Arrow: Time of Death

Diggle: "You're irreplaceable, Felicity."

Tick tock, am I late? Perhaps it's fitting that my longest posting delay coincides with an episode about the Clock King.

We got dueling themes in this one. First was the villain plot which mostly revolved around Felicity adjusting to Sara officially joining the team. This is a bit of a tired plot, and could've made Felicity seem pathetic or pointless. Instead it actually worked, at least on a character level.

As for the plotting and villain, eh.

The scar bit was a lot of fun, and Felicity's reaction to the three of them comparing old injuries was hilarious. So of course Felicity got hurt. At least it was heroic. Taking a bullet for Sara, that's pretty cool. Not only does she now have a scar, she got to be fun on painkillers, and she also formed a bit of a bond with Sara to boot. Knowing Sara, she won't forget what Felicity did anytime soon.

The other side of the plot dealt with Sara and Laurel. Honestly, I'm quite surprised this was resolved this quickly. Unfortunately it had very little to do with Sara. It was the wake-up call from Oliver who basically said he was done with her, at least romantically speaking. Gold acting star to Stephen Amell again for that scene in the hallway which I thought was very well done.

Of course it's too easy. Laurel gets yelled at by Oliver, and she immediately makes up with Sara and joins her father at A.A.? Hmmm. Unless the writers are being lazy here, and they haven't been so far (except for the occasionally dull villain), I doubt we've seen the last of the eternally sinking Laurel.

I did find that dinner scene to be a lot of fun, especially with how Oliver supported Sara so easily. I loved that Quentin finally apologized to Oliver too, even though it was a bit awkward. Too bad about Dinah though, I had some hope for a possible reconciliation between her and Quentin. Maybe the Arrow PTB want her available in Central City for the Flash spin-off. Wouldn't that be cool.

Comic Book Bits:

Okay, so I had some minor confusion about the villain going into this episode. When I first heard about Clock King I thought he was the same villain from Batman canon. So I went into this episode picturing him as he was depicted in Batman: The Animated Series (see right). Turns out there are two Clock Kings in DC Comic canon. The one in this episode is a classic Green Arrow advisory (who's been around since 1960).

This version of him seems to be very true to his origins, with a sick sister and a terminal illness. He's also supposed to be a technological genius which explains his hacker-fu. Although to be honest most of the hacker stuff was basically there to give some additional angst to the subplot with Felicity. I wish he worked for me, but I wasn't super thrilled with this villain. At least he was more interesting than some of the other bad guys we've gotten on this show. Plus the actor is totally worth bringing back, so I do hope we'll see him again.

Bits:

Robert Knepper has been in a ton of stuff over years, and he's usually excellent. But for me he'll always be the villainous T-Bag from Prison Break.

After watching Lost and now Arrow, general rule of thumb; if you're stranded on a desert island, never wave at a plane overhead, because it will inevitably crash.

So I guessed about Sara's connection with Sin the moment the pilot gave Sara that picture. Still, it was a nice peek into Sara's personality. All these years later and she kept her word.

Glad it was addressed that Thea noticed that Oliver is avoiding Moira.

There was so much unspoken stuff going on in that introduction between Sara, Thea, Roy, and Sin. I think it was handled so well, awkward and disjointed. Poor Thea was the only one totally in the dark there.

So much for the new improved Arrow cave. That much damage would take a while, and a lot of money to fix.

Another call out for the action scenes on this show, which are consistently awesome. That bus/train scene was tense even knowing that it would probably work out alright.

Good move making Sara the new bartender, gives her an excuse to be close.

Oh yeah, talk about cliffies. Slade showing up at the Queen mansion was totally out of the blue. I guess the cat is out of the bag.

Quotes:

Oliver: "Sara, when you come back from the dead, you get a party. It's a queen family tradition."
Sin: "I love when people come back from the dead. It juices my zombie fetish."

Sara: "I'm going to go use the little blonde's room."

Felicity: "It was nothing. I've always wanted to say I've taken a bullet for someone, and now I can. So really, I should be thanking you."

Felicity: "My own scar. Yay!"

Not a great villain of the week, but not a horrible one. Also some really good character building, so I guess it balances out.

3 out of 4 Scars
---
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related. He reviews Arrow, The Originals and Farscape and cool new movies that strike his fancy.

5 comments:

Freeman said...

