Hey, hey. Not too shabby of an episode. Let’s get cracking!
DC has done a good job exploring lesser-known characters throughout their shows. Our very own Arrow has showcased a couple of nice ones in Wild Dog and Ragman, just to name a couple.
Tonight, they continued to delve into B-Listers by introducing Onyx Adams to Star City.
She made her first appearance in DETECTIVE COMICS #546 back in January, 1985. A former member of the League of Assassins, Onyx is a well skilled in martial arts and hand-to-hand combat—excelling in assassin techniques like pressure points and other lethal moves. This, combined with her proficiency in stealth, has made her a very deadly individual.
Deciding to leave the League, she has had ties to the Batman family and even Green Arrow, having belonged to the Ashram Monastry—the same place Ollie belonged to at one point.
Of course, the irony tonight was that she was fighting Green Arrow. By the way, what was up with those orbs she used that would flash the bright lights? They looked similar to Curtis’ T-Spheres. I also thought what Wild Dog pointed out was interesting: the light didn’t affect her or her cronies and they weren’t wearing any eye protection. Maybe some sort of special contacts/optics or something?
Either way, they stopped her.
That brings me to what I thought was the strength of the episode: John Diggle.
We’re used to seeing our heroes as these ultra-brave/confident men and women. They’re capable of making split-second decisions that could have horrible consequences. They live in this world of high stakes and high stress, but never seem to get too bogged down by it mentally or physically.
Look at Ollie, for the most part he’s done a good job of being a leader in the field—quick on his feet, sees the game a couple plays ahead of most, etc.
Now look at John.
Tonight, we saw him battle something we’ve all encountered at one time. In some cases, we fight it regularly.
I think one of the reasons I like John’s character is because of his humanity. Hell, in some ways, I see some of myself in him. While I’m not out fighting crime with a code name, I have certainly stumbled and failed in situations where you can’t really afford to—both professionally and personally—which has caused me to question my ability to perform the task. We’ve all dealt with this in one way or another.
In Arrow, we have watched the seeds of doubt slowly grow in John. Starting with his PTSD and continuing through his hand injury and fear of being unable to lead the team. Fear and doubt in one’s self can feed off each other until they completely destroy.
John was walking down this path tonight. His worry about the injury affecting his ability to fight, combined with the fear that people would question why Green Arrow wasn’t using his bow, began to take their toll. Subconsciously, they slowly fed the self-doubt that he couldn’t handle the duty of being the Emerald Archer. This ultimately boiled over and resulted in him freezing up in the field and being incapable of making the decision to chase down Onyx or the runaway truck. This blunder pushed John further down when he learned that some of the team questioned whether or not he could sufficiently lead them and keep the people of Star City safe.
There’s a great saying by Tony Robbins that goes like this: “In your head, you’re dead.” Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemy. When you get into your own head, you can end up convincing yourself “I can’t” instead of “I can.”
This is where listening to your support system (if you’re lucky enough to have one) comes into play.
John could have chosen to remain down on himself and Ollie could have piled on him, but neither of those things happened—which I’m happy about. I thought the writers were going to put Ollie back in the suit, which would have been kind of crummy in my opinion. Instead, Ollie believes in John and rather than let him off the hook by becoming Green Arrow again, he talks to him like a man, sharing his experience and advice, but more importantly, his belief and faith he has in John’s ability to do the job.
It’s one thing for Ollie to say that stuff, it’s another for John to be receptive and believe in it, which he did. As hard as it can be, sometimes you have to just say “screw it” and get back on the horse to let the chips fall where they may. Tonight worked out for John and his leadership saved the day.
So all is well, right?
What was up with John meeting that dude in the sleazy alley? Obviously, he’s buying some sort of serum to give temporary relief for his injured hand. I have to believe there will be some negative consequences coming from it…
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.