Arrow: Dangerous Liaisons

Felicity: "You know, I found the transition from hacker to vigilante to be surprisingly straightforward."

For an episode about chasing a bad guy so evil that the ends justify the means, it also moved some core relationships forward in fascinating ways.

Ever since Oliver and Felicity broke up last season (was it last season?), their relationship has been tenuous at best. They have been dancing around each other, wavering between strained friendship and reconciliation. It seems that every time they get close some event pops up that nearly severs their ties, followed by something else that inevitably draws them back together. The relationship between Oliver and Felicity has always been complicated and I wonder if the constant imbalance between them is part of the reason the writers broke them up initially. She couldn't understand his darkness, and he couldn't be truly good. Now that he's faced that darkness, she's embracing hers. Does that mean they're going to find each other again? Or is this the beginning of them parting ways permanently?

The same could be said for Diggle and Lyla, as Lyla is filling Waller's shoes, her choices have become less ambiguous and more corrupt. I get the feeling it was the other way around the first time they got divorced, that Diggle crossed a certain line that Lyla couldn't handle, having to do with his military service. I am curious if the Arrow producers/writers are going to break them up again or kill her off because, you know, Diggle needs more tragedy in his life.

This couple-centric mess was all centered around Helix, and a character we never actually got to meet. Was Felicity's choice of breaking Cayden James out of Argus (whose imprisonment was already morally bankrupt) and trusting Helix wrong? Probably. But Helix has been surprisingly good. Despite the fact that Alena killed someone, perhaps accidentally. So that leaves us with a few questions; Who is Cayden James? Why is he relevant? Is he a good guy? A bad guy? Felicity's father? Have they just not cast him yet? Will we not hear about Helix again or are they being set up as a story arc for next season? Because Alena sending Felicity a goodbye message... feels fairly final. (I like alliteration.)

How do I feel about this? Personally, I would like Lyla and Diggle to stay together, and Oliver and Felicity to get back together. But clearly the dramatic tension and romantic conflict in this episode will not be resolved immediately. Maybe, like Helix, it will be extended to next season. Which is definitely frustrating.

The other plot point revolved around Quentin and Rene's daughter Zoe. Quentin may have seriously overreached, but it worked within his character's motivations, since so much of his life has been all about his daughters. There was a prominent photo of himself with Laurel on his desk, just in case the audience had forgotten that. And to be fair, he has lost both of his daughters not once, but twice. And ultimately Quentin was right that Rene was punishing himself for injuring Zoe. Neglect is not something to be taken lightly by any stretch, but Rene is so clearly not the kind of man anymore who would let that happen again. It was time for him to fight for a relationship with his daughter again.

Bits:

-- The chase for Chase may have been an important plot point but he never appeared. And maybe I just wanted to say, "the chase for Chase."

-- I like the actress who plays Alena, and she had some fun moments in this episode.

-- Dinah's canary cry is kind of bad ass, isn't it? And the character just feels like a better fit for role of Black Canary than Laurel ever did.

-- The laser grid was blatant metaphor for the separation between between Oliver and Felicity.

-- At the beginning of the episode, there was a neon light that was flashing with the word "Arcade" and the "A" kept going off, so it was "arc" and "de." I don't know if there was significance to this, but it seemed like we were supposed to notice it. So I noticed it.

Quotes:

Curtis: "We have to move right now."
Rene: "See something?"
Curtis: "Yes. This is Maximum Force. It's vintage. We cannot let anything happen to this."

Curtis: "Roger, Roger. We have clearance, Clarence. What is our vector, Victor?"


Curtis: "Over Terrific here. Or Mr. Watch. Or Watch Terrific. Anyway, it'll come to me."

Rene: "You wanted to see me, Hoss?"
Quentin: "Yeah. First, close the door. Second, what have I told you about calling me 'Hoss'?"
Rene: "Don't?"

Oliver: "When Lyla and Felicity Smoak are willing to cross the line..."
John: "Makes you wonder if there even is one, right?"

Not bad at all. Two and a half out of four vintage video games? Three?

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

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

It does feel like they're finally going to resolve this "will they again" thing with Olicity. I used to want them back together, but now I'm starting to wonder if maybe it's too late? I also would hate to see Diggle's marriage break up.

The Rene stuff was way too heartwarming, but I like him with Quentin so much that I was okay with it. :)

Patryk said...

I bet Helix is next season's big bad and that's why they didn't show it's leader who's not even cast yet. Just like Damian Darkh in season 3.

I would lalso like some info on if Vigilante is really gone and what happened to Evelyn after the fake-out death two episodes ago.

Thea is again absent, feels like they might consider writing her out soon. The flashbacks also took a back seat, but I guess the only thing left is for Oliver to return to Lian Yu and arrange to be found.

Tim said...

Alena is played by Kacey Rohl, who has been equally great in The Magicians, The Killing and Hannibal (amongst others).