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.

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