This Week’s Arrow: Blind Spot

MV5BMTYzNDYxMTkzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODUzMjMxMDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_This was not the greatest episode of Arrow, but not the worst either – this is another one where things get slotted into place.  The short version recap is that Laurel tries to out Sebastian Blood as a bad guy, but no one, including Arrow, believes her, especially when Blood tips off the cops that there are a bunch of drugs in Laurel’s apartment.  Then one of Blood’s minions tries to kill Laurel.  If you were going to try to kill her, why bother with the drugs?  I thought the beauty of the drug thing was that it got Laurel out of the picture without doing anything other than revealing a secret Laurel really did have.  Laurel is a wreck, she’s fired – it’s basically another episode of “Kick the Laurel”.  For the love of all that is holy, could someone please get this woman a basket of kittens.  It’s an emergency.

All better now.

All better now.

Back on the island, Sara reveals that Laurel new Sara had a crush on Ollie and set her up to be grounded so Laurel could make her moves.  See, this is why my dear daughter should be grateful to be an only child.  Sara has a chat with Ivo and throws in her lot with Ollie (maybe).

Roy has issues because of the serum he was injected with and Sin spends the whole episode being awesome and trying to get him to tell Thea what’s going on, but he doesn’t, because Roy is a moron.  And now Arrow has a protegé!  Whee!

No major romance developments except that Ollie has “a blind spot” when it comes to Laurel and despite the fact that Thea has suddenly become the most mature person on the show, Roy continues to keep her in the dark.  No one likes a pouter, Roy.

Bizarre tech of the night:

Felicity doing a lie detector test on a guy remotely…how?  I dunno.  It’s being done by Felicity, so I’ll accept it.

Best Lines of the night:

Felicity finally says what we’ve all been thinking:  “Well, his last name’s ‘Blood’.  That can’t be a good sign.”

Sin:  “Good thing Thea and I are tight”.  Friendship between women!  I am now officially logging my request for a Thea/Sin spin-off show.  Sin proceeds to rock the entire episode, from her face as Thea leads her to find a “first date outfit” to her response to a john who says, “You’re pretty”  (Sin:  “You’re disgusting”).  Sin, NEVER CHANGE.

Ollie:  “He doesn’t like to talk about his feelings”, to which Diggs, replies, “Not like us!”

Sin, AKA: My Hero.

Sin, AKA: My Hero.

This Week’s Arrow: Blast Radius

MV5BMTYzNDYxMTkzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODUzMjMxMDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_So this was a weird, filler episode in which there were a lot of explosions but nothing much happened.  Men ran around being manly, with the occasionally manly grimace of emotional vulnerability, women were stealthy, Sean Maher was totally wasted in his part as a mad bomber and basically the story inched forward just a smidgen while I screamed at the screen, “Kiss her, Ollie!  Kissherkissherkissheryouidiot!”

Let’s get this party started with:

What You Need to Know

1.  Ollie is totally freaked about the Wonder Drug of Doom

2.  This is because back on the Island, when Slade took the wonder Drug of Doom, he became even more of a jerk than usual.  Luckily when he tried to strangle Ollie, Sara was standing by to smack him with a tree branch.  That’s why we love you, Sara.

3.  My imaginary pretend boyfriend (Barry Allen, Duh) is in a coma (don’t worry, he has a spin-off show coming soon, he’ll be fine).  Felicity has been hanging out in Central City with comatose Barry a lot and [insert sing-song voice here] somebody’s jealous!

3.  Ollie is a total jerkass to Felicity, who was in Central City at Barry’s bedside when the first bomb went off.  Ollie blames Felicity for basically everything on earth before finally apologizing to her and exuding sexual magnetism all over the place.  Huh, that sounded less gross in my head.

4.  Roy has superpowers that he won’t discuss with Thea (Roy is a moron.  We all know this).

5.  Oh yeah, there are bombs, because Sean Maher (from Firefly!) plays a mad bomber – but honestly it’s not that important.  Except that my manic googling reveals indications that he’ll be back in future episodes.  If he appears with Summer Glau, there will be great rejoicing.

6.  Sebastian Blood is totally evil (which we knew).  Laurel has figured this out – which is impressive since she stole her Dad’s pain meds and is drugged to the hilt constantly.  Yeah, that will end well.

Line of the night:

“Were you apologizing to me, or were you talking to your quiver?”

Romantic developments:

Thea and Roy

Thea, acting almost mature

Thea, acting almost mature

I have never cared about this couple.  Is anyone out there losing sleep with regard to Roy?  Anyone?  God forbid he should have an honest conversation with Thea for five minutes.  Thea has had her own moments of relationship fail, but in this episode she really tries to be there for Roy and he’s as dumb as a bag of bricks.  BTW, the whole scene in the club where Ollie tries to find out what’s up with Roy was great, especially when Ollie’s mom shows up and talks about how great it is that Thea has made such a great business from Ollie’s “hobby”.  Moira has to spend so much time either seeming sort of villainous or super angelic that this moment in which she drives her son completely crazy with an offhand comment was really refreshing – it was exactly the kind of annoying things mom’s do and it bugged Ollie in exactly the kind of way I’d expect it to.

