Category Archives: Arrow

Arrow – Muse of Fire

After a week without Arrow, it was great having the show back, though the previews and sneak peaks and rumors did build “Muse of Fire” up a little too much in my mind. I loved the episode, though, and it included some great reveals and character moments, as well as awesome fighting scenes. Plus this week, apart from the intro, there were no flashbacks to the island (if memory serves me right, this is the first episode without them).

Spoilers ahead!

That omission gave the episode extra time to introduce a new character and love interest for Arrow. The Huntress was announced early this fall, and finding out her backstory (mob boss’s daughter trying to take down the organization) nullified any surprise reveals. I did like that she was the one informing on her dad to the FBI, not her fiance, who the dad had killed for the crime – at least she tried to take down her dad through proper channels before resorting to being a vigilante.

Her current methods leave something to be desired, especially since her aim isn’t that great. Shooting a guy in broad daylight and almost killing Oliver’s mom? Not good. I’m surprised Oliver seemed to forget all about that once he realized the shooter was Helena (I wonder how long it will take before I don’t think of H.G. Wells from Warehouse 13 every time I hear her name?), but I can see how he’d want someone to be himself with. Yeah, he has Diggle, but most of the time Dig disapproves of every move Oliver makes (I keep wanting to call him “Judge-y,” like Damon does Bonnie in The Vampire Diaries). Helena seems to lead too far in the other direction, but maybe she’ll wake Oliver up to his own moral values – if she doesn’t pull him down along with her.

I really enjoyed Tommy’s story this episode. Arriving at the same time as the pizza guy was great. I also liked him telling Oliver about going on a date with Laurel (and thankfully they didn’t do that cliche both-couples-end-up-at-same-restaurant thing) and Oliver’s response: “If you hurt her, I will snap your neck.” Pause. “Just kidding.” And Tommy saying he wished he could start over again with Laurel was sweet. I like the two of them together. I’m guessing Oliver and Laurel will eventually end up together, but I imagine that’s many seasons down the road.

And then there was the big reveal of the episode: John Barrowman’s mysteriously evil guy is none other than – Tommy’s father! I did not see that coming, though I did recognize his voice before he took his fencing mask off. No wonder he had no qualms about coming right into the Queen house and letting Thea see him – their families have been friends for decades. Now I can only hope that the senior Merlyn is enough of a bad guy to be the comic book villain, while Tommy can be more of a redeemable character.

Thea is still being a very uneven character. I loved her telling Oliver about his lunch plans and him teasing her for being like their mother. But her anger at him for leaving Moira after the shooting to chase down the shooter felt forced. Yeah, it’s not what Thea would have done, but she should have understood her brother’s need to catch the person who did it. It did lead to a nice mother-daughter talk, and Thea apologized to Oliver later. I just wish Thea would settle on a role toward Oliver, staunch supporter or disappointed sister. Maybe the writers are figuring that the drugs and alcohol have given her violent mood swings?

This episode also showed Moira in a better light – more soft and vulnerable. Mr. Merlyn coming into her room like that when she was hurt was creepy. I’m so glad Walter’s back, though. And does that mean we’ll see more Felicity? I hope so.

We did get one unexpected visit from a reoccurring character this week – China White! Sounds like a war is brewing between the mob and the Triads. And Laurel’s dad visited Oliver to begrudgingly warn him about Helena – though if I were him, I’d still be a little suspicious about Oliver being at the same place where Arrow fought not much later. I felt bad for the restaurant owners – they seemed like a sweet couple – and I was glad both Arrow and the Huntress showed up to defend them (though of course, they got a little too preoccupied with fighting each other instead).

And Tahmoh Penikett was on this episode! Though he really needs to find a gig where he isn’t the villain, getting killed off within an episode or two. He was awesome as Paul Ballard on Dollhouse.

Oh, and bonus points? This episode exactly matched the 18-49 ratings from the premiere! I love that the viewership for this show is so solid – hopefully it will be around for many seasons!

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Arrow – Legacies

Maybe it was just the fact that the video kept stuttering as I tried to watch this episode, but “Legacies” didn’t pull me into the world of Arrow as easily as the other episodes did.

