Arrow "Home Invasion" Review: Stay On Target

Arrow S01E20: "Home Invasion"

Arrow has steadily gotten better about crafting episodes that pit Oliver's two lives against each other, and "Home Invasion" was another entry in that set. Most of the time these conflicts have served to illustrate the burden Oliver experiences in having dual identities—shooting criminals with arrows gets in the way of family time or hanging out with a girlfriend—and how it chips away at his soul, as Diggle mentioned that it would so early in the series' run. Revealing his identity to Tommy ended up adding another layer to this dynamic, but that strain has largely been part of how Oliver the man functions and not how Oliver the vigilante operates.

Where "Home Invasion" managed to differentiate itself a bit was in the way the episode's two primary plots managed to not only intersect with one another, but to also have ramifications in both areas of Oliver's life. Admittedly, I care about some of these ramifications more than others, but at this point in the season's run, that really shouldn't surprise anyone.

Since getting on board with Oliver's mission, Diggle has been pushing Oliver to look beyond the list and to try to do better by Starling City—to show Oliver that dealing with criminals like bank robbers or drug dealers can do just as much as, if not more than, scaring the city's elite out of the corrupted ways. In the process, the two have come to not only respect and trust one another, but also to like one another. So when Oliver decided to focus on taking down Deadshot and to give Diggle some much-needed closure, it was as much as a gesture of protecting Starling City as it was Oliver showing how much Diggle means to him.

It was an interesting shift, then, that Oliver the man ended up undoing Oliver the vigilante as opposed to the other way around for once. Yes, we ended up with yet another "Laurel's in danger!" plot (I appreciated the show hanging a small lampshade on this as Quentin suggested it was time for Laurel to get a new apartment, but if you keep doing it, show, the lampshade only means so much), but it forced Oliver to reconsider his priorities, and he decided that his top priority was not the man who'd been supporting him, saving his life, and carefully guiding him for a number of months.

It's possible to see Oliver's choice of Laurel over Diggle as a result of Diggle's influence, as if Diggle's managed to protect enough of Oliver's soul that Oliver would make such an emotionally driven choice. Maybe that's what it was, but Oliver getting involved in Diggle's vendetta against Deadshot was an emotional gesture as well. When you factor in Diggle's experiences as a soldier, as being part of a something larger than himself and having to implicitly trust those with whom he fights alongside, the betrayal was doubly damning.

I don't doubt that Diggle will eventually return to the Arrow Cave*, and so I'm intrigued to see not only what will bring him back (probably the Undertaking and Diggle's sense of duty), but how the events of this episode will affect the dynamic between Oliver and Diggle when he does. Considering that the relationship between these two is the show's most developed and interesting one, it deserves to be treated with its due respect.

*Provided the writers don't kill Diggle off within the next three episode. I swear to the TV Gods that if that happens, I will break things.

As for the events of this episode that I'm not really invested in, there was more with the Oliver-Laurel-Tommy triangle. I struggle with this triangle, since I've never really been able to completely buy into the idea that Oliver still loves Laurel. He's hidden it very well due to a desire to protect her (I guess), but he's also never really pined over her, either. The relationship with McKenna, half-baked though it was, wasn't undone or negatively influenced by a love for Laurel, nor did it ever really seem like a "consolation prize" sort of situation. However, when you consider that Oliver wants to protect Laurel by never telling her about his other life, but that he didn't seem to have this concern with McKenna, he looks like a real jerk.

The episode attempted to sell the idea hard, though, with the island flashbacks showing Oliver as dedicated to Laurel despite smooching Shado, Moira wistfully reminiscing while she and Laurel flipped through old photos, and that ill-advised, lingering hug between them in the hallway as Tommy lurked nearby. It didn't alter my opinion at all, but the show is dedicated to playing this out, so I'll just grit my teeth and bear it.

It did result in Tommy breaking things off with Laurel, which was likely the final step in Tommy's brief-ish journey toward taking his place at Malcolm's side. Like Oliver in some ways, he's now isolated from those he cares about, and will likely end up coping under the wing of his father and his father's agenda. I will say that this breaking down of Tommy has worked for me a bit more than I thought it would, considering that Laurel's attention toward and belief in the Hood dates back several episodes, as opposed to just happening now, and given that the Hood and Oliver are one and the same, his assertion that if Laurel knew, she'd pick Oliver over Tommy does ring true.

We have three episodes left in the season to see how it all plays out, though, so I reserve the right to change my opinion. 



NOTES FROM THE QUIVER


J. August Richards was decidedly good here as Mr. Blank. I haven't seen him in very much beyond Angel, so this was a neat, creepy new side to him. However, even he couldn't make that clunky line about feeling pain all the way into the wood paneling of Queen Mansion feel anything but really comic book-y.

– In the lightest plot of the episode, Roy became convinced that he and the Hood are "connected" and began his search to contact the Hood by stealing a police radio. The only interesting tidbit to come out of all of this was that we learned that Oliver's killed 26 people. Which is lower than I thought it would be, honestly.

– "I dye actually. ...I keep your secret!" 

– "Well if it isn't the Wonder Twins." I'm liking Quentin a lot more since Dinah showed up and then left.

– Slade likes to watch. I think, deep down, we all suspected as much.

– I'm guessing that Moira took two Ambiens, and that's why she didn't emerge from her room while Blank shot up the mansion.

– Curse Yao Fei's second sudden but inevitable betrayal that will still likely result in putting the kibosh on Fyers' evil machinations, as the Chinese archer has likely devised some cunning plan that requires Oliver, Shado, and Slade at the camp.


What'd you think of "Home Invasion"?

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Really someone should just give this Laurel-Oliver pseudo-love interest a rest. There is no chemistry! She is mostly a wet blanket and his behavior based on his "love" is both unbelievable and makes him really hard to like and I can only wonder that anybody would even try to be his friend anymore.
The whole thing is just agony to watch.
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I would've liked to see Oliver at least call Diggle and warn him that he wouldn't show up. It would've been infuriating, but it might've lessened the impact of the "betrayal" if he'd explained what his thought-process was...

