Arrow "Salvation" Review: And an Island Never Cries

Arrow S01E18: "Salvation"

A beaten up Roy

It's not uncommon in superhero narratives for the hero to confront a copycat of some variety, an individual who notices that the hero is cleaning up a city and decides, "Hey, I can do that, too." All you need are a costume and some gadgets, after all. (This has even sort of happened in real life.) Inevitably, the hero will confront this person, and explain that what he's doing isn't for amateurs, or find out that the copycat's reasoning is misguided and/or some sort of reflection/refraction of the hero's own catalyst for donning a mask and becoming a vigilante. The hero, regardless of the conclusion of the story, may appear reflective about his methods as he realizes that his mission has made him a symbol of the city he protects, and with that realization comes a certain degree of responsibility. Then, in the next installment, it's back to beating up muggers and stopping super villains from poisoning the city's water supply.

With "Salvation," Arrow offered its particular spin on this narrative as a former resident of the Glades kidnapped people who had, to borrow Oliver's phrasing, failed the Glades in some way: a slumlord, an ADA who didn't seem interested in prosecuting criminal activity in the area, and, of course, "gangbanger" Roy Harper. The self-styled Savior then broadcast his victims' final moments on the web before shooting them. (There were a few more victims planned, as you can see on the show's pretty lousy attempt at a website tie-in, Glades Betrayed. It was essentially just a gloried countdown clock to tonight's episode.)

The Savior

Like Helena, the Savior was something of Oliver's making, though Oliver was of course not as directly involved in the Savior taking up a cause. It was Oliver's presence as the Hood that provided the realization that Starling City needed saving, and that the Savior was not alone in his desire to do something. All three—Oliver, Helena, and the Savior—were motivated by grief over the loss of a loved one, and they set out to do what they can to fill that void. Oliver goes around yelling at (mostly) rich people and killing people. Helena wanted to dismantle her father's organization and then kill him. The Savior wanted to avenge his wife's death by cleaning up the Glades. But without Oliver's activities, did any of it happen? 

Oliver on the island

The episode ultimately wasn't interested in that question (which is too bad, because it was an interesting question, and another popular superhero narrative), preferring instead to shift the focus to Oliver's struggle to escape a metaphorical island, to remove himself from his isolated state of being. That was a running concern this week; Diggle said he'd become a bit too obsessed recently, and the Savior experienced his own feelings of loneliness in both his life and his goal of cleaning up the Glades. The melancholia also surfaced in Roy's plot, as he insisted that no one would miss him if he died and rejected the idea that Thea seemed to genuinely care about him. Even Felicity got in on the action, lamenting that everything she experiences as a member of Team Arrow can't be shared with anyone.

I do feel like this was something of an oddity, however, since Oliver has made legitimate attempts to try to have a life outside his activities as the Hood. You all probably know by now that I love good thematic work, but I also want that thematic work to be build on a solid foundation of character work, and "Salvation" sort of stumbled on that front. We can read Oliver's break-up with McKenna as a motivator in his uptick of hooding up, but it just didn't feel like it was something that the episode wanted to consciously acknowledge.

But hopefully Arrow will at least follow through on the episode's final development of Oliver reaching out to those around him. He offered Felicity a safe space to share her emotions about what she's experienced (though I'd go to Diggle with that sort of thing long before I'd go to Oliver), and he also asked Laurel to basically hang out. I did really like that scene between Oliver and Laurel. Once again, Stephen Amell really hit the right notes, and even as the scene cut from him trying not to break down to a shot of his back, as he turned, there was a consistency in his "trying not to let this get to me" face and his "oh, someone's talking to me, I need to be happy" face. We've all made that face at some point or another, and Amell landed it. Laurel's "Why?" at the sudden invitation was body blowing, but surprisingly appropriate, so the episode won points for consistency in its character actions.

If there's one big thing that I did really love about "Salvation"—and on the whole, I did like the episode a good deal—it's that, again, the Glades rose to the forefront. As an audience, we've known that the Undertaking is very connected to the Glades for a while, but now Team Arrow is aware, and it will hopefully keep that plot moving forward a bit. I also appreciated how the Savior's case allowed this development to happen. It made for good narrative connective tissue.

But the other reason I loved it is that it pushed Arrow's Oliver closer and closer to that notion of social justice. I talked about it a bit when Roy was first introduced, so I won't rehash my thoughts, but I'm very eager to see how Arrow plays this card, and what ramifications it might have for Oliver's mission going forward. At this point, Oliver stopping the Undertaking and saving the Glades means potentially big things for the focus of Season 2, and I like that the show seems to be building toward the classic representation of the Green Arrow character as opposed to starting there. Provided that's the goal, of course.

Dinah and Quentin

Let's close with the Lances, as they too fed into this isolation theme. They've all been estranged from each other since Sarah's death, and Dinah's (continued) conviction that Sarah was still alive brought them back together, or at least it brought Quentin and Dinah back together. While Laurel decided to reveal the truth of the matter in the worst possible way—by having the woman in the photo be at CNRI and springing it on her parents in public—that this sudden family love was ultimately based on a falsehood meant it wasn't going to last. But it did bring them together long enough that Dinah's guilt over not doing more to stop Sarah from getting on the boat in the first place didn't split them all apart again. I'm not sure how much of Dinah we'll see going forward, but I'd rather the whole thing result in Quentin and Laurel having some new conversations.



NOTES & QUOTES

– I saw Moira's betrayal of Frank as soon as he mentioned that he's the one who paid for the Triads to take out Malcolm (idiot). I do love how the show, and Susanna Thompson, has made Moira ruthless but genuinely sympathetic. 

– The island stuff was fine. I enjoyed Shado beating the crap out of Fyers' men and then Fyers himself. And she's got the inside track on what's happening with that missile launcher (they picked a terrible hiding place, clearly), so that's moving on. I do find it interesting that since "The Odyssey," the island flashbacks have become their own plot as opposed to parallels with the main action. That's not a criticism (entirely), but I do like symmetry.

– Also: Manu Bennett does a fantastic confused face. I mean, look at it! It's great.

– "Why do you have a gun?" "Because I’m no good with knives."

– "I asked him to leave me alone. In my loud voice."

– "Should be home in a flash." Funny, funny, funny. (Remember: Central City's the home city of the Flash.)

– Let's talk transmedia storytelling for a moment: This week's digital Arrow comic has Diggle reaching out to a woman he knows who has super-extensive intelligence connections, and he asks her to investigate Lian Yu. I'm sort of frustrated by this. The comics are, according to the show's producers, canon. This allows them tell some stories that they otherwise wouldn't be able to (Oliver and Diggle head off to Russia at one point), but this particular development feels like one that probably should've appeared in the show. Goodness knows it would've given Diggle something to do, but I'm also wondering if this thread will surface in the future somehow.

For the record, I'm generally not a fan of transmedia storytelling. While I've enjoyed the comics and how they've illuminated certain things, like why Quentin became an alcoholic (it was cliched, but it also made me like Quentin a bit more), I also don't feel comfortable discussing them in these reviews because I'm not sure how you'd all respond to me casually mentioning anything that occurs in them, or treating them as common knowledge. They're not really spoilers, and so far they haven't really impacted the show in any real way, but I feel like this most recent issue is something that has the potential to do so, so let me know how you feel about me bringing it up, even if it's just in a notes section like this. It'll save some of you 99 cents, at least.


What'd you think of "Salvation"?

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Great review to an amazing episode with so much character development, it really begs the question whether to justify Oliver's actions considering more copycats will come forward to imitate him. To those familiar with the comics, i thought Roy was supposed to be some kind of a sidekick with amazing fighting techniques as mentioned by the reviewer a few episodes back
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I keep waiting for something really big to happen in Arrow but it never does. The story is coming in dribs and drabs which is rather frustrating.
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Yeah, the whole isolation thing, I found that odd too. Ollie has been making efforts for weeks now, to not be isolated, so that coming up felt misplaced, or contrived, as perhaps another attempt to draw the other points together or something. I mean with all of the developments happening, with Tommy being in the know, with Felicity joining the cave, the fact that he seemed happy enough dating McKenna for that time being, and was seemingly over Laurel...it just didn't feel like it fit to say that Ollie has been isolated and stuck on an island. He's reached out and accepted too many people sine the earlier days, to be called isolated. I think isolated is a strong word, perhaps he's shifted from being a more extroverted individual to more introverted given his time being away for so long and a new set of priorities, a mission, and secrets to keep, but that still wouldn't have made sense coming from Diggle, because he didn't Oliver before the island.
-So I love Diggle. I love him so much because that man just oozes cool, but he really, truly needs more stuff to do. Right now, he's like Yoda. He's acting as that wise but still cool uncle guiding his sometimes impulsive vigilante nephew with a newfound heroes complex, and his quirky yet endearing geeky niece. Like, I love him. I love his role. I like that he isn't just some sidekick, but I'd also love to see him just do...more. Do something. He's capable of it, and for all we know he's probably doing stuff but they just aren't showing it, which is a shame,and a true waste of his character.
-I am a Felicity fangirl. I loves me a fiere and geeky chica. Gee, I wonder why....anyhoo,LOVE her. She's been such a refreshing and fun addition to this show and I love that we get to see more of her. She sort of gives us this layman's view of what's going on in the cave and I love that. I like some Follie moments. (is that what they call these two? I don't even know). My girl has finally moved passed gawking at all of that shirtless mancandy, God bless her, to just doing her thing and hanging with the boys, which I love, but sweet moments where Ollie isn't yelling at her to find something instantly, and he takes the time to actually think about how all of this affects someone like her, love that. So I loved their little moment, even though, I kinda agree, that I'd be more inclined to go to Diggle with my emotional rambling than Ollie. Diggle's more of listener, and Oliver always comes across like he's in a rush. Which, I suppose he is.
-Hearing Roy say that no one would miss him, kind of sucked. Made my heart hurt a little, but other than that I'm still waiting for the talented Colton to be amazing....or do something.
-Moira is...I don't know quite how to describe her really, but if it's at all possible to be the barest hint of i intrigued and bored by a plot line, than that's how I feel about Moira. Maybe it's more impatience to see some more action there.
- Whereas the Lances. I just don't even care.
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I guess that since Diggle's become suspicious of Oliver's mom, he decided to do her job for her. It's back to the same crap: Oliver's spent a week without a GF, so someone needs to get in his face about how lonely he's gonna be, only it's Diggle, y'know...the incorrigible ladies man. Yes, they made Mckenna's pro tem as bland and as forgettable as the next one will be, but it just friggin' happened. How about we let Oliver put a little focus into his work to not obsess about his GF that almost got shot in the crotch with a shotgun? Just askin'.

