Arrow: The Odyssey

Felicity: "Oliver, oh wow, everything about you just became so unbelievably clear."

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.

Bits:

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.

Quotes:

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

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.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Without me consciously registering the exact moment when this happened, Arrow has snuck itself into the top three of my favorite currently running shows (behind Person of Interest and Vampire Diaries). It really is getting to be quite a watchable show.

CrazyCris said...

I knew it!!! With those excuses of Oliver becoming more and more lame, it HAD to be Felicity to be the first (other than Dig) to find out about the Hood! :o)

Great review JD! Like you I was very impressed with the Island sequences, and liked the fact that they were front and center as they were quite crucial to Oliver becoming the person we know.

Ok, she may be evil (we're not sure yet), but major kudos to Moira's quick reactions and managing to pull a weapon and actually injure the nefarious vigilante! I think we just saw where part of Oliver's strength comes from! ;o)

This means we get more Felicity, so YAY!!! And now I'm extra curious about the Deathstroke mask in the pilot since there's only one candidate left for it and he's Oliver's friend and mentor... Wonder what's going to happen between them over the next 2 years...

Arrow has definitely become one of the series I most look forward to each week!!! :o)

Patrick said...

Oh Felicity, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. :) I only have two real comments about the Island flashbacks, which I'll get to later. But for me this episode was all about the awesomeness that was the awesomeness of Felicity Smoak and the lovely Emily Bett Rickards who plays her. She brings such a fun energy to the show, and is able to be the "plucky sidekick" without being the "annoyingly plucky sidekick". As a computer nerd since 2nd grade, her line about Ollie's old system hurting her soul made me laugh out loud. I loved that they didn't have her rushing to join Team Arrow full-bore by the end of the episode. Having her in it just to find Walter felt more like her. Of course, knowing she's going to be a regular next year suggests that something will make her a full-time Scooby at some point. I can think of two scenarios. One, they rescue Walter, and the rush of doing that much good gets under her skin so she decides she wants to be a part of the team. Two, Walter ends up being killed by Malcom & the rest of the mysterious bad guys, and that motivates Felicity to join Ollie's crusade to clean up Star City to honor Walter's memory.

As for the Island scenes, the name Yao Fei called his daughter was Shado, I believe. In the comics, that's one of Green Arrow's love interests, so I'm guessing we'll see them meet on the Island at some point. Also, anyone want to lay odds that the person Fyers is working for has some connection to what's happening in Star City? I mean c'mon, this is television. Why introduce a new upper-level bad guy as a voice on a phone if the face attached to it wasn't going to be someone we'd recognize eventually. :)

One last thing. The teaser for next week. Felicity in that fancy dress. WOW. *swooooon*

Yes, I admit it, I'm a tad obsessed :)

CrazyCris said...

Good call on the Fyers-Starling connection Patrick! That call was very ominous...

PlatinumRosebud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PlatinumRosebud said...

It's great that the Arrow Cave has now some semblance of humor in the person of our very much loved Felicity. :)

Good review, J.D.

ChrisB said...

Like you, I was very impressed with the Island segments this week. In the past, I have tended to tune them out as I found them a bit dull. This time around, however, they were compelling and intriguing.

I am so pleased that Felicity is a member of the club. She is my favorite secondary character and I just love the way she uses her brain. I smiled at her time limit as well. Something tells me she is in for the long haul.

The other part I loved was Dig's story about killing the young man to protect a war lord. For some reason, I found it very moving and very real. It makes the fact that Dig is doing what he is doing much more resonant.

Like Patrick, as soon as I saw Shado, I thought 'love interest.' Am interested to see where the writers take this.

Anonymous said...

Best episode yet. Manu Bennett is a perfect Slade Wilson..badass and funny. We'll see if he'll be friend or foe in the long run..I'm guessing foe. Welcome aboard Felicity..that was about time. They do need a tech girl and she's more than up for it. Now if only we'd see more of John Barrowman soon..
Anna

Velva said...

Shado has a major back story in Green Arrow. Check out the "Longbow Hunters" series featuring Green Arrow and Shado which was written in the 80s by Mike Grell. I think it's very interesting that she is the daughter of one of Oliver's island mentors. In the comics, she is also the mother of one of his two illegitimate children - not the child who grows up to be Connor Hawke, Green Arrow II.

Lamounier said...

Stephen Amell can act. This episode was great, the best one so far (once in a while I think that of an episode, which is a sign that the show has been getting better). About time they focused on the island. Lost!Oliver might be my favorite character now. His growth was so genuine during this episode. He had some really good moments and sure proved his worth to Slade. I loved when he gave a contained shout to correct the line from Odyssey. By the end of the episode, I wanted to give him a medal and a hug.

"I'm trapped on an island and my only friend is named Wilson."

Ha! Awesome. Even better that Lost!Oliver himself laughed when he thought of it. What a difference from Arrow!Oliver. It dawned on me while watching this episode that the writers have opposite arcs for Oliver: they show how Lost!Oliver became so cold and detached, while they have Arrow!Oliver regain his humanity. I like how the arcs are complementary. Good job there.

Felicity is in! Yay. Her scenes with Dig were great too, what a lovely little woman. “You need a doctor, not a steelworker.” Ha!