‘Same Geek Channel’ Arrow episode 311 ‘Midnight City’

Reading Time: 7 minutes
Source: CW.
Source: CW.

Corrina: Last time on Same Geek Channel’s review of Arrow, we saw Ollie’s quick return from the dead, denials and acceptance from Team Arrow, and Laurel decided to beat people up to deal with her grief. Hey, it worked for Oliver. Sorta.

Mordechai: We also met Brick, a bulletproof bad guy who wanted to take over The Glades. This episode we see how he plans to go about it. He storms a city meeting and captures three city aldermen, then holds them for ransom. This should not work. There’s no way that would ever, ever work. Except this is Arrow

Corrina: This is the show that held an entire trial for multiple homicide in one day. Then had the person who was charged with said homicides run for Mayor. This show often makes Gotham look logical. At least you can throw up the hands and say “it’s Chinatown, Jake” when stuff happens.

In the real world, having a bad guy kidnap your city officials would require a national emergency, Homeland Security, and 24-hour coverage on CNN and Fox News. Here, it’s just Tuesday, apparently.

Mordechai: Also, why is Ray at the first meeting? City leaders are supposed to be there, sure, but he’s the only one. And later when the mayor meets with Brick (which is nicely lampshaded by Brick). It makes no sense. But hey, it gives us a scene of Felicity patching Ray up.

Why the hell is Ray not going to an actual doctor, exactly? Source: CW.
Why the hell is Ray not going to an actual doctor, exactly?
Source: CW.

Corrina: Here’s my question about Ray. He’s worth a bajillion dollars, yes? So why not kidnap him team and get ransom money? Controlling the Glades is small time. It’s an economically depressed area. Not many people even have money for drugs there. Get Ray’s fortune and you can retire.

Brick now wants Corrina to come be his mastermind. Source: CW.
Brick now wants Corrina to come be his mastermind.
Source: CW.

But we do get to see Captain Lance take a bad guys and some of the others get some licks in. Query: where’s Lance’s bad heart during all this? I guess it’s situational.

Mordechai: Team Arrow is totally confused on what to do. Hey Diggle, why not just call Waller? Oh, right, the last time A.R.G.U.S. was involved, they were going to blow the city up. Still, mention it. Also, why would the mayor not call the National Guard or something like that?

Corrina: See above. It’s Chinatown. Don’t think.

Mordechai: Laurel gets Brick’s location by outright threatening the one henchman they caught in a totally extralegal manner, but they fail to rescue the captives and when Roy shoots Brick, he retaliates by killing an alderman (the only one with a line, of course).

Corrina: Torture works on this show. Remember how Waller proved that in the flashbacks?

And now I’m sounding overall too negative about this show but one of its flaws is that it takes a lot of dramatic shortcuts that make no sense, and this episode was particularly heavy with them. That said, it featured some nice moments, especially Felicity’s change of heart. More on that later.

Mordechai: And cementing our stance that “Captain Lance is a terrible detective”, the man sees footage of the Canary and even has an -at-a-distance-but-in-person meeting with Laurel (using a voice thingie to pretend to be Sarah), and doesn’t realize that the Canary’s body type and hair have changed. Seriously, how did this guy make detective?

Corrina: Chalk that up to wanting to believe Sara’s alive? I got nothin.’ I’m still stuck on why a guy like Brick would want a broken-down place like the Glades.

Mordechai: It’s okay though! They track the bad guys using the GPS in one alderman’s pacemaker! Pacemakers have GPS now?! Not that I can find, but hey, the story needed a way for them to find the guy.

Corrina: I thought they tracked the frequency emitted by the transmitter in the pacemaker. That sounded comic book logical enough.

Mordechai:  It’s not. They could have used real tech, like open Wi-Fi that it updates over, but no. Had to be GPS. In another example of a scene that makes no sense but serves the story, Felicity shows up at Palmer Tech and asks to borrow Ray’s helicopter. Why they couldn’t just use a van, I do not know, but then we would not get Brandon Routh making this face.

I can forgive any sin that gives us this glorious expression. Source: CW.
I can forgive any sin that gives us this glorious expression.
Source: CW.

Corrina: The helicopter was for the cool action sequence. And, by the way, this whole segment reinforces what I said last week: Ray doesn’t really view Felicity as an employee any more than Felicity views herself as working for Ray, hence the whole sexual harassment vibe you see is not something I see, in this particular case.

Mordechai: I’m coming around to that point of view. But she is, so it’s bad. Also, what hours do they keep, exactly? He’s three hours early for a meeting, but she’s already there.

I’m not saying Laurel as Dinah is annoying, but when Brick had his hand around her neck, I yelled “do it!” Also, every time Laurel sprinkles “daddy” into conversations, it feels unnatural and stilted. Wait no, that’s just Katie Cassidy’s acting.