I don't see how Moira is sympathetic at all. All kinds of criminals, mobsters and dictators have children, and they'd likely all think of them or mention them when they think they're about to die, but this is the woman who hired a mafia of assassins to kill a guy in her way...with no questions asked, and no rules in place. Honest, hard working minimum-wage employees working at a banquet? Eh, kill them and use their uniforms. Wutevs. Husband being held hostage who'll likely be killed and thrown in the river once Merlyn isn't around to pay his goons? Eh...'evs. Even Merlyn holds the picture of his son every once in a while.

How is it that no one ever recognizes Oliver anywhere? Aside from kicking in every single door in an unrealistically empty building, he was also parkour...ing(?) across a busy street in broad daylight like Planet of the Apes. Isn't he still a billionaire playboy? I do accept that cell-phones, texts and cameras are the bane of any soap, but really, there were a ton of people out there. No one saw him? No one brought it up?

I did like Laurel's "Why?" like most of us. It was refreshing to see her actually surprised that someone would want to spend time with her. I could've taken it as phishing for a declaration of love, but it just really felt like surprise. Yeah, liked it.

But of course it was also in there with her acting like a pouty 4-yr. old at her parents earlier. Apparently, it sucks to see your parents spending a pleasant moment together...right after you force them together. How old is this character supposed to be again?

I dunno, this episode didn't suck, but I liked it less than the last episode, which I didn't like. I think it was Diggle again. It was just especially annoying. Guys don't have these talks, and if we do, it's because our own GF's won't leave us the hell alone about it...*and* our friend's been single for at least a good three years.

I mean, Loneliness Brotalks? really?

Diggle: "Bro, you've been single for what, six days, bro? You've been off that five-year island for eight entire months, bro, and what, only two GF's, bro? That's not a way to live, bro. And don't worry about me, bro; labs count as social lives."

I don't wanna hate that guy, but they need to pump his balls back up, and keep him off of Oliver's.

(I had a little more, but eh. It's already Saturday.)
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The Moira paragraph literally made me LOL. Word.
-It was complete surprise, and one of the few moments where Laurel seemed sweet and normal or whatever.
Yes, this definitely made me chuckle as per usual. As always, a pleasure reading your comments...bro. lol
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Thank you for that, as always. I was gonna rant about the Chinese dude. Not that he was killed (because he was doomed as soon as he appeared on camera--er, collaborated with Moira), but because Merlyn--the evil billionaire super-genius, who made an effort to say that he was looking into the person or persons who tried to kill him--has the guy killed outright without interrogating him. I was gonna talk about how it was truly one of the dumbest things this show has done so far, and how that would be saying a hell of a lot.

I *possibly* might've added that it would've made more sense if Moira had poisoned the doomed spy just before Merlyn caught up to him, letting Merlyn keep his intellect, and removing more of the illusion of Moira being a decent human being, because let's face it: she would've killed him if Merlyn hadn't.

But nah. Sometimes, you just gotta roll with the duh, so I won't say anything about that.
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Yes. Please share what you've been reading in the transmedia storylines:-)
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This episode was mostly character development for me. Oliver coming to terms with being alone, Moira feeling how far she has fallen, Quentin and Laurel coming to terms with Sarah's death all over again, Roy seeing a different way of life and possibly being set on the path to joining Oliver in his crusade, Felicity learning that sometimes they are going to fail, all really character driven developments.

The Savior was almost a mere device to move some of these character developments along while still giving at least some action and conveniently revealing more about the undertaking. I was expecting someone more theatrical. Sure, the use of the internet was pretty interesting, but given that even in this realistic comic book series you have had theatrical villains, I was hoping for a bit more. He was not even really inspired by Oliver, he was already on the path to this. He just claimed he was the same as Oliver near the end. I would have liked him to be someone who claimed he was doing just what Oliver was doing but better sort of like the Reaper from Batman Year Two or Rumor from The Batman.

The Island was interesting this week. I am still thinking that Slade is going to turn against Oliver or perhaps already has. We will have to wait to see how Shado shapes up as a character.

At first I thought Pao Mei was going to be the one who trained Oliver, then I thought it was Slade who has tought him some moves, but it seems it may be Shado. Beyond the whole tatoo thing that they share, her fighting style is similar to Oliver's and it is possible that she is as good an archer as her father is, more than able to teach him. Of course, it could be a combo of the lot of them. I am hoping for a Shado vs Slade fight to see who is the better fighter.
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Just glad to see Crixus lives! Hopefully next season is the Slade season cause I'll take more Slade over After-School Special in the Glades almost always. Kind of difficult to get into the main conflict of the episode when you know how its gong to end. Couldn't they have just left the Colton Haynes contract announcement quiet a few days? Susanna Thompson was very good in this episode. Hoping they are soon going to make Laurel more interesting; this story moved that in the right direction. It was completely plot manufactured to move in that direction and Oliver and Laurel still have no discernible chemistry - but now we know where the show is going with these two. (She still has more chemistry with Dad, Paul Blackthorne, than either Ollie or Tommy which is weird.) Hopefully everything moves in the right direction with the events of this episode.
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I would hate it if Time Warner made me buy a digital comic just to keep up with the plot line of show, even if it is one of my favorites. If they start doing this on a regular basis I will stop watching the show rather than buy the comic!
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I liked the episode quite a bit. I agree with you however that Arrow always spells out certain things for instead of giving us the opportunity to find them out ourselves. This week Oliver buries himself in his hooded dealings and Diggle tells us exactly that. After his encounter with the black archer he was reluctant to hood up and Diggle told us that. We never got a chance to see Oliver being somewhat afraid or eager to change into some green leather. We always get the information right in our faces.
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One thing was really weird in this episode. I can't believe medias would allow a gangster to broadcast anything live especially if they know he can ends up killing someone. It seemed to irresponsable to believe.
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Yep even though the Starling city seems the kind of world where a gangster is tuned in for news stopping important issues. The warning by the newscaster that they don't know how things will unfold is a major wtf
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Noel, can you not take screenshots of the video instead of these promoshots? (from the CW itself yes?). They look way off and not realistic and doesn't portray the scenes as they're meant to be. Roy's pic for one, there's not one shot during that entire scene where things looked that crisp. Or am i wrong?
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I possibly could, but I wouldn't be able to do that until 24 hours or more after the episode airs (I have an 8 to 5 job). And even then, it'd be screengrabs from the CW's video of the episode on their Web site because, apart from 2 episodes, I've never gotten screeners for this show.

If I got screeners or had more time, I probably would, but as things stand, we all get to suffer until the promo department decides to give better press photos.
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True that! So they are the promo shots. Knew something was up there, thought i'd seen a different episode at times...
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Best line so far - Dinah's reference to Flash and Central City. The nerd in me really appreciated that. It's the small things in life!

The episode wasn't as exciting as the promos made out. The villain of the episode really wasn't all that bad to defeat in the end. And I see many have already commented this - seriously, how can you have an entire abandoned subway system? Abandoned stations or particular lines maybe, but not an entire system surely?! I thought it was a bit strange.

I would really like more of Red Arrow/Roy Harper - yes I suppose I am biased because he is an absolute beaut!

I really like Felicity - I think she's one of my favourite characters. I'll be totally honest though, I'm not really bothered about the Lance storyline... it was emoshhh and stuff, but I've never really been bothered about them since the show began so I wasn't all that invested. I much prefer the action story lines. There's just something about Laurel that really grates on me - she comes across as quite "high and mighty" and a bit too perfect and I just can't really relate to her. I understand why people would like her or would be sympathetic, but I just can't get on her side. Sorry!

I feel like the rocket launchers from the island are going to some how be connected to this undertaking? The island flashbacks have got to be relevant somewhere...

Roll on next week!
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It was pretty bizarre how Ollie got into the subway system. There was a rectangular opening in the roof that was blocked by metal bars in a rectangular frame of the same size as the opening. The frame and the bars were parallel to the ceiling. So he shot an arrow that even though it was aimed almost straight down, passed through the second and third bars and somehow still hit the frame! I've been wondering who makes his special arrows. This one must have been made by M.C. Escher. Then we saw sparks flying, so I guess it was a thermite arrow or something. Then, in a LOL moment, all four sides of the frame came loose from the concrete and fell down. I would have thought that the best he could hope for was to make a hole in the frame.
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I know right, that whole split second of a scene should've been left off entirely. What were they thinking writing this, and actually making it happen?

Also on the subway bit, another stupid thing was the fact that they guy was on a moving train. The video's sound would've given that away immediately you'd think.

