Arrow: The Longbow Hunters

Stanley: “WWGAD?”
Oliver: “What?”
Stanley: “What would Green Arrow do?”

This episode may be titled “The Longbow Hunters” but it was more about the remnants of Team Arrow than anything else. Oliver’s sacrifice may have brought Team Arrow back together but Felicity’s return to Star City redraws the old battle lines in new and unexpected ways.

Once upon a time, Felicity was Team Arrow’s representative sweetness and hope. And while she is still hopeful, that hope is now wrapped in a fierce determination to will an impossible future into existence. She will see Diaz captured and her family reunited. Rene is so down for that and Curtis is all good as long as Felicity doesn’t get him fired. Diggle, her fellow OG, not so much. A.R.G.U.S may have the cool toys but it also comes with rules and Diggle has minders, like Deputy Director Bell. Besides, Dig is still a military man at heart. Following the rules to achieve an objective one may or may not know the full scope of is ingrained.

The “hacktivist” in Felicity cannot abide. She sees Diggle’s actions as a betrayal, not only of Team Arrow’s mission for the past six years but of Oliver’s sacrifice. Diggle doesn't agree.  After a year of having, losing, then yearning for the Hood Diggle now sees it as a destructive force and wants no part. Not donning the Hood doesn't mean betraying Oliver. Working with A.R.G.U.S. allows Diggle to protect Star city and if they have to take down Diaz in the process so much the better.

In addition to the cool toys, A.R.G.U.S. also has intel and Felicity is a pragmatist. She’ll play ball if it means she has a shot at Diaz. And Felicity makes a good faith effort. She focuses on retrieving this week’s MacGuffin, the Prototype B-24, an ultrahigh density removable battery that can power a city or flatten one. Willing right up to the moment she had to choose between keeping the prototype out of Diaz’s hands and losing Diaz to the winds once more. Given everything Diaz has done to her and her family, I can’t say I blame her.

Regardless, Diggle and Felicity reach a truce. They may understand each other’s point of view but they both realize they can’t work together. At least not at the moment. Diggle needs to focus on the bigger picture of protecting the city and Felicity needs to work with someone’s whose focus is solely on Ricardo Diaz. Hello Agent Watson.

Oliver is waging his own battle – between the man he has become over the last six years and the man he may need to be to ensure his loved ones’ safety.  Rules are different in Slabside. Fear of the Green Arrow might have worked on the outside but inside it is quid pro quo. Brick knows where Diaz is and if Oliver wants to find out, then Yorke has got to go. Yorke may be a pain in the ass but he is a veteran and conscientious civil servant. Blackmailing him is out of the question and Oliver balks at a more permanent solution. Brick hands him an ultimatum. Either Oliver uses the shank he’s been given or Brick will. Oliver stages a standoff with Yorke and makes it appear that Yorke attacked him. Well, he did use the shank.

Dinah and Laurel have reached their own version of detente. Dinah may loathe Laurel with every fiber of her being but she’ll protect Star City’s District Attorney even if it means babysitting her personally. The problem is that if you’re the only person guarding someone you are somewhat dependent on them wanting to be guarded. Just ask season one Diggle. Laurel gives Dinah the slip. But not for long. Dinah finds her again because she’s just that good and the two of them investigate one of Diaz’s last known hideouts. He wasn’t there but one of his new henchmen – henchperson? – was. The Longbow Hunter aptly named Silencer. Silencer’s sonic dampener can handle one of the dueling canaries but not both. They didn’t capture Silencer, but they managed to walk away unscathed. Laurel opens up long enough to apologize for Vinny's death and it appears Dinah believed her.  Will wonders never cease.

Speaking of the Longbow Hunters, after six years, having high-tech gadgets and being badass fighters does not a Big Bad make. Especially since Diggle and the ladies fought them to a draw in their first encounters. I liked their power sets and I look forward to seeing what happens with them but they didn't quite live up to the hype.