Ollie and Felicity

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See, I’m conflicted, because I sort of don’t want Felicity and Ollie to get together.  I really want Felicity and Barry to get together, but since he’s going off to his own show with his own canonical love interest I don’t think we’re gonna get that.  Not for long, anyway.  And I don’t think Ollie is capable of being anybody’s boyfriend right now.  He’s very empathetic and supportive of troubled women (he has bonded on at least some level with Laurel, Sara, Huntress, and Isabel) but he himself is a total mess.  Being able to understand another person does not necessarily make you capable of navigating the day-to-day complexities of dating someone.

But Ollie and Felicity have good chemistry, and she adores him so much, that I sort of root for them anyway.  and the chemistry in this episode was huge, as Ollie has a pretty honest conversation with Felicity.  He even stutters a little, which is so…cute.  He’s supportive of her relationship with Barry (during this last conversation) while acknowledging his dependence on her and her status as an equal.  It was a great moment in an otherwise flat episode.

General questions to ponder and one missed opportunity:

1.  How is Laurel able to stay so alert on prescription painkillers?  Because if I so much as look at a Vicodin I fall asleep.  Think of the eye-hand coordination involved in applying her mascara so perfectly.  Maybe that’s her superpower.  By the way, it was so nice to see her do something competent in this episode and finally get some information that could make her more of a player.

This is not the hair of a stoned woman.

This is not the hair of a stoned woman.

2.  It’s sweet that Ollie has a pal in Sebastian the Devil, but is it really wise for a politician to publicly ally himself with the Queen family right now?  Aren’t they still pretty unpopular, what with Moira having helped kill hundreds of people?  When did they become popular again?

Sure, I'll trust him.  why not?

Sure, I’ll trust him. why not?

3.  A missed opportunity:  When Felicity tells Ollie to get his head out of his ass, and Diggle suggests they all take a breath.  No, Diggle, don’t stop them now!  I want to hear Felicity yell at Ollie some more!  She’s really good at it!  Let ‘er rip!

Don't mess with Felicity.  Just don't.

Don’t mess with Felicity. Just don’t.

 

See you all next week, with an episode in which Laurel turns to Arrow for help with Sebastian Blood, and Sebastian does not appreciate it, not one little bit.  You can leave our comments here, or catch up with our chat at Harlequin Community Forums!

Watching Arrow: The Story So Far

MV5BMTYzNDYxMTkzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODUzMjMxMDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_Welcome to the first Arrow mini-recap!  Arrow has been on winter hiatus and it returns next week.  I’ll be posting a short recap/highlights every week.  You can comment here, or hop on over to the Community Forums at Harlequin.com where we’ll be chatting about the show.

Arrow is impressive because it promises something to its audience and then it delivers on that promise every single week. It promises campy, crazy, fun superhero drama with beautiful people doing over the top things and by golly that’s what we get.  In the first episode of Season Two, Ollie swings around like Tarzan on a vine or similar object to save Felicity.  He does this twice in one episode.  The first time, he does it shirtless.  If that doesn’t sound like pure cracky goodness to you, then this will not be your show.

I thought it might be fun to bring everyone more or less up to speed on the show.  Obviously that means…SPOILERS FOR SEASONS ONE AND HALF OF SEASON TWO!  And all the recaps will contain spoilers, because duh, they are recaps.  You’ve been warned.

So here’s a quick look at the story so far.  This is just the big, broad strokes.  For more detailed recaps, the ones on io9.com are hilarious and detailed!

SEASON ONE

Once upon a time there was a selfish, irresponsible jerk named Oliver Queen.  Oliver is is dating Laurel Lance but he sneaks off to his yacht (he’s a billionaire, or at least, he’s the son of a billionaire) with Laurel’s sister, Sarah.  Just as sexy times are about to ensue, the yacht sinks.  Sarah dies right away and everyone else on the boat, including Ollie’s dad, dies shortly thereafter. But Ollie survives until his lifeboat washes up on the shores of a deserted island.

Cosy!

Cosy!

Lots of adventures happen on the island (shown in flashback) but the big thing you need to know is that Ollie becomes a badass.  He is mentored by Yao Fei, Yao’s daughter Shado, with whom he has a romantic relationship, and Slade Wilson.  By the end of Season One, we know that Yao Fei is dead but we don’t know the fates of anyone else from the island.

Five years later, Ollie is rescued from the island and returns home to Starling City with his mom (Moira) his mom’s new husband (Walter), his younger sister (Thea), and a very bitter Laurel.  Laurel’s father, Quentin, is even more bitter, which is a problem for Ollie since Quentin is the chief of police.  Ollie was given a list of names from his father of people who have conspired against the Queen family and who have committed crimes against Starling City (corruption, embezzlement, that kind of thing).

