Arrow probably suffers a bit more from the Daredevil binge than Flash for obvious reasons, they’re far more closely related than the latter, though at the very least it isn’t in Gotham’s situation which resembles the Daredevil dynamics far more closely. Broken Arrow comes hot off the heels of Roy Harper revealing that he is in fact the Arrow and essentially relieving Oliver of suspicion from everyone but Detective Lance. It resembles what we saw in Flash in that, within the greater story we’re far more interested in, we’re treated to a villain of the week, this time a meta (or is it?).
It was pretty clear Diggle and Felicity (and Roy by extension) had a plan to get Roy out of his sticky situation but they weren’t willing to let Oliver in on it, I suppose because they felt he wouldn’t agree to it. I’m certain that every time I review Arrow I talk about how Oliver often finds himself the one taking lessons from the crew instead of vice versa, this is another one of those episodes and it disappointed me more so than any other. Diggle and Felicity never had the courtesy to even tell Oliver that they had a plan, they just told him it was out of his hands and Oliver accepted it. No one really considered what if he would’ve gotten shanked in that first sequence? Now I will admit, for a second there they had me but there was still a commercial to go and CW have a penchant for dramatic sequences, and there wasn’t much of that invested here to get us to believe he was actually dead.
[Editor’s Note: Just discovered Colton Haynes actually left the show, immensely disappointed and I definitely would’ve preferred them casting someone who would’ve remained more permanently. His contract was apparently just up till the end of Season 3. Obviously the door’s open for him to come back but eh, why not cast someone who would’ve been more committed to the series? Having watched Teen Wolf and being disappointed in him leaving there, this may be one show too many for me. Well hope there are bigger and brighter days for him.]
Ultimately it did pay off for Team Arrow, Diggle had a contact who specializes in non-lethal yet lethal-looking stabbings and they made it look like Roy’s dead. Is the fact that in this plan Roy would have to have gotten stabbed what would have pushed Oliver against going through with it? Because otherwise, I can’t fathom why they wouldn’t have gotten ahead and told him. Evidently, besides that nitpicking there was a fun story being told here. Lance continued his crusade against Team Arrow by not only raiding the club’s basement but also Thea’s place. He failed in getting Thea or Roy to get Oliver back in handcuffs and now he’s got his peers (or superiors) questioning his motives in his continuing investigation in Oliver Queen.
The other storyline running through here was the meta whom absorbed various sources of energy. Honestly, his powers weren’t all that clear to me, though what was clear was that through absorbing that energy, he received some physical enhancements which allowed him to go toe to toe not only with an Atom-suit equipped Ray Palmer but also Oliver’s suit manipulating – I guess they didn’t want Oliver just wearing the suit and going out himself -. Felicity put on her best damsel in distress act and went right into the lion’s den until Ray Palmer came to the rescue which gave us our first real taste of vigilante Ray. Again, I’d love to highlight the contrast in Arrow vs. Police compared to the Flash w/ Police dynamic between the two shows.
There were two characters we barely spotted in this episode, one of them being Laurel who’s only purpose was to get Oliver out of handcuffs, and the other being Malcolm Merlyn who encouraged Oliver to take the Ra’s mantel before people close to him started getting hurt, it goes without saying, this provided some obvious foreshadowing which brings us to the end of the episode and THAT big moment. Ra’s Al Ghul decided to target Thea and – okay, before we get into this, why in the blue hell is Malcolm Merlyn not looking over Thea, you would think after he sent the warning, he’d be there to protect her, nope, not at all – they got into a pretty awesome fight sequence. We don’t often get to see Thea in action but her going bad ass against Ra’s even if we all knew it was a one-sided fight, still provided for a worthwhile scenario. Ultimately, she got the same ending as Oliver, and oddly enough, mama Queen, a blade through the chest.
It had me for a holy fuck moment till you sort of put the pieces to the puzzles. More than likely, Ra’s isn’t using this as a threat but more so a bargaining chip, Thea gets a dip in his magical reviving pool if he accepts to take the mantel of Ra’s. The obvious solution here is the one you’d see in a HISHE video, Oliver accepts, Thea gets revived, and they reneg on the agreement, we know they won’t do this because, logic, so it is what it is. I mean, I shouldn’t complain much, at least we’ll get to see Oliver do some temporary time as Ra’s. Though on another front, wouldn’t it have simply been great if Ra’s was so sufficiently impressed with Thea’s bravery and skills that he chose to have her be the heir instead? That would’ve been some real left field stuff there.
As per usual, things are ramping up in the world of both Arrow and now Flash and we’re well on our way to the big season finale, here’s to hopefully getting a big Oliver/Ra’s fight sequence. Oh and a special appreciation for Ray bringing the fun banter throughout the episode, he’s often a shining point for this show, it’ll be sad to see him leave.
Flashbacks also happened this episode. Yup. I’m sorry but they’ve dragged on so long it’s become a complete afterthought maybe Arrow needs to move on from their flashback/current day interchange, it worked for a while but it just gets lost in the shuffle now.
Oh and if you’ve seen the preview, I’ve got more to say…
Goddamn it Felicity, you’ve got the perfect man in Ray, just let Oliver go. That is all. I feel like a fanboy now. Damn it.