One more issue, the time frame in which Ollie had to travel from Club Verdant, to The Glades, in less than 10 minutes, knocking down every door on every floor (what, nobody home at all?), then jumping from building to building still making it within that timeframe?? That was pushing it waaay too much.

Still, I love this show, and all this over the top stuff is true to the comic book side of things no?
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Well the Club is in the Glades so not that far to travel, and if Ollie can make if from the mansion to the centre of the city in under 20 minutes then the little cross Glades adventure is nothing.

I think general people need to stop worrying about the little things, if there's a bomb it's never going to be defused with more than 5 seconds on the clock, the villian of the week has two hostages and asks Ollie which one lives and which one dies : Ollie will save both.

Seriously what kind of anally retentive idiot worries about every little detail that doesn't happen exactly as it would in the real world? (Answers on a postcard)
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your comment seems really angry/negative (calling some one an "idiot") and yet in the previous review you seemed upset with JT for being "negative"about a show. So it's bad/wrong to express negative opinions on a show but ok/right to call someone an idiot (very negative imo)?
Pot calling kettle black...or whatever the clique is...hypocrisy.

I guess it's rubbing off on me since now I am calling you an angry hypocrite---just saying that's how I am perceiving the comments not that it matters
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Vicky, if I'd have been calling someone an anally retentive idiot then you'd have able to spot it very easily, it would have looked this : " you are an anally retentive idiot" That would have been fairly simple declarative statement. "Seriously what kind of anally retentive idiot worries about every little detail that doesn't happen exactly as it would in the real world? (Answers on a postcard) " Is a question, the question mark should give that away and asking for answers should really make it obvious. Although I do think you owe marlon an apology, as the way you replied seems to imply that you think he's an idiot.
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Funny thing is, i hardly ever worry about these little things, because it gets in the way of the viewing pleasure. But sometimes the writers go way overboard that even with me not going there, it's still right in your face.
And 'anally retentive idiot worrying about every little thing' i am not, au contraire...i hope that was not directed at me...you couldn't be more wrong...i share your thoughts there for one...
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First off to answer your question it wasn't directed at anyone in particular, but I'd still be insterested in people's answers.

Every episode will have lots of little things that aren't exactly perfect or don't entirely make sense. But as wisperin pointed out anyone who watches this type of show needs to do so with a willing suspension of disbelief. Occasionally the writers\producers get something wrong and they break the illusion, and pointing those foul-ups is fair game. Going through the show and actively looking for things that aren't perfect, that's the road to anal retention.

We've never seen the inside of Felicity or Digg's apartment in the show but everyone will have either filled those holes in for themselves or just not worry about it. But getting all bent out of shape because the make\model & colour of bike Ollie is riding is slightly different, guess which road that leads to again? Is that hard to fill in the gap and imagine Ollie has more than one bike?
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you are not an idiot!
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To be honest, its a comic book hero, thus unrealistic to begin with. Second he makes his own arrows according to the comics in fact in the comics there are issues where Green Arrow and Bats have a somewhat-friendly-somewhat-not-so-friendly gadget based competition.

Besides all that and the fact remains you're supposed to watch the show with some level of suspension of disbelief in the same realm that Smallville was portrayed in.
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Geez Ollie, BUY A F*CKING MASK ALREADY.
Alex Kingston has always annoyed me....Colton Haynes is great....while I generally like John Barrowman, I'm having trouble separating the Dark Archer from Captain Jack....what kind of city just abandons (and forgets about) an entire subway system?....really like the build up to the whole Glades/Undertaking/Rocket Launcher stuff, but this episode almost seemed like filler leading up to the good/interesting stuff.
So I guess what I'm saying is this episode was kind of a wash?
Noel - I like your suggestion of including the comic/digital comic info in the notes section, especially if/when the comics become more relevant to the action of the show. Also, thanks for saving me $0.99.
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hahahahaha!! Yes. the Mask thing. Or lack of a mask. It kills me very time. Every. Single. Time. Face paint and a Dictaphone should not be what keeps this dude's identity in tact.
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I was also wondering about the subway system. I have never heard of a city that stops using theirs?. What are they using instead?

I agree about the Doctor Who actors too, but I thought the episode was quite alright.
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Cincinnati has the largest abandoned subway system in the US. Los Angeles originally had one (unrelated to their current Metro system) that was used in the 40's that apparently thousands of people rode back then. and both Boston & New York have multitudes of abandoned stations & miles of track they just wall off with bricks & let 'em fall down the memory hole. I'm sure there are more examples out there than just these, but 4 is a good sample
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it's where the mole people come to the surface
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I was going to go on a little diatribe about how many abandoned unused subway systems there are in the country but Marbug already did ti for me. thanks!. For a great example of how Abandoned Subway tunnels can go forgotten and then become used by others for years without notice check out the documentary called Dark Days. Dozens of homeless people called those Abandoned tunnels homes for over a decade before Amtrak did anything! Its not unheard of, just not so much anymore what with the advent of sue happy lawyers willing to take up stupid cases places like this are a lot more secure to prevent lawsuits.
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Liked the episode. But every time Alex Kingston was on screen I just kept shouting River Song! I also kept thinking of plot lines where her and John Barrowman would come face to face in a scene. Living a whovian's dream through Arrow! Just another reason this show is so awesome!
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I wanted to see a Dinah/Oliver confrontation, I find it hard to believe she wouldn't challenge the last person to see her daughter alive. I think an opportunity was missed to make Oliver reevaluate the sinking, and the impact of it on the Lances again. And if I'm remembering rightly, he told Laurel Sarah died quickly, when she was in fact sucked out by the water. The shadow of doubt over her death, or his absolute belief in the face the Lances hope could have made for some good character development.
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Excellent review Noel, thanks.

In re: transmedia storytelling, if the writers are relying on the audience keeping up with comics, webisodes, etc, then I guess this would need to be incorporated in the reviews, but this seems like pretty sloppy storytelling. As a rule, I think secondary and tertiary media should be utilized to augment a story but should not be relied upon in the primary media to tell the story or fill in gaps in the storytelling. I know that in a Sept 2012 PR DC Comics stated: "The new digital comic series will take fans deeper into the world of ARROW, delving further into character back stories and often filling in the gaps between episodes," but if the television series is full of holes and doesn't track because its audience doesn't want to be extorted to fork out for digital comics it doesn't take precognition to divine the prospects for the TV series.

In terms of the extra media and storytelling, we actually had similar conversations regarding source/secondary media ongoing in the comments for TWD episode reviews. I've seen GoT/ASOIF and Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood offered as examples of television from print where the TV series tells the story without relying on source material to make the series work for film. I'd also like to offer the Dark Knight franchise, to add an example of graphic novel source material, in which the films are able to tell the story in a nuanced manner without the fans needing to refer to another source to figure out what is going on or how the action moved from A to B. Heroes arguably did a pretty decent job with the TV/digital comics/webisodes tie-in (even if the series as a whole had serious issues), though that opinion is offered with admittedly limited experience of graphic novels in general. The fact that The CW website for Arrow doesn't provide links to the comics (but does provide links for the music featured on the show) tells me that the series and the comics are not integrated enough to maintain the expectation of transmedia storytelling.

Arrow shouldn't rely on secondary material to tell its story. Either the show needs to improve its storytelling or it needs to reassess what it is trying to accomplish. Either it wants to tell a story with heavy thematic undertones and great action sequences ala Person of Interest, or it wants to be fantastical, embrace its ridiculousness and let it's freak flag fly ala True Blood, but it needs to commit to a strategy, be realistic about what can be accomplished, and then be relentless in its pursuit. At present, it still feels like Arrow is being written and filmed by a group of insecure teenagers who are too often swayed by peer pressure and the need to be liked by everyone to set, commit and adhere to a solid strategy, hence the inconsistency.
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Certainly the digital comic is allowing them to tell all sorts of stories they don't have the budget for, or may not make for great episodes (or even great 99 cent comics sometimes), and there is some fleshing out happening. But I agree with your overall assessment about transmedia tie-ins.

I did not realize that about the CW website, though it doesn't surprise me. They likely make more money off highlighting the music (or have to, contractually due to use) while highlighting a digital comic isn't going to help them at all, financially.
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Is the digital comic free?

Cinemax has a great website (free) for Banshee that gives a little back story and character development but it is not necessary knowledge for the show make sense (i.e., for the episodes to flow together to tell the story). It also has a comic (not necessary to understand the show but gives some backstory) and it has extra clips/scenes that flesh out characters/motives that are already fleshed out on the show (added bonus but not required imo).

I haven't read the Arrow digital comic and while I enjoy the show it isn't a top 10 favorite so I'm not going outside the show except for this site (tv.com)
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This was a middle episode for my tastes, not terrible, not quite handled best, some things landed while others didn't.

At least this guy wasn't wearing hockey pads (or hockey pants, if you prefer). I didn't really buy Ollie's drive to catch "The Savior" at the beginning, he was absolutely right to do so as evident by Roy's turn in front of The Savior's camera, but I didn't feel like Ollie's moment of deciding to track the guy down came at the right time. Then again, Ollie is really bad at that sort of thing, "Helena no!" while he himself is killing a guy being a perfect example, but here it seemed like Ollie was too into it too early - had he come around after The Savior killed that first guy it would have been a great character-building moment (or had they showed the ramifications of learning a similar lesson in a flashback to the island, that could have worked too). Missed opportunities abound in this episode, as you well point out in the question of whether Ollie's presence is what drove these death-dealing vigilantes (as well as the supervillains) to action or not.

