Arrow: Season 3, Episode 19 – Broken Arrow

BannerAfter the break last week, and the recent trailer for the final five episodes, I was ready for the show to return. I knew it would be explosive, but I didn’t expect two potential deaths! I’m still reeling from that cliff hanger, but we’ll deal with things one step at a time.

The show started with a meta-human, who we later discovered to be a man named Simmons. It was fun to have another meta-human around, and to see how the team dealt with him. The gang got a temporary playmate too, much to his excitement – Ray Palmer. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

First let’s deal with Roy’s little stunt and, as we saw last time, he stopped the police transport vehicle claiming to be the Arrow. He was led into custody, though Olly almost threw a spanner in the works by offering a signed confession to Captain Lance. Laurel put a stop to that when she arrived to inform her father the DA had ordered Ollie’s release. Lance’s ‘this isn’t over’ made it pretty clear how complicated Ollie’s life was about to get.

imagesOf course Ollie managed to get a little one on one time with Roy, namely to ask what the hell he was thinking by offering himself up as the sacrificial lamb. It was actually a pretty great scene. I don’t think Ollie would have let it go so easily if Roy hadn’t told him he deserved some form of punishment for taking a life – that for the first time since he remembered killing the police officer, he felt okay.

Still, Ollie had no intention of leaving Roy in prison and actually spent most of the episode wanting to break him out.

team-arrow-s3e19Lance certainly didn’t make it easy for him. He barely gave Ollie breathing room before he marched into Verdant with a search warrant for the basement. I half expected it to be a storage room again, but no, most of the tech was still there. I say most, because Felicity had worked her magic and wiped the place clean (except for Roy’s prints of course).

So, with Ollie in a tight spot, he’s forced to accept outside help – namely Ray (or Atom). Ray’s first scene, when he stumbled upon Felicity in the office, was that awkward ‘I told you I loved you but let’s not make it into a big deal.’ I actually felt sorry for him, because Felicity mostly let him ramble, which added to the whole awkward vibe.

His subsequent scenes were much more fun. In fact, he was like a big kid at the prospect of working with Ollie – his high-five for the team-up was a nice touch. Ollie’s face was priceless!

wheres-the-plasma-arrow-s3e19When they found Simmons at a processing plant, Ray convinced Ollie to let him deal with him. I loved his reaction to Felicity’s anxiety over Ray being in the field. His line, ‘There’s a decent chance you and Palmer are related’ was classic!

Simmons wasn’t impressed by Atom at all, if calling him ‘tin can’ is anything to go by, and he hit Ray with a blast of energy. Ray reciprocated, which was not the best idea, considering Simmons absorbs energy. Things got ugly fast and he almost choked Ray. Luckily, he managed to fly out of there and, though his landing wasn’t pretty, at least he escaped with his life.

atom-on-the-streets-arrow-s3e19Olly had plenty to say about the mission, about anticipating your opponent and following your instincts. It was a pretty good speech – the fact his bow and arrow are just tools and that he’s the weapon. All to drive the point home that if Ray doesn’t start relying on himself instead of the suit he won’t make it.

It was tough for Ollie, having to take a step back. He almost lost it when he discovered Roy had been attacked in prison (though Roy totally took care of business!). Diggle tried to talk him down, but the two only ended up butting heads. It was Felicity who got through to him by empathizing with everything he’s going through.

We’ve seen Ollie struggle with his identity for a while now and Felicity understands that more than most. She challenged him, told him she sees who he really is – the man she believes in. The deliberate pause was powerful, but then we all know he’s the man she loves.

Ollie was tested again when Felicity walked into a trap. While attempting to access the grid, she had the misfortune of choosing the power plant Simmons hooked himself up to! Ray convinced Ollie that Atom was the best option since he can fly, and they didn’t have a great deal of time. In a way though they saved the day together, because Ray allowed Ollie control of the suit remotely.

untitledAfter Ray made sure Felicity was out of harm’s way (pretty forcefully too!) Ollie took over the show. That is until the transmitter was severed and then Ray was on his own. It all started to go pear shaped until Ray listened to the voice in his ear, and Ollie’s message that being a hero isn’t about the strength, but about the heart. In the end Ray brought it home! Knocking Simmons unconscious.