Also, I really don't want Tommy to become a bad guy. I'm liking him so much more now than when this whole thing started, and I think he and Laurel are good together. Oliver and Laurel just feels weird...
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Oh, and just a random thought, but maybe they should rework the show so that every episode has a new character learning Ollie's secret, and then we watch how they react to that. We could meet so many interesting new people that way. The kid this episode was a 50/50 to getting a visit from his favorite hero anyway.
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I had a time-crunched week, so I put off Arrow, and barely decided to get around to watching it this morning. Arrow and Castle are 2 shows that have had rough runs the past few episodes to the point of nearly losing my interest, I'm not compelled to make time for them anymore. This Arrow episode almost changed my mind on that as it was more interesting and had more going on than before with less little bits dragging, but still managed to fall into a giant stupid-hole.

Ollie makes a "choice" to stop a corrupt executive from fleeing the country rather than backing Diggle up capturing a dangerous assassin. First off, why couldn't the police stop this guy instead? Does Green Arrow really have to do ALL the policework? That's stupid. Second, Diggle's situation is a life-or-death one while some executive is only dangerous with a pen and isn't putting anyone's life at risk. In what way does that choice make sense whatsoever? Ollie's choice to put Laurel's interests above Diggle's just didn't pass the basic test, it wasn't Ollie saving Laurel's life, it was merely tracking down a guy in a limo, that's not a balanced choice.

I'm not as invested in Diggle as you are, Noel, but if this is how he's going out then it's pretty lame... yet if he comes back, it's almost equally lame because Ollie's judgement was, as you said, not trustworthy or reasonable. Then again, as badly as Diggle muffed the takedown, maybe he shouldn't come back, that wasn't even a compelling scene the way it played out, just a shooting gallery as Deadshot told him.

I didn't give a squirt about Laullie, but I felt like Tommy's writing was good and yet is a driving force used to turn him bad, which is a shame because Tommy's ability to make the choices he did shouldn't turn him into a villain, they should allow him to succeed in life. It's lame that Tommy's choice of using Castle Queen as a safe-haven was so pathetically undone though, the assault on the house was way too easy after all the talk of Diggle's hand-picked men and blah blah blah. Diggle kinda sucks at his job this episode, but since Ollie let him down so hard we are supposed to ignore it, I guess.

The flashbacks weren't as compelling as usual, they felt a bit trite but not terrible until the last one where Ollie gets captured for what seemed like the thirtieth time.

The sad part was that this episode was a better one in the series, it avoided crappy pitfalls like spending a ton of time on Laurel being mother-y to the sad little boy, or Ollie having bonding moments with the kid, that sort of dreck. We didn't even get "kid crying and being soothed" junk, that section was kept lean without feeling like a lost thread.

Oh yeah, and then somehow there's a wisp of a storyline with Thea and Roy. It didn't even intrude on the episode, it felt like a webisode someone fan-edited into here.

And you know this show has a credibility problem when Felicity reveals she's a dye-job and I don't believe it.

Noel, your quoting of Firefly is too good for this show.
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well said and agree except I do think Felicity artificially lightens her hair and find nothing wrong with her choosing her hair color;-)

be careful of Castle fans~lol, they can be very umm...intense. I still watch Castle because so far the pleasure outweighs the irritation but the scale is leveling. Castle is not growing and is not stagnating but is devolving...

Ollie chose to abandon Diggle, who was in a dangerous situation, to capture some guy that the police could get (good point) and that we find out later had called off the hit on the kid. The kid was not in immediate danger (not kidnapped, no gun to the head) but Diggle was in the crosshairs of Deadsho (slight exaggeration but he was in immediate danger or was going to enter an extremely dangerous situation).

Interesting point about Tommy's choices and allowing him success vs forcing a plot down our throat. Hmm, something to think about. Glad you posted

I'm not sure where to rate this compared to the prior episodes, mainly because I have forgotten a lot of what went on in specific episodes (I don't mean to say I have forgotten everything but just the specifics of what happened when or in what episode; not a good sign).

When did things get physical between Thea and Roy? They seemed like boyfriend/girlfriend at the restaurant/dinner.

Why some many people saying Ollie made the right choice to "save" the kid when the kid wasn't in immediate harm and the guy Ollie captured wasn't even the assassin (captured guy had called off the hit). I could see him choosing to save the kid if Laurel (ugh) had called to say she and the kid where in the bedroom hiding and heard gunshots in the hallway. But that was NOT the case.

done rambling for now;-)
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He only called off the hit after the vigilante threatened to kill him if he didn't.
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if the kid's in immediate danger (and he wasn't but Diggle was) then go after the assassin rather then the guy riding in the car. Crappy friend!
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PS - of course Slade likes to watch, don't you remember what he did with Terra in New Teen Titans? What, that comic is 30 years old and is a rare example of a major comics character staying dead, so nobody remembers that?
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We need more Felicity. The sausage fest is getting annoying!
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Good episode, but i thought Diggle's reason for quitting was stupid. Basically he thought that little boy wasn't worth much and should have just died. Seeing how he objected to Oliver trying to stop the hit contract on the boy, and blaming him even after the hitman killed several of Diggles own guard inside the supposidly inpenetrable mansion.

Thats the only way to interpret his reasoning, which is why its stupid as thats out of character for him imo.
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I loved the episode. Oliver has very clear he is not going to be with Laurel and I love that xD And I hate Oliver dissapointed Diggle for her. Diggle deserves the best for his support, especially when he had tried to be ok with Oliver being like a "killer".

The most funy part is that I feel like Roy wants to be like Robin to Batman LOL.

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Omg now that you've suggested Diggle's death that's all I'm going to think about for the subsequent episodes. Naturally if it happens I'm going to say you jinxed it!!! and help you break things (your things anyway)...
As much as I understand Diggle feeling betrayed, when he got angry at Oliver and said you chose her, always her, I couldn't help but think that Diggle would always choose Carly over Oliver anyway, if it came down to it, so that storming off was kinda meh for me.
Poor Tommy. Not that I've ever been invested in Tommy and Laurel or for that matter, Oliver and Laurel (sorry but Laurel seems to have no chemistry with anyone whatsoever), but I feel Tommy has been rather shortchanged on various areas, his friendship, his girlfriend, his family (or the combined lack thereof), and wish he had at least spent a while "fighting" for Laurel. Even if it's a delusional you're not going to steal her from me or Laurel loves me and I'm not a crazy murdering vigilante. Anything really, because that sad lurk as Ollie and Laurel hugged, and then giving up so quickly was just so...scripted? When did Tommy get so super low self esteem?
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Diggle has chosen Ollie over his life when it's appropriate I think.