Roy and Thea was another of those missed angles, they still don't work for me as a couple and she's not really acting consistently ("I'm fine to walk around the glades having just been robbed and gotten Roy stabbed last week") and Roy seems to be getting dumber by the moment - the idea that robbing a liquor store is his only way out is trite and a cheap character-building shortcut, this material should have either come out later or they should have built to it earlier in the series. Then having Roy get picked up as a random kid to kill in blame for The Savior's wife, knowing it's not the real killer, that was so left-field, I'd have preferred Roy and Thea having watched the real wife-killer say what Roy was saying and Roy having a moment of clarity based on that instead. Oh well.

Ollie's actual scene in the subway tunnels was pretty goofy, I wasn't distracted in the moment by the oddity that was using a MOVING subway train when a stationary one would do better (how exactly is this train broadcasting a wireless internet signal from underground?), but I did find Ollie's ignorance of the trains, as well as the way it whizzed right by him when he got down there more comical than comic book. And had Ollie not been trying to use a huge bow and arrow in a tight space, he might have easily stopped The Savior without killing him - killing the guy should have been a moral failure for Ollie who wasn't thrilled with all the killing he was seeing, but that was missed too.

Felicity going on about not being able to share her feelings made me yell at the screen when Ollie said she could come to him, yelling that there's also DIGGLE AND EVEN TOMMY. Felicity's fragile nature seems like an odd thing, it's reasonable but she doesn't apply that pain to police and DAs and medical examiners who deal with that on a daily basis - not that there was time to say it, but still it's so self-focused that it felt like a void.

Laurel had a pretty strong episode, although I still get distracted by her odd looks (I'm now confident it's because she's a blonde in real life and her looks don't fit a brunette dye job) and her general acting style, but she had moments with her mom and the feelings about her sister and the discovery of the real photograph subject and then the moment with Ollie at the end (although I was confused that they didn't just go to dinner right there). Alex Kingston's American accent was soooo bad, but by the end she had gotten into real acting mode, perhaps playing off Quentin's scenery-chewing.

I also miss the reflections that the Island flashbacks gave. Now that they're separate stories, my enjoyment of them doesn't help the Starling City material anymore.

I knew you'd catch that "home in a flash" line. :-D

I've never seen the Arrow digital comic, I forgot all about them, I hate having to go to outside sources to help tell a story, it feels like the show or movie's writer has to use a crutch and expects the audience to do that storytelling work for them. If they start affecting the show directly, I don't know if it'll bother me or enhance the show, but I'm watching this as a TV show so I'd prefer it stood on its own legs.
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I'm frankly surprise that Moira hasn't tried to yoke a bodyguard onto Thea. But then we would've had a lot of Moira and Thea dramaz, and I'm sort of glad we're letting that go. ...Then again, I can't imagine that Moira is going to like Roy.

Andy (who reviews Spartacus, writes the What to Watch) brought up the killing the Savior thing during a chat he and I had today. Andy wasn't thrilled with it (he thinks the show allows Oliver to kill too easily, and he's not wrong), and that it contradicted Oliver's point of giving chances to targets to do the right thing. My counterpoint to this idea was that already killing two people likely leaves the Savior no additional variables in Oliver's moral equations. That feels consistent to me, but it does, as Andy pointed out, cheat a moment of character growth.

That flash line. It landed with such a thud that I couldn't help but chuckle and roll my eyes.

Based on responses to the digital comics/transmedia storytelling so far, I'll likely not mention it unless there's something either really interesting or if it and the show starts bleeding together a bit. I tend to enjoy them more often than not, but at 99 cents, I'm not expecting a lot for my money, either. They do have Mike Grell do art every now and then, so that's cool (he did the art for this week's issue).

I will say that the Injustice: Gods Among Us digital comic is HORRIBLE. So so so horrible. It's terrible. I wasn't likely to play the game (fighting games doesn't have a huge shelf life for single player fun for me), but the comic has sort of dead set me against the game. The perils and pitfalls of transmedia.
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Huh, now that you say it, why hasn't Thea had a pair of bodyguards foisted onto her? Moira put Diggle on Ollie, Ollie put Diggle on Moira (this sounds like a really odd porno) but Thea runs around like a little psychopath, hangs out in the Glades with a punk kid, nearly gets mugged and killed and raped in that order, and nobody bats an eyelash. On the other hand, yeah, less of their CW soapiness is definitely preferred so maybe it's best to just let it go. Still, quite odd.

I'm leaning towards Daglas' point of view on the killing thing, had this been a supervillain mass-murderer suspect like Vertigo or a killer for hire like Deadshot I'd agree with you, but The Savior was a normal guy who was in pain and taking that pain out on those who ruined the world he lived in. He wasn't going to release a toxin that killed everybody, he wasn't the type to break out of prison or the asylum, he was just an everyman that the bad situations in the Glades pushed over the edge and was taking it out on those who preyed upon others. Whose to say that Roy robbing that liquor store wouldn't have been involved in the murder of someone there, even if he himself didn't bring bullets he's still culpable as an accomplice.

I thought that Flash line should have come with a big animated WINK on the screen. "Eh eh? Look at us! We've read the Wikipedia entry on the DC universe!"

Transmedia I feel like is an industry that has no understanding of what to do with this new-fangled internet that all the kids are talking about, so they just throw money at any idea and hope it'll stick. How many pages is it for a buck?

Surprised to hear Injustice digital comic is that bad, that's an area that really needed to connect because gamers needed more ways to connect with that game/universe, they're even making action figures from it I think.
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I'm seriously wishing I could do Parkour after watching this series...
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I. KNOW.

It's like when I was obsessively playing Assassin's Creed II for a while and would look at some of the buildings in Atlanta and say, "I could climb that."
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this epsisode was really good, one the better ones this season. Just a thought since colten got a raise i think that he will discover oliver's secret in season 2 finale and become red arrow in season 3....i mean there is no doubt this show will be on for at least 4 seasons if not more like smallville
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"Do I tell you how to sharpen your arrows?" I love Felicity. I'm glad she's starting to have a larger role.

This shows come a long way. I started out watching it just to pass the time, thinking it wasn't that great. I'm fairly picky with the shows I watch but I think it's safe to say this is a really good show. I'm excited to see how it all pans out.
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Good episode, I enjoyed it. I think I can safely say that I now look forward to Arrow every week. It was a bit slow going there for a bit, but the second half of the season has really picked up the pace.

There are 3 new cast members next season, so I think several of the current cast are on their way out. Definitley Moira, possibly Malcom and probably Walter as well. 3 characters and actors that I do like, but their deaths are very much needed to propel the show forward.

Things are ramping up as we approach the season finale.
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Just because some of the actors got upgraded from guest star to full time cast member doesn't mean anyone is on thier way out.
Malcolm and Moira will be around for a while, Walter who knows? But there's definately milage left in the character
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Decent ep. I enjoyed it.

Felicity's "Do I tell you how to sharpen your arrows?" - is it me or did Chloe say something similar to Smallville's Ollie once? That ep (I don't remember the title) where I think Clark was trapped in the Phantom Zone and she and Ollie had to use some artifact or the other to help free him; she goes all Brainiac in the room and pushes Oliver to the ground. That's the scene I remember. I'm rambling lol.
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That would be the season eight episode "Bloodline".
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Folks, I have been catching random snippets of Smallville on TNT before I leave for work in the morning (Yes, I'm up that early), and I have to say, I sometimes wish Arrow were as crazy as that show. I mean, Lex pushes his delusion of his inner child/sense of innocence into a massive fireplace. I LOVED IT.
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It was a good episode. However, as a self appointed savior of a city. You would think he would have gained a knowledge of that city and with that knowledge figured out that there was a Subway. Also, I know he spent a long time on a island, but presumably before that he traveled, and had to have traveled to some city with a Subway. Because how in hearing that can you not realize that sound was a freaking Subway.

Way too much Thea for this episode to be great.

Best line was Felicity saying that she doesn't tell Oliver how to sharpen his arrows. Plus anything with Felicity, thank goodness that they made her a main character.
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There was a lot of good nuggets to this week's episode. I did like how they showed that old subway sign when Oliver was all Jason Bourne-ing across the city, just for a beat, and showed it again later when Ollie actually went there on purpose.

I like...well, pretty much anything with Slade. I still think he's going to sell OIlie out, and I have a REAL big suspicion he tipped off Fyer's to the missile launcher chip. I mean, Fyer's likely DID have men looking but that is a rather large island and they went RIGHT THERE and got it? Too much a coincidence. I'm sure the finale will put it all together, but Manu Bennett is just awesome in all his scenes.

I could watch another 10 minutes of Ollie kicking in doors. I wonder if Amell has done that in other acting parts because he destroys doors like a pro. The Winchesters don't even do it as well.

I think it's taking FOREVER to get there, but I do hope they get to where Ollie realizes he doesn't need to kill everybody for justice, that his actions are having an impact and not always for the best. I see Roy perhaps being that catalyst. It seems the show wants to address is but then pulls back, so maybe it's something they're saving. I can see why he killed Savior, but he could also have shot him in the arm or something. I think a major hurdle the show needs to tackle is Ollie still has much to learn, to go from being a vigilante to being a hero. It's trying to jam that in, but doesn't really do it properly.
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Noel, I think you're a little off the mark saying the Saviour is a copycat of Ollie, lets look at the facts:
He knows about Starling's old subway system.
His wife was killed in the Glades by a gangbanger.
He wants to make all of the Glades pay for his misery.

The Saviour isn't Ollie 2.0, he's the low budget Malcolm Merlyn. I'm guessing that the face-off in the train is a foreshadowing of the big reveal about "The Undertaking". If they are following the Laws of Comics, then there will be a point when Malcolm explains\justifies his plan to the Hood, Ollie gives the same type of second chances speech but Malcolm goes through with the plan anyway.