You can tell she's sad because her mascara has run. Not because of actual acting. Source: CW.
You can tell she’s sad because her mascara has run. Not because of actual acting.
Source: CW.

Corrina: The hand around the throat gives me a perfect chance to rant about why I hate this move: this is a quick and easy self-defense counter to a hand around your throat. You grab the thumb of that hand and twist. Go, try it. The thumb will give way.

I learned this taking a self-defense class for research during a romance writer’s conference. I’m pretty sure Laurel and everyone else who starts choking helplessly has had more training. And yet, every single damn time, no one twists the thumb to break the chokehold.

Now, in this case, it wouldn’t work because apparently Brick is superhuman. By the way, I don’t think Cassidy is that bad. She’s stilted but I think she plays bitchy better than she plays nice, and so when she’s angry or annoyed, it works better for me.

Now, the whole “we can’t tell Dad that Sara’s dead thing,” plot device is driving me crazier than Cassidy’s acting.

Mordechai: It’s more than a little insane. By dragging it out, they’re making it worse and worse. Because now, not only is his daughter dead, but his other daughter, ex-wife, and several associates have been playing him for a fool for months.

But Laurel gets to play dress-up, so that makes it OKAY. Source: CW.
But Laurel gets to play dress-up, so that makes it OKAY.
Source: CW.

Once everyone is rescued, Felicity gives Ray a quantum processor to replace the nanite chip, both things that don’t actually exist, but hey, technospeak.

Corrina: Let’s talk about that rescue. Team Arrow worked together and I did get a little fangirl squee at the Canary and Arsenal working as a team. I winced with the whole “it’s too dangerous” speech Roy gave Laurel but I’ll allow it. What I want to see is Laurel use those sonic thingee that Sara used to use. Brice, I bet, is vulnerable to sound.

Mordechai: Let’s talk about how ex-Special Forces Diggle stays behind to co-ordinate a neophyte, fighting alongside someone she’s never worked with.

Corrina: And you glossed over my favorite part of the episode, which is Felicity’s speech about wanting to do this because it helped people who needed it, rather than out of vengeance or anger. That was great.

Mordechai: Meh. Ray already said it. Hammering it home was a tad forced.

The father-daughter story line of Thea and Malcolm, on the other hand, continues to be much better than I expected. I think Malcolm has a larger endgame with Thea. Her standing up to him and choosing to stay means he has someone else to take the fall for Sarah’s death, at the very least. Also, that DJ dude is totally a League of Assassins spy, which is neat. I wonder if he learned his mad skills from a DJ assassin.

When he lays down killer beats he... no, too obvious. Source: CW.
When he lays down killer beats he… no, too obvious.
Source: CW.

Corrina: I thought that was ridiculous. Yes, we’ll stand up against the assassins who just took down the guy you sent in your place. And, by the way, if you’ve already brainwashed Thea, why wouldn’t you do it again to get her to leave? Right, plot reasons require you both to be in Starling City. None of it made sense to me. I guess we were supposed to believe that one speech from Roy changed Malcolm’s mind? I don’t think so.

"What'cha thinking about dad?" "Oh, just the time I brainwashed you and how I keep using you as a catspaw." "Neat. I love you too." Source: CW.
“What’cha thinking about dad?”
“Oh, just the time I brainwashed you and how I keep using you as a catspaw.”
“Neat. I love you too.”
Source: CW.

Mordechai: I said it was better than I expected; not that it was actually good.

On the topic of The League, Ollie is recuperating with Tatsu, who continues to be way too passive for my taste. She does get to hold a sword for five seconds though, so there’s that. Also, she has a great moment right at the start where Oliver asks her if the cup she hands him contains more herbs and she says it’s penicillin, for the infection.

SOMEBODY's a teeny bit racist, no? Source: CW
SOMEBODY’s a teeny bit racist, no?
Source: CW.

Maseo kills his fellow League assassins and then slices his own neck, to cover up that he aided Ollie. Because he’ll do anything for family. This is hammered home by the flashback, where Maseo tries to trade the Alpha virus for Tatsu. The Alpha is a fake though, which leads to a huge fight in which flashback Ollie is competent for the first time in quite a while(see featured image). and Maseo realizing that Waller knew he was going to try that.

Corrina: I have no idea what to do with the flashback, which seems to be going nowhere save that Maseo will probably die at the end of this season. And Tatsu will…I’m not sure? I do wonder where the kid is, however. Killing off the kid seems a little dark, even for Arrow.

Mordechai: The kid is absolutely going to be worm food, because that’s part of Katana’s origin. It’s also going to be the reason Maseo and Tatsu break up (because “marriage cannot survive the death of a child” is cliche angst fodder).

All in all, this episode of Arrow has some cool moments, but overall suffers both from typical Plot Induced Stupidity on top of being the second part of a three part story. Hopefully, the third part will resolve Brick’s horrible plan, and we can get back to broody Ollie shooting things.

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