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Arrow S02E11: "Blind Spot"

Last week, I talked about how Laurel's been an issue for Arrow due to her personal plot-hopping at the start of Season 2 and then her subsequent disappearance from the narrative. So her return to the fold in "Blast Radius"—and with a connection to the season's overarching plot, to boot—was cause for celebration. This week marked the apparent conclusion of her participation in things, but it's also probably for the best, as Arrow essentially hit the restart button on the character.

It's a good reset button, though. Quentin and Oliver have both lost faith in Laurel, and Adam fired her. Even her Carrie Mathison-esque theory about Sebastian being a criminal mastermind ended up in tatters. She has nothing left but her guilt, her sense of wrongness, and her drug problem. When a character hits rock bottom like this, it's a prime opportunity to rebuild them, to create something that's hopefully better than whatever was there before. 

Of course, this seemed to be Arrow's plan all along. The utter destruction of Laurel's world was intended to put on her a new, and perhaps more heroic, path, the same way the island broke down Oliver and Sara. Arrow' has always emphasized its love for an origin story by keeping the island plot going, and in that vein, it wouldn't have made much sense for Laurel to just become a costumed do-gooder without first giving her a real reason and drive to be one.


The journey hasn't been particularly well-managed, though. There's a clear sense that everything Laurel's gone through this season, from hunting down the vigilante to assuming the guilt for Tommy's death to the drugs, has been building to this episode. Since Laurel has largely felt like a background character in spite of all those things, the arc didn't have the dramatic oomph it probably should have had. The narrative threads were all there, but it was just oh so very difficult to care since we never really got to spend time with Laurel dealing with any of it. Keeping her and her plots on the periphery likely served the show as a whole more, but it didn't do the character any favors.

So "Blind Spot" ended up feeling like a bit of catch-up on everyone's part, as it rushed to pay off all of the Laurel plots that in turn would also further/delay the season's larger story in Oliver's unknowing hunt for Blood by making everyone think that the man in the skull mask is dead (RIP Officer Daily). I don't know that I actually care more about Laurel than I did before—though Katie Cassidy did manage to wring out some sympathy for the character in Laurel's distraught conversation with Quentin—but I'm at least more interested in what the show does with her going forward. You know, provided she doesn't just exist on the edge of the show to the degree that she has in the past. Maybe she can become Verdant's in-house counsel!


Then again, the mess that is now Laurel's life may just be a happy accident for Slade and whatever he has in store for Oliver. While Slade's plans for Oliver are still super vague beyond the whole "destroy everything he possibly cares for" aspect, we do now know that Sebastian getting close to Laurel is part of it, though to what end isn't clear right now. At least the events of the episode provided Slade and Sebastian a way to throw Oliver off their trail and provide a breaking of the trust between Oliver and Laurel. It wasn't the goal, but they did get the desired outcome, even if Sebastian is now on very thin ice as Slade's happy to get into an updated version of his old Deathstroke outfit from the island and kill some mooks to make a point.

The idea of breaking bonds of trust appeals to me since it offers some potential plot symmetry going forward, provided Island Slade finds out about what Oliver did that resulted in Shado's death. Slowly isolating Oliver from those he cares about and those who support him would be a fine form of revenge from a jilted ex-friend, leaving him emotionally and logistically vulnerable for a final confrontation. Oliver's already off his game a little bit because of the mirakuru, but now that he thinks it's all taken care of, that's a very dangerous sense of security for Slade to exploit.

Speaking of the mirakuru, Roy's all pumped up and ready to beat up scumbags now! I do like how Arrow is pacing itself with the Roy storyline, which presumably will reach a new point next week as Oliver starts to train Roy beyond parkour and beating prostitute-killers nearly to death. It serves as a nice counterpoint to Laurel's many plots that lingered about without much advancement. The show's choosing not dwell on Roy having lots of "Whoa, dude, look how hard I can punch things!" moments and instead is moving it along at a reasonable pace. Sure, I'm sort of rolling my eyes that Thea's in the dark still -- Sin didn't explain things to her? It seemed like she was about to at the hospital! -- but like Laurel, Thea's not always privy to the bigger going-ons.

That Roy's powers are moving right along while Laurel sort of languished for half a season, does demonstrate the show's trouble in managing the competing impulses of personal melodrama and superhero action. Arrow's gotten loads better at balancing those elements on an episode-to-episode basis, but that it is putting Roy in a fast lane while Laurel struggled to find an on-ramp demonstrates its priorities, and probably where its strengths are. There's nothing wrong with this as it's nice to see the show figuring itself out; it's just a matter of learning from those strengths and weaknesses, and using that knowledge to continue to hit new highs, as Arrow has done very well this season.



FROM THE QUIVER

– I want Glen Winter to direct all of Arrow's episodes. He doesn't settle for easy shot composition or blocking (I loved the scene with Sebastian and his mother), and he even gives scenes like Laurel explaining her visit to St. Walker's to Adam a bit of life, simply by having the actors, and the camera, move around. Little bits of visual flair like that help keep scenes moving, even when they're just serving up exposition and internal plot-recapping.

– Starling City can't be bothered to organize its archives, but boy howdy, when they need cops at Archive No. 7, they show up double-quick and fully armed. I mean, a whole unit arrived in a blink of an eye, and the security guards hadn't even mentioned on-screen that they had the vigilante in the archives—just that they needed some officers. I can only assume that the truth about the Kennedy assassination is somewhere in that mess.

– Can I just tell you how much I love that Thea and Sin are friends, that they seem to genuinely like one another ("You are not touching the hair, Queen."), and there isn't any "Are you trying to steal my boyfriend?" nonsense. It's soooooooooooooooooo nice.

– I got a nice chuckle out of Oliver interrogating a super-snitch-y looking criminal with the use of a Bluetooth polygraph and asking what color his shoes were. Nice dash of humor.


What did you think of "Blind Spot"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/25/2016

Season 4 : Episode 23

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There is only one way to solve Laurel problem and it is very easy.
Make her evil and angry. Then she will be likeable. Otherwise, writers are fighting lost battle. No one likes her, she's the worst character. She and Oliver have zero chemistry. Actress plays bitchy roles perfectly. With this dark and down spirale of hers you have win-win situation. Just as long the writers don't force us to like her, don't make everyone else stupid so that she could be right and don't make us feel sorry for her that she is using drugs.
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I also like the Sin-Thea friendship. I am also hoping something happens to Thea that makes her began wearing tights. Remember, she is Malcolm's daughter, she has mad aiming skills and Oliver call her Speedy (Roy is going all Red Hood).
And I am with Laurel haters. I want her off the show, In this episode I am tired : she spoke with the woman who conveniently died later, she found the archives have been stolen and she seriously thinks she made a mistake and Blood was inocent? And Oliver thinks the same! That makes no sense for me.
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Personally, I've got a gut feeling that Roy will go Arsenal before or around the season finale--complete with a particular event surrounding it (which I'll avoid mentioning fully to prevent spoilers), considering Deadshot and Deathstroke have followed the DCU pattern in that regard.

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All their foibles with Laurel aside, the writers can get back in my good graces simply by letting Manu Bennett say "vigiLAHNte" at least once per ep. Sounds fifty times cooler when he says it.

