Arrow: Restoration

"I suggest you prepare yourself for the worst."

For several episodes now, including a couple from last season, Oliver and Diggle have been on the outs. On the surface it was about Oliver's betrayal, and Diggle's reaction to that betrayal. To me, it felt almost like manufactured drama. Apparently I was wrong, because Diggle's issues turned out to be far deeper and more interesting than I realized.

I think Diggle was far less hurt by Oliver's betrayal than he was about the imbalance in their relationship that betrayal exposed. For three seasons (years), Diggle has been a faithful friend, acolyte, backup, body-guard, and confidant. He's been Oliver's right hand, and often his conscience. Yet at the heart of their relationship there was always a bit of a unspoken distance between them. Namely in the idea that Diggle was more than willing to fall on the sword for Oliver, but was the reverse true as well?

It almost goes without saying for us viewers; Oliver would've died for Diggle without hesitation. He's the hero type, after all. But would that be so clear to Diggle? Oliver has kept all kinds of secrets and lied so many times. He has manipulated Diggle and even kidnapped his wife. That could allow for an odd window of doubt to creep into Diggle's mind, enough that the perceived betrayal hit on a very specific nerve. He needed to know if Oliver truly had his back, would take a bullet, or in this case a card, for him. In retrospect, that's actually pretty deep and well thought out, reaching back all the way to season one.

On the other side of the drama coin we got the continuing fun of Felicity and Curtis. It was so gleefully cool to see her step up and defend herself and her colleague that way. It doesn't matter that she couldn't aim a machine gun to save her life; at least she was able to fend off a meta-human who proved himself to be lethal. She's come a long way, and I just hope that doesn't mean her character arc is coming to end soon.

Actually, I'm more worried about Thea at this point. There were some pretty strong indications that the consequences of Sara's resurrection would end in Thea's death. Especially with the pit being destroyed by Nyssa. Not only was Nyssa extremely upset by Sara's return (making her a potential threat to Thea), but Sara herself was clearly gunning for Thea as well. Which has to do with the whole 'must destroy the one who wronged you' thing, because although Malcolm was the one who orchestrated Sara's death, it was Thea who actually killed her.

I can't blame Laurel, though, for wanting to bring her sister back. Who could resist that kind of answer to grief? Even with potentially dire consequences, I don't know if I could say no to bringing back a dead loved one. Yet I do get why both Malcolm and Nyssa were against it, and why Nyssa is going kinda nuts. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the foreshadowing is all over the place for a reason. Maybe we aren't going to lose a central character, and the grave that Oliver was visiting was his mother's... yeah, we're going to lose someone soon, damn it.


There was some movement on the flashback front, mainly Oliver showing his more deplorable skills to his new fellow soldiers. At least he is still trying to do the right thing. Is that female worker (she doesn't even have a character name in IMdb) going to be important to the story arc this season? Or is she just an innocent that Oliver needed to rescue instead of letting her die?

Comic Book Bits:

Double Down, another DC comics translation, belongs to the Flash villain gallery, and along with several other recent villains was introduced fairly recently (2001). Jeremy Tell was a con-artist and gambler who lost a big game and murdered the man he lost to, and was cursed with a mystical deck of cards that bonded to his body. This version of him is actually a bit toned down (thankfully), and the tattoos were a nice way to handle his canon powers, which were a bit grotesque.


I like the fact that the action in this series is almost always top-notch, but does every episode start with our heroes running?

Things do tend to move slowly on this show, but will it take a villain tracking down Diggle or Felicity before they start using code names?

Curtis showed some hero qualities as well, including probably the biggest one, that he's able to keep a secret. Was that orb with the T on it related to his future alter ego?

So Felicity can do everything, except when she can't. She can remote operate a crane, but she can't run the analysis on Tell's card? Or was that just a cute excuse to have her do the exact same thing to Curtis that Oliver did to her in season one, as in come up with a lame explanation for an utterly bizarre request?

I like Ryan Robbins, but Conklin is such an ass that I doubt he'll last long.

Markovia was mentioned again. That was where we lost Deadshot last season.

Another lair has been discovered. I wonder what Oliver's surprise is going to be?

So even odds that the reason Felicity's phone is acting up has something to do with Ray.


Diggle: "You took a bullet for me."
Oliver: "They were meta human tattoo playing cards."
Diggle: "Still counts, Oliver. Still counts."

Felicity: "Thank you for not letting him know there's a secret lair in the basement."
Curtis: "I'm a full service employee."

I liked this one, it didn't blow me away.

3 out of 4 Lethal playing cards
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

1 comment:

Billie Doux said...

I'm very fond of Diggle and was tired of the Oliver/Diggle estrangement, but you're right that they gave its resolution some meaning and depth. I'm also liking what they're doing with Curtis. And I doubt somehow that the producers are stupid enough to kill off Felicity! I like Thea now more than I ever have, but it feels more likely that we'll lose her, instead.

I don't like seeing Sara that way. Although I'm glad we have her back in the Arrow/Flashverse. All I could think of when I saw what Nyssa did to the pit was that it looked like she'd poured Jell-O into it.

Terrific review, J.D.