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Arrow S02E07: "State v. Queen"

So where do you guys want to start?

Do you want to start with how great Seth Gabel was this week? Because he was great, hitting a blend of camp and darkness that managed to feel totally organic to the show's world. I loved it.

Or would you rather talk about how Moira's attorney is clearly the worst lawyer in the entire world? I assumed Laurel would be horrible, but, no, oh no, Jean Loring is far, far worse. Also: Adam Donner is horrible as well. No one in Starling City should be a lawyer. No one.

Or perhaps you'd like to share you feelings on Slade's horribly but perfectly symmetrically scarred face? Poor Manu.

Oooh I know! I know! You'd like to discuss how "State v. Queen" served as an interesting take on the anxiety surrounding vaccines, an allegory about how relying too heavily on them can contribute to the mutation of diseases into drug-resistant superbugs, resulting in a pandemic! 

No? None of that? Well, what do you want to talk about, then? 


Oh! You want to talk about Malcolm? Okay, I guess we can talk about Malcolm. Sure, why not? Wait, you don't want to talk about Malcolm being alive and well? I mean, sure, it was a decent guess that he would still be alive—Arrow is a superhero narrative, after all, and as I explained a while back, people just don't stay dead in superhero narratives, no matter how much we'd like them to sometimes—so his still-alive status may not've been all that surprising, and probably shouldn't have been.

But what DID you want to discuss then? There was literally nothing else of note that happened in this episode.


Oh. Right. That. Okay. Let's talk about that little reveal. I have to imagine that for any of you who were still sitting on the fence about Arrow—even though it has become a very fine show this season, certainly at least a bit more interesting than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—might have thrown something at your TV, or at least let out a loud sigh. (Me, I let out my sigh when Malcolm showed up, because I very much wanted him to stay dead, but I'm already over it.) However, I think that even those of you who've been grooving on the show as of late might've had a similar reaction to this particular bit of information.

The notion of Thea being Malcolm's daughter—which, ew, makes Tommy's mention of how hot Thea had gotten in the pilot episode just... oy—is such a decidedly soap-tastic thing to do, and Arrow's soapier elements haven't been A) the show's strongest suit, or B) a favorite element among those you of who wanted the show be more action-centric. This season has been decidedly light on the suds, especially compared to last season, what with Moira in prison and Thea and Roy happily together. Sure, Laurel is having a number of emotional breakdowns, but we've all pretty much agreed to just ignore her whenever possible. There just hasn't been enough room lately for those aspects of the show to not be connected to the costumed stuff, which has made that particular strand of the series work better; see: Sara, Return of.


That being said, I don't think this is a terrible development for Arrow. Part of that opinion stems from genre acceptance, as I've already incorporated it into my understanding of how these types of shows function, like with Malcolm not being dead after all. Surprise familial relations are part and parcel of both superhero stories and more traditional melodramatic narratives—and this reveal is no worse than anything that, say, Scandal has done this season. What's more, I was a defender of the show's soapier elements back in Season 1, and while I haven't necessarily missed them so far this season, I'm not unhappy that they're back in some capacity. Certainly, Thea's disgust at finding out about Moira's affair with Malcolm is going to become a billion times worse now, which may give Thea something to do beyond look like she's running a club, and I'd like for that to happen.

Really, if I have any concerns, they have to do with Malcolm being back, and with how the show will offer variations on him and his relationship with Moira, apart from Malcolm's knowledge about how Oliver spends his nights. Obviously the League of Assassins will figure prominently, which will shift Malcolm's actions away from personally driven revenge on the city to probably a representative of that organization—they had to know he was still alive, yeah?—plus whatever plans the League has in/for Starling City, assuming it does have plans. At the same time, even with that particular difference, how will this be different from what Moira did last season? It's too early, of course, to know, but it feels like we could very well just end up with Moira being stressed, worried, and secretive, like she was last season.


Anyway, there's still the whole rest of the episode to consider. The Count was back, having recovered from his Vertigo OD, with a nasty new plot in the form of spreading a withdrawal-symptoms disease to people who'd gotten a flu vaccine. The only cure? An addiction to Vertigo, of course. It all seemed very nonsensical, but not as nonsensical as Malcolm still being alive. It was also, for a drug manufacturer and dealer, a very clever plot to ensure a steady stream of customers.

I rather enjoyed the flashback showing his escape from the prison during the quake, and how, after passing up a number of other prisoners—"No, no, too violent. Sloppy. Too stupid. Too ambitious."—he settled on releasing The Dollmaker. While the plot was unfurling, complete with the operation he'd set up, I was struck by the fact that The Count had laid low for so long following the quake. Given his generally flamboyant and attention-seeking attitude, that was a little surprising for me. As a result, the reveal that Blood had been the one who set up The Count, and in an effort to draw out Oliver, not only made sense, but added another glimpse into Blood's operations, even if his overall goal remains a mystery.


Sadly, just as I thought that the show and Gabel had found a way to make The Count really click—Gabel's line readings were loopy and delightful in a way that they just weren't last season—they had to go and kill him off. Sure, on the one hand, this is because the show couldn't have a typically wildcard character like The Count knowing Oliver's identity, or, worse, telling Blood about it too soon, but on the other hand, it did force Oliver into the tricky position of deciding just how important his "no kill" rule is. Part of me would've found the situation a bit more compelling if a bunch of Russians hadn't likely been killed last week, and it wasn't even cause for concern, like The Count's murder was in this episode. Consequently, it was difficult to buy into Oliver's regret; Stephen Amell did a nice job of selling it, but the writing wasn't there for it to completely work.

However, I am glad that the show is addressing this now as opposed to later; I imagine these sorts of "win by losing" situations are only going to crop up more often given Sara's willingness to kill, an organization made up of assassins, and whatever Blood's got cooking. I actually liked the cutaway to Blood's (fantastic) office as he stewed over the fact that The Count got Oliver's "killing spree" started up again. On one level, it's really nice to see other people responding to Oliver's actions and not in front of Oliver, and on another, it showed a degree of concern on Blood's part for how a perceived renewal of killing might interfere with his plans.


While I'm willing to buy into nonsense like The Count's withdrawal disease and Malcolm being alive, I do get to draw a completely arbitrary line somewhere, and so I'm taking a Sharpie to the ridiculousness that was Moira's trial. I can handle courtroom silliness in various forms: I love David E. Kelley's law shows, and I enjoy nothing more than when Jack McCoy brings down some righteous fury on a witness in a Law & Order rerun, but Moira's trial was the epitome of Arrow's melodramatic tendencies at their worst. None of those lawyers—from the DA who handed the case over to Laurel instead of taking it over herself (again, ignoring the fact that Laurel shouldn't have been second-chairing in the first place) to Donner's questioning of Thea to Loring never once objecting to anything Donner did—behaved even like TV lawyers. They just did what would cause the most dramatic action. Any resemblance to anything that might pass for an example of a legal system at work, in the real world or on TV, was completely ignored.

On the upside, at least Oliver realized something was fishy about Moira not being convicted because, yeah, she likely would've been. I'm not sure how much he'll follow up on this, as the show already has quite a bit going on each week, and it's adding more next week, so the story may just fade into the background until Malcolm makes his next move, whatever that move may be.