But Ollie’s torment didn’t end there. He arrived home to discover that Roy has been stabbed and killed in prison. I actually believed it for a beat or two. When Felicity and Diggle asked for his forgiveness, realization dawned and I was thrilled by their duplicity! They weren’t seeking forgiveness for not allowing him to help Roy, but for leaving him out of the loop. It turned out it had all been a cunning plan, and this time they got to save Ollie.

Though Roy didn’t die, it would appear we won’t be seeing him again for a while. It would be hard to explain his presence after all. His final scene was a touching one, which ended with Roy driving away and Felicity telling Ollie that she loves him – in a roundabout way.

oliver-leads-arrow-s3e19Later, with a brief appearance from Cisco, Ray dropped Simmons off at S.T.A.R Labs and named him Deathbolt (earning Cisco’s respect.) The pair puzzle over the fact Deathbolt wasn’t anywhere near the city when the particle accelerator exploded.

Before we get to the end, let’s deal with the flashbacks. They served two purposes this week, one being to add weight to the point about Ollie’s reticence when it comes to accepting help. Given that the Yamashiro family had reunited, Ollie went in search of Amanda – presumably to bargain for their freedom! Imagine his surprise when he discovered General Shrieve had been holding her for weeks. Worse, that he planned to unleash the virus in Hong Kong.

Since Shrieve made up a vaccine for his team, Ollie, Maseo and Tatsu set out to steal it. Though they are successful, they later decided to stop Shrieve – a team effort, despite the fact Ollie wanted to go it alone.

So that just leaves the final scene – the confrontation between Thea and Ra’s. It culminated in Thea being run through by a sword, so one can only hope that Ollie has some of the penicillin tea handy! But seriously, Ra’s clearly intends to use Thea in his deadly game, which means we might see someone healed in the pool (Lazarus Pit).

Whatever happens it’s going to be a fun ride! What did you think about Broken Arrow? Will Thea become the new Demon Head? Will Ollie? Let me know your thoughts.


NB: Images used within this review are the copyright of The CW Network. All rights reserved.

Blogging A to Z Day 7: Flash

As someone who had not read too many comics I only was tangentially connected to the comic book world and therefore did not know much about the Flash, besides being the fastest man alive. When the show Flash started on the CW I got excited mostly because it was by the same people who brought us Arrow, which I love. The only thing being that I really did not know much about Barry Allen or the Flash in general.

The more I find out the more I really love the Flash as a character! A lot of what I know comes from watching the show, but I have also looked at what others have posted and watching some of the cartoon movies. The Flash really has a heart that is different from some of the other characters in the universe.

One thing I love about Barry Allen is his optimism and his passion. Now maybe this is just the show, but other things I have seen and found seem to confirm this as well. Recently we watched the animated movie Justice League: Doom, that points out the weaknesses of various DC superheroes including the Flash. The Flash’s weakness is his need to protect others; this is demonstrated in that movie and in the show. At the same time of all of the weaknesses it is the most endearing. He just wants to protect people and for those that need help he wants to help.

From a full gif-set on Tumblr.

From a full gif-set on Tumblr.

There is a great Tumblr post that I saw recently that looked at an episode of Justice League Unlimited where Batman and Orion try and help the Flash out because they disagree with how he handles his enemies. At the same time they just want to come and beat everyone up. The Flash on the other hand can take some time and is able to talk to one of the enemies. This in turn leads him to the rest of the enemies that are trying to kill him. Even getting the one enemy that he talked to to turn himself in. It really is a great moment and contrasts so much with the other superheroes.

