Arrow: Public Enemy

"The only move that R'as has left to me is telling the truth."

So taking the absolutely worst qualities of Quentin and turning them up to eleven made for a frustrating but oddly well made episode. The theme, of course, was telling a hard truth.

There's no denying this was a good episode. It had charm, energy, action, even if the main dilemma was beyond forced. The only way for this particular situation to come about is for Quentin to lose it, and go after Arrow with the same feverish abandon that he did in season one. And while I get the grief thing, his argument makes absolutely no sense.

At the same time, I guess the whole Ra's Al Ghul plan would've had no teeth if Quentin had acted rationally and worked with the Arrow instead of mindlessly pursuing him. The fact that it was Malcolm and by extension the League that was responsible for Sara's death is mostly just an ironic footnote now.

It also wasn't all that consistent. Quentin put out warrants for the entire team Arrow, except he never really went after Roy or Laurel, and Felicity was never even mentioned. Was it because Felicity was working with Ray? Did Quentin just forget that she's been his primary link to the Arrow going on two years now? Okay, perhaps this plot was necessary, but I strongly believe they could've made it work without assassinating Quentin's character again.

This whole chase and revealing Oliver and Roy to the public did bring up one thing that has me going in crazy wild theory circles. At this point, the flood of badness on Arrow is getting to the point of no return. It isn't just Oliver being exposed and Roy in prison, which could be resolved without too much trouble. There is also the problem of Ra's never giving up on trying to recruit Oliver. Not to mention that Sara is dead.

So what if Barry Allen changes history? Yes, what if the Flash forces a shift in the timeline, where not only the Ra's thing never happens, but Sara is alive and well? Of course there would be some serious complications with this kind of change, but it would answer one of the looming questions about the new spin-off. Of course this is all meta-thinking, connecting dots that aren't necessarily in the series itself.

So moving on. Ray and Felicity were kind of wonderful in this episode. So was Donna Smoak, who had half of the good lines. I'm not sure why, but Ray seemed more sympathetic, too. Maybe it was him getting injured, or perhaps it was because he realized that Felicity doesn't love him. Either way, he has finally come across as genuine and good, instead of witty and a touch creepy. Although to be fair, I've liked him since he was introduced.

Flashback:

So the woman who looks like Shado is actually her sister, Mei. Mei has been trying to find answers for three years about why her sister and father went missing. While it is really cool to see the actress again, it was kind of random and coincidental that Oliver just ran into her. But that aside, the whole interaction between Oliver and Mei simply brought home the fact that Oliver has already become very closed off, keeping secrets even when those secrets aren't necessarily his to keep. Keeping Mei out of danger is one thing, keeping her from knowing the truth about her family is another. The story did fit with the theme though, and I liked the fact that he did tell her a partial truth in the end. Also, they finally brought Maseo and Tatsu back into the flashback story.

Bits:

Nyssa didn't have too much to do in this one, except provide some information that didn't pan out, and save Laurel. Actually her priorities seem to be focused solely on Laurel at the moment. Hmmmm.

It was nice continuity that the news reporter brought up the fact that Oliver was both accused of being the Arrow and exonerated back in early season one.

Ra's telling Quentin the truth about Oliver was an interesting plot device, and I loved Laurel's reaction when she realized Quentin knew the truth.

The chase scene in the middle of the episode was very well done, and I loved how each character handled their escape. Although I wish Laurel had been a bit more self-sufficient.

I liked that the resolution to the cliffhanger from the last episode was Ray being heroic and taking the arrow that was being aimed at Felicity. Although that has me worried about Ra's' priorities. Is getting rid of Felicity one of his goals? That would be awful.

It was also nice to see Thea and Roy back together again, and even talking about running away together. That whole conversation was foreshadowing, of course, because of the sacrifice Roy made at the end of the episode.

How much do you wanna bet that the nano-tech bots that were just injected into Ray will have some super-powered consequences down the line?

Quotes:

Donna: "Ray Palmer. Even in a hospital bed you're the most handsome man I've ever seen."

Donna: "Tell me, what did the doctor say?"
Felicity: "Absolutely nothing good."
Donna: "Okay, okay. Hey, at least you finally have a boyfriend."
Felicity: "Mom!"

Ray: "For what it's worth, I'm thinking of starting a reality TV show. So maybe I already have brain damage."

Oliver: "How's Ray?"
Felicity: "So much better than you right now. Please tell me that you have a brilliant plan?"
Oliver: "I don't even have a regular plan."

Felicity: "I think your nanotech deserves some of the credit. All I did was stick something in you. (Ray reacts) Do you think there will ever come a time when everything I say isn't some weird double entendre?"
Ray: "I hope not. It's one of your more charming traits."

Donna: "You look the way you did when you were seven years old and stole your father's electronics collection to make a supercomputer. Oh my god. Did you and Ray just do it in this hospital? Did you just have hospital sex?"
Felicity: "No!"
Donna: "I've always wanted to have hospital sex."
Felicity: "Way TMI! Gross."

Felicity: "What is wrong with me? He's brilliant. He knows the plot to every Doctor Who episode, all 34 seasons, he looks like a Disney prince. He's practically the perfect man."
Donna: "You don't love Ray. Because you're in love with Oliver."

Despite the fact that I think this whole public enemy plot of Ra's has more holes than he's made putting arrows into his victims, the results have at least been enjoyable (and reading back that sentence makes me feel like a horrible human being).

3 out of 4 Nano-tech bots capable of shrinking blood clots.

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.

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Loved this episode. J.D., I totally agree about the clumsiness of the Quentin Lance stuff, but Felicity and her mother were just wonderful, I liked Ray a lot in this one, and Roy is a favorite of mine. I wasn't surprised that Roy sacrificed himself for Oliver.

Disney prince. :)

Deborah Gallegos said...

Ah, the nano tech! That may be how they really make him The Atom (for real) whose real super power is to shrink down to the atomic level, not wear a super suit. Clever!

Marianna said...

This episode reminded me a lot of Over the Edge from Batman the Animated Series: http://dcau.wikia.com/wiki/Over_the_Edge. Captain Lance's irrational logic was irritating but totally within character so overall I really liked the episode. The rest of Team Arrow's reactions were totally in character as well. I can't decide if Roy's move was brilliant or stupid. He might create enough doubt where they can't figure out which one is the Arrow and therefore can't charge either of them, but then they could probably just charge them both with conspiracy.

I loved Felicity's mom in this. The way she convinced Felicity to administer the treatment to Ray herself was amazing. I dislike it when people refuse to take action because they don't want to be held responsible if something goes wrong when in reality not taking action can make someone equally responsible.