This Week’s Arrow: “Streets of Fire”

Arrow Tv show logo


First of all, I’m so sorry I left you all last week.  I’m pleased to say that I did catch the episode I had missed and as a result I keep chirping, “Bitch…with wifi!” at everyone.  Seriously – how am I not wearing this as a T-shirt, all the time?

I'll be your interrogator today!

I’ll be your interrogator today!


So this week’s episode, “Streets of Fire” involved a lot of explosions and fights and great lines and several lines at which I did the whole “fist-pump in the air” thing.  There were audible cheers.  From me, I mean.  Line of the week comes from Laurel:  “That was the Canary”.   Behold my reaction:



OK, I’m a little tense about the finale next week.  Here’s my mantra:  they can’t kill the entire cast.  I’m sure they will kill off someone who is not a villain.  Personally, I’m so sick of Slade and his endless whining that I can’t wait to see him go out.  Please, Arrow producers, do not make me listen to him whining about Shado for another season.  I’m begging you.  And for crying out loud, DO NOT KILL FELICITY.  I am not kidding.  Anyone messes with Felicity, I’m crawling into my TV set and messing up some bad guys myself.  Do not tell me approximately 100 times in 45 mites that Slade is going to kill whoever Ollie loves most and then have him and Felicity being all touchy-feely.  DON’T TOY WITH ME!


Other highlights:

I have no highlights.  It was all highlights.  I do need to give a shout-out to this review from io9.  I recommend them often for full recaps and this one goes above and beyond by describing all the things Amanda Waller could do other than bomb this city.  Honorable mention for line of the week comes not from the episode itself but from reviewer Esther Ingliss-Arkell, who says,

But Waller already knows that Slade can be hurt and that he lost an eye. And that makes her decision so dumb that she ceases to be human, and basically becomes an elaborately sculpted cell phone holder. There is nothing between the point of her chin and the crown of her head but teeth and cat litter. She is as dense as a neutron star.

I bow before a master.  That was great.

Spin-off show - Slade and Amanda try to survive on a deserted island.  After five minutes, they are dated by sharks.  The end.  I would watch this.

Spin-off show – Slade and Amanda return to the island because of reasons. After five minutes, they are eaten by sharks. The end. I would watch this.

I know this is brief, but honestly this episode was just one long squee.  Ollie, stop whining.  Laurel, it’s great that you are such a good cheerleader now.  Please stop also trying to be action girl.  Or, since we know from Season One that you are quite well-trained in basic self-defense, do “Action Girl” right.  Summer Glau, you just be you, sweetie.  Rock that catsuit.  Roy, I’ve enjoyed this interlude of you being in a coma.  Thea, if you shot your dad, YAY!  If instead of shooting your dad you shot the bad guy behind him and are running off with your dad to begin your life of villainy, double yay!  Slade, shut up, already.  Diggs, find something cool to do.  I can’t wait until next week when this happens!!!!!!


This Week’s Arrow: “Deathstroke”

Arrow Tv show logoSo 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!

pic of Ollie signing away company to Isabel

Isabel cannot believe how easy her evil plan is. She hardly even needed a plan. She mostly just had to stand around waiting for Ollie to trip on himself.

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.

Once again both Ollie and Quentin, both of whom have constant access to a lawyer, fail to grasp how criminal law works.

Once again both Ollie and Quentin, both of whom have constant access to a lawyer, fail to grasp how criminal law works.

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?


This Week’s Arrow: Birds of Prey

Arrow Tv show logoWell, we finally got our Birds of Prey episode of Arrow and it was…OK.

Here’s some highlights:

The Island

The flashback section added nothing.  I already know Sara is capable of being ruthless.  She was an assassin, for crying out loud.  And there’s no indication that anything awful will happen to the guy she exchanges for Ollie’s life.  Plus, he’s a jerk, so it’s not like we saw Sara kill a puppy.  The only reason to have a flashback sequence was so that we could hear Slade say,  “I decapitated the engineer”.  which was, admittedly, a high point of the episode and, indeed, the entire season.

