Arrow: Brothers and Sisters

“There’s two of you now?”

Wow! Everything about this became so unbelievably clear.  Two sets of siblings attempt to forge connections after years spent apart.  I get the answers to most of my niggling questions.  And, we get an extra special guest star.  **Squee**

Let start with our future siblings.  It turns out that William’s departure to his grandparent’s home is permanent.  There is not a second bequeathing of the hozen or second departure as I speculated.  This is depressing since Jack Moore finally proved he could hold his own with the rest of the cast instead of just serving as the plot complication he normally did.  It’s also disquieting.  It means that someone, presumably Grandma and Grandpa Clayton, deliberately kept Oliver and Felicity from contacting William ever again. 

Which is why he had no idea he had a sister.  Mia was aware of William though it’s not clear what she believed happened to him.  What is clear is Mia never knew her father.  And while Felicity never stopped thinking of or referring to Oliver as a hero, in true daughter-like fashion, Mia didn’t believe her.  It makes me wonder whose decision it was for Mia to use the last name Smoak. 

Curiosity brings the brother and sister together regardless of their trust issues.  William justified his parents’ absence with the belief they were trying to protect him but Mia’s existence gives him pause.  Mia was convinced that her father’s actions caused the downfall of Star City (which may still be true) and despite Felicity’s claims, he was no hero.  William can provide a second opinion.  Their mutual desire to find Felicity and put together the puzzle pieces of their family lead not only to a cease-fire but a tentative agreement to work together.   And now that they have a lead...

Which brings us to our current set of siblings.  Oliver, as usual, has the best of intentions.  Upon learning of Emiko’s mother’s murder he vows to help her find the killer.  Unfortunately, Oliver, as usual, believes he knows best.  Now that he is working within the confines of the law everyone else should too.  He conveniently skips over the many times he equated vengeance with justice and meted out both.  And, as Rene says, stubbornness runs in the family.  Emiko is unwilling to take a back seat on her own mission.  Which leads to yet another confrontation between Ollie and his sister and another breach of trust.

How strange is it that Wild Dog is now the voice of reason, pointing out Oliver’s hypocrisy, and reminding him Emiko needs a brother, not a protector or mentor.  Luckily Oliver is not as stubborn (or as dense) as he once was.  He goes back to Emiko with an apology and the information she seeks.  Like their future counterparts, they arrive at an uneasy alliance if not a true understanding.  The only question is whether Emiko can be trusted now that we finally learned where she picked up her mysterious fighting skills.  Dante.

We are introduced to Dante and if you were anything like me it was worth the wait.  According to the Joss Whedon school of storytelling when the resident badass is afraid of someone that person becomes scary by default. Diaz, destroyer of the Quadrant and established Big Bad, is afraid of Dante. Ergo Dante is the Bigger Bad.  And if you weren’t sure, Diaz’s demise solidified it.  And Dante was one scary dude.  Virgil, his emissary, jumped out of a window rather than return in defeat.  And when Diaz informed him of the setup, Dante killed the Princess and Deputy Director Bell on the suspicion they sold him out.

The icing was realizing Dante was none other than Adrian Paul.  I know I’m dating myself but I’ve been a fan of his since Highlander premiered back in ‘92.  I squealed in delight when he graced my screen and the grin did not leave my face till long after the episode ended.  And for a man nearing 60, he can still move!  What a perfect piece of casting.

Then there’s Felicity.  Past and present, or rather present and future.  Our current iteration has been going through her own crucible this season with this being her final test.  Would she cross the line and become a killer or remain a hero?  There was no foregone conclusion.  Felicity has been on a pretty dark path for a while now.   Though I must admit, after the multiple “I’ll back your play” speeches, I had my suspicions about which path she’d choose.  And I was proved correct when Felicity allowed Diaz to be taken into custody rather than exacting vengeance. 

Future Felicity remains an open question since the person who knows her best is neither objective nor trustworthy.  Has the never-ending cycle of Big Bad after Big Bad made Felicity paranoid?  Or did Oliver’s presumed death do that?  Considering that everyone who knew about the plans to blow up Star City is dead or missing, should we even call it paranoia?

Felicity is not the only remaining question. I can understand why Roy didn’t know about Mia, but why didn’t Dinah? And why did Diggle? It’ll only be a few months before Felicity starts showing.  So whatever is going to happen, it's going to happen soon. So when does Dig get around to adopting Connor?  And if Connor is Diggle’s adopted son, what that hell happened to J.J.? 

I enjoyed the hell out of this episode just as I’m enjoying the hell out of this season.  However, if the future we’re witnessing comes to pass, Oliver ultimately failed in his mission to save his city and after everything he’s been through, he deserves better than for that to be his legacy.

4 out of 5 mini cassettes  

Parting Thoughts:  

If everything we heard is true, I wonder if William started his quest under false pretenses.  I find it hard to believe it was Felicity that placed Lian Yu’s coordinates in the hozen.  She would have needed far more future knowledge than she appears to have. 

Felicity’s fears of not being able to protect herself and her family from Diaz may have been resolved but the paranoia that Mia speaks of may be well founded. 

Speaking of Diaz, the irony of him going out in a blaze of glory did not go unnoticed.  It was a fire that created the Dragon and it was a fire that destroyed him.  Is this the new version of ashes to ashes?

Is it me or are Mia and Connor about to have a very pointed conversation about trust and lies?

Dante said Bell was one of the many installed at A.R.G.U.S.  Do it detect a whiff of Hydra?

If Diggle takes the fall for Lyla, can he still work with Team Arrow at the SCPD?

Quotes: 

Rene: “Listen, I’m not trying to get in the middle of any family drama.”
Oliver: “Too late.”

Diggle: “You’re supposed to be training.  Not trying to kill each other.”
Cupid: “Aww.  Why you got to ruin all the fun.”

William: “So where do we start?”
Mia: “Yeah. I’m not looking for any kind of family reunion here, bro.”
William: “Oh, I am sorry Sis. But I have come too far to get sidelined now.”

China White: “So our first mission is a meeting.  That is way below our pay grade.”
Cupid: “Wait, we’re getting paid?”

Laurel: “Trust me.  I would be thrilled to see his head explode, but is it really worth the consequences?"
Felicity: “Yes it is worth every consequence. I have to protect my family.”
Laurel: “By family you mean you, Oliver, and your baby?”
Felicity: “What, are you psychic now?”

Mia: “You guys are just junkies looking for a hero fix.”

Diaz: “Once Dante figures this all out, and he will, you all will be wishing for the mercy of a quick death.”

Laurel: (to Felicity) “I don’t know if you noticed but you’re kind of a badass.”

Oliver: “There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this.”
Emiko: “The only thing I’ve done wrong, is to think that I could ever trust you.“

Felicity: “I thought Dante was the objective.”
Diggle: “He is the objective.  Just not the priority.”

Emiko: “I didn’t realize Oliver Queen did apologies.”

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

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

ADRIAN PAUL???

I haven't started this season yet and wasn't sure I would, but that just clinched it. Now I have to see it.

Shari Houtman said...

Well, I'm glad you're going to watch it but I'm sorry that you won't get the surprise and utter joy I got when he appeared. I went back to check and his name was in the opening credits but I missed it. I was really glad I missed it. :)