As I mentioned last week, Arrow is taking a two week break, which means my reviews of the show won’t return until the 20 March 2015. Of course, I’m not going to let that stop me from getting my weekly fix. So, just for kicks, I’m going to recap the season so far. This week I will explore the villains of Season 3 and next week we’ll deal with the heroes.
So let’s get started. I’m going to bring order to the chaos and deal with each villain in the order they appeared (mostly).
Werner Zytle (aka Vertigo) – Crime boss/Mobster. Appeared in: The Calm and Canaries.
Vertigo kicked off Season 3, with a pretty impressive performance. I think Quentin Lance said it best, when he described Zytle as a ‘complete nut-job’. I found him incredibly entertaining, especially his wit. The lengths he went to in order to eliminate the competition were, quite frankly, brutal. He is clearly a man who enjoys to make a statement, given that he fired a rocket into a restaurant to take out Ollie. The fact is – he cares nothing for collateral damage, as long as his goals are met. I enjoyed his larger than life personality. He was a great adversary – his use of pressure points to overpower Ollie was a nice touch.
He was less impressive in Canaries, but I think that had more to do with the fact he became a crutch for Laurel’s story arc. She needed to face her demons, and what better way to do that than by hallucinating her dead sister while under the influence of vertigo. Well, okay, there are better ways – but you see my point.
Simon Lacroix (aka Komodo) – Mercenary. Appeared in: Sara.
Komodo has definite potential, so I hope there is more to come from him. As another archer, this allowed for some incredible fight scenes. Granted, the best part was Ollie catching one of Komodo’s arrows and throwing it back at him, but still – I enjoyed the character and his obvious skills. There isn’t really a great deal more to say about him, because his appearance was somewhat overshadowed by Sara’s death and the emotional tension in the show.
Malcolm Merlyn (aka Dark Archer) – CEO/Ex-member of the League of Assassins. Appeared in: Sara, Corto Maltese, The Magician, The Secret Origins of Felicity Smoak, The Climb, Left Behind, Midnight City, Uprising, Canaries, The Return and Nanda Parbat.
Go on, admit it, we all love to hate Malcolm Merlyn. There is no discounting his skills, his wit (some of his lines are hilarious), and the supreme arrogance – a charisma which is interpreted beautifully by John Barrowman. He’s also slightly insane and as ruthless as they come. Merlyn’s character has taken many turns in this season, and I’m still no closer to guessing what his end game is. He is one of my favourite villains though. I don’t buy the whole turning over a new leaf deal, but it is fun to watch. The fact Ollie has been forced to defend him several times this season makes for an interesting dynamic.
We’ve seen him put his fighting skills to good use too, particular in The Magician. As well as his intense training sessions with Thea, he has also tested Ollie a time or two and, though captured in Nanda Parbat, he was nonetheless impressive in his attempts to escape the League.
Cooper Seldon (aka Brother Eye) – Hacktivist. Appeared in: The Secret Origins of Felicity Smoak.
Although this was one of my favourite episodes of the season, I was unimpressed by Brother Eye (not a great name for Cooper’s alter ego). He did have a few clever tricks up his sleeve, but was no match for Felicity and the fact his questionable plans were all about the money – well, let’s just say I was disappointed.
Isaac Stanzler – Former Vigilante. Appeared in: Guilty.
He deserves a mention because he was a villain in the show, albeit a forgettable one. I much preferred his mentor Ted Grant, but he’ll have to wait until next week – since he’s one of the good guys. He did, however, allow us to draw comparisons between the mentor/apprentice relationship he shared with Grant and the dynamic between Ollie and Roy.
Carrie Cutter (Cupid) – Former Police officer/Member of the Suicide Squad. Appeared in: Draw Back Your Bow.
I liked the idea of a copycat vigilante, and Cupid was entertaining in this episode. She had the obsessive, stalker down pat. I enjoyed her portrayal of a woman with post-traumatic stress and, coupled with a severe detachment disorder, it made for an interesting combination. Since she joined Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad, we might see more of her in the future.
Digger Harkness (Captain Boomerang) – Boomerang wielding mercenary/Former member of the Suicide Squad. Appeared in: The Brave And The Bold.
This episode was another favourite episode of mine because it formed part of a cross-over double bill with The Flash. I particularly enjoyed the use of symbolism in terms of the weapon of choice and that, everything comes back at your sooner or later. An interesting form of karma. Boomerang was a memorable villain for me. He had a formidable presence, and his fight scenes with Ollie were great to watch. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of him.
Ra’s al Ghul (Demon’s Head) – Leader of the League of Assassins. Appeared in: The Magician, The Climb, and Nada Parbat.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t particularly impressed when Ra’s was first introduced. But he completely turned me around in The Climb. His presence was unmistakable, as was the calm superiority which gave us a glimpse of his power. I don’t like to say it, but Ollie was outmatched during their battle – the fact Ra’s started without a weapon and, at times, fought with both hands behind his back, was just plain mesmerizing. As far as adversaries go, he’s terrifying. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next showdown with Ollie.
Daniel Brickwell (Brick) – Mobster. Appeared in: Left Behind, Midnight City, and Uprising.
Who better to play a mobster than Vinnie Jones? Although I found his role a little predictable, most of the time he was a pleasure to watch. He got a three episode story arc and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Not only did he make for a worthy opponent for Team Arrow in Ollie’s absence, but he gave us an unforgettable character.
Slade Wilson (Deathstroke) – Mercenary. Appeared in: The Return.
It seems fitting to end with Deathstroke because, even without the Mirakuru induced strength, he still had the whole crazy vibe going on. He still posed a major threat, and maybe because of their history, he succeeded in getting inside Ollie’s head. There’s something majestic about Slade Wilson, so it was great to have him back.
Who is your favourite villain of the season so far? As always, I welcome your comments.
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