And Manu's agent seriously should book him as the next spokesman for Ginsu cutlery. :)

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They need to get rid of Roy and Laurel so we can spend more time with the badass that is Manu Bennett. Him in the Deathstroke costume may be the best costume this show has given us. I think the Laurel stuff is falling on the actress. This season has given her a lot of material to work with and she just isn't carrying the material to a higher lever to elicit sympathy for the character. She is just not as compelling an actress to watch as Caity Lotz (nor does she have the on screen chemistry with Amell that Lotz has - Just take the 'Arrow' Laurel bits from last night and compare them to the flashbacks with Sarah - you wonder why Laurel was ever his first choice. I'm thinking it might do the show some good to kill off Laurel and just let Lotz keep the costume. First off - there is no way Katie Cassidy is ever going to look as good as Lotz does in the Black Canary getup. I think Laurel would be a character we should be interested in if Keith Partridge's daughter could just breathe some life into her. We should be feeling something for this character, especially at her lowest point, but its just too hard to give a sh!t about Laurel - and especially in this episode, it shouldn't have been.

My favorite assessment of the situation came from Diggle though. He was sooooo over Laurel that entire episode.
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I'm not ready to blame the actress. Apparently, she was very good in previous shows. Just think of what the writers have forced on that character. She's an angry, mistrustful person who pushes away everyone who loves her: Ollie, Tommy, Dad. Whenever she does reach out to one of these guys, it's for selfish reasons.

They've just written her as a very unsympathetic character. I blame the writers and director for the mess that is Laurel.
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Lots of peeps didn't like the costume. Many said Deathstroke looks like Casey Jones from TMNT. I myself thought it looked cool but what do I know?
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Nah, is closer to Wild Dog :)

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I would love if Slade makes Oliver choose between Laurel and Felicity in the season finale. The same way Oliver had to choose between Sarah and Shado.
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Laurel needs to go. She is holding back the show and the writers really don't know what to do with her. The last thing I want is to see her stay and join the team as the black canary. I'm sure the writers know that the majority of fans dislike Laurel and if they are smart they will kill her off in the season finale. Laurel also holds Oliver back from growing as a character and he really needs to put her behind him. Laurel needs to go.
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I think the main reason so many of us have a hard time LIKING Laurel is because she's only ever pushed people away. She's fairly cold. At various times, she's pushed away Ollie, Tommy, her Dad. And, when she does reach out to them, it's more for selfish reasons than not.

So, she's written in a way that's hard to like.

I also agree with several other commenters that the writers never seemed to decide just what to do with her.
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I really like Arrow and always have. A very good action series. But I hate, hate Laurel. Never could stomach her. Hope she goes into rehab and we don't hear from her for a while. I do love Sin, she was fantastic in The Killing. Just want to see more of cutie pie Roy. Oh and Thea is a air head.
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While majority hate Laurel...I despise Thea. Ugh...abhor, is more like it. But I will say this: unlike Laurel, she has a story that has potential.
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I like the show. Its a average show as I call it!!
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I personally love to see Laurel suffer and her character does NOT inspire any sympathy in me. I still find it so contrived that she figured out this about Blood and Oliver, the most untrusting is blindly endorsing Blood. They're trying too hard to make her relevant. Why do we need her on the show at all? Both Sara and Felicity are more interesting. Heck, even Helena was more compelling. Send her on a LONG retreat to rehab and no one will miss her!
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Deathstroke's scene was the best part of this episode. His new look his sick!!
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Maybe I have missed something, but is there any reason that Oliver could not also have been dosed with Mirakuru at some point in time, thus lending an additional level of credence to his training of Roy and his somewhat instantaneous and consistently solid level of vigilante-ism?
I also like the Thea/Sin relationship and got a chuckle as well from the Bluetooth-polygraph.
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I was considering the same possibility. Maybe a smaller dose. Or, a modified one. It could help explain his insane abilities.
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Wouldn't he be stronger then?
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And his healing powers are not the same as Roy's. (e.g. when his mom shot him, or when he was tortured by Malcolm...)
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He's pretty dang strong as it is.
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Then why is he laying on his back more than I can stomach it? Could use some more strength.. :/
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Hah! Funny. My guess is that the audience gets bored if they never have to worry about the hero losing.
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poor laurel, I hope she gets a better storyline but I don't want her to be black canary
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Her entire story is to become the Black Canary. Unfortunately that has be ridiculously botched, so I have no clue how they will work it out.
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I am sorry to say this and I know it goes against the show and the characters but I am ready to hand Laurel her walking papers. Her character is not really needed and I think the show would be greatly improved if she disappeared all together.
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I COMPLETELY agree!
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I liked this episode it was good the references to the red arrow being Roy the little hint dropped was good. From where the show is taking laurel I can't see her developing anytime soon into black canary she is too broken right now and I just hope that they just quick fix her, but I have faith they won't. I always enjoy the flashbacks they are always great. How cool was slades costume it was great I was very impressed. Overall a steady episode for a fantastic season.
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Please, please someone tell me they picked up of the fact that the loony bin was named in reference to a DC character. Saint Walker, the 1st of the Blue Lanterns.
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joshmaverikcs caught it last week. Credit where it's due and all that.
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I have one manor complaint, how did Oliver get knocked out w/ one hit out of the blue, way out of character
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He wasn't expecting it and as pointed out laurel is his blind spot, his brain goes stupid when he's with her.
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Well never before
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This episode had so many melodramatic and just plain dippy moments that I was wondering if it was time to bring Price Peterson in to give it a photo recap - there was an abundance of moments in this episode that could have benefited from an on-screen text saying "OK TOTES BYE", "LOLWUT" and so forth.

As for resetting Laurel, I am not ready to buy that she's so broken down that the rebuilding will include "become a crime fighter". Her path right now seems to be "become a stripper" or at best "become a forgotten dental hygienist." There is certainly nothing heroic from her at this point. And this "dad's pills" thing, I get that she's willing to come clean but with Officer Daley being revealed as a criminal why would that evidence he uncovered hold any weight at all? Her father walks out on her, despite his own recent lapses where she stood by him, and then just kinda shrugs and takes her back without word afterwards. Ultimately, Laurel feels like a character in need of importance, her story is almost melodrama even in the way it's handled by the producers, letting her become the show's wallpaper.

Oh man, Felicity totally sucked in this episode, the writers really need to step up their game writing stuff where she doesn't succeed, this was laughably bad.

The last thing I'll say is HOLY SHIT did this episode's fight choregraphy look horrible... actually, the episode's fight cinematography was so bad I couldn't say that much about the choreography. This episode was just terribly executed most of the time during action, and the odd thing was it had a few really good shots peppered in between.
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Please no. Please, please please no. More Laurel and more Roy is not what this show needs. Please don't take the worst characters that you have and give them more prominent positions in this show. It would be better if you just killed them off. Laurel is not interesting, has never been interesting, will never be interesting. EVER. Her pill popping problem isn't interesting, I would have to care about the character in order for it to mean anything and I struggle to see how any viewer can care about her character. Bring back Sarah.

Roy as hard as it is to conceive is worse than Laurel. The actor has been there over a season. He has presumably been in other stuff. You would think that he would be able to convey emotion with his face. Or have a personality. I am not sure if it is him as an actor or just the poorly written character that has no personality, but if he is going to be Speedy, and more importantly he is going to have superpowers this is a problem. I can't believe someone sat there and said yes, please, lets put him in this show. And again I don't care about the character, and find it curious that anyone could. I like Sinn over him.

The show seemingly is losing focus and concentrating on the wrong people. Bring back Sarah as the Black Canary. Have Oliver and the gang fight with Slade. Bring in some more people and kill off the dead weight. Laurel and Roy are the dead weight of this show. I know they have 23 episodes to fill and in order to do that they need to flush out the other characters, but they need to bring in other character and do away with the ones that simply are not working.
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"if he is going to be Speedy" - If Roy wants to wear Thea clothes that's really nobody else's business.

