Moving forward after your leader disappears is hard. First you have to accept that they might be dead. Second you have to deal with the fallout of their deaths. Third you have worry about all the crap they left behind and didn’t get a chance to clean up before inconveniently “dying”. “Dying” here meaning disappearing for x numbers of days without reaching out or assuring anyone you’re not dead because you were quite literally dying on the side of a mountain (ravine, cliff, whatever). This ‘dying’ didn’t just cause anxiety for those back at home. It showed fractures in relationships, brought new people together, and troubling issues to light. It also sent out the call for to those who might be willing to take on the mantle. Welcome to Arrow’s Mid-Season premiere which presents the standard stages of grieving, some fine examples of leadership, and why Malcolm Merlyn still needs to be kicked in the…
Lets just get to the reviews. Before I write something I regret.
Despite Team Arrow seemingly falling apart without their leader, the reviews were incredibly well put together. Most focused on the tension the bloomed up in Oliver’s absence. Still it’s best to recap what occurred this episode before we start pulling things apart. Naturally the place for the most straight forward recap is Comicbook.com which brought the episode with zero opinion. Yet some people like the infusion of witty commentary along with their recap, for that we turn to Comic Alliance. Yet for a full review or more like an actual review, we turn to TV Fanatic. It’s clear that this reviewer doesn’t pull punches whether it’s speaking about major fan-(obsessions) favorites like Felicity or noting the quality changes in Laurel. The real reason I added this review was because they got why my new found dislike for Merlyn. I respect him on a villains level, crafty sons of a b- are hard to find and even harder to depict with the flair that Barrowman does. Yet I want to kick him so badly! If it just happened to be off a building I’d enjoy that a lot.
Not everyone was on board with notion. Well, I suppose they just respect him on the villain’s level, but no really mentions the worm like movement of Malcolm in this episode. Creeping around from the shadows, lurking in corners and hiding from sighting. Yet I can’t go into this review without presenting the proud return of the Arrow After Show. Which really should changes it’s name to the Laurel Hate Show, but that is another matter.
I knew they weren’t going to find many things to like about Laurel this episode. In fact I hesitated adding them, but as I thought about it. I might want to document what could be the last times they air these shows. They were very stern about what they considered Laurel’s place and what she ought not to be doing. Reminding me of those Mother in 1920’s classic movies trying to force their eager daughter down the ‘right path’ and making them understand their place. Still best to give this long time show it’s proper dues:
The one other complaint I have isn’t really a complaint. I feel like John Campae overlooked Ray Palmer’s nearing stalker levels to getting Felicity to work for him. In fact, Felicity herself says it to his face that his actions mirrored one of her former stalkers and she knows how to handle those guys. This augmented with his sudden barging into her living space in episode 5 kinda put him in the creeper zone for many women, who despite Ray’s charms and energy aren’t swayed away from their early impressions. Which is legitimate and something that worked against the character. Talking characters we turn to Charlie over at Emergency Awesome.
Pulling out his favorite 5 moments, he does a great job of looking into the possibilities surrounding each of the characters in this episode. He also airs some interesting predictions concerning their paths.
Quiver Podcast also dug into the characters development within the episodes. Well, I feel like they might have focused a bit more on Felicity and Diggle, especially Felicity. I can only pray they don’t read the TV Fanatic’s review. Though maybe could agree on the fact that Felicity development is needed. She started out merely the geeky girl who could get things done than a hacker and now co-captain of the crew. If she had kept her original light and happy outlook through out everything than people would have gotten pissed off with her. Still she was the most positive person till this episode when Oliver didn’t make it through. What followed was a very emotional charge Felicity who lashed out with emotions first grieving over Oliver, reopening the wound of Sara and ultimately lets her emotions dictate her actions. Which was a conflict that was well noted by the boys of the Arrow Squad. Who have coined the term Merlyn the Manipulator, a name I will be using from now on as well. While Felicity’s wrestling with her emotions and struggling to come to terms with the lost of Oliver was a key discussion. Their first topic was actually the timey-wimeiness of the episode and the previous one. Which is something I was wondering myself, but just as it was advise in the podcast I’m going to let it go. Eventually. Yet while Green Justice certainly hit many of the same issues that those above did. It should be noted that they seemed just as huge up over the timing of the episode. Between the flashbacks to 5 years ago, flashbacks to a few days ago, and the present day events is was rather confusing. Their discussion might not clear up everything, but the idea of where things will play in are interesting to listen.
Fangirl Rating: 8.26
As much as I loved this episode, I found it hard to write this review. It wasn’t the flow of the episode, it was…merely a building block episode. It felt like these upcoming episodes were going to grow into something, shift the paradigm of the show. It wasn’t just Laurel becoming more of a stable person or Felicity breaking down. It was this anticipation that is building, like the episode was the starting arc for something, of something else. Only time will tell whether the next two episodes continue this feeling or if the end result will satisfy me. Yet I can say with certainty that I’m eager to see what comes of this. As it has been hinted, this is just the beginning.
Starling City News: Bullet Points
- Maybe I should add the almost ever changing title of this section to the news list. I seems like it might be helpful. Otherwise, there was of course a bunch of news out. I’m not going to blame the news for why this review is out so late. However I might just say that it held me up bit as each new bit of information distracted me from concentrating on this episode. In the end I had re-watch the episode and then listen to the episode while I wrote. It’s hard. Still I’ve got news to share so I might as well get to it.
- “Midnight City” airs tonight, thus I won’t post the official description. Instead I’ve collected the preview videos for the episode:
- Yet it has been noted that tonight’s episode is just part 2 of the 3 part arc. The description for episode 13 “Canaries” can be found at Green Arrow TV or right below:
VERTIGO (GUEST STAR PETER STORMARE) RETURNS AND PITS CANARY AGAINST BLACK CANARY — Oliver (Stephen Amell) is thrown by the changes within Team Arrow. He’s used to calling the shots but sees that the team has evolved in his absence and tensions quickly escalate in the lair. Oliver is furious that Laurel (Katie Cassidy) has been going out as the Black Canary and tells her to stop risking her life, but when Vertigo (guest star Peter Stormare) hits the streets again, Laurel goes against Oliver’s wishes and tracks down Vertigo who hits her with a full dose of the drug. Laurel’s biggest fears revolve around her sister Sara (guest star Caity Lotz) so the Vertigo causes her to hallucinate an epic fight between Canary and Black Canary. Meanwhile, Chase (guest star Austin Butler) surprises Thea (Willa Holland), and Roy (Colton Haynes) warns Thea to stay away from Malcolm (John Barrowman). Michael Schultz directed the episode written by Jake Coburn & Emilia Ortega Aldrich (#313GATV). Original airdate 2/11/2015.
- While it seems like Laurel is getting her superhero duds and due. The actress reveals in her interview with EW what I’ve always known, sometimes the clothes don’t make the hero.
- Seeing into the future, we turn to Spoiler TV which has the titles for episodes 15 and oddly enough episode 17.
- Most interesting is that episode 17 title is suppose to be attached to the Suicide Squad, which according to Green Arrow TV will be appearing in episode 18. Whatever the case might be, Comicbook.com has an article about what the hints the producers have given us on what we can expect.
Those are all the hints and teases for now. Remember to check out my facebook and twitter pages for more information. What you can’t find here, you’ll probably find there.