Arrow: Beyond Redemption

"A part of me has always wanted you to see what kind of man I really am. I didn't expect to wind up finding out what kind of man you really are."

While this show has always been about the darkness inside, and how an individual can overcome that darkness to become a hero, it's nice to see that explored with another character besides Oliver.

Quentin has been a central and important character since the beginning. Yet his road has been quite bumpy, constantly swaying between being on Oliver's side and against him. One thing was a constant though, he was a moral compass. He was righteous, in an occasionally annoying sort of way. The incorruptible cop. Turns out, even the moral center of the city has been infected with sickness.

Liza Warner was an example of that. While I get why she turned the way she did, I didn't buy her excuses for her actions, and her belief that she wasn't a criminal. She had willfully and blatantly crossed that line repeatedly. When she killed those fellow cops, that was the final barrier to her becoming an outright bad guy. Yet she still thought of herself as a cop. From her point of view she was trying to do the right thing by her squad and the city. Which was ultimately how Quentin got through to her in the end.

I believe Quentin's intentions were good. He was trying to help fix the city, maybe even rescue it from the awful decline it has fallen into. Instead he ended up in bed with Damien Darhk, and has now gotten to the point where he is asking him for advice. Admittedly Darhk was the only person he could really turn to for advice about this particular matter (Sara's resurrection). But that shows a level of connection to our big bad that is disappointing.

But does that change the man inside? Quentin is still a good person, even though he's been compromised. His speech to Liza confirmed that, and in that moment restored Oliver's faith in him as well. I've never really cared about Oliver and Quentin's relationship, but that scene where Oliver called him out was really well done. So having that ending where they pledged to work together to take down Darhk was a nice coda to the theme of the week -- that no one is beyond redemption.

Which of course brings me to Sara. Poor soulless Sara. Where is Willow with an Orb of Thessela when you need her? In this version of a supernatural world, being soulless steals your memories and makes you basically savage. Is that a small part of what happened to Thea? That a part of her soul remained in the Pit, and that's why she has to kill occasionally? I mean this week she showed absolutely no signs of that rage. I guess Malcolm was right, which is just horrible for Thea.

I'm a little disappointed in Felicity when it came to Ray's final message. I mean, I get her reluctance to hear his final thoughts, but at the same time Curtis was right. Given the opportunity, would anyone give up the chance to hear the voice of someone they had lost? That of course has to do with his A.T.O.M. experiment, where he very likely shrunk down to perhaps the size of an atom. On the bright side, I'm digging the chemistry between Felicity and Curtis. He feels like a good addition to the series.

Flashback:

In a very easy parallel to the present, Oliver struggled with his own darkness while trying to save that woman (who still has no name). I don't know where they are going with this story, but it was interesting that there is a drug angle involved, which also paralleled the drama in the present with the bad cops raiding drug-dealers. I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out, but I would like a bit more information. The flashbacks are almost always too short per episode, and the story usually takes a full season to make its point.

Bits:

Thea makes a fairly impressive campaign manager.

The new hideout/headquarters kicks ass. I do wonder what is going on with the computers, though. I imagine we'll find out soon.

The sting operation planned by Thea was fun, and I liked Diggle playing bodyguard again.

So the only code-name Oliver could think of for Quentin was Detective. Cisco would be so disappointed.

Loved everyone's reactions to Oliver running for Mayor, could they be less enthusiastic?

Quotes:

Oliver: "There's a reason we had Felicity buy Blood's campaign office."
Felicity: "Blood also needed his own lair. But don't worry, I burned a lot of incense."

Felicity: "I think you better add 'Get an entirely new police force' to your campaign platform."

Curtis: "There you are. Why haven't you been answering my texts?"
Felicity: "Your 'texts' were: '911', 'OMG', 'ASAP' and five explanation points. I don't have time to respond to something that doesn't contain at least one actual word."

This was another solid episode that built on the continuing themes and character arcs of the season.

3 1/2 out of 4 Bad Cops
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J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

5 comments:

Lydia said...

This episode was okay. I know it was in the comic books, but I don't really want to see Oliver as the city's Mayor for some reason, and I almost laughed out loud that Oliver's little "motivational speech" wasn't interrupted brutally. Don't all public events in this city basically turn into radical criminals toting guns showing up for killing sprees? lol. Which basically makes you realize that we don't truly care for the city, not as much as the characters do. The city dwellers have been shown as naive and downright stupid, so why should we care for it? I liked the stuff they did with the city in the first couple of seasons, with the bombing of the Glades and stuff, but at this point, the city itself should be a character of its own, but we have nothing invested in it and nothing to root for in it except for our heroes, of course.

The actor who plays Quentin knocked it out of the park! He is such an amazing actor, there is so much lost potential in him considering his character isn't all that likeable - I think he used to be, but these past couple of seasons where he was throwing all that shade at Oliver got tiresome and irritable, but I'm glad all that unnecessary drama between the two of them has finally come to an end.

