Secret trap door: Goon Reviews Community “Basic Sandwich”

I can't imagine why that would be offensive.

I can’t imagine why that would be offensive.

First and foremost, I am sorry I missed my reviews of the past couple of episodes, been a hectic time in the Goon household but things have calmed down and I’m back to tell you what you should have thought.

Recap of  the first half of the finale:
- The Save Greendale Committee has finished all their tasks to save Greendale, hooray!
- A city insurance inspector shows up to inspect Greendale.
- They pass!
- The school board decides to sell the school, to Subway.
- Abed tries to avoid the story, this was funny.
- Jeff and Britta decide to get married.
- Buried treasure must be found to save the school.

Everyone caught up?  Good.  Lets dive into the season finale.

The Save Greendale Committee has dug up some information on the founding of Greendale, it was originally created by one Russell Borchert, played by the amazing Chris Elliot, who disappeared after being accused of doing the dirty deed with a computer, but his fortune was never found and rumored to be locked away in his hidden office.  The group discovers there was stairwell where the the teachers lounge is and after hilarious scenes that are true to Community form, Abed discovers a trap door and Jeff and Britta reveal their plans to get married.  While Hickey, Shirley, and an electrocuted Duncan stay behind to throw Chang and the school board off the trail, Jeff, Britta, Abed, Annie, and the Dean descend into the bowels of Greendale to find the hidden treasure.  Annie has a bit of freak out over the Jeff/Britta thing, but Abed calms her down with an explanation of tv shows, spin offs, and crazy Abed stuff.  You know, the usual way.  The gang discovers Russell’s lab,and that Russell is still alive and trying to finish his computer (Roxanne).  They find the money needed to save the school, but its taken by Chang and the school board, leaving Jeff and co. locked inside the lab care of a fried computer that controls the door (and maybe the shower).  A strong emotional surge is needed to reboot the computer, and this comes from Jeff looking at Annie, once again teasing the fans with the pairing that may or may not ever happen.  With a legal document in hand that says Russell has a say in how the school is run, Subway backs off from the deal and the school is saved.  We close out with a party, Jeff and Britta calling off their wedding, and Abed saying that if we don’t get a season six its because an asteroid destroyed all human life (and that’s canon).

This episode was, in a word, amazing.  Community is all for doing new and unusual things, having episodes based on themes or genres, and closing out the season with an honest to god treasure hunt was an incredibly fun experience.  One of the most amusing parts was the Jeff and Britta marriage thing.  Us viewers, we know that Jeff and Britta are a train wreck waiting to happen and there is no way a long term relation could work out between them.  Their entire decision to get married comes from a basic fear of change, Greendale has become a central part of their lives and the prospect of losing that terrifies them, so they panic and think getting married is a good idea, that way they will always be in each other’s lives, have that one thing that they can grasp onto and won’t change.  It is hilarious to watch them fight against their nature and try to make this work, only in the end to gleefully abandon the idea and keep their relationship as is.

This led into the other big part of the episode, Annie and her reacting to the idea of a wedding.  For years now the writers have been teasing us with the Jeff/Annie thing.  Personally, I am neutral on the pairing but it does have a rather large fan following, in fact it was the fans that first spawned the pairing in the first place.  Jeff and Annie were originally supposed to have a brother/sister type relationship, which makes sense given the difference in their ages, and in early season one you can see aspects of that.  However, some fans liked the idea of them being together and jumped on board.  Dan Harmon, seeing how much fans loved the idea of them together, reworked things and since then he has been teasing the viewers with the idea that they might end up together.   We got a lot of that in this episode, Annie was clearly upset over the idea that Jeff and Britta would be getting married, anytime it was mentioned she would get a bit huffy, which led to some funny lines from her when they were locked in the lab.  The most significant part of course being when Jeff looks at Annie and gets the door to open.  This was pretty neat to see, Annie has always been a powerful force in Jeff’s life, often times going to her for advice or help, and regardless of my feelings on the pairing, it is always really nice to see the importance of that relationship to the characters.

Its hard to say much more about this episode.  There was a lot of great one liners and gags, which is true to form for Community since Harmon retook the reins. Some nice call backs to the show’s past i.e. Pierce’s death,Troy’s departure and Subway moving into Greendale. (eat fresh!) We were also treated to a fun theme for the episode that has yet to be used in the series, a great guest star, and some fantastic performances from the actors in all their roles.  It was a great close out to the season, and honestly, should the horrible happen and we not get a sixth season, a fairly decent end to the series.