Back on the island we are deliberately (and vaguely) left with the impression that Oliver and Felicity’s efforts to reunite their family were in vain. They “left” William and never came back. Despite or maybe because of this William apparently throws himself into work becoming successful enough he can spend a billion dollars pursuing magnetic levitation and a few million searching for Lian Yu. Roy’s future didn’t turn out so rosy either. Thea is obviously no longer in the picture and his response is to retreat to Lian Yu. Just as we have no idea why William was abandoned or how he earned his billions, we don’t know what happened to Thea or what connection Roy has to the island other than it’s where his mentor got his start.

I wasn’t bowled over by this episode but I’ll trust that it’s laying the groundwork for bigger and better things.

3 out of 5 ultrahigh density batteries

Parting Thoughts:  

Level two is worse than a death sentence? So, at some point Oliver is going to get sent there, right?

I just need to say how much I love how this and all the Berlanti-verse shows acknowledge sexual preferences and move on. It is just another fact about someone’s life. It doesn’t need to define the person.

There are no Longbows among The Longbow Hunters. Just sayin’.

Deputy Director Bell is overseeing Dig’s operations. Is Lyla Director? Or does Bell outrank her? Inquiring minds want to know.

Ever notice how Oliver’s computer skills increase the further away he is from Felicity?

No Green Arrow wannabe this week.

Quotes: 

Yorke: “Vacation’s over, 4587.”

Laurel: “Your officers had a medical emergency. Food poisoning, I think it was.
Dinah: “Food poisoning does not cause hearing loss and vertigo. You know what does? A sonic wave."

Laurel: “Isn’t babysitting a little bit below your pay grade?”

Curtis: “Please tell me you are hacking A.R.G.U.S. from inside A.R.G.U.S.?"
Felicity: “Of course I’m not hacking A.R.G.U.S. from inside A.R.G.U.S. I’m hacking Interpol from inside A.R.G.U.S."

Felicity: “I’m not gonna engage with The Longbow Hunters. I’m just gonna grab one of your T-spheres and use it to track them back to Diaz. No big."
Curtis: “Very big.”

Rene: “Back in town a week, and you’re already sneaking out of A.R.G.U.S. behind Papa Dig’s back. I’m so proud.”

Curtis: “Are you familiar with the expression ‘famous last words?’”

Rene: “Grab your balls, Curtis. We’re going in.”

Felicity: “I think I get the whole ‘famous last word’ thing now.”

Stanley: “He’s been here 12 years. No wonder he’s such a jerk.”
Oliver: “He’s got no complaints. He’s got no disciplinary record. He’s a jerk but he’s a law-abiding jerk.”

Roy: “You’re still here. Stubbornness must be hereditary.”

Oliver: “Someone in here wants you dead.”
Yorke: “News flash: Everyone in here wants me dead.”

Yorke: “The Green Arrow’s very existence invited criminals into your city.”

Diggle: “I saw what the Hood did to you and your family. And I couldn’t do it to mine.”

Dinah: “This is why you’ve been refusing protection. Because you’re going to kill him.”
Laurel: “Let’s hope so.”

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and anything with a cape.

3 comments:

Profe said...

I definitely agree with you that Oliver's tech skills increase when Felicity's not around. But we already knew that from the early episodes of season 1 when he did everything himself which makes it even weirder that the writers decided another techie was needed when they brought in the new recruits.

Deborah Gallegos said...

Now I’m really disliking the flash forward idea. I liked the flashbacks except for how it ended. From the first scene in the opening sequence of a bearded Robin Hood type Oliver on the island, we always knew it was going to end that way. However, to find it was all a fake at the very end and a the beard and torn clothes were pretty much a disguise was a complete let down.
I feel the writers will trap themselves again with this flash forward idea. I know younger William is not a fan favorite, but I don’t want to live in a world where Felicity and Oliver abandon him; even if it turns out to be “for his own good.” Ugh. Is it too late to correct course for this season with these flash forwards and just abandon them?

Shari Houtman said...

Hi Deborah,

I don't like the idea that Oliver and Felicity abandoned William either. If for no other reason than it means that they've failed in whatever it is that they are trying to do this season. But keep in mind they live in a world where time travel is a thing, and Barry, Wally, and now XS all have the power to reset the timeline. Not to mention whatever damage the Legends will get up to. In the Berlanti-verse the future is fluid.