The Birds

This was a little disappointing.  Sara and Huntress fight each other which was kind of a bummer because I wanted them to team up.  Canary has some nice moments with Laurel, but I did not believe that Laurel would fail to recognize her sister, not did I believe that Sara would fail to recognize a potential weapon.  Take the bottle of bourbon with you, Laurel.  You don’t drink it – you hit people with it and then when it breaks you stab people with it, or you light it on fire and throw it.  Honestly, to have so much flammable liquid in Canary’s vicinity and not have it light up is so sad.

Look, I want Huntress, Canary, and Oracle fighting crime.  Sara and Huntress have a somewhat similar back story and Sara and Felicity have such a great friendship that I’m sort of shipping them instead of Ollie/Felicity or Ollie/Sara.  So please, give me Felicity, Huntress, and Canary fighting crime.  That’s Birds of Prey.  It’s not rocket science Hollywood.  Gimmie, now, or FACE MY WRATH.

My only hang up with this scenario is that I think having Barbara Gordon as Oracle is really important.  They could give Felicity a similar arc (she is humiliated and tortured and shot by bad guy, loses ability to walk, fights crime from wheelchair) but then Felicity would go through a period of time of being sad, and that can’t happen.  Every time Felicity makes a sad face, an angel loses his wings.  So I’m not sure how to make the Arrow Birds of Prey Spin-Off fit my Barbara Gordon as Oracle passion but somehow it must happen.

My point, and I do have one, is that this didn’t happen here, but what we did get was fine.  Lots of content about being dark and whether redemption is possible, lots of good moments between characters – it was OK.  The episode was very strong thematically and it was great to see that all these women have their own stories – they may involve Ollie, but they don’t revolve around him.

The Snark

So much snark.  This was a great episode for lines, which I almost missed because they were flying around so fast.  Felicity delivers a lengthy description of who Huntress is including a litany of violent crimes, and in the middle of this description she refers to Huntress as Ollie’s ex-girlfriend.  Sara perks up just like a Brittany Spaniel who hears a duck in the distance and says, “Old girlfriend, huh?” to which Ollie replies, “That’s what you took from that sentence?”

Felicity:  “Oh, I think if Huntress shows up you should definitely kick her ass”.  Digg’s nod of agreement deserves it’s very own Emmy.

Roy:  “Don’t call me Speedy”.

When Sara referred to Ollie as having “Baby arrows” I guffawed.

The Making of a Super-villan

It’s…prediction time!  First of all, I loved Thea’s reaction to Roy saying that they are breaking up (nope, she’s not having it).  And she just killed with her tearful breakdown when she realizes that they actually are breaking up.  But apparently neither Roy nor Ollie has ever read a comic book or seen any movie at all, ever, in their lives, because trying to protect your loved ones by having a secret identity never works.  Never, never, never.  Not one damn time.

So here’ my prediction.  There are two ways this season can end.  One is Thea survives whatever Slade has in mind and finds out that everyone, including Ollie (“The only one who never lies to me”) has lied to her.   She’ll find out about her parentage, Ollie’s crime fighting, the mirakuru – everything.  She’ll probably find out shit I don’t even know to ask about, like the combination of Ollie’s locker in high school.  Having discovered that everyone has bull-shitted her for months, she will go completely nuts and become the coolest villain ever.  She has brains and money and evil genetics and she will wander around letting people continue to think of her as a cute little sister while actually wreaking havoc on the world.  I can’t wait.

The other possibility is that Thea will die (NOOOOOOO!) which will cause Roy to lose it go all Hulk Smash and Ollie will have to fight him.  If the show wants to go super dark, Ollie will have to kill him but if they want to continue the theme of grief, healing, and redemption then Ollie will eventually calm Roy down and they will share many tears.

Also I doubt Sara is long for this world.  Please God, please let her ride off into the sunset so I can have the Birds of Prey sequel I crave.  Please don’t kill her off.  Pleeeeeeaaase!




This Week’s Arrow: “Heir to the Demon”

MV5BMTYzNDYxMTkzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODUzMjMxMDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_OK, so there was a LOT going on in this episode.  Crazy fight scenes, but mostly people saying real stuff – a lot of which was hard to hear because it was partly true, and also hard to hear, because it was partly untrue (or unfair).

For a full recap, you guys really should hop over to io9 which comes complete with a crying guide.  Seriously, I had no idea that I could get so emotionally worked up over an episode which not once but frequently involves the phrase “Tibetan Pit Viper Venom”.

So now that you are all back from reading the full-length io9 recap that I am not recapping, let’s talk about four big scenes SPOILERS DUH!  In these scenes, we see why a show that is so very fun and amazingly ridiculous (Tibetan Pit Viper!) is also emotionally engaging – the characters have layers.  They have actual motivations that make sense given their circumstances, even when their circumstances are “fell in love with the daughter of an assassin who is also an assassin and a very good one at that”.  They make mistakes and achieve triumphs that fit the complicated, flawed people that they are – and they are often right and wrong at the same time.  So here goes:

1.  Felicity tells Ollie Moira’s big secret.

Is it any of Felicity’s business who Thea’s father is?  Nope.  Should Felicity expose Moira’s secret to Ollie?  Not on the basis of paternity alone – it’s nobody’s business but Moira’s and Thea’s.  But here’s where things suddenly become Ollie’s business – Ollie is running the family company and publicly supporting his mother’s campaign for Mayor (I’m still not over how bizarre it is that Moira is running for Mayor).  Moira is a corrupt politician.  Bribing someone with large amounts of money in secret is corrupt.  Moira has a history of secret corruption.  So on the face of it, Felicity is so over the line.  But in terms of the fact that Moira could be drag  the company Felicity works for and everyone Felicity cares about into a pit of illegal corrupt activity – Felicity is absolutely right to tell Ollie.  Hell yeah.

2.  Ollie is furious with Moira.

So Moira had an affair (that she admitted to) ages ago and had a daughter with a psycho guy (that she hadn’t admitted to but was smart to keep secret given how abysmal a parent psycho guy was to his son).  Ollie’s rage that his mother lied is both totally off the scale considering what she actually did and breathtakingly hypocritical.  Really Ollie?  You’re going to be angry at someone about lying?  You, who refuse to tell your mom or Thea about your crime fighting life?  Jesus, guy.

I think that Ollie’s anger with his Mom has nothing to do with the affair (he took it pretty well when he heard about it earlier this season).  It has to do with all of last season, which basically consisted of Ollie defending his mom while with every episode her complicity in crimes against him, his father, and his city grew more and more obvious.  Ollie is right that Moira doesn’t lie to protect Thea – she lies because it what she does.  In a series about how people learn to survive, Moira has learned to survive by lying all the time, to everyone.  And Ollie doesn’t want to get sucked back into a whole other season/lifetime of trying to cover up his mom’s lies.

Is Ollie’s outrage fair, given that Ollie is scarcely forthright and forthcoming?  Nope.  He survives by lying, too.  Is his anger in character, especially given what his mom’s duplicity has already put him through?  Yup.

Speaking of lying, I’m rooting for Thea to finally find out that basically no one treats her as a person.  Everyone lies to her constantly because they think she’s a fragile decorative item, and I hope she responds by becoming a supervillian,  and I hope she kicks everyone ass.