Overall, this was great, plain and simple.  It had the proper balance of silly fun and emotional weight that the show does so well.  The show has recovered well after Troy’s departure, however I am hoping that he will be back for season six, and if what I have read online is true, there is a decent chance of us getting a sixth and final season, maybe even a movie.

But, until that happens, we must sadly clean out our lockers and say goodbye to our favorite community college, at least until next semester.  Until then, eat fresh.

Goon out.

Quite the explosive plan: Goon Reviews Arrow “The Man Under the Hood”

The Man Under the Hood

That’s gonna take forever to buff out

After a brief hiatus we rejoin the Emerald Archer in his mission to stop Slade from making an army of super powered criminals.

How do they do this, you ask?  Well its simple, they just blow up Queen Consolidated’s fancy technology division, care of a plan from Felicity.  Not one to be deterred by something as trivial as an explosion, Slade breaks into a S.T.A.R. Labs warehouse and swipes a fancy transfusion device to accomplish this goal.  This treats us to another reference to the upcoming Flash series thanks to two guest characters that Felicity has met through visiting Barry in the hospital.  We also get a reference to famous DC Villain Dr. Light, hopefully this is some foreshadowing and he’ll be showing up in the future.  Knowing that the stolen device takes a massive amount of power, Felicity sets to monitoring the city’s power grid.  While she is doing this, Oliver is trying to repair the damage from Isabel taking control of his company, and learning of her past affair with his dad, and trying to patch things up with Thea, who is still quite shaken from the reveal of Merlin being her father.  While this is going on, Officer Lance has been locked up for helping The Arrow, which leads us with a conflicted Laurel.  She is struggling with the new found information that Oliver is The Arrow, she tails after him and Sara when they go out to try and stop Slade, confirming what Slade has told her.  She goes to her father and tells him that she knows who the The Arrow is and will tell the authorities, leading to one of Lance’s best scenes to date.  He tells Laurel to keep the secret, knowing that the The Arrow is needed and that he keeps his identity secret to protect those close to him.  With her father’s words ringing in her mind, she keeps the secret and uses her juicy blackmail material to get her dad out of jail and back on the force.   When Felicity gets a ping on the machine, Oliver goes off to stop Slade, knowing that using the machine will leave Slade drained and weakened, giving him a chance to kill him.  The plan goes South when Oliver finds the missing Roy strapped into the machine.  With some help from Diggle, who guns down Isabel, Oliver disables the machine and gets out with Roy.  We are treated with the closing scene of Slade standing over Isabel’s body, blood coming from her eyes in the trade mark Mirakuru, as a crowd gathers around him.

There was a lot happening in this episode, and nothing was overly impressive in it.  While not bad in any way, nothing was great.  This was very much a filler episode, very little was done to advance the plot, instead we had some wrap up of some plot points, fleshing out of a back story, and set up for the future.  I would say the biggest thing in this episode was the reveal of Isabel’s backstory.  She was an intern at Queen Consolidated and had a fling with Oliver’s dad.  She makes the completely ridiculous claim that the two of them were “soul mates” and he was going to run off with her, only to blow her off at the last minute.  I am gonna admit, I was upset with this.  I was really like Isabel’s character, and Summer Glau was playing this villainous role  perfectly, but this all came crashing down when they revealed her entire motivated was that she was a jilted former lover of Oliver’s dad.  It was just a stupid.  They did so much to set up her as this conniving, deceitful, and intelligent woman who worked her way into the company and gained Oliver’s trust only to betray him.  I am all for the revenge angle, but they chose the worst possible way to go about doing it.  They pretty much ruined an otherwise amazing villain.

The other stand out part of this episode was Thea, who is always amazing.  She is still devastated over the news of her parentage and hates Oliver and Moira for keeping this from her.  What made her great was that she was willing to reach out to Oliver when he tried to talk to her, but when his hero life calls him away, she walks away feeling more betrayed than before, that her own brother doesn’t  have the time for her, even when he is the one asking to meet.  Add in her past crush on Tommy, and Roy dumping her, and you have a young woman who’s entire world has been shattered and is mildly disgusted with herself over her past actions.  Thea is continuing to be one of the best characters in this show, and the writers are handling her perfectly.  While I am enjoying seeing her in this more drama heavy frame of mind, giving us a chance to see just what Willa Holland is capable of, I am hoping we can get a resolution between her and her family soon, I loved her and Oliver’s relationship and hope to see them patch things up soon.

