Arrow: Unchained

"Maybe next time we do something that doesn't involve me getting stabbed or shot at. Just an idea."

Hmmm. I have no idea how to sum up this episode in a single line teaser.

In a lot of ways it was all over the place, totally disjointed. Where do I even start? I guess the most emotional battle of the episode was Thea's, even though it was hardly front and center. Her scenes with Oliver, Roy, and Malcolm were all really well done, and played off her built up history with each character. It felt almost like a goodbye, and it could answer the question of who Oliver needs to kill (because of the person in the grave). It might be Malcolm, because he could interfere with Thea's recovery so that he can stay in power. But I still think killing off Thea doesn't feel right dramatically, not when it has nothing to do with the big bad of the season.

Moving on, we have Nyssa. It makes total sense that she would have loyalists that would help her escape so that she could take a shot at becoming the new Ras Al Ghul. Her plan is an interesting one too, turning to team Arrow for help while dangling a mystical cure for Thea as well. It seems almost too good to be true, but then again Malcolm doesn't know everything (and this cure could be legitimate). It is curious that Tatsu ended up being the guardian of the magical flower. Was that just a nice way to bring Tatsu back? I don't mind, I just find it a bit convenient.

Again there was no real connective tissue to the rest of the story, which brings up the next big plotline: Felicity and her recovery. Despite a slight lack of confidence which only required a small pep talk to overcome, Felicity seems like Felicity, not really worse for wear. She is already mastering her disability with ease, and adjusting to her new life and code-name with a smile on her face. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Is she putting up a front for her real pain? While I like that she has seemingly moved on, it feels off to me. I'm gonna put this issue to rest for a few episodes though, and see where it ends up. There has to be more to her arc than this.

Maybe a part of it will come with the new semi-reoccurring villain set up for the group to fight, Calculator. Not only is he Felicity's equal, he is also her father. He might prove to be an even bigger threat to Felicity's recovery than her injuries. I'm curious where they are going with his character, and I'm thrilled they got Tom Amandes to play him. Plus the idea of a person with her level of genius, only evil, has scary implications.

Case in point, he uncovered Roy's real identity, blackmailed him and forced him to steal for him. As an excuse to bring back a character it was a good one, even if the timing was too convenient, especially if Thea is doomed. I did like all of Roy's interactions with the team and getting him back in the Arsenal suit. His goodbye to Thea was actually touching as well, expressing the loss they both feel over the ending of their relationship.

Flashback:

I was totally surprised to see Shado again, and at first I thought it was her sister. But no, hallucination combined with magic, I think. Mostly this was another cool excuse to bring back a character. Shado's death hasn't been a thing since Slade was defeated, but I love that it is still haunting Oliver on the Island. Plus, what was that weird rock that showed up in reality after his vision/dream/hallucination? The other big development was that Oliver finally confessed about killing Taiana's brother.

Bits:

I loved how Felicity kept mocking the Calculator.

For a moment I thought Curtis was going to use his sphere thingy to beat Roy, but perhaps it is a bit soon for him to join the group as a new superhero. If that is in fact where they are taking the character.

No Damien Darhk, but his wife is now running for Mayor.

I hope this isn't the last time we get to see a lot of these returning characters. Shado, Roy, and Tatsu are all too good to not keep them around.

Quotes:

Felicity: "First Sara, then Ray, then John's brother. Whose shocking return can we look forward to next?"

Laurel: "Maybe it was just somebody who's able to make themselves look like Roy. Don't act like it's the craziest possibility after everything that we've experienced."

Oliver: "What did he take this time?"
Felicity: "A triode capacitor bomb. Tiny device, really huge boom."

Roy: "He calls himself The Calculator."
Felicity: "That's what happens when the bad guys names themselves."

Felicity: "The Calculator now has everything he needs to melt the internet. I love the internet."

Roy: "Man, I cannot believe you shot me."
Oliver: "Really?"

Roy: "Do you ever get tired, you know, of carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders like that all the time?"
Oliver: "You sound like Felicity... and Diggle."
Roy: "Well, great minds."

Felicity: "My pride that you understood what I was saying is slightly undercut by your lack of faith in me."

Felicity: "Ooh, good story. Write me a letter. From prison."

Felicity: "Boom! I believe the technical term is I pwned you."

Diggle: "Just because you're wearing red doesn't make you the Flash, Roy."

Solid, but not great. There were some really fun moments though, and the returning characters were a treat.

3 out of 4 Ghosts from the past

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

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What!? No comment on Felicity's dad's identity?

Billie Doux said...

Anonymous, it's there: Maybe a part of it will come with the new semi-reoccurring villain set up for the group to fight, Calculator. Not only is he Felicity's equal, he is also her father.

I thought it was a good episode. In particular, it was nice to get Roy back -- I missed him. And I still haven't got a clue about who is in the grave.

Patrick said...

Billie, I'm stumped about the grave too. Do we even know at this point that it's Damien Darhk that Oliver's hellbent on killing after the scene at the grave? I'm pretty sure Felicity only said "him", and I think Oliver did the same during the flash-forward in the season premiere. What if "him" isn't even who we think it is? Besides Damien, I can think of three other candidates for "him": Anarky because in a way he's a product of Team Arrow's making, the guy in charge during the island flashbacks especially since he's now got a connection to the Diggles, and Malcolm because...it's Malcolm. As for who's in the grave, there's still a boatload of possibilities. Part of me wonders if Oliver's newfound son and/or baby-momma(yes, I hate myself for using that term) are in there, just because I'm not sure what other reason the writers would have for revisiting that plotline this season except that Anna Hopkins is available again now that Defiance is over(and holy cow does she look like totally different people between those two shows).

I'm SUPER psyched by the introduction of the Calculator, mostly because of the casting. Tom Amandes is always fun to watch, I can't wait to see where they go with him.

Curtis was fun again, I kinda hope he gets let into Team Arrow fairly soon. As much as I'm usually against EVERYONE on the show knowing the "big secret", I find it even more annoying when all the significant characters except ONE know.

Marianna said...

Roy wore the suit that Thea has been wearing that I'm assuming has been adjusted for her smaller size. Err...

Anonymous said...

Marianna I think its just an extra one of his old Arsenal suit. Thea's suit has more black to it and a little different style from what I can tell.