Tommy has been so shortchanged it's like the writers are trying to take a more mature character and turn him into the movie version of Harry Osborn. Tommy probably gets low self-esteem from his crappy dad though, that guy sucked. I think Tommy's inability to fight for Laurel came when Ollie mentioned the lunch that Laurel hadn't told Tommy about, that's a bad sign for their relationship.
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Indeed, it seems like the writers were just concerned that he became Harry Osborn ASAP that they didn't care about the journey getting there. At this point if Tommy turns evil, should Ollie or Laurel even care? I mean, it doesn't really seem to matter to Ollie whether he has this friend or not, and Laurel and Tommy weren't a couple very long.
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True

Laurel seems much to intrigued with Arrow/Archer (whatever Ollie's alter ego's name is) and by Ollie himself. Not a good girlfriend for Tommy.

Ollie putting Laurel above Diggle and above his supposed best friend, Tommy, makes me like Ollie less (this episode makes Ollie look bad based on his actions)
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Agree with the first sentence;-)

Tommy is how the writers have chosen him to be.... kind of pathetic but I feel empathy for him. If he becomes a villain, which I am fairly confident of, then no more empathy. Having a crappy dad, a best friend who is "making moves" on the girlfriend, and a horrible girlfriend is not enough of an excuse. Tommy needs to distance himself from all these crappy people in his life. I dislike his girlfriend and am glad he was smart enough to break things off with that soul sucking demon (lol)
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We should not take our hats off to Roy Harper in my opinion. He's an uncharismatic little brat, plus the actor who plays him is seven years older than him and it shows.
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I know I'm a little late to this party, but work with me here.
I already miss Dig. So please bring him back or I'll break things with you, that's for sure.
I agree with you about the love triangle, I do buy it from Laurel but not sure Ollie has proven actual love towards her. Tommy's development this week was really good as I'm guessing and hoping that now that we assume he'll be under his father's wing in every way, he'll became the archer, Merlyn, Green Arrow's enemy.
Also, Felicity's line about her hair = pure gold.
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Strong episode, Mr. Blank was very good hitman.

I totally get were Diggle was coming from and why he left.

Tommy was conflicted but again could see why he made that decision to leave Laurel.
The more Laurel is on the screen the more I dislike her - she if very cardboardie to me - and have no idea what Oliver sees in her.

I suppose she is good as a catalyst for the ruptured relationship between Oliver and Tommy, and now Diggle and Oliver, but that's about all she is worth to the show.

Island was interesting as always, could have done without the kiss scene - was totally expected. The ending did not see coming as well and wonder what is going to happen next.

Can we just get a sad Oliver was too late episode and Laurel dies horribly episode - not even horribly can she just die already ?
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There's a sense of goodness in Laurel that comes out (that tireless dedication to helping others), but I feel like Oliver's attachment to her is motivated both by guilt for the Sarah thing but also this idea of who Laurel was 5 years ago and maybe not who she is now.

But that latter idea is me spit balling because, well, we have no idea how Laurel behaved before Oliver went on that yacht, so we'll stick with the guilt as a big reason.
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When you stated it like that can sort of see that aspect of Laurel.

Totally agree with your feeling on Oliver's attachment to Laurel being both guilt and about the Lauren of 5 years ago (the memory of her) and not who she is now.. with guilt being a major factor.
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what a strong episode! Easily the best in term of camera , screenplay and Directing !
What a great fight scene <3
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I loved this episode. *Soooo* happy to see J August Richards, just disappointing that his character was killed off so quickly, I thought he had great potential to stick around, at least for a few more episodes. He was fantastic.
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Playing a non-regular villain on Arrow is rough. One just cannot emerge unscathed from such an ordeal.

I'm sure there is some sort of a clever decisive system behind all of this. Like, I can totally imagine that they hand a six-sided die to every "evil" guest star. If the baddies manage to roll a 6, they get to survive (vide Deadshot and The Count). Otherwise, no such luck (perhaps rolling a 5 would mean "death after some fighting" and scoring a 1 would amount to "being disposed off quickly and efficiently").
But of course, there would be a twist to such a game. Even if you rolled a 6, you would have to roll again in order to determine how well you've survived. Deadshot must've been pretty lucky to get away with only an eye lost, but The Count... clearly not. I'm just not sure what The Huntress could've rolled to be degraded to a psycho ex-girlfriend.
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What an exciting episode! Bromances were torn asunder, children were orphaned, and two idiot teenagers with death wishes went looking for a serial murderer (26 DEAD PPL???)!

This episode was all about how hard it is on dude-bros when chicks or moral quandaries get in the way of some good male-on-male bonding. The parallels between Island time and Starling City were pretty great: No one wants Oliver to date their daughter! Or their love interest. Yao Fei is suuuuch a cockblock, amirite? And I loved how Oliver joyfully squealed "Yao Fei!!" when he walked in, like a little kid who's daddy just got home.

Oh and those two boring people also broke up. Gawd, Tommy, get off the cross already we need the wood! There is nothing more obnoxious than when a couple breaks up to "protect" one another. I. Do. Not. Care! Just hurry up and become Harry Osborn and get killed off already, Tommy.

WHAT on Earth was going through Quentin's head??? "Hmm, my daughter is in mortal danger (ugh, again?), but oh noes this punk kid stole my radio! I better waste important resources to catch him and scare him straight! Laurel who?". I didn't mind seeing more of Roy, but is it too much to ask that things just make sense?!?? It's the CW, so yes.

OK, odds on what happens between now and the finale. Roy and/or Thea finding out Oliver is the Hood? I'd say 85% likely Roy does, 40% likely Thea does as well. Diggle and Oliver making up? 100%! Odds that Laurel and Tommy reunite only to die in a horrific car crash on their way to a fancy restaurant??? Not good, but my fingers are crossed.
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I'm not in agreement with some of this (I like Tommy, after all), but a thumbs up doesn't completely express how entertaining I found this comment.
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Laurel is so annoying.
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The casting of Tommy was terrible... He looks like he's 5 years younger than the guy playing his father
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And not only that, but I don't buy it AT ALL that he was this huge party animal up until the middle of the season. He just seems/looks waayyy more like a bro-y Wall Street guy than a hard-partying, responsibility-shirking club kid.
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At least he still looks a little younger... It could've been the other way around.

