TV Rants & Ramblings: Arrow 1.21 – “The Undertaking”

Arrow headerArrow has another solid episode building to the finale of season 1, filling in some blanks, bringing back old characters, and keying in Oliver on some information that will help push him to taking on Malcolm and his plans for the city.

Back on the Island

Psych!  We didn’t go there this episode!  It’s crazy!

Back Not on the Island

With that said, there were still plenty of flashbacks in the episode, with bad guys and everything, but less water in close proximity.  Just the one body, really, that the Queen’s Gambit is docking in, all safe and not destroyed.

I would have really appreciated seeing what happened after Yao Fei brought the war to Oliver on the island, but I guess we will just have to wait until next week.  Disappointment aside, it was nice to finally get some answers fleshing out the details about why Malcolm took out the Queen family yacht.  So sit down for some exposition: It turns out that a while back Mr. Queen accidentally killed a man who was trying to bribe him.  Naturally, to make up for the death of a criminal, one must become a criminal.  Yeah, that makes sense…

Not the best logic, sure, but Queen did learn about the power of extortion from this man, which is where the list came about.  These were the men that Queen, Malcolm, and the rest of their partners would take money from to put back into The Glades.

The Master Plan

With the extortion business taking too much time to see results, Malcolm must have taken notes from Ra’s Al Ghul’s Batman Begins plans.  Or, being in this universe, I guess he could have always talked to the man himself.  Maybe the League of Shadows taught him everything he knows!  Ok, probably not, but that’s neither here nor there.  Point is, with the memory of his wife’s death haunting him thanks to the voicemail she left on his phone to spite him for screening her calls, Malcolm is pushed over the edge by vengeance, permitting him to believe that the best way to stop the trouble in the city is to destroy the cancerous part.

These flashbacks do a lot to take away some of the blame that has been placed on Queen thanks to the list, showing that he was actually planning to work against Malcolm.  He just was unfortunate enough to put his trust in the wrong man.  I guess his ghost can at least be happy that this traitor eventually had the same thing happen to him thanks to Moira, but Queen would still be a ghost thanks to the whole yacht blowing up incident.  With Malcolm not wanting the opposition, he planted a bomb on the Queen’s Gambit to take it out during the storm that is forecasted to be out at sea, making it appear to be an accident.

Fear of Commitment

I agree with infidelity being a bad thing, but I think Karma may have taken itself a little too seriously by sinking the Queen’s Gambit just to get back at Oliver for bringing Laurel’s sister with him.

Poor Laurel, she really needs to pick someone who isn’t afraid to be with her: Oliver got freaked out by the thought of getting an apartment with her so he torpedoed the relationship, and in the present day Tommy did the same thing because he didn’t feel like he could compete with Oliver even though he wasn’t actually doing so yet.  And now she’s put in an even tougher situation because Oliver decided that even though he knows he can’t be with her, he tells her that he still loves her.  That’s just cruel!  I doubt they will get together anytime soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was at most a kiss or something as this season comes to an end.  Ok, probably not even that.  More like thicker sexual tension.  Yeah, that’s far more likely.

Note to Laurel:  In the future, if/when you decide to ask Oliver to do something to further the relationship, make sure “Bleeding Love” is not playing over the scene.

Favorite Quote #1

Felicity: “It feels really good having you inside me.  And by you I mean your voice.  And by me I mean my ear. I’m going to stop talking, right now.”

The Dangers of Gambling

It’s always sad to watch couples fight, but the rift between Diggle and Oliver does have its upsides as it allows Felicity to go out in the field again to help team Arrow.

This opportunity comes about when Oliver takes out an accountant, Harold Backman, who handles a lot of the offshore accounts belonging to the shady people of the city.  Maybe had Oliver been nice enough to provide Felicity some much needed caffeine for the long hours it would take her to break into the computer that Oliver brought her she would have been able to do what he asked by finding those who the money belonged to, but instead all she manages to do is find a clue about what happened to Walter.  What a slacker.

With her glasses off, Felicity makes her way into an underground casino run by the man who was paid to kidnap Walter, because nothing bad ever comes from someone counting cards while gambling.  That’s actually the plan though, and if that fell through I’m sure talking to herself would have raised suspicions high enough to warrant a meeting in the backroom, which just so happens to contain a computer ripe for the bugging.

After all of this work by Felicity to successfully plant the bug, Oliver hulks out when he thinks things are about to go down to endanger Felicity: “Don’t you take Felicity’s earpiece! I shall smash your underlings through doors and shoot up your fancy poker tables!”  I know Oliver didn’t really say this, but I like to imagine he did to avenge Felicity getting 86’ed.  I just wish we got to see the two of them walking out of that place after he got the information he came for because I am sure she would have had some more hilarious moments of rambling.  Especially considering she seems like the type of person who would do this during uncomfortable moments.

Where’s Walter?

I never really believed that Walter was dead after Alonso says as much, so it was nice that they didn’t drag this out any longer than they had to because it really pushed Moira’s story forward.  When Oliver tells his family what he learned from a made up friend of a friend, he listens to his suspicions that something was wrong when Moira runs off and out of the house.  I’m sad to say I didn’t see it coming, so that made the surprise all the better when the camera pulls back to reveal an arrow in the wall of the building in which Moira and Malcolm are talking about Walter.

Oliver will deal with his mother later, and I really hope he does, but right now the priority is to rescue Walter.  Thank goodness he has his own plane, I just wish we got to hear how he explained his plan to the pilot: “If you don’t mind just fly over the city, and don’t look back here.  I will be changing, and am really shy.  Also if I am not in the plane when you land, do not panic.”  Parachuting in seemed more like a batman thing since he loves to glide, but if you have the money why not use it!?  Besides, it was the only way to get into the building, and without that we wouldn’t have gotten to see Oliver go all The Raid: Redemption in the hallway of bad guys.  Ain’t nobody keeping Oliver from his Walter!

When Malcolm shows up at the hospital that Walter was taken to in order to show his “support,” Oliver tells him that Walter doesn’t know anything about his abductors, which will hopefully keep Walter out of future danger.  But Oliver knows, making a vague threat that Malcolm doesn’t really understand the full extent of (see favorite quote #2).  Let’s just hope that when he finally goes up against Malcolm again, Oliver comes away far less damaged.  Physically anyway, emotionally he will be struggling since he has killed Tommy’s father.  I’m calling it now!

Favorite Quote #2

Oliver: “They’ll get what’s coming to them.”

Final Thoughts

Tonight’s episode of Arrow was a pretty decent one that filled in some questions that I’d forgotten I even had about what really happened to the boat, and I’m excited to have Walter back.  Plus, Oliver made peace with Diggle!  Yay!  But best of all, the build up for the episodes to come is in full swing now, and I can’t wait to see how they choose to end the season.

So what did you think of tonight’s episode of Arrow?  Let me know in the comments down below.

Arrow Ep21

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