Apart from that, the only other thing that happened was our brief time back on the island, the only significant even is the revelation from Ivo that there is a way to reverse the effects of the Mirakuru, and his death.  Admittedly Ivo did stand out in his brief appearances here, Dylan Neal played the broken man very well and we got a brief glimpse into Ivo’s past, his statement that he was once a good man and husband really drove home just how dangerous and destructive an obsession can be.

Overall, this was a lackluster episode, but filler is needed from time to time to wrap up minor plots, introduce new ones, or progress main ones.  There is a lot of potential for a pretty epic close out to this season, and if takes a filler or two in order to set that up,  I can live with that.

Goon out.

Where was Blackbeard’s beard?: Goon Reviews OUaT “The Jolly Roger”

822x (2)

Seriously, Blackbeard didn’t have a beard! He had stubble! What the hell man!  Also, why are we introducing a real world historical figure into fairy tale world!?  Why! As people we have enough trouble separating fantasy from reality, do we really need to blur the lines further?  Come on ABC, get with the program.

In fairy tale land, we join our favorite pirate as he steals a chest of gold from some random guards, using a tactic that probably came out of Robin Hoods playbook.  Whatever the origin of the scam, it works.  Captain and a now de-ratted Mr. Smee (along with his crew of nameless extras who are in no way important) drink the night away at the bar.  The festivities are spoiled when none other than Ariel shows up, and holds a knife to this throat (must be some weird mermaid form of greeting) demanding that he return Prince Eric.  Turns out he was nabbed by the captain of the Jolly Roger, who is not Hook at the moment.  Hook discovers that it Blackbeard has stolen his ship and using it for his own piratey ways.  Determined to reclaim his ship, (which he has a rather unhealthy relationship with from the looks of it) Hook sets off with Ariel and Smee to reclaim it.  They find the ship, and Hook duels it out with Blackbeard, using his knowledge of the ship to beat Blackbeard.  Before he can deliver the final blow, Blackbeard claims that if Hook kills him, they will never find Eric.  Ariel pleads with Hook to spare the beardless Blackbeard, but Blackbeard throws some taunts at Hook, mostly centered on how he is no longer a real pirate and has gone soft.  With his piratehood in question, Hook has no choice but to make Blackbeard walk the plank, despite Ariel’s pleas for him to stop.  Even with the only person who knows where Eric is currently being devoured by piranha’s, Ariel is still determined to find her missing love and goes off in search of him.

This was a rather interesting story to watch unfold because we got to see how Hook’s development over the past seasons has changed him.  He is far less of the villain that he once was, his time with Emma, actually having a chance to play the hero for awhile, has had a much deeper impact on him that previously believed.   Hook is becoming a good man, and this terrifies him.  This was really nice to watch, my only problem was that we didn’t get much of this.  I can clearly understand just why these changes would scare Hook, but I would have liked to see more of this internal struggle as he tries to fight against this new found sense of good inside of him.  Would have made for a fantastic viewing.  Granted, we did get a bit of that in the Storybrooke parts, and I will touch on that a bit further down.  My one problem with this, and honestly its a big one, can be viewed in the rant above, Blackbeard.  The entire thing with the Enchanted Forest is that it is full of the fictional and fairy tale characters, that is there world, or at least one of them, so the fact that a real life person from history was made a character their rather annoys me.  I get that Blackbeard was a famous pirate, and in a Hook heavy episode introducing some rival pirate does make sense, it wouldn’t have been to hard to come up with a new one, some rival of Hook’s that they could tie into his backstory.  Honestly, putting Blackbeard here takes away some the magic from this show.  This was just a huge misstep for the writers, I can only imagine that the writers are just lazy, or they honestly think Blackbeard is a fictional character due to his vast amount of appearances in various media over the years.  Also, he was kind of a waste of a villain, wasn’t much of a threat to Hook, all he really did was throw some less than great insults at old One Hand and that was it.  Huge misstep, frikkin huge.