On the island, not a whole lot happened. Ivo's after the hosen the trio snagged from the grave cave because it has—surprise!—the coordinates for the sub that has the super-soldier serum. It seems like this serum may be more important than just making people really strong and tough, given Sara's mention of how it could save the human race, but for the immediate future, it'll be about getting Slade to stop shuffling about like he's a zombie.



FROM THE QUIVER

– Why did I include the photo above? Because the woman in the background who's looking at something—probably Amell—is just wildly out of place with everyone else around her. I love it.

 For those of you who were really hung up on the lack of an age difference and appearance between John Barrowman (46) and Colin Donnell (31) last season, you'll be happy to know that Willa Holland is 22. Hopefully that's enough of a difference for you.

– "Quiet, please, I’m threatening."

– Arrow is off next week, so I'll see you all back here on Dec. 4 for "The Scientist," the episode that will include the first appearance of Barry Allen, the man who will become The Flash.


What was your verdict in the matter of "State v. Queen"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/25/2016

Season 4 : Episode 23

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I definitely did not see Malcolm's return coming. True, comic book characters don't stay dead, but thus far, the show has at least attempted to steer clear of those tropes. Granted, Sarah returned, but we never saw her die. I think we can all agree that Malcolm was dead dead as of the season finale. I think a reference to a Lazarus Pit is coming...
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Great episode...was shocked to see Malcolm being alive and also father of Thea...and also the fact that he saved Moira from death penalty...will be interesting to see his relationship with Ra's al ghul, Merlyn is obviously member of league of assassins
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So many haters ripping on poor Katie Cassidy, but Thea gets a free pass for the greasiest, rattiest head of hair to ever be seen in a courtroom? What was the deal with that?

Also, Malcolm's return was a welcome one, but the timelines involved are now of interest to me: was this affair with Moira before or after his wife's murder in The Glades? And, if before, does his guilt over betraying her influence his fanatical resolution subsequently? Issues To Be Explored!
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Great episode. Totally did not see Malcolm's return coming. This show's getting pretty interesting.

Shame Arrow isn't part of the DC Cinematic Universe.
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About Arrow being part of DC wider plans, it's not exactly clear where it fits.

The show was told not to use some characters but it wasn't clear if that was because DC are trying to keep things seperate or if they are intergrating the two and have those characters reserved for intial big screen outings.
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They did give Arrow a nod of sorts by having Amell's Arrow as an unlockable (or DLC) character skin for Green Arrow in the game Injustice. (Or so I've heard--been more focused on the Arkham games.)

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I hated the trial, it was completely nonsensical. For starters, who would accept a DA prosecuting Moira when her husband and the DA's sister died in the same assasination act? Also, when the veredict happened, it was obvious that Malcolm was behind it (incidentally, I can't blame Moira for cheatin with John Barrowman). I am happy Thea is his daughter, though, as I was worried Olliver would be his son! I can live with Speedy being Malcolm's daughter, that would explain her mad aim skills.
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I agree with most of the review. It was a shame to kill off the Count, Seth Gabel's performance was over the top entertainment. But, he did know Oliver's secret, and so does Malcolm. How much longer can Oliver keep his secret identity a secret? If the count and Malcolm are in cahoots with the League of Assassins you'd think one of them might have told them Oliver's secret. I do disagree with Noel, in that I'm glad Malcolm's back. He was the only person who was more than a match for the Arrow in fighting and archery skills. Moira's trial was a farce, the verdict making no sense at all.
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Hey, I hadn't realized Moira's lawyer was the infamous Jean Loring. How could I forget her from "Identity Crisis"? At least in the TV show she's just incompetent. But much less hot.
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And less cuckoo too...


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LOL, this show. I really enjoyed Seth Gabel's turn as the Count much more this time around, but also I don't think it's such a bad thing Oliver killed him. Hear me out: it's a TV show, so obviously while murder is wrong in real life, in fiction sometimes it's just the smart, sensible thing to do. I railed against the casual murder of henchmen back in S1, but let's agree that killing the evil mastermind is just a good idea, especially considering how often they break out of jail/fake their own death in this dang show.

Roy couldn't have gotten Thea a punching bag as well? And isn't it a bad idea to encourage people to take their sads out on their significant others? I did laugh out loud when he didn't appear in any courtroom scenes after that- Thea probably put him in the hospital. So angry for someone so tiny!

I'm glad-ish that Malcolm is back. He's too good of a villain to let die after one season! Also, Thea will probably go over to the dark side for a while after she finds out he's her daddy, thus perhaps even paving the way for her to become Speedy! Speaking of, Roy needs to speed up his arc to becoming Oliver's sidekick as well. Also, give the kid some dimension pls!

Finally, Thanksgiving is the best and all, but I hate it for giving all our favorite shows the week off. What am I going to do now, spend time with friends and family?! Ugh.
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You know what, I understand that this episode was about the trial (or the joke that passed as a trial) but for future episodes I want to see more of Diggle and Felicity aside from team arrow/Oliver. Some character development/personal lives would be to nice to see. I hope we get to learn about both characters pasts as well as Roy. What do they do when not in the company of the Queens?
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I thought diggle and felicity both felt like props the last episode.
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I don't know if I agree that they were props but I would like them to be well rounded characters with acknowledged pasts. Ultimately, I wish they had more screen time. Also, I may be the only one but I don't really care for all the flashbacks in each episode.
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It's a shame they killed the count off so quickly. I would've been happy to have him build up to something over a few episodes.
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i knew it moira's secret was that one her kids wasnt really hers

Slade this week looked like Two face for some reason to me

Why does brother blood where that mask? Did he wear one in the comics beacus in Teen Titans he doesnt wear one

Barry Allen looks more like Peter Parker honestly
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It depends ong the version of Brother Blood but there is usually some sort of headgear involved.

The thing that I noticed was the tusks ,for lack of a better term, on Arrow's Brother Blood do seem to be a constant feature.
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thanks!!
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I don't really understand why you are so eager to see Oliver and Felicity getting together. I love Felicity, but I jut don't see them together.Iwill be fanboy and say that only woman for Arrow is Black Canary. Sure Felicity have made remarks about Oliver, but I just don't see chemestry between them two.
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I still have a problem with Roy working as a 'bus boy' for Thea. She could be teaching him what she does. And I hope Oliver is paying Roy as well.

I really don't like that Thea felt so bad about taking so far to start forgiving her mother. She was blaming herself for the trail going badly. She should still be blaming her mother.

It seems to make no sense that the DA's office wouldn't include manslaughter or some lesser crime than murder as one of the charges. Moira clearly didn't actually murder those people and she did warn people to leave the Glades. But any jury would conflict her of manslaughter.

So, is Thea now going to be worth a lot more money? It'd be interesting to see Malcolm groom Thea to take over Merlyn Global.

It's interesting if Oliver is pretty much directly responsible for 'creating' Deathstroke.
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The re-appearance of Malcolm proves one undeniable fact: Ollie is one hell of an overrated killer.
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Another thing: who else was surprise to hear the Count actually calling Ollie Arrow? I think he was the first person in Starling to actually call him that - and he did it for no reason whatsover. Next thing you know, the news story on TV was "The Arrow Kills Again", once again without anybody, except for his core group, knowing that Quinn didn't want to be call the Hood anymore...

