I need to get one of those ‘___ Weeks Without Ollie as Green Arrow’ signs to hang on these reviews. I remain consistently surprised and impressed with just how far the show is taking this concept.
1. Laila! And John Jr!
It is nice to see a little time spent with the Diggles this week, as the show has really ignored them since putting the bow in John’s hands. We’ve seen him struggle with his addiction, but not with the psychological toll that being the Green Arrow must place upon him. By seeing his family, it makes everything about his decision have more weight.
Laila was also absolutely right to call him on his moralistic bullshit, as he has been constantly sniping at her for her A.R.G.U.S. activities for two seasons now. For him to not concede his own bullshit is silly, and makes a character that can already seem one dimensional seem even less nuanced.
2. Ollie is a really good friend, eh?
Oliver has made a really interesting transition from the start of the show. While he was always a ‘good’ person, the past season or two have really doubled down on Oliver trying to be great, not just as a vigilante, but as a person. He values his friendships and relationships, and tries his best in almost every scenario. From the snot-nosed rich kid in a weird My Name is Earl facsimile to the man who will travel across the globe to help a man who killed his mother, Ollie has truly changed.
That said, he is also really shitty at his whole ‘not killing’ philosophy, shooting people every six seconds in this episode, if not stabbing multiple dudes with the same knife. Friendship > ethics, I suppose.
Also, he should probably be a better brother and visit his comatose sister every now and then, don’t you think?
3. Oh not Shado again
I had some major PTSD seeing Shado pop up again on the show. For those that don’t remember, Shado was on the island with Ollie and Slade, and her spirit haunted Slade long after her death. While the character was fine, the show had a habit of bringing her back way too often, like when her twin sister (I shit you not) showed up a few seasons later. The flashbacks have long been the worst part of the show, and that’s due in no small part to stuff like this, where elements from the past were treated as far more important to the present than the actual text suggested. Sure, we know that Shado’s death haunted each man, but either make the show about that, or let it go, dudes.
4. Lemire/Sorrentino representing!
One of the best DC runs of the New 52 was “Green Arrow” by Jeff Lemrie and Andrea Sorrentino, and Ricardo Diaz, aka the Dragon, is right from that book. Sure, he was ‘Richard Dragon’ there, and it wasn’t his first appearance, but but I get why you drop his Christian name in this scenario, and the characterization is straight from the New 52 era. Diaz is played by Kirk Acevedo from Fringe, who could pass for the brother of Josh Segarra. aka Prometheus from last season.
Acevado is a fun actor to watch chew scenery – something this show requires all its baddies to do – and giving him non-vigilante dealings with Diggle makes for an interesting spin on what we’ve seen in the past. The moment where Diggle recognizes him and puts the pieces together was a powerful one, and one where he realizes that his life is about to get even more complicated somehow.
5. Oh yeah, Curtis is a super genius!
Much like Diggle, I completely forgot that Curtis had cured Felicity’s spine injury and could probably help Diggle out with his tremor. Why I liked this part was that it reminded me just how underused the rest of the cast can be on this show, and how much better the show is when it doesn’t ignore those aspects. Curtis, in particular, is a character that should be doing more. He sacrificed his marriage for this career, he’s come the furthest in terms of his hand to hand combat, and his intellect has been discussed, but rarely highlighted.Continued below
As the team continues to grow and change, between Diggle’s dedication, Curtis’s intellect, Felicity’s hacking, Dinah’s scream, and Rene’s tenacity, they are becoming something really unique and different. As much as I still wish they had Ragman on board, because he’s fucking Ragman, this team is really working.
And when the team works, the show works.