Arrow "Unfinished Business" Review: Character Turns Ahead

Arrow S01E19: "Unfinished Business"

Oliver confronts the Count

"Unfinished Business" was perhaps less about things left unfinished—though that was certainly a running thing—than about the episode's other repeated theme: "People can change." Sadly, such changes don't always play out as well as they should, or as consistently.

The inciting incident for everything that happened this week was a new form of Vertigo flooding the streets, resulting in the death of a woman who was at Verdant, and supposedly picked up the drugs there. It put Oliver onto the Count's case and it also ended up putting Quentin and Oliver onto Tommy's case, as both suspected Tommy of dealing drugs in the club, a notion made even more compelling after the discovery that $10,000 was missing from Verdant's books.

Oliver looks at the County

Oliver hunting down the Vertigo stuff was pretty fine, so far as that sort of thing goes. As before, when the show has executed it well, the investigative nature of the case was nicely worked out, from Diggle buying the drugs ("Person of color has successfully purchased your drugs.") to following those drugs around the city in the hopes of finding someone who was going to lead them back to whoever was producing the new Vertigo, and later checking toxicology reports of victims. It had clues, it had dead ends, and so it felt like something resembling an investigation.  There were a couple of nice set pieces, including the scenes at the docks and the aquarium, though I wish the latter had remained in the actual aquarium as opposed to the behind-the-tanks pipe world. It was so much less visually interesting than a strung-out dude with a gun in front of thousands of gallons of fish.

The problem with the Vertigo plot, sadly, was that the conclusion was telegraphed as soon as Quentin arrived in the asylum. The orderly looked decidedly shifty and glance-y at Quentin and the Count's doctor as they went up the stairs in like the third or fourth scene of the episode. "Ah," I said. "The orderly's the one making the new drugs." The extra oversold it, and the direction lingered on him too long. So, mostly I was waiting for them to circle back to the asylum the entire episode, and while I sort of enjoyed the fact that the doctor got to indulge in a little monologuing, I still ended up pretty bored with the overall approach to the case.

The Count in his room in the asylum

The bait-and-switch with the Count and his doctor did prove useful as a character moment for Oliver, though, as he decided not to kill the Count, even after leveling multiple arrows at the madman. Mercy stayed Oliver's bow (just like it did against the Vertigo user in the aquarium) as the realization dawned on Oliver that in the Count's current state, "there didn't seem to be a point" in taking his life. It's something we might've been looking for in the Savior's final moments last week, a chance for the Glades' avenger to redeem himself, but at least it shows some movement on Oliver's morality needle. People don't always fail the city, and not everyone deserves an arrow through the jugular.

However, Tommy was probably wishing he had received an arrow through the jugular in this episode. No one believed that he wasn't dealing drugs in the club, even though he did bribe a city official to forego the building inspection to protect the Arrow Cave. So, just for the record: not dealing drugs but protecting a vigilante who used to be his best friend. It wasn't enough to spare Tommy from other people's horrible attitudes.

Quentin's response to Tommy I totally understood, and I imagine that on some level, even Tommy understood it. And I dug how it affected him and his fears over it causing another divide between him Laurel. The show hasn't handled Quentin super-well, but but he seems to have found something like a grip on his character, and the writers are following through with it, and I can appreciate that. He's even drinking soda instead of soda with alcohol, so hurrah!

Oliver and Tommy in the club

But what made things fell apart for me was Tommy's response to Oliver throughout the hour. Tommy's anger and frustration with Oliver is what we should've seen two weeks ago when Helena returned, and instead Tommy didn't show any signs of that. In fact, he was a paragon of understanding of Oliver's plight. Here, Tommy was very frustrated not only with Oliver's betrayal of their friendship, but with Oliver's lack of faith in him. It's the lack of consistency in Tommy's behavior that irks me. His struggle to come to grips with Oliver's vigilante life was never fully dramatized so as to lend this back-and-forth any real weight. And none of this is Colin Donnell's fault. His performance in this episode was very strong, just as it was he was sort of being understanding about Oliver's life two episodes ago. It's just haphazard writing and character plotting.

It's possible for a person to snap and have a bad day, and for a confluence of events, like the ones that happened here, to lead to rash decisions. But there's a difference between a person and a character with an arc on a serialized television series, and it makes all the difference when that arc feels truncated. Tommy was probably always going to end up at Malcolm's side somehow or another, and the tensions between him and Oliver were likely going to drive him there. The events in this episode did feel like a justifiable reason—he bribed a city official and then turned the Arrow Cave into a storage area ALL TO PROTECT OLIVER, and Oliver was being a jackass about it—but the small hiccup in the journey to get there sort of made the whole thing feel rushed.

Oliver draws his bow

In actual viewing pleasures, Diggle received some non-Arrow Cave love this week. It seems like things with Carly are progressing well enough, but also like he's very much weighed down by Deadshot still being alive. While it's all very much a set-up for the next new episode, I appreciate that Diggle not only got some time to do stuff on his own, but that his plans put him into a slight conflict with Oliver. They're partners, yes, but it's Oliver's mission that takes priority. Oliver at least realized the error of this attitude, and decided to make Deadshot a priority. It'll be interesting to see how Diggle's "kill only with necessary cause" mindset comes into play when presented with the opportunity to confront his brother's killer again.



NOTES & QUOTES

Shado training Oliver

– On the island this week, Shado began her Mr. Miyagi-esque training of Oliver by having him slap water ("We're almost out of slapping water."). It strengthened his arm enough so that he could draw the bow without hurting himself. But it put Oliver another step closer to becoming who he is today. It also clearly means I've been wasting my time lifting weights.

– "Oh, good, you're here. Of course you're here. You clearly love it down here."

– Casual name-dropping of A.R.G.U.S., the organization that employs Lyla, Diggle's contact (and the same contact from last week's Arrow digital comic, by the way). In the comics, A.R.G.U.S stands for Advanced Research Group Uniting Superhumans and was, among other things, the liaison group between the U.S. government and the Justice League. Now they've formed their own Justice League of America headed up by Steve Trevor. Who knows what the hell the group is here, other than a massive intelligence operation. Although I do sort of love the idea of Steve Trevor showing up on Arrow*Update*: As Gislef kindly pointed out, in Arrow A.R.G.U.S stands for Advanced Research Group United Support per producer Marc Guggenheim in a tweet.

– "Clear." 

– "I doubt you could aim a single arrow." And Oliver couldn't. So he aimed three arrows. One for each of the doctors he was probably seeing.

– Speaking of arrows, there was an uptick in the novelty arrows this week. Explosive-tipped arrows, explosive-with-a-trigger-on-the-outfit arrows, and medicinal herb concoction-injecting arrows. Boxing glove or buzz-saw arrow by the finale!

– "Looks like I'm the last one standing. Sitting. Spinning. Something to do. What was I going to do? Memory not what it once was. Nothing what it once was. Is there a name on the gravestone? No. It's new. And clean. And waiting." Seth Gabel had a lot of fun with the Count. I'm hopeful that the Count somehow achieves a degree of rehabilitation and comes back to haunt everyone again.

– Arrow's taking the next two weeks off, so it'll be back on April 24. After that, it'll have an uninterrupted run all the way to the finale on May 15.

What'd you think of "Unfinished Business"?


