Alright, lot happening with our favorite Emerald Archer, so lets jump right in.
For the sake of simplicity, we’re gonna kick off this week with our island flashbacks. Island time this week was pretty limited, not a whole lot happened. I would say that the most prominent parts of this was the discussion between Oliver and Slade over Oliver’s “attachments” and his growing relationship with Shado. Slade clearly does not approve of the developing relationship, to him it is an obvious weakness that can be exploited, as we saw in previous episodes where Oliver goes crazy and bashes a guy’s skull in. Oliver of course argues this, and after saving Slade from an untimely fall basically throws his words back into his face. All this leads up to the discovery of the boat and the bombardment on their plane home. I will honestly admit that I think the scene of Oliver running through the explosions, his sole purpose to save Shado, Slade running after him to stop him, was fantastic to watch. The Slade getting caught in a blast and the shot of him burning while Oliver is thrown for loop, laying dazed on the ground, had me on edge. I think we’re finally seeing Slade starting down the road to becoming Deathstroke. The flashbacks wrap up with Oliver waking up in a cage on the boat, surrounded by other cages with prisoners. Who are these new villains? What do they want on the island? Where are Slade and Shado? Why am I asking questions that currently have no answer? No one knows!
Jumping back to the present, we pick up with Oliver surrounded by cops, having had a trap sprung on him by Laurel, and being saved by the mysterious, ever so badass, and as of yet not officially named, Black Canary. So lets talk about her for a moment. What do we know about her? She is blonde, has thing for black leather, (which is a very flattering look on her) and seems to be targeting perpetrators of misogynistic crimes. This is an interesting choice for the character, combine that with her willingness to kill and I am thinking that we will see some interesting confrontations between her and Oliver down the line. And of course, lets not forget her ties to Ra’s al Ghul and his League of Shadows that are adding more mystery into the mix. Overall, we have quite an enigma wrapped up in that aforementioned flattering black leather. I look forward to seeing how she will develop over the coming episodes. Final note on her, I thought they chose a clever way of bringing her Canary Cry into Arrow via the use of a device that emits the sonic blast, smart way of letting her keep her iconic power without actually introducing super powers into the show.
What was best about this week’s episode was the team up between Officer Lance and The Arrow to bring down a serial killer that Lance had put away in the past. This was great because we got to see some major character development for Lance. Throughout season one he had his firmly held belief that you should not go outside the law to seek justice, and this led to him being almost blinded to the good that Oliver was doing as a vigilante. But now, after everything that has happened with the Glades and the police department, we are seeing Lance realize that the law has it’s shortcomings, and that sometimes to catch the bad guy and save the innocents you have no choice but to work outside the law. There was great moments between the two as Lance, while accepting that the Arrow (a new name he gave to Oliver’s vigilante identity) was needed, they butt heads over methods. Shown most prominently in their confrontation with the lawyer. Oliver has no problem putting an arrow into the guy’s shoulder, Lance isn’t happy with this. He still sees it as wrong despite the fact that it was needed and again later when Felicity is playing bait to try and catch Mathis. Throughout the episode we saw Lance dealing with the evolution of his own beliefs and the realization that just maybe he has been wrong.
We also were treated to some touching scenes between Lance and Laurel. As I stated before, we are seeing in this season a trade between the two. Laurel now being out for the Arrow’s head and Lance defending him because he realizes that he the city needs the Arrow. This comes to a close at the end when, after being saved by the Arrow, Laurel realizes that she was just transferring her own guilty feelings over Tommy’s death to the Arrow, realizing that is wasn’t his fault and instead blaming herself. I’m glad they decided not to drag out for too long Laurel’s personal crusade against the Arrow, but I think they wrapped it up a bit too quick. This realization she came to would have been better if it had been built up over a couple episodes, her seeing that he was doing good, and the change to his methods, could have led to her questioning her motives behind her desire to catch him, and the eventual realization of why she hated him. The way that they handled it wasn’t bad, but more of a wasted chance for story telling and character development.
Interesting to note, the villain for this week, Barton Mathis, is a villain from the comics and the third man to have the title Dollmaker. Funny enough, none of them in the comics have actually been villains of Green Arrow as far as know. Barton Mathis first appeared in the New 52 as a Batman villain.
Outside of hunting the baddie, we had some the further development of Moira’s trial and time in prison. These scenes were short and were basically just setting up for future plot points. The biggest things to note here is that possibility of Moira receiving the death sentence and her acceptance of whatever will happen. I did really like this. Moira is well aware that she has done something that is horrible and unforgivable, and while its pretty obvious she doesn’t exactly want to die, she seems willing to accept whatever fate is handed down to her. That, and she is still keeping secrets from her family, if I had to venture a guess I would say that it is her knowledge of the sabotage of The Queen’s Gambit, because she doesn’t want to lose them now that they are all back together.
Our other subplot of the episode ties back into Black Canary, we see Roy tasked with the job of trying to track her down. Which doesn’t do much apart from introduce the character of Cindy, aka Sin, and her unknown ties to Black Canary. Apart from showcasing Roy’s new role as an informant for Oliver, and a fairly average chase scene, this didn’t to much apart from being a tie into the whole “who is this mysterious new ass kicker” subplot.
Overall, this wasn’t the greatest episode of the series but it was far from bad. There was a lot happening which seemed to mainly be there to seed future story lines but what we got from the main characters and villain of the week was solid and a lot of fun to watch.