If they are going to borrow a nom de guerre from the comics, then Red Hood seems a more likely choice at this point. Red Arrow doesn't fit as Roy hasn't picked up a bow and Arsenal always seemed strange even when he was carrying more firepower than US Army
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And he is wearing red hoods. Speaking of that. Sin and him planned to go attacking a bad guy without any mask or anything, not even ridiculous make up? Or even putting on the red hood? Completely silly.
I think he is going to learn to use the bow with Oliver's tutelage, thus becoming Red Arrow.
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I agree. I felt that this episode was done to cater to Laurel making everything else incoherent and absolutely trite. I agree about Felicity...she is better than this and we have seen her do better. Again, the idea was to make Laurel shine at the risk of the other characters. Everyone seemed a bit watered down so the focus was on Laurel. It was a bad move.
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totally agree
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*sigh*
The solution would have been to get Laurel killed. They had the perfect opportunity!

I don't see where she could be getting. Oliver and Sara honed their skills five years on that island (and Sara on that boat and who knows where else). Laurel is in no condition (neither mentally, nor physically) to become anything like her sister. I think, she should go for good. Sara is Canary and should come and visit on a regular basis.

Laurel is one of the most annoying characters on TV, right now.
Give me more Felicity, Diggle, Roy, Sin or even Thea, but please no more mopey Laurel!

And I'm slightly annoyed with Slade, too. His revenge plan makes no sense for me. It wasn't Oliver's fault that Shado got killed. Ivo would have killed her, anyway. Slade should take the blame for not waking up sooner from his mirakuru shot. So it's ultimately his fault (kind of reminds me of Laurel's twisted idea that Oliver killed Thommy).

I'm not too happy that we got to see Slade as the one pulling the strings. I'd preferred it if we only saw him interacting with Blood in his crazy suit.
Perhaps we'll get a better explanation as why Slade completely turned to the dark side and wants to destroy his former best friend and island protégé.
Hopefully, Roy will be some help in that department, after he's gone through some training with Arrow.

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Spot on re: Laurel and Sara (though I still have a hard time accepting that Sara could have gotten THAT good from her 5 years. Good, yes, but not THAT good.

As for Slade, you gotta remember that the miracu shot he got addled his brain. It's easy to see how he could blame Oliver for Shado's death. Also, it appears Oliver shot Slade through the eye, thinking he'd killed him (mentioned off-hand in a previous episode during a conversation with Blood). That might make him hunger for a bit of revenge, yes? Doesn't matter that Oliver likely did it in self-defense. Slade is not right in the head.
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That's the problem that I have. If Slade is not right in the head, how is it possible for him to act like a criminal mastermind? It's not likely that the drug makes a psychopath out of everyone, that would make no (scientific) sense. I know, I shouldn't think too hard about it (and not from a professional point of view), but this bothers me a little. As far as I know, the Mirakuru enhances strength, durability, stamina and speed, but it also comes with a regenerative healing factor. That would mean that even brain cells would regenerate after a trauma. It would imply possible memory loss, but the messed up part of the brain should heal. As Oliver is trying to train Roy, he must know (or believe) that the effects of the drug are controllable, or else he'd better shoot the boy with an arrow right away. Well, it's just a little mind game for me, poking around a possible plot hole. It's nothing, that I can't accept in a fictional setting. And we might get an explanation for everything moving along in season 2. (And Laurel is the far bigger problem and no fun there, because I don't want any more explanations concerning her, I just want her gone),
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Well, you're just making up what YOU think the drug would/should do. Within this universe, the writers have been pretty consistent in presenting what THEY think the drug does.

It's perfectly plausible for the drug to promote quick healing while still causing emotional instability, paranoia, and rage. Nothing says a healing drug can't have emotional side effects.

And, there are no rules that say a person can't be emotionally unstable while still being lucid and have the ability to think up and implement brilliant plans.

My rule for magic, sci fi, and super hero stories is that they stay true to whatever rules they've created in their universe. I'll suspend most any logical belief if they offer an explanation that's even remotely plausible as long as they stay true to it.
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I think you guys forget one essential aspect . So far the flashblack got the ball and plot rolling on the island way further than what we thought was just a case of some pretty playboy trapped on an island with mercenaries and being trained for his destiny .

So far , from the flashes , Slade is still oliver's friend and doesnt know about him hesitating between Shado and Sarah .

And we simply dont know yet , which events will transpire that will makes him a sworn enemy of Oliver . I doubt it would just be a drug crazed Slade finding out about Shado being killed over Sarah , something else WILL happens on the island
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You see, mental instability, paranoia and rage do not promote controlled behavior. On the contrary, they would cause big issues with impulse control as Slade has shown on the island when attacking Oliver and almost choking him to death. That's the drug speaking. But Slade clearly isn't in this kind of state anymore. He's controlled, he doesn't act on impulse and he's collected to the point, that he can plan an intricate revenge scheme.

To me, Slade doesn't seem to be effected by the Mirakuru anymore (at least not mentally). Therefore, his ill feelings toward Oliver are kind of a lame excuse for that kind of vendetta. Even if Oliver tried to kill him, Slade tried that first. He might have been a rough guy and a badass, but that doesn't explain the amount of hatred he feels. At least not to me. Shado and Slade never were a couple, she was with Oliver almost from the start (and wasn't Slade grieving his wife or something?). Slade and Shado became closer when left alone and it could have developed into something deeper, but the poor girl got killed before having the opportunity to choose between Oliver and Slade.

But we still don't know what really happened between Oliver and Slade the rest of the time on the island, so there's a possibility, that I'll get a more satisfying explanation later on.

It's just, that I have observed side effects like the ones the Mirakuru is known to cause and if they happen over a long period of time, they mostly leave the people weakened and hollowed out. And yeah, I know, it's just a superhero show, albeit a really good one, so I raise my expectations concerning explanations and background story. I'm still quite satisfied with Slade's role as the mystery opponent of this season. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I just love to discuss this kind of things to pieces for the fun of it. :)

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Also, there's a difference between Roy and Slade. Slade is angry and distraught about Shado, hurt that she chose Oliver, and blames Oliver for her death and for trying to kill Slade. So, the negative effects of Miracu could easily cause a uncontrolled actions and reactions when it comes to Ollie. AND, Slade wasn't really all that nice of a guy BEFORE the Miracu.

Whereas Roy is a good guy, at heart. Even when a thief, it was generally justified. And, he very quickly turned his efforts into helping people. And, he practically worships the Arrow.

So, it's reasonable for Ollie to believe he can train Roy. Also, I'm pretty sure he believes Slade is dead.
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I think I would have to agree with you. I didn't want Laurel gone initially. However, I feel at the risk of the watered down personalities found in Oliver, Dig, and Felicity this ep. I think it would be too dangerous to keep her for while other characters suffer. This is why supernatural is so successful. They have a very small cast with a lot of guest stars. They should really keep it the trio and have a ton of guest stars. Laurel is not adding anything, but a bit more sociopathic tendancies. The shooting of officer Daly was a bit OTT.
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Another good episode of Arrow. I liked it much better this season because there are many stories going on and I am excited enough to want to watch the next episode.
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I really liked this episode, I really did, but I groaned the second Laurel wanted to take the mask off of the Dailey because I knew then that it wasn't Sebastian. I didn't expect that storyline to end this episode, I didn't, but it just makes it seem that the characters will buy anything. I would've liked atleast one of them to still have doubts about Blood. His mother still died, his father still died. A lot of cause for suspicion is still there, and Oliver should know better than anyone that thinking the culprit is "dead" is rarely right.
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Arrow just keeps on getting better. It's starting to really find what is working and what isn't. My main complaint at this point is that they really need to bring Thea in on some of this. She is obviously not stupid and it will only be a matter of time before she decides to find out on her own which will probably be way more dangerous for her. Come on Roy! Don't get me wrong, I feel super bad for him, but don't you think your girlfriend would be some help with keeping you calm and in check?!
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Arrow really sucks at writing female characters period. They just don't know what they want to do with them so they largely just stay in the background until it's convenient (ie. Laurel, Thea, Moira, Season 1 Felicity). The only reason Felicity gets as much screentime as she does now is the show needs its human plot hole solver. This is a guy show written by dudes who only seem to be comfortable writing for men. I still think the biggest mistake they made with Laurel's character was shipping her off with Tommy so early in the series and cutting her off from Oliver. It just made it so much harder to develop her character beyond that.
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I agree, but I think most women in the show can be reasonably saved (they killed my favorite, Shado!). Laurel is just a mess they need to get rid off.
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Laurel is the only poorly written character. All the other characters are written with potential. She just remains stagnant.
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This show has quite a lot of female writers, actually...