I'll admit that this really doesn't bother me, but it is being brought up on a regular basis.
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I blame John Barrowman for being damn sexy for a 46 year old man. Given that Tommy is ~26 (not sure if they have given actual ages for the characters), that puts his father at around 20 when he was born, so definitely within reason.
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But he doesn't look older than Oliver. So maybe they should have just chosen someone older than John Barrowman to play the father.
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The problem with that though is if they cast someone much older its harder to buy him as capable of being the dark archer
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What I like about this show is that so far it hasn't gotten stuck in interpersonal secrets for too long. For example at the end when Tommy asked Oliver if he had feelings for Laurel, he admitted it right away. In many other shows Oliver would have denied it and then they would have danced around the question for the next ten episodes. Smallville, for example, was very good at this.

Laurel is also in on the action, like with the shotgun. In Smallville Lois was always knocked unconscious before the action started. It happened literally dozens of times, sometimes twice in an episode. I always hoped that they would have introduced a storyline in which Lois has severe scaring on her brain because of all the concussions. And then her memory and motor skills would have slowly started to deteriorate because of the neurological damage and she would have had to retire early.
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"I always hoped that they would have introduced a storyline in which Lois has severe scaring on her brain because of all the concussions. And then her memory and motor skills would have slowly started to deteriorate because of the neurological damage and she would have had to retire early."

I've never watched Smallville, but that made me laugh way more than it should've.
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Be that as it may, Smallville still managed to pull off a better chemistry between its leads. But perhaps Laurel is like Lana in that aspect that she will eventually fade away... I think I might've just found a new hope!
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I thought this episode was good enough for a season finale. In fact, I had to check online to see if this was the penultimate episode.
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Once again you've nailed the hell out of the episode with this review. Always a pleasure reading! :)

-"Slade likes to watch. I think, deep down, we all suspected as much." This line made me laugh so hard it should be criminal. Honestly I'm looking forward to the day *fingers crossed* when Slade and Shado both appear in Starling City, and the two worlds sort of collide. That would be an interesting sight, for sure. Slade is wonderful to watch, he makes flashbacks worth it. I know Shado has been sort of hit and miss among the fans, but I like her. Even though she does that whole Fortune Cookie/Mr. Miyagi "wax on, wax off" stuff. I don't know what it is. I've enjoyed the development between her and Ollie. I didn't even cringe at the kissing.
-Ahhh the Queen Mansion, surely Moira took an ambien or was off in the left wing cocooned in her Egyptian Cotton sheets with the ridic thread count, on her King size bed watching Jodie Foster in The Brave One. She seems like a Jodie Foster closet action/vigilante film lover.
- I honestly thought that this was probably one of their best episodes to date. I suppose I shouldn't have expected less with it being towards the end of the season by now, but it was just very strong and solid. Everything was relatively important. All the characters got some development in some way or another. It was balanced out quite nicely and nothing felt like it was being thrown in just for the hell of it. A lot of stuff was going out without it being too much to process. I really liked it.
-Oh the Diggle/Ollie thing. I love those boys so much. I'm not easily distracted most of the time, although I've been known to play with a single rubber band for a half hour or longer, but those damn openings with Ollie or Diggle, or both fighting, shirtless have made me lose my train of thought on more than one occasion. That Felicity is a lucky duck. Anyhoo, this was a perfect example of how I could see both sides in this conflict of theirs. Diggle has been under the impression that he and Ollie aren't just partners, but friends. He is bringing the mentality of a solider and his brethren. That counts for something. That matters. I can see where it brings up some trust issues.For so long Ollie has been so focused on his personal vendetta and not giving a damn about anyone else unless practically being dragged kicking and screaming to do more than just that list. Diggle was pivotal in that, and now more than ever you see the growth in Ollie from the beginning of the show to now. I can see where for Diggle, who doesn't ask for much, or anything at all for that matter, Ollie dropping the ball on the one thing that really matters to him, feels like quite the betrayal. Especially since Ollie has just started pulling back on the judgmental side that was beyond hypocritical. But I also could see Ollie's point too. He made a decision. I don't think it had to do as much with Laurel as they'd like us to think either. I could see him thinking he maybe had more wiggle room with Dead Shot than he did with the other guy. A phonecall would have been nice though.
-I love my girl Felicity but her role is becoming more and more important by the second. Ollie has always been the impulsive and headstrong one. He required someone like Diggle to pull him back and keep him from going too far. When Diggle loses his shizz and ends up almost as bad as Olliie, Felicity is the perfect person to balance both of them out and keep them together. I freakin LOVE Felicity. And Diggle, and I will join you in your adult temper-tantrum if they so much as harm a non existent hair on Diggle's head!!
-Tommy almost made me give a damn about him. So cute with that kid. Fantastic scene. I was moved deep down in that special place where all my feelings are held hostage. Moved again the way he left Laurel the way that he did. He still annoys me with the way he handles Ollie, when I bother caring at all, that is, but I can't deny that the possibility of him being interesting after this episode has increased a great deal.
-I'm still not convinced by the love between Laurel and Oliver. I'm just not. I feel like the show works too hard to convince us that there is chemistry there that just isn't. This episode was a perfect example of that. Every time they had a scene together and the writers were desperately trying to make us feel something for them as a pairing, I just sighed. I don't see it. I don't feel it. I don't care. Please stop. Really, it needs to stop. Contrary to what whomever chooses to believe, love triangles are not eseential for a show. Shows can do perfectly well without them. This show doesn't need one. The fact that they have to force it speaks to the fact that it's so far from organic it isn't even necessary. I'd rather watch Oliver deal with himself, the internal conflict, making sense of who he is now compared to who he used to be. I'd rather see him trying to connect with his family. I'd rather see the complicated bonds he has formed with Diggle and Felicity contiue to blossom. I'd even like to see precarious nature of his relationship with Tommy minus all the Laurel bs.
-If not for the fact that Roy is being played by Colton Hayes, I can honestly say I wouldn't bat an eyelash at whatever this is with him and Thea. I know it's leading up to something relevant. I think. I just haven't seen anything interesting yet.
-All the action and fight sequences. Loved it. So good. So very good. That's what I'm talking about.
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Oliver's obsession with Laurel (both in the present and on the island) is by far one of the most annoying elements of the show. And it has only been worsened with this episode. I'm completely not seeing or feeling that "love" or "special connection" between them, both now and then; we're at most being told about it (often through other characters) and supposed to believe it. I just find it impossible to buy into.