About the digital comics are interesting enough but I don't think what happens in them is going to have an impact on the show, they are there as background and not a spoilers for the most part, the reveal about Slade not being the current Deathstroke being a notable exception. Diggle's NSA contact that he mentioned is probably the woman on the roof, nothing spoiled there. But when Team Arrow (Ollie and the Arrowettes??) finally catch up with Walter in the show it will be because of a mysterious contact that's just dropped the information in thier laps, a nessescary short cut in a TV show, but then they have room to flesh it out in the comic.
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Yes and no. Malcolm and the Savior are both more focused on a particular area to improve Starling City, albeit out of revenge, but they're all interested in "improving" the city somehow. And, importantly, Savior does compare himself to Oliver. The three are versions of each other, with different methods and focuses, but with similar goals.
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"You've been wearing the hood too much"..."It keeps my ears warm." lol

Best thing Lauren has said all season, "Why?"

I dunno about everyone else but I'm definitely shipping Oliver-Felicity and the show seemed to really hint on it in this episode. Felicity ogling topless Oliver then later bringing up that she was single & then the close up shot of Oliver touching her arm...
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I doubt it. I think it would be the first time the hero hooks up with the weird and nerdy girl. Josh on Being Human had a good comment about that. It went something like this: "That would be like Jack Bauer going out with Chloe....which you kind of wanna see, but not really".

Although, Felicity isn't *that* weird and nerdy. So it would be more plausible here. But I still don't think they're going there.
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LMAO. I'd totally forgotten about that comment! Awesomeness. But seriously, it is not even fair to compare Felicity to Chloe. I'm pretty sure Chloe was living somewhere along the autism spectrum. We saw Felicity all decked out for that cocktail party and now we know she is hiding behind her own techie persona.
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I hate to admit this, but I'm 'shipping Oliver and Felicity as well. The show is a bit obvious with the camera work, aren't they? (Full disclosure: I certainly wouldn't stand in front of a half naked example of male beauty like that and resist drinking it in either. It is a form of compliment, seriously.)
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Whyyyy? Can't these characters have their own romantic interests outside the arrowcave? Or what about Diggle & Felicity? They seem to have more chemistry if you have to focus on that sort of thing. No 'shipping! Ollie's got enough on his plate and it couldn't end well.
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Yeah Diggle & Felicity would probably have more chemistry but Oliver and Felicity are both "loners" and are used to not having someone pay a lot of attention to them. Which I think would work between them.
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I love me the idea of Diggle and Felicty. Diglicty? Feliggle?
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That last one sounds like a filthy act.
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I think one of the well established themes of this show has been how difficult it is to have relationships when one is lying all the time, regardless of the reason. It makes sense that the bonds between those in on the secret would have special meaning, and how that could develop into something less than platonic. I don't see Diggle's affections wavering from his sister-in-law, which is why I don't see a connection there with Felicity.

People grow through relationships, even failed relationships. It is a failure of logic to enter any relationship, whatever it's context, thinking it will last forever - that is a relic of fairytales and best unlearned. People can come together and have a fulfilling experience for a time then realize they do not wish to continue without wrecking every aspect of their association, it requires honesty and maturity but it is certainly achievable. Oliver is coming to a place where he wants to connect, realizes he needs to connect, and I think he can do so without it ending poorly. I thought the angst over McKenna was melodramatic; Oliver is nearly 30y/o and can be expected to have relationships without ending up with a broken heart every time. Regardless of who Oliver's love interest is, no relationship will be sustainable so long as he leads this double life. Felicity is awesome, and I think those two could engage in a mutually beneficial romantic relationship without it destroying Team Arrow if they handle it properly.
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Thumbs up but:
I didn't realize Oliver was IN LOVE with McKenna--I thought they were just in the beginning stages of the relationship (dating, first time sex [sad to say, I can't even remember if they slept together and even if so that doesn't mean LOVE] and getting to know each other). I can see him being upset/sad but I find it hard to believe he is broken hearted about Mckenna.
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You are right about the show's clear establishments of lying creating relationship troubles, one element that it's nailed almost perfectly (except for having McKenna pull a "Poochie" and just announce her leaving for her home planet using Troy McClure's voice). I just don't see the need to cram every gal and every guy on these kinds of shows into some convoluted relationship simply to appease the 'shippers. It shouldn't dictate a few quips and close quarters to have characters start the mating dance, people can be acquaintances and friends without coupling up. Felicity and Ollie are very different people, even their goals and pains are quite different, just because they're pretty much the only other people we see them interact with doesn't make them a cute couple. Ollie is still hung up on Laurel and McKenna, Felicity acts like a girl with a crush but also seems to have her own thing going on. And of course there's the aftermath of what happens to the team when Ollie and Felicity break up, you just can tell that won't be a pretty breakup. Batman doesn't date Oracle, after all.
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Agreed on disliking transmedia storylines, even for lesser characters. It might just be how awful that word is - transmedia - but I think it's generally a pretty cynical play on the loyalty of the most devoted fans.
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You're gonna loooove Syfy's new "Defiance" then, video game and show affecting each other.
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Yeah, that means you have to be 100% bought in across all platforms to really consider yourself a fan. Given some shows struggle to get traction at all, that's asking a lot.
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Right now is also the worst time for massive multiplayer online games, which are dropping like flies, making the game risk falling on its face while the show has to drag it along.
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I'm so very interested in Defiance, and I've even be willing to play the game (despite having a backlog of games at the moment). But I really cannot commit to MMOs. Though I've never played a... third person shooter MMO. ...Which frankly sounds horrible. Nevermind.
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I dunno Noel, there hasn't been a project in the last 6 years of San Diego Comic Con that's bought the side of a building that's been any good, and Defiance did just that. ;-)
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Best line of the night, Felicity's "Oliver, no offense, but do I tell you how to sharpen your arrows?"
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I really liked this week's episode as the Glades plot is taking more of a front seat and specially since Team Arrow is getting more and more involved in it, without their knowleadge at first and now, they've finally realized that the Undertaking, the list and all of that is connected to it.
I think that part of the show is being delivered pretty well. As far as the island goes, I agree that there should be more symmetry on the weekly theme otherwise not only it makes no sense, but it also becomes kind of boring...
Regarding character development, I did like how they portrayed Ollie's demeanor this week. This whole isolation stuff that was going on (not only for him) and finally reaching out to Laurel and actually Felicity, too, trying to make it easier on her...
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One of my favorite episodes so far.
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I don't think that Oliver's becoming the Hood was motivated by grief, after all, if his father hadn't given him that list and TOLD him to make them pay, he probably would've just grieved for the man like a normal person...
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WOW! Mr. Amell for the next Spider Man!!! How much of his stunts does he do???
BTW: the putting together for this episode was really messy. Where was that chick from China and how did Laurel get her to show up like that? And as much as I love seeing Amell jumping up and down like Tarzan (Wait... Amell for the next Tarzan!!!) how can you compete with a subway that doesn't stop?
Again the arc about Laurel's sister has been soooo awkward... And man so badly written. I love Alex Kingston but geez there is no chemistry whatsoever between Quentin and her (ok separated and all but there is not even a hint of "what was") Bad casting? Terrible writing? It felt like a bad soap!
It feels like they are trying to throw together Ollie & Felicity... that was a bit weird... but interestingly enough: the acting rang true... I guess sometimes you end up having very strong relationships with people you spend most of the day with. We'll see.
Tommy's character had like 10 secs this time... miss the cutie!
I feel that Willa Holland is finding her character easier to play... I've always liked her even when she was a tad annoying...
Great acting from Susanna Thompson, yes? She's always very solid!
Could we have less clothes on Mr. Bennett please?
Now, let me read your review Noel....
---***---
Erm... I don't mind you mentioning the "Comic Roots..." I understand you tell a story differently depending on the medium you choose, and am not one of those extremist that demand an "adaptation" to be a copy paste of the "original" into the new medium, no matter how impossible that is... ;-)
---***---
In a nutshell this ep more entertaining than last...

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Based on how he's talked in interviews, Amell does as much of the stunt work as he can (and likely as the show's insurance policy will allow).
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I really want to like this show,but, the credibility.. sheesh.. what are the odds of Roy Harper being chosen instead of any other Gangbangers in the Glades?
That's the problem with this show. It irkes me.
From the first episode, there has been something off about the storylines.
It wouldn't have taken too much to make this less predictable and less. connected, more credible.
I know that the backstory angle is being used to fill in many blanks, which is actually good, if we get to the point where we learn how Arrow was able to use hi-tech version arrows in episode 1. It is kinda frustrating, because for the actors are well chosen.. except perhaps for Laurel Lance's character, i'm still on the fence with that one...
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Yeah it's exactly like Smallville in that sense haha.
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So...this might be a total girly way to look at this (but you know, I am female), but I saw some indication of symmetry with the Island story (but it might be seeing something I believe will happen), but it was most clear with the last three scenes. First, Oliver reaches out an olive branch to the woman whose heart he broke (where I saw friendship developing which I like with the two of them more) then there is the introduction of Shado, who I believe likely broke Oliver's heart, and then reaching out to Felicity who may or may not be his future but even through her friendship might be able to help him heal some of the damage caused to his heart by the Island.

Hey, I don't know if I was seeing more than necessary, but the little arrow that Oliver used to have Roy free himself...they carefully focused on that while Roy was at the bar and then open the next scene with the Verdant sign which shows the 'mountain' looking very much like one of the arrowheads. I am wondering if we are going to start to get a kick out of Roy's investigative skills (and perhaps Oliver's overlap of his lives) and that his initial investigation will either a) accidentally lead him to Malcolm via Tommy or b) will, when he gets close, lead to a weird Thea conversation where he demands to know why she sent her brother to help him like when Oliver fails to save someone that Roy knows.