And I think Sara is one of the most well rounded characters on the show, and she's only been around for, what, 13 episodes? She's so awesome! I love her to death. I won't argue against Laurel, though. I think they always just weren't sure what to do with her, but to be perfectly honest - I liked Laurel the most when she was with Tommy. Being with Tommy made her tolerable. Then, he died, and she lost the foothold she had in the show. I think the best thing they ever did for the character was pair her with Tommy, and the worst thing they did was get rid of him.

But, to be fair, Quentin was an annoying bastard in season 1, Roy is touch and go as a character, and Blood feels a little on the cartoony side. So, it's not like the women are the only place they have character issues.
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And I think a lot of fans still blame her for Tommy's death. Of course, it was his decision to go after her, but the setup could have been better. It felt a little like he died because she was too stupid to live. All I could think at the time was, "WTH is she doing in the Glades collecting paperwork when the whole place is being evacuated?" But I guess they did that in purpose so she'd blame herself if they always had this storyline in mind. The problem is that I never felt that sorry for her as a result.
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Staff
Your "guy show written by dudes" would hold water except they've had scripts written or co-written by 7 women over the course of the series so far, including this episode, which was written by TWO: Wendy Mericle and Beth Schwartz.
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Being written by females or not is irrelevant. There are male writers who nail women very well. These writers are missing with most of the women characters, if doesn't matter if they are male or female.
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I've often wondered how much scope individual episode writers have. Presumably, the arc is pretty much already written, as are how main/recurring characters are likely to speak and act.
So, does it really make that much difference who writes a particular episode, as far as the characters are concerned?
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The writers do make a huge difference, so in "Enemy of the State" the big season long plot points are about introducing Waller & Anatoli and then breaking Deadshot & Harbinger out of jail, that gives the writers lots of room to play around with who does what and when.

Also there is a difference between what characters say and how they say it. So the writers that get the credit might have come up with a plot point where Felicity tells Oliver that there is a break in somewhere, but it might be someone else who tweaks the script so that the 'what' is delivered in a more Felicity like way.
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On most shows, the overall arc is often broken down by milestones: "We need to hit this by that point, and then that by this episode" but all that that can be adjusted and tweaked, with writers still pitching core story ideas. It's not like every episode is outlined at the start of the season.
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Is still has to be a man calling the shots, though, because no self-respecting woman would take Oliver back after what he did to Laurel. That's when they lost all the female viewers. They wrote her character too fickle. No coming back from that. A guy viewer would not focus on that. All the females I know who watch the show can't see past that. I know I can't.
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Well, she thought he was dead after what he did. That punishment did not fit the "crime" for her. But she still hated him, when she found out that he was alive and thought her sister was still dead. But when she saw his torture marks she even said to him that this is not what she wanted or something like that. She even felt sorry for him. And he is really sorry for everything and she notices that he still has feelings for her. And she never got closure, too. So I do not think, that it is NOT so off (for her character) that she had another thing with him.
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"That's when they lost all the female viewers."
"All the females I know who watch the show"
Make your mind up.
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I think Amy meant they lost the female viewers as Laurel supporters, not that they don't actually watch the show.
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Also... w t h was with that archive room. Did the props/settings guys just decide to re-use one of the Queen Manor rooms or something?

When the camera panned out towards the beginning you see a really nice room with a really nice wall. And shelves kind of just littered around. Did they say Umm, we forgot to book a pre-fab room that would pass for old archives... so let's just re-use one of our pretty sets and pretend it's dank

Seriously, an old archive room is typically dark and dank. Or at least not a lush ballroom.
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So that was Slade's mask in the opening of the pilot, given that he now wears a more durable version. I thought so, especially after the "drive an arrow through his eye" comment from "Three Ghosts", but that pretty much seals it. (And the April action figure could be either Billy or Island Slade, by extension.) I think it's safe to assume the next time we see Island Slade, he'll be in full regalia, given the way the scene ended with Ollie and Sara.

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This episode had quite a bit of plot holes that just aren't cutting it for me. However, I did like the friendship/easy going relationship of Sin and Thea. I want to see more of them interacting and more of their own subplots. I wanna see more friendships/outside relationships of Felicity, Diggle, Thea, Sin etc. It makes the characters more rounded. I wish the show included more scenes/information of the characters lives outside QC or the Arrow Cave. What happened to Laurel's friend Joanna? It'll be interesting to see where she goes from now when she needs some support.
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Good episode, and I like the inclusion of Laurel in this episode. I know a lot of people don't like her character, but I think she could be more likeable if the showrunners actually included her in the things that are going on. For the most part they have shoved her to the background since they are no longer pushing the relationship between her and Oliver. She could be a REALLY strong character if they tried to build her up more and create some kind of development (popping pills is not character development). I liked that she was pushing both Oliver and the DA to look into Sebastian Blood's past - though neither believed her - and now she has the drug addiction and arrest hanging over her. Hopefully she can use this as an opportunity to branch off on her own and prove everyone wrong. I do find it kind of hard to believe that Oliver would just toss her theories to the side simply because of her arrest and addiction. EVERYTHING she was saying to him about Blood (his father's suspicious death, the missing file, his mother being locked in an institution, his mother dying right after he leaves her, etc.) was reason enough to at least think she may be on to something.

I'm not much of a Roy fan, but this episode definitely pushed me in that direction. I like the relationship between him, Syn and Thea. Though I wish he would tell Thea what is going on. Can't wait to see him team up with Arrow next week. Also more Diggle, they just have him there as a voice of reason when we KNOW he can go in and kick some ass. DO NOT kill Diggle showrunners, I love the relationship between him, Oliver and Felicity.
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What I can’t believe is Olivers line to Felicity and Diggle about how he can’t believe how Laurel had him convinced that Blood was the bad guy.

Hello, did he forget all that info on Blood? His dad’s murder file was missing, his aunts/mom murder, missing guy after his blood drive, and attack guy who stabbed Oli with a syringe was a friend he called a lot. All that’s just forgotten at the end of the episode.

That cop with Bloods mask had NO reason to kidnap/murder Laurel or in the first place ransack her place. She wasn’t going after him why can’t Oli and the gang see that. I thought they were smart.