Back in Storybrooke we see a similar plot playing out with Hook.  Ariel has come to town, desperate to find Eric who has been missing since the curse.  Since Hook is the only with memories of the missing year Ariel goes to him for help.  He agrees, albeit reluctantly due to his guilt from the last time, and the two set off for Gold’s shop hoping to find something of Eric’s for use in a locator spell.  After a rather touching reunion between Ariel and Belle, Eric’s cloak is found and the spell is caste.  The duo chases after the enchanted garment and it leads them to the pier, where it promptly sinks into the ocean.  Belle is devastated, believing that Eric is dead.  With sad resignation she admits their story is over, thanks Hook for his help, and departs.  However, Hook becomes overcome with his guilt over his past meeting with Ariel and catches up to her, admitting everything that happened in the Enchanted Forest.  Ariel is enraged at this news, and rightly so, and starts screaming at the pirate.  Hook begs forgiveness for his past mistakes.  Ariel refuses to believe him, claiming that she can’t trust someone that has no belief in love, saying  she will only forgive him if he swears an oath on the name of the person he loves.  He does, swearing on his love for Emma, only to discover that (cue dramatic music here) Ariel was really Zelena in disguise the whole time! That’s right, our favorite Little Mermaid never returned to Storybrooke, she actually was able to find Eric and the two are living happy together in the Enchanted Forest.  Mean and green uses Hook’s oath to slap a curse on him, when he kisses Emma it will drain away her magic powers.  Hook refuses, saying that he will tell Emma what has happened, Zelena retorts with saying that if he does she will send Gold to kill her.  Showing a surprising amount of insight, Hook calls her bluff, realizing that she needs Emma’s powers and can’t just kill her outright.  So, in a bit of decent villainy, Zelena says she will kill Emma’s family if Hook doesn’t slap a cursed kiss on our blonde hero.  In a move that is not surprising at all, Hook doesn’t.  He tells Emma and the gang that he helped Ariel find Eric and the two are happy, Colin O’Donoghue actually playing this scene very well, his devastation over his current situation clearly evident.  He turns down an invitation to join the whole family for dinner, and our final shot is of him staring at Emma through his spy glass.

Like the Enchanted Forest story, this one was solid.  The two different stories blended  together well and gave us some new insight into Hook.  He is a villain that is trying to adjust to becoming a hero, and at times is actively fighting against it because it is so opposed to what he thinks his true nature is.  In the end, his growing sense of right and wrong and developing nobility won out, causing him to confess his crime and beg forgiveness from the victim of his past deeds.  This, combined with his actions to protect Emma, are showing some massive steps forward for his character.  I hope this is something we see play out more, Hook working in the shadows to protect Emma and her family from both the machinations (ooh, fancy word) of Zelena and the curse she slapped on him.  Of course I highly doubt this will happen, the writers don’t seem to be that smart, instead we’ll probably get a couple episodes of awkward moments between the pirate and the savior that culminate in Emma kissing him, losing her growing magic, and getting angry at Hook’s “betrayal” and lying.  But who knows, maybe I’ll be surprised.

To break up the Hook stories, we are treated to some filler in the form of Regina teaching Emma how to use her magic, and David and Snow trying to reconnect with Henry.  Both these stories were briefly used, and for the most part uninteresting.  Regina’s whole tactic of teaching Emma revolved around one thing, throw her off a bridge.  While this did work, it was definitely a wasted opportunity.  Regina and Emma’s magic comes from different places, Regina learned hers from Rumpelstiltskin and without it doubt, she dabbles in some pretty dark stuff, whereas Emma’s is the opposite side of coin, her magic coming from her being the product of True Love.  I feel we should have gotten more of time with this, see Emma struggle in her training to master her magic, which could have led to some solid bonding between Regina and Emma, which seems to be happening mostly off screen.  However, it is still pretty early in her training, and maybe we will get some more of that in the future.  Our other time filler was much less interesting.  David and Snow are upset that Henry isn’t really interested in spending time with them, so David does something insanely stupid, teaches Henry to drive on crowded city streets.  While I am all for on screen time between these three, this scenes weren’t anything overly great, or really entertaining at all.  They were basically filler, nothing more.

This was a really good episode and had some really great parts to it.  The opening scene of Emma and David struggling to put together a crib was worthy of some laughs, and its always nice to see some lightheartedness in the show.  The other great part was the ease of which Regina just walked into the apartment after beefing up the wards around place.  This really shows just how well the relationship is developing between these people.  Its obvious that Snow and David have moved on from Regina’s past sins and are starting to accept her, Regina even cracking a few jokes at their expense and joining them for dinner at the end.  While I would love to see some more on screen relationship development between the characters, its nice to know that its happening.