Unless I am mistaken. Where there an episode I missed when he went all "The Hood is done and gone; from now on, I am Arrow"? Didn't that happen? Yeah, I don't think so too.
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And yet ANOTHER THING (sorry, I usually put all of my thoughts in one neat post, but it was kinda rough at work today , so I'm obviously all over the place right - TGIF, amirite!?): so that super-serum gonna make Slate into the actual, bonafide Deathstroke The Terminator, correct? And we're also assuming that him and Ollie will eventually becoming adversaries again, for some reason... so answer me this: are we suppose to believe that Quinn somehow managed to defeat his mentor, who was vastly superior to him in everything fighting situations you could imagine as just a normal guy, after he took the serum who, in the old 52, made him so powerful, he could actually go toe-to-toe against Superman, when the Hood could even managed to kill Merlyn?

Just asking a simple question...
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people keep saying resurrection is commonplace in comics. never read any myself, just collected them for the artwork. so DC apparently has *dude from bible* pits, so I imagine dc has a number of people coming back to life. does marvel? despite not watching shield 'cause it kills brain cells I have read people talking about different ways that are lore-loyal they might have brought coulson back so I guess they do?

I' tend to be biased towards prefefring marvel is why I ask. never been a superman fan though man of steel may have swayed me slightly. and batman movies have just always been enjoyable, at least until bane. while I enjoyed the x-men trilogy originally, going back #1 felt like the only strong one, and the origin movie, first class and wolverine felt weak and or stupid and or not true to its only freaking lore. like I said agents of shield sucks IMO, but the MCU has been incredibly strong and enjoyable (much better written than MoS IMO) and so I kinda wonder if marvel isn't just better. what with apparently no pits you can use to bring someone back to life though they may have their methods none the less?
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Old saying about comics :
"No one stays dead apart from Uncle Ben, Bucky & Jason Todd"
The updated version of that reads :
"No one stays dead apart from Uncle Ben"
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Marvel does it as well. I can think of seven or eight off the top of my head, but since you don't read the comics and enjoy the MCU, I'll be quiet since it's likely to spoil a plot point in an upcoming film.
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I appreciate the lack of spoilers ...learning of the red wedding prior I hope is the last one ever
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I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that he's alive. For one thing, he has connections to the League of Assassins, which is ran by Ra's al Ghul, who is immortal as well. And also, he is Jack Harkness, so of course he can't die! :P

I'm kind of mixed about this revelation. Like you, I was happy just to move on in the story. He was dead, his son is dead, the initial bomb plot was finished, and he served as a gateway into the bigger League of Assassins story. As far as I was concerned, it was best to just move on from there. Though, that isn't to say that this can't be a good thing, it just depends on how they use him going forward.

However, the good part of the revelation (at least in my opinion), is that it answers a question I've had for the past few weeks, specifically how they would handle Ra's al Ghul's character without having supernatural elements, since he is supposed to be immortal. And not only does it answer that question, the fact that they introduced this one supernatural element opens up the possibility for other similar elements in the future. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a gritty, realistic superhero/vigilante series similar to the Nolan Batman movies, but I wouldn't mind introducing more supernatural elements if they're handled well enough. In fact, people have been wondering how they could introduce The Flash into this world without those kinds of things existing, so this could open up a way for them to give him his powers without it being some kind of odd technology or something that would fit into the more realistic world that this show has been set in up to this point.

As for the main story with The Count, it wasn't my favorite story this season, but I did enjoy it. I don't know what his character is like in the comics, because I haven't read any of them, but for much of this episode I couldn't help thinking that he would fit right in with some of Batman's main villains, like Joker and Riddler. And as you said, Seth Gabel did a great job of portraying the character in this episode.

I still think that this season is a massive improvement on the first season. It has gotten rid of many of the first season's flaws (despite still having a few), and the storytelling has gotten a lot stronger overall. I'm really excited about the new storylines they're setting up with Blood and the League of Assassins. I do still wish that the flashbacks would start to connect to the main story a bit more (outside of Sara appearing in both), but overall I'm very happy with how this season has turned out so far.
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loved oliver and felicity, the rest of the episode didn't care except for seth gabel he is awesome!!
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LOL. Has anyone seen this? - http://bit.ly/1dpqV1D
I thought it was pretty funny. Ollie and Thea looked disinterested during the trial (which was jokes). I love that Malcolm is alive. I love John Barrowman.
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my verdict is the show succeeded in going from must-watch to whenever I get to it.

sara being alive and a terrible actress (in this) was the first thing I outright disliked about the show ever, or rather had a hard time getting past. that was in my opinion poor story writing. then came poor dialogue writing like writing like oliver explaining to sara after she had already spent the night why it would be okay for her to stay there -- that thea was staying with rob blah blah. this epsiode have more fot he latter with no calls of objections to "leading" which even I recognized without ever watching a tv courtroom drama ever. essentially since happenings like these I've become inclined to be more critical of the show. something I felt not the least be inclined to be during season 1. at least until tommy death but I thought if that's what has to be done to have laurel and oliver together without anything in-between so be it, I hated to see tommy hurt anyway.

so now they go and decide to bring malcom back from the dead and make thea his daughter. you defended these happenings in a sense by comparing arrow with agents of shield, a garbage of a tv cash grab. and scandal, a show I can see having a large crossover audience with other cw shows but with arrow a lot less so. scandal also being a show I would never watch as an intelligent, self-respecting, straight adult male. this kind of development is exactly why I missed the entire first season of arrow. I expected soapy crap. and the the first season while having some those same elements as a soap, was intelligently written, not something soaps are known for.

lastly stephen laid it on a little thick after saving her me thinks, a bit too much 'I'm trying to create sexual tension." and the whole threat was injecting felicity with vertigo, no? not quite the threat of death to make it a justifiable homicide. also yeah, with the death of the count they killed off one of the most compelling characters this show could of hoped to have had.

whatever. guess I'm off to IMDB where people don't endlessly defend shows and their stupid decision making. the writing lacks creativity. instead of writing original story they just shuffled story they had already written and used prior.
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I appreciate the implication that I'm not an intelligent, self-respecting, straight adult male.

Everything else? I can totally understand.
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I know you're intelligent having read your articles. I haven't read articles by everyone on the site, and don't tell them I've said this but based on your vocabulary and ability to articulate your thoughts I actually assumed you were easily among the book-learniest.

your sexual preference don't impact me, I just assumed it was general knowledge or assumption that not-straight dudes were more inclined to watch television otherwise geared towards women (soapy stuff.)

and that leaves us with self-respect (or a lack thereof.) I think that is the one that best explains your willingness to endure television tropes or writing you shouldn't have to. once upon a time I just drank my way through everything I watched. the good shows could be great and the not-great stuff watchable. with sober television viewing for me now though I can't make myself sit through shows that simply could be far better. potential just unrealized still doesn't make for justifiable viewing in my mind, at least not when it swings so far to the other side of the scale.

if you didn't yourself mention that you weren't entirely stoked about some of the events that transpired I'd chock it up to odd television viewing habits or just generalize and lump you with others like I may already have. but like I said, I thought you were smart and therefore refused to believe you just had shitty taste in TV. instead you just have masochistic tendencies? and my insult came full circle me thinks, my bad.

felicity and diggle were nothing but props as was the trial as was thea as was malcom. hell as was everything on the island.

funny enough the part people who defend malcom's ressurrection most complain about, thea's using roy as a punching bag, was the most character development that transpired that episode.