BTW: To much Laurel this episode, and her terrible fake tears made me mute her more than not.
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I had to agree. KC's acting is a bit below par to be honest. Everything from her seemed contrived and silly.
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Except the aunt/mom had a heart attack. They even said she was in the final stages of heart disease, so there may not be any proof. This episode was full of plot holes, but I bought that part.
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The "aunts" heart attack might be circumstantial, Sebastian's visit to her right after she told Laurel about him killing the father might have been circumstantial, the father's file going missing might have been circumstantial...but put it all together and you have more than enough questions raised to warrant further investigation.
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I agree that Team Arrow should be a tad more suspicious at this point. That's another plot hole - they just dumbed everyone down to make Laurel look smarter, and it shouldn't be that way if it's written well. But there is no hard evidence to show to anyone official. To bring up the file being missing, she'd have to admit she broke into the archive with the vigilante. And she's in enough trouble already.
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Exactly, exactly, exactly. Everyone else was hurt in order to make Laurel shine. But she didn't shine that great. It's like putting baby oil on a turd. This is one of the reasons I just don't want her around. If by keeping her we get this poor quality writing that is rushed and trite...Plus makes Laurel look like a manipulative and jealous twit that she would get her own sister arrested. I mean...let's not bother. We have some great characters to work with, they can get rid of some loose ends. As that is what she has become.
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Also, it made sense to draw the vigilante out. Oliver could reason that he heard about the vigilante turning the city upside down looking for the guy in the skull mask. But if you're going to kill the vigilante, shouldn't you have more people? And shouldn't Oliver wonder why they took Laurel to get to the vigilante? I'd be worried they made that connection. Here again, they dumbed everyone down so they could rationalize that Laurel is the ONLY character smart enough to figure it all out.
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I assumed that it was the real Blood in the first part of the fight (as Daily probably doesn't have (or shouldn't have) the fighting skills shown in the fight) and Daily stepping in in the last scene.

I completely agree with you that it's a wonder everyone now that everyone thinks Blood is okay.
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It's probably just to set up the whole "haha it was me all along!" moment that I'm sure Blood will get
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I know it’s for that moment, but it’s just so “unrealistic” (and irritating) after all those clues that they’re just like: nothing happened, he’s cool. That part alone made me not like this episode.
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And who doesn't enjoy that? :)
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Aaaaaand now I sort of want Aaron Sorkin to write a comic book TV or film script.
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sure noel - the purpose of drama is to get a reaction from the audience (like comedy's goal is to get a laugh), and it is a COMIC BOOK - it's not Shakespeare or even Aaron Sorkin. Arrow is not a brilliant man, he's an average man with above average martial arts skills; so if he is blind to the Blood's Badness, so be it.. Someone will Smoak out the truth; and Ollie will take care of bidness
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"The Problem" for me is that the actress Katie Cassidy does not convince me at all, and the character Laurel just doesn't have enough charming, or nothing at all. I think of Felicity, Annie Walker of Covert Affairs, Simmons or Skye in Marvel... Elizabeth Keen in The Blacklist, even Riley Neal in the new show Intelligence, and don´t let me start with explaining Elizabeth Mitchell (LOST, Revolution) who just needs to stare into the camera, and this is just to mention some, they all have Charming. Laurel has not, nothing, zero, and she is to stiff. For me That is the problem.
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I've said this many times. One of the best reviews I ever read was about Sleepy Hollow and they said the show is pathetically campy and rather ridiculous but the actors are so good and buy into the characters so much that they successfully sell you the story. This is unfortunately what KC is not able to do with this character.
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whatever good story, a show needs good actors, and good actors can also make watchable a mediocre show, as Revolution. I hope we get to see more of Manu Bennett, who is by far the best actor of Arrow (he played Crixus in Spartacus)
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Is it just me, or does it make no sense that everyone dropped the suspicions regarding Blood just because some random masked dude got killed? How does this change the fact that the folder detailing his father's murder had been emptied? Clearly, there's reason to investigate further in order to determine if someone is trying to cover up the incident, or if the file was simply misplaced.
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Some of the problem with Laurel is the dialogue. Maybe 28-year-old women calling their father "Daddy" actually happens, But it seemed cringe-worthy when Ms. Cassidy delivered the line last night.

Maybe they're going to turn Laurel into Speedy? Since she's the drug-addicted one now...
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I use "Daddy" occasionally, but I've always thought it was a regional/cultural thing specific to the South (I'm from Alabama.) My friends from other parts of the country/world don't use it. So yeah - that felt weird to me too, but I think they were trying to reinforce the father/daughter relationship and her vulnerability there. It just fell a bit flat
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every line she delivers is cringeworthy - she is a terrible actress that would not be in show business if not for her Daddy.
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I say Daddy and I am 33...but it came out weird and whiny here, admittedly.
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I called him daddy until he died, but Laurel normally does not. The word was written to make her "pain" shine, but it didn't work so well, as she seemed quite awkward at the moment.
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I can tolerate her most of the time. Mostly when she's not onscreen. :) But the whole "You got to believe me, Daddy!" exchange was... ugh.
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Nothing a true interest happened in this episode for me, except for this...


Really fun to see Deathstroke actually in costume and doing what he does better than anyone else: quick and precise killing.

The Laurel thing... boring and somewhat predictable - very rarely does a show keep presenting a character's drug problem unless it's about to also show said character's epic downfall. It will be interesting to see what the writers have in store for her in upcoming episodes, but, for now... boring.

The Blood storyline... so far pointless and too convoluted. I can (kinda) understand why Slate would financially support Sebastian to become Mayor; but helping him create an army of super-soldiers, when Deathstroke's only known endgame is Queen's demise, and when Blood already has Starling in the pawn of his hands... pointless and convoluted. That being said, the League of Assassins are still suppose to be a big player this season, so maybe this whole scheme has more to do with Ra's al Ghu than anyone of us suspect. That's what I hope - Oliver is undeniably a tough adversary, but I really don't get while Slate would need all of these plans and croonies to take care of him.

One thing I'm looking forward too, though, is the training of young Roy - 'bout time! I wonder what moniker he will choose when he's actually ready to go into true crime-fighting - Arsenal doesn't sound right anymore, given the power he now has.

Anyway, this was an OK episode, but I am hoping for major stuffs for the next episodes - this season so far feel flavourless. Something needs to happen to live this bitch up.

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So who is the guy in the mask again?
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Billy was the guy in the mask on the island. Slade stabbed him in the eye with a sword.

Billy WAS Slade's partner and the two of them wore similar masks.
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Imagine two people talking about Arrow lets call them A and B
A: I like how Willa Holland plays the part of Roy Harper on Arrow.
B: But Willa Holland plays the part of Thea Queen not Roy Harper.
A: I'm sure you've got that wrong.
B: It's simple, Willa Holland is credited for playing Thea Queen not Roy Harper, Colton Hayes is credited for playing Roy Harper. And if that's not enough no one in the show has refered to Willa Holland's character as being Roy Harper.
A: Ah but in the comics Speedy and Roy Harper were alter-egos, so Speedy and Roy Harper must be being played the same person, Willa Holland.
B: The TV show is doing things differently, Speedy and Roy Harper aren't the same character.

Now where it says Willa Holland replace it Manu Bennett.
For Roy Harper, read Deathstroke.
For Thea Queen & Speedy, read Slade Wilson.
And finally Colton Hayes gets replaced by Jeffery Robinson.
Or do you think Willa Holland is playing the guy in a red hoodie?

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Mad, just to help you along a little bit forget about the names for a minute just look at the logic.

Person A claims that A = E because;
In Context 1: A=B & B=C & D=E
However in Context 2 : C=E
So as long as you complete ignore that Context 1 and Context 2 are totally seperate then : A=B=C=E=D

Now all you have to do is replace the variables with the right names to "prove" that Willa Holland is a 25 year old guy from Kansas, using exactly the same logic of your first post.
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Nobody is having this conversation, Gully_Foyle - the overwhelming majority of comic book fans know better than to expect literal representation of a story when it gets adapted on screen. So that guy expecting Thea to actually be Speedy... that guy doesn't it. If he did, he would be way more upset about the show refusing to call Ollie Green Arrow - now that's a big deal, cause it genuinely makes no goddam sense!
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Strange, my goldfish could understand it, but it is an unusually smart fish.
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I read your post twice and I still have no idea what you're trying to say.
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The flashbacks were great ... Sara has really grown on me. Why is it that the writers managed to write her so well, yet they screwed up so badly when it comes to writing Laurel?

Now, I don't know who are they planning in making The Black Canary - but Sara sure has my vote. She's far more likeable, and far more endearing to watch ...

