Is it strange that this episode felt almost like a buddy military commando (read buddy cop) action movie? It was also set up for the big hero/villain relationship. I didn't think the writers would go for this kind of long game. The whole once friends, now enemies plot is long term thinking... color me impressed.
What's interesting is that this was a flip of the usual episode format, with the Island taking center stage. For the most part I enjoyed it. Slade Wilson is turning out to be an interesting character, half mystery and half mentor to a unskilled Oliver. Who, for the first time began to feel like the Oliver we've come to know in the current timeline. This whole Island story is definitely being set up for the long haul, which I guess means it'll be a part of the format for at least the foreseeable future. Thankfully these segments seem to be getting better each week.
Speaking of Slade I'm starting to really like him. He may be a bit cruel, but I really like his very dry sense of humor. The death of Billy Wintergreen (the other guy in the Deathstroke mask) who was supposedly Slade's partner was a bit surprising. Considering how bad ass Billy was in the last episode, it was telling that Slade was able to defeat him. Oliver's fighting style was clearly influenced by Slade, which is a nice bit of backwards continuity. We also got a taste of Oliver's formative development of his personal code of honor, which I imagine was strongly influenced by Slade coming back to rescue him. For some reason I was totally surprised when he showed up.
The other side of the plot revolved around Oliver getting shot by his mom... and then forgiving her. Oh yeah, and the Arrow gang gained a quirky new computer genius. Welcome Felicity!!! Props to everyone that guessed that Felicity would be the first one to learn Oliver's secret (after Dig of course). It was also in the news that Emily Brett Rickards (Felicity) got bumped to full time cast member for season two, I guess her little speech about her participation in the secret being only until Walter is found was a bit premature.
I really liked the back and forth's between Felicity and Dig, filling her in on some details, and kind of bringing her into the club without Oliver being conscious was a good move. It felt right somehow. Then when Felicity covered up the blood evidence left behind by Oliver, it pretty much cemented the fact that she is beyond useful to the Arrow gang. I'm also really pleased that the writers addressed the numerous blatant lies told to Felicity. Of course she's not that blonde. For me, the best moment in the episode was Dig's reaction when Felicity showed up with Oliver.
The scene in the tower with Slade and Oliver was a bit cliched but well done, is the Odyssey really the only book Oliver read in college? I hope he wasn't serious.
So what is with the white rabbit tattoo shared by Yao Fei's daughter and Oliver?
I loved the mine scene, with Slade killing all those minions and using one of their bodies to swap the pressure plate with Oliver.
We got a weird dream sequence with Oliver and Laurel, I'm not entirely sure what it symbolized.
Oliver: "I'm trapped on an island and my only friend is named Wilson."
Slade: "Better hurry the wolves come out at night."
Oliver: "There are wolves here?" Slade smiles. "Right, of course there are. Because what would the worse place on earth be without wolves."
Dig: "It's less stressful when he's jumping off rooftops."
Felicity: "Something tells me blood stains are not covered under my lease."
Oliver: "How're we gonna explain this one?"
Dig: "Hickey gone wrong?"
The island stuff does have a lack of fatal menace since we know Oliver makes it out alive, but we do know he gets hurt a lot there. That doesn't lessen the overall quality of the episode which was another solid installment that grew character relationships, and furthered the Island story progression. Keep em coming, at this rate the show might actually reach that potential I keep talking about.
3 out of 4 White Rabbit Tattoos