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Noel and anyone else: Was it just me, or was the mental hospital they used here the same one they used for Arkham in "Batman Begins"? I didn't have time to check my copy of BB, but it was I think meant to look essentially similar if it wasn't the same building--another nod to the Nolans. :)
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Did anyone else notice that the guy on the docks with the hat & beard, the one who gave the wad of cash to the drug dealer, was Manu Bennett? Did they run out of extras or was Slade meant to be there? Am I the only one who caught this?
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I'd say it was a good episode overall, even if, like you said, the solution to the case was very easy to understand and pretty cliché, like Tommy going back to his father. The best friend becoming the ennemy: that's very Spiderman of you, writers. What I like most about Arrow is how the drama seems always less heavy thanks to the great one-liners characters like Diggle and Felicity have. I also liked the flashbacks on the island, for once. I digged the Karaté Kid vibe of the slap-the-water thingy. Yeah, good episode, can't wait for the next one.
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I definitely thought this was one of their strongest episodes. Everyone, well mostly everyone had something hearty to do, and for those who didn't have anything pertinent they didn't bother throwing them into the episode as filler, and I truly appreciated that.
-Diggle was phenom. He's such a likeable character, a necessary character, a potentially fantastic character when they choose to utilized him to the best of his abilities. They finally did that this week, so he wasn't just regaled to Keeper of the Arrow Cave, or Psychotherapist for Arrow wielding vigilantes with mild PTSD and a guilty conscious. I loved that. He got out and did things on his own, with his own mission he was focused on. I was happy to see that things have progressed with his sister in law/ new gf, but that they aren't all happy go lucky, they have their issues. I was thrilled to see him reaching out to his own contacts. I loved that he was focused on his own mission, and he wasn't at Ollie's beck and call. "Person of color has successfully purchased your drugs." He's always fantastic with the dark humor.
- Tommy blowing up at Ollie. Ollie blowing up at Tommy. Ollie blowing up at Diggle. Diggle blowing up at Ollie. I loved all the conflicts in the relationships. It was interesting to see. I like Oliver, of course, but he's definitely a flawed character, and he can be a bit of jackass, and it was so apparent in this episode and everyone sort of called him out on it, and after a bit he took it to the chin and accepted that. Reprimanding Diggle for not being at his beck and call and being hell bent on a personal mission, when his vigilantism is a personal mission made him the biggest hypocrite. And accusing Tommy of being the same old immature, reckless, kinda guy when he himself is anything but that after five years...again, not a great moment for Oliver.
-I felt like this was the strongest we've seen of Tommy so far. He's definitely gotten better as a character, but it's hard not to improve on pointless. I agree to some degree on how flighty he's written. He fully accepts things one week, he's disgusted by it the next. I wish they'd balance it out better. The conflicted feelings isn't the problem, it's the going from one extreme to another that is the problem, and the actor has been doing great at what he's been given, which is perhaps why Tommy finally feels like a remotely tolerable character now, but yeah. I felt like the fight between him and Oliver was contrived and overworked, just to get him to go running to his father. I didn't care for that at all. While the evidence was compelling enough that Tommy could have been accused of selling drugs, and he seemed willing to deal with Lance accusing him, which fine, whatever, in this case lance really was just doing his job, even though every time he appears onscreen I just think "jackass" automatically and I guess, unfortunately for him, there is no making him likeable to me, but I digress. It was acceptable for Lance to be Lance about the situation and accuse Tommy. It's in his job description. I couldn't for the life of me get on board with Oliver buying it and accusing Tommy of it though. Like Tommy said, the night club is Oliver's cover and Tommy has been doing all of the work, and that is a lot of work, too much work, and he (was) invested in it, and in his relationship with Laurel and hasn't given anyone a reason to question his maturity level in quite some time, so it didn't make sense for Ollie of all people, to accuse Tommy of dealing.I understood why Tommy was pissed at that accusation. I'd also love to know how and when Tommy removed all of that stuff from the Arrow Cave, when he probably doesn't have the keypad access, and had so little time to do it.
-I think I established that I'll probably never care for Detective Lance. Also word to the man, daddy's girls are usually attracted to men that remind them of their father.
-I am more than willing to be secretary of the Felicity Smoak fanclub. Because she is my favorite female on this show. But Shado is up there too. Girl is just badass with her yoga and water hitting, and I couldn't get enough of the S&S badasses r' us banter.
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I did like the Yoga...

And I liked Diggle getting the drugs, but it nagged at me that anyone could just walk up in a drug den with a wad of cash and buy the latest thing...with absolutely no one caring who the person is. No peek under the mask, not flashlight in the face, no "who sent u?" Just "gimme lots of ur drugs," and "K."

That one's not on him, just....CW. Did I mention I liked the yoga?
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I envied her yoga abilities.

Eh, sometimes it depends on what side of town your on. It's no secrets that criminals today lack the finesse of those that came long before them. Not that I'm an expert or anything.

Oh you mentioned you liked the yoga. Probably as much as I like Oliver and Diggle sparring. ;)
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Well, Shado's still only one person...
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Can anyone answear my on why some of the shows, like Arrow, is taking a 2 week break now?
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Basically, they need to spread their shows out since reruns aren't watched at all anymore. Either that or make more episodes...heh. If the networks don't conspire to hold their shows around the same time, no one will ever try the spare crap they try to fit in between breaks.
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It mirrors the patterns on other networks, especially other WB-owned shows like Person of Interest over on CBS. Whether WB makes those calls or the networks do is unclear.
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Hmm i dunno.. I´m a bit ambivalent about this show. I love the character Green Arrow but i feel that somehow the show doesn´t really capture the character right.... My favorite parts of the show are the time spent on the island, learning about the origin of his character. The other parts seems way to shallow..
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I have not read any of the comments! So this is just my opinion, but I hated the episode.

To my surprise I actually for once enjoyed the flashbacks! Everything else was just ughh,, annoying. I can't believe I'm saying this but everyone in this one came off as a jerk. First Oliver, because of his undeserved hatred he had for the Count and him raising his bow in an attempt to kill a mental patient. That was really uncalled for, the guy is not in his right mind, is that his sense of justice ?<<<

So yes, Oliver was a tool. No worse than Tommy though, the way he talked to Oliver was frustrating. Okay, I get it, I get it, you hate him and you quit the job he gave you when you had no money to support yourself. So damn sefish! Oh yes, and he went back to his dad. (whom he hated few episodes back)

I also hated the detective...Laurel's dad. He was doing all of his "investigating" out of spite and dislike for Tommy.

Hoping next episode improves.....< Worst episode this season .
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Nice piece, Noel. Absolutely agree about Tommy's inconsistent behaviour towards Oliver being the Hood.

I also thought they could've done a better job showing how exactly Oliver doubted him, because it was really one little comment on the matter. I was surprised at Tommy being so pissed at Oliver beacues I hadn't completely realised that Oliver thought Tommy was selling the Vertigo.
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My god but after the end of Fringe I'd forgotten how much I love Seth Gabel!
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It may have just been me but I felt like this episode was giving off a kind of Scarecrow vibe. The psychologist may not have been manufacturing a fear inducing drug but he had this air of Jonathan Crane to him, especially when he sort of analyzed Oliver after capturing him.

Then you had the Count who was acting similar to Crane, espcially the version shown in Batman Begins after he is exposed to his own toxin. Though his tone of voice when he was rambling on at the end had a sort of Riddler quality to it.

This episode was OK and moved the storyline along. Tommy has begun his fall to the dark side. One could only assume that he will take his father's place sooner or later.

The island scenes are finally starting to get into Oliver's training which is something I have been waiting for. And we once again have an appearance of the magical deus ex machina island herb which Oliver apparently has a crap load of.

Good to see Diggle is getting more to do and his hunt for Deadshot is picking up steam. There will likely be a scene where Diggle tells Oliver that he wants to be the one to kill Deadshot.