So many other problems stem from this shoehorning of Oliver into that position - falling out with Tommy, backstabbing Diggle by making poor choices, having him behave inconsistently. I can understand that the writers started out with having this idea for Oliver & Laurel to eventually get together, but it's been evident since a long while that it isn't exactly working out. Be it the casting or the writing, it simply isn't. You cannot just brute force or create chemistry where there is clearly little to none. I wish writers had enough insight to acknowledge that, and be flexible enough to explore other paths. Yet I fear that it's going to be just like Noel says - the show being so dedicated to playing this particular option out that it will blindly follow through with it, no matter how much more unbearable it becomes. It's sad.

It would've been an otherwise decent episode, if only it didn't revolve so much around Laurel (even my precious island flashbacks were spoiled by this!). Admittedly, the super effective medical trick of Mr. Random Assassin was a little hard to swallow (nearly just as much as Oliver's fake killing and consequent resurrection of that Bratva member a slew of episodes back), just as was Deadshot's sudden surge of mercy towards Diggle - the guy who clearly attempted to kill him, and who made it clear that he would try again (after all, he shot the agents merely for trying to lure him into a trap, no one paid him for them either).

I'm also liking Quentin more as of late, it's been like a small but noticeable quality change in the writing. Will see what comes out of Roy Harper's quest to find The Hood (I don't mind sidekicks per se), and I dearly hope that the island flashbacks won't start going aroud in circles (escape from Fyers, get captured by Fyers, escape from Fyers, get captured by Fyers...).
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I really think Roy is going to be Arrows Sidekick. Maybe you remember the scene where he (Roy) saves his "to-be-girlfriend" from the assailants? There he showed some really remarkable athletic moves and fighting. And I think Roy will finally show Arrow how to be a real Hero, and not only a "Vigilante", cause Roy said "I can´t go back to my old life" (as a criminal) so he´s much nearer to beeing a Hero (he has no revenge issues, just wants to do good for once) than Oliver atm. I like Diggle very much, but I really think he is going to die. This will then teach Oliver that he has to stand by and protect those who support him, too, and maybe finally break his focus on Laurel. If I were our "dyed-blonde", I´d really feel uncomfortable right now, knowing that Arrow will chase after Laurel even if I were about to walk into a / some really dangerous situation(s) and could really need Arrows help.
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Roy is Roy Harper who is Speedy, who is Green Arrow's sidekick in the comics. So yes, there is no doubt Roy is going to be Oliver's sidekick. Its been set up from the beginning. Its just sad that they have to get rid of Diggle who, in my opinion, is a better companion to Oliver.
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It doesn't exactly mean that Diggle will be gone and won't help. Batman had Robin AND Alfred.
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It's interesting to see how someone who does not know the mythos see things.
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hrhr, and you really made me wonder now if I am really miles adrift with my assumptions ;) I am eager to watch how it all plays out. :)
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I'm torn about the episode. I think that Oliver made the right choice by protecting his friends and that Diggle was a little blinded by his revenge scheme. But the relationships on the show are too shaky. I feel like I've just discovered that Laurel cared at all about Tommy. The island part didn't move the story enough. I bet Oliver will become an incredible archer after two lessons and listening to the "trust your instincts" bit (sighs).
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Now it's Digg's turn to be emo. Why so emo, Digg? Oliver made the right choice! I just don't understand how Diggle can go from being the most mature character on the show to being the most immature.
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How can you say that *that* was the right choice? It was a huge betrayal that risked Diggle's life and cost four FBI agents their lives. The most immature character in this episode was definitely Oliver.
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To me, Laurel, Tommy and that little boy are more important than helping an entire squad of FBI agents who know that the enemy is coming, know that they're putting their lives on the line and weren't counting on Oliver's help to begin with. What happened to Diggle is unfortunate, but as a member of the team, he should be able to understand why Oliver couldn't help him.
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If he wanted to help Laurel and the boy, he should have done one of the following:

a) Kill the boss.
b) Capture the boss and do everything he can to try to get some information from him that he can use to find the killer.
c) Just stay at the house and wait for the killer to show up.

Instead he only changed the boss's travel destination: prison instead of China. This *might* help Laurel and the boy, but it's far from guaranteed. It could even make things worse.

Even if what he did had been a good way to help Laurel and the boy, he could at least have picked up the phone and *told* Diggle that he wasn't going to show up. The FBI didn't count on Oliver's help, but Diggle did. As a result, Diggle found himself in a situation where he certainly would have died if the writers hadn't decided to spare him in a way that didn't make sense.
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But the guy was already on the run. Trying to leave the city, hence not posing a direct danger anymore. It's not like he would have a reason to keep hiring new assassins while being abroad, just to go after a little boy who had absolutely no way to connect him to the murder.
Oliver could've tipped Quentin off, asking him to stall the businessman for the sake of Laurel. Yet he chose to provide revenge to whom? Taylor, the boy? I doubt he cared about anything else than his parents at that point. And he was (theoretically) safe at the mansion.
Oliver made another poor judgement call. He didn't stop the assassin from coming after Laurel, and he didn't stop another assassin from getting an upper hand over Diggle/killing a number of agents. Loss-loss. When will that boy learn.
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and we found out that the guy had called the assassin to call off the hit on the boy
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How did he help Laurel? He stopped a guy from fleeing the country and in so doing cost four people their lives and let a prolific killer get away.
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It's a tough go being the sidekick...I mean partner. Sometimes you can't help but wonder, why it can't be about you just once! I understand my man, Diggle. It'll blow over eventually.
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Deadshot killed his brother and probably kicked a dog.
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I had a bump on the ol' suspension of disbelief meter.

Deadshot kills a bunch of agents rather than just not show up, and then spares Dig because nobody's paying him to kill Dig.

In other logic developments, Ollie's choice was clear... Dig can take care of himself, and Laurel can't.
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Yes Diggle can take care of himself but when you are working with a partner you do things that you wouldn't normally do and it wasn't like the guy was on his way to laurels apartment he was on his way to the airport to leave the country. Stop a fugitive or catch a deadly assassin and protect your partner. Seems to me the logical choice is b.
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RIght?! I was saying the exact same thing! Umm, surely he wasn't clocking a few thou for all those Feds he took out.