I feel like objectively season 1 was the better season and could be conclusively decided such through a side by side argument of things that transpired.

sorry if you had to read all this I suck at expression through writing.
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**This became really long. Feel free not to read it.**

Here's the takeaway if you don't want to read all of it: I feel like a Rorschach test sometimes as a result of all this, but it also, I think, showcases the degree to which we all approach art (using in its loosest sense of the word here) how our experiences and our perceptions influence not only our own reception of art, but how we view the receptions of others. Like our personal responses to art, we're quick to use think that others have or should have the same perception because its ours, and if it doesn't fit, we work to figure out why, and again we end up using, perhaps, a frame of reference that simply doesn't take everything into account. We're all guilty of it at one time or another, regardless of degree of self-respect or intelligence or gender or sexual orientation. In fact, it's because of those things that we're often blind to other take on art.
I think the difference we're facing is one of pleasure and taste, which you're somewhat appearing to tie to intelligence, gender, and sexual orientation, and which I do not in the slightest.

In terms of intellect/learning, I've completed a bit of graduate work, though not as much as Cory has (I can't speak for anyone else, as I simply do not know their education backgrounds) -- he's in a media studies PhD program right now. And I think showcasing learning isn't always a benefit in reviews, so I try and weave it and out, or keep as, well, intro-level as possible, though I sometimes fail; I did use the phrase 'cisgendered' in an Arrow review last season, after all.

I don't know that it's general knowledge so much as a stereotype? I enjoy Scandal a great deal and I also watch Pretty Little Liars and Reign and I am completely outside the target demo for those shows. I'm likely outside the demo for The Good Wife in terms of age and gender but I think it's one of the best series on TV. I mean, c'mon, I was hooked on Downton Abbey for a while (man, it's gone downhill).

And I know plenty of straight women who who could gave a damn about any of those shows, but love some American football (which I find tedious as hell) or need shows where things blow up a lot or there's an element of the fantastic, who aren't interest in meldorama and soaps. And I know women and men who are interested in all of these shows and sports.

We all draw pleasure from different things, things that sometimes aren't connected to our societally drawn roles, or even our degree of learning. I thoroughly enjoy the narrative twist and turns of Scandals and the high-wire act it does by burning through narrative, while I find the show's central romance unbelievable on a "One Great Love" level even if the sexual aspect of Olivia/Fitz makes complete sense to me. At the same time, there's plenty to respond to in something like Scandal on an intellectual level: its treatment of race, its treatment of rape, its treatment of gender.

And sometimes, well, there's just pleasure for the sake of pleasure. I enjoy PLL, again, for the narrative twist and turns, but I like the core relationship among the liars, I think Torian Bellariso is attractive, and I revel in the show's homages and borrowing from classic film noir and horror, both of which could also include copious amounts of melodrama (the 1945 Mildred Pierce, anyone?).

As to the issue of self-respect, this is a tricky issue for me. I have no issue admitting, clearly, the things I take pleasure in, and I dismiss the use of of "guilty pleasure" as unnecessarily apologetic for something I enjoy.

But there is an element of...maybe not masochism, but perhaps "selling out" a bit in that I still watch things that I may not particularly like. A lot of this stems from that I write for this site, and it benefits me to be familiar with the good and the bad in the form of financial gain. I've never asked to quit a show even though I wasn't particularly enjoying it -- looking at you, Defiance -- but neither have I been asked to/volunteered to review a show I found particularly offensive or awful. Like, I couldn't review The Following (poor Nick) or Hotsage, which I think is the worst new show of the fall due to the ponderous, solemn nature it takes to what likely would've benefited from a more zippy, pulpy approach. But I also gave up on Betrayal after one episode because it was just so colossally bad in the pilot. I just think it's helpful to watch the bad and the good so I can, in fact, know the bad from the good.

As to Arrow, I think it's too soon to say which season I've enjoyed more. I will say that if we're just comparing first seven episodes of each, I'd much rather watch Season 2 than Season 1, even including this episode. Even that's an unfair comparison to me since Arrow was still figuring itself out in those first seven episodes (I'd argue it was still figuring itself out until its last run of S1 episodes, though, too), and while I enjoyed "Damaged" and "Legacies," they're comparatively weaker to "Identity" and "Crucible."

So while I found last week entertaining, it had weakness, though I stumbled with the at least three our four dead Russians from that lapel pin, which, as I said, undercut a lot of my reaction to the killing of the Count here. It's the short of squishy thematic work I checked the show for last season.

To highlight all of this, I think it's worth pointing out the range of differences just in reader response to how I write about the show, and the perceptions it creates. You question my defense of some aspects of this episode, whereas a week or two ago, I had another commenter accusing me of being on a crusade against the show, in part because of the tone had when I talked about it -- I wasn't fan-ish enough in my approach, whereas when I went on a small rant about the show's decision to namedrop Ra's al Ghul, I had a commenter take me to task for being a massive fanboy and how this undercut not only my credibility as a reviewer, but the entire site's, including my decision to reply. (I imagine that commenter is thoroughly dismayed at this massive comment to you; no doubt I'm not to be taken seriously.)

I feel like a Rorschach test sometimes as a result of all this, but it also, I think, showcases the degree to which we all approach art (using in its loosest sense of the word here) how our experiences and our perceptions influence not only our own reception of art, but how we view the receptions of others. Like our personal responses to art, we're quick to use think that others have or should have the same perception because its ours, and if it doesn't fit, we work to figure out why, and again we end up using, perhaps, a frame of reference that simply doesn't take everything into account. We're all guilty of it at one time or another, regardless of degree of self-respect or intelligence or gender or sexual orientation. In fact, it's because of those things that we're often blind to other take on art.
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Despite your appearent lack of intelligence, self-respect and dubious sexual preferences; at least you start sentences and people's names with capital letters. So you're still OK in my book.
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I have really enjoyed Arrow much more this season. I am still quite interested in the happenings on the island. This week Villain was quite boring and I am not excited about Malcolm return though I expected it. And again my wife reminds me that Laura(the actress playing her) might have done some cosemtic surgery in the summber. She just look very different.
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It's Laurel. I don't know about surgery. She just looks like she lost a lot of weight.
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And she also had none to lose! she was so thin to begin with!
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My wife is glad some of you recognized it too so now i can tell her and she can stop buggging me about it when we watch the show ! Haha!
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I'd like the show to develop Felicity a little more, give her some combat/defence or even just stealth training so she doesn't have to always be the damsel in distress, she already a stronger character by far than Laurel but just needs some rounding out from the writers! Thats my current wish for this show, otherwise i'm loving it!
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I'd like to add that they should lose her lipstick or at least tone it down.
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I dunno. I liked season 1 better, it had a more serious feel to it. Season 2 has a lot more comic book feel to it, which is cool in it's own right, but I like the former better. Plus season 2 has a lot more girly drama. I think this show needs a shot of testosterone.
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season1 for me as well.
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Felicity as Oliver's "secretary" at Queen Consolidated is reason enough for season 2
to be the better season already, no? ;)
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Well no. Oh she's hot alright but she's not playing the character very well. She's just too perky and acts like she belongs on Beverly Hills 90210. I'd like to see a stronger character for that role. Perhaps better directing?
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I always took this show as serious, and not on a comic-book level because of certain ways it is written. But I've long stepped away from that, and that is why I enjoy it so much now. This episode was great and whatever ridiculousness went on mentioned by pretty much everyone else, I actually enjoyed because it just is what it is. And bring on the soap opera. That actually came to mind when watching this episode, how I really enjoy this show much more for including the soap opera elements. That plus the flashbacks, this show has it all. And it is pure and perfect entertainment. What more do you want nay-sayers?
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Best villa never, I'll miss the count. Great episode full of surprises that I wasn't expecting, and I'm very excited about the growing connection between felicity and Oliver about time my heart says yes but my head knows that laurel and Oliver are supposed to be together as written in the comics but I hope that the writers might change things up.
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Man, I´m really slow. I only now made the connection between the Super Soldier Serum from the Japanese sub and the stuff Brother Blood is injecting people with. Don´t know why I didn´t see it sooner.
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Didn't make that link until I saw your post, now that's slow.
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Whew, everyone really phoned it in this week, from the writers to the actors, to the extra's LOL - this ep get all of the NO's!