Overall this was a strong episode for the back half of the season, while there were some stumbles here and there, (Blackbeard and some boring filler) we got some great moments with Hook and it was nice to see Ariel again.  Emma finally learning to use her magic was great too, as that is long past due.  And we are seeing a bit more of Zelena’s plan unfold, she needs Emma’s magic for something, probably to power her time travel spell. (she is still a pretty crappy villain though)

Goon out.

Snooty and Goon: Oculus

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Whose career won't thrive at all?

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Whose career won’t thrive at all?

Snooty and Goon take a good, long, hard look at themselves and this tepid entry into the horror genre.

Click here to battle the forces of reflective evil everywhere!


Trailer Talk

A Haunted House 2 (Red Band Trailer)

Let’s Be Cops (Red Band Trailer)

The Purge: Anarchy

Deliver Us From Evil

Brick Mansions

How To Train Your Dragon 2

I don’t think a sleeping curse would be good for the baby: Goon Reviews OUaT “It’s Not Easy Being Green”

Looks like Zalena has seen Star Wars one to many times

Looks like Zalena has seen Star Wars one to many times

After weeks of waiting we are finally gifted with Zalena’s back story…Can we go back to the waiting for it?  At least then I could pretend that its something interesting.  That’s right, Zalena’s entire motivation as a character revolves around “waa waa mommy didn’t love me” as is the same with almost EVERY FREAKING VILLAIN in this show!

So, in our flashbacks this week, we open with a twister that drops baby Zalena in the middle of a forest, she is found by a couple, the wife immediately loving the cute little baby and wanting to take her own.  The husband is a bit more hesitant after seeing the baby use magic to stop a falling tree from crushing them.  Obviously the baby saving their lives means that she is evil, because obviously saving someone’s life makes you evil, everyone knows that.  We jump a few years down the road where Zalena’s dad is a total dick to her and tells her that she isn’t really his daughter.  She runs away to see the Wizard, played by the previously seen Christopher Gorham, who shows her her past and gives her a pair of silver slippers, allowing her to go the enchanted forest.  She meets up with our favorite imp and starts the home school, and evil, version of Hogwarts.  She later learns that Rumpel is still planning to let Regina cast his curse, she goes into a jealous rage, turns green, and goes back to Oz, confronting the Wizard, turning him into a flying monkey, and stating that she plans to go back in time and stop Regina from being born.

I will admit that in the back half of season three, the writers have done a good job of making the Enchanted Forest flashbacks more interesting, that was not the case here.   I am pretty sure that I was trapped in one continuous eye roll through this entire subplot.  Let’s break this down a bit shall we, really dig in to this story.  So starting with baby Zalena, her foster father automatically distrusts the baby because she saved his life, and his wife’s life.  Now if magic was seen as this horrible evil thing then maybe I could understand that, but they live in a land where there leader is a freaking wizard!  Obliviously magic is not something that is feared or hated here, so why does the dad automatically believe the child is evil?  It makes no sense.  Onto her motivation, she hates Regina because Cora didn’t abandon her.  That is stupid, plain and simple.  I can understand her being angry at Cora, she is the real villain of here, but what exactly did Regina do to earn Zalena’s hatred?  Apart from her live her life, completly in the dark about her sister because she was never told by her, previously established, evil bitch of a mother.  I wanted to like Zalena as a villain, I really did, but at this point I don’t think its possible.  Lets just have Emma but a bullet  through her head and bring in a new villain, maybe Ursala, she could be interesting.

In Storybrooke, we open with the town gathered together to mourn the death of Neal.  While Emma and the Charmings are working towards an idea of how to deal with Zalena, Hook offers to take Henry for the day and tell him a bit about his dad, thinking it will be good for the boy.  Emma agrees and we are treated to some brief, but honestly touching and well done scenes between the two.  Henry is obviously a bit confused at first about what is going on, but soon forms some sort of bond with Hook, and is happy to learn about his father.  While this is going on Zalena makes her appearance as the villain and calls out Regina in one of the most eye rollingly bad ways possible, “No, its the Wicked West!”  Seriously, someone fire that writer, do it now before he or she has the chance to make things even worse.  Regina goes off to find proof that what Zalena says is true, finds it, and has a rather nice moment with Robin Hood.  She goes to the showdown with her sister, and gets her ass handed to her, in the process she gets Zalena to reveal her hand, she is after Regina’s heart.  Luckily she had the foresight to leave it behind.  Regina starts putting the pieces together, David’s courage, her heart, they are both ingredients to something, probably a horrible something.  In the end Regina entrusts her heart to Robin, knowing that he will protect it.

