Welcome to this week’s Same Geek Channel: Arrow Edition. We’ve been harsh on Arrow this season, and we’re willing to admit when something we’ve complained about is fixed.
Corrina: Serious game-changers on Arrow this week. I should be cheering, especially because the women call Ollie out on his ridiculous paternalism. However, at this point in my Arrow-watching, I’ve realized I loathe the main character of the show.
That happened last year, too, when I decided Ollie made such stupid decisions and treated the people around him so badly that I was Team Slade. That ended when Slade killed Moira. I’m not Team Ra’s at this point.
But I could definitely become Team Nyssa.
Mordechai: I’ve been frustrated by that since the first season Huntress episode, but this one really, really takes the cake. This episode made a clear case for how the majority of cast members have grown and changed since season one… except Ollie.
Corrina: I realize we’re supposed to watch Ollie making mistakes and sympathize even if we don’t agree with his decisions, but when I’m sure the entire show would be better without Ollie, and when I’m actively rooting for him to die, that’s not a good thing.
Mordechai: I honestly couldn’t believe the first twenty minutes of the show. When I say my jaw is dropped, this is not a figure of speech. For one thing, Thea got actual lines. For another, she’s making sense. Why the hell are they rescuing the mass murderer? Because she might feel bad later? LET HER FEEL, OLLIE!
Corrina: This is the paternalism I’m talking about. No one can know the truth of who they are because Ollie must protect them. There’s a tinge of something more subtle under there, that Ollie’s doing this because he’s trying to save himself from his guilt, but his decisions are so stupid that they make no sense.
Malcolm killed Robert Queen. Remember? Ollie feels guilty about his father’s death, but Malcolm is responsible. That makes Malcolm responsible for everything that happened to Sara after she boarded that boat. And let’s toss in Tommy and the hundreds who died in Starling because of Malcolm’s bomb. And the prison guard just last episode.
Mordechai: And let’s not forget the big reveal–it’s not really about Thea at all; it’s because Ollie has PTSD from almost dying. The whole thing is about his manhood.
Corrina: Three final points about why I hate Ollie.
1. He’s going to resort to torture to save a mass murderer? And it’s not even needed because we find out later that Ollie has a tracker on Malcolm. ::headdesk::
2. If he wants to stop killing, then why don’t all the people guarding Ra’s place count? Ollie, you just killed bunch of guards after giving speeches about not wanting to be a killer and letting Slade live. And then you went and killed these guys?
3. How is getting killed trying to save Malcolm going to make Thea feel any better?
And, last, how do any of these that make any story sense?
Mordechai: Ollie’s moral compass spins fast enough to achieve lift.
Corrina: You know how you gave up on Gotham, Mordechai? After this season of Arrow ends, I’m out for good.
Mordechai: It’s funny–a week ago I’d be right there with you. But I can’t get over how this episode made me like and root for Thea and Laurel, two characters I honestly didn’t care for. Hell, they made me like Roy, who has up till this season has been window dressing.
Corrina: Yes, Thea takes control of her life, making every single right choice, turning over Malcolm to get justice for Sara and telling Laurel the truth about Sara’s death.
Mordechai: I love how for a minute there, she starts to buy into what Ollie and Roy are selling, and then says “what–no, this isn’t about them, it’s about me.”.
Corrina: And Laurel, instead of going into a stupid, ridiculous rage like everyone usually does on Arrow, realizes that Malcolm is responsible for Sara’s death, not Thea.
Mordechai: I would have loved, loved to see that same scene done with an actress with actual facial expressions.
Corrina: With Laurel, good lines are practically a miracle. I’ll take it.
Plus, Felicity throws up her hands with Ollie and walks out. It’s not like he gave her much choice, given he’s decided to commit suicide via Ra’s Al Ghul. One thing leads to another, she helps Ray build his super-suit, and they sleep together.
Mordechai: As someone who hasn’t been a fan of the Felicity/Ray relationship jousting, this episode was perfect in that regard. Why? Because she’s in control. The whole time. I’m not saying women have to be in control, but it’s a welcome contrast to her dynamic with Ollie.
Corrina: It’s clear Felicity chooses this relationship. She goes to Ray. She helps him. He’s grateful, appreciative of her caring about him, values her intelligence and he’s kind to her.
This is a sexy combination even before Ray walks around shirtless.
Aside; Brandon Routh looked adorable. Though he comes in second to the adorable British documentary filmmaker hired on Empire last night.
Back on topic, this is the best the women have been for some time, and Thea’s grown on me.
Mordechai: Except one. Lyla Michaels. The show basically forgets she exists for episodes on end, then mentions her when they need a jet.
Before I forget–Diggle had the line of the episode with “My friends call me Dig. You? How about you just don’t talk to me.” Hey, how about that closing scene? Diggle asks Ollie to be his best man, and then Ra’s asks Ollie to be his successor.
Which you just know is going to piss of Nyssa. This is an homage to the classic dynamic between Ra’s and The Batman. Thing is, I can’t figure out why he’d want Ollie. Our “hero” has shown himself to be someone with a real honor problem.
Corrina: I’m going to turn comic nerd for a minute and rage.
I didn’t see Ra’s asking Ollie to be his successor as a homage to the classic Batman stories by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. I see it as retrofitting an entire storyline on Ollie when it doesn’t belong anywhere near Olllie.
It’s wrong in so many ways that I would take an entire column to articulate why. But let’s concentrate on the lack of imagination. Create new villains. Create a new mythology for Ollie, much like was done for Season 1.
Don’t steal Batman tales. Nyssa Al Ghul has been a neat addition because she’s a little used character. But this stuff with Ollie and Ra’s is ridiculous.
And, as you point out, what the heck does Ra’s see in this Ollie anyway?
Mordechai: I didn’t say it was a good homage.
Will we continue to see a trend of characters calling Ollie on his BS? (Yes please!) Will Captain Lance ever call his daughter back after she lied to him for months? (I wouldn’t.) Will the Atom start cleaning the city up?
I’ll keep watching to see. For now.