Arrow, Episode 70 “Green Arrow” Broadcast on October 7, 2015
Teleplay by Marc Guggenheim & Wendy Mericle
Story by Greg Berlanti & Beth Schwartz
Directed by Thor Freudenthal
“Last season on Arrow,” Ray Palmer blew himself and his building up, Oliver meets Ra’s al Ghul, Felicity and Oliver get intimate, and the pair drive down the coast with Oliver admitting he’s happy. In the present, Oliver runs through the foliage — hood up, until his jogging path ends and he’s on the street where his Leave it to Beaver house is located that he shares with Felicity. After a conversation about omelets and islands, they’re in bed where she asks why he got his shoulder tattoo removed. “I don’t need it anymore.” She has to talk to the Palmer board about inheriting Ray’s legacy, while Ollie is going shopping at the farmer’s market. That night in Star City, a truck full of goons is shooting at Canary and Speedy who are in hot pursuit on a motorcycle. Speedy gets in the vehicle and tussles with the thugs until getting help from a surprising someone in a new costume. Canary seems to have stopped the truck and ended the conflict, but backup arrives which changes things. Cue opening title card sequence.
Back at headquarters, the heroic trio learns that the storage containers taken held weapons created by Kord Industries. Laurel wants to contact Oliver for help, but John shoots her down. “Oliver believed we could handle it.” At city hall, Captain Lance is told to focus on catching the Ghosts (the name given for the team from the truck and other criminal actions), rather than worry about who’ll be mayor. As the council berates Lance, Damien Darhk walks in. “I’m here on behalf of an organization that wants you to let (the city) die.” He threatens them, then exits. Back at the Cleavers’, Ollie shows something he’s purchased to the neighbors. A flashback occurs to five years earlier: Oliver’s on a rooftop chasing a dealer who sells to kids. He winds up falling off the roof and entangled in some wires, upside down. Amanda Waller approaches him. “You’ve certainly chosen an unusual hobby, Mr. Queen.” Back in the present, the D.A. passes out in front of Laurel after noticing her coffee tastes funny. Laurel calls the team together. Members of the city council are being taken out and Star City Police Headquarters is attacked. Cue first commercial break.
I’ve only seen the first four episodes of the first season, in the last week, so this is all new to me. This is a really dark show compared to The Flash. It’s not Gotham dark, but it’s much darker than other DC fare on the air. Stephen Amell is a good fit for Oliver Queen and he brings a good amount of emotion to the character. His interactions with David Ramsey as John Diggle were the highlight. Amell also has a good sense of comedic timing, shown through his and Emily Bett Rickards’ conversation about their trips. I wish there was a little more humor in this episode. Katie Cassidy was also good as the Canary, though she didn’t use her powers; I’m sure there’s a backstory there that I’ve missed. Ramsey gets the highest marks for this episode with Diggle being torn between what Ollie did in the recent past and his family. That was strong, albeit predictable, stuff, but I enjoyed him and how that storyline is going. Willa Holland was also a very strong point. She’s the only “hero” in this episode that enjoys what she does. Holland brings a good sense of energy to the show and every time she was on the screen things brightened. Granted, she has a history and currently seems a little too fond of violence, but I’m going to let that slide with the young age of her character. Another bright spot is Rickards who provided a lot of energy as well, as the one non-powered person who has the need to contribute to a better city. I didn’t care for Paul Blackthorne as Captain Quentin Lance. He came off as really casual about the heroes helping out, and his comments about Oliver fell flat. I also didn’t buy Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk. This was my first exposure to the character, who’s got a fairly detailed history on the show, according to IMDB. I like the nature of his powers, and this puts Ollie way out of his comfort zone, let alone ability to battle, but McDonough is bringing a jovial tone to the character that doesn’t fit. I also wasn’t big on the flashbacks with Waller. It has me hoping that these flashbacks don’t occur in every episode, but with this being Season 4, I’m thinking it’s probably otherwise. The action sequences were good, with the effects for the train strong, but the highlight was watching Speedy zip in and out of a setting.
The good: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Katie Cassidy, Willa Holland, Speedy, the fights, and the train effects. Plus the “Six Months Later” sequence with a surprise guest.
Fun lines: “We’re really gonna have to work on your definition of ‘cool’,” “I told you guys to call me Red Arrow,” “Dude! Nice reflexes!”, “I can’t go into battle with a man I don’t trust,” “Wait, is that–?”, “Six Months Later,” and “I want to be left alone.”
The bad: I fail to see why Star City is worth saving; it’s a dump. Even the city council says so. These heroes have had three years and they haven’t really made any progress, so why bother? Even Gotham City has some beautiful safe places compared to here. Paul Blackthorne and Neal McDonough, the flashback sequences, and back to the island? I’m only on Season 1, but I want Ollie off it and in action. Granted, I shrieked like a girl when the individual in the jacket left the bar, but let’s bring that individual into this show. Arrow’s voice modulator, to protect his identity, gives me unintended giggles.
The final line: I’m going to continue to watch this series, as I’m playing catch up, but I sure hope it turns into some fun, because this episode wasn’t. How ’bout some optimism in a hero show? Overall grade: C+