Arrow: Crossing Lines

“Sometimes you have to cross the line for the greater good.”

Who gets to decide which lines can be crossed and what constitutes the greater good? Can you violate your values and stay true to your mission? If you cross lines to catch the “bad guy” are you any better than they? In a typical superhero show, the answer would be no. But as the new intro says, Oliver’s not a hero. If this episode is any indication, neither is the rest of Team Arrow.

So much for an early parole. Oliver’s feelings of helplessness have increased his recklessness. Last week he ended an innocent man’s career on Brick’s promise of Diaz’s whereabouts. Now he’s told that the best Brick can do is an introduction to the man who knows Diaz’s location. So I’m not sure why Oliver is surprised to discover it’s a setup to kill him. Oliver should have known better. He’s the one who captured Brick in the first place.

Undaunted, Oliver threatens Turner’s life if he can’t get Oliver into Brick’s “Game”. Turner calls Oliver out on his hypocrisy. For all the good Oliver has supposedly done, he, like Turner, committed multiple felonies including a fair number of murders and was sentenced to Slabside for it. And Oliver is obviously willing to do it again. So explain how they are so different?

And the hits keep on coming. It’s clear that even if Brick was hoping Turner killed Oliver, he had contingencies. He served Oliver up as the title bout in his game. And when that doesn’t work Brick plays his trump card. You want information from The Demon? You need to be on Level 2. And out of sheer desperation, Oliver bites. He attacks the admittedly crooked corrections officers knowing he’d be sent to Level 2 for the offense. Because Brick has been so truthful so far...

Felicity, like her husband, is falling into old, and none too healthy, patterns. After realizing the search for Diaz would never be Diggle’s priority she went to the one person whose priority it was to capture Diaz. But while it may be Agent Watson’s priority it isn’t the priority of her superiors. Luckily, Felicity can be very persuasive when she wants to be and convinces straight-arrow (pun semi-intended) Watson to break protocol.

Watson, along with Felicity, Rene, and Dinah set a trap for Diaz and The Longbow Hunters in the biocontainment unit at the CDC. In theory, it was a good plan, and it was certainly the closest anyone has come to capturing Diaz in months. It also provided an opportunity for Watson and Felicity to have an honest discussion about the need for rules and why they should be followed. Watson believes it is only through following the rule of law that you can protect the rights of everyone, even those that may not deserve it. Felicity, forgetting the outcome of her time with Helix, espouses that following the rules doesn’t always get the job done. This is why there’s a need for vigilantes. See. Even Felicity has given up on the idea of heroes.

Unfortunately, Diaz escapes and Felicity willingly sacrifices an innocent woman’s career in the hope of learning where he went. I wonder why that sounds so familiar... Her behavior gives Rene pause, and that’s saying something. Stepping in when the system fails is one thing. Holding people, even criminals, hostage is another. What’s their next step? Torturing her for information?

Speaking of next steps, what is Diaz’s big plan? Is augmented physical strength necessary? Or did he steal the mysterious bio-compound to deaden the pain he’s been in since Laurel sent him flying off that roof? Does The Demon exist? If so, what is his relationship to Diaz? Since The Dragon’s plans seem to have plans, I’m willing to wait and see.

Finally, we have A.R.G.U.S in Zurich. I had issues with this whole storyline. First, why would Lyla risk the entire mission by piggybacking on Curtis’ hack? She’s the Director. She could have made a copy of the information at some other less conspicuous point and no one would have suspected a thing. Also, is it just me or does Diggle and Lyla’s argument smack of their season two and season five fights? Lyla has always been willing to cut corners that Diggle would not. Despite six years of playing the vigilante, Diggle still prefers black and white to shades of grey.

Plus, how could any “money exchange” be bigger than anything A.R.G.U.S has been up against? They’ve handled King Shark, nuclear-powered meta-humans and the Dominators. Besides, what “brass” could have stymied her. Once upon a time, it seemed like Lyla ran the organization. Now she appears to be middle management. I firmly believe this will tie into the overarching story at eventually but in the short term, this felt more like narrative expediency than a coherent storyline.

No flash forwards this week. I was oddly disappointed. I’m more curious about that storyline than about anything that’s going on in the present.

We are still largely in setup mode and so I won’t judge this episode too harshly. But I’d be happier if they would answer more of the questions they’ve been posing rather than adding to the list.

2.5 out of 5 bio-compounds


Parting Thoughts: 

Is Felicity crashing on Rene’s couch because the loft isn’t safe or were they forced to get rid of it?

How did Agent Watson get Team Arrow’s number so quickly last year and not realize that Felicity played her?

Why would Deputy Director Bell be pissed about a mission he doesn’t know about that the Director had sanctioned?  Did The Power’s That Be merely mention him to remind us he’s still around?

Loved the callbacks to Turner’s previous appearances. It’s the little things…

Diaz is in pretty good shape for having every bone in his body shattered five months ago.

Quotes:

Felicity: “Diaz brought in the Bad Guy Big Guns, which means you don’t have any more time to waste. So give me a computer and put me to work.”

Stanley: “You probably don’t even have a liver, just muscle.”

Sampson: “He still thinks he’s a hero.”

Lyla: “It’ll be like a second honeymoon.”
Diggle: “Yay, with Curtis.”

Curtis: “Zurich, we have a problem.”

Dinah: “Oh, right. You want to do it the vigilante way. Well, you probably shouldn’t have invited her (pointing to Agent Watson).”

Rene: “Let’s go catch us a dragon.”

Felicity: “The CDC takes their security a lot more seriously than the FBI. No offense.”

Diggle: “What’s up?”
Curtis: “Uh, nothing. Well, OK. Something. Well, not something-something necessarily but probably - Swiss Chocolate?”

Felicity: “Frak. Frak. Frak. Frak."
Rene: “Make better sounds, Felicity.”

Diaz: “Playtime’s over.”

Felicity: “On a scale of one to unemployment, how much trouble is she in?”

Oliver: “If you say one wrong word–”
Turner: “Yeah, slash goes the artery. Yeah, I get it.”

Stanley: “I kinda wish we had stayed outside.”

Brick: “I’ll let you in on a little secret, Queen. My money was on you. You’re a hard man to kill.”

Oliver: “Tell me where to find the demon. Don’t make me ask you again.”

Stanley: “You were never gonna be able to stay a hero… Not in this place.”

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

No comments: