You might need to bear with me a bit on this one, folks.
A long time ago—my first blog, actually—I wrote about how I’m a newcomer to Arrow. As such, some of the references in episodes require me to do some (usually a lot) of research to connect the dots from other seasons.
After tonight, I found myself doing quite a bit of digging to understand who Malcolm Merlyn is and how he connects within the Arrowverse.
I guess I was on the right path last week when I surmised that getting caught was all part of the Prometheus plan. (Someone should tell my wife, because I’m usually never right about anything. This could earn me some serious cred. HA!)
I actually enjoyed the jumping back and forth between the current storyline and flashbacks this episode. I thought the scenes with Konstantin were awesome. It had sort of a classic good guy-bad guy element to it where the bad guy holds all the cards and the good guy has to push his will to the max in order to survive. I thought that was illustrated well with the insanity serum Konstantin injects Ollie with. The icing on the cake is when he slides him the gun with one round in it to see how long he could last.
Grade-A bad guy stuff right there—but also kind of stereotypical because it gave Ollie the means to escape.
Back in the current storyline, there were a couple things that kind of had me scratching my head.
The first was Curtis’ strange decision-making process while investigating Dinah’s apartment. A couple columns ago, I wrote how Arrow’s version of Mr. Terrific has become more comedic relief than the thinking man we know and like in the comics. Tonight was a perfect example of that. Rather than assessing the situation and having a game plan when investigating Dinah’s disappearance, he relies on forced humor (the karate line….) and being really loud while talking to Felicity—which leads to him getting taken out quickly.
Maybe it’s just me, but did you guys think it was weird that the mayor could go into a prisoner’s cell, rough him up, pull a gun out and threaten him? I mean, Chase is probably the highest profile prisoner in Star City. He’s under insane surveillance right now. No one thought it was odd that Ollie was in the cell with a gun to Chase’s head? There must be cameras everywhere, right? Also, wouldn’t Ollie be nervous he might out himself as the Green Arrow while talking with Chase knowing that the cell is under heavy observation?
I thought this was one of the best episodes in terms of its flow—it ran nicely and I think the reason for that was because it stuck to a more simplistic storyline. The saying, “less is more” can apply to a lot of things, including comics, TV and movies.
I thought tonight was great for that exact reason. We watched a very straightforward episode that basically broke down like this:
- Chase pulls the strings from within his cell—having his team kidnap Ollie’s team.
- Ollie is forced to reach out to some unlikely allies to form an alliance in order to save his team and son.
- Chase leverages Ollie to get him out of prison and then leads him back to the island where the Green Arrow was essentially born—thus making it a full circle.
I’m sure a lot of you who have been watching the show from the beginning were probably pretty excited to see Malcolm, Nyssa and of course, Slade, make their returns.
It was fun for me to read up om Malcolm and how he has crossed paths with Ollie and company over the years. It sounds like he’s been all over the other #DCTV shows, which is pretty cool. I liked what I saw from his character tonight, especially what he said to Ollie: “It takes a special kind of idiot to actually get dumber with time.” Haha. What a great line!
So, how do the two teams stack up against each other?
Chase has Black Siren, Talia (maybe the heaviest hitter between the two teams), Evelyn and possibly more people. Ollie has Malcolm, Slade and Nyssa—plus, I guess you can count his own team if he’s able to get them free and they join the fight.
On paper, I feel like Ollie’s team has a slight advantage (if he can truly trust them), but Chase is the wild card that instantly nixes that advantage. Who knows what the guy has up his sleeve? He clearly has the mental edge and we don’t know what sort of traps and games he has ready to go.
The writers did a nice job of building to (what I hope) is a huge payoff—one with some serious action, but also, a solid resolution.
It’s crazy to think, but next episode is it for the season. I hope it’s a banger!
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.