Laurel, Laurel, Laurel ... she was okay in this one, but then again that's not saying much. She's still popping pills, but Katie Cassidy's lack of interest in making Laurel's self-destruction look believable is disconcerting to me. I can't exactly put all of the blame on Katie, I must equally blame the writers ... they are doing such a half-baked job with Laurel's arc that I just don't know. *shaking my head in a disapproving manner*

Roy was amazing in this one ... I think that Colton did a great job. Kudos!

I think this was one of my favorite episodes this season mainly because I hate what the writers have done to Olicity. (mainly Felicity)

I swear if I have to endure one more scene of jealous Felicity, I think I'm going to heave!

ps. - Sorry, I haven't had much time to read the review so I apologize if some of my thoughts were already addressed.<
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Not one line in this episode had her show jealousy. If you are speaking about the snark comment whens Oliver drops his position on Laurel. That was dating back to S1 resentment with the whole Dig situation. If there is one character that outright dislikes and I think is jealous of Laurel, it's Dig.
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Actually I did read your statement very carefully. I did read that you were not interested in seeing any Felicity jealous scenes. You actually did NOT say that you enjoyed the episode because there was no jealous Felicity. If you had said that clearly I would probably have agreed with you. I even went back to verify and that is not the case.

I don't know what you mean about past eps. Most of my information is coming from the first episode of season 2. I made no mention of anything else after.

To clarify. I was hardly upset. I was put off with the gif which reads off like snark, when I felt I came from a sincere place.
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I unfortunately cannot reply to your latest statement chris17blue but i will do it here. What you seem to fail at and what I did not understand about your post is that I am talking about THIS episode and I thought you were talking about THIS episode since that was what you were referring too initially, then you switch towards the end. I clearly stated what episode I was speaking about.

In regards to the Island girls comment and Shado
...there was jealousy there that I have no reason to deny. The man is near death and calling out Shado. I think there would be no jealousy if it was Laurel because Felicity is and has always been aware of his feelings for Laurel. If there is one thing for sure, even in this episode it was Felicity that supported Laurel's claim while Dig and Oliver were quick to believe she lied.

However, I will comment on the episode in Russia. Felicity was in no way jealous of Felicity. I figured the writers clearly set that up. Isabel is the enemy here and if we know nothing about Felicity we know that she is loyal.
  1. Felicity even stated that this woman tried to steal the company from under him while he was on the Island after the destruction of the Glades and while his mother was in prison and the Queen name was in the gutter.
  2. She also hated the fact that Isabel had the intention of putting hundreds of thousands of Queen workers out of work. She mentions this on the island to Oliver. We know for a fact that Felicity hates that the Queen company has done those kinds of things in the past.
  3. This is also a company that Felicity is loyal too and supports wholeheartedly and seems to have headhunted and probably gave her, her first job after college.
  4. Additionally this was the company that Walter was the head of and she supports. That this woman wanted to destroy.
  5. The most important thing is also Isabel is the same woman who appears on the list of the book that Oliver has. So Oliver's has her as someone who has failed this city and Oliver will take her out. Why would Felicity be jealous of that?
Felicity is fully aware that Isabel is on the list since she showed Walter the book that she figured out was written in invisible ink. Plus, she handed over the book to Oliver. I thought writers made it clear that this was not about romantic feelings but disgust that Oliver would sleep with this kind of enemy. How many people on the list will he sleep with? Further more, as a viewer I thought everyone said the same thing that she said. Why her? Why Isabel if you know all this information about her? There was no UST, nothing. I thought all of us were cringing at that scene. Felicity was in no way acting possessive but feeling that Oliver could do better and deserved better. Why sleep with the woman your dad listed as an enemy? I don't get it.

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Wow, that's a lengthy comment.

If you took the time to read everything carefully, I said I'm not looking forward to any more "jealous" Felicity because I hate what the writers have done to her character and Olicity as a whole ... my criticism is very well deserved as Felicity used to be my favorite character back in Season 1.I said I enjoyed the episode because there was no angry/jealous Felicity.

Now, I haven't had time to comment on previous episodes (missed a few), that's why I decided to say something now ...

Sorry if this upsets you, but not everyone is going to agree on everything. And I'm entitled to my own opinion as you are to yours.
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Rather than provide an example to counter my statement, you give me a gif. Alrighty, then.
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You need an example, why? Are you not watching this show?

Felicity acted jealous when she find out that Oliver and Isobel slept together. The entire episode was spent on her acting like she owns Oliver or something.

Every time a girl name is mentioned - Felicity acts jealous -- "Shado. Sara. How many women were you marooned with? Are you sure this wasn't Fantasy Island? "
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Glen Winter rocked it. Sara is easy to watch; she just fits. Laurel, I was overdosed. Love K. Cassidy, but not on Arrow. Compared to eps like the Russian trip where she was absent, a humorous and intriguing plot... she wasn't missed. The trio: Dig, Felicity, and Ollie are so funny and the chemistry is so good, was missed on this one. Roy storyline, awesome. Sin, love her.
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Too much Laurel and too little Felicity.
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Aside from seeing Slade go full Deathstroke, this was a pretty mediocre episode for me. Too much focus on Laurel and no matter what they plan to do with or not do with her, she is just not a compelling character to watch. Honestly, I feel the same about Roy. I hope he becomes more interesting as his story progresses, but up to this point, I roll my eyes most times that he's on screen. Beating a prostitute killer needed to death doesn't make him more exciting to me quite yet.

My full review is at www.untemperedtv.com
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Possibly best episode this season. <
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The best part was Slade in full Deathstroke mode.
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I hope they don't create Deathstroke all villain. In my opinion he somewhere between good and evil. More evil, but not all evil. He is someone who does things for himself, for good or bad, and doesn't care about it.
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Watching that episode I had a bad feeling who emphases what slade said at the end of three ghosts. Obviously, slade goes after Laurel because he knows about her, Oliver spent 2 years staring a her photo on the island. He knows about Laurel, Thea, mama Queen, Quentin but I'm not sure he knows about Felicity and Diggle. Maybe diggle because he is often on the field but not sure about Felicity. All feelings apart, it's more logical to go after the persons most important for Oliver's cause or his family than an ex-girlfriend who is grieving the guy she was with after Oliver. Unless going after Laurel is just a warm up for Slade. Anyway, If somebody ask Oliver to choose between A bullet in Laurel's head and one in Felicity's, I'll be really upset!
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In this case, I really hope he would choose a bullet in Laurel's head! God! I hate that "actress"... She is one of the worst CW actresses I've seen so far!
Last night, in the scene where she was in front of a mirror taking the pills, she was terrible! Sooooo fake!
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Taking the pills was contrived. My first thought was...who downs pills like this?
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God! her hand movement was terrible! It was like she was showing a brand new car in a car event or something or doing a tv ad for some product (maybe pills... who knows?)
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Pretty good ep, I guess. One thing about TV that annoys me sometimes, yet I know has to be there in 24 episode seasons, is when a character finds out who the baddy is, but noones believes them. Then they're made out to be a moron and 4 episodes later everyones apologising when they find out they were right. Its a frustrating plot delaying device.
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Noel thank you for an intelligent and balanced review. Reading your review helped me to balance out some pretty negative thoughts I had about this episode simply for the fact it was so oppressive and so very dark but in a irritating way at least for me. I tend to agree Laurel seemed much of a bit part, but this is the characters reset episode as you rightly say. No one seemed to have a happy ending - not even Blood - Slade as a boss!!! As you say this episode helps tie in all sorts of back story so the future story telling should be seriously captivating.
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Glad that you found it helpful!
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Loved the train in the background at Laurel and Ollie's roof top meeting; what were the odds of Starling City having an "Arrow Line" service? :)