I am happy that Merlyn's alive though, because he's actually a real villain, unlike some of these other losers like "The Mayor," Deadshot and Blood.

I got so excited when they introduced the League of Assassins, but then they turned out to be pretty easy to kill. Sarah trains for 4/5 years kills 3 of the LOA without breaking a nail. Please… These people were trying to recruit Batman, not a Canary in fishnets. (Even still, I strangely kinda like her)

The trial was a joke as others mentioned, and the scene with Thea and Abercrombie…

Also Laurel's looking like she might need an intervention, remember what a bad ass she used to be on Supernatural? Sigh!

Ahh well, wake me when we find out Summer Glau is Thalia.
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People, you are not focusing on the important parts.
1. Freaking Malcolm Merlin is alive. This is not The B&B is now a soap opera, not even close. The entire idea of this show is that if there is no body that you can poke, it ain't dead. So he is Thea dad, but who cares, maybe just him, I don't. I don't like Thea that much and I don't care, but HE KNOWS Oliver secret. Is he gonna do something about It soon, are we gonna wait till the end of the season, will the Black Archer resurface, all interesting questions?
2. The Count- oh, Seth Gable, love your work, big future there, sad to see go so fast, but man, ain't nobody threatens Felicity without having an arrow to his chest.
3. Big question: was The Count the first to call Oliver Arrow, cause my episodes sometimes come with the worst audio and I could have missed it.
And my favorite part, cause I am a girl...
!!!Oliver and Felicity!!! - a hint to the writers, is time to make out of Felicity a kick ass gal, because no one like to see her playing the victim every time!!!
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Aside from Malcolm's suggestion last year ("Year's End") of "Green Arrow" was rejected by Oliver as lame, Quentin was the first to actually call him the Arrow. In "Broken Dolls," Quentin told Laurel that he decided to start calling him that because it fit better than "The Hood," given the corruption of that name by the imitators, and to reflect that the Arrow is (at least trying to be) more of a hero now.

(Funny enough, since it was implied at the end of "City of Heroes" that Oliver was renaming himself.)


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Yes, I remember it, can believe I forgot about that. I knew he would start call himself Arrow soon. Thank You so much!
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I want to start by saying this show just jumped the fucking shark and turned into a soap opera. Every scrap of goodwill this season generated just shit the bed in this episode. Whenever there was an eye-roller moment or a groaner that I thought was going to be the worst, out came another one to trump it as loudly and obnoxiously as possible. AND THAT'S GIVING CREDIT TO MALCOLM FUCKING MERLYN BEING ALIVE, I could have given them that with the Lazarus Pit setup they put in last season if that had been the only dumbshit soap moment here, but that was just the icing on the rectal lesion of a cake that was this episode. The Count "figuring out" Ollie's secret identity through utter nonsense, Ollie walking into the scene with his costume but no makeup, the worst legal TV work ever, the bribed jury, the nonsense of the plane bomb not going off not getting attention, Slade's perfectly black half of his face, the... OH MY GOD SHUT UP SHOW YOU SUCK, I don't even want to make a list of all the stupid crap you pulled here, and I love making lists of stupid tv crap!

"I was only pretending to be a cold, dead body on a slab with a sharp object piercing my vital organs!" Fuck you, Malcolm. You sucked as a character last season with your constant scenery-chewing and your nonsense-generating plotlines, and you suck in your return from the dead. And now you're the catalyst for this testicular wart of an episode.

I'm done talking about Arrow for today. I don't want to think about it anymore - clearly I'm not alone in that, the writers don't seem to want to do so either. Nice photo of the extra tho'.
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LOLOLOL ... you harbour a lot of anger/agitation for a fictional show. Come on.
You love Malcolm. You just don't know it.

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I was trying to give the show a pass for that cheap move of bringing Malcolm back, but it was total soap schlock and just served to remind me how over-the-top this character was last season and how he's always the silliest character around making the silliest things happen.
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I can't lie: I was really looking forward to this, watching the show break you across its knee like Bane broke the Bat. ;)
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Nothing for "rectal lesion of a cake"?
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I thought it was a little much, to be honest.
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Damn, guess I'll have to rethink your birthday now.
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Please stop watching then Kirk...i mean...c'mon dude...
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I'm terribly sorry you and Gully_Foyle have been forced at gunpoint to read my comments week after week, that is the real tragedy.
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Well at least you've apologized for your comments so that's something.

I have no problem with people that watch the show, enjoy it and say so. I also have no problem with people that watch it, enjoy most of the episodes and make "mostly" constructive criticisms. However that people write things like, "OH MY GOD SHUT UP SHOW YOU SUCK" but then don't realise that they can make the show shut up by not watching, well they're just idiots.
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Well if that's what you need to tell yourself so you can sleep at night.
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Ok, now I'm just going to have to assume you're trolling.
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So you have to put a gun to your own head to force yourself to watch a TV show?!!! That is just so messed up.
If I were you I find a way to be unable to watch episode 10, Sean Maher is usually pretty in everything he's done, so Sean and the gun could be a disasterous combination.

If you ask someone to punch you in the face, you've really lost the right to complain about being punched in the face, in fact you should be thanking them. So if you watch a TV show where you think that most of the episodes already shown have been bad then you should expect the next episode is going to be bad as well. Now if you don't want to watch bad TV then don't watch, but if you do want to bad TV well that's up to you and your gun.
But if you watch TV expecting it to be bad you shouldn't complain about it when it is, because you got exactly what you wanted. Yes, this was the worst episode of the season so far, so you should giving the producers all kinds of love and praise because they gave you exactly what you wanted.
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No Gully, the guy that causes me to watch Arrow and comment on it is me, but I can guarantee you I'm not forcing you to read any of my comments. So you should really use more of that insight to figure out who is forcing you to read my comments.
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JT,
well it's the same guy that keeps forcing you to watch a show you don't like and then forces you rant about it on t'internet. In terms of hardship you seem to getting the worst of it, so why should I complain?
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You should really use that insight to call the authorities and alert them to the dastardly villain that keeps forcing you to read my article comments.
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marlon,
I'm completely with you on this one. While I've watched the first episode of Hostages, Dads and even Nashville, I haven't seen the second episodes of any of these shows because I thought they were just so bad, I have better things to do with my life and I know how to find the off button. But you have to remember what you're dealing with here "I love making lists of stupid tv crap", I'm not sure what the TV equivalent of a sadomasochism but I think someone has a very bad case of it
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Or maybe he just wants to watch a show about the Green Arrow, or anything remotely like that, and this is his only option.
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he didn't say he loved makign them so much he'll sit through utter shit just to do it. I inferred he likes listing it when he comes across it . you really should have done the same.
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"INFER. transitive verb. 1: to derive as a conclusion from facts or premises."

