Arrowverse Part 6: Medium Rare and Trust But Very Good

Arrow Season 1, Episode 10 & 11

Burned

Filler, filler, filler. And very average filler at that.  The episode is your typical “hero gives up” story. Oliver has been off his game since the dark archer, as seen by Oliver missing a shot with a bow and arrow for the first time. After some encouragement from Diggle (honestly, who else would it have been) and helping Laurel, he gets his mojo back. Though the best moment of this stereotypical story is when he confronts Garfield, the arsonist. He doesn’t fight Garfield, but rather offer to get him help. Another step towards the hood going from vigilante to hero. It’s not bad, but it’s not particularly original. It’s just…average…and there’s not really much to talk about. Although…I suppose if I had to reach, there’s this flip-flopper.

I was enjoying where Detective Lance was going. He was very against the vigilante at first, but through working with the Hood, he was gaining an appreciation for what the Hood was doing for the city; he was becoming the Commissioner Gordon to Oliver’s Batman. But then we get a flip-flop. He forgets all the good the Hood did, bugs the phone given to him by the Hood, and gives it to Laurel, the person who will keep contacting the Hood. It just feels like a step backwards for no real reason. Perhaps if Lance didn’t help the Hood in a previous episode, but it happened!

Overall, very average episode. Not bad, not great, just average.

Trust but Verify

Diggle and Thea finally doing stuff this episode? I’m sold.

We get our first real Oliver vs. Diggle episode in a rather natural concept: someone that Diggle knows and trusts is on the list. Even thought the two are at odds, Diggle still tries to “dig up” this guy’s intentions by reconnecting with him and going undercover. It’s a good set up and it’s nice to see Diggle not just serving as Oliver’s moral compass.

Surprisingly, Thea has actual plot this episode rather then the role of sister and party queen. As we’ve seen in previous episodes, Thea has been on a path rebellion, drugs, alcohol, and partying. Her spiraling finally reaches the end when she crashes her brand new car while on drugs which leads to her being prosecuted by the police. Hopefully this will lead towards a shift in her character, realizing she can’t walk the same path that her brother did. He’s moved on from it, and so should she.

While we do get this odd subplot where Thea thinks Moira is cheating on Walter with Malcolm, we get an interesting dinner scene between Malcolm, Tommy and Laurel that sheds some light on Malcolm’s character. His wife was viciously murdered and after this, he abandoned Tommy, basically dropping off the face of the earth. We now know Malcolm’s drive as well as how he learned the skills to become the Dark Archer. He’s been spending every moment since his wife’s death to avenge her and though it doesn’t seem like it, he still cares deeply toward Tommy. We also get a look at his arrow cave, and I must say it’s pretty cool.

The most interesting development of this episode is Oliver’s time on the island and how it’s already changing him. He trusted Lao Fei so much that he was willing to resist torture for him. Now that he’s been kidnapped, Oliver actually steps up. He kills an agent and takes his clothing as a disguise, infiltrates their operation, and even forgoes the chance to eat so he can go find Lao Fei. It goes to show that even before he became a living weapon, he had a good heart and was willing to do what was right. And Lao Fei’s betrayal says a lot about Oliver’s character now. He rarely trusts people completely because of the risk that they might betray him at some point.

Overall it’s a great episode with some excellent cliffhangers. If I had to point out one flaw, it would have to be Felicity. Yes, it’s nice to see her but without Walter, her scenes with Oliver are becoming very…repetitive and predictable. Fortunately their relationship will change soon. In what way? Well tune in next week as we FINALLY get to my favorite character in Arrow.

 

Until next time, this is Xander signing off.