Five Thoughts on Arrow’s “Vendetta” [Review]

This week on Arrow, The Huntress and Arrow teamed up for five minutes and then Merlyn cried about his problems for another 30.

1.) These exercise montages are getting ridiculous. 

Every episode begins with Ollie shirtlessly exercising in his warehouse while exposition happens. This week he did so while performing upside down shoulder lifts. I’m not even sure if those actually develop muscles or are just the bodybuilder’s equivalent of a double dog dare. Either way, they’re the funniest part of the show.

2.) Ollie’s moral high ground is ridiculous. 

The big driving conflict this week concerned Huntress, who got a neato costume and crossbow, becoming too lethal with her crime fighting. Ollie warns her about how wrong shooting first is and how he’s only killed out of necessity. Twenty minutes later, he shoots a guy running away from triad assassins. Though, to be fair, that was just a confused henchman; you just can’t kill anyone who has a name or is in Ollie’s book. They are either his marks and his alone, or the writers just needed a reason for Ollie to have a crisis of conscience out of nowhere.

3.) The Triad War is awesome, yet short.

Arrow’s been building up the triad as a serious threat to Starling City for a while now and this is the episode that shows why. Namely, in the form of a 5 minute sequence where China White and her gang of assassins attack the Bertinelli homestead. As supremely badass as that scene was, it was far too short for my liking. Hopefully, the triad will  play a bigger role as the series goes on so we can have more scenes of mob goons being ninja-killed (not a real phrase but it should be) and less scenes of rich people complaining about dating.

4.) Huntress is the best character. 

She walks into a room, takes out all but one of the triad members within, that triad member gives her the “dig two graves” speech, and she responds with “I don’t speak Chinese!” and two bullets to the chest. I may or may not have teared up from pride at this part. Sure, she may be a relentless murderer but at least someone is honest about it. Unfortunately, Ollie drives her out of town for being way too good at killing bad guys. Here’s to hoping she still stays around as a recurring character and wasn’t just a two-episode gig.

5.) Why is Merlyn here? 

A good fifteen minutes of this episode, and seemingly every episode, is dedicated to Tommy Merlyn, his relationship with Laurel, and the loss of his trust fund. Sure, shows should have a developed supporting cast so we feel some empathy for them, but why is it seemingly only Tommy, the bourgeois trust fund kid? I get that rich white kids are what make The CW a success, along with homoerotic subtext in “extra-natural” shows, but why dedicate so much screen time to this one? There was an entire sub-plot about a gang war that Ollie got himself stuck in between and I think it took less time than Merlyn getting the courage to ask Ollie to hire him at his nightclub. I’m not saying this show is boring, but the step-dad who has never changed his facial expression is more engaging than Merlyn’s strife.

Review Score: 5/10 or a “V for Vendetta”

Next week: The mid-season finale!

About The AuthorJames JohnstonJames Johnston is a grizzled post-millenial. Follow him on Twitter to challenge him to a fight.

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