JT likes making lists of stupid tv crap, is a fact not a premise. He stated no other facts about the matter, the premise would be that as it is something he enjoys doing then it is done intentionally. So what facts are you using to back your assumption?
As for Occam's razor, JT keeps complaining about the show but he also keeps watching it, isn't the logical conclusion that he "enjoys" complaining?

"lastly '...you make an ass out of you.' is horrifically improper english. strike three dipshit, you're out"

That's is terrible English but you're the one that wrote it, so I guess that leaves me with at least two strikes and makes you the dipshit.
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since you think yourself something other than an idiot Gully_Foyle allow me to convince you and others otherwise.

INFER. transitive verb. 1: to derive as a conclusion from facts or premises. the premise being he makes lists of shitty things he sees. would he choose to see things he would otherwise have no interest in in order to make lists? occam's razor would suggest otherwise.

"when you assume you make an ass out of you and me." 0 points for purposefully incomplete quotation.

lastly "...you make an ass out of you." is horrifically improper english. strike three dipshit, you're out
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Actually you didn't infer, you assumed. And you know what they say :
Assume makes an ass out of u
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Kind of on the money with that reply there Foyle. Brilliant!
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It was good to see Count Vertigo again and Dark Archer!!!! can't wait for the next episode hope Dec 4th gets here in a flash
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i see what you did there?
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What do you know, John Barrowman playing a character who has a hard time staying dead. Now Malcom made it seem that he simply faked his death but it's possible that he used the Lazarus Pit that Ra's Al Ghul uses if the show went in that direction. One thing this would open up though is that if Malcom could cheat death whose to say he did not somehow find a way for Tommy to do the same and someday return.

The big reveal about Thea does go a little bit into the soap opera area, and certainly makes her crush on Tommy from season one way more creepy, but It really will depend on how the show handles it. Thea is sort of a version of Mia Dearden, the second Speedy. Maybe once she finds out ab out her real father and inevitably spirals out of control she will start making her way to taking up the bow and arrow her self.

I had a feeling that someone was behind Moira getting off but I thought it would be HIVE or Isobel Rochev. The question now is whether Malcom is working on behalf of the Leauge of Assassins and Moira being free is part of that plan, or is Malcom working on his own.

It's is too bad that The Count had to die, he was shaping up to be a great recurring enemy for Oliver. Yes, he did seem to borrow a lot from Heath Ledger's Joker, like that bit with the video, but it was still entertaining. The report on the news after The Count was killed uses the name "The Arrow" I guess Lance's name has caught on. Still wish it was Green Arrow but It's better than nothing.

Too bad that Kate Spencer doesn't seem to be getting fleshed out as a character all that much. I had hoped that one day we would see her become Manhunter.
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Well, Malcolm strongly hinted about the Lazarus pit being the real deal. When Moira says "They said you were dead" he actually responds with "There are parts of the world where death is an illusion, I've been to one". I don't know but I feel this might be a major clue about the existence of the Larazus pit.
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I really liked this episode, I love Felicity she is so cute and smart like a bunny!!!
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Felicity was the catalyst for a man's death as well as the exposure of Oliver's secret, all because she sucks at field work every time and still goes out there anyway. She's fun and cute but they write her horribly as a character - I hate characters like this in comics, there's plenty, but it's especially grating when it's on a show somehow.
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Yeah she needs to bone up on her field work prep, like not getting caught especially not getting caught with evidence that links you to your real life boss when you are doing recon for Team Arrow. Silly Blonde (no offence if you are blonde) lol
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Malcom not staying dead = very bad move.

Did anyone hear one of the journalists as Moira was leaving? "Did you kill your first husband?" I mean W T F??? Didn't he watch the trial? Didn't he watch the news??? Malcom's killing of her husband was NEVER in question. What kind of random silliness made the scriptwriters put this in? What, they just had no idea what a proper journalist would ask?

It might seem trivial but it shows to the ineptness of some of the writers on the show and that's a nono... Basically the whole courtroom part of the episode was a total stink bomb.
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I loved this episode. It was great and very will written. To be HONEST ... I wasn't surprised by the reveal that Thea is his daughter.

Back in Episode 3, when she said she was worried about the trial exposing certain things. I just knew something like this was coming.

Moira is the person we also know least about. Because think about it ... we don't really know much about her really. The woman is shader than a government official. Her trial was so absurd. Susanna Thompson is amazing though.

Sad to see Seth Gabel go. I really like him.
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The courtroom parts made me want to rip my hair out...

Seriously how hard would it have been for the writers to find a starving law student and get them to help? Because seriously none of that shows any resemblance to what would really happen!

It was terrible. Hell it only took a few days... such a high profile trail would take months in the real world, at least in the US, okay I get they don't want to drag it out, but seriously WTH writers? It was just plain bad.

Terrible, terrible, episode, just awful. The count was the only redeaming part and it was still pretty dodgy.
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The show really didn't need to go there. They should have let Malcolm die. I'm annoyed really.
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I liked this episode, it continued to tie together plots from all of season 2, Malcom Merlyn is a very good Arrow villain, makng Thea his daughter is sure to have her spinning out of control (The actress isn't very good at this; just goes all mopey and bratty) but it could push her closer to becoming Speedy; I still remember her archery trophy from season one. I hate the Brother Blood mask on Arrow it's just too damn big I prefer the skull mask from the comic, Great to see that Slade is one step closer to becoming Deathstoke the Terminator, once they get him that serum or whatever he can go full comic book terminator. I'm sure he'll be a villain because of the Shadow love triangle, still glad to see Sara in flashbacks until she comes back on the show, interested to see how Oliver thinks he's seen her die for the second time. Or even better her time as Ra Ghul's wife, mistress or whatever. Glad the trial is over and the season can move forward. Just hoping they don't fuck up Flash now that he's not getting a backdoor pilot; I hope they didn't change too much about him, only fan boy gripe about the flash is that he's too damn skinny. All and all it was good, I really thought Count Vertigo was going to become Arrow's version of the joker; sucks that they killed him and the Doll Maker, Arrow needs to build it's rouges gallery; which is why I'm glad Malcolm Merlyn is back we need to start having villains with some established history so that we don't get stuck with villain of the weeks that have to start from boring orgin stories.
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Sorry I desagree, Seth Gable's character was an imitation of the "Riddle" in Batman, I didn't like it.

About Malcolm... It doesn't make any sence to bring someone back Oliver finaly killed.

