Arrow: A Matter of Trust

"Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Shakespeare, or Tupac."

I guess Oliver's leadership lessons are an ongoing thing. This time he learned about trust... again.

While I'm glad Oliver isn't changing overnight, I feel like he is a bit dense when it comes to understanding his own strengths and weaknesses. He makes snap judgments and is slow to reconsider those judgments, especially when it comes to those closest to him. He's ruined his relationship with Felicity, although she is almost as much to blame as he is, since she knew who and what he was before jumping into an intimate relationship with him.

Perhaps that's what is keeping them apart: Felicity's refusal to accept her own complicity in how things played out. His lie about his son was an important lie that had nothing to do with trusting her. Of course I'm only bringing this up again, because Felicity got all weird in a response about her relationship with Oliver. Her seeming inability to face her own choices is also tied to her guilt about what happened to Havenbrook, even though she did save lives by choosing the lesser of two evils.

Not that her choice to save lives is going to matter to Rory, who didn't need one of his new fledgling allies to unload her own guilt on him when he is still somewhat lost in his grief and rage. Is her telling him the truth the right thing? Yes, and no. It's right not to keep that secret in one respect, but only as a fear of the consequences if that secret ever got out. It is also hurtful and could have some dire consequences. She hadn't considered the timing of her revelation, and his emotional stability.

Meanwhile, Oliver is still acting far too brutal for a hero. He's killing, maiming, and otherwise acting without conscience or remorse. For that matter, so is the rest of his team, save Curtis. They aren't the Team Arrow of old, using sleep darts and non-lethal measures. Wild Dog specifically uses guns, and both Evelyn and Rory did some pretty hard take downs, which resulted in serious injury or death. Also, the way Oliver severed all of Sampson's tendons to defeat him was kinda gross.

This is in stark contrast to John who is having hallucinations of Deadshot to deal with his grief and guilt over killing his brother. This totally works for the character, and it's about time they did a serious arc for Diggle. At first I was wondering if Lyla was a hallucination too, but when she dropped in on Oliver at the end of the episode it confirmed that she was at least real. One last point, John now has a son instead of a daughter, yet another major consequence of the Flash messing with time.

At least by the end of the episode Oliver learned that he didn't just need others to trust him, he needed to trust them in return. So he placed his trust in his team and they came through for him. He placed his trust in Thea's decision about Quentin, and I am fairly confident it's the right one. More importantly, he backed her up on the record, and supported her in the best way possible. I'd say that's some nice character progress. Plus, Thea got to have the last word with that sneaky reporter who thought she was a naive fool.

Flashback:

The Bratva is turning out to be way more of a trial that Oliver thought it would be, with layers of initiation and indoctrination turning a new recruit into a monster little by little. This time Oliver got to see what the Bratva does to those even they consider to be monsters. Also, he had to endure a trust exercise that explains one of his larger back scars. This season does feel well thought out so far, and that's good because I want these final flashbacks to have a purpose.

Bits:

Curtis's costume is cool, but I have no idea how they did that face T.

I like that the new recruits were finally allowed into the Arrow cave.

For a moment I actually hooted for joy when Deadshot showed up, and I was disappointed when it turned out to be nothing more than John having some serious issues to work through.

Mr. Terrific is Curtis's alter-ego in the comics, and this was the first time the name was mentioned.

Sampson was a pretty dull villain, but at least he presented a challenge that was worthy of utilizing the whole team.

Quotes:

Wild Dog: "Did the people who built this elevator know your secret too?"

Evelyn: "I've been meaning to ask. What kind of vigilante wears a hockey mask?"
Oliver: "I think it's cool."

Overall this was a pretty good episode, with some important character and team building moments, but I don't think it is anything more than an okay episode.

2 1/2 out of 4 New Superhero Costumes.

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

3 comments:

Patrick said...

I too was thrilled to see Deadshot's return. I was bummed when he turned out to be a hallucination, but from a story perspective it was well done.

And for those who didn't know, Sampson was played by a friend of Stephen Amell. Cody Runnels(also known as Cody Rhodes) is the professional wrestler that Amell went up against in a tag-team match at WWE Summerslam last year. One of the personas he had in the WWE while he was there was as a character named....Stardust :)

Anonymous said...

Also, the hockey mask being cool must be a reference to the recent Turtles movie...

tricksterson said...

Or the Turtles in general. Casey Jones has always worn a hockey mask.