I have been thinking, a boxing glove arrow may not be that out of the question. Not the huge one from the comics but an arrow with a small boxing glove as the tip, sort of like Oliver's version of a rubber bullet, meant to incapacitate and not kill.
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You don't get a Green Goblin vibe from Tommy and his dad? Obviously, they won't be flying around and throwing pumpkins, but the overall dynamic's there between the three of them.
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Oh most definitely, especially when you look at how the Osborns were depicted in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies. In the first movie you had Norman and Harry with a distant relationship that begins to mend, then Norman is killed and Harry vows revenge. In the second one Harry discovers Norman was the Green Goblin and takes up the mantle to strke back against his former friend.

Malcom and Tommy have begun to mend their relationship in a similar way to the Osborns. I could see Malcom dying in battle against Oliver, possibly in this seasons finale, and Tommy later discovers the truth about his father and takes up his mantle. Of course, there would not be any goblin formula or anything so instead Tommy may leave Starling City for a time and go where Malcom went to train under the same master. If Malcom dies and Tommy discovers the truth in the season finale, then the show could pick up next season after a few months with Tommy returning to the city to take up the bow against Oliver.

It would be interesting if next season Tommy returned as the new Dark Archer and we were shown flashbacks of his time in training similar to how we see Oliver's time on the island.
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Dark Tommy flashbacks would actually work for me. I mean, it probably wouldn't work out at all, but the idea sounds good.
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I swear I said "Clear" as soon as Diggle picked up the defibrillator, but my wife doesn't watch this show with me anymore, so she didn't see it. She also wasn't there when I said "Called it." Yep...just mee and the teevee. Yeah..

This episode was better than the last two, but I'd really just enjoy one episode where everyone just handles their own business without their 15-minute-quarrel-of-the-week. Can't we all just let it go for once?

One of the first things that occurred to me was that Oliver opened up a trance-heavy nightclub, and wasn't prepared for Vertigo showing up. Fortunately, none of the real drugs are real on Arrow, so I'm sure drugs are now officially abolished in Verdant from now on.

The well-trained Hurley-sized orderly was indeed way too obvious, but it wasn't obvious to me that The Count wasn't involved at all. And the doctor was also obvious, but it wasn't obvious that The Count hadn't gotten to him somehow (through the orderly, or whatever). I guess I was picturing something more satisfying, even though I was disappointed that they went back to all this Vertigo stuff so soon in the first place. I was also hoping that The Count would at least give us a devious grin after Oliver walked away. He shouldn't have killed The Count while he was strapped to a chair, but it still annoys me that after all the merc goons he kills, he leaves most of the worst bosses alive as if they're all going to rehabilitate in prison even if they're actually going to serve any decent stretch. And again, he could've just clubbed the guy from last week in the back of the head. "BAD Vengeful Husband!" *Bonk*

Diggle redeemed himself later, but he was being an asshole. I get that he's pissed about failing to avenge his brother so far, but when a partner calls (especially the one that can't yet fight), you answer your phone to make sure they aren't about to be kidnapped again. Curtness is allowed, but going dark in a moody hissy fit is inexcusable. I get the frustration about Oliver focusing on *his* stuff and not *Diggle's* and all the 'Marsha, Marsha, Marsha,' but the city comes first. Diggle should really get over his shit, help save the city from the plague of Neo-Vertigo, and *then* get back to said shit. It's really not all about him, and I don't see either of them rushing to help Felicity save that one guy who's married to Oliver's mom.

It *looked* like Tommy redeemed himself, but he was also being an asshole. It's not exactly that he owed Oliver one for saving his dick dad--wait, yeah, it is. Even that aside, Tommy's shady palm-greasing put Quentin fairly on both of their trails, and while he covered for Oliver's secret base, he also could've done the same thing...by telling Oliver that Quentin was gonna show up with a warrant in the first place. Tommy ambushed Oliver twice in this episode, so it's one thing to judge Oliver for all the murder (which is fair), but it's another to judge him for the deception, or the lack of trust after all the deception. BTW, I lol'd at that 141 password for the hideout door. Anybody with a can of hair spray and a black light would figure it out in seconds.

Shado's a little annoying, but I like her. I just feel sad that she'll likely die within a good two weeks of coming to Sterling City in the present...because otherwise, she could date Oliver, and then where would Laurel be--ZZZZZ. Eh, who knows. Maybe Shado just dies on the island.
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We believe you. ;) Also, I totally did the exact same thing.

I agree that the one thing that bugged me about Diggle was his ignoring Felicity's call. It's Felicity. Oliver is one thing, because Oliver was totally being a jackass in this episode. In fact all of the guys were being jackasses. Go figure. But as you said Felicity isn't skilled enough to protect herself just yet, so when she called he should have been more inclined to answer the phone because anything could have happened. That did bug me. Who in their right mind can ignore Felicity? That wasn't right at all. Outside of that, I figured he was due for a hissy fit. He basically spends all his time on standby, so of course the one time he decides "eff it Imma go handle my shizz on my own" everyone suddenly needs him. But not only do they need him, but he gets a lecture on vengeance and doing stuff on his own time, by the guy whose sole purpose of getting into vigilantism is vengeance and most times has to be talked into saving other parts of the city that don't fall onto the list by Diggle himself. So frustrating. I understood that a bit.

I wondered about Tommy not telling Oliver about the search warrant to? Like was it that he just couldn't get ahold of him or did he just leave him out of it completely and practically gave the guy a heart attack before revealing that he had moved all of his stuff out? I don't know. It's also kinda obvious though that Tommy does all of the footwork for the night club, so while he should keep Oliver informed of everything that comes up, Oliver should show more interest too. because he doesn't. Not really. Unless he's using the night club as part of a mission, which he does often enough. I'd say they all need to get their shizz together.
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Yeah, Oliver was definitely an ass and a hypocrite, but that's like calling Thea the annoying girl that acts about three years younger than she is, or calling Laurel that boring chick that acts six years younger than she--ZZZZZ...

It's great for Diggle to have his side gig, but not at the cost of him throwing away what people like about him: his wisdom and his competence. It's not that he even bailed on Oliver, he bailed on Felicity, and that was a serious dick move. CW could've gone anywhere with that little arc...they just didn't. Also, again, he can have his hissy fit, but Oliver already did more for avenging Diggle's brother than Diggle ever did. Oliver was the one that had to get Diggle even interested in it. Either way, Oliver already proved that he was willing to help him with Deadshot when he did it the first time. Sure, we know now that it didn't take, but Oliver gets points for trying. Not like Diggle was there to fire the shot.

Also, if anyone should getting all hissy, it should be Felicity. At least Walter still needs saving, and no one seems focused on that poor guy at all. Rescue should trump vengeance. Oliver could never figure that out, but Diggle was always supposed to be the one that did. I mean, I wouldn't mind him losing the 'Minority Voice of Reason from Back in the Lab' role if he's gonna be able to do stuff, but not if he's gonna be a dick about it. We really have enough of those.

With Tommy, we can't know for certain that he didn't try to call Oliver and warn him, but we have to figure that he would've said something later or the show would've shown something earlier. If they can show Diggle ignoring a call, they could show Tommy making one. It's all just tiny cuts that chip away at characters and makes them all just a little less likeable.

And it's obvious to Tommy and to us that the club's just a front for his secret base, and Oliver could take more of an interest in it, but Oliver put up all the money. Tommy basically had shoes and a $50 gift card at Starbucks. I don't remember Tommy's official title, but I think his role was pretty much to handle all the day-to-day. Even without knowing Oliver was The Hood, Oliver was never intended to be someone who did anything reliably. Sure, now he's a murderer, but before, he was just a flake.
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"Tommy basically had shoes and a $50 gift card at Starbucks."