Felicity and Oliver (L)
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To clear any debate over Malcolm and the paternity results of Thea, try watching with sub's and he DOES say IS my daughter!!
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For those confused about whether Malcolm said 'is my daughter' or 'isn't...' to Moira at the end (I personally heard 'is'), John Barrowman posted a link on his Twitter account to a video clip of himself saying he's back on the show etc and in it he says he has a daughter. So yes, at this point, Thea is his daughter - whether this is disproved further down the storyline however, remains to be seen..

https://twitter.com/team_barrowman/status/403466129701896192

PS: Aside from the general pointlessness of her character, something isn't right with Laurel's face - is the actress unwell? Her face looks noticeably sunken in, and the extra make-up only seems to emphasise it rather than lessen it.
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She looks messed. Which while I know is not a polite thing to say. It is clearly the result of plastic surgery, and botox. She's also lost a lot of weight. It's too bad, she used to be very attractive. Ah well she will always be Ruby from Supernatural in my heart :)
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Same here!! I remember her on Supernatural & not only did she suit the character better she also looked so much better. It's like her face has lengthened & kinda hollowed out. I don't know if it's surgery or weight-loss or both & while it isn't nice to comment on someone's looks or personal choices, I find it distracts me from what's happening onscreen, which is why I felt the need to mention it. I guess I'm not the only one who's noticed it though.
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I read somewhere that the actress had changed her workout routine in anticipation of becoming BC since she didn't know when it might happen (never if we're lucky.) She acknowledged she didn't have the right body type for Canary. At first I thought the changes in her hair and makeup this season were elongating her face in a strange way, but now I wonder if she's lost weight or something.
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Well if that's true, her current body type is not the right body type for Canary, so she better think about a new routine.

If someone slammed a door on set, she'd blow away.
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Oh I didn't know about the routine change etc, perhaps it is that then? I've been noticing it in previous episodes but this one was the most pronounced. Don't know if you watch Supernatural but she played a character on that a few years back & she looked so much better then. I'm not Laurel's biggest fan - I completely agree that she should never be BC - but I was a little concerned seeing how gaunt she looked, esp during the scene where she's talking to Ollie after questioning Moira!
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Perhaps Laurel's appearance is intentional? The character is supposed to be abusing prescription pills and whatever else she's been taking.
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It's very unlikely that an actress would do that for a role where the details matter so little.
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I agree it's very unlikely & also those effects can be created through make-up/lighting etc, there's no need to go to those lengths so I don't think it's role-based.
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I'll admit I haven't seen the actress anywhere but in the actual show so I was assuming that it would have been done with makeup, lighting, etc. If she looks the same in real life then yes, the original point of concern stands.
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Seth Gabel was awesome, wasn't he? I loved him on Fringe, but I wasn't a huge fan of his initial turn as Count Vertigo. I liked him a lot more here and feel kind of sad that he's dead now. I had hoped there might be a Suicide Squad tie-in with this character at some point. I figured he must have been working with someone and that's what's kept him quiet all these months, but I was surprised it was Blood who was trying to draw The Arrow out.

The trial - the best I can say about that is at least it was dealt with in one episode. Worst. Legal. System. Ever. At least Oliver acknowledged the weirdness of that verdict. And Laurel - God. I know I was supposed to feel sorry for her here, but all I could think was this: that somewhere in the DC Universe, the REAL Dinah Lance is just itching to give her a swift kick in the pants and some forward momentum. I'm never going to believe her as Black Canary now, so I hope the show runners cut their losses with this character at some point and keep Sara as BC - maybe their mother was a total narcissist and her name is also Dinah? I don't even care what excuse they use - I'll buy it!

Okay, so I'm sure we all suspected Merlyn would be back, and I'm kind of glad because I love the actor. I wasn't even caught by surprise with the affair. Frankly, I was afraid Laurel was going to say she knew Oliver was Merlyn's son and then that didn't happen and I thought "Whew!" I was glad to be wrong. Then it came out at the end that he's Thea's father??? I agree, it's a little soapy but I'll see where they go with it. Speaking of Thea, I have to say that for once I liked her scenes with Roy - it felt relevant and I actually cared what was going on with them for a couple of minutes. Nice scene.

Last but not least, there have been Oliver/Felicity moments all over the last two episodes. I'll admit it - I love them. I'm an Olicity shipper. But I swear it seems like they went from 'Driving Miss Daisy' to 'Fast and the Furious' in like 2.2 episodes. I think they should slow down - this show has hit gold in the onscreen chemistry department with these two, and I'd hate for them to mess that up. And while Felicity's involvement with Team Arrow is bound to lead her into danger at times, getting on the blood bus seemed awfully stupid for someone so smart. I know that Laurel has ended up as the weekly damsel in need of saving (mostly because they didn't seem to know how else to involve her) but I do NOT want this to become a habit with Felicity. She's awesome without that nonsense.

P.S. Slade was looking all Deathstroke! I am SO looking forward to his appearance in the present time. I keep wondering which fishy lawyer is in Merlyn's pocket, and my money is on the DA herself. Sebastian Blood - still love him but not loving this Scarecrow mask he's wearing. I can't believe we're only at episode 7 - it seems like a LOT has happened! The Flash is coming - can't wait for that. Season 2 is really moving along, and I'm on board :)
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I can't believe I forgot to mention Oliver breaking his 'No Kill' policy. That's huge. I think it was unavoidable because I don't think it's possible to be The Arrow and never kill, even in defense of others. But it seems that Oliver was struggling with it there at the end even if it he put on a good front with Digg and Felicity. I don't think he regrets it - I'm sure he's glad he chose to protect Felicity - but I hope we see what the emotional toll is in coming episodes and we see him actually dealing with it.
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This episode reminded me, that this may be the best CW show, but it is still a CW show...
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nikita 2.0?
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Wow, you kind of nailed that one. Kudos.
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Please, please, please, let Thea's newfound paternity be a red herring that will drive a plotline for a while but eventually be revealed to be not true.
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I don't know she is kind of annoying.
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Its a plot driver I admit but I don't know if it can be disproven
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My only comments. love(d) Arrow but getting Too much. Will be a Soap soon.
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I love this show... but that Malcolm reveal and the Glamour like twist on Thea's biological father was just too much. I would actually be fine with the whole 'Malcolm is back' if it was slightly hinted at by some mysterious actions happening during the course of a couple of episodes but they just had to throw it in your face.

Now I'd like to see him deal with the death of his son but he seemed like nothing of the sorts had happened (probably because Tommy will be making a return as well, wouldn't surprise me). The fact that I wouldn't be surprised at the return of Tommy bothers me. Don't get me wrong on Malcolm because I found his character to be really fascinating; the Dark Archer has always been one of my favorite characters but the way that they brought him back felt wrong and now if Oliver and him need to face off again, we won't really care about the outcome as it could be anything really.