I also don't know if anyone else noticed this but the brief look of relief on Tommy's face when Oliver walked up while the Savior's recording was playing...

I also think the Island story needs to have both its own plot but it can move to points where it does have symmetry. But, I almost wish if the story is mostly going to be totally independent that they actually run the symmetry in the other direction.

Overall, I think the discussions that this episode elicit have clearly indicated that this was a good episode...

Honestly, I didn't know that there was a split comic series with this show, but the split media things start to annoy me and sometimes you end up seeing something important that the author needed a character to do in a story but it is not in the show and then the character on the tv show acts in contradiction to that previous action where you find yourself yelling at a character (this happened to me on Buffy and I am deliberately not reading Teen Wolf stuff)
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I don't think it's a "girly way" to approach that at all, nor do I think you're projecting too far ahead since Oliver and Shado share a back tattoo. But just within this episode, Oliver's not really connecting with, or attempting to connecting with Shado (not enough time when she's rapid fist punching Fyers's face!). In terms of an overall arc idea, and how Shado will or will not affect Oliver, I don't think you're too far off, honestly.
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"girly" was simply my attempt to simplify that I might have been applying too much analysis that wasn't actually there. I wikipedia'd some version of Shado's relationship and one of them seemed like an interesting twist for her reappearance back in Starling City at some point with a 'weapon' that would really impact this version of Oliver that has been developing. Of course that is also connected to an idea of betrayal and abandonment on the island that leads Oliver to becoming the guy at the beginning of the title sequence.
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I'm pretty sure the scene with Roy looking at the arrow head is leading into him finding out about who Oliver is. I'm assuming that he's supposed to become Oliver's sidekick eventually.
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That, and seeing Ollie's face in the green makeup, but I'm sure the writers will discount that.

Hard to tell now who will become Ollie's sidekick, "speedy" was the nickname but that was given to Thea. Roy also seems too old to be anyone's sidekick.
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It is, but I think KateSullivan was also pointing out that creates a sort of a graphic match between the arrowhead and the Verdant logo, providing a visual continuity between scenes and their respective owner.
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Yeah I noticed that too, or at least how the show wanted to show us the connection. Honestly though, I couldn't realistically seeing anyone make a match between the two unless they're a 2 year old matching block shapes. I mean, there's so many things with that same shape it just seems to far fetched for Roy to come to the conclusion that Oliver is the Hood just by that comparison.
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Well, yeah, most people would think it is simply a coincidence but maybe someone who is possessed with trying to figure stuff out and then likely gets told by his girlfriend that she freaked out and told her brother and he was so nice telling her Roy would be fine and then he did one of his disappearing acts
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Oh, I'd agree with that. But it works well for the audience.
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Yes, I figured too, but I just assume the show will be sharing the breadcrumbs that Roy follows and why he follows them (and try not to make Quentin look like an idiot for not seeing the same clues). I just figure first his evidence might lead him to the other archer because it isn't totally clear and perhaps the Dark Archer did appear occasionally before Oliver's return (that might be how they solve Quentin's issue that he isn't an idiot..he knows the difference). Just for an episode where Roy is in danger from Malcolm or whatever and Oliver has to save him (I am doubtful that this season will end before Roy finds out...I don't think he will become the sidekick right away, but...)
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Yeah good point. I'm just surprised Thea didn't put two and two together. She goes to Oliver and tells him, he promises Roy will be OK and disappears and moments later Roy gets rescued by the Hood and then Oliver is back at the club again... I mean come on, you can't be more obvious.
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I know, but I will excuse her as she was really upset and distracted with her kinda boyfriend about to be killed.
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Okay this really caught my eye "I did really like that scene between Oliver and Laurel......Laurel's "Why?" at the sudden invitation was body blowing, but surprisingly appropriate, so the episode won points for consistency in its character actions."

I thought that scene was shot and acted perfectly, although I have to disagree on character actions bit. The most odd thing in the episode (for me) was Laurel's reaction to Oliver's question. Why did she ask him why? It was very strange to me, he was reaching out, he wanted to reconnect with her as a friend perhaps? Just very, very odd response from Laurel. Aside that, all I have to say is that I love Felicity and I love the actress playing Felicity. And I loved every single Oliver/Felicity scene!!! XD

I really hope they can get together, but with the show's premise in mind I think Oliver and Laurel are supposed to be "soul mates" or whatever.
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Considering how they've left things, and that they really haven't interacted that much without Tommy or Thea around, I think the "Why?" was a pretty reasonable question for her to ask.
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I'm just wondering if Moira is going to spend the rest of the season staring at her hands crying "Out damned spot! Out I say!"
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Noel, I can appreciate the perspective you’re aiming for in your review but it may be asking too much of Arrow to satisfy the requirements of solid thematic work. Every attempt the show has made in this regard has been a bumbling combination of heavy handed beating its audience over the head or stumbling confusion. Also there’s a philosophical musing to your review that I think may read too much into Arrow. The show just doesn’t strike me as having that sort of gravitas.

That being said I enjoyed this episode for the pacing, the action, the emotional dynamic developing in the team, and moving the plot forward by finally giving Oliver and the team a clue to the undertaking. It’s about damn time.

I get using the Sarah-may-still-be-alive device to fill in the Lance family back story. But its short arc made it seem pointless and just crammed into the episode. I guess spreading it out would mean having to pay Alex Kingston for a few more episodes. In any event I found the island flashbacks more captivating than the Lance saga.

Definite kudos to Susanna Thompson (a favorite of mine) who finally had material worthy of her in this episode. The anguished scene in the car after Frank’s death, trying to wipe the blood off her hands (literally and metaphorically) really revealed layers of this character I’ve been waiting for all season. Her willingness to do whatever it takes to protect herself and collaterally her family (her children I mean; husbands don’t seem to count) by sabotaging her first husband resulting in his death; acquiescing in the disappearance of her second; attempting to get out from under by contracting a hit on Malcolm, and betraying the only person she could really trust. Makes you wonder if there’s any redemption left for Moira after all is said and done. Now there’s another theme worth exploring. The vigilante as a force for redemption and second chances. On second thought let’s not burden Arrow with any more themes. But I’ll be interested in seeing how the show handles this crucial character and her story.
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I don't think that's fair at all. Every TV show, no matter how good or bad, should strive to do its best, and every reviewer should be able to explore that. Arrow has done better in the past, there's no reason it couldn't again. And it's odd, when Green Arrow was first launched in the 1940s, it was a pretty dumb Batman-lite clone and it did ok but mostly was kept around as filler and not seen to matter; it was only when it got transformed into a smarter thing in the 1960s that it really felt like it had weight and value in the DC pantheon of superheroes. So why take something that only really worked when it was played smart and remake it as something dumb? Seems like a recipe for failure that way.

Susanna Thompson wiped blood onto her hanky and then licked her hanky to get spit onto it to clean off her hands, that was gross. As for redemption, that's a tricky question, how does one redeem a villain? Is it merely by knowing their past, what brought them to that place? Can a villain truly be redeemed? Ollie is a bit of a villain, Moira just slid further down the darkness there as well, and on the opposite side of the scale is Max Merlyn, but he's clearly the supervillain while she's not yet in that territory. It's questions like yours which suggest this show SHOULD be striving for that gravitas and that reviewers like Noel and yourself should continue to spin those slants.

As for the Lance family drama, I thought it was pretty effective, it showed 3 people alone on their own islands suffering because of each other, and how hope poisoned them but understanding saved them - that's thematically consistent with the A story and seems like a worthy story to tell in this universe.
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I apologize that you're not satisfied with the approach I'm taking to the show. "Reading too much into" things is always a risk, and having it pointed out is useful, and is as constructive as being told I'm "over-thinking" things. It is probably silly of me to try and engage the show on some level beyond "Action good. Building jumping awesome. Blonde woman with glasses pretty. Green leather pants super-tight in cold open. Subplots annoying."

As for the elements of your comment that actually apply to the show, I agree that the show is heavy-handed and bumbling in equal measure (which I feel like I acknowledged this week...), but I'm also not expecting the show to be subtle. Melodrama isn't exactly known for its subtlety, nor is action. The bumbling needs work, but it's not as if I haven't called out the show for that sort of thing before (Huntress discussions, anyone?).

I don't think the shortness of the Lance arc made it seem pointless (it served a purpose as you pointed out), but it definitely felt rushed, and likely the amount of episodes Kingston was available for, and they could pay her for, may have been an issue.
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Hey Noel, just read some of the responses and I want you to know I was in no way disparaging your perspectives or think they are 'silly' as one person noted. I've never wrote or even thought that. On the contrary, I enjoy reading your reviews and respect your opinions. The only point I was attempting to make, Arrow is what it is. No more no less.
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I know that...It was the framing of how you went about that sort of set me off, and I apologize for laying on the sarcastic apology in that first paragraph. It was...unnecessarily confrontational. Hindsight, 20/20, so on, so. again, sorry for getting up in your grill, as it were. (And I used "silly," too, so emmiegirl was borrowing it from my comment.)

I don't mind being accused of being philosophical -- just ask JT_Kirk about his response to my review of the Clone Wars finale -- but I do sort of balk at the notion of "reading too much into something," which stems from the media studies chip on my shoulder: "It's just a movie/TV show! Relax." I know you weren't saying that, but it's within that vein, so I'm occasionally hyper-sensitive about it.

I'm certainly in agreement with you that Arrow needs to do work to improve itself, and I think its ambition outpaces its execution, but if I occasionally wax philosophically about its potential, it's because it spurred that on in me.

