Before I jump into this week’s column, I just wanted to give a quick shout out to batfanjordanv1. Every week he chimes in on Couch Club’s comments sections to give some insightful breakdowns and interpretations. It’s clear he’s a big fan of these shows and has a deep knowledge of the characters and their storylines—for someone like me, who came in late to Arrow, it’s sometimes a big help.
Nice work, bud!
On to this evening’s episode…
I was curious where the show might go after the Slade arc. I was hoping we would jump into Vigilante or continue with Ricardo Drago AKA Dragon to keep the momentum going. So, you can imagine my surprise when that didn’t happen. However, I have to remember it’s a long season and pacing is a very important factor.
I thought tonight had some bright spots. No, not Curtis and Felicity’s argument about the company name or Quentin’s continued inability to get over the Bad Laurel. But things that are more important to the bigger picture: Cayden James’ motive and John and Ollie’s relationship.
Before I go into that, I just have to get something off my chest real quick…
While I like the running storyline of Ollie being pursued by legitimate law enforcement in the FBI, Agent Watson is just the absolute pits. Is it just me? I can’t tell if I don’t like her character because she’s getting close to exposing Ollie, or if it’s her over-the-top cliché “tough guy” act. Maybe it’s both? All I know is that I want Ollie and team to embarrass her as much as she embarrassed him tonight. I think I’m rooting against her because she’s so certain that she has it all figured out (which I guess she does) and that bothers me because I don’t want to see the team get exposed. Whoa… Now that I’ve written that, I realize that maybe I should tip my hat to her for the convincing acting.
All right. Let’s get back on track!
As I mentioned earlier, there were a couple things I really liked. One of them was learning a little more about Cayden James. While he’s still one of the most maddening characters because of his smugness, I liked seeing him in tonight’s episode because we’re beginning to learn more about him. While I think the whole Billy Joel concert thing was a little much in terms of the scope he went to get Ollie’s attention and incriminate the team, it was an important face-to-face. Comics great, Jack Kirby, once said that villains are often more interesting than the heroes because of their motivation and what makes them tick. In all honesty, sometimes the villains are more human than the heroes. We’re beginning to scratch the surface with Cayden when he tells Ollie he’s doing this because Ollie was somehow involved in his son’s death.
Now, could Cayden just be saying that or is he delusional? Remember, they’ve said multiple times that he used to be a levelheaded guy, but his time being kidnapped changed his mindset.
We really don’t know yet, but either way, he’s clearly warped. All we have to go on is his word and that’s that Ollie is involved in some way with his son’s death. I’m looking forward to seeing how this all develops.
The other aspect I really liked was the conversation between John and Ollie about the Green Arrow mantle. I didn’t like that Ollie was mad that John lied to him about his injury—that seemed kind of petty to me, especially since I’m sure Ollie has worked through injuries (both physical and mental) that put the team in jeopardy.
What I liked was John’s confession that his dream was to be Green Arrow and that he was going to do that no matter what—even if it meant putting it above his family. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of those people who are so driven and dedicated to something that it becomes a flaw or almost a disease. The show has always done a good job of showing you the level of care and professionalism in which John operates, but I felt like tonight really drove it home. The guy is so dedicated that he put untested medicines in his broken body just to be able to keep working. Yes, that ended up further complicating things for him. Was it stupid? Absolutely. But now I see that it’s a testament to his character.
I wonder what lies ahead for John now that Ollie is back in the saddle?
Hey, next week is the big crossover event! Arrow airs Monday next week…get ready!
See you there,
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.