Well, things have certainly come to a middle.
So Oliver questions himself and his role in the city, again. Diggle asks him what the hell, man? Oliver waffles over his path and what has he done for the city since coming back, again. Felicity, like a quirky cute Yoda, tells him that she's already figured out her path, and he needs to get over it. Oliver figures out what his path is and becomes a hero, again. Everyone in the cast basically just shrugs and goes, yeah, about time.
I think this episode was the definition of wheel spinning. Everything felt a bit like going back in time. We had yet another DC Comics villain (Murmur) who was totally underwhelming and facilitated the action for the episode. We got Quentin returning to his anti-Arrow stance from season one. But mostly it was Oliver being all angsty with his decision to become the next Ra's al Ghul, which felt a lot like what he went through in season one when he was in his formative months as the Hood.
In a way Ra's was right. Oliver has lost almost everything he once had. The main problem with that prediction is that it is self fulfilling. Everything that has happened to Oliver is because of Oliver. He pushed Laurel and Felicity away. He brought about the relationship break with Quentin. He even caused Sara's death by pushing Thea away which forced her to go with Malcolm, instead of trusting her with the truth (yes, that is roundabout logic, but go with me). Still, I actually like the character stuff being explored. He isn't making great choices, but maybe he'll actually realize why things have gone bad for him by the end of the season.
As for everyone else, I'm really digging what's going on. Laurel is really starting to work as a character again, and my ambivalence towards her is starting to shift into something more positive. Thea is growing layers, and despite the fact that she's basically in the same place she's always been emotionally, at least it has brought her back to Roy and that's a step in the right direction. The reason for their breakup was forced in the first place, and it is about time for them to reconcile.
Ray and Felicity seem almost happy, but it is so clear that if Oliver changed his mind, she would drop Ray in a micro second. That's kind of sad, but probably a necessity given he's going to be in his own series next year without her. Last and probably least is Malcolm, who looked totally thrashed. I loved how there were three conversations about him while he was in the room as if he were already a ghost. Is this an attempt to make him more sympathetic? I don't know if that will ever work, but I love John Barrowman so I'm all for making him a better character.
I'm not sure if there is anything much to say about the flashback this week. It was a direct theme parallel with Oliver lost wandering around with Aiko trying to get away from the brutality of the past, then unexpectedly bumping into another manifestation of his past. I mean, I haven't thought about Shado since Slade was having visions of her last season, so having her just pop up out of the blue was just... random.
Thea is wearing a lot of red lately, so it is pretty obvious that she is going to be Speedy soon. Or at least some version of Arrow's sidekick. Plus that scene alone with Malcolm confirmed that she isn't playing sympathetic, she truly is a good person who was horribly used.
Maseo all but told Oliver that he can't say no to becoming Ra's. Then we got the coda with Ra's masquerading as the Arrow and killing people again.
How is Ray going to be a superhero in a tech suit if he can't solve any of the technical problems without Felicity? She has already broken through two of his major hurdles to getting the suit to work. I know she's a genius and all, but come on.
Felicity: "John might've told me about your job offer from Evil Incorporated. He also might have told me that you may be considering it, which is, by the way, insane."
Felicity: "They're the League of Assassins. That is not the name of a nice group."
Oliver: "We went up against a new crew last night. One of them had his lips sewn shut."
Felicity: "Is that a real thing?"
Felicity: "Ugh. If only I had known I had that option."
Overall, this wasn't a bad episode, but I wasn't engaged at all. Snarkiness aside, character growth and emotional exploration are always good things.
2 1/2 out of 4 Characters lost in existential crises.
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.