The great part about Barry Allen is that his optimism and passion is infectious. He is too smart for his own good, but his strength is not in overpowering an enemy, but outsmarting them. Also, at times his power is the fact that he legitimately cares what happens. It is so different from other superheroes, particularly those in the DC universe. It is kind of a refreshing change of pace, especially when it is contrasted with Arrow which does get incredibly dark and serious. Flash presents a world where so many things are possible.

This post is by @CompGeeksHolly of the Comparative Geeks, where you can find other posts about Flash, like this one. For more A to Z posts, check out Comparative Geeks!

Arrow: Season 3, Episode 18 – Public Enemy

BannerAs I watched the recap at the beginning, saw Maseo kill the mayor and then line up the next shot, part of me was clinging to the hope he was still the same man, still Ollie’s friend. But then he let the arrow fly, and that was the end of that. My disappointment was short-lived though, because I got to see Ray play the hero and take one for the team – stepping into the path of the arrow and saving Felicity’s life. Not a bad start to the show!

The moment the news broke, and Captain Lance began his tirade, I knew things weren’t going to go well for Team Arrow. For a start Lance re-established the anti-vigilante task force, issued a shoot to kill order (if necessary), and labelled the Arrow as a killer and a criminal. That’s actually the nicest thing he said about him in this episode.

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Roy seemed to have recovered after his run-in with Atom last week, though Thea might have had something to do with that. They were looking pretty cosy. Who knows, they might actually have a shot this time. It was a strong week for Roy in general, I think. He showed his loyalty to Oliver and had some pretty impressive action scenes.

The team spent much of the episode running from the police, with Diggle acting as their eyes in the sky. The cohesion was great and they are definitely working as a unit again – fighting for each other, and for the cause. It may have started with Ollie, but it is so much bigger, and I think the episode reflected that. No matter what Captain Lance said, or how many obstacles were thrown in their path.

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Those traps were laid by Ra’s, and in terms of a smear campaign he pulled out all the stops, which was oddly entertaining. Perhaps it’s his confidence, the way he holds himself – you can almost believe he owns the whole town! The scene with Captain Lance, and the way he toyed with him before revealing the Arrow’s identity, really added to the drama. Lance took this a step further in a scene with Laurel, when he clued her in to his new knowledge – clearly he was taking notes!

But, let’s go back to Ray for a minute. I kind of left him hanging there, with an arrow in his chest. His scenes were fun this week, especially his self-deprecating humour. He took the news of a life-threatening blood clot pretty well, and why wouldn’t he? He has nanotechnology, or as he put it, teeny, tiny robots capable of entering his blood stream, travelling to the clot and shrinking it without damaging his brain!

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Not surprisingly the doctor was reluctant to sign off on this experimental procedure, in fact he completely vetoed the idea. Luckily, Felicity and her mother were on hand, and Felicity injected Ray with the Nanotechnology, eradicating the clot and solving his problems. Or that’s what they would have us believe. We all know those teeny, tiny robots are causing mischief in that large brain of his. I’m trying not to be happy about that! In fact, I really felt for him when he confessed his feelings to Felicity and she bolted – nothing says I love you too like a hasty exit.

I haven’t mentioned the flashbacks yet, and they were quite eventful. We caught a glimpse of a woman who looked deceptively like Shado last week, and as it turns out there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation – she’s her twin sister. I can’t quite figure out where the writers are going with that story arc, but they’ve thrown it into the mix so it must be going somewhere. We’ll find out soon, because Maseo and Tatsu have caught up with Ollie at last.

quentin-recently-learned-the-truth-about

The major surprise this week, at least for me, was Captain Lance announcing Ollie’s identity to the world. I know he’s still angry, and bitter, but it was pretty huge. It was a nice touch when Ollie turned himself over – the way he walked calmly into the police station was an absolute classic move. I was okay with the situation, right up until the point Captain Lance told Ollie he isn’t a hero, but a villain. Needless to say, I was not at all happy with that little speech! Still, Paul Blackthorne was terrific as always, so I can forgive him – almost!