Our time on the island was pretty limited this week, and almost all of it was a hallucination/dream Oliver had of his father while trapped in the cave. I wish we could have seen more of Mr. Queen before the shipwreck, to see the father/son connection that is driving Oliver so strongly to fulfill his father’s dying wish. The one real thing we got from the flashback was Oliver figuring out that the blank book wasn’t really blank.

This week, it was Diggle who picked the bad guys to take down – the bank-robbing Royal Flush Gang, who just shot a cop during their latest heist. Oliver was a bit reluctant to deveate from his father’s list, but once he found out (with Felicity’s help – I can’t wait until she becomes a full-fledged member of Oliver’s inner circle) that his father’s decision to close a plant caused the family of four to turn to crime, he was determined to make things right. I recognized the father/leader (Currie Graham) from his guest appearances on NCIS: Los Angeles, Grimm, and Castle, but the hotheaded son (Kyle Schmid) was even more familiar, having played Henry on the North American Being Human; he also stars in Copper.

I enjoyed the steps that Oliver took to reconnect with his mother, even though they were a bit cliche – always being pulled away at the worst time, and rich folks slumming it at a burger joint. I did love Oliver and Thea’s reaction to the visit of the “perfect kid” from their growing up years – and it was cool to see Alphas’ Warren Christie again.

We finally got to see more Tommy in this episode, and two things were tackled head-on: he’s going to do his best to be worthy of Laurel, and Thea has a huge crush on him, while he only views her as a kid sister. Though I really like Tommy and Thea together, I can’t help feeling she needs someone a bit more steady to help tame her wild ways, like Diggle. I do love how all of the characters seem to come to Thea for relationship advice.

In all, I’m enjoying how the show is settling in, and I look forward to Oliver’s progression from vigilante to hero.

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Arrow – An Innocent Man

Wow. With this week’s episode, I was shocked once again by how fast things are progressing on Arrow. I love that the writers are letting this show’s characters be intelligent, and are using that to drive the plot. A procedural drama this is not.

Spoilers below!

I’ll admit that a few moments of this episode made me wince. The opening had both an extended intro and previously on section that felt way too long (though that is a good way for anyone who hadn’t seen the first three episodes to get caught up – I just hope they don’t feel the need to do that every episode). A few too-grandiose statements are made by both Oliver and Laurel that don’t fit the scenes or the characters. Laurel seems to buy Arrow as a good guy way too fast (and then change her mind just as suddenly).

During the scene where Arrow drops off the info about the supervisor lying, and Laurel is making another cringe-worthy statement, I checked to see how much time I had left – and realized the episode was only halfway through. And therein lies this show’s brilliance. They were making me think the whole point of the episode was to get Laurel to appreciate Arrow, when that was only the setup for the real meat of the episode – how killing changes you, and changes others’ perception of you.

I loved that Laurel got some scenes with Oliver-as-Arrow in “An Innocent Man.” I was ready for her to recognize him at any moment, though I knew it wasn’t likely for another character to find out who he was so soon after the reveal to Diggle. Even so, when her eyes widened in shock after stopping him from killing the man who had attacked her, I thought for sure she realized it was Oliver. Instead, she’d only seen the coldness in his eyes, ruining whatever good opinion of him she’d previously had.

The main plot of this episode was a little tenuous, but took some cool turns. Oliver seemed to believe Peter Declan’s innocence a little too quickly. Not every person working for a corporation with an evil CEO who dies under suspicious circumstances was killed by order of the evil CEO (no matter how often it happens on TV shows). But with the time crunch, maybe Oliver just went with his gut.

I truly thought the judge would stay the execution after the new evidence showed up, but perhaps it was too peripheral, or the evil CEO bribed the judge. Staging a prison riot was an interesting way of getting rid an annoying lawyer. A guard uniform and a ski mask were almost laughable with the bow and arrows, but at least Oliver didn’t have to keep turning his head to keep Laurel from seeing his face.