While Zalena is shaping up to be a fairly horrible villain, Regina is quickly turning into a pretty damn good, and while I am hesitant to fully slap this label on her yet, hero.  I am hesitant because while Regina has made some big steps in the right direction, she is still showing some of that darkness inside, but it is out of lack of a better term, and my honest belief that by the season’s end she will be a full blown member of the heroes club, that I am willing to label her as such.  Seriously, ever scene with Regina this week was amazing to watch, none more so than her interactions with Robin and Tinkerbell, who I was ever so happy to see again. (seriously, anytime a former Power Ranger actor, especially Rose McIver, shows up I am thrilled)  While the writers are horribly failing at Zalena, they are doing wonders with Regina.  From what we saw this week it seems that she has finally ready to let go of her past and embrace her chance at being happy.  There was of course a few pitfalls along the way, and a falling out with Tinkerbell, but she got there in the end, and I can’t wait to see where they build up from here.

Our other heroes kind of took a back seat to Regina this week.  We saw Emma and the others working to try and stop Zalena before Regina had to go into danger, doing a solid job of showing that they do care for her and consider Regina one of their own, but these scenes were limited and really only acting to break up the Regina and Zalena bits.  The most interesting parts being their failed attempt to rescue Rumpel and Emma’s willingness to step up and face off against Zalena.  Noble of her, but ultimately futile.  While she is the Savior (something I really want to see them play up more) she is not in the same weight class as the Wicked Witch, at least not yet.  Emma has shown that she is no slouch in the power department, she just doesn’t have the training or know how to really use.  What I would love to see them doing is have Emma start to really learn to use her powers, that come from the true love of her parents, and team up with Regina, possibly bring in some sort of combination of light and dark magic needed to defeat the baddie in the end, could be an interesting  path for the show to take.

Overall this episode was a really hit or miss.  Pretty much everything focusing on Zalena was just a waste of time, but everything with Regina was pretty freaking amazing.  They are finally giving her character development that she should have gotten in season two.  I can only hope that they don’t mess it up, but given what we have seen of Zalena, and their general writing of villains as a whole, those hopes aren’t getting to high.

Goon out.

Snooty and Goon: Captain America 2

Maybe taking fashion advice from James Franco's Green Goblin wasn't the best idea.

Maybe taking fashion advice from James Franco’s Green Goblin wasn’t the best idea.

Snooty and Goon reenlist for Cap’s sophomore movie. How well does he weather the Winter Solider? We have the answers!

Click here to join the fight against global tyranny…or, at least, the fight to not download this week’s episode.


Trailer Talk

Lucy

Blended

Maleficent

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Guardians of the Galaxy

Congratulations, we’re not dead: Goon Reviews Arrow “Deathstroke”

Deathstroke

So, this episode certainly ramped the drama up to 11!  Holy crap, I am still shaking from the awesomeness!

Lets get right into this, on the island Sara is still desperate to rescue Oliver from Slade, but things start going awry when objections are raised to handing Hendrik over to die.  Sara doesn’t care, her only desire is to rescue Oliver, but she is being smart about it.  With help from Anatoly they harvest the explosives from land mines around the island and rig up a bomb to Hendrik that will take out Slade as well.  Of course this doesn’t work, Slade revealing that among his various super powers is enhanced senses.  He is able to smell TNT and disarm the bomb.  We then see just how crazy he has gotten since getting the wonder drug, an image of Shado appears, telling him to leave Oliver and the others on the island as their punishment.

Like usual, the island scenes act as a lot of build up and as a break in the action from the Starling City scenes.  They were interesting  to watch and it did a good job of showing just how far off the deep end Slade currently is and some solid character moments for Sara.  Apart from that, not much else to mention here.

