I had a bit of trouble figuring out what to write about this episode, because for the most part it was delightful.
Olicity was never a ship I wanted. I thought they were better as a working couple, even an odd couple, and Felicity's crush was the source of dozens of great quotes. So when they were inevitably put together, I was a bit unsure whether it would gel for me. I can finally say it has, and now I'm really worried about what that means.
For most shows, especially shows that like to shake things up on a regular basis and kill off characters at least once a season, relationships generally paint giant targets on that couples' collective backs. Either they break up, are forced apart, or one of them is killed. Which is a massive shame, especially when the whole drama of this episode was handled in a very adult and real-life way. There was drama, there was conversation, and resolution. Shock, I mean how often are relationships on television depicted with that kind of even hand? Sure, your dedicated dramas have time for that kind of stuff, but an action show about comic book heroes? Nah, rarely if ever. So if Felicity and Oliver's relationship lasts past the fall finale, color me pleasantly surprised and happy.
Which brings me to the big honking gorilla in the room, that stupid gravestone. How effective has this been? I mean, the only character we know for sure is alive is Oliver. Everyone else is pretty much on the target list (well, except for Sara and Ray since they are moving to a spin-off). That is making every threat all the more real, and every bad guy that much more dangerous. Every character has had a moment of foreshadowing too, where I could say with certainty that they were the one buried six feet under.
The closer we get to that moment, the more I'm personally dreading it. Is it Laurel, Quentin, Diggle, Thea or (God forbid) Felicity? I mean the show could probably work without Laurel or Quentin, maybe even Diggle. But how could it possibly work without Felicity? The loss of any of those characters would create a huge hole in the series that wouldn't be easily filled. Would Curtis fill in for Felicity then? Would that mean Laurel and Oliver were inevitable? Yuck. As much as I didn't want Oliver and Felicity together before, I want Laurel and Oliver together even less.
So what if one of the other characters bite it? Diggle's death would be pretty awful, but tolerable. Quentin is almost too obvious, especially since he's been dealing with the devil and has a medical condition. Laurel, as much as I dislike her nowadays, I don't see it happening. Which leaves Thea. Unfortunately, Thea might make the most sense, and that is just horrible. She's never gotten a real chance, just a shitty childhood, addiction, a dead father and brother, a dead mother, an evil father, a lost love, revivification, bloodlust, and now she might be killed when she's basically just a child. That's just rough.
Okay, back to the episode itself, I loved Donna's return and her potential love connection with Quentin. I loved the way Oliver just took Felicity's mini-gargantuan freakout without being pissy about it. He did get upset because he didn't know what he did wrong, but he was never petulant about it. I liked how rough Ray looked, and I'm glad he's officially back. Pretty much everything was about perfect. Except for the Sara stuff. Her re-introduction was handled very casually, and the character didn't get much screen time before jetting off to some unknown destination, likely Legends of Tomorrow.
The spider-man kiss at the end was pretty nice.
At least they acknowledged Mrs. Lance, and a phone call is probably easier than booking Alex Kingston for a minute cameo.
Oliver doing a flip while descending to access that panel during the robbery was a fun stunt.
So Sara's bloodlust is unresolved, damn.
Acting shoutout goes to our core three (Oliver, Diggle, Felicity) and that wonderful scene where Diggle had to sit between Oliver and Felicity fighting. It really showed how much all three actors have grow into their characters, and how good their chemistry actually is.
Dig's temporary nickname is 'Spartan'. I wonder if that'll be permanent. It suits him.
When everyone was leaving the HIVE base after rescuing Ray, I realized how unwieldy the team has gotten. Maybe losing someone won't be that big a deal as far as numbers go.
There was a lot of talk about normal and normal relationships, the irony of course is that none of these people are remotely normal.
I loved that Darhk was just keeping Ray on his desk like a really absurd paperweight.
The stinger revealed that Darhk has an actual plan that involves some kind of power source. Hmmm, me thinks it'll be related to the fall finale.
Laurel: "John is never gonna believe this."
Oliver: "Neither is Thea."
Laurel: "And well, Ray is..."
Felicity: "... the size of a tater tot."
Curtis: "Dr. Palmer got miniaturization to work. He made the space between atoms shrink. I mean, this like solving cold fusion and ultimate theory. Do you have any idea how amazing this is?"
Felicity: "Yeah. but the fact that Ray's being held hostage and could be killed at any moment because he is the size of a Cheeto has damped my enthusiasm somewhat."
Felicity: "You've faced down Mirakuru soldiers and the League of Assassins. Are you honestly telling me that you couldn't say no to my mom?"
Oliver: "She said she missed you and then texted me one of those emojis with a single tear."
Felicity: "You have been texting with my mother? How long has that been going on?"
Diggle: "You guys think we can find a better time to fight about this?"
Felicity: "John, I thought only Oliver's line was open."
Diggle: "Nope. Mine is open."
Laurel and Thea: "And mine."
Sara: "I don't remember there being so much chatter on these missions."
Quentin: "How did that go?"
Sara: "Easier than the last time Mom found out that I wasn't dead."
4 out of 4 Emojis with a single tear
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.