’s probably another day.
Mordechai: Going by distance to the Himalayan region and the time involved makes me think wherever this “area sacred” to the League of Assassins is, it’s a day trip.
(Also, that’s multiple days of all the secondary characters just kind of hanging out, waiting for the plot to pick up.)
Corrina: I wonder what Roy does in his spare time? Does he babysit/bodyguard Diggle’s baby? Because that would be cute as heck.
Mordechai: Damnit, now I want to see that episode. But no, I’m guessing he just broods. What gets me next is that, Felicity plays exposition tool yet again explaining that it’s all Malcolm’s fault because blah blah blah. Malcolm’s claim that he’ll live with that guilt for the rest of his days rings a bit hollow Are we *really* supposed to think a guy who tried to murder thousand of people cares? Who brainwashed his own daughter to kill Sarah?
Corrina: But Felicity does call him out. She doesn’t believe him until she tests the sword. I’m not sure why she should believe him after, either, but I’ve explained at length above why.
Mordechai: “You and the Arrow, you’re close, right?” If Thea can figure out that Roy is Arsenal, but can’t figure out through that that Ollie is the Arrow, she’s an idiot. Not *quite* as bad as Captain Lance, who somehow misses that Felicity and Sarah both hang out with the Arrow and with Ollie.
Corrina: For a minute, I thought Thea did know. I wonder what Thea will say when she finds out that the entire Team Flash, including Cisco, knows who the Arrow is. As for Captain Lance, he knows. He’s just not saying. That’s my personal headcanon.
Mordechai: Felicity gives Ray some Real Talk about being a hero and how it’s not what his dead girlfriend would have wanted. Ray gives it right back, telling her that she has no right to talk about her. He’s not wrong, but the thing is neither is she.
Corrina: I liked this scene a great deal because they were both right and both wrong. I need to back up here again and say that I enjoyed just about all of the supporting character interactions. Which tells you how much I missed Oliver. Which wasn’t a lot. Or at all. I like his team better.
Mordechai: What about that evil master plan? Right. Brick’s crew wants to steal evidence to free a whole bunch of guys awaiting trial. Apparently if you’re not Moira Queen you can sit in a cell eight months before you see a judge. The bad guys get away as a result of Felicity saving everyone’s life. Naturally, Roy and Diggle are a little pissed. She justifies as not wanting to see her friends die, then quits. While this seems natural, question: How likely is it that they’re not going to keep doing it and die?
Corrina: Moira did spend time in prison. It’s just that her trial lasted only a day. Besides, we already know Felicity is unbalanced and not thinking clearly. I’ll let that one go by; though I’m sure she’s written that way because she’s the one in love, you know, and it hits her so much harder than Ollie’s combat buddies.
Mordechai: Flashback Ollie gets a similar chewing out as Felicity. He let one of the bad guys get away. Except no, it turns out he planted a GPS chip that was on the Alpha vial on the bad guy. He doesn’t tell Waller though, just Maseo. Maseo says he’s indebted to Ollie forever. This leads to present day, where we find out the guy who’s been dragging Ollie down the mountain (over the course of several days) is Maseo, and he’s brought Ollie to be saved by…Tatsu. This is going to be some kind of borderline offensive Asian Magic thing, right?
Corrina: The original Katana sword is Asian magic. But, no, I suspect it’s something to do with Ra’s Al Ghul’s Lazarus pits, since they already established that Ra’s is centuries old. But wait, that is an Asian magic thing as well. Nevermind.
Mordechai: Oh, and before I forget, we see Laurel make her debut as Black Canary with the groan-inducing line “I’m the justice you can’t run from.”
So cheesy. But good on Laurel for actually zipping up her coat, you know? Not to speak ill of the dead, but Sarah was bordering on Power Girl thing towards the end.
Corrina: Black Canary is my favorite comic character, bar no one. I should’ve been more excited to see my Dinah Laurel Lance go out onto the streets. Instead, it was ‘meh’ for me. Not sure it’s the actress or that I felt Sara worked so much better in this show. But maybe she’ll grow on me.
But, please, no obligatory “you can’t go out on the streets and be a vigilante, Laurel, it’s too dangerous” speech from either Oliver or Captain Lance. I might throw things at the television if that happens.
Mordechai: That’s my standard reaction to Laurel.
Join Corrina and Mordechai next week for more recaps, same geek time, same geek channel.