I'm also getting the feeling that Summer Glau has been quietly dropped from the show. At the start of this season the producers said they were splitting the villian of the season in two, Sebastian as the physical threat and Isabel as a more cerebral threat. But as Summer has had so little screen time I get the feeling that Isabel has been replaced by bringing Slade Wilson's arrival in Starling forward from season 3.
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Yeah, I don't know what's going on with Glau. I don't think she's been dropped, but I do think they're likely holding onto her until they need her, similar to how The Good Wife has to space out Chris Noth's appearances. She likely signed on for X-number of episodes, and it is easier to have Manu Bennett on screen since he's a regular now than it is Glau. But we'll see!
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It might be something that the mid-season break has highlighted but Summer hasn't been on screen since the begining of December, and it seems unlikely that she'll appear in at least the next three episodes. That's a seven episode\three month gap between appearences, at minimum. And Isabel didn't seem much of a threat the few times she has appeared on screen, so turning her into a Malcolm Meryln level of threat to Queen Consolidated in the seven episodes she could possibly appear in seems a stretch when Oliver as CEO has faded into the background.
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Of course...that's based on thinking that Isabel is just Isabel and not someone else. I think she's probably Lady Shiva or Talia, and so if/when the League comes back to the forefront, maybe Glau will re-emerge as well. You don't hire someone with her action training just to glower, after all.

Still doesn't excuse/explain the absence, but hey, lots and lots of balls in the air for them. Sometimes to their detriment.
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If she were the second one you listed, that would be wayyyy too much copycatting something that they've toned down to mere homage this season. I'll go with option A, though, since her ties have always been somewhat in flux anyway, and the character hasn't been overused in DCU shows (outside of BOP and recently (more interestingly) in Beware the Batman, of course).

Speaking of those two shows, have you also considered that Isabel will be Katana?


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To be fair, she was playing herself on BBT. :-P
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I'll see your spoiler text and raise you a Big Bang Theory, a Grey's Anatomy, a Unit, a Dollhouse, an Hawaii Five-O and the majority of a Cape ;)
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I would love that, being something of a Summer fan.
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Nice review.
I wish Laurel suffered more as she hit the rock bottom too fast. This should happen at the beginning of the season and drag away crumbling her character into a pile of sooth. Just look how slowly they are developing Roy as a character. I have been waiting for Colton Haynes to make sense ever since I heard he left Teen Wolf and only now I got it.
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Deadstroke
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Yeah, but Billy Wintergreen really had it coming so...
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Hate to be the one to tell you i told you so (not!!!), but i told you so when we had that little discussion a few episodes back, about who was the Deadstroke in Arrow.
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Might wanna hold off on that crow until you're actually right about something. Firstly there is no character called Deadstroke in the show. Now Deathstroke, the credit for playing that part went to Jeffery Robinson. Manu Bennett's character, called Slade WIlson and who in the show has never been refered to as anything else but Slade Wilson, refered to Deathstroke as being Billy Wintergreen. Now in the show Slade Wilson did kill Deathstroke, and I suppose you could call the now dead Deathstroke, 'Deadstroke' for humourous effect but as it's not that funny I'm not sure why you'd want to bother. Either way 'Deadstroke' would have been Billy Wintergreen's alter ego played by Jeffery Robinson.

Using you 'logic' then Caity Lotz plays the part of Laurel Lance and Colton Hayes is a woman that looks good in short skirts.

Is this too hard for you to understand or are crayon drawings more your level?
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Let's see you're wrong, I'm right. What is there for me to shut up about again????
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Likewise
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Looks like there is a lack of putting up, so guess it's time for you to shut up, seugirdor
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I hate to be the one to point this out but 5 episodes is over the statutory limit of "a few", you missed that deadline at the end of this weeks episode. Oh who am I kidding, I don't hate telling you that at all.

And you might want to look at this and pay close attention to the writing at the bottom.

http://www.legiaodosherois.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/MVPxEYn.jpg

See where it says Deathstroke 2.0? The implication being that there was a Deathstroke 1.0 or to use his given name Billy Wintergreen.

Also why are you worried about the "new player called Deathstroke" ? After all, you keep on saying that Deadstroke is going to turn up . So I will bet you $1,000,000 that Deadstroke does not make an appearence in any episode of Season 2. Time to put up or shut up about Deadstroke.
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Unless Billy Wintergreen is back from the dead who is the "new player called Deathstoke" in the next episode promo?
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It doesn't matter how many times you tell me who Deadstroke is, you're always going to be wrong.
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in a few episodes i will be the one to tell you i told you so, once again.
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So, are we expecting BOTH Sara and Laurel to become Canaries? How does that fit with canon?
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The original Black Canary was Dinah Lance's mother. So, there have always been two Black Canaries in canon. Many people think that Sara will die and Laurel will take up the mantle. Personally, as a huge fan of Sara, I hope this doesn't happen, but it does seem most likely.
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Well, it really bugs me when shows/comics give an ordinary character badass fighting skills with only months of training. Even five years on the island is a hard to accept as enough to create Oliver's skills -- but, at least there he was in a pressure cooker.

I can't conceive of anything that would make be believe Laurel becomes a super fighting machine in just a few months or even a few years.
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I 100% agree, and that's why I don't want Laurel to become Black Canary. I like Sara right where she is in that place instead, but I'm just not holding my breath for her to stay on forever and for Laurel to never take up the mantle. It seems like that's what will happen, and so it probably will. But I love Sara, I think she's believable as Black Canary, and I am sad that we may have to say goodbye to her one day.
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I actually saw one person suggest that Laurel could be injected with the serum, develop her 'canary cry' and become Canary. I would stop watching if that happened because boy is that dumb. A real canary cry doesn't fit into the Arrow world but I loved Sara's canary cry bombs - that makes sense for Arrow's world and ties into Birds of Prey :)
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Just how exactly are we supposed to believe Laurel could be an avenger/vigilante/hero? What injustice she suffered from the world? She lost all her friends/family because of an addiction? That's not injustice. She wasn't forced to use drugs, she took them on her own. Now if she was injected with heroin, which would make her an addict later in some evil-twisted way of showing Arrow he can't save anyone I would believe she has enough angst against the world in order to become part of the team. But for now...it's all your fault Laurel. Deal with it.
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This wasn't my favorite episode. But I'll start with the positives. I liked the Roy/Sin/Thea dynamic. They were like a mini-Team Arrow a few episodes back, and I want Thea to be brought into the loop on Roy's super strength. I feel like the Roy story is moving along at a good pace, and I'm looking forward to seeing him train with Arrow. Team Arrow worked together flawlessly and Oliver wasn't defensive or dismissive when Digg brought up his concerns about Laurel. Then Deathstroke! Awesomesauce! I need to see more of that. What Sara told Oliver about Laurel was interesting. If it's true then it makes me like Laurel even less (great job show) but it would explain why Sara left on the Gambit behind her sister's back.

Other than these things, the plot was full of holes and required massive suspension of disbelief. And yes, the show does this sometimes. But so many in one episode? Laurel never considered that Blood might find out she visited the hospital and - I don't know - do something? Felicity can hack the FBI, but she was outdone by a rent-a-cop on a computer? As you pointed out, half the force showed up in two minutes in that file room. It was like a full on SWAT team. Where the heck did they come from? And when Laurel walks in on her ransacked apartment, she just says she's calling the police? Did I hallucinate that she had guns in her apartment last season? I seem to recall a badass shotgun scene. Also, she's popping pills in full view of co-workers apparently, but they needed a super bogus warrant to bust her on possession? What corrupt judge issued that warrant? Oliver has super-spidey-ninja senses, but they got the jump on him in Laurel's apartment? And he can beat super strong dudes, but he was nearly taken out by Officer Daily? And where are the self-defense skills Laurel had last season? Unless she trains for the next several years, I CANNOT buy her as Black Canary. I had high hopes that this show's Dinah Lance would be awesome enough for a Birds of Prey spinoff and that is all but laughable now. So disappointing.

