I'm a little torn. This was a good episode. But I left it feeling angry, and that's not a good sign.
At least I'm not pissed at Oliver anymore. Funny, it's Ra's Al Ghul that's driving me a little nuts now. I mean dude, learn to take rejection. Someone says no, you don't go and start killing innocents and ruining that man's life. I guess that's the point of the villain though, and his actions have been effective in that I want Ra's to die a miserable horrible painful death that takes days and days and... I'm a bad person now.
Killing Thea was pretty much the final straw for me (for this plotline). I should've known when they made her so cool with Oliver. There was no way they were going let that relationship stand for long. Whatever happens with Thea, if she stays dead or is resurrected by the Lazarus pit, her relationship with Oliver is not going to be the same. On one hand she'll be dead, and that's pretty final. On the other, she'll change in some way and there's no way of telling what that change will be. Remember the Lazarus pit always has a price.
Speaking of characters changing, Quentin has pretty much gone off the deep end. His actions have been shortsighted, obsessive, and extremely personal. He has persecuted Oliver and his team to the point where he put Roy in general population without any kind of protection, where there was a violent attack on him the first day he was there, and then he has the audacity to blame Oliver for Roy's death. That's pretty much the end of any kind of sympathy I might have had for Quentin losing Sara.
On the bright side, I kind love the stuff they are doing with Ray. The vague creepiness that the character had in those first few episodes has faded entirely, and now he is like a male version of Felicity who wants to be a superhero. The whole arc for him in this episode was pretty awesome, too. Oliver might be a bit blunt, but he was right that Ray wasn't ready. Ray was depending on his intelligence and technology to win in any conflict.
Doug Jones, who played Deathbolt in this episode, is probably one of the more memorable villains to date. In just a few lines he managed to create a character, even though we learned next to nothing about him, and managed to inject a sense of palpable menace into his performance. He was also a credible enough villain that it made sense that Ray had to take over and fight. Although why couldn't Oliver have put on the suit? Is it tied to Ray's DNA or something?
I did love the small cross-over with Cisco at the end, and Ray actually managed to address something that I know a lot of people have wondered: how do those Meta prisoners eat and use the bathroom? Of course the scene ended with a cool little tidbit, Deathbolt was outside the blast radius of the reactor explosion. So how did he get his powers? Is this set up for the new series?
Finally, Roy. I was actually convinced that Roy was dead for a few minutes there. They've been building to that sort of end to the character for a while now. Although the reveal that it was all a trick was perfectly in character too. I'm not sure how I feel about him driving away to fight the good fight elsewhere, but I guess that does open him up to guest spots on any of the series now, potentially even a semi-major role on the new one coming next fall. I also liked his arc this season, even if he didn't get nearly enough screen time. Reuniting with Thea, coming to terms with the man he killed while under the influence of Mirakuru, and the choice to stay a hero when his main reason for doing it was gone (i.e. Oliver dying). I hope this isn't goodbye but if it is, at least the character had a good run.
There was some good movement on the flashback front as well. Oliver is becoming far more confident in his abilities, and he is taking charge a lot more easily. I guess they are setting up Shrieve to be the next big bad; he even made Waller look momentarily sympathetic. I actually liked her scene with Oliver where she looked vulnerable and made peace with him. While that could've been staged, I'd like to think there is a human being under all her crisp suits and homicidal tendencies.
Felicity and Ray are all surface right now. The way Ray looked at her in that final scene made it clear he knows the truth about her feelings, and he isn't happy about it. But that wasn't a petulant or jealous look. That was resignation. I'm betting he bows out of the relationship in a classy way. It seems in character for him to do so.
The Ra's versus Thea fight was pretty cool. She's not at his level, but I could see he was impressed by her. Although the moment he smashed her into the coffee table, yeah, that was not a pleasant death, and it was far too similar to the way her brother almost died.
Ray's suit isn't very impressive yet. It seems like all the suit can do is fly, shoot blue energy blasts, and give him some strength and protection from injury. I had hoped there would be more to it, but maybe the show runners are saving some of the more interesting stuff for later on.
The whole neural override on the suit thing was totally a plot device to give Ray the push he needed to get his head into the game.
No more Quentin bashing, but that scene where his colleague told him he was being too aggressive and making it personal and his career was in jeopardy, kind of made the episode for me. Also, has anyone else heard the term 'Going Ahab'? Obviously a reference to Moby Dick, but I like it.
Laurel didn't have too much to do in this one, but her continued loyalty to the team has definitely added something to her slow journey to becoming a good character again.
Oliver: "Do you get this anxious when I'm out in the field?"
Felicity: "I honestly can't think of an answer to that question that doesn't get me in trouble."
Ray: "Still nothing. Not a visual sighting or any other reading at all from the A.T.O.M., and when I say A.T.O.M., I mean the suit, not myself in the third person."
Oliver: (to Felicity) "There's a decent chance that you and Palmer are related."
Oliver: "I was told once that a man cannot live by two names. Well right now I can't live by either, so I don't know who I am."
Ray: (about the lights flickering out) "That's equally fascinating and terrifying."
Felicity: "So, obviously we need to catch this plasma... death thing guy. Now I see why Cisco gives them all names."
Naming the villains may be a touch silly, but it is practical, too.
I'm not sure how I feel about this episode yet. I may rate it in retrospect, but I'm a bit too upset by certain forced events to be fair. How would you rate this episode?
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.