This actually was one of my favorite episodes. It made me feel things, and that ain't just cuz Felicity was in training clothes (I kid). But seriously I ain't Laurel's biggest fan, but seeing her reconcile with Sara hit me in the heart parts, as sudden as it was. I guess they had to give Laurel something positive, or else some people would be done with her forever. It was great seeing Ollie lay down the law on Laurel. The man finally took a stand for himself, rather than being everyone's emotional punching bag.

The Clock King has a lot of potential, but he was probably swallowed up in the whirlwind of drama and emotions. I look forward to seeing him again as I'm a fan of Robert Knepper. He was fantastic as T-Bag.

How about that reveal at the end? Slade gave Ollie the manliest handshake there. That was straight up Spartacus status. I can't wait to see what's coming next.

Korlis said...

I enjoyed this one (although I somehow managed to miss the Cyn/Sara thing - I must have glanced away from the TV or something!). I love Knepper and thought he worked well as the Clock King. Definitely a villain to bring back.

What I increasingly love about Arrow is that it has the capacity to surprise me. It's not exactly the twists - it's not that I think, "Wow, what a great twist!", I think "Wow, I can't believe they actually did that." At the end of last season I was surprised when Merlyn's plan to raze the Glades actually worked. For this episode, I was amazed that Slade just showed up to shake hands with Oliver - not half a season of muddling around in the shadows, beating around the bush, just straight up making his presence known. I like that Arrow seems unafraid to shake up the standard TV pacing like that, and hope it continues to do so going forward.

Patrick said...

Robert Knepper's always fun to watch, the main reason I think why this appearance wasn't quite as memorable is because the episode wasn't really about him. It was much more about the main characters and their relationships to each other. And on that front, I thought this episode did very well.

I really enjoyed the scene with Quentin making his amends to Oliver, in large part because I imagined what Quentin's reaction would be if he knew the WHOLE truth.

I also smiled at the scene with Quentin, Arrow & Canary in the alley. Quentin's gotten quite comfy with the idea of working with vigilantes, and with his daughter being one of them. I can't wait to see what Laurel's reaction will be when she learns about Sara being the Canary. And speaking of Sara, holy CRAP Caity Lotz is fit. WOW. She's been such a great addition to the show this year, I'm so scared that they intend to kill her off at some point to push Laurel towards taking up the Canary mantle.

The whole plot involving Felicity and her insecurity about her place on Team Arrow was well done. Quality work all around by the writers and actors. Felicity suddenly feeling useless could have come off as silly and childish, but it was handled well. And the rest of Team Arrow could have come across as patronizing, but they didn't. I especially liked that they didn't set up some kind of catty rivalry between Felicity and Sara. In fact, I could easily see the two ladies tag-team teasing Oliver in the future. Oh, and did anyone else sense a slightly romantic vibe between Felicity and Diggle in this episode? Of course, the comedic highlight of the episode was DEFINITELY Felicity high on painkillers. :)

I do love the pace these writers set for themselves, having Slade reveal himself this early in the season. I vaguely recall something the showrunners said when the show was just beginning, about how they'd rather have the show only last 5 really good years than drag on for 7 or more *cough*Smallville*cough*.

Freeman said...

If I remember correctly Caity Lotz is a B-girl and a traceur so she's got fit in spades. I'm going to be disappointed if they write her off to shoehorn Laurel into her slot.

Thanks for reminding me about Canary and Arrow meeting up with Quentin, that scene was great. I always like the Batman interacting with Gordon scenes so seeing something similar but with TWO vigilantes was extra special.

I don't see Diggle and Felicity as having romantic vibes because I feel like Dig is just that center in the group to encourage both Ollie and Felicity. He just handles them in different ways. Not to mention, Dig already has his ex-sister-in-law and his ex-wife to deal with. You know him and his ex-wife are still feelin' each other serious business. And now they they're gonna be doing Suicide Squad stuff together it's gonna get real.

I hope this show sticks around for the sweet spot and doesn't overstay its welcome. So far so good for me.

ChrisB said...

[I]f you're stranded on a desert island, never wave at a plane overhead, because it will inevitably crash. Hilarious. I laughed out loud.

This episode really brought home for me what I like so much about this show. While the villain of the week is usually fun and the action scenes are always exciting, it is the relationships among the characters that keep me coming back. This week was chock full of small, yet wonderful, moments.

Quentin's apology, the reveal of Sin as the pilot's daughter, Diggle supporting Felicity, Ollie's finally lashing out at Laurel were all well played and resonant. I must admit that Sara and Laurel's reunion moved me, although I do not think we have seen the last of Laurel's descent.

Great review, as always, J.D.