This episode convinced me that the writers are very aware of what they are doing, and for the most part their goals seem to be good ones. So when something doesn't work or feels out of place, it sticks out.
The thing that keeps coming back to me is Roy's capture by Slade and Isabel. I thought the reveal of using Roy as the blood donor was a really good one, but he was found at a soup kitchen? Helpless and pathetic are not the words I would associate with Roy Harper. On one hand that means Roy's mental state is pretty uneven at best, but it does means he is a very good person inside. If he can't even steal, when it would be very easy given his Mirakuru enhanced body, then his moral code should no longer be in question. The other option is they seduced him to the dark side, and then betrayed him to power their new army.
Either way the result is the same: the bad guys have an army of supers, with a revived and even more dangerous Isabel as Slade's new and improved right hand, with twice the mental instability (which I believe is Summer Glau's raison d'être). Which of course brings up a very sticky situation. How do you deal with this kind of enemy? Either you find a way to kill them, or render them powerless. Enter the cure, a sloppy and lazy answer to the moral dilemma facing our heroes.
A cure to the Mirakuru is something that should've been introduced several episodes ago when Slade was revealed to our heroes as the primary villain they were going to be set against. I guess Oliver had his reasons for concealing it, but since Sara already knew, why would he keep it from Felicity and Diggle? Why would he not try to find a way to extract a cure from Roy's blood, when he knew it was possible? These little logical flaws don't generally bug me, but this time they did.
Instead of butting his head against a wall since Slade's arrival, he would've had a leg up on his enemy. Hell, I'm surprised Oliver didn't keep some of that cure from his time on Lian Yu. He admitted that he had it in his hands and didn't use it. I just don't see why he didn't hold onto it, like those herbs he is constantly using from the Island. He would now have a small catalog of useful items, for just in case of emergency. Maybe that's too Batman, whose paranoia is legendary, but it seems like a good thing to be paranoid about. Of course there could be a perfectly legitimate reason for this kind of oversight, but we'll see.
It may seem like I'm ragging on the small stuff, and I am. For the most part this was an excellent episode, and I would probably just glow about all the good things going on. So a few stand out moments; Slade showing up in the Arrow cave and literally kicking everyone's ass, particularly that moment where... okay, pretty much every moment was cool. Then there was Oliver's equally badass showdown with Slade and Isabel. Then there was the smart and proactive attack on the Queen Applied Sciences warehouse. Or when Diggle shot Isabel at just the right moment. Or when Ivo finally died. Or the whole sequence with Laurel. Oh yeah, let me talk about Laurel.
I spent the first half of this episode wondering what she was going to do with her new knowledge. I expected her to be petulant, angry, stubborn, and stupid about the whole thing. Wow, I don't have a good opinion of her anymore. Anyway, how she ended up handling it was really cool. Like her father, she gets it. She finally saw everything Oliver's done for her, and accepted it like a rational person should. In a very real way, she was finally redeemed. Perhaps in time she might be a character I care for again. Although her threat against the D.A. was a bit silly.
I just wish I could say the same for Thea. I totally get her emotional trauma from hearing that Malcolm Merlyn is her biological father, but the way she's handling it is indicative of the character she was in season one. All that growth she's gone through seems to be falling away. I just hope there's a good reason that doesn't involve yet another character going down an emotional downwards spiral. It would feel all too repetitive.
The inclusion of Caitlin and Sisko gave us a nice update on Barry's situation, but felt totally out of place with the rest of the episode. Not that I'm opposed to that kind of stuff, but in an episode this packed, it wasn't entirely welcome.
So they did go with the comic books, and Isabel was Robert Queen's lover. I understand she's being combined with another DC character, so more on that when her new alter-ego is introduced.
Okay, who is Arthur Light? From a quick Google search I learned that he is apparently some kind of inept super-villain? I assume there's more to him.
Quotes: (All Felicity)
Felicity: "I'm a bomber. I can't believe I'm a bomber. I wonder if I can list that on my resume under 'special skills'."
Felicity: "For the record, I hated her before we found out she was a super villain."
Felicity: "That's just swell. Barry's in a coma and he's already moved on."
This was a big episode, though I'm not sure if the term 'big' is descriptive anymore. This show keeps growing, both in scale and in stakes like a runaway train headed for some unknown calamity. I'm very curious where the show runners are taking things, but happy to be along for the ride.
3 1/2 out of 4 Crazy Rube Goldberg machines only super villains ever use.
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.