I do admit that I'd rather an episode do that to me than fall into more....evaluative criticism. It's not always the most interesting thing to write, especially when a show is as consistently mid- to lower-middle grade as Arrow can be. It'd be easier if I hated the show, to be honest, because writing mean, snarky things is so easy (and fun)!

But maybe I do have some rose-tinted glasses. I see the potential for that gravitas you mention, so I mine it, try and figure out what the show is wanting to do. I could probably balance it against...stronger critiques of its execution.

So, again, apologies for being confrontational and sarcastic. I hate the Internet sometimes because it encourages an unfiltered communications, inappropriately, and I dislike when I fall victim to it.
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Nuff said. Just keep those great reviews coming. And don't mind me if I occassionally, unintentionally of course, touch a nerve.
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I disagree that it is silly for you, Noel, or the audience to attempt to engage with the show at a deeper level. I would argue rather that is it a failure of the storytellers that we, the audience, are uncertain if we can or should look deeper because of the inconsistency and inadequacies in the delivery of the storytelling. All the arguments on the lines of "It's on the CW" should at this point be defunct, and accordingly we should feel comfortable holding the show to a certain standard and discussing honestly when it doesn't.

I offer the work of Person of Interest as a solid example of a series that is very similar on numerous points but does well what Arrow continues to struggle with. These two shows truly are quite similar in terms of their method of presenting story and content to their audience, yet POI is comfortable delivering subtle but strong relevant thematic content and respecting the audience enough accept that we will "get it" and Arrow is not. I disagree completely with @Televisioneer's assertion that "...there's a philosophical musing to your review that I think may read too much into Arrow. The show just doesn't strike me as having that sort of gravitas" because that is precisely the depth Arrow is going for, they just all too often fall short of the mark.

You are spot on Noel, in your criticisms, and I find your reviews to be quite balanced and entertaining and I appreciate your insights and perspective. As an analytical person myself I tire of people dismissing a deeper look as overthinking and I think it would be intellectually dishonest and lazy, further we'd be selling Arrow and ourselves short, if we do not hold the show to the standard they are working hard to achieve. In doing so, we can celebrate what they are doing right whilst offering valid criticism on the areas they need to improve on. But realistically, if Arrow wants to maintain its trajectory it needs to work harder to resolve the more troublesome of these issues because it will only go so far on the merits of its potential.
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I totally agree with your example of Person of Interest. And as for the CW, Nikita, a show with high caliber writing which also handles these themes very well, is on the CW. But the writing on Arrow thus far has not demonstrated that they are even trying to aspire to this level. The writing on POI and Nikita are in an entirely different league. With Arrow they've apprently made the decision concerning what the show will be and not be, whether its budget issues, the caliber of the writing staff or some other reason. And like Noel and others I've often made comments here about what Arrow could be, and areas I'd like to see improved. So I'm not disparaging Noel's review or anyone's else's opinions. I apologize if my comments came off that way. Bottom line I enjoy Arrow for what it is. Not what it could be. Shows like POI and Nikita satisfy my desire for A league content.
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Absolutely no need to apologize Noel. Your reviews aren't supposed to satisfy me or anyone else. And I do enjoy reading your reviews.
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"I also don't feel comfortable discussing them in these reviews because I'm not sure how you'd all respond to me casually mentioning anything that occurs in them, or treating them as common knowledge."

If this is your way of testing the waters/asking for permission, I'm on board. Mention away. I personally feel it would be enlightening since I'm not particularly versed in Green Arrow history.
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It was more so about the digital comics that tie directly to Arrow than the wholes cope of the Green Arrow canon, but I'll still take that, and the two likes you got, under "Yes" votes. ;)
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5 to some number between 2 and 4. Terrorists lose!!!
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no please
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I vote no. If the comic makes the show better, then those not reading the comic will be missing something in your reviews.
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Wait. Shouldn't you be voting "yes" then? Or do you want people to miss out?
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No, my point was that if the comic is making the show better, and Noel reviews the show AND the comic, then those who don't read the show would be missing out and that wouldn't be fair to them, so "no" as in I don't want Noel to review the comic content.
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It was nifty seeing Roy and Oliver meet. It seems like it happened pretty quickly, right? I don't know how they meet in the comics, but this was a pretty great meet-cute. And that teamwork with the duct tape cutting arrow! I guess they are just meant to be.

But, whyyy did it take so long for Team Arrow to figure out the (other) vigilante was operating from a subway car? The very first glimpse of the video with the slumlord I was like 'Ooo a subway!!!'. I mean, what else has thin metal poles an arm span apart? C'mon, people.

Verdant's only been open for bidness for a couple episodes, but already it feels like they're shoehorning it in. Upset about your bf being abducted and possibly murdered? Hit up the club! Just been freed from a murdering psycho? Skip the ER and police station, go to da club! Finally just accepted your sister's death and said goodbye to your mom, leaving many feelings unsaid? Definitely go dance it out at da club. And extra weird points go to Thea for fleeing to the bathroom mere seconds after the oh-thank-god-ur-not-dead moment with Roy.

It would seem Moira has fully embraced being one of the bad guys. You just gonna do a guy like that? Sure, she cried about it later, into her hands that were COVERED IN THAT POOR DUDE'S BLOOD! Maybe Oliver will have to take down his own mom? That would be coooool.

I love the idea of Oliver fighting for social justice and all, but the evil master plan is about gentrification and public transportation?!?? Obviously both have a significant impact on urban poverty and class stratification, but... it's kinda boring. That's some white collar shit.

And a parting thought- Diggle would obviously be the better listener, but if I needed to talk I think I'd go to Oliver and then he could comfort me with his abs. To each their own.
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lmao
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So with you about the club...that whole thing just seemed ridiculous. I otherwise enjoyed the ep but that was so silly that it actually took away some impact of Roy and Thea's reunion. And especially, like you said, when she ran to the restroom less than a minute after seeing him. I get that Thea's not really about depth of character (or at least not yet), but sheesh.
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Oh, the club. That entire scene was so bizarre! I get that the idea is for the club to serve as a place for characters to bump into each other and speed the plot up a la The Bronze on BtVS, but a glitzy nightclub doesn't really jibe with the characters' needs in a grittier take on the Green Arrow. So now our emotionally distraught characters and our poor gangbangers are gonna go hang at the club to get over their latest trauma? Ooookay. Weirdos.
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I get Laurel going right to the club: Tommy works there, so it's not out of the realm of possibility to find him there. Sure, she could've called, but whatever. But the rest? Yeah.

And it is white collar, but how else would you expect really wealthy people to respond to what they see on a blight on "their" city?
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Fair point, but I guess I'm just used to superhero stories where the villains conspire to unleash hallucinogenic toxins on the populace, or to use a nuclear bomb to hold a whole city hostage. City planning just seems a little tame in comparison.

But the Undertaking is still so vague that it could totally be ramped up into something equally awesome! I mean, in his own was Bane was just trying to clean up his city and punish wrong-doers, much like them rich folk claim to want to do.
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I think there's something deliciously insidious about it being "city planning" though! I mean it's something completely mundane, something not lots of folks immediately think of, but can have major ramifications on an urban environment.

But then I'm someone who loved that Lex Luthor's plan in Superman Returns essentially amounted to REAL ESTATE. But then I'm also someone who actually likes Superman Returns. SO I'M WEIRD.
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"Should be home in a flash."

That was almost groan-worthy. I gave it a "ha ha." :P

So Ollie spoke of Roy having a chance to redeem himself, and then we see him pull out the arrow tip from his pocket. How long until the city meets the scarlet Hoodie? Season 2? Unless Roy just happens to be a natural with a bow and arrow?
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It wasn't technically an arrow tip, it was the hand-thrown arrow-shaped bolt/knife that Ollie threw to free Roy's right hand.

The scarlet hoodie, that is so Smallville that I fear you're right on the money with the name. :-D
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Ohhhh! That's right! I was wondering how he'd gotten his hands on that. Completely forgot about that. Thanks for correcting me on that.
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That whole "Sarah is still alive" arc over a few episodes seems pretty pointless if this is where they were going to end up. Why bother to introduce the mother character at all?

I didn't like that the subway train was going so fast that it would have been impossible to get on it.

I wonder what Thea thinks Oliver did after he promised her that nothing was going to happen to Roy.

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The "Sarah?" storyline felt pretty honest to Laurel and Quentin's storylines, it was a painful wound that they could never close in their lives and came to a head by Dinah's misplaced hope. Dinah's inclusion gave Laurel a new look at her father's open wound of feelings if nothing else, and then to have pieces to pick up in their lives. It felt pretty true to me and not at all soapy, I'm surprised it didn't work for so many here.

Totally agree with you on the subway train, that was some silly stuff, and how did Ollie get on it when he had just watched it whiz by? Is it just going in a tiny circle? And what's powering it, and how has nobody noticed that giant drain on the power system? Oh well.

Good point about what Thea thought of Oliver running off after making a promise like that, and then the Hood saves Roy. That's pretty clumsy stuff for them to include if they're not going to explore it.
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It was an old subway train, back from when Diggle was a kid. It wouldn't have been as fast as modern trains to begin with, and without constant maintenance, it wouldn't be running at peak performance anyway. If Ollie can jump onto a moving carrier van, he should be able to handle an old subway train. Plus, didn't you see him jumping from building to building and clearing fences like they were NBD?
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"...didn't you see him jumping from building to building and clearing fences like they were NBD?"