LOL! When you say these things you make it so hard for me to focus. Stop distracting me with your awesome, dude.

Yeah, I really enjoyed this episode for a few reasons, but I can't lie and say that there weren't bits and pieces of "character development" that I abhorred, mostly because it didn't make sense or was just downright revamping a character for the hell of it. I so agree about Felicity. It wasn't until after I watched the episode and I think I was talking about the show with someone, where I thought about the fact that no one is really helping her with the whole Walter situation, nor is she visibly making in headway in it. I hate that. That's her main purpose for being there, and while I'm more than willing to take Felicity any way I can get her. (Wow, that sounds so dirty when I put it that way...sheesh), I'd like for them to at least stick to what they themselves have put out there. I mean she spends most of her time facing Oliver's wrath when she isn't moving fast enough to help him with his crap. And you're right that if anyone was going to point that out than it would be Diggle. It was so weird for me, because in this episode especially they had some really great moments that sort of aided in the characterization of some of the characters, but then they had other moments where they totally disregarded their own canon. I find though, that with this show, I somehow manage to lower my expectations a great deal, not necessarily in a negative way, because the show itself is quite good despite its issues.
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Me too, but that would definitely go under 'Secret Shame.' Team Figgle pens, maybe. Coffee mugs...for home use.
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I hear you man. But I kinda would dig a Team Figgle t-shirt.
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Yeah, that's really the main thing: the character development. This show (network) thinks the best way to develop someone is to make them dumber than a normal person, so they can impress us by how much they grow when they become...normal. It's like a clown taking a kid's balloon, letting the air out, and blowing the balloon back up for them.

It's just worse when they do it to Diggle since he's been the Rock of Minority Normalcy Stuck in the Background since the show started, but they feel they have to make him as stupid as everyone else (in the present) just so something can happen with him. Even smart people get flat tires sometimes, that's all. What's in store for Felicity? I dunno. Maybe I should cancel my Team Figgle t-shirts...
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I was disappointed to see The Count character again, though knew it would come at some point. The episode on the whole was a bit of a let down, though I'm enjoying the back story (on the island) a lot more.
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Oliver and Tommy weren't really friends. They were friendly and sure they 'kept the peace' when Oliver's secret was revealed, but that's it. Their relationship didn't seem genuine. I'm not sure if it is the actor, or just his present role to be seen as temporary before Tommy's true colors are revealed, but up to now Tommy's life seems to lack great authenticity. Maybe the writers are preparing us for a 'bada%$' Tommy and Donnell's talent would shine then. Still his relationship with Laurel, Tommy, Laurel.... have all been bland.

Instead of trying to figure out why Oliver killed, or if it were that simple, Tommy just saw his actions as black and white. He made no attempt to use what he learned to become a closer part of Oliver's life. Instead, he judged him from afar and kept quiet. I was hoping when Tommy was held prisoner by Helena and Oliver saved him, Tommy would have used that moment to see a different side to Oliver. That didn't happen and instead we hit the reset button here. It simply makes his character hard to like, especially when he is quick to anger, judge and dismiss. Oliver saved his father's life. Why not convince your friend to use his powers for good and not the evil perceived?

Oliver could have believed anything he wanted about Tommy and the drugs. Tommy could have easily fallen back to his old tricks. People do it in their families all the time. Oliver has skeletons and he is also quick to ignore and dismiss. Which should make them all the more closer because of their similarities. Instead their own skeletons, be it past or present, drove them apart. That shows they did not truly connect from the beginning to establish a true friendship. It all fell apart. A friendship was not there since Oliver came back or even since they first met.
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Why waste drinking water on an island without tap water? Although, the girls yoga position forgave everything...FABULOUS.
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So its prob a safe bet that Tommy gonna be Dark Archer sommtime soon, i bet Malcolm will die in the season finale along with Tommy finding out his secret....

Unless they have 23 episodes there cant be a season finale on May 15 since u said that it will be unterupted episodes starting from April 24th, it would be May 8th
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I hate to ask this, but could someone clue me in as to what Tommy and his dad were saying in the last scene? I no longer have cable, and my antenna signal kept flickering during the episode. :(
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Okay, thanks so much, everyone! :D
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I'd prefer we skip the I-told-you-sos,
but the nightclub wasn't really working out.

I guess I need something more boring, stable.

9:00 to 5:00, go home kiss Laurel, that sort of thing.

I guess what I'm saying is...

I want a job.
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Tommy said the club gig wasn't working, that his job there was done and he needed a new thing, "I'm basically asking for a job" is what he says to his father at the very end.
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I loved your review, I'm with you all the way. Just one little comment to add: Seth Gabel saying that monologue reminded me of Gollum so much I imagined him starting to yell PRECIOUS to Oliver...
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It also clearly means I've been wasting my time lifting weights.... haha

Clearly I am going to fire my trainer. He did not have me slap water once in the 12 months we've been training.
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It makes me wonder why we've bothered with the salmon ladder stuff. Couldn't Oliver slap water without his shirt on in the present day storyline?
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Yeah but that would only work if they had slapping water and after they fixed that leak in the Arrowcave the supply has dried up.
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I hadn't realized it at the time, but when they showed the orderly on the stairs saying "here's the real bad guy!" that's when I picked up my tablet and checked out from this episode. Then someone would say something loud and I'd realize something happened and I didn't really care that I didn't catch what set up the noise, like Tommy griping about Oliver not believing he wasn't selling drugs where I didn't remember a scene showing Ollie behaving that way; or Ollie yelling at Diggle for not answering his phone, I didn't remember Ollie telling him he was on call 24/7 and couldn't have a personal life.

I did find the 3 arrows to 1 bow scene really hilarious though, you see Ollie raise his bow vertically and then somehow the arrows came out horizontally. Also, how exactly did Tommy get the Arrowcave all covered up by himself? That was a cute trick, one-manning all that stuff down there in only a few minutes.

Anyway, good point on Tommy's inconsistent behavior, I'll add also that characters are also acting inconsistently towards him, and writers too, like the idea that Tommy bribed a zoning commissioner on Ollie's behalf was somehow a real interpersonal problem when it didn't seem like a big deal at all.

Kind of disappointed that there aren't any real quality villains to challenge the Hood guy lately, Ollie just kills regular folks who are having a bad day, that explosion arrow to the car was a biggie and The Savior guy last week. And the doctor and his orderly throw our hero on a table but don't notice the gimmicks up his sleeve like the car remote that triggers arrows?
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When you're a partner in life-and-death stuffs, you answer your phone when a partner calls. You find out what's going on, and once you find out they aren't in immediate danger, *then* you say 'pass' and hang up. You don't leave a partner to possibly die because you're hanging out somewhere.
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Diggle isn't really his partner until the end of this episode, just his manservant. Diggle says he's working on his own dangerous matter and Ollie doesn't offer to help Dig until the last scene.
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Well yeah, manservant is what Diggle really is, but he doesn't think that, and the audience isn't supposed to think so, either.

And I've had to ask this before, so don't get offended, but are you from somewhere else? Some other country with a different first language? I get that they only agreed to work together on the new Vertigo at the end of the episode, but the word partner also includes Oliver and Diggle working together since Oliver saved his life, whatever long ago episode that was. When he said, "I'm in, but I'm not some sidekick," that was him agreeing to their partnership, before Felicity, before the first time Oliver helped Diggle with Deadshot, all of that.

