This was a fun one, if a bit predictable.
So the consequences of time travel have finally caught up to Oliver. It just took an extra two months for the lie about William to play out. I totally got Felicity's anger, she has every right to feel betrayed. It was rather interesting that her reaction this time was less about indignation and anger than disappointment. She honestly doesn't know if she can deal with Oliver's secretive personality anymore. It comes from a very different place than the last time. Yet, her words were not final. She only said she needed time. That sounded like she left the door to their relationship open a crack. I guess we'll see, but I'm pretty sure Olicity isn't over.
The rest of the episode was fairly fun, with the stand out being Vixen. She was pretty much exactly what I wanted her character to be: she was funny, a badass, and totally believable as an action hero. Also the effects for her powers were mostly... effective. I'd say the only downside was that she basically served as a deus ex machina, in that she came in for one episode and cut down Damien Darhk's threat level to basically zilch (at least his ability to fight our team one on one).
While it has been a bit frustrating having the villain always have the upper hand, It was almost too easy a solution, to the point where I wonder why Oliver didn't think of it earlier. Did it take having his son kidnapped to see the bigger picture? Or was it just one of those things where the character's stubbornness overwhelmed his common sense?
As for the rest, well, the action scenes were all well done. The character interactions were pretty decent, especially Laurel reacting to the news about how Oliver cheated on her with Samantha resulting in a child. There were some other things, namely Oliver's political career going kaput, that really just fell flat for me. Actually the more that I write about this episode, the more I realize it wasn't really the intense and desperate fight to recover a child I would expect from this show.
Was it because the new character (Vixen) split the attention from the primary struggle? The angst provided by the forced lie breaking up the primary couple on the show? Or was the episode just not quite as engaging as usual? Maybe I'm starting to lose patience with what has otherwise been a pretty solid season. These last two have felt like the worst parts of previous seasons, where plot overtakes character and logic to force things down a very specific route. Ah well.
Welcome back, Conklin, sort of. The sudden appearance of a Conklin-shaped spirit was a bit surprising. Especially since it appears to be the ghost of the island, which is exactly what the Baron was searching for. Less surprising was the fact that Oliver had permission to enter that mysterious cave. The good news is that it looks like things are finally moving forward, yay!
Comic Book Bits:
Vixen was introduced in an animated short last year as a part of the Arrow-verse canon. I think I watched them, but they didn't leave much of an impression. The character herself has been around for about thirty-seven years (her first comic book appearance was in 1978). She was invented to be the first African female DC comics superhero, but things in the industry delayed the launch of the character a bit and she is mostly utilized in team books (like Justice League and Suicide Squad).
One More Thought:
Samantha's logic about Oliver only makes sense if his immediate friends and family would potentially be unstable influences on her son. The only person she knew for a fact was still in Oliver's life was Laurel, who was probably the only good thing about Oliver when she knew him before. So her reasoning doesn't make sense, in that keeping the relationship limited to contact with just Oliver, and not the other positive elements in Oliver's life, doesn't jive with what she knew about him.
Or worse, that she, say, turned on the news and learned about his new political career, and his upcoming wedding to the innovative and beloved new CEO of Palmer industries. In other words, this is a prime example of plot forcing characters to do illogical things for the sake of directing the narrative to a specific place contrived place (i.e. Felicity and Oliver breaking up).
Yeah, that break up scene was rough. But what the heck, Felicity just started walking? I mean she hasn't really been disabled too long, so I guess her leg muscles would still be in good shape. But it generally takes months, if not years, for someone to relearn how to walk if they regain that ability after paralysis. That was why that opening scene worked so well, it was borderline realistic having her fail to be able to take a single step.
So I guess Alex really was just a character brought in to be Oliver's office manager. Huh.
Thea and Malcolm's argument at the end of the episode was a long time coming. I loved how he threw out the fact that she has always treated him with venom as an excuse for his actions, beyond petty vengeance. As if she has any reason to treat him with respect. While he has protected her, he has no idea what a loving parental relationship actually is.
This was another episode the focused on parental relationships, but I don't think it was nearly as good as "Sins of the Father."
Mari: "The best thing my parents ever gave me was that freedom. Well, that and this totem, that makes me a total badass."
Oliver: "You don't need a totem for that."
Mari: "Damn right, I don't."
Diggle: "What about Constantine?"
Oliver: "He's in Hell."
Thea: "Really? What's going on?"
Oliver: "I mean he's actually, literally, in Hell."
Oliver: "Mari and I had an animated encounter last year."
Mari: "Don't you dare tell Barry about this." (Sniffs a Flash action figure)
Darhk: "You know what? You might want to learn to be a little bit more discreet. Have you considered black instead of green?"
Darhk: "You'll fire an arrow at me? I think we've seen that movie before. I win, you lose, rinse, repeat."
2 out of 4 Magical talismans that give people superpowers.
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.