Arrow: The Candidate

Darhk: "All you represent is anarchy."

With the city falling apart at the seams with the Ghosts/Hive attacking and robbing things left and right, it makes sense that someone would want to step up and run for Mayor.

I felt bad for Jessica Danforth, an old friend of Moira's and clearly a good person trying to do the right thing. Having her daughter kidnapped by a psychopath would probably be almost too much for anyone to overcome when making a political bid. Except for the most logical person for the job, Oliver. When he figured out that he was going to run, it was almost like a head-slapping "DUH" moment.

Oliver becoming the Mayor would fulfill the other side of his need to be a strong force for change in Star City. The Green Arrow can only do so much, even with his team fighting as hard as they can to take down the enemies of the city. The question remains, can he ascend to the position without collateral damage? He is painting a target on Thea, Laurel, Felicity, and even Diggle. Of course if any extended family can handle the risks involved, it's that one.

Although Thea is not entirely stable right now. I mentioned in my last review that it feels awfully coincidental that she didn't start showing side-effects from the Lazarus Pit until after she witnessed Darhk and his magic first hand. Well, okay she was a little overzealous, but the more violent side of it only showed up in that warehouse scene where Darhk killed one of his minions by sucking the life out of him.

What really bothers me about this whole thing though, was that somehow Laurel was not told about what happened to Thea. Was it because Oliver knew she would do exactly what she is about to do? Try and resurrect Sara using the pits? Either way, having Thea and Laurel head to Nanda Parbat is a fun way of solving the riddle of how Sara comes back from the dead. Given Laurel's personality, there would be no way she wouldn't at least try to bring her sister back.

I'm not sure how I personally feel about the Diggle/Oliver relationship drama. It still feels manufactured to me. Especially when Diggle has pertinent information about Darhk and his Hive operation. Specifically that it has been around long enough that they were behind his brother's death. That was several years ago, which means they are very good at keeping hidden, and that they're clearly organized, and very dangerous. More curiously though, why did they kill off the other Diggle?

Felicity's story this week was also a bit depressing, until it wasn't. It was fun that Curtis Holt came up with the algorithm that allowed the Board to create a list of employees to fire, and he was also the one that Felicity ended up using as a solution to keep those same employees from losing their jobs. This feels like an fun sub-plot for the rest of the season, but I wonder how it will fit with the rest of the story arcs. I assume it has to do with Curtis Holt's comic book origins (see below).

Flashback:

So we're back on the island, which was inevitable, but beyond the desire to continue the flashbacks, what storytelling reason is there to put Oliver undercover with a secretive and sketchy military outfit? At least Oliver got his hair cut short, until he grows it out next year when he gets off the island. I'm tentatively looking forward to seeing what Waller wants from this group and from Oliver.

Comic Book Bits:

Curtis Holt is a relatively new character to the DC comic universe (introduced in 1997), although his name in the comics is Michael, he has used the name Curtis as an alias. He is the second character to take up the mantle of the hero Mr. Terrific, and has a technology-based superpower. His most notable affiliations are with the Justice Society of America and Checkmate.

Lonnie Machin (Anarky) is also relatively new to the DC universe, introduced in the Batman title Detective Comics in 1989. He is a somewhat minor villain, but has had some minor popularity and even his own (short lived) series. His moniker (a red anarchy symbol) was used in this episode, which pretty much sets up his return.

Oliver running for Mayor has precedent in the comics. His time in office was marked by controversial decisions, manipulating corrupt businessmen and the stock market, and using S.W.A.T. to back up his alter-ego. I hope our version of Oliver is a little more level headed.

Bits:

It was nice to see Jeri Ryan, even if it was for a small guest role. She played one of the best characters on Star Trek: Voyager.

Felicity is right. She needs a code-name, and so does Diggle.

Star City is almost turning into Gotham, except it would need a dozen more super villain lunatics and gangs to truly run it into the ground.

Curtis Holt is gay, and has a husband that I hope we get to meet further down the line.

I love polite villains. Damien Darhk might be evil, ruthless, and impatient with failure. But at least he has rules of etiquette.

The saga-sell at the beginning has a new voice over. It is notably brighter in tone, which fits with Oliver's new desire to be a positive influence and inspiration, instead of just a vigilante.

Quotes:

Felicity: "Let's get one thing straight. The only person who is allowed to talk in sentence fragments around here is me."

Oliver: "We're gonna catch this guy."
Felicity: "Yeah, and when we do there's gonna be another one waiting for us, and another and another. It's like the most depressing game of whack a mole, ever."

While I liked this one, it felt mostly like set up.

3 out of 4 Masked vigilantes jumping through skylights.
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J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

4 comments:

Deborah Gallegos said...

In the comics, Michael Holt (Mr. Terrific) is the 3rd smartest person in the world so I'm looking forward to him giving Felicity a run for her money. :)

I would've liked to have seen more of Jeri Ryan this season. :(

I think Ray Palmer is still around, just sub-atomically sized.

Very disturbing scene of Sarah Lance's decaying corpse.

Thanks, JD!

Josie Kafka said...

Curtis Holt was my favorite addition; I hope he sticks around for a while.

I sort of didn't love the binary this episode presented: Oliver as order, Anarky as chaos. It felt rather reductive, and the idea of Oliver going straight by becoming mayor seems odd to me. Is there comics precedent for that? I like my vigilantes a bit more lawless.

Freeman said...

I'm enjoying the direction the show is taking. It already feels more focused than last season and Damien Darhk is proving to be a cool villain. I'm really liking this new hopeful Ollie, feels more in line with the Green Arrow I'm familiar with. Leave the brooding in Batman's neck of the woods. It's funny you compared Star City to Gotham at this point, I was thinking the same thing. Sometimes when I watch this show I get a little resentful, because it shows you can make a proper Batman show work. Speaking of Batman, this was a strange turn for Anarky, I always understood him to be more of a misguided anti-hero, not an outright lunatic villain.

I'm not sure how I feel about Curtis Holt being a dorklord. I can only stomach so many awkward nerds in my shows. At least he comes across as overly earnest and not necessarily a stammering wimp. Though who knows what is in store for him. At least we know he won't be yet another love interest for Felicity. He's pretty much the exact opposite of what I think of when I think of Mr. Terrific, at least aesthetically. Maybe he'll end up being the Felicity of Heroes of Tomorrow.

Josie, J.D. mentioned in the review that there was precedent for Ollie becoming the mayor of Star City. He also pointed out that while he was mayor, he wasn't exactly the most honest mayor. Should prove to be an interesting plot point.

Interested to see how Ray pops up again. I wonder if he's just been having horrifying Incredible Shrinking Man adventures all these months.

Marianna said...

"I'm really liking this new hopeful Ollie, feels more in line with the Green Arrow I'm familiar with. Leave the brooding in Batman's neck of the woods." That's exactly what I was thinking! It took them three seasons to realize he doesn't have to try to be Batman!