So it's then that Diggle became responsible for being at least reachable to his partner at any possible time, whether he agrees to help or not. This includes Felicity, as well. Firefighters, Doctors, Cops, they can't just vanish without a heads-up, and most of them can never go completely radio-silent unless it's actually part of their job.

It's one thing if he said that he'd be gone for the night, or week, w/e, but that's covered in the heads-up.
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Hollywood then. Looks like we’re neighbors. I dunno, it seemed like you didn’t understand what the word partner meant, but I guess you were talking in an episode-by-episode de facto basis. “Diggle wasn’t a partner because he wasn’t *treated* like one, didn’t *feel *like one, his feelings weren’t as important as the city and all the collateral damage.” All of those things are true, so if that’s what partner means, then no, Diggle wasn’t really a partner…*this* week…until the end.

But hell, now it sounds like you don’t get the difference between time off and being reachable. Sure, pretty much everyone with a job deserves more time off (and the help of all the other people who used to do that job with them before the downsizing), but people in the business of saving lives know the difference between taking a breather and disappearing. Showers? The phone goes on the sink counter. Sleep? The phone goes by the bed, and the rainforest ambient tracks are kept at a low volume. Broken bones in a car crash? I guess Diggle could relax knowing that he had an actual excuse if one of his other partners is getting killed instead of turning his phone off in pouty fit.

When these people do take time off, it’s with the knowledge that they can be reached if there’s an emergency, or with their partners (or employer, in Oliver's case…right?) knowing that they can’t count on him for an agreed-upon length of time. Like a vacation or a road trip. Not a shower, not a nap, not dinner, not a movie. They get time off, but when there’s an emergency, they pick up their phone. We don’t know that Diggle didn’t say if he’d be gone for the night (I'm sure Felicity would've remembered something like that, but okay), but we do know he didn’t say “Don’t call me because I’ll ignore your calls.” That would’ve been a conversation all of them would remember.

Diggle needed a whambulance, and if Vertigo was still flowing through the city, getting dingy chicks and teenagers hit by cars, they’d both look like tools spending their time avenging Diggle’s brother…for the second time. So Oliver got around to it once the city was relatively safe. To me, that’s the correct order.
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I was born in Hollywood at the old Cedars of Lebanon hospital on Sunset blvd (it's now the Scientology headquarters), spent half my life in Hollywood and the rest in various parts of Los Angeles. My parents were from LA, my grandparents were from California and New York and Chicago, mostly their parents were from the US. My only language is english unless you count pig latin.

I understand the idea that Dig is supposed to be his partner, but in this episode the reality was clear, it was a partnership that only went one way, towards Ollie (until the end when he realized he had been a douche the whole time).

Ollie takes risks, he makes rash decisions to do so at almost any time, he is unpredictable. What was supposed to happen if Diggle was sleeping or in the shower or had got hit by a car? Firefighters, doctors, police, they all get TIME OFF so that they don't get frazzled and lose their edge - and those professions are so demanding that even with time off that often does happen anyway, in reality those high-demand lifesaving professions could use even more time off.

We don't know if Diggle did or didn't say he'd be gone for the night, but we know Ollie has disrespected that in the past so it wouldn't even matter.
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Evil-doers in Starling City just aren't genre savvy yet! I mean, the doctor monologued before trying to overdose Oliver instead of just shooting him. Give it a couple of seasons and the baddies will stop with the sharks with laser beams.
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That doctor guy could have at least been experimenting on people in grotesque ways or something bigger than "I like money and am selling drugs, here, have some drugs superhero!" Remember those '70s comics where the hero would come across a drug dealer and how boring and preachy they were, like a "very special episode" of an '80s sitcom where Punky Brewster learns a valuable lesson? Remember how boring those comic issues were because the villains were just broad stereotypes of drug dealers and the heroes had to walk on eggshells not to steamroll them so that they could pad out an entire issue?
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"um... That was great." (is my Chris Farley-esque ending to that)
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Aw, I really didn't want Tommy to "turn" so quickly. I think we can safely say we've been expecting it, in a Smallville Lex Luthor, or Harry Osborn kinda way, but the greatest thing I've been missing on this character arc is the friendship between Oliver and Tommy. Oliver keeps doing things with *everyone else* that I really wish he had done with Tommy instead. Oliver has a great rapport with Diggle, and even Felicity, and Oliver and Diggle had hang out times at the diner, and hell, Oliver did his whole I don't want to be an island bit to Laurel last ep, all these things are things I wanted to see with Tommy, if Tommy is supposed to be his best friend. Sure, Oliver has intimacy/sharing issues since he came back, but really, beyond the first ep where Tommy suggested they go forth and catch up on things Ollie's been missing out, they don't seem to actually chat, hang out, or do anything together that doesn't actually have something to do with the business of the bar or accidentally running into each other. A good portrayal of their friendship could have made Tommy discovering Oliver's identity a much bigger thing, right up to this point of Tommy distancing himself from Oliver. You don't feel for a breakup if you don't feel they were together in the first place. While yes, Tommy's reactions this ep are things that I too, wanted 2 eps ago, I would also have liked Oliver to attempt opening up to Tommy at any point since the reveal, and I'm puzzled as to why he's so okay that he's losing his best friend.
I did actually like this week's case for a showcase of Arrow Team Effort, despite the predictableness of it, and it was nice to see that the Count may return again. Although after Oliver got drugged up, I would have liked to see that play out a bit, like having an unstable drugged up Oliver loose with his bow and how freaky dangerous that would be, like Batman on Scarecrow's fear toxin. I suppose that's something they might save for a later "meatier" ep.
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Noel Kirkpatrick, you educate me in the course of your review. I see the confidence of bringing out your strong opinions, brave enough to state in no uncertain terms and not afraid to take a strong stand for fear of being challenged. :-)
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Glad you're enjoying them.
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Is it me or is the character Oliver being played by the male version of Kristen Stewart? Unfortunately I am not liking the heavy cheese factor on the grit of this show.

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I really like Amell's performance, but Myles McNutt has noted that Amell doesn't seem to move his arms or hands very much when he acts, and I can't unsee that now. So any time he uses his hands, I think to myself, "Myles must be so happy right now."
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I notice every time he does, because IMHO it looks a bit weird and out of place, so I actually like it better, when he doesn't.
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Thanks, now *I* can't unsee that.
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It's true! I think it's a deliberate choice on Amell's part (part of Oliver being contained, isolated, unable to reach out, and so on in the present day (he moves a bit more in the island stuff)), but it was sort of unnerving when Myles pointed it out.
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Well, at least watching for that might keep me more engaged.
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No, Stephen Amell smiles... albeit creepily and when it's not appropriate.
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While I'm still a little chilly on Oliver's mass killings, I did like the three arrow trick. Without any cool good guy snark he just decides "well, one of these will hit you". I also give credit to the show to so far not rely on improper sideways bow handling. You cannot shoot that way properly IRL, and if they've ever done it, it's not something I can remember, so they get deserved kudos on that.
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Mixed feelings on the episode. While I thought the overall arc of the plot was unbelievably caned. I have never understood why directors do that. Of Course it was the orderly and the Doctor, you basically shouted it within the first 5 minutes of the show.

That annoyance aside it wasn't that bad of an episode. Tommy and Oliver are heading to opposite sides, this episode kind of pushed that toward the forefront. I liked that aspect of it. Not necessarily because they aren't friends. But because the people that they are now aren't the people that would trust each other. Tommy is a lot like Merlin and that is going to start to bleed through a little bit.

No Thea, thank you.

