As we relive Oliver’s time hallucinating on his island, he deals with a more normal threat of bank robbers plaguing the city. Not quite the poison he has promised to cut from Starling City, but worth dealing with, nonetheless.
Back On The Island
As Oliver struggles with being hungry, cold, and alone following the abrupt exit of his best island buddy, he starts hallucinating about rather angry interactions with his father. You know, “You have to survive to make up for my mistakes,” “No seriously, this is all on you kid,” “Sucks to be you because this burden is now yours,” and all that jazz. Great dad.
Anyway, that’s not actually all that important. The interesting thing coming out of these non-essential flashbacks is that we finally see how that rather blank journal came to be filled with his father’s writing post-mortem. Turns out it was there all along, he had just used a special ink that would only show up next to a fire. You’d think he might have mentioned this before shooting himself in the head. Then again, Oliver had to go digging through his father’s pockets to even find the notebook. Goodness this man sure had high expectations for his son if he didn’t even think to hand a hint over as to how he could go back to Starling City and right all of his wrongs…
Training Starts Now
With Diggle continuing to help Oliver with his Arrow business, it’s time for a training scene between the two of them! Surprisingly, Diggle’s shirt remained on through the lesson, but this must be because he’s still more of a behind the scenes guy. But don’t you worry, once he moves past the duties of pulling Oliver away from important family time to answer to bad guys and finally jumps out into the field with him, I’m sure the shirt will finally come off. Then we’ll really know he’s not to be messed with, especially if he also has scars.
Ok, as much as I joke about that, considering Diggle has a military background I do hope that he does start fighting alongside Arrow soon and that he retains a fighting style specific to his background (though it can still hint at the training that Oliver is providing). I just know he’s already around Oliver enough as it is, so in addition to providing advice and quips about the lack of social networking sites on the island, he might as well add muscle to his list of attributes.
Straying From The List
But for tonight, Diggle mainly just provided Oliver with a target for his justice to be aimed at, as well as the catalyst to sway him in the direction of slumming in common criminal crime fighting. Tonight was definitely the first step in Oliver branching out from his big name baddies, which is a good idea for the show considering their attempts to get the fanboys excited with comic villains like China White, Deadshot, and Deathstroke have come up a little short. Instead, it’s time to get back to the basics with something simple, like a bank robbery.
If anything, bank robberies are always solid setups for films and TV, and though this won’t compare to things like The Town or that one episode of Castle, it was a great step for Arrow. I would have honestly preferred it earlier in the season since it would have provided a solid foundation for the show in terms of showing how Oliver goes about doing what he does, through stealing clues from police stations, using the imprint of a class ring to trace back to an identity (seriously, dude, don’t wear something specific to you like that when you are doing something illegal. Who the heck even wears class rings, anyway?), character development for Oliver since he feels responsible for where this man ended up and obligated to offer him a way out (which is understandable, even if the other 1,500 laid off employees managed to continue on without turning to crime, thus making this guy far less deserving of this understanding and leniency in my opinion…), and actual fighting.
If he really feels the need, Oliver can always get back to taking down the names on the list in the next episode. There sure are enough of them, and that’s excluding the pages that he burned before learning of their true content. But I won’t complain if they throw in more episodes like this every now and again.
Merlyn Working Magic
Following a couple of episodes of tension between Oliver and Laurel, it’s time to throw Tommy back into the mix of trying to woo Laurel. Every show needs its love triangle, and tonight was definitely an episode to build that aspect as he starts out rather poorly by throwing his money in her face: “Oh, your firm just lost it’s largest donor? Good thing I have this private jet to take us places!” Looking for advice on women, he then turns to Thea, who inadvertently becomes the best wingwoman considering she originally thought that he was talking about her when asking for advice on how to impress a specific woman.
In the end, all Tommy actually needed to do was mix Thea with alcohol and then shake enough to get it to come back up in an alley, just in time for Laurel to come out and see him being a great brother to her. Take that flashy fundraiser! You’ve got nothing on a backrub to a vomiting girl! So yep, good job Thea. Best wingwoman ever.
Going back to the basics, this bank robbery episode proved to be a step in the right direction for Arrow. Now we just need to get Diggle out in the field and make Tommy evil so I don’t have to feel bad for cheering against him and we’ll be good to go.
So what did you guys think of this week’s episode? Do you think Oliver can bring back “snap”? Probably not, but I sure hope he lets some other dated expressions out. Would you like a detailed explanation of how those arrows that pinned the bags of money to the ground actually worked? I will also accept a diagram. Is Carter Bowen someone we’re supposed to remember, or was he just a random detail in this episode to build on the relationship between Oliver and his mom? Speaking of, how adorable was it that he took his mom to that diner? Let me know your thoughts on tonight’s episode in the comment section below!