Oftentimes in sports, when an organization is struggling and has a string of bad years, they’ll do what’s called a rebuild—trading guys away in order to get pieces back that they feel can develop and complement some existing players into a winning product years down the line. It’s often a touchy subject, as most organizations never want to admit they’re in rebuild mode and the fans don’t want to have to “suffer” through the growing pains of young players and a team that can be a mess for the next few seasons.
Tonight’s episode kind of felt like a rebuild could possibly be coming for Oliver and the team.
Let’s start at the beginning…
One of the things I find sort of odd is how lax everyone seems to be when telling their loved ones they work for the Green Arrow. Felicity tells Billy earlier in the season and tonight, Curtis tells his husband, Paul. Neither of them seemed overly concerned or nervous that their secret was out of the bag. I mean, if that was me, I’m trying to take that secret to the grave out of fear it would get myself, my loved ones, Oliver and everyone else into serious trouble if the wrong people found out.
I thought Paul’s reaction and subsequent leaving moved a bit fast, but it was necessary to avoid too much drama. I’ll be honest, I’m kind of glad Paul left because it puts Curtis in a position to answer a tough question as to what’s more important: His love life or his love for crime fighting? I’m hoping he chooses to completely immerse himself into his role as Mr. Terrific. But either way things unfold, I think it’s going to add an interesting angle to his character and perhaps give him more layers—both positive and negative. We’ll see.
While we’re on the topic of love and relationships, let’s talk about Billy’s death. I think it’s vital to open the door for Oliver and Felicity to restart their relationship, but more importantly, it helps cement a pretty wicked villain in Prometheus.
Let me explain…
As a viewer, I didn’t take much away from Billy’s character. He was just kind of a dude to me. He didn’t add or subtract anything—he was more or less just sort of there. But he was an important piece because he provided that division between Oliver and Felicity—two people who seem like they want to be together but the timing and situations never seem to align. Anyway, Billy’s death at the hands of Oliver was some legit menacing villainy by Prometheus. It signals that Prometheus is so much more than your run-of-the-mill bad guy. We now know that it looks like he trained under the same lady as Oliver and that his motive is to avenge his father’s murder. But the way he set up Billy’s death is what stands out as the most important factor (and a preview) of the lengths he’s willing to go to tear Oliver’s life apart. If you remember earlier in the episode, he tells Artemis (we’ll get to that traitor in a minute) that he doesn’t want to kill Oliver; he wants to essentially make his life a living hell by making him suffer. It’s obvious he has the chops from a physical standpoint to go toe-to-toe with Oliver, but he’s also highly cerebral and completely capable of outsmarting Oliver as evident tonight. I’m really looking forward to seeing how things shake out between the two!
Now let’s talk about the ol’ turncoat, Artemis. The petulant Benedict Arnold of Star City was quick to sell out Oliver, the team and I believe in time, herself (though she doesn’t realize it yet). Her knee-jerk reaction to the discovery of Oliver’s “kill book” is the reason the team is in the situation they’re in. I believe choosing to join Prometheus will be her downfall, as she acted completely on emotion rather than maturity and reason. We all do stupid things when we’re young, but her decision may choose to be fatal for a lot of people. Prometheus isn’t exactly the kind of guy you go into business with as an equal partner. To him, you’re simply a resource for him to achieve his goal. Once he’s extracted everything he can from you, he’ll dispose of you. The irony that Artemis doesn’t see is that Oliver—the man she hates—would always take her back, but Prometheus—the man she’s joined up with—would probably kill her without blinking an eye.
In the aftermath of the episode, it’s easy to see that the team took a big hit this week. John was set up and is now in police/military custody. Curtis is divided between love and duty, while Felicity is crushed by the death of her boyfriend and Oliver struggles with the fact that he killed an innocent man.
Now that I think about it, maybe a rebuild isn’t what they need. Maybe what they need is a shot in the arm—something to shake things up and get everyone back on track.
It would have to be a pretty big shot, something that would really surprise everyone.
Oh, I know. How about if Black Canary came back?
I was shocked to see her at the end of the episode! Like I’ve said numerous times, DC doesn’t tell me anything about what’s ahead on this show. It’s cool because when things like that happen, it’s a total surprise and adds to the experience of watching it completely in the dark and with a fresh perspective.
While I don’t entirely know what’s going on, I’m glad it’s happening! Maybe some Flashpoint fallout and overlapping time lines or some parallel Earth stuff? I wish I had some insight or information to pass on to you guys.
I just know I’m excited to get an explanation when the show returns next month and to see where this goes!
Until next episode,
Matt Ross covers Arrow as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. Catch new episodes of Arrow Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW.