There’s an oft-quoted line in Godfather III where Michael Corleone says: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”
How does that line relate to Arrow? I’ll get there. But first…
We’re walking a fine line here between a super hero show and a daytime soap opera, people.
The single dad balancing running a city by day, while protecting it at night as a masked hero—all while trying to raise his angst-filled teenage son. The recently divorced guy who is at odds with himself and where he fits in with the team. A father whose life was torn apart by drugs/violence and is incapable of reconnecting with his daughter. The tough cop whose partner was killed, so she’s on a mission to end violence. The ex-soldier struggling to “soldier on.” And the tech-savvy, self-proclaimed nerd whose relationship status with our hero is “it’s complicated.”
Add to all that, the return of the Russians…
Shows like Arrow are interesting. They explore the idea of taking characters from the pages of a comics and drop them in the frame of a TV. The result is a product that is more “realistic.”
What do I mean by that?
Well, an interesting thing happens when you read a comic book. Your mind accepts things that you know are just not possible. Some refer to it as the suspension of disbelief—to believe the unbelievable, to sacrifice reality for enjoyment. Yes, it works for movies and TV, too. But to me, it’s so much more powerful in comics. The mass destruction caused by two super-powered beings slugging it out is easier to understand and “accept” when you see it drawn in a sequence of panels. When I see it on TV or the big screen, it just doesn’t translate to me. I find myself wondering how much in property damage they’re causing, or how many people were killed or injured when the huge building collapsed, etc., etc…
I’m often doing the same thing when watching Arrow. Wouldn’t Ollie be sore coming into work after a night of crime fighting? How has he never had any visual bumps, bruises or injuries that would complicate things while being mayor and cause people to ask questions? No one has ever discovered this elaborate hideout, and where did all that advanced equipment come from that they can literally do anything with? Like break down the type of poison attacking a hostage and develop an antidote just by looking at a picture? The list goes on…but in the pages of a comic, it never really crosses my mind.
So when tonight’s episode started, I found myself asking those same questions. I was wondering how the FBI wasn’t monitoring all of Ollie’s activities—phone calls, emails, where he goes, etc. Wouldn’t they be on him like glue?
There was so much for the FBI to go on regarding Ollie being Arrow. Then it just kind of ends because news breaks that the picture was a fake? Yes, I know that Agent Watson said she’ll still be keeping an eye on him, but was I the only one who felt like that probably won’t happen?
Then there’s Ollie’s son.
Tonight really drove home that there’s no possible way a guy could be mayor of a major metropolitan city, a masked vigilante and expect to be a full-time dad and raise a son. It’s just not possible. It can’t work. On the shelf of a comic book store, yes. But unfolding on the screen of a TV, no.
So, like Michael CorIeone, I thought I was on my way out.
Then it pulled me back in…
At the end of the episode, something awesome happened. Ollie asked John to take over the Green Arrow mantle…and he accepted!
Why am I psyched about this?
For starters, it’s going to be cool to see how John does while donning the hood. Once more, can he overcome this injury, which he was obviously going to reveal to Ollie, but chose not to because he was caught off guard by Ollie’s invitation? And will he be using arrows or bullets?
The other reason I like it is because it just makes sense—at least in the Arrowverse reality. It’s obvious that Ollie’s son is going to be a big part of this season and as stated above, Ollie can’t be the mayor, Arrow and a dad. Even Slade said so last week. But, he can be the mayor, a dad and still be involved in helping keep Star City safe. He’s a guy who has the experience of being a hero, knows the team and has his finger on the pulse of everything Star City because of his position as mayor.
So, yeah…I’m looking forward to this new era of Arrow!
Until next time,
Matt Ross covers Arrow as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. Catch new episodes of Arrow Thursdays at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. CST) on The CW.