The Happy Family

The Happy Family

Ollie hunts down the people on the list in disguise.  The public refers to him as “The Vigilante”.  Meanwhile, he plays up his billionaire playboy facade in an attempt to avoid detection.  Ollie’s allies are John Diggle, his driver/bodyguard/deadpan snarker badass voice of reason, and Felicity Smoakes, tech genius, also deadpan snarker.

Ollie’s best friend from pre-island days, Tommy, is in love with Laurel Lance and they become romantically involved, but Tommy insists they break up because he think Laurel is meant to be with Ollie.  Please, Tommy, this is absurd, we all want Ollie to be with Felicity, because she’s so amazing and adorable.  Laurel has way too much baggage of her own.  She doesn’t need to be carrying Ollie’s around too.  Let that ship sail and buy the poor woman a puppy.

Yeah…they are doomed.

Yeah…they are doomed.

Anyway, there are big conspiracies and things (seriously, I’m leaving out buckets of stuff here) but basically, Tommy’s father, Malcolm Merlyn, is a criminal mastermind (played by John Barrowman!!!) who plots and schemes and ends up destroying a big chink of Starling City (an area called ‘The Glades’).  He is killed by Ollie, Tommy dies, Moira (Ollie’s mom) confesses to having helped Malcolm under duress, oh my god, the angst, the weeping, the remorse from all parties concerned except for Malcolm, the only completely guilty person, who cackles with glee before he dies (OR DOES HE???).  Ollie sobs over Tommy’s body, “It should have been me!”  As an aside, Walter and Moira broke up in the middle of the season.  So basically, Season One ends with everyone as dysfunctional as humanly possible.

The producers of Arrow stated that Ollie was not referred to as Arrow at any time in Season One, because he was not a hero yet.  Getting revenge on people by killing their bodyguards doth not a hero make.  But stay tuned for:

SEASON TWO

Ollie goes to the island to repent (as one does) but Felicity and Diggle make him come back to Starling City to save his family and the family business.  Ollie is able to save the company but he’s stuck with a co-president, Isobel Rochev (played by Summer Glau!!!).  Ollie decides that he will continue to fight crime and injustice, but he wants a new name, and he won’t kill unless it is absolutely necessary.  He’s also focused on the general good of the city, not a personal vendetta.

Thea is dating Roy, a street smart guy who tries to be a superhero by punching people.  This approach gets him beat up constantly.  Ollie agrees to let Roy help him (he doesn’t reveal that he’s Ollie, of course) but only by gathering information.  Meanwhile Moira is on trial for mass murder because of her involvement in the Glades destruction but, surprise!  She’s acquitted of everything!  And – surprise!  It’s because Malcolm is still alive!  And he rigged everything!  Also he’s Thea’s real father!  And he’s totally going to tell Thea!  Until Moira, who is a strong-willed woman indeed, sets a bunch of assassins on him so he flees town in shame, hee, hee.

Oh, Malcolm Merlyn, you are so pretty…but Moira does not have time for this crap.

Oh, Malcolm Merlyn, you are so pretty…but Moira does not have time for this crap.

Arrow (Ollie is going by ‘Arrow’ now) is quite chummy with Detective Lance, who got demoted to beat cop.  They grow even closer when it turns out that…wait for it…Sara is alive!  And she’s also a vigilante, named ‘Canary’, with a sidekick named Sin.  We love Sin because she refers to the overly clean-cut Roy as “Abercrombie”.  But after several fabulous episodes, Sara she has to leave town because the same pesky assassins that are after Malcolm are after her and she wants to protect her family.  Arrow convinced her to tell her father that she’s alive but she refuses to tell Laurel (for her own protection, blah, blah).

Canary - so very cool.

Canary – so very cool.

In the flashback world, we find out how Sara survived and became a badass, and Shado died (awww) and Slade was blown up, treated with a drug that seemed to kill him, but which actually brought him back to life.  Now he’s back in Starling City trying to use the drug to make an army of super soldiers.  They keep dying on him, but guess who gets captured and injected and survives?  Roy, that’s who!

The best moment in Arrow is when Barry Allan appears.  He will become The Flash with his own show soon (!) but meanwhile he gets a big crush on Felicity, makes a proper mask for Ollie, and saves Ollie’s life, leading to my favorite line in the entire series:  “Does the rat poison you injected me with have any side effects?”  Barry Allen leaves for his own show which I will surely watch with almost demonic levels of glee.

OK!  We’re caught up, kind of!  Arrow airs on CW (of course) and the next episode is  on Wednesday, January 15.  I’m hoping to have a quick mini-cap up sometime on Thursday both on geekgirlinlove.com and at Harlequin.com.  Let’s have some fun!

Billionaire superheros throw the best parties!  It's true!

Billionaire superheros throw the best parties! It’s true!