Felicity's quips weren't as great as last episode, but are still hilarious. They are still missing another strong female character because Laurel just isn't it. So here is hoping they will find another sometime soon.
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I'm an Oliver and Felicity shipper... I know, too cheesy, but I love her and her puppy eyes when she looks at him.
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She does have nice eyes. And has that nerdy librarian look down.
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I sort of loved the idea of Diggle and Felicity getting high on Vertigo together in the Arrow Cave.
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The funniest bit was when Diggie mentions "Person of color has successfully purchased your drugs" Felicity immediately comes back with "I offered". She is so easily the favorite character in this show. The actor playing Tommy seems a little out of his depth in this role. They needed someone with some presense and he is just this blah milquetoast speck on the screen. He brings nothing to this tricky role. If you are going to have scenes with larger than life John Barrowman you have to be better. Michael Rosenbaum played a variation of this same role on "Smallville" -- best friend of hero who is destined to be evil because of evil parent and did it so much better. He could share scenes with John Glover chewing scenery and completely hold his own. Donnell just isn't anywhere near that good but HE NEEDS TO BE. Colin Donnell is in scenes with Barrowman and Paul Blackthorne and they completely absorb him to the point where you forget Tommy is even in the scene - he becomes background noise. Hopefully some day he'll catch up to his character.

The island story this week was interesting, too little time spent there. Needed more Slade or more yoga;)
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I don't really agree that Donnell's out of his depth here, esp. as Blackthorne has especially struggled to find a decent footing for his character for most of the season. I think one thing that may color this is that Donnell/Tommy is *reacting* to things much more here than he is being proactive, so it's a tricky balancing act to be in a position of always reacting. But I think he carries himself well.
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Good perspective and criticism. Maybe the writers have made him more reactionary or on the surface defined by other character's perspectives of Tommy than letting his character's actions define the character and that is why the character just kind of fades away in scenes until the beats where he is suppose to react even with Katie Cassidy. Maybe the movement in this episode will start to bring out the real Tommy Merlyn and he's been a mystery for a reason. He's got a lot of work to do. Still think you have to have a little more presense in a scene with John Barrowman but maybe that is what Donnell is going to evolve into - still a very young actor. I hope so, I like this show and your columns. Maybe I just see too much "Lex Luthor" in the character and wonder why they didn't find another Michael Rosenbaum to fill a role this complex and with this much potential for being a great character.
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Why does Tommy have to be so emo? Can't he just go to work, bang Laurel and be a happy man? Anyway, this episode wasn't very good. When Oliver visited the asylum, the big dude was devouring Oli with his eyes, so we all knew that he would end up being a bad guy. Oliver seems to be able to teleport everywhere too. I realized that whenever I'm watching Arrow, I find myself enjoying the Island flashbacks more than the rest of the show. Also, does anyone remember the maid from the first episode? We never saw her again!
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how the hell did oliver get in and out of the count's cell???
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He's been training with Mister Miracle off-screen.
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Definately Mister Miracle, listen very carefully you can just make out a soft ping-ping-ping sound in the background
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Mirror Master, jumping through reflections on small surfaces.
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Also a good bet.
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I completely agree with your review Noel... I too found myself waiting around for the "reveal" of the Doctor and the orderly. It was so obvious I smacked my head and said "doh!" as soon as the orderly started looking shifty during the first scene in the asylum. The Tommy and Oliver dynamics were a little annoying too - the only thing I liked about the outcome of it was Tommy going back to papa-bear! Side thought - laughed so much when there was a close up of John Barrowman's face followed by Colin's. The actors look exactly the same age! Still can't get over the fact that they play father and son! haha!

I love Felicity's little comments so much. She pretty much says what we all think and it's refreshing to watch. Would really love to see a bigger storyline for her to get involved with - she is supposed to be finding Walter right?!

Also, as someone who doesn't usually enjoy the island flashbacks that much, I really liked Shado's input. I am looking forward to more of her.

Finally... No Roy Harper eye candy. Damn!
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Plenty of Roy Harper eye candy coming down the pipeline, I'm sure. I think Haynes has said he's in every episode after this one, but I could be mistaken.
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Best news I've heard all day! HELLO ROY HARPER!
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Ok, 1st impression: I am going to go get myself a bucket of water and start the training!!! ROFL!
Nice ep! Diggle is baaaaack! Island flashbacks were purposeful & interesting!
New character Shado is a riot! It was very hot to see Sloane & Shado training! More please!
Now I didn't have a clue about who Celina Jade (a.k.a. Shado) really is: actress, singer/songwriter, model and martial artist. WOW! Looking for Legendary Assassin right away!!!
Also, I kept wondering all the time if Ollie carries round a nice make up kit... and if is it green too?
Now the look on Merlyn Sr when he hugged his son! Awww Of course what came to my mind (always in the gutter) was that Barrowman must be very happy hugging Colin Donnell! LOL!
------****----- reading your review now Noel ------****-----
Well yes I agree to a point that Tommy's outburst is delayed but well we can always think that he has changed himself, he's been through a lot of growing pains. Probably he was under a bit of a shock to find out about his best friend... and all that. But yes his change in attitude could have been addressed here an there in the previous eps instead of all in one go... To make it more "credible" but again, sometimes people seem unaffected until they blow up...
I feel this ep was well done anyway. I feel that everything worked out, everything came together... I do not know how to put it... Maybe well written, well acted, well directed, well edited, all the ingredients worked? Sometimes the eps just don't work and it is frustrating!
Yes about the orderly. What I thought when I saw "the look" was: ok so the Count is faking it and the orderly is clearly the way the Count is still in contact with his underground organization. I guess that was the point, to make us think that so they could introduce the twist about the shrink?
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Yeah, I think the doctor was supposed to be "the twist" but as twists go, it wasn't much of one due to the telegraphing of the reveal.

Also: I love how you leave your comments.
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Why thank you luv! :-)
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You hit all the right notes in this review Noel. From the bit of investigative work; to telegraphing the asylum reveal with the orderly (that bit was drawn out so obviously I don’t think anyone watching the episode could have missed it); to Tommy’s inconsistency, and Quentin’s improved consistency and evolution as a character.

I agree with your assessment of the investigative work done in this episode. Also used to good effect in Diggle and Felicity tracking deadshot. So when it’s missing elsewhere, as in advancing the overall plot, I can only conclude it’s not because the writers don’t know how to do this. And whatever the reason for the omission, it leaves a gaping sinkhole I find to be one of Arrow’s most frustrating weaknesses. It’s like Walter’s character and Felicity’s desire to find him never existed. But they had time to waste sending us on a wild goose chase about Sarah. When will Felicity’s desire become an ‘unfinished business’ priority similar to Diggle’s? I’m actually surprised they included a reference in this episode to working on the map in the notebook.

The plot reveal telegraphed so early and obviously, and Tommy’s inconsistent (incoherent) behavior, are part and parcel of the poor character and plot development by the writers. A tendency since the first episode to overdo and be overwrought. Overcooking the stew, as when Arrow attempts to deal with thematic content.

Diggle getting in on the fight action and actually killing someone, and Oliver’s three arrow shot were nice touches. But knowing before hand that the orderly and doctor would have to die (They had seen Oliver’s true identity) made those scenes sort of anti-climatic.

For me the more captivating, better written story at this point in the season is the one unfolding on the island. It keeps me wondering what happens next. Something I care less about in the present time stories. Perhaps because there is so little of the island in each episode, that part doesn’t have a chance to get overcooked.
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It's been too long, and my memory's fuzzy, since Walter's abduction and whether or not that's been linked to the notebook or not. I feel like it was, but I could be completely wrong. So the glyph mention feels like a way to tap into that but as I said, it's just been so long that I'm not sure if I even my buy my own idea.

