This week on Arrow a new bowman vigilante strikes Starling City, Walter snoops deeper into the conspiracy of The List, and Ollie saves Christmas. Also: John Barrowman. Major spoilers ahead!
1.) WE HAVE TO SAVE CHRISTMAS!
There was a kind of good reason for Ollie to be so adamant about making sure his family celebrates Christmas this year; it’s the first Christmas since he got off the island, he’s become emotionally distant, he’s feeling nostalgia about the pre-island years. But it just comes off as very strange for him to be so worked up about Christmas when there is a murderer stalking the streets, killing those connected with him. Arrow tries to set up two sides of Ollie’s life, one where he has a fairly dysfunctional family he has to pull back together and another where he shoots people in the face, which is pretty par for course for superhero stories. Unfortunately, when the protagonist treats the possibility of not having a Christmas party with the same intensity he has when a copycat is murdering people in his city the whole thing feels a little off.
2.) That’s some fancy product placement.
There’s one scene where Ollie asks Felicity, the failed Zooey Deschanel clone/Queen Consolidated IT worker, to tell him where one of the evil archer’s arrows came from. Felicity looks at it and goes on her new Windows-Tablet-Phone-Not-an-Ipad-Thing that sponsors every CW show because there’s a good five second shot of the device. After clecking Bing for two seconds, Felicity is able to tell Ollie who manufacted the arrows and where they were shipped to. Classy move, Microsoft. Classy move.
3.) What’s in a name?
The new bowman in town that gets everyone worked up this weak is apparently called Dark Archer, even though there’s no reason for him to be “Dark”. Ollie refuses to take up a name besides “‘The Hood’ I guess?” so it’s not like a Link/Dark Link situation. The biggest misstep this show has ever made was not calling him “Arch”-Rival. Also, at a dinner party everyone discusses what “The Hood”‘s superhero name should be and John Barrowman suggests “Green Arrow” out of nowhere to which Ollie says “that’s stupid”. What’s stupid is the amount of money I have to pay Home Depot to replace all the tables I flipped.
4.) Back to the Island.
After the last two or so episodes focused more on The Huntress, the Island flashbacks are finally back. Easily the best part of any episode, this week saw Arrow Classic come back to the cave to escort Ollie and the newly kidnapped Black Ops leader… somewhere? Anyway, Black Ops Man reveals that the island used to be a prison for criminals too dangerous for normal jail. After the government shut the facility down, BOM’s squad was sent in to kill all the prisoners with only two now remaining: Arrow Classic and Deathstroke. Due to his new power of great timing, Deathstroke attacks the trio and has a fun fight scene with Arrow Classic. BOM gets rescued by Deathstroke, Ollie runs off, and Deathstroke kills Arrow Classic? Maybe? The scene was shit in this weird way where Arrow Classic was at least knocked out by Deathstroke’s machete and the way Deathstroke moved it made it seem like he was slashing Arrow Classic’s throat but there’s no blood. One of the abilities Deathstroke learned in prison was how to wield a sword like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
5.) You are kidding me. You have to be kidding me.
The end of the episode featured a montage showing where everyone will be once the rest of the reason picks up next year. Walt was kidnapped by John Barrowman’s goons, The Queen family were happy together for once, and Ollie knows that someone hired Arch-Rival and that someone knows about the list, if not authored it themselves. What Ollie doesn’t know is that Arch-Rival and his client are the same person and basically John Barrowman is now Merlyn from the comics. There’s no attempt to explain why he’s so darn good at archery, but in that montage mentioned earlier there is a short scene where Arch-Rival’s just chilling in his headquarters, takes off his mask, and BAM! Jack Harkness! Coincidentally my local Home Depot has now run out of tables.Continued below
Review Score: 7/10 – Some moments came off as pretty dumb, but Jack Harkness as Merlyn sounds like it’ll be a lot of fun.