So yesterday on Arrow ALL the shit went down. Secrets were revealed and mooks were shot with such abandon that Ollie seemed to have a hard time not tripping on their bodies, people turned evil, or left, or turned awesome, or some combination of the above. The themes were summed up by Ollie’s line, “I am my own worst enemy” and The Super Cool Russian guy’s line, “When did you get so scary?”
As usual beware of SPOILERS.
So I’m not even gonna try to sum all this up – everything happens except nuclear war. But what I found interesting was two threads. First, we have the theme of darkness, continued from last week (Birds of Prey). Suddenly everyone is scary as shit. Hell, Thea gives Slade such a look of pure rage that when he said “I was wondering what kind of threat a 19-year-old can make” I really thought she might have one lined up. I am really hoping that it’s Thea who takes Slade down right before she runs off, cackling, into the night to become her own super-villian. I’m also fond of the fact that when she realizes she’s being kidnapped, her initial retain is something like, “Oh, not again. ho Hum. It must be Wednesday”.
Remember Isabel, played by Summer Glau? Well she starts off pretty nice, and delivers such a ferocious ass-kicking to invasive reporters that a slightly stunned Ollie says, “You’re very scary, thank you.” Truth be told, I prefer the idea that Isabel could become an unexpected ally but of course she’s actually EVIL. Evil and crazy and scary! Yay!
Then Ollie tells Roy to go all Hulk, and Roy says, “It’s just…you’re always telling me to hold back.” To which Ollie replies, “Not tonight”. This leads to Roy going so apeshit that Sara almost has to kill him. Speaking of which Sara is scary when she threatens Roy but scarier on the island where she turns a prisoner into a bomb, prompting Russian guy to say, “When did you get so scary?” Meanwhile in the Arrow Cave, everyone is arguing about what to do when Felicity marches right up to Ollie and says, with complete certainty, determination, and rather horrifying ruthlessness, “Go. Go get Thea. Stop Slade. Do whatever it takes. End this”. She probably would have whipped around to Sara and added, “And DON’T call me cute!” but everyone was too busy edging away from Felicity in a delicate manner. Don’t fuck with Felicity or the people she cares about, because she will end you.
On the “I’m my own word enemy” front, Ollie has been making stupid decisions for ages and they all land in his lap. He’s kept secrets to protect people and forced Roy to keep secrets and whaddya know, it turns out that Thea would have been much better off if she had been walking around with the super-powered boyfriend instead of crying alone because her boyfriend dumped her “for her own safety”. Moira delivers a devastating speech about secrets and how she said she kept them to protect the family but that was the worst lie of all – and of course Slade is busy spilling secrets all over the place so that plan has foundered. It’s sad that Thea isn’t even all that mad at her mom for lying to her. She expects lies from mom. Ouch. She’s sure as hell pissed at Ollie, though. Quentin is arrested because of Ollie, Roy leaves town, the company is destroyed because Ollie is not only an idiot but an idiot who hasn’t shown up for work in months, and if not for a pep talk from Diggle and Felicity, Ollie would clearly just go back to bed at this point. Stephen Arnell is really selling the emotions of a guy who has been juggling so many balls that he can’t hold them up any more. He’s usually so stoic that when he lets his emotions show it’s powerful stuff.
So this was powerful stuff. It did a great job of combining plot stuff, action stuff, and making all that revolve around and be driven by character stuff. It left me with that best of all feelings when watching TV: A desperate need to know What Happens Next. Will Thea and Ollie and Moira hug it out? Will Laurel pout about Ollie being Arrow or say, “Ha! I knew it!” and start working with him to end crime? Will Ray’s dig at Sara about how she’s screwing Ollie drive a wedge between Sara and Ollie or just remind us all that although Roy spends most of this episode being right, he’s still a dweeb? Will Ollie ever get to have the good cry he apparently needs? How long is it until next week?