This was a bit of an uneven episode, and I'm not entirely sure I agree with some of the character choices.
I liked the Team Arrow stuff, as they came together and solved the problem of Brick taking over the Glades. Using allies, gathering numbers, and committing fully to taking back what was stolen was a good plan, even if it probably would've failed without Malcolm and Oliver. At least the only real casualty seems to have been Wildcat. Or did he make it? I'm a little fuzzy about that detail.
The real problem with the overall narrative of this episode was the back and forth with Malcolm. Is he redeemable? Is he too far gone? Did his choice not to kill Brick signify a real change? Or was it simply a case of him needing Oliver in his corner? Honestly, I'm not sure. He is a big bad, and yet he is also an undeniable resource. Oliver needs his expertise if he has a snowball's chance in hell of defeating Ra's Al Ghul.
But at the same time, is Felicity right? Malcolm has done pretty much everything possible to Oliver. He has set him up to die more than once, he manipulated his sister into becoming a murderer, and to top off that little cupcake of awfulness, the woman he had Thea murder was Sara. Felicity might have been a bit over the top in her anger, but she had a valid point. In what world could Oliver ever consider Malcolm a rational choice as an ally?
I guess that's the point, though. Oliver just went through a near-death experience, and he has clearly come back with a different perspective. It begs the question, if Felicity had let him get a word in, would he have chosen her? It is a touch frustrating, but I guess the show-runners need to create obstacles in the whole Olicity drama for, you know, reasons. Because god forbid the leads of a television series have a healthy, positive romantic relationship.
On the bright side, Laurel is now fully established as Black Canary, and I seriously doubt Oliver is going to bully her into laying down the mask. I also wonder what is going to happen to Thea. She is so close to finding out the big secret, and if she doesn't by the end of the season I'll be seriously disappointed. Thea is so clearly being set up to be a new member of Team Arrow that if they put it off much longer, I'm gonna call shenanigans.
So twenty-one years ago Malcolm was a devoted husband and father. Why do I think this flashback was shown through rose-colored glasses? If it is to be believed, Malcolm went a bit nuts after his wife was murdered and he killed the man who was supposedly responsible. He went to Nanda Parbot, joined the League of Assassins, and started formulating his plan to 'save' the Glades from itself. I supposed chalking up his evil plans as a case of prolonged survivor's guilt is moderately plausible. But at the same time, I think there is also a very strong possibility that that evil was already a part of his nature, and the death of his wife was only an excuse to become a monster.
It was kind of interesting to see a young Tommy and Oliver. At least Tommy hasn't been forgotten.
Laurel refusing stitches was interesting. Does she actually want scars?
Wildcat was a bit rusty, and he got his ass handed to him. If he survives, will he pick back up his mask?
So Sin was observant enough to notice that Black Canary was not Sara, and unfortunately she told Quentin about it. With the focus yet again on his mysterious pills, I bet we are headed for some major drama in the near future.
The blood stain on Malcolm's forehead after he killed the guy he thought killed Rebecca was really interesting.
I really liked the interaction between Roy and Thea. I don't know if a romance between them works any more, but I like how they have become friends again.
Roy: "So Brick killed Malcolm's wife. What does that have to do with anything?"
Felicity: "It is just another reason for them to share bunkbeds in Hell."
Felicity: "Great, we can add irony to the list of charges against Brick."
Felicity: (to Malcolm) "You want us to team up with... you?"
Felicity: "Feels like recess and we're about to fight the school bully."
Laurel: "Is what we're doing crazy?"
Roy: "I've learned it's better to ask that question when I'm not wearing a mask."
Oliver: "No more death."
Malcolm: "That's easy for you to say, you just returned from the grave."
Thea: "I'm gonna make some tea and try to keep things Zen."
Not a bad episode at all, but I feel like the writers are doing things that don't really work on a character level.
3 out of 4 Cups of Penicillin Tea
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.