The island... oh the island. We've had great episodes on the island like 'The Odyssey' but this was not one of them. Slade's disfigurement is too precise and it bothered me just seeing it. It's fun to see that this is what leads him to becoming the Slade we all know and love (Deathstroke) and I'm happy that they are advancing the story on his front but I also have a problem with the pace they've been doing it. If you think about it, it would be weird if Deathstroke came to Star(ling) City and started making his presence known. Like out of nowhere? We'd certainly need answers on what took him so long because he's had plenty of time. This is of course unless they make him the islands big bad. I would like to see him come to Star(ling) city because I love his character but I would not be okay with not having a proper explanation as to why it took so long.

that's it for my concerns and such. If you're not aware of why I put 'ling' in brackets it's because Green Arrow's city is called Star City and I personally don't like the 'ling' they added there, sounds really stupid if you ask me.
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The "Starling City" thing really bugged me early on as well. I'm a long time Green Arrow comic reader and it seemed like a "lazy" mistake. HOWEVER I think, I hope, there is some "evolution" waiting to be developed on this front. The creators have been very up front, and largely have executed very well, a progression from "origin" to "established", whether its villains or the heroes. I see the City being something like that as well.

It was something in this episode that reminded me of that. When they read the verdict they indicated that it was the Superior Court (or something) of STAR County. Yes STAR County, not Starling County, but Star County. I don't know if that is just a nod to the traditional name of Green Arrow's city or if they have some as yet incomplete metamorphosis planned to the city itself. Something that would prompt a name change from Starling City to Star City. In the comics Star City has a central bridge that has Stars on its facade, or adorned in some way. Its a fairly distinctive landmark in the DCU. They've had "bridge" scenes but nothing like in the comics.

I thought after the earthquake and the Undertaking that they might hint at moving in that new name direction. So far nothing concrete but I yet hold out hope of Starling City some day becoming known for what it should be, Star City.
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The ling bothered me too. But not as much as people mispronouncing Ra's al Ghoul's name. It's pronounced Raeshe not Roz.
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This has been making me nuts since Batman Begins. Glad to see I'm not the only one.
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Yeah I know, I find that annoying as well but ling sounds like something a kid would add.
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oh wow... Malcolm really said isn't my daughter, feels good knowing that *phew*
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Nope, I´m pretty sure he says is my daughter. He just pronounces the is kind of weird. I mean, why would he be elated to find out that she isn´t his daughter??
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Because that's the hold Moira had on him and the reason she argued for Walters survival. Go back and listen.
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I´ve listened to the scene 4 times now and I always hear is my daughter. It would also make more sense in connection with the whole reveal that they had an affair. And I think the reason he didn´t kill Walter was the simple fact that he needed him as leverage.
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Uh....vaccines don't result in superbugs, Noel. Vaccines are a dead version of a virus, which your white blood cells then eat, resulting in an immunity to the living virus.

In addition, superbugs aren't even viruses! They're bacteria! There's no vaccine for bacteria; it's a different microorganism. It's the overuse of antibiotics that results in superbugs, not vaccines.

I'm sorry, but I'd hate to see anyone get sick and die as a result of your review.
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Nice episode! I like how they don't seem to drag things out this season and how we get plot twists (however soapy) with consistency: it feels like reading a comic book in a way.

Oh, and I'm overjoyed by John Barrowman being still in the show: the guy is such a good actor! But I do hope Merlyn won't still be a neurotic villain and that they use him wisely.
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Although I agree with you about almost all points, I was almost certain that Malcolm will return. So neither happy, nor sad about that...The daughter angle is sure too much... And you're spot on about the lawyers..all of them...

On an unrelated topic, is Laurel (Katie Cassidy) sick or something? She is really looking weird.
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I was 100% positive that Malcolm would return, mostly because the producers had already said that Barrowman would be returning. :D
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One can always hope that it is just for flashbacks, though :) I'm happy to get Barrowman again, just a little worried that it will be more of the same. Let's hope not, the story should go forward.
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But Malcolm turning up in the flashbacks wouldn't have made that much sense. If he'd turned up on the island in his Dark Archer gear then it would have come last season when Ollie saw the Dark Archer for the first time. If Malcolm turns up looking like Malcolm, then Ollie would recognise him. And the final option of Malcolm and Ollie being on the island at the same time but being totally unaware of each others presence, just doesn't make sense.
Now Malcolm could appear during Sara's LoA training but that wouldn't start until at least next season.
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Noel also thought that Malcom would return, but he didn't want him too. Me, for a second there, I thought they would say that Oliver was Malcom's son, so I was really relieved that it was Thea LOL.

On Laurel, I have always found she looked weird, like plastic-made weird, but I think they tried to fix her this season and... just made it worse... were you a fan before?
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About Malcolm, I was 100% sure that they would bring him back. I think Noel knew he would return, but hoped that he wouldn't.. I guess I didn't keep any hope factor..And I was also very very relieved that Oliver wasn't his son...phew...

On Laurel, I hated her character from the beginning, but she was ok look-wise IMO (sure, she does look too plasticky (made a word here)). Now she has sunken eyes and cheeks, and it doesn't look like some sort of fitness-training/dieting affect..
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One possible interesting outcome from the soapy reveal--Thea (inspired by her bro and/or Sara, but obviously against Oliver's wishes) eventually does suit up as Speedy to take down her "real" dad. (She has "wicked aim," remember?)

Strange as that would be (even dropping the yellow hat), it still beats Laurel at this point.

And, sorry Abercrombie, but Willa would look better in tights.

(Ok, I really don't see her suiting up per se, at least not permanently, but I can picture them writing a situation where either Oliver or Roy is trapped by Malcolm, and she suprises daddy-o with that same wicked aim. After all, how long will Malcom wait to tell Moira (and the world) about Oliver's identity?)

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Or best case scenario. Merlyn sees that his daughter is dating a dude with such little personality and charm that it is offensive. Takes it upon himself and uses him as an target for a few dozen arrows.
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I didn't actually pay that much to the trial portions of the episode so I can't really comment on that. But having laurel as second chair was stupid an a complete conflict of interests which was pretty ridiculous on the writers part.

I liked how they revealed that Merlyn was still alive. It was always in the back of my mind that he may be aloe seeing as we didn't see any dead body but it was a pleasant surprise. Heck, even Thea's paternity reveal was interesting. Im curious as to what they will do with Merlyn/Thea/Oliver. felt Digg/Carly's relationship was more soap operay than this. He's better with Lyla, :)

Enjoyed Team arrow scenes, always great to see them interact. Enjoyed olicity scenes;So excited to see the teams dynamic with Barry Allen!




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Worst part about the Laurel being second chair was that the Judge should have thrown her off the case. No matter how much she didn't rock the boat, one mention that she use to date the defendant's son and mentor the daughter should have got the gavel banging.
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I think that Oliver was actually feeling regret but hiding it so that Felicity doesn't feel guilt. And I think those scenes were really great as it was really sad how we, Diggle and Felicity knew that this was really a bad thing for Oliver, but he just soldiered on like a trooper. The best thing of the episode in my opinion.

They need to analyze this situation further. It's important.

Thea Malcolm's daughter - ugh....
Malcom being alive - ugh....
The lawyer work and Laurel being allowed to be a prosecutor in this case - ugh.... and ugh....
Oliver just lighting the lab on fire and then ... walking away???? - ugh...
Slade's insanely symmetrical scarred face - ugh...

Other island stuff - yay!
Oliver, Felicity and Diggle scenes - yay!
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Yeah, I'm going to want a sizable amount of follow-up on it since the show wants to make it a big deal.
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I hope the don't sweep it under the rug, because then the whole story about changing from vigilante to hero would be undermined, which is a big deal this season.
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