In addition to the main plot of saving Peter’s life (and later Laurel’s too), there were tons of other things going on in this episode. Thea was actually likable after being such a brat last episode (seems switch back and forth in every episode with her). I love her directness with her brother, the fact that he took her advice, and her glee over him actually smiling. Plus, her saying, “I got mad relationship skills, bro” was just about perfect. She’s shaping up to be this show’s Claudia (Warehouse 13).

Mama Queen is still being evil, meeting with one of her cohorts, who is played by John Barrowman (I haven’t seen Torchwood, but fans seemed pretty excited about this, so I figured I’d mention it!). He’s figured out that Arrow is taking down everyone on the list. Meanwhile, Walter is suspicious of missing millions in an account and Moira’s explanation for it, so he asks Felicity to look into it (she hilariously believes she’s getting fired) and that leads him to a warehouse hiding the destroyed yacht.

Diggle reacts to Oliver’s reveal of himself as Arrow by attacking the man who just saved his life. Oliver tries to explain what he’s doing, but Dig calls him a criminal and a murderer (and in the next scene, Laurel yells at him too. Not Oliver’s best day). He resigns as Oliver’s bodyguard, but Oliver shows up at his sister-in-law’s restaurant to share a few more details: the list his father gave him, the fact that his father shot himself to keep Oliver alive, and that he just took out his brother’s murderer. (Bonus: the replacement bodyguard is humorously inept.) Dig decides to join Oliver on his mission, but not as a sidekick, more of a moral compass and support (perhaps the Tuck to Ollie’s Robin Hood?).

Quentin Lance didn’t get many scenes in this episode, but they’re doozies. He gives Laurel some details about the case, and when one of those details is used by Arrow for the first attempt at delaying the execution, he confronts Laurel about helping a criminal. After Laurel gets out of the prison, she shares with her dad the lack of remorse she saw in Arrow’s eyes, and how it confirmed what her dad had been trying to tell her: the hooded vigilante isn’t a do-gooder, but a stone cold killer. Oliver’s face as he heard the conversation from a nearby roof almost made me cry.

Laurel mentions the new getup Arrow was sporting, and that gives Quentin an idea. He combs through the footage of last episode’s shooting, looking not just for Arrow, but anything out of the ordinary – and spots Oliver Queen running up stairs and grabbing stuff out of a trash can. Just as Dig joins Oliver’s cause, the police arrive and arrest the castaway on suspicion of being Arrow.

That ending completely blew me away. I have no idea how Oliver’s going to get out of this mess, but it’s brilliant that the show plans to deal with Oliver and Arrow showing up at the same time right away. It lets the police seem smart, but Oliver gets to show that he’s even smarter. Plus the previews for next week look amazing!

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Arrow – Lone Gunmen

I’ll admit, I braced myself a bit for this episode. Arrow couldn’t keep being this awesome three weeks a row, right? Wrong. This episode was just as good as the first two, and maybe even a little better. One distinctive way the show is improving: the voiceover didn’t annoy me. Not once.

Spoilers below!

In addition to our villain of the week, Deadshot, we get a new reoccurring character, Felicity Smoak (pictured above), played by Emily Bett Rickards. She’s an IT whiz whom IMDb says will be in at least 4 more episodes this year. Smart, funny, and a compulsive babbler? I approve.

Deadshot is a methodical sniper who poisons his bullets and tattoos the names of his victims onto his body. We get a glimpse of the name “Andrew Diggle” on his body and find out later in the episode that Dig’s brother is dead. Doubt that’s a coincidence. Also, that makes him less likely to be a one-episode villain, so did Oliver’s arrow actually kill him? We saw it go through his monocle-like scope, but could that have slowed the arrow down enough so it only would destroy his eye, not kill him?

Okay, Thea spilling the beans about Tommy and Laurel to get back at Oliver was not cool. And she didn’t even apologize later (was she so wasted she didn’t remember?)! And right after that sucker punch, Oliver comes across the club owner (who hates him) and gets actually punched. I love that Tommy stood up to the bouncers in defense of Oliver even though he knew he didn’t stand a chance. And Laurel coming to their rescue with her “self-defense class” moves (yeah, right) was priceless. I also liked how she knew Oliver well enough to figure out he already knew about her and Tommy. Much as I like Oliver and Laurel together, in this episode I preferred the Laurel/Tommy pairing.

