Arrow: A.W.O.L.

"I'm not you anymore and I haven't been for a long time."

This was a bit of a disjointed episode that didn't gel the way it should have.

Maybe it was because Felicity suddenly started to hallucinate her old self. It was almost too on the nose, and her emotional realization came a bit too easily. While I'm happy that she didn't mope and go down a dark road of self-hatred and drug addiction, it did seem a little simple for her to push through that existential dilemma in one evening of talking to her emo-self. Don't get me wrong. Felicity is a strong person, with a good support system. Even if they focused more on her physical recovery, it wasn't a stretch for her to recover fairly quickly. Plus it is likely that things are not going to be sunshine and happiness going forward. This should be an ongoing issue, and her emotional health might go up and down depending on future events.

At least Felicity finally got a code-name: Overwatch. It's fitting, and it was also a bit of fun fan service to acknowledge that Oracle already exists (and that sets up the fact that the Batman family is somewhere out there in this universe). Now there should be no more calling out real names in front of bad guys. Because John is a pretty common name, but Thea, Felicity, Oliver, and Laurel are not.

Or possibly the disjointedness was due to the introduction of Andrew's past association with the corrupt military group Shadowspire, led by the Baron. As far as connections between villain groups go, this was kind of cool in one respect -- bridging the gap between the current Island story and the present story involving Andrew, which could potentially lead to more information about H.I.V.E. and Damien Darhk.

The plot revolving around Shadowspire using misdirection to take down A.R.G.U.S. was a bit convoluted, but ultimately consequential. I don't know if Waller was killed off because her character was no longer needed for the story, or because DC didn't want her to be a main player on Arrow anymore because of the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. Either way it was pretty shocking that she was just suddenly gone after being a fairly important player for going on three seasons now.

I'm still not quite on board with the Baron as a big bad. He doesn't seem all that menacing yet. Or at least he doesn't hold a candle to Darhk. But maybe the fact that they are both deeply entrenched in the magical world will pay out as the rest of the season unfolds.


I'm glad that Lyla made it through the episode. Actually as I was thinking about this one, given that it was a big Diggle family drama episode, it would've been a perfect opportunity to kill one of them off. Diggle is still in the cross-hairs, but I'm not sure that Lyla is anymore. I could be wrong, though.

I also realized the writers are treating the Andy story a lot like the flashback plots (i.e. incrementally, stretched over the whole season). While this does give his character room to grow and change realistically, especially if he is ever going to join Team Arrow, it also feels like it is beginning to drag out a bit.

Andrew is so good at being two-faced that he should move to Gotham. I'm totally unconvinced he won't sell out Team Arrow and his brother right along with them to Darhk at the first opportunity.

Now that Waller is dead, does that mean A.R.G.U.S. and any future Suicide Squad episodes are now dead as well?


Hallucination Felicity: "I thought 'vomiting inside my mouth' was just an expression."

Oliver: "I'm sorry that I pushed. I just thought that if you got behind a keyboard again, that things would start to feel normal."
Felicity: "I love how playing superhero is what we consider 'normal'. But there's no going back to normal."

Felicity: "I wanted to come along on your awesome superhero adventure because I wanted to help people. And the old me was so angry at the world, but anger never accomplished anything. It just created more anger. And some seriously bad personal style choices."

Felicity: "It's the fault of only one man and he has an extremely on-the-nose and alliterative name."

Oliver: "Overwatch, we're on site."
Felicity: "Excuse me?"
Oliver: "Well, I thought that it was time you got a code name. What do you think?"
Felicity: "It's perfect."
Oliver: "I was going to go with Oracle, but it's taken."

Oliver: (toasting) "To Amanda Waller."
Felicity: (fondly) "You remember the time she tried to take down the city with a drone strike? Good times."

While I liked this episode, I wasn't that impressed with it.

2 out of 4 Evil villain groups introduced this season

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.


Billie Doux said...

Yes, exactly. It all felt too pat. One episode to adjust to living in a wheelchair? Plus there were hints that it wasn't permanent. It's not that I don't want Felicity to recover because she's probably my favorite character on the show and I love her, but the magic recovery thing sucks a lot of drama out of a plot twist. Not to mention that it's unrealistic.

And I was surprised by Amanda Waller, too. I guess we'll have to see where they go with all this.

I don't trust Andy, either.

sunbunny said...

I actually liked that she emotionally recovered so quickly. Too easy? Probably. But Felicity is the sunshine of the show. The counterpart to Oliver's broody self loathing. If Felicity were to head anywhere near that place the show would suffer enormously. For me, she's what makes the show as enjoyable and watchable as it is. Everyone else is so dramatic and anguished, I couldn't take it from Felicity too. Especially with all the Diggle family drama. I'm definitely not saying you have to stay super crazy positive if you're in a life altering accident, just that one person on this show needs to not be in the middle of an existential crisis. Just one.

I shocked when Amanda Waller was disposed of so casually. She's such a huge character in the DC-verse. I'm sure your right, that the big bosses didn't want two Amanda Wallers to coexist. I find myself wishing for possibly the billionth time that DC had a similar set up to Marvel and that their movies and TV shows all took place in one universe instead of...not that. I mean Arrow/The Flash/Legends of Tomorrow are all consistent, but the movies don't link up at all.