I don't feel much for Laurel, and I should. But they didn't set this substance abuse problem up very well. I felt sorrier for Quentin than I did for Laurel - that's not good. I don't even blame anyone for not believing her because she ran into the ADA's office ranting out her baseless accusations in an erratic fashion - she's lucky he didn't order drug testing right there. And I can blame this on the substance abuse, but then how was she logical and lucid enough to make that big leap to begin with? The fact that her arc is requiring a serious dumbing down of plot and other characters does NOT make me like her more. They couldn't come up with anything better?

And I really think part of my dislike of Laurel is the actress. I realized in this episode that her expressions are weird - her brow and forehead don't wrinkle or move normally, no matter what expression she's going for. Her face just seems a bit frozen? But I assume she's too young for Botox, so I'm confused. Either way, expression is a big part of acting, so I think this might be what has bothered me about her and I only noticed here because she had so many scenes that were supposed to be emotional. People have said she was awesome as Ruby in Supernatural, so I may hit YT and try to look up some of her scenes in that show for comparison. I didn't know anything about her before Arrow, but she's the weakest link on this show for sure.

I can only hope next week is better. What's going on with Moira? Where's Isabel? More Slade/Deathstroke! And I'm looking forward to Arrow training Roy. I wonder if Roy will find out who Arrow is next week? That'll be a hard secret to keep from Thea.
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Yeah, I don't like what was done to Oliver or Felicity for just Laurel. Felicity get's taken out by a loser, Oliver is over taken and knocked out by a group of men. That is ridiculous because of his training. The is almost Superman like and he could not get a sense something was off. Just for Laurel who was just ugh. And yes what she did to her sister. Man...I feel bad for Sara. That is one evil sister. Laurel and Blood belong together.
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Lol really? One evil sister? A year after having slept with her sister's boyfriend, the first thing Sara says about her sister is to trash talk her where she can't give her side of the story? Oh yeah, Laurel is clearly the evil sister.
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THIS comment. The episode was SO hard to BELIEVE. There is only so much belief a person can suspend and I watch OUAT so that is really saying something.

I agree with MissMunchkin. Katie Cassidy is a good actress ... well she was amazing in Supernatural so GO WATCH .... also more on Laurel in my reply to kanniballl's comment.
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She was not amazing in Supernatural. Why does everyone keep saying that? She barely had lines or significance. People remember her name because the character was played by 3 different actresses and I personally like the first version of her. She was good and all tortured and stuff. KC's portrayal was nothing to call home to mum.
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They need to invite the writing team to Laurel's intervention. Improving one character should not involve throwing everyone else under the bus. I let a lot of stuff go in Blast Radius in order to see where they were going with it. But this episode just hurt me to watch. :(
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Agree with you so much on Laurel. I just can't buy it, or her. Sara, Felicity, Thea, and even Sin, they are magnetic or interesting to watch. K. Cassidy she just doesn't fit. A well directed ep, great sequenced fight scenes, but she just dulls it. The lack of the Dig, F, and Ollie scenes were missed with Laurel's added presence, always so funny, gives balance.
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I think that may be why I liked Blast Radius better than this one. They were both weak compared to the first 9 episodes, but we got some good action sequences and it was just overall more entertaining (largely due to Team Arrow.) John Campea from the Arrow After Show podcast said there is just something about the three of them together onscreen that just works really well - they're written we'll, they have good chemistry, and it's magic. I have to agree with him. And we saw some reasonable character development from Oliver, and I like watching him slowly become more accepting of personal ties and friendship. But Laurel's character development feels weird and lazy in comparison, and it was up to her to hold together the whole episode. Unfortunately that didn't really work for me - not with all the plot holes.
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You have some really great points, especially in your negatives. They're all things that bugged me too, especially them getting the drop on Oliver. However, the fact that Oliver was knocked out suggests that he probably had a concussion, which was my personal leap for why Officer Daley nearly defeated him. It's a stretch, but at least it has a semi-explanation. Doesn't explain why they originally were able to knock him out to begin with.

Also, does nobody else remember that Oliver was able to figure out that Moira and Walter were sleeping together because he smelled the perfume on Moira and then on Walter? He used to be so particular about details, but now, he can't even tell the difference between Daley and Blood. It kind of bugs me. I mean, again, there's an explanation there - the city has made him soft. Sure. But it still bugs me.

And - the actress for Laurel really was awesome as Ruby on Supernatural. She was the best part of that entire season most of the time. I loved her so much. So what happened? I have no idea, but I am with you. Her acting recently has been... so off, it's not even funny.
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So I watched a bunch of Supernatural's Ruby scenes with Cassidy, and her acting was definitely better - or maybe it just seems that way because her face had more expression. Hard to tell since I wasn't watching whole episodes. Then I watched the pilot of Arrow again, and a few other Laurel scenes from early S1 episodes, and her face moved more naturally there too. A couple of people I discuss the show with suggested she'd had Botox injections, and now I think they're right because something is really off (especially this season.) A couple of times in her really emotional scenes this episode, it even looked like she was trying to move her brows (there were tiny crinkles.) But I think some of her facial muscles are frozen, and that's weird because she's still young. It just made her look older this season.

On the bright side, by watching her in S1 I remembered that I didn't outright dislike her. I didn't like the Oliver/Laurel backstory and it always seemed they were both too hard to have real chemistry - like two granite objects coming together. Tommy was more vulnerable and he was lighter, so I think that's why he and Laurel worked well together. The worst thing they ever did though was make her the object of that stupid love triangle and then have Tommy sacrifice himself for her. I really hated both her and Oliver when he died. I'm still not totally over it. I do think that if they're going to make me like Laurel again, they're going to have to step up the writing game because I don't think we'll see any significant improvement in the acting department.
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I wholeheartedly disagree.
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Good points on the flaws. But, I felt the good points made up for them.
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"WHAT. COLOR. ARE YOUR SHOES!?"

Oliver as Arrow has never made me laugh out loud before, but omg, I was practically in stitches. Like, seriously, Oliver... Did you have to make that so dramatic? I just kind of wished the next scene had had him being like, "Next time, Felicity, maybe I could just ask him his name..." Haha. Probably one of my absolute favorite parts of the episode.

So, I kind of wanted the guy that Roy beat to death to die. I know that would have complicated things, but I feel like that would have really hit home for Roy that he was so outside of control that when the Arrow showed up and he was like, "KILL ME!" it would have made more sense. Maybe I just think he jumped the gun a bit with that whole desire to suddenly die, but either way -- ROY & OLIVER WORKING TOGETHER? YES!

Laurel... I wanted her to be right and convince Oliver of the truth so badly, but the second that I saw her shoot the masked man, I knew it wasn't Sebastian. And I knew where that story was headed. And while I'm glad Oliver is finally cutting that pedestal down he has of Laurel... it sucks that ultimately, Laurel is going to be proven right, and we might end up right where we started. So, yay for character development, but wtf to character development that will be reversed shortly?

And Deathstroke? Is awesome. 'Nuff said.
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Laurel-heavy episode and she didn't suck! (Look at this point, i don't know how garner sympathies for Laurel. I blame the writers, how long do they need to figure out where they want her character to go?.)
For someone who is/was distracted because of mirakuru being in town, Oliver was way "chilled" last episode on issue of Roy being "injected". So am glad that story actually moved this week and actually caught up to "origins" story line.
Is it too late to hope Laurel will go to a rehab for... like a whole season..then come back midway season 3 as a badass do gooder vigilante?.
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