After an enjoyable season premiere, Arrow returns with an episode about Ollie lying to the FBI. As always, spoilers abound.
1. New opening credits?
I am prefacing this by saying that it could have been this way for years and I just didn’t notice, but it appears that before the Arrow logo flashes on the screen, the producers have added avatars for various other characters, like the Legends of Tomorrow opening. It moves fast, but I definitely saw representation of Black Canary, Mister Terrific, and Spartan. Presumably, we also got Wild Dog and Overwatch in there too, but I didn’t notice them.
This is a cool way to acknowledge that while Oliver is still the star of the show, it really has expanded into a team show. There’s probably an article to be written about how all the CW shows have essentially created mini-Justice Leagues for their stars to be a part of, but that’s a conversation for another day.
2 This is not the greatest show in the world – this is just a tribute
The Tenacious D reference was just too easy. Move along.
This episode was a bit of a mess, pulling in threads from prior seasons (Anatoly, William, Ollie being unmasked, Diggle under the hood) and trying to make something interesting out of it. At times it succeeded, but only when it went someplace that the show hasn’t already tread in the past. But there are only so many cards in the deck the show is playing with, and so you’re going to have to retread the “will the public find out Oliver is Green Arrow?” question every few seasons.
Aside from the Bruce Wayne reference (which was throwaway fun), the one concept that I really enjoyed from this week was Felicty and Curtis starting a computer business together. The ‘what does Team Arrow do for money?’ question must have come up in the past, but it is nice to see them address this head on, and to give them a B-plot for a season that seems like may not have much room for either of them.
3. Russian stereotypes you missed, no?
Anatoly is only one degree off from a Yakov Smirnoff bit, and the show really hasn’t done anything to deepen the character at all. Plus, having him gone for exactly one (1) episode didn’t exactly make the heart grow fonder. But beyond that, it makes me fear for the season as a whole: if they’re diving back into the Anatoly well in hour 2, how creatively bankrupt is the writing staff? It isn’t like the story they told was timely at all. Sure, it was vaguely related to Ollie being unmasked, but not really. This was about as generic of a plot as the show can do, so why pull the Anatoly trigger so quickly?
4. The William Problem
The show is going to try its best, as it should, to make William interesting, but it has a few things going against it. First of all, child actors aren’t always the best, especially when they were cast 2 season ago and probably weren’t expected to play such a large role. But beyond that, William’s purpose is to ground Ollie, but the show needs Ollie to not be grounded for it to really work. In a show that wasn’t as focused on cheesy action, that could work. But this show is built upon Stephen Amell and his abs doing amazing stuff with a bow and arrow. To have William be anything other than let down by his pop seems like a poor choice for the show as a whole, unless this was moving the show into its endgame, which it does not appear to be doing.
Diggle is a mess, and we find out this week it is because of an injury sustained during the season 5 finale and the lingering effects, physically and psychologically, of that injury. Dinah notices it, but Dig is all “get out of my personal shit” for most of the episode. But eventually, he admits his struggle, and it is nice to see a character on this show understand what a limitation is.Continued below
Of course, six seconds later, he agrees to be the Green Arrow, undoing all of his character growth and lying directly to his best friend’s face. I would normally say that Ollie will be back under the hood in 3 weeks, but this is Arrow, so he’s likely to be back in costume by 9:45pm next week.