Of all the aspects of this show that stretch the limits of reality, that one actually isn't so much of a stretch. Many urbanites across the globe practice Parkour/Freerunning (at times illegally and as a menace to the general public) using similar objects within the urban landscape in the same fashion Ollie did in his pursuit.
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I agree about what the train *should* do, but we saw what it *did*. It was going very fast. And Ollie was standing still against the wall when it passed him at that speed. He would either have to just grab onto it (which wouldn't accomplish anything except breaking his fingers) or wait for it to pass and then run and catch up. Jumping from building to building is child's play compared to that.
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It's a superhero\action show. How active or heroic would Ollie look getting on to a subway that was going at walking pace?
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Could have brought his motorcycle down there or something instead of watching it race by him and then we just see him on it a moment later.
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Better yet considering how little space there is between the walls and the car in tunnels how'd he get the room to break through the side window?
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I enjoyed this episode on the whole; I liked how, similar to the last episode, it did a good job of giving everyone something important to do. In the past, episodes focuses on one important event, which would naturally involve Oliver, Diggle, probably Quentin, and occasionally Moira and Laurel. But for the most part, everyone else was left out of this important storyline, and had to barely stay alive on a diet of relationship issues and mood swings. However, these days (which really only means the last two episodes) there isn't just one interesting story anymore. Instead, there will be two or three of them, not including all of the rather interesting goings on of the island. In this episode, for instance, there was the obvious storyline of the self professed vigilante, the search for Sarah, the aftermath of Moira's betrayal of Malcolm, and Roy Harper's struggle over his background and greater identity. And while some of these storylines connected together at various points (most notably Roy Harper suddenly getting kidnapped by the Hood wannabe, some of these--such as Moira's betrayal of Frank Chen (the guy who paid the triad to kill Malcolm)--were entirely separate yet still important to the show as a whole.

I see this as Arrow possibly, and hopefully, getting better at telling multiple stories within an episode, making sure to give their characters better interesting things to do, while also having things flow nicely together. So while this episode may not have told the best story that it could, the format for the story it told was very well constricted. And, in the episode's defense, it did tell a good story. I agree with Noel that it could have explored the issue of why Oliver can be a vigilante, but not someone else, a lot more than it did. And I also agree that it didn't quite answer the question of whether the new guy, or Helena, accomplished what they set out to do, ideologically, that is. However, it did explore some of these issues to a degree, and while the issue it did focus on (Oliver not wanting to be secluded from society; not wanting to be living on a metaphorical island) wasn't as interesting as these previous two, it was still an important issue to explore for this story.

Because while Oliver has been doing a pretty good job of being both the Hood and himself with his friends and family, the latter part of his life is still an act in many ways. It isn't genuine, as he needs to hide his true feelings and thoughts from most people, and can only be honest with those that know his alter ego (so four, basically, which isn't that much). So while I agree that the way this issue was introduced into this episode was unnaturally abrupt, and broke the flow of what had come before, it was still a very pertinent issue for Oliver's character and the show itself.

While I did enjoy this episode, I did have a few problems. A few of the minor ones I've already discussed, but there was one major issue that still bugs me. I really don't see why the vigilante kidnapper targeted Roy Harper in the first place. I mean, I get that Roy Harper was a "gang banger" and has led a similar lifestyle to the people who killed that guy's wife, but so are presumably hundreds of people in the Glades. Why him, especially when he presumably hasn't actually killed anyone? Besides, the other two victims of his were people who were directly connected to his wife's death in some way. So why not target one of the people who actually killed his wife, or who ran with the people who killed his wife, or something like that? I realize that there were several people that he was targeting, and that he may have been saving his wife's killers for last. But if that were the case, then why target Roy Harper at all? Why would you need an example of a gang banger when you actually have a gang banger who either killed, or were associated with the people who he should actually want to get revenge on?

When I was watching this episode, I thought it was going to turn out that Roy was actually part of it in some important way. Even when the guy said that Roy was just similar to the people that killed his wife, I thought there would be a twist at the end, revealing that Roy had secretly been targeted as part of a larger scheme. And while that could still happen, I doubt it. It would seem that someone literally sat down, picked a whole bunch of people who they blamed for his wife's death, and then somehow (I still want to know how) found some kid's rap sheet and saw that he had committed similar crimes to the people who killed his wife. He then though: "I know, I'll throw him into the mix just for fun. That way I'll really get my revenge, because that person who I have never met, who had nothing to do with my wife's murder, and who has never killed anyone, really deserves to die." It's like he gave Roy the worst version of a shout out.

Unless later episodes prove otherwise, it would seem that Roy was kidnapped simply so that he and Thea could become a part of the larger storyline. And while I enjoyed the scenes of Roy handling himself both under pressure, and while feeling complete and utter loss and despair, as well as what it did to his and Thea's relationship, these pros hardly outweigh the massive con of the plot and logic butchering that was required to make those good moments happen. It's fine, and in fact almost necessary, for events in TV to often be rather improbable in order to keep characters and plots interesting and compelling, but there is a huge difference between something being improbable and something making no sense at all, to the extent that it seems downright impossible. But once you start seeing borderline impossible things happen on shows due to completely illogical reasoning, then the writers may as well start flipping coins to decide what happens next.
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Good points. On the matter of Roy, he implied that he was involved in an upcoming liquor store robbery because he had debts, owed people, which sort of became a bit lost in the Richie Rich jokes he loves to throw at Thea as deflection. Presumably the shot-caller he feels compelled to work for operates a larger criminal enterprise/network in the Glades and Roy's involvement brought him to the attention of the Savior. It was all pretty slapdash, I agree, and does seem contrived in order to create a firmer, larger role for Roy in the overall story. We can only hope that the writers ameliorate this issue in a near-term episode.
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The real problem for me is not how the Savior could possibly have zeroed in on Roy in the first place, since there are a number of ways that could be possible. As you said, it could be that the Savior was able to find out what jobs were coming up, and choose someone from there that fit the profile of the people who killed his wife, and that person just happened to be Roy. But it also could be that he did a search through the Starling City criminal database, looked for the offenders who had committed exactly the same crimes as the people who killed his wife, and Roy perfectly fit the bill, except presumably the murder of course. Or maybe Roy's name came up somehow when certain people were discussing no-good lowlife youth in the Glades. Regardless, all we really know at this point is that the Savior hadn't met or really seen Roy at all (he had to ask first if Roy was indeed Roy Harper before taking him), and that for some reason he had accessed Roy's records (the how is not difficult, as he was a computer technician and is an above average hacker).

So while I can see multiple ways in which the Savior may have targeted Roy, we don't actually know which one is was, or if the writers even came up with an official version themselves. Which mean that, as you said, we can only hope that the writers answer this question soon. Hopefully, this will actually turn out to be a pretty cool thing, since the only reason they would actually answer this question in future is if there is more to the situation that meets the eye. And usually that involves some sort of cool twist which ties into the larger arcs of the show. So yeah, I really do hope that happens. Because otherwise, this will just be an example of abysmally bad storytelling. Since if random people can be kidnapped now, for reasons far removed from what the kidnapper seems to be doing, then in some future episode Thea could be kidnapped by a guy whose wife died in a car accident. And since Thea was recently in a car accident, which involved no fatalities and no one other than herself was even involved, but was a car accident nonetheless, then the same kind of logic that made Roy Harper a victim would make her one as well.
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I watched this episode yesterday morning on Hulu, then someone realised that they posted it early and took it down.
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Great episode! One of the best so far? Probably. I was started to not want to watch this show. Roy is bringing a lot to this show. I originally didn't want him, but now I love him. He even makes me like Thea. I love that she was crying over him @ her brothers club not caring who sees her. ( they just let her hang, underage?) Then Roy shows up & she's like "...Wait, I'm gonna clean up now." Also, I both like & hate the fact that they are debatable dating.

Manu Bennett is the BEST! He was Crixus in Spartacus, & he is JACKED! IDK why he uses a gun, he's got SO much training from Spartacus, where he JUST finished up w. I want him to not die.

But SRSLY this show brought up some great point! WHAT IS the difference between what that guy was doing, and what Oliver is doing? Why is his 'Justice' so much better? Because he gives them a warning, and the other guy only gives 10 minutes to plead for a 2nd change. Yes, one broadcasts their activities on TV, but still. Oliver has committed murder very casually as GA so far. He get's over his hesitation from the island and now has no problem with it,
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Hehe, everytime the story switches to the island I go "Yay, Crixus!" :D Especially loved his "Me, I like swords" line from one of the earlier episodes.

And I have to agree with you, in the first episodes Ollie killed pretty mercylessly and there wasn't much difference between the two but by now the writers have realised "Ah crap, this isn't Banshee, we're on the CW, we can't do this, we have to make him just, fair and all that" so to present Ollie who is more about scaring people off there is a difference.

Roy annoyed me at first because they pretty much introduced him as "pretty boy with weird eyebrows who gives Thea something to do" but this ep really turned things around.

All in all a really great episode, it seems the actors have gotten comfortable in their roles and writers found the right direction, I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season.
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Spartacus!!!!!
BANSHEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Great points both of you;D
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Okay story and pacing, but the direction was muddled in spots. The confrontation between Jenn, Quentin and Dinah was incredibly muddled. Wait? Laurel found this woman, Jenn, and brought her to Starling City? or she lived in Starling City (given the hat, I guess so) and happened to be vacationing near where Robert's boat went down around the same time it went down? And why spring her on Quentin and Dinah in the first place? That all didn't seem to make any sense.

I'm not sure I was digging the whole subway train car schtick, either. So Falk was busy moving the subway car from spot to spot while trying to shoot his victims? Or if it was moving on a track, wouldn't the IP have been _constantly_ on the move? And no one noticed the subway car swaying in the background?

Overall, it was an okay episode, but kind of jumpy.
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