Arrow Season 3 Episode 10 – TV Review
Oh, and Oliver isn’t dead, you guys. Obviously.
Well, not anymore.
TL;DR The Super Friends struggle to go on in Oliver’s absence, before coming to the depressing conclusion that he must be dead; they are also defeated by new mob boss Vinnie Jones, who plans to take over the Glades; Felicity wants out of the vigilante business, including Ray’s ATOM project; Oliver is saved by Japanese guy and his wife; the flashbacks offer little of importance.
As is standard.
As Oliver is, like, kind of dead, the focus this episode rests on the remaining Super Friends. They continue to operate (with Diggle posing as the Arrow), waiting for Oliver to come back from his duel with Ra’s. As the days wear on, they start to lose hope, but Felicity is in total denial that Oliver might have lost the trial by combat. They are distracted by the machinations of Vinnie Jones, a new baddie who successfully pulls off a scheme to steal the evidence pertaining to months’ worth of thug cases. Diggle, Roy, and Felicity do their best to stop the heist, and Laurel does her best on the lawyering end, but the slew of thugs are freed without evidence to hold them. Vinnie then holds the evidence over their heads to ensure they join his army to rule the Glades. Meanwhile, Malcolm, at Thea’s behest (she’s worried about Oliver not responding to her texts and calls) discovers that Oliver appears to be dead, relaying the find to the Super Friends. Everyone finally comes to terms with the fact, with Felicity taking it the hardest and disbanding the Super Friends, as well as refusing to help Ray put his life in danger as a vigilante. Laurel, though, chooses to become the Black Canary, so there’s that. The episode ends with Oliver, having had his body recovered by Japanese guy, brought back to life by Japanese guy’s wife. And the flashbacks involve Oliver and Japanese guy stealing a component to the weapon Kelly Hu is trying to assemble, as well as going behind Amanda Waller’s back to try to rescue Japanese guy’s kidnapped wife.
I assume the Japanese couple’s gratitude for Oliver’s help in the flashback to be the reason why they help him in the present.
So, shockingly, I was right: Oliver isn’t dead. Well, he was dead. But the wife managed to resurrect him somehow.
I think Ra’s might need better security on his Lazarus pits.
Why I hate this episode:
That Black Canary wig really doesn’t suit Laurel. Leave the wig work to Kelly Hu, baby.
As per usual, the flashbacks are a bit of a wank. I expect they were a necessary evil this episode, just to make sure Stephen Amell got some requisite screentime.
Also, I have no idea what’s going on with Kelly Hu’s scheme. To be fair, I haven’t been paying super close attention. She’s assembling some weapon or something, right? And she needed another component of it, which is what Oliver and Japanese guy stole from the government facility? So she couldn’t get it? I think that’s right.
Did Diggle actually shoot Vinnie in the head, or did he just graze him? Also, Diggle had plenty of time to line up another shot for his leg or his arm or something. There was no reason for Diggle to give Vinnie the opportunity to close the gap and beat him up.
Oh, and Malcolm breaks into the Super Friends’ base twice this episode. Felicity, after the second time, laments that they really should change their locks. Yes! You should have changed them after the first time. What kind of idiots are aware that Malcolm “I arranged Sara’s murder/am generally a bad dude” Merlyn can get into their base of operations, and choose not to rectify it? What the fuck?
But it’s not all bad:
Felicity gets to shine as the star of this episode (and without some hackneyed, hacker backstory to weigh her down). She is the most optimistic of the Super Friends in regards to Oliver’s fate. Her painful journey to accepting the horrible truth is affecting, culminating in her standing up to Malcolm, rightly blaming him for orchestrating the plan to have Oliver duel Ra’s.
She gets best line of the episode, as Malcolm tries to explain that he didn’t intend for Oliver to lose:
Malcolm: “His death means my own.”
That’s dark, Felicity. Keep it up.
She gets into an argument with Ray when she tells him to reconsider becoming a vigilante with his ATOM suit. She says it won’t bring back his dead fiance, and it’s not what she would have wanted. Ray takes a moment to air his own grief and angrily tells her not to presume what Anna would have wanted. By episode’s end, Felicity apologises. But she is stoic in her decision to no longer be involved with the ATOM project and Ray’s quest for vigilantism.
Diggle has his own emotional struggle. He becomes mad at Felicity for choosing to direct Roy to help save his (Diggle’s) life at the evidence heist, rather than to complete the mission to prevent the theft. Felicity says she won’t let anyone else die, while Diggle plays the “we always get through it” card. Felicity then proclaims that no, it’s Oliver that always manages to pull out the victory, and she won’t do the Super Friends without him.
Diggle later confesses to Laurel that he still views himself as Oliver’s bodyguard, and blames himself for not being able to protect him this latest time. Manly tears ensue.
Roy gets a tiny turn at the grief wheel when Thea asks him to speak to the Arrow about looking into Oliver’s whereabouts. It must have hurt inside.
Oliver is a good friend on the flashback mission. It appears that he allows one of Kelly Hu’s men to escape the skirmish, which Amanda Waller chastises him for. Japanese guy remarks that it looked like Oliver let him go on purpose, which he did: he secretly planted a tracking device so he and Japanese guy can go behind Amanda’s back (and against her orders) to go rescue the wife. That’s good bro work.
With Japanese guy’s wife obviously alive in the present, I presume the super dark thing that must have happened to Japanese guy to make him turn to the League of Assassins must be the death of his son. How angsty.
Vinnie Jones is his beloved, British gangster self. He even beats a guy to death with his bare hands. I approve.
Oh, and even on a freezing mountaintop, Oliver don’t need no torso coverage.