Arrow must have felt the heat from last night’s incredible episode of The Flash and decided to step up its game. This felt like the most complete episode of the show in at least a season, so let’s dig in.
1. Welcome back, Ray!
This episode, in a lot of ways, felt like a season, or at least mid-season, finale in many ways. The Ray storyline was ‘settled’ in a way that allows him to do interesting stuff again, Sara departed for the moment, Felicity and Ollie had actual relationship growth, and Thea is making moves in her personal life.
The Ray development was the best aspect though – this could have easily dragged on for weeks, but the show delivered a satisfying conclusion in under an hour. We found out who had Ray, saw the plan hatched, and executed, without really a hiccup. One of the criticisms I’ve had over the past season or so is that there are more members of Team Arrow than ever before, but the team seemed more inept than ever.
That wasn’t the case this week – the team operated like a well oiled machine. The action scenes were the best of the season, hands down, and the team seemed to (for once) use all of its assets at its disposal: Ollie lead, Holt did machines, Sara was cool but rude, and Diggle was a party dude!
2. Speaking of Diggle…
David Ramsey did his best acting of the season in the scene between Ollie and Felicty when they were debating dinner with her mom. Ollie mentions how he makes a killer chicken cordon bleu, and Diggle does this little eyebrow lift with a knowing look. It was one of the few times that Diggle has seemed like a real dude, not just a paramilitary anger robot.
In fact, this whole episode had Diggle being a real life boy, and it was a pleasant change of pace. Plus, I can’t be mad at a whiskey drinker.
3. The flashbacks for fuck’s sake
The flashbacks, after a one week spell of relevance, are right back to the gutter. No one cares. Literally. NO. ONE. CARES.
Even worse, this episode brought back last season’s most obnoxious trait, of finding objects that could appear both in the flashback and the current world, and then dissolve between the two. So, soldiers on the beach become chess pieces; a hieroglyphic becomes a bird statue. No one was grumbling that the transitions weren’t kitschy enough, but here we are.
4. Mrs. Smoak
I sort of love how over the top Donna (Felicity’s mom) is – she’s the ditsy part of Felicity taken to its furthest possible conclusion, sort of like how Quentin is Laurel’s addiction, drive, and gruff voice times a million. Which means that when Quentin and Donna fall in love, they will somehow, together, manifest Ollie (the man both their daughters lust after) out of the ether.
In other words, Donna was a fun part of this episode, that helped cut the tension a little bit.
5. See ya, Sara
In what has become a theme of the Arrowverse, a long imprisoned/missing/dead character is freed, and then splits. See: Lance, Sara last year, Harper, Roy last year, Allen, Henry earlier this year.
Of course, we all know that Sara and Ray are going to migrate over to Legends of Tomorrow in a few weeks, so it doesn’t really matter. Still, I hope that Sara and Thea can find a non-murdering therapy to cope with being Lazarus Pit’d, because that plot device is already starting to wear a little thin.
What did you guys like this week? Let me know in the comments!