They were going to die, no doubt about it, but as you said they got nice send offs...well, as nice as getting defibrillator paddles to the temples and an arrow to the chest are. I did find it a bit odd that the orderly held his own against Diggle for so long. Contrived to give some action, yes, but seriously, that was one tough orderly.

I've mentioned this before (I think...) but one reason why the island stuff sort of "works better" (though I've become a touch bored by it) is that our exposure to that narrative is less, as you said, but I also think it's for another reason: We only have Oliver's perspective on things there, whereas in the present, we have a more varied perspective on events (Moira-Malcolm(-Tommy), Oliver's group, etc.) so we're *waiting* for these plots to catch up to each other and collide while we're largely in the dark about what could happen on the island, beyond dealing with the missile launcher. There's a tension there that understandably feels stronger because of how the story is doled out.
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Exactly. I agree about the island story. But it's more than one thing building the suspense. More than just the missile launcher. It's everything else too. What will happen with these characters? Will they rescue Yao Fei? What is Fyers's plan and how will they stop it? At this point I'm more interested in Fyers's plan than the undertaking.

And no, Walter's disappearance has become a forgotten/lost detail in the plot. In fact, at the end of last week's episode when they discovered the significance of the glyph, Oliver mentions his father, the dark archer, the glades, as all connected to the undertaking. Nary a mention of Walter's disappearance. Or his mother for that matter.
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Did they say the draw on the string was 150 pounds? Because that's insane and Im pretty sure impossible. Most draws are 50-60 pounds for grown men.

Also, I don't know why, but I found the fact that Smoak was in her PJs while in the AC and no one seems to question it was pretty awesome. At least I thought those were her PJs.

I also completely agree it's strange that Oliver was questioning Tommy. I hate it when characters go momentarily stupid for the sake of plot... Oh Tommy bribed a BUILDING INSPECTOR who's job is to INSPECT THE BUILDING where my SECRET CRIME FIGHTING CAVE just happens to be located. OBVIOUSLY IT"S DRUGS!!! Also, I thought the AC was behind some false wall or something. In Firefly Oliver had to flip a whole bunch of switches to enter the AC. Why would you change that once the club is actually up and running and you have people about?
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The longbows on the Mary Rose had draw weights of up to 185lbs (thank you Wikipedia), so not completely impossible. Although what Shado wasn't long enough to be a proper longbow it would be made out of better materials with greater tensile strengh than a yew tree
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We agree that Oliver is not a hero right?
The characters keep pondering on that darkness of his, he said he is not killing that easily anymore, showing us that he was not that "right" before and he kills quite randomly.
But this week he said: he didn't fail the city, the city failed him. In my eyes this is a very slippery slope and I wonder whether the writers realize this(but I think so). I mean you can probably argue like that for Moira and Tommys dad later on, since they "improve" the city somehow. I like this greyzoning a lot and I hope this gets powerful moments as we proceed.
(This is all probably clear if you read the comics but I haven't and plz no spoilers)
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If I'm remember correctly, and please feel free to correct, the line "the city failed him" was about the drug user's actions and his addiction, and not about Oliver feeling betrayed by Starling City (too early for that sort of an arc anyway, but it'd be interesting for them to explore that after he's established himself a bit more).

And I agree with Gully_Foyle's comment below that it's not about heroes and villains. Oliver operates much more along the lines of how we think about comic book vigilantes than how we tend to conceptualize comic book (super)heroes.
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Yeah it was about the addiction, but that is exactly my point. Up to now, he killed people who did bad things straight away(Helena aside).
But if he thinks that people are not at fault for their bad actions sometimes, the question is, where to draw the line. because right now he is doing it rather randomly. Or as JT_Kirk said, he sucks at justice.
Which again, is not a bad thing. It makes sense he got screwed up on the island, now he has power, so he wants to change things. He needs to learn what justice is first though. Its fine as long as the writers know this.
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After 19 episodes I don't think I'm being too quick in critiquing the poor quality of the writing. Especially when hoped for improvements haven't occurred. And I'm not making a "judgement", I'm critiquing.
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I don't think the show has ever been about heroes vs. villians as such, it's more about justice vs. vengence which is a lot harder to do well.
Malcolm & Helena are in permenent vengence mode.
Laurel & Quentin are all about Justice, even if they approach it from different angles.
Oliver & Diggle are somewhere between the two.

I guess it all depends on how you define 'hero', if it's just about standing up for someone who can't stand up for themselves then is some ways all six of those characters are heroes.
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The problem is that Ollie sucks at "justice", he delivers justice the way villains like Two-Face do, as judge, judy, and executioner (thank you Homer Simpson for that line), and he does it woefully inconsistently - dealing out death far too easily then griping to his cohorts about them dealing out death far too easily and moping about people calling him a murderer. He's trying to be The Punisher-style comic vigilante but is losing the consistency war.
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I agree JT. The writers do not handle this well, instead muddying and confusing the issue, which could have been a good thing for the character - inner conflict and such. But so far it only makes Oliver seem specious and hypocritical.
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Lets not judge the writers so quickly. The Helena arc sucked, but I still hope for some major inner character conflict. I mean with Diggle, Felicity and Thea he gets constantly called on his bullshit. This has the potential to escalate at some point. I hope it does
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"I don't think the show has ever been about heroes vs. villians as such, it's more about justice vs. vengence which is a lot harder to do well."
Totally agree with you @Gully_Foyle
[Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
And death's my destination.
*** Have you read that book?]
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Nope, never. I don't even know who Alfred Bester is.
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Man! (woman? BEING!) go get it!!! You don't know what you are missing!
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So...what my reaction was, well, while the past two weeks seemed to be setting up the rest of this season, this one was kind of setting up next season (I understand that the Deadshot thing is going to carry into next season, and clearly Tommy's journey to real bad guy [I will get to that in a second] will really begin then, and we are clearly in for the long haul on this section of the Island plot unless we get another six month time jump, but I think they think it is funny having Stephen Amell wear the wig and use something that is closer to his actual voice than his Oliver snarl).

So, my theory that Tommy is the real big bad to be worried about. I wasn't actually too shocked by Tommy finally blowing up about the whole thing this episode (though Colin O'Donnell's constant pointing was getting on my nerves...we get you are angry). In a way, it is not terribly dissimilar to how Diggle initially reacted to everything (like he took it in for an episode or two then had to pretend to be Arrow then had some reactions and then settled into his moral compass role - which randomly seems to be working and you see how it is going to have to reverse for a time). But, you see, there is still probably a way to see Malcolm's motivations not terribly dissimilarly from Oliver's initial motivations (to clean up the city, initiated by some tragedy) though the targets are different and Malcolm never had a Diggle or a Felicity (and probably not a Slade or Shado, I am guessing Ra Sul or whoever trained him, not as kindly). Tommy though, his father might see a need to train him and send him away (I have this idea he goes to, my spelling sucks, but the Shangra La type place Malcolm went to and Laurel follows him which hones her abilities as the Black Canary and we have sort of a two part elsewhere storyline next season where we get the Island and wherever they are) but does it out of anger of how he was treated and with only selfish motivations and there is some super villain we are totally forgetting that he becomes.

In the comic is the S in ARGUS actually superhero? And did it seem like Diggle didn't actually work for them, but like in a liason team when he was in the Marines? Or heck, maybe he did work for them right after. I wonder if this actually means we will be dipping into more foreign based comics (than just Yao Fei and whether or not he is actually a member of the the Chinese...crap, I was so proud I had done some homework...)