I don't know about that list bit of logic. I mean, I can't stand Laurel but the girl can kick some ass, and when she her braincells are functioning properly and she remembers to load her freaking gun, she has a nice shot too. I'd call even on that. I'm thinking it was more about the kid.
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Good episode, I saw a flaw in Mr.Blanks plan, He had to kill the kid since he saw his face and the boss as well, but no mention of Laurel and Tommy that both saw him when he did the home invasion at Laurel's place... is it just me or they saw him trying to kill that kid there, so shouldn't they both be on his list?

anyway Mr. Blank died so it doesn't matter now.
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Did anybody else notice how when Oliver was fighting with Blank and Blank asked ÆWhat the hell happened to you at that island?", Oliver answered "You're about to find out" like Batman. I got a really strong Batman vibe from that :) The fight scene was very enjoyable overall.
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I expected a heart attack at some point.
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I did enjoy the fight scene, though I feel like that upper hallway/balcony got larger than it has been in the past, but it could've just been how they shot it in previous episodes.
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Didn't notice, might be. By the way, do you think Diggle leaving will be the opening window for Roy to at least start becoming The Hood's sidekick?
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Anything's possible, so maybe/probably.

Guggenheim said in an interview that the studio was *very* generous with upping their budget for Season 2, seeming to indicate that despite adding three more regular cast members they're not having to kill off any of the current regulars to make room for the new folks.

But I could also see Diggle's death being the thing that drives Oliver from vigilante to hero. I would still break all the things if this happens though.
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In a twist that probably surprises no one J. August Richards will be in SHIELD. Go go JW for liking to use the same people in EVERYTHING. Mr. Blank just gave me a strong Jubal Early vibe the entire time. I half expect him to say "Does that seem right to you..." at some point.

Overall I did not mind the episode, but recently it just feels like the show is trying to set something up and the show is kind of staling because of it. If you really wanted to take the show in a darkish direction you bring in Slade because he is involved in the "undertaking" some how. You kill off Diggle and Thea (and maybe seriously injure Merlin Sr.) during the "undertaking" while Roy tries to help Oliver to stop it. Merlin Jr. goes off to train in Nanda Parbat to avenge his father. Oliver trains Roy so he can avenge Thea. Flash to some time later, Slade is the inter-main villain for next season until Merlin comes back to take his fathers place. Huntress plays double/triple/quad/penta-agent at some point. Sara comes back and becomes BC.

While you would lose Diggle who is awesome, you would also get rid of Thea who just is not working really. The only real concern would be if Roy is any better. Is it worth losing a partner like Diggle to get a sidekick like Roy.
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Is it worth losing Diggle in order to make room for Roy? Hell no. Not now, not ever.
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Also any episode with Manu Bennett (CRIXUS!!) is a win for me! I absolutely LOVE him!
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I thought it was a decent episode, not the greatest but not the worst. I don't like Diggle quitting on Oliver because I really love their relationship/friendship but I understand his frustration. All he has wanted Oliver to do from the very beginning is help out others in need, and not focus on revenge, and Oliver finally took his advice, but unfortunately it came at the expense of Diggle. It's going to be interesting to see how things play out for Oliver over the next 3 episodes. He has lost his best friend (Tommy) and his confidante/partner (Diggle).

I know a lot of people can't stand Laurel, but I like her. (It may also have to do with the fact that I loved Katie Cassidy when she was Ruby on Supernatural). I don't think the relationship between Oliver and Laurel is forced. They used to date and although prior to his "death" he was banging her sister, I can see they still have a connection. So far I see it more along the lines of friendship than relationship. I don't see her being too forgiving in the "sleeping with my sister", at least not completely. I think this season has been about rebuilding their connection, and then later they will probably get back together. Most people like Oliver with Felicity (she is very funny and their dynamic is great) but I like them as friends only. I really wish a TV show would show two people of the opposite sex having a great friendship instead of forcing a relationship down our throats.
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Decent ep.

I'm just here for Felicity and Diggle. They're the best characters on this.

Can Tommy whine anymore? *eyeroll*

Laurel & Oliver - I just don't get it. They keep trying to sell this but I'm not buying *shrugs*
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I am waiting for his crossing over to Malcom's side and some type of confrontation between Tommy and Oliver and Tommy yelling something stupid like "Because she chose you! or Laurel loves you!" or something stupid like that.
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It'll totally happen like that. You nailed it lol.
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Oh, and as an aside, the funniest scene? After the whole I dye it, I keep your secret, Felicity turns back to her computers and a discussion with Dig, and Oliver takes a peek at the top her head. Occasionally, it is so funny because in random takes like that, you can see that early Island Oliver is still in there (and that Stephen Amell is funny when he doesn't have to be stone faced serious).
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I honestly buy Laurel and Oliver if anything, because of their chemistry. But I do think it was a bad decision to not show Oliver pining for her early on. I know, they wanted to be different and go in the "look how noble and evolved he is letting his best friend date his ex" direction but they could have at least had a few longing looks and secret pining to establish he does still love her. Now that they're returning to that plot, it is feeling a little forced.
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Noel, get ready to break things...

Well, maybe not. It all depends on Slade's fate. I think they are trying to run Diggle and Slade's storylines as somewhat parallel, given that both felt a little betrayed by Oliver's distraction by a female resulted in them being placed in a compromising position. We'll see what happens. (As long as Dig doesn't become Toyman, which would be a fate worse than death.)

The cave is starting to get a bit full, though. As much as Thea is wrapped up in Roy, can she hang on plotwise once she knows that Oliver is Green Arrow, assuming that Roy becomes Red? (Transferring the name Speedy to him would be hackneyed--even if it were as a tribute to Thea dying.) No, wait--she becomes Speedy, and he Red--then, with zero skills she's about as useful as Stephanie Brown was in the Batcave (so useful that after killing her off then bringing her back, DC just decided it was easier to heal Barbara Gordon's paralysis than to make Stephanie's character continue to work). Please, writers, do something surprisingly good here!
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This episode was bad, but still better than most of the recent ones.

Poor Diggle, doomed to wander the CW earth in search of that whambulance. All he ever complained about was Oliver losing his soul to his mission, but as soon as Oliver helps an innocent literally keep her life, Diggle can't take the fact that he's Jan. Laurel isn't interesting, but she's an innocent...who's starting to remember she's the kid of a cop (LOL @ the shotgun). Diggle, while currently a sad vengeful hypocritcal crybaby, is still a soldier, and had a much better chance of surviving a guy that doesn't care about him (ahh...CW) than Laurel did surviving a guy coming to her straw house to kill a kid. Again, she literally would've died. Gunn from Angel could only pose there for so long.

