Arrow: Burned

Laurel: "Our feelings, our fears, they control us. It's not the other way around."

I'm not entirely disappointed in this episode. Even though it was such a by the numbers plot, I think it was a necessary one.

Firefly's vengeance literally consumed him, and served as a rather blatant message to Oliver that there is a fine line that cannot be crossed. I could see glimmers of realization on Oliver's face several times through the episode, and I could almost see him recognizing that he has the opportunity to play an important and positive role in the city beyond his limited quest for vengeance. He isn't there quite yet, however his actions spoke to some real changes for the character. From taking on a case that was totally irrelevant to his personal goals, to his genuine attempt to save Garfield from his own vengeance. Baby steps for sure, but definitely in the right direction. Maybe soon Arrow will be a real superhero instead of just an ostentatiously dressed vigilante.

Firefly is yet another second string DC villain, this one belonging to Batman's Rogues Gallery. He was introduced in 1952 and has been through several incarnations. The original version of the character was a man named Garfield Lynns who was an out of work visual effects artist who used his skills of illusion and optical effects to rob banks. After one of the big universe shattering change over events, he returned with a darker pyromaniac streak. Gradually he went insane, consumed by visions of fire. Then he was burned over 90% of his body while trying to burn down half of Gotham. He got really sick after that, and don't really want to say why.

This version of the character seems to have skipped all the origin stuff, and began with him as a deranged revenge bent maniac with a very loose connection to the moniker Firefly. Even though his name was Garfield Lynn's, that's the extent of the connection to the character that inspired it. I'm not complaining, I'd just though it was important to point out. The fireman back-story felt forced, and the resolution was okay but a little too neatly wrapped up. I've never been fond of this villain, and honestly I'm glad the character committed suicide because now I don't have to worry about him returning. Is that cold of me?

Six weeks have passed since Oliver was beaten by Merlyn (Black Arrow) and he's lost his edge almost entirely. Although he's recovered from his injuries, there is definite sense that Oliver just doesn't believe in himself anymore. Dig tried twice to pull Oliver out his funk, but it took Laurel to really bring him out of it. I found the whole cellphone evidence thing totally stupid and contrived, but having a direct line between Laurel and Arrow is good for future plots.

Walter's still missing, Laurel and Tommy have all but moved into together, Moira's moping around the mansion in her nightgown and slippers, and Thea has somehow grown up and become the responsible one. I thought it was interesting that Thea was able to shame Moira into action. When your irresponsible daughter calls you out, things have got to be bad. As for the rest, bleh. Maybe I just wasn't into this one.

Bits:

The murder rate dropped by 16% while Arrow was active. That's impressive.

I really liked the bonding scene between Oliver and Thea, in fact I pretty much like all the scenes between Oliver and Thea come to think of it.

Oliver's physical recovery was mentioned at least, and I think he has some new scars. As much as he takes off his shirt that must suck to endure every week, make-up wise.

The hero having doubts about his mission plot has been so over used. Unfortunately there's a reason, it's a decent dramatic device to allow for character growth.

Tommy's changed, throwing that fundraiser for the firefighters. Or he's faking it well for Laurel.

The villain beating the hero is another tired plot device I wished they hadn't used. Ah well. Plus didn't they just do that!?

The scene in Laurel's apartment was so silly, how could she not tell it was Oliver from his profile. She was supposedly in love with him once. Sigh.

The island adventures continue forward, Oliver has some spiffy new duds, a bunch of weird keys, and a map. Is there a compass in there too?

Predictable, tired, and mildly boring this wasn't quite the return I wanted. Still some Important character development occurred in this otherwise forgettable episode. At least we have Ben Browder guest starring next week, woohoo!!!

2 1/2 out of 4 Firefly tattoos. Anyone else wish it had been a picture of Serenity?

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related. He reviews Arrow and Farscape and cool new movies that strike his fancy.

3 comments:

PlatinumRosebud said...

Nice review, J.D.

I'm not much happy with the ep.

Though Thea and Moira's sequences are notable.

Except for the psychological angle of Dig's scenes, I still love this guy. :)

A bit disappointing about the island sequences.
Somewhat, bleh.

Hope it gets better and more actiony next ep.

CrazyCris said...

Like you J.D. I was hoping for a bit more... but I think I was less disappointed in it than you were. The elements put forward were all necessary for Oliver's character development, and Thea was brilliant! :o)

I'm curious to see what will happen with that now tricked-out cellphone! That was pretty cold of him to use his daughter that way...

ChrisB said...

I, too, think I liked this one more than you did, J.D. While there was some very swift resolution to Oliver's insecurities, I liked the scenes with Thea and Laurel. I am convinced that both of them are harboring suspicions about what Oliver is doing. Especially Thea. Her comment about everyone disappearing seemed to be a very large red flag.

Plus, the PD tech is right. Lance using his daughter like that is "stone cold," especially after all his talk about trust and love. This will not end well.