3.  Laurel is furious with Sara.

This is another case of someone being both unfair and yet completely in character and at least somewhat justified.  Sara was the family flake.  Then she did a really bad thing (betrayed Laurel by cheating with Ollie).  She then let her family believe she was dead for years.  Sara has paid a disproportionate price – but Laurel doesn’t know that.  What Laurel does know is that when Sara left her parents stopped parenting.  Laurel’s mom left and her dad became an alcoholic.  We never seen alcoholic Quentin, so we think of him as dad of the year.  But anyone who’s lived with an alcoholic parent knows that practicing alcoholics are not parents, they are big, heavy, puking babies.  And who took care of everything and cleaned up all that barf while also saving the downtrodden of Starling City from injustice?  Laurel.

Now here comes Sara, and she seems to have it all together (she doesn’t but Laurel can’t see that).  What Laurel sees is that suddenly she, Laurel is the screw-up, and the person who actually screwed everything upon the first place is being hailed as the prodigal daughter and trying to fix Laurel up.  If I were Laurel, I’d be pissed, too.

But alas, although Laurel has a point, Laurel is also wrong, because this show is about how people survive, and Laurel chose to survive by numbing her pain with alcohol and drugs.  That was her choice (her Dad made the same choice, but eventually chose to work a program of sobriety).  Laurel blames Sara for her current state, but Laurel is the one who chose the bottle and who has chosen to refuse all offers of help.  Sara, Quentin, and Ollie have all taken some degree of responsibility for their past destructive and self-destructive choices but Laurel has not.

4. Ollie and Sara have sex.

I know all you Felicity/Ollie shippers are freaking out, but I think Ollie sees sex as a recreational activity and I think Sara does too.   They have a real bond, they care about each other, but I see this as more of a Friends With Benefits situation.  Ollie has told Felicity that he can’t have a romantic relationship given his crazy life – hence the sex with Isobel (I miss Isobel!)  We’ll see where this goes, but my money is on mutual affection, not true love.

Tragically, there’s no Arrow for two weeks because of the Olympics.  If you haven’t been watching the shown here’s a great essay by Jennifer Crusie about why it works so well.  Read it and enjoy, and we’ll see you in two weeks!

This Week’s Arrow: “Tremors”

MV5BMTYzNDYxMTkzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODUzMjMxMDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_I missed the first ten minutes of this episode.  I’m consoling myself with the knowledge that probably five of these ten minutes was devoted to “Previously, on Arrow…”   Apparently I missed Roy slapping water as part of a training montage – see, that’s why you gotta be on time, people.  I regret missing that deeply.

Also, like everyone else on the planet, I am sick, so this is the shortest short list of highlights ever.  I thought this was a fun episode, with the plot zipping along, revelations dropping right and left, and so very many pretty outfits to look at.  Here’s some highlights:

Line of the week:

Ollie:  “Do you have one of those hoodies with you?”

Roy:  “Seriously, do you even need to ask?”

Too funny – but boys, a hoodie does not a disguise make.  Roy couldn’t even keep that stupid thing on.  Gotta work on the costume, Roy.

This fools no one.

This fools no one.

Runner up line of the week:

Felicity:  “Oooh, you have angry face”.

Love you, Felicity, never change.

Plot stuff:

Oh, look, there’s Moira and Walter!  I always liked them.  Get them back together, show.  In other news, Moira is going to run for Mayor.  What could go wrong?

Am both confused and delighted by super-mature Thea.

Laurel, Laurel, Laurel, Laurel, Laurel.  I was amused by the fact that when her Dad pointed out that she’s not the only person to have lost somebody and been fired, she restrained herself from replying, “Oh yeah?  How many people have survived being tied to a chair and threatened with a gruesome death by an insane serial-killer taxidermist?  Huh?  I’ll tell you – NOBODY!”  See, Laurel, that’s the kind of sharp comeback you could come up with if you weren’t drunk all the time.  Work on that.

Oooh, we’re getting a squad!  A squad of bad guys!  Oh hey, Sara’s back!  Woah, someone stole an earthquake machine!  Back on the island, Slade and Ollie are hugging it out – that’s sweet.  But doomed.  So much plot excitement!

They hug in a manly way.

They hug in a manly way.

OK everyone, I’m going back to bed. Leave your comments here!