Diggle: "Your ex, your best friend, and a little boy were slaughtered, but you were right not to save them; I got mine. That soul's lookin' good, bro."

So Diggle's either going to get a solo project, or he's getting MVT'd (Minority Vanishing Trick, patent pending), and all it took was for him to suck. And for phones not to work.

Quentin is essentially the king of the losers (CW cops), but setting up Roy was the funniest thing he's ever done. Good thing CW cops aren't fueled by tax dollars.

You'd think that Tommy would use his dad's billion-dollar resources to keep his girl now that he's back in the fold. Yeah..

Of course Shado would fall for Oliver. Who can resist flop hair and incompetence? Not *that* girl! I'm pretty sure she's a bad guy. That will at least make more sense when she dies. I can be optimistic.

Felicity...was in this episode. Yeah..
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Sometimes when I'm really, really, really trying to avoid thinking about more important things like world peace and new episode droughts for some of my fave shows, I think about what a police force under the watchful eye of Detective Lance and Sheriff Forbes would be like. And then I laugh so hard I fall over and then laugh some more.
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The worst part is Quentin's attitude, like he's just kickin' acres of ass out there, and all he needs is for everyone to stay clear of him...and the asses. I just want random humiliation for him. Like a bus full of school kids yelling "U suck, Lance!" or "Who are u not gonna catch today, Lance?"

To be fair, his usual ineptitude set me up right along with Roy. Well played, sir, even if it was the long...long, long, long game.
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I meant to say Tommy would've use his dad's resources to keep his girl *safe*. Whoops.
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i thought it was a great episode- in the two weeks since the last episode, i'd forgotten how fun it is, and i'm not really sure why. i still like many shows "more", but i remember few of them as being as "fun" as this.
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This episode was terrible.
I think I understand where this show wants to steer the characters, but it just doesn't work. Everything felt so artificial. Like Oliver going after the wrong guy, when having these great many moments about how important diggle is to him. Or Deadshoot not killing Diggle(I have place for you but I won't know, just because Oo) And even on the island, their life on the line, Oliver can't do anything with his bow or overall, but the tough girl falls for him??
Everything that happened this episode(besides maybe Tommys breakup with Lauren and Thea+Boyfriend moments... although still I thought him more intelligent that to steal the phone, aside from that... yeah because the police comes after him with 3 cars and 5 man) feels like it is comming out of nowhere and felt incredibly inconsistent with anything we have seen so far.
This was the first episode that felt like that, so I hope it will be better next week, rather than the writers just beeing too stupid to pull off big character moments.
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Terrible? Are we watching the same show here? lol

I enjoyed every moment, it was the best episode so far this season. It had everything. A little bit of comedy, lots of drama and some action. What else could you ask for?
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Words cannot express how much I loved everything that happened in this episode. The acting, the plot, the directing was simply beautiful. Everything came together into this amazingly well crafted and enticing masterpiece. Just simply brilliant.

Favorite scenes:

-Tommy/Taylor moment was so good. He had tears in his eyes........ :( :(
I don't want him to become like his father but from everything that's happened, it looks like I'll be in for a big dissapointment very soon. I can see Tommy/Oliver showdown all season long in the future.....? Not sure what happens in the comics though.

-Laurel taking care of the kid was fantastic. I liked that she cared so much and it was hard for her to say goodbye at the end. Please more Laurel like this!!!

-Every Felicity scene. Everything she says it's hilarious and she has such an amazing chemisty with both Diggs/Oliver. I love how this unlikely group of friends have developed so far. XD XD

Favorite quotes:

"Do you have a police radio in your pocket?"
"No, I'm just happy to see you?"

"Well, if it isn't the Wonder Twins"

"If you have changed, and I know that you've changed. You would never do this"
"Than I guess I haven't changed as much as we thought than"
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Diggle's contact at the CIA codename was Harbinger. Shout-out to Crisis on Infinite Earths?
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Yes, both the ARGUS agent and COIE's Harbringer are\were called Lyla
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JARichards was terrible in this role; he didn't pull off the Brother Mouzone act very well at all.
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The only thing that kind of stood out for me was, if Mr Blank is such a good assassin, then you would think he would do a little research about your lie. He shouldnt be getting a ranks badge number wrong if youre gonna impersonate him.
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I dare Stephen Amell to have actual on screen chemistry with the poorly casted Katie Cassidy (loved her as Ruby but can't by that she's Black Canary AKA Dinah Lance).
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I agree. But this Dinah Lance isn't The Dinah Lance. She isn't even blonde. Her sister, Sarah, looks more like Black Canary.
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The actress that plays Laurel seems to be a natural blond and they dye her to brown, classic CW stupidity.
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But Dinah never was a real blonde, she either used a wig or borrowed Felicity's hair dye
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It was good and bad. However more good than bad. Oliver continuing to try to live both lives and seeing the costs of that is a really good aspect of the show. But saying that, the other part is Laurel, and she just ever increasingly is becoming an unlikable character. There is no aspect to her that I can appreciate, the Character is annoying at the best of times and absolutely grating or idiotic at the worst of times. Coming out of the room with yet another gun that is almost immediately ineffective was groan inducing. She is supposed to be a strong character but has only really been a damsel in distress for Oliver and now the wedge that drives Tommy and Oliver apart and tommy down the path of his father. And well it all seems so trite and ill used.

Oliver choosing her over Diggle was in a word, stupid. Necessary, because Diggle is way more important than Laurel, but also because Deadshot is way more of a target than the other guy. Plus it just shows the continued uselessness of Laurel and Tommy.

To the writers. Please, please for the love of everything good. Don't give Roy and Thea any more screen time. Thea as a character is perhaps worse than Laurel, laurel at least serves a purpose as a plot device, Thea serves absolutely zero purpose whatsoever. And whoever is playing Roy is quite possibly more wooden and horrible at acting than Channng Tatum, and that is hard to do. Oliver should not have a sidekick. At least not this soon, and certainly not this guy with his lame ass parkour fighting and his useless girlfriend. Unless she dies and that is why he dons the name Speedy then that is ok. Just change the actor please.

Felicity is again one of the shining aspects of the show. I love the one liners and the back and forth between her and Oliver. Plus, she is the only redeeming female character that this show has left.