I must say, I really kind of thought that my shows were all slowly leaking back to be a full schedule...this is weirdly upsetting.
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The CW's scheduling has always been a little spotty, though I feel like they've gotten better about it. I remember that sometimes TVD would air with one new episode and then have 3 weeks off, then another new, and then two more weeks off. Arrow's at least been pretty consistent in its breaks and airing more than just one episode before a break. (It also means I can watch The Americans live for two weeks...after I catch up on the three episodes I'm behind on now. Oy.)

The 'S' is for Superhuman (though most books use the phrase 'meta-human', but ARGUM is a bit silly sounding, I guess). It stands for something different in Arrow, as confirmed by one of the producers (and brought to my attention by a commenter down the thread), and I'm going to update the notes section in a while with that. I think the implication is that he knows Lyla from their time in the army, and Lyla went into government intelligence and he went into the private protection services.
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oops! I hit the wrong button...Sorry for the flag Mr K.
:$
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No worries: Flags don't register in my notifications, and I don't think it'll get deleted. :)
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All the networks have been actually doing that (well, ABC has, we had like three weeks off from Once Upon a Time and Revenge, then maybe two episodes and now like a month off, I think Person of Interest did the same thing, and my DVR messed up and didn't record that episode so it has been forever since I have seen that episode). Well, have fun with the Americans, it has been holy crap for the past three episodes.
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Steve Aoki two episodes ago and Flux Pavillion now. We're seeing some really cool DJ cameos at Verdant. :)
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Ohh, that's who it was. Good to know. I was happy at first that it seemed like they'd have DJ's every week, but last week just had a 15-yr old trance song playing. Not a big deal, but I'd like a cameo each week. They shouldn't need much convincing.
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By the end of the season EVERYONE in Starling City will know who the Vigilante is at the rate Oliver's going!
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When you really think about it not that many people actually know (who are still alive). There really is only Diggs, Smoak and Tommy. "Villains" also don't really count because some of them will always end up finding out who the hero is because SUSPENSE (duh duh duh)!!! In the comics Im pretty sure Count Vertigo knew who GA was in realize life as well.
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Not to mention, that in the comics before the recent reboot, Ollie's identity WAS public. I forget how long ago they revealed it but they did.
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It went in and out of fashion for Oliver to operate with or without an identity. As was pointed out a few times, it was pretty hard to protect a secret identity when he sported such a distinguished goatee. ...Maybe if he had worn glasses.
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This show isn't without its faults, but you can tell they care about what they're doing when Oliver doesn't say "how about three?" in response to the doctor's taunt. They lingered on the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves pose a bit long, though.
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Your are a vigilante and you don't want anyone to find who you are to protect your family and your team but you carry a phone with first and last name of one support group mate....that was smart.
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I much prefer conflicts between the major characters as it ensures character development & depth than the usual routine of people being cool with everything around them. Tommy's anger is justified considering the kind of cover he provides for Oliver just to be doubted for the slightest of issues. Its good that the island stuff is reaching its main goal of Oliver's Archery lessons rather than the unnecessary missions in previous episodes.
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Me, too! The execution was just off for me.
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Didn't Oliver explain to Tommy once already that he has trouble trusting people now though?
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Shado ir HOTTTT....
I would like another island episode. Maybe beucause there isn't any side action, it's very focused.
Loved how Seth Gabel played crazy Count Vertigo, and how Olliver descriped his condition to Diggle with his hands and cu-cuu sounds.

Hartley was perfect comic book Green Arrow, but Amell is perfect for this Arrow.
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Shado doing Yoga was the best part of the episode.
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Dear Noel Kirkpatrik,
I really like your review of Arrow, but as an English teacher I have to take you to task for your misuse of conjunctions. Please never begin your sentences with And or But though they are conjunctions used to connect two complete sentences. Anytime you want to use And insert Also and for But insert However. Sorry for being nitpicky, but while trying to teach students how to write literary analysis, I use these types of reviews to show how to deconstructs storylines. It's a great way to connect to the students and then they ask how come it's okay for these reviews to have bad grammar =)
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So long as we're pointing out errors and taking people to task, you misspelled my last name and you left off a period at the end of your comment. ;)

Those errors hardly matters though as the content of your comment is clear enough. You are correct that per standard rules of grammar, the post is a mess.

What would you have your students do when they read Emerson? Discount his essays on love and self-reliance simply because he was grammatically incorrect by using conjunctions at the start of his sentences? What about the different style manual rules regarding the use of the serial comma? Are students taught that the AP is "wrong" in its usage, or that it's just an acceptable form depending on that publication's guidelines? This isn't even to add in discussions about the ideological underpinnings of grammar, and how it can be used to discount or marginalize voices, or to normalize those voices by bringing them into line with a grammar hegemony.

My arguments above are specious. I'm not Emerson. TV.com's style guide isn't written in stone (not to my knowledge). My writing and voice are not marginalized in any way, shape, or form by the rules of grammar.

My use of conjunctions is a stylistic one, and until my editor tells me to knock it off, I'll likely keep doing it. I pass along my apologies to your students for being a bad example.
More +
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I didn't want to get too technical and cite numerous literary authors or authorities on grammar, else my riff below might have been as long as yours. Suffice it to say Noel, you are one hundred percent correct.
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Surely you meant to write :

It's a great way to connect to the students and then they ask "How come it's okay for these reviews to have bad grammar?"
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Hi monname91, as a writer one of the first things I learned is there is no such thing as "never", especially where grammar is concerned. Yes, there are grammatical rules and conventions, a foundation one must know and understand before one can effectively contravene them. And where one type of writing, an article or essay or report for example, may need to adhere more closely to these rules, another type of wrting, telling a story for example, may require a tone, a pace, a 'voice', which might find expression outside of them. II you are teaching creative writing to your students, you may want to show them how to recognise effective ways of using grammar beyond what is considered "good" or "bad".
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I'm sorry, but I have to jump in here. Bad grammar is bad grammar. Contravening grammatical rules and conventions does not 'add' value to any form of writing. It detracts from it.
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You would have fun with Tim's reviews.
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It also seemed kind of odd that initially Oliver and Tommy were acting like their pre-island party-boy, "Cool, we have women's underwear in our lost & found" types. It seemed at odds with both the previous episode and how things fell apart in this episode.
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I think that since things have been rocky between them in the last couple episodes, this might have been Oliver and Tommy trying to keep the peace. When they were best friends and really close this is how they acted around each other. Now though, they truly dont know how to act around each other. Especially Tommy, as shown by his actions this episode.
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See the note on the episode page, but Guggenheim said that ARGUS here doesn't stand for what it does in the comics, since they have a no-superpowers rule for Arrow.
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Whatever it stands for, basically it's still DC's version of SHIELD
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I'll add that into the notes a little bit later today.
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It's already there...
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I meant the notes on the post here. ;)
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Oh, I don't feel corrected at all! I was glad for the notice about it because I had completely missed that tweet from Guggenheim.
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Didn't mean to correct you or anything. I didn't know it either until I did some digging last night after the episode aired and I had to write the Note-Note for the episode page.
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Ah, okey doke.
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Maybe its just me, but since the Batman parallels are so strong to begin with I'm kind of thinking that they will have the Count fill the Joker role in the mythology. I've been really enjoying the show in general and I like this take on Count Vertigo, so I'm fine with this.
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They sure seemed to hit the fact that Vertigo pills were green and purple: the Joker's colors.
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