Arrow Season 3 Episode 3 – TV Review
Yes, Laurel. You need to take baby steps.
But still, I’d think Laurel would be able to handle ambushing a drunk douchebag.
What happened to this Laurel?
TL;DR Laurel swings and misses in her first attempt at vigilante justice; Oliver and the boys go to Corto Maltese to get Thea to come home; Felicity juggles her new job under Ray with helping the old crew; a subplot involving a rogue ARGUS agent is an omen of dark things to come from Amanda.
And Arrow must have realised what a wank last episode’s Hong Kong flashback was, so we’re treated to the absence of one this time around. Thank goodness.
The major plot of the episode follows Oliver, Diggle, and Roy as they go on a boys’ road trip down to Corto Maltese to convince Thea to return to Starling City. After some grovelling from her brother and her former boyfriend, Thea agrees to return home. Nobody knows she’s been hanging out with Malcolm for the last few months, though. Meanwhile, Lyla asks Diggle to check in on an ARGUS agent in the area who had gone quiet. Oliver and Roy help investigate, and it appears that Agent Shaw is trying to thwart an intelligence sale of ARGUS agent info. But twist, Shaw is actually the seller, and scams Diggle of an encryption device that he needed to complete the sale. So Oliver and the gang shoot a bunch of arrows at some goons, and subdue the situation. But not before Shaw reveals he was only doing it so he could escape ARGUS and the tyrannical Amanda Waller. Amanda’s a dubious bitch? Never! Meanwhile in Starling City, Laurel is inspired to try out some vigilante justice against the abusive boyfriend of a fellow AA member. It goes poorly. Meanwhile, Ray is bemused by Felicity’s scampering to keep up tech support for the Super Friends. And instead of Hong Kong flashbacks, we get glimpses of how Malcolm gave Thea the tough love treatment to become a ninja maven.
Who knew an elbow to the face was all it would take to snap Thea into action? Women, huh.
I’m willing to give this episode praise. But Laurel’s sudden ineptitude when fighting Mr Wifebeater is too inconsistent to forgive. We’ve seen Laurel on multiple occasions prove what a badass fighter she is.
Yeah, she’s not trained like Oliver or Sarah, but I’d expect better from her than some half-assed baseball bat flurry.
Why I hate this episode:
At least use a taser or something, honey. Haven’t you ever watched Veronica Mars?
Despite her hot new haircut, I don’t appreciate that so much time is spent on convincing Thea to come back to town. She hasn’t earned it.
Oliver’s ploy to get her to come around involves him finally being totally, like, honest and stuff with her, you know? But then he isn’t honest with her really. The big “truth” he reveals to her is that his father killed himself after the Queen’s Gambit sunk, in order to ensure Oliver lived. Oliver makes this out to be a lesson on how much their father was a good parent, and the fact that Thea isn’t biologically his daughter doesn’t make her any less of a Queen. What Oliver doesn’t tell her is how he’s the Arrow. Which is what he needs to tell her if he’s so keen on being truthful. Weak, Oliver.
Of course, as Diggle points out, revealing to Thea that Oliver is the Arrow will only reinforce to Thea that he’s been lying to her about something else for the past two years. But a commitment to the truth is a commitment to the truth, Oliver. And it’s only a matter of time. Moira figured it out on her own. I know Thea is a poor little rich girl dumbass, but she’s gonna get there eventually.
Laurel comes to Oliver near the end of the episode to ask for him to train her to fight. Oliver refuses. So Laurel goes and asks some boxer she had previously been investigating to help, instead. Goddammit, Oliver. Do you know how many semi-dressed training montages we could have had of you and Laurel together? Why did you ruin this for me?
Laurel chooses her vigilante target by using information she heard in an Alcoholics’ Anonymous meeting. That’s a violation of the whole “anonymous” thing, Laurel. That’s rude.
Oh, and Ray seems to be perfectly fine with Felicity busying herself doing random other work right in front of him. Dude is whipped.
But it’s not all bad:
Laurel seems largely undaunted by her vigilantism failure. She’s still keen on that jacket, and she’s seeking out training. She still needs to go wig shopping, though. And get some breast implants.
And she does get a couple of good shots in with that baseball bat. Admittedly, watching her get her butt kicked was satisfying, considering how poor her planning was. It will inspire her to do better.
And Quentin later gets Mr Abusive arrested, anyway. It’s implied that he tipped somebody off about the domestic violence. Sometimes you need more than a baseball bat to dole out justice, Laurel. Sometimes you need to force your father to abandon his integrity. That’s the white girl way.
The most valuable development is the incremental rise of ARGUS and Amanda as the new villains. Shaw mentions to Diggle that Amanda made him do unspeakable things. When Shaw first gets out of hand, Diggle calls Lyla to report in, and she says that Amanda has dispatched a team to help out, but they never arrive. And when he returns home from Corto Maltese, Diggle begins to find Lyla’s devotion to Amanda newly worrying. I love it.
At Shaw’s intelligence handover, there’s not only the goon squad the Shaw is selling to, but a second group of soliders shows up to intercept the sale. Oliver and the boys take down both groups, but I’m excited to see who exactly is behind all these spy games. We now know it’s not just ARGUS. Or maybe it is only ARGUS?
Malcolm’s training with Thea involves burning and bashing her into accepting that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. It seems to have worked. Which means Thea might keep her whiny mouth shut. For a little while, at least.
Malcolm also lets Thea leave for Starling City. How is he planning to use her?
Ray has Felicity restore the hard drives from the destroyed Queen Consolidated Applied Sciences Division. When viewing the files later, Ray seems to be very interested in what looks like artillery blueprints. Thankfully, there’s no mention of Mirakuru.
Oh, and Ray is evil as hell. Obviously.