And Roy, let’s not forget Roy, stealing the show with his ‘I am Spartacus’ routine and declaring that he is the Arrow. That certainly threw a spanner in the works. We’ll have to wait an extra week to find out what happens because Arrow is taking a week off. The show returns on the 15th of April, so my next review will be on the 17th.

Until then – do you have any predictions? What is going on in Ray’s brain? Who will Felicity choose and do you care? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


NB: Images used within this review are the copyright of The CW Network. All rights reserved.

 

Arrow: Season 3, Episode 17 – Suicidal Tendencies

BannerThis week Arrow started with a wedding, which would imply the characters let their hair down and had fun. But not Team Arrow, oh no, Team Arrow barely made it through the vows before the shit hit the fan. It’s not that I expected Ollie to bust out his moves and raise the roof on the dance floor, or drink too much and fumble his speech, but, come on – it’s a wedding!

I have mixed feelings about the actual ceremony. Part of me was irritated by Ray stepping in as Minister at the last minute because, other than elevating his position and grating along Ollie’s nerves, I couldn’t see the point. For the most part though, I was thrilled that Diggle got to marry Lyla again. I loved the vows, they were completely in character and, though the ceremony itself was a little short, I couldn’t have asked for better.

diggle and lyla 2

Of course, no sooner had the happy couple taken to the dance floor, the news of fake Arrow’s killing spree hit the teams’ synchronized devices, and it was all hands on deck. Until Ollie ordered Diggle and Lyla to go on their honeymoon and the pair cut and run.

Not that they got very far, because Deadshot high-jacked the limo and put a kibosh on their honeymoon plans. I’m a fan of Deadshot, or at least his acerbic wit, so I didn’t mind the prospect of spending time with the Suicide Squad. The mission to Kasnia could have had more depth, but seeing Deadshot taking out so many targets, while working seamlessly with Diggle, more than made up for it.

Deadshot

The last time we saw Deadshot, Diggle got to work through a few of his issues and the scenes in Kasnia were an extension of that. By the end of the mission we had a better understanding of the man behind the monster. In fact, the flashbacks this week were all about Deadshot – something which worked incredibly well to tie up those loose ends.

It didn’t surprise me in the slightest when Deadshot sacrificed himself for the team, he strikes me as a ‘go big or go home’ kind of guy. Though I doubt we’ve seen the last of him (come on, you don’t really think he’s dead?), the twist did add weight to the message behind the episode – relationships are hard to maintain when you put your live on the line every day.

That brings us back to Ollie and the events in Starling City. Aside from a really cool scene which involved several archers all dressed like Ollie, our hero had a pretty hard time this week – but what’s new, right?

arrow and arsenal

Not only is Ra’s continuing his mission to turn the city against the Arrow, his friend Maseo appears to be the harbinger of doom! On top of that, Ray discovered Ollie’s secret and threatened to reveal his identity. When that didn’t work he decided to bring Ollie in personally, which, suit or no suit, is pretty hilarious. No wonder his ego was bruised by the end.

That said, he did get to show off a few cool tricks when he challenged Arrow and Arsenal – he even blasted Roy with a direct hit. While we’re on the subject, after Ollie disarmed the suit with a well-aimed arrow and brought Ray to his knees, he walked away without checking on his buddy. Roy didn’t make another appearance, so one can only hope he managed to scrape himself off the pavement!

arrow and atom

The whole identity reveal added another layer to the love triangle between Ollie, Felicity and Ray, and this was my least favourite thing about the episode. It all felt too rushed, and Ollie is still no closer to a resolution.

Overall though, I’m glad we got to see the suit in action. I enjoyed Deadshot’s character development, and seeing more of Diggle this week. The episode ended on a cliffhanger, with Felicity in the cross hairs and Maseo ready to sever his relationship with Ollie for good.

What about you – did you enjoy the episode? What do you think will happen now that another mayor has bit the dust? Will Ra’s succeed in ruining Ollie’s reputation? I’d love to hear from you.


NB: Images used within this review are the copyright of The CW Network. All rights reserved.