Laurel Lance is so stupid. Why is Laurel Lance so stupid? And delusional? Maybe it isn't the character that's messing up. Maybe it's the writers. Poor Katie Cassidy, it must be difficult to put up with the horrible lines the writers cook up for her every week. The one-liner about her 'new frequency' was particularly cringeworthy.

FELICITY SMOAK, AN ACTUAL NERD IS SEEING A BUNCH OF RABID NUMBERS AND ALPHABETS ON HER PHONE AND SHE DOESN'T FIND IT STRANGE OR FIGURE OUT IT'S RAY TRYING TO CONTACT HER? I CALL SHENANIGANS.

Parting Notes-

Oliver Queen has enough on his plate already. He doesn't need to be the mayor of the city.

I love Damien Dhark so far. He's a really great villain and the actor is charming. I think he was being genuine with his advice to Quentin.

Felicity and Curtis are just great.

FELICITY CANNOT STOP OGLING AT SHIRTLESS OLIVER. THAT'S WHAT I LOOK LIKE EVERYTIME THAT BOY TAKES OFF HIS SHIRT. *gushes* *slobbers* *explodes*

Felicity's ovaries are a mess on the floor right now.

So Sara has obviously gone cray-cray. THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DUNK YOUR SISTER IN LUCIFER'S DIRTY BATHWATER YOU SILLY COW. YES. I AM TALKING TO YOU, LAUREL LANCE.

"That's not my daughter." NO THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS TO A DEAD PERSON WHEN THEY SWIM IN THE GUNK OF HUMANITY'S NASTIEST AND MOST BLOODTHIRSTY SOULS. SHE HAS LIKE, HITLER'S BLOOD RUNNING THROUGH HER VEINS.

All the set-up for the spin off is actually kind of annoying tbh. On this show and The Flash. It's taking us away from what we're actually here to watch and it's stretching a lot of credibility.

Oh OF COURSE Sara's escaped. She's probably trying to kill Thea right now. WELL DONE, LAUREL.

Someone please grant Laurel her brain cells back.

Oliver's speech wasn't half as cheesy as I expected. Progress!

Lovely review. I've commented like 4 times today on 4 different tv shows. I'm going to quit now. Also, I used my Google Account for my last comment, which is why my name was different.




Billie Doux said...

I'm enjoying all your comments, Lydia. Welcome to the site! Glad you're enjoying it.

Billie Doux said...

Nice review, J.D. I like Paul Blackthorne and it was nice that they gave him so much to do. But I think they need to decide what they're doing with him and *go there*. Is he Commissioner Gordon or isn't he? I also wish they hadn't been so predictable about Sara getting loose.

I'm also enjoying Felicity and Curtis. Any bets on how soon he'll figure out who Green Arrow is? I'd say fall finale.

Bea said...

I thought it was a really cool episode for Quentin as well. I love Paul Blackthorne, but I didn't care much for his character last season; his whole grudge with Laurel over Sara's death felt too contrived and made him very unlikeable in my eyes, so I'm happy that they're going this double agent/reluctant helper to Oliver route. I think he has great chemistry with Darkh, and I loved his breakdown scene with Oliver.

Ugh, Ii'm not really into the Sara storyline. I love Sara as a character, but I kind of hate the route they're going to bring her back. It seemed to desperate a move from Laurel to me (like, when Malcolm Merlin is telling you that something's a bad idea, you really need to question yourself, dude), and watching Sara growling all monster-like is just not that interesting. Although, again, kudos to Paul Blackthorne for that scene where he was going to kill her, it was heartbreaking.

I'm loving Curtis as well, both his rapport with Felicity and himself as a charater. He gives me Cisco vibes, and Cisco has turned into my favorite character in The Flash, so that's always a good thing. :)

Freeman said...

I'll say it again, I really like how this season is shaping up. Hopefully they can keep this momentum going. Even though Quentin has been kind of a jerkbutt recently, I can't help but like him. This episode basically shows the reasons why as well. I can't exactly blame him for his behavior. And again, I would love to see what the Arrowverse's version of Gotham is. Like Star City is a friggin' cesspool of corruption and sadness at this point, so I can't even imagine what could be going down in Gotham. Probably just straight up Zero Year in that place.

Last week I didn't get into my customary bashing of Laurel, so I'll do it here. Laurel is once again terrible. She was kinda coasting towards the end of season 3, and wasn't getting on my nerves or anything. But like for every step forward, she takes two steps back. I suppose it's nice that not everyone is a squeaky clean hero, but literally everyone who has seen what she did with Sara is freaking out about it. How selfish can someone be? At the very least, I'll be able to thank her that because of her actions, Matt Ryan gets to take another crack at Constantine. I am so excited for that. I actually pumped my fist in the air when I saw him in the promo. I just hope when Sara is revived she's not just back to normal, and there will be repercussions for her coming back to life. Like some kind of price she needs to constantly pay to remain alive or something.

I always like the flashbacks by just how we get to see Ollie turn into that shut down killer we met in the first season. So far I think the flashbacks are pretty interesting. I hope we get an episode that focuses on the flashbacks for a longer period of time.