Now, on to the good stuff.  Last week we closed out with Slade pickup up Thea while she is walking home.  We pick up right where we left off, Slade play’s the nice guy at first, but quickly drops the act and kidnaps Thea, with the help of Brother Blood.   A ransom video is made and Oliver scrambles into action, assembling his team and launching a mission to save his sister.  He drug Slade, courtesy of a handy tranq that Sara whips up, and hand him off Officer Lance.  Slade gets off, showing proof he was out of the country, Lance ends up in hot water, and Slade puts on the act of the concerned citizen.  At the same time Oliver’s business is in crisis so he hands off temporary control to Isabel so that he can focus on saving Thea.  This turns out to be a mistake as she uses the opportunity to take control the business, and when Oliver confronts her, we discover that she is working with Slade (this Goon is theorizing that she is actually Slade’s daughter, Rose) and reveals where he is hiding.  To make matters worse, we begin to see dissension in the ranks, Roy is upset and is blaming everything on Oliver.  Felicity, Diggle, and Sara try to talk him down but fail to do so.  He storms off with a parting shot at Oliver about how he used to believe him, leaving our favorite green glad hero shaken to his core.  After storming Slade’s base, giving us another solid action scene, Oliver discovers that Thea is not there.  He gets a call from Felicity, saying that Thea is safe and just walked into the police station.  Oliver and Moira go to her immediately, only for Thea to turn on them, Slade having revealed to her the truth that Malcolm Merlin is her father and that Oliver and Moira have kept the truth from her.   Everything that happened leaves Oliver in a state of depression, blaming himself for what has happened and not having any idea what do.  In true friend and teammate fashion, Diggle and Felicity step up.  With their help and support, Oliver has shored up his resolve and is ready to take the fight to Slade.  The final shot shows Slade paying a visit to Laurel revealing to her that Oliver is the Arrow, fading to black on Laurel’s shocked face.

As I stated above, this episode took the building tension of the season and ramped it up even higher.  We see just how dangerous of a villain that Slade is, not only is he strong, crazy, and dedicated to destroying Oliver, he is smart.  He planted Isabel in Oliver’s company to gain his trust, allowing her to gain control of his company.  This was done so that they could use it to mass produce more super drug from Slade’s blood, his plan is to build an army and take the city.  Add in his reveals to Thea and Laurel, and we see Slade being set up as an amazing villain.  He is attacking Oliver on multiple fronts and is able to keep several steps ahead oh him.  We still don’t know the full details of his end game, but I can’t wait to see how his plot plays out.

This week we also see the ever so welcome return of Summer Glau as Isabel, and boy was it great to see her back.  Now I have never trusted her character, I called it awhile back that she was in cahoots with Oliver, but seeing that finally revealed was a joy to watch.  Glau played the villain perfectly, even getting a brief fight scene in against Oliver.  I can’t help but feel that we’re gonna see her squaring off against Sara in the not to distant future, the Cat Fight seems like a card that Arrow would be more than happy to play.

Seeing everything come to head with Roy was also great.  In his time working with Oliver we have seen him getting annoyed and impatient with Oliver’s teaching methods, all the while struggling to keep his anger and strength in check.  With his recent separation from Thea, the one thing that helps him to keep level headed, he is quick to anger and is more than happy to turn that anger on Oliver, seeing him as the reason that Thea is in trouble.  Roy’s anger and accusations against Oliver further serve to upset the hero, Oliver quickly believing that its his fault.  Roy’s break from the team is an interesting twist and I look forward to seeing how that plays out.  I do believe I remember reading that he is slated to become Arsenal before to long, so that will be most interesting to see.

I’m gonna say it, the stand out character this week was Felicity, hands down.   She had some great one liners, such has her reference to Barry and what happened to him she told him about Oliver.  Her best moment came later though, when everyone was telling Oliver to stand down, to not play Slade’s game, she is the one that told him to end it.  To ignore everything else and confront Slade to protect his family and friends.  I don’t have the words to describe how much I loved Felicity here, Emily Rickards sold the scene perfectly.  Add in her final scene where she and Diggle offer Oliver their support, and I can’t see how anyone could deny just how amazing she was.  Honestly I am still strongly pulling for a Oliver/Felicity pairing, I really want that to happen.  But until then, guess we will have to settle with her just being awesome.

As far as the other characters go, not much else stood out.  Diggle and Sara were solid in their support roles, as they usually are, but didn’t do much to really stand out.  Same goes for Brother Blood on the villains side, he started off as a pretty impressive villain but over time he has just become annoying, now he is more of a whiner that can’t do anything without Slade and less of an actual villain.

Overall, this was a really solid episode, not the best as of late though.  Last weeks “Birds of Prey” and the previous weeks “Suicide Squad” were definitely better, but this week delivered on solid action scenes, great character moments, and solid set up for the future, which is important since we are coming up on the end game.  They could have done more to make the island scenes a bit more interesting, but I’m not holding that against the show as the island scenes stay pretty true to form week after week.

Goon out