We get some more island flashbacks in this episode, where the hooded man who shot Oliver cares for him and insists he only shot him to save him. Oliver isn’t buying that, of course, and runs when he gets the opportunity, only to be caught in a trap. The hooded man cuts him down, and later we see heavily-armed men checking out the trap. So far, aside from Oliver’s rescue off the island, the flashback clips seem to be relatively chronological – I’m wondering if that will continue.

I think Oliver’s idea to build a club over his lair is the perfect cover – but he’d better make it really hard to get into the basement. Because anyone who sees blueprints for the building is going to know there is a basement down there. I also loved that Quentin Lance actually took Arrow’s advice about Deadshot’s planned attack. Yes, it made sense that other auction bidders would be targeted, but hopefully it’s a step in the right direction toward a begrudging partnership between the detective and the vigilante.

And wow, the ending! Dig runs after Oliver (after seeing his mom and little sister to safety as requested), only to get hit by a stray bullet as the archer and hit man fight. Arrow takes him back to his lair to get the herbs that he’d already used as an antidote when he’d been the one struck by a poisoned bullet early in the episode. When Diggle wakes up, Oliver is standing there in full Arrow gear, sans hood. He greets his bodyguard with a simple, “Hey,” and the episode ends.

While it’s surprising that Oliver revealed his vigilante alter-ego so early in the show, I think it’s more of a testament to Dig’s skills and keen eye. Oliver wasn’t going to be able to keep his secret for much longer with how well Dig did his job. So rather than make Dig seem unintelligent, the writers have set things up for him to be a valuable ally.

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Arrow – Honor Thy Father

Okay, this is the Arrow I’ve been waiting for! This second episode was awesome, and I enjoyed it even more than the pilot (which had gotten spoiled a bit, but still). Cool action scenes, great character moments, nonstop tension, and season-building intrigue!

Spoilers below!

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Arrow – Pilot

This isn’t going to be a full review – just some initial impressions and comments on one of the most anticipated premieres of the fall season – Arrow!

For starters, if the numbers hold, this is going to be the CW’s most watched airing of any show, on any night, in nearly three years, best rated telecast of any CW show in 2 years, and most watched premiere since The Vampire Diaries in 2009. It even gave Supernatural a ratings boost for its second episode (ratings tend to go down after a series/season premiere, with Arrow as a lead-in, Supernatural actually went up two tenths!). Update: the numbers did hold – 1.3 18-49 rating, 4.14 million viewers.

My expectations were high for this show. I enjoyed the pilot, but I wasn’t blown away. It’s partly because so much of the plot had been revealed in promos and sneak peeks. I’d seen most of the kidnapping scene (though I thought it was pretty neat that they’d hidden the fact that his friend Tommy, played by Colin Donnell, had been taken with him), and heard rumors about who was behind it. Similarly, Oliver Queen’s skills as Arrow and the plan to take down a corrupt businessman had been fully revealed by previews for the show.

I wasn’t expecting Tommy to be dating Oliver’s ex-girlfriend, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) – but I felt like I should have seen that coming. I wasn’t expecting Oliver’s father to sacrifice himself for his son in such a violent way. I wasn’t expecting Tommy to figure out things so quickly.

I liked the dynamic between Oliver and his new “bodyguard,” John Diggle (David Ramsey). One of my favorite scenes of the pilot was Oliver jumping out of the moving car and Dig being flummoxed at where he went. Oliver’s sister Thea (Willa Holland) being into drugs seemed a little cliché, but I think the show can do interesting things with it, especially with Oliver having to keep up his playboy persona – he can’t set a good example for little sis even though he wants to. I wish Quentin Lance (Laurel’s father and a police detective) got a little more screen time – Paul Blackthorne seems to fit the role very well.

In some comments on other sites, I’ve read some complaints that there isn’t much chemistry between Oliver and Laurel, but after seeing joint interviews with Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy, I think that will be quickly remedied in future episodes.

Out of the drama pilots I’ve seen this fall, I rank Arrow third – not quite as good as Elementary, but far better than Revolution.

Did you watch Arrow? What do you think of it?

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