Overall though, a good episode. But I really want laurel and Thea done away with. It could be such a better show without them. Maybe Malcolm can kill them off along with Roy.
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the worst part was her announcing herself. You dont shout at an armed guy gives away your location as well as the element of surprise. srsly facetable
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Did they really have to use that ugly kid from Supernatural again?
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Only kid actor in Canada who will work for The CW anymore, all the rest have standards.
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Oh, sure, blame the kid and not his agent for getting him a job! Sheesh! ;)
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hating on kid actors thats low...
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While Oliver helping Laurel instead of Digg was in one way a betrayal, he also did exactly what Digg had been telling him to do all along. In some part, I think Oliver also felt that the guy killed a family and he was serving the needs of the people of Starling City over the need for revenge. He also didn't kill anyone to do it, until he speared Mr. Blank, which was for defense and not just to kill him. As much as it hurt their bond as friends, Oliver actually did make the right choice, just at the wrong time.

I had doubts in the beginning of this show, and I still do, but I give the showrunners credit that Ollie is slowing becoming the protector of the city and not just a vigilante. It hasn't handed it great, and there's been some missing parts to it, but it is still going in the right direction.

I also think Tommy flipped maybe a little too soon BUT he did sell it well, so if it gets us to him eventually becoming Ollie's major enemy, I'm on board. Also, it means more John Barrowman.
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While the Tommy arc has worked for me, I think the "too soon" feeling (and I don't complete disagree with it, either) is that it's been hampered by episode breaks and that weird disconnect in his character continuity between episodes just before the break ("I get that being the Hood is hard." // "WHY IS MY BEST FRIEND A MURDERER AND A LIAR?!").

A lot, I think, is that Amell and Donnell work really well together, and there's not a power imbalance (borrowing a phrase from a friend of mine Twitter) between their characters, like there was between Clark and Lex on Smallville. The betrayal and fall are linked to Oliver's faults, not that Tommy was always going to end up being a horrible person and was scheming all the time.
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Artist Karl Kesel got a shoutout this week.

Wish we had gotten Onomatopoeia from the comic books, rather than "Mr. Blank."

Mr. Blank's line about "What happened to you on the island" to Oliver seemed kind of out of nowhere. Even if he kept abreast of Oliver's problems, why would he assume Oliver learned to fight on the island? It made it sound like he knew something about what Oliver was doing on the island, and seemed to be unnecessary. Do we really care if one-shot assassin guy has suspicions that Oliver learned some fighting-fu skills? 18 seconds later he's dead.
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Considering the exchange of fists at that point, of course Mr. Blank would assume that the island has changed Oliver at first instead of taking time to think what else could have changed him.
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Why "of course"? I'm fighting a guy, I vaguely remember some newspiece from nine months ago about how the guy I can barely see in the darkness was stranded on an island for five years, he displays fighting skills (how did Blank know Oliver wasn't a fighter before he went to the island? - Oliver wasn't a target), and the first thing I think of and ask in the middle of a life-and-death fight is "Hey, that guy must have learned some stuff on the island"? Why not "So, what have you been learning in youir self-defense classes since you got back from the island"?
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The choice of Kesel is interesting, because a) he worked on Suicide Squad, including the initial part of Deadshot's time on the team, and b) he worked on Final Night, which set up the eventual resurrection of Green Arrow.
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Why is everyone leaving Oliver left and right? I still don't get his feud with Tommy. It is so obvious and inevitable that he will betray Oliver. What is the point of drawing it out. And Diggle leaving? Do they really want Roy to meet Oliver so quickly?

I know sidekicks are part of superheroes but sidekicks aren't really cool nowadays. It is as corny as saying corny. Other than War Machine from Iron Man, sidekicks haven't been featured in recent superhero movies out there. Why? Because they are lame. I can imagine when Roy and Oliver get together, Roy saying, "Golly Gee Willickers, Green Arrow!" If they can't think of anymore storylines, they better focus on the flashbacks then because they are way more interesting than the present story.
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just so long as felicity doesnt get angry and leave to. It me or does she live down there in the cave now she is never seen anywhere else anymore since joining the scooby gang
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Oliver could at least have *told* Diggle that he wasn't going to show up. What he did was a huge betrayal, and it was also really stupid. Anyone with half a brain could tell that it was more important to get Killshot. Why would Laurel and the boy be safe just because some criminal gets locked up (instead of going to China)? The assassin was still out there. Both Oliver and Laurel seemed to have no doubts that the arrest had completely solved the problem.

The people handpicked by Diggle to handle the security turned out to be completely useless, or at least no match for Charles Gunn.

It was at least good to see Tommy make the smart choice.

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I do roll my eyes at the whole Laurel and Oliver thing though if they want to lay this groundwork for Tommy's eventual descent into darkness and maybe Laurel being Oliver's only real connection to regular humanity...fine I will deal.

I imagine that with the finale being a battle between Arrow ( when is some industrious Starling City reporter going to coin that so we can drop the hood..though I have heard there is going to be some change in Oliver's costume maybe he has to lose the hood identity) and the Dark Archer that Malcolm while beating the crap out of Oliver again says something like a lone wolf never survives and then a gunshot rings out and Dig's there saying he isn't. Sorry I am excited about Teen Wolf returning which is the kind of scene they do.

I thought the Roy and Thea thing was like well super cute. I am not sure if I thought it was good or bad...but Oliver should be alerted Thea was able to suss out Roy pretty quickly based on a wallet chain
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That's the other thing! Oliver's not his only connection: There's Moira and Thea, too! We're asked to see Laurel as this beacon of humanity for him, and certainly there's a lot of guilt on Oliver's part driving this, but I just don't feel the show's done enough to make it convincing.
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I know, especially, when anyone half familiar with the Green Arrow spent the first half of the season assuming Laurel would take on the role of Black Canary and then they go cast an actress as her mother who is still perfectly capable of taking on the role and then we know there is still likely mystery about Sarah.

I honestly hope that the whole point is more part of Tommy's origin story and that they might even decide to take total liberties with his character to make him their own version of a bad guy (I still have this whole theory that sometime in the next three episodes, Tommy learns Malcolm's secret and Malcolm decides to send Tommy to, crap, whatever the name of the Shangra La type place is - really I am just having trouble spelling it - and we have a second place to visit besides the Island where we might get to see present day Tommy training versus the particular training Oliver gets.

While I am a bigger fan of the rest of Oliver's family than others, Thea might be too deep into the superhero stuff herself someday and, well, Moira is scary.
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I enjoyed it. I wasn't entirely happy with Oliver's decision